There are few holidays more exhilarating and fun than ski holidays. The buzz of catapulting yourself down a snowy mountain, surrounded by breathtaking scenery, is hard to match.
And, of course, as any skier knows, the fun is only just beginning. Après ski parties are legendary the world over, and few beers taste sweeter than the one you drink having come directly from the slopes.
For the world adventurer, however, it can seem like your options for skiing are pretty limited. Australia is obviously a great place to go, and holidays in the Alps are great, but where can you go to see a little bit more of the world and enjoy the slopes? Well, that’s where SheKnows steps in with a handy guide to the best, most surprising destinations around the world for skiing.
Fez hats, camels, winding cobblestone streets and sand is generally what comes to mind when picturing Morocco, but for the avid skier this shouldn’t be so.
The mountains near stylish Riad Akka offer some of the most unique skiing experiences in the world, where sun drenches the slopes of the Atlas Mountains in the tiny ski resort of Oukaimeden. The snow may not be of the highest quality, but thanks to the unique setting and distinctly Moroccan feel of the resort, Oukaimeden has a distinct flavor that many people (usually advanced skiers) find addictive.
It’s rumoured that soon a Dubai-based company will be starting works on the resort, including five-star hotels, snow canons and more, so keep your eyes peeled.
If TIME magazine calls a destination “Europe’s best kept ski secret”, you know you’re on to a good thing.
Montenegro, most often thought of in terms of its glittering coastline, has seen an increase in ski tourism as of late and it’s well-deserved. Jezerine is only small (there are five ski lifts) but skiers rave about the beautiful snow and forest skiing. The lack of crowds make for some spectacular lone ventures and the prices mean you won’t be anywhere near breaking the bank.
Iran, for so long associated with little more than war and terror, is slowly opening up once again as a tourist destination. Those that go come away charmed by the locals and their warmth and regale those at home with stories of epic landscapes, delicious food and a country that simply doesn’t resemble the one we so often see on television.
Of course, a ski trip to Iran won’t be drenched in alcohol like one in Europe, but what Dizin in the Alborz mountain range lacks in après ski fun, it more than makes up for with high quality snow and a long ski season.
As with Iran, China’s main ski resort (Yabuli) is not quite up to the standards you’ll find in the U.S. or Europe, but the snow and the slopes are of good quality thanks to the high elevation, with many international competitions being held here.
Yabuli (700 miles north-east of Beijing) is more suited to advanced or intermediate skiers, as few of the 20 runs cater for amateurs.
Besides skiing, people vacationing in the area can enjoy tennis, swimming, paragliding and much more.
South Korea is one of the best destinations for skiing on this list, and offers several top-notch resorts throughout the country. The number one resort is generally considered to be Yongpyong. Thanks to its size and variety, it’s a firm favourite among locals and internationals and, best of all, it caters for all levels of skiers.
Yongpyong boasts 28 slopes for all levels, but perhaps the best is called Rainbow, which takes all of 20 minutes to reach the top.
Partying may not be high on the agenda here, but you’ll find options for drinking and on your way out of South Korea you can always enjoy the country’s unbelievable nightlife in one of the major cities.