With dreams of fresh powder and epic descents, more Canadian skiers and snowboarders are heading overseas for their winter vacations. The strengthening Canadian dollar, coupled with increasing flight options, is making a global ski trip easier and more affordable. From the towering Alps to the picturesque Rockies, here are five of the top ski destinations outside Canada attracting enthusiasts this season.
Known for its stunning alpine scenery, Switzerland boasts epic skiing for all abilities. Top resorts like Zermatt, Verbier, and St Moritz offer expansive lift networks with runs ranging from gentle groomed cruising to extreme off-piste lines. Switzerland’s high elevation and glacier ski areas provide dependable early and late-season snow coverage. Enjoy Swiss hospitality while dining on fondue and chocolate after days spent skiing and riding the country’s famously long and challenging descents.
Home to over 400 ski resorts, Austria features the largest concentration of ski areas in Europe. With quaint alpine villages and medieval towns perfect for apres ski, the Austrian culture enhances time on the mountains. Top destinations like St Anton, Soelden, and Lech provide reliable snowfall and lots to explore, from linked ski circuits between villages to seemingly endless off-piste terrain accessed through the gates of each run. Revel in the celeb scene while enjoying Austria’s lively bars and authentic food.
Across the extensive French Alps, Canada’s French citizens will find their language skills useful when visiting France’s legendary ski resorts. Val d’Isere with its 300 km of marked pistes high above the tree line thrills experts while purpose-built resorts like Les Arcs and La Plagne entice visitors with expansive lift networks and massive skiable terrain. Enjoy fine dining, shopping, and après fun in the upscale and historical towns of Chamonix, Megève, and Courchevel. France delivers with exceptional skiing and riding for all abilities amidst breathtaking scenery.
From the ancient cobblestone streets of Cortina to the charming mountain rifugios across the Dolomites, Italy’s unique ski culture adds Mediterranean romance to your winter adventure. Beautiful viewpoints like Sella Ronda and the iconic Cinque Torri provide jaw-dropping vistas reachable by lift. Sample regional cuisine like polenta and hearty red wines while mingling with lively Italians and enjoying a comparatively affordable ski vacation. With smaller local resorts to famous areas like The Milky Way between Sestriere and Sauze d’Oulx, Italy brings la dolce vita to winter travelers.
Just south of the border, U.S. resorts like Vail, Jackson Hole, and Park City deliver exceptional ski vacations with outstanding snow records. Enjoy dollar parity while experiencing the Rocky Mountains from quaint ski towns filled with live music, cowboy bars, and local food. For East Coast options, hit Vermont’s charming New England style villages complete with covered bridges and excellent maple syrup over pancakes. Big White in eastern British Columbia also attracts Canucks with its spectacular dry powder skiing, family friendly vibe, and lively apres scene.
As you can see, Canadian skiers and riders have outstanding global options when planning winter getaways. Just be sure to renew your passport at ivisa.com before visiting these premier international destinations. Whether you are cruising alpine bowls in Switzerland, challenging your skills on Austria’s epic descents, soaking in Italian culture, exploring authentic American ski towns, or maxing your vertical back East, each unique destination promises exceptional winter adventures for Canadian travelers.
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