Powdered snow, rugged mountains, and quaint wintry towns can be found all around the world at almost any time of the year if you head to the right places. Of course, these towns make perfect the perfect set up for skiing and snowboarding all season long. Ski and snowboard lovers, we’ve picked out our favorite international ski towns so that you can find the best slopes and coziest towns to fill your winter adventures year-round.
Some of the world’s most gorgeous mountains can be found at Chamonix. It’s a top spot for ski terrain and, bonus, one ticket for the lift gives you access to 11 ski zones of various difficulty.
Plus, Chamonix is different as a ski town as it’s also a functioning working town year-round with a cozy city center, French cafés, and of course, some nice wine to go around.
Nestled along the Coast Mountains of British Colombia (just two hours north of Vancouver), Whistler is easily one of the top winter sports destinations around the world. There are gorgeous snow filled mountains, long vertical drops, diverse terrain, and let’s not forget to mention that Whistler itself is an excellent town.Whistler offers shops, bars, spas, and restaurants to fill your time when you’re not frolicking through the snow or gliding down a mountain.
Venture into the Canadian Rockies and experience the charming town of Banff. With its lively downtown and glorious snowcapped mountains, it’s a “best of both worlds” kind of destination. If you’re looking for some fun, interested in exploring the Banff National Park, and hitting some awesome slopes, this is your place.
Also while in Banff, check out Lake Louise, which is one of our favorite international winter destinations.
Wanaka, New Zealand
Fly over to New Zealand’s South Island and you’ll eventually find the small town of Wanaka. Complete with snowy landscapes, lakes, mountains, and a fantastic bar scene, Wanaka is a winter adventure paradise in the Southern Alps of New Zealand.
It’s also got a private ski area called Soho Basin, delivering an exhilarating skiing experience with top notch snow and terrain.
Catching a glimpse of the Matterhorn Mountain is reason enough to head to this ski mountain town. But you’ll end up staying for the slopes. Zermatt’s ski resort offers the highest vertical drop in Switzerland, so adventurists will love it and the outdoorsy will feel mesmerized by the snowy landscapes and stunning backdrops.
When it comes to skiing in Asia, Niseko is the place to be. Located on the Japanese island of Hokkaido, it’s known for having the lightest, most consistent powdered snow in the world. Of course, Niseko also boasts excellent skiing and snowboarding slopes. Spend the days gliding through the powdery snow and evenings relaxing in onsen (traditional Japanese hot springs).
Exploring the diverse and interesting Andes Mountains awaits you when you head to the Portillo ski resort in Chile. Nestled among nothing but mountains and powdered snow, Portillo’s iconic yellow building will be your base during your stay with plenty of things to do such as saunas, jacuzzies, classes, and morning yoga. The area itself has slopes for beginners to experts. Whether you want to ski or snowboard, you’ll enjoy gliding through the Andes Mountains.
And those are SHADED malibu’s top international ski towns around the world. Interested in our US version? Check it out here!
Christa Adams is a writer, photographer, and sustainable traveler based in Barcelona. She’s been traveling solo since 2014 has a passion for the outdoors, coffee culture, and exploring quaint European towns. Follow her adventures at www.thespiritedexplorer.com.