Five Breathtakingly Beautiful Destinations for Ski Enthusiasts

From adrenaline-inducing heli-skiing experiences in Iceland to luxury ski safaris in Italy, each of these scenic winter escapes will provide the perfect backdrop for an unforgettable break on the slopes. Luxury tour operator Scott Dunn shares five great destinations for ski enthusiasts to make the most of this year’s winter in the Northern Hemisphere.

Courchevel, France

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Courchevel 1850 is situated in the heart of Les Trois Vallées, the world’s most extensive ski area. The resort, which boasts its own airstrip, promises an upmarket experience with an array of ski runs suitable for all levels. Every evening, an army of piste bashers get to work to ensure that there are endless miles of perfectly prepared green, blue, red and black runs, making Courchevel 1850 one of the best resorts in the Alps for groups of varying standards. For the little ones or beginners, Magic Academy is among the best ski schools in the world.

The village at 1850 is well known for its selection of designer boutiques and a wide range of haute couture and jewellery, as well as some superb dining options. Think sunny terraces and big wine lists; the most famed are Le Chalet de Pierres, Le Cap Horn and La Soucoupe.

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Niseko, Japan

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Blessed with incredible snowfall due to its location on the west of Hokkaido, directly in the path of the winds blowing down from Siberia, Niseko is Japan’s leading ski resort. It is made up of four ski areas – Annupuri, Niseko Village, Hirafu and Hanazono – all interlinked and covered by one ski pass.

Hirafu village is the largest resort, with a vibrant atmosphere and a wide array of hotels, restaurants, bars and shops.The Hakuchozan luxury chalet is ideally situated in this area, with a chalet manager, butler, driver and chef on hand to cater to a skier’s every need. While in Niseko, the more daring skiers or snowboarders should make sure to head through the gates at the top of the mountain to create fresh tracks in the backcountry – the ultimate powder experience.

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Troll Peninsula, Northern Iceland

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For the more adventurous skier, heli-skiing at Deplar Farm is an experience not to be missed. Situated in the heart of the Troll Peninsula, which is remote and untouched compared to the south of the country, this former sheep farm successfully blends the traditional with the contemporary. Guests have complimentary use of Wagner Custom skis, specifically designed for heli-skiing, and experienced guides are on hand to provide local, insider knowledge and advice.

The 13-room Icelandic retreat is the perfect place to retire to, with a private chef preparing fresh food with a farm-to-table philosophy, and a spa complete with jacuzzi and geothermal infinity pool. It’s perfect for soothing aching muscles after a day on the slopes. For guests who want more than the 1,500 square miles of skiable terrain (including 3,000 vertical feet runs down to the ocean), other activities in the Troll Peninsula include nordic skiing, sea angling, whale watching and a geothermal hot spring tour.

Switzerland

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Switzerland is world-renowned for its skiing locations, and with good reason. The ultimate experience combines days at three of the country’s best ski resorts with a unique, exhilarating adventure by train from Zermatt to St Moritz via Andermatt on the famous Glacier Express.

Guests will travel through the Rhine Gorge, over the 2,033m Oberalp Pass, via 91 tunnels and over 291 bridges while making their way through the dramatic Swiss Alps. The experience includes the challenging, uncrowded slopes of Andermatt, the glitzy atmosphere of St Moritz and a meal at one of the best mountain restaurants in the world in Zermatt – all while staying at some of the most luxurious five-star hotels.

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Northern Italy

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A largely undiscovered jewel in the crown of the Alps, the Dolomites offers some of the best crowd-free skiing in Europe. Magnificent views provide the backdrop to an adventure down the peaks of this UNESCO World Heritage Site, which has terrain suited to skiers of all abilities. This includes the Dolomiti Superski, a ‘carousel’ of 12 interconnected ski resorts with 1,200km of prepared pistes, and off-piste skiing options.

Post-slope, skiers can indulge in the blend of Italian, Austrian and Ladin culture and cuisine that exists in this region. Those looking for a unique ski experience will enjoy the luxury ski safari – skiing “hut-to-hut” from family-run mountain rifugios (huts) to charming hotels with a certified mountain guide, who will guarantee that all of the best spots are hit.

Photos: Supplied, Courchevel Officiel Facebook

Story originally appeared on SilverKris.

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