Six Destinations for a Picture Perfect Ski Experience
Ski season has started and many travelers are looking to hit the slopes this winter. With 54%* of global travelers say that mountainous areas were a motivation in their destination decision, we are sharing six destinations for a picture perfect ski experience. With this in mind, and alongside its mission to make it easier for everyone to experience the world - including skiers of every skill set and budget, we have created ski resort-specific landing pages for France, Austria, Italy and Switzerland to help travelers plan their whole ski trip. This includes tools to sort destinations by things like skill level (beginner, intermediate, advanced) or general vibe with filters for family friendliness, picturesque, Apres-ski, luxury, budget friendly and more. From steep pistes, thrilling downhill slopes or wide runs with beautiful scenery, discovering a perfect ski spot for every skill level is only a few clicks away.
Family-friendly, Les Portes du Soleil, France
As well as having some of the best cuisine and wines in the world, France also lays claim to some of the best ski resorts on the planet. With over 360 miles (580 km) of slopes connected by 172 lifts, Les Portes du Soleil is one of the largest ski areas in the world and home to about 12 village resorts, sprawling across the French-Swiss border. Set on the French side, the area of Morzine is known for its long, wide and not too steep family-friendly slopes, making it an ideal choice for family ski holidays. Nearby Avoriaz is a Mecca for snowparks and offers other family-friendly alpine activities, including ice-skating and dog sledding. The Portes du Soleil area is about an hour and a half drive from Geneva International Airport, easy enough for travelers to pick up a car as soon as they land. For travelers who prefer not to drive, there are direct buses and train options from the airport.
Where to stay: Situated in Champéry, 656 feet (200 meters) from the cable car, Chalet le Petou is a Booking.com Travel Sustainable chalet, ideal for the whole family. With an occupancy of up to 8 guests, this cozy property has a big fireplace where guests can gather around with their loved ones after an active day on the slopes. The property features a hot tub and a sauna, to help relax and unwind. Chalet le Petou has also a sun terrace with a fire pit where the whole family can gather and relax, as well as a game room which according to Booking.com guests is perfect for kids. A ski pass sales point and ski storage space are also available.
Picturesque, Saalbach Hinterglemm, Austria
Virtually every destination in the Austrian Alps has all the storybook charm of a mountain village, yet also the allure of a world-class ski resort. From wide and snow-sure slopes to Olympic-worthy downhills and massive powder fields, there are countless miles (kilometers) of slopes to discover. Featuring 70 ski lifts and 167 miles (270 km) of pristine slopes for skiers and snowboarders, the Austrian Alpine resort of Saalbach Hinterglemm is a winter sports wonderland. Keep the camera ready as The Kitzsteinhorn Glacier, an impressive glacier in Zell am See - Kaprun which stands 9842 feet (3000 meters) tall, is just 20 miles (32 km) away. After a long day on the slopes or discovering the surrounding areas, travelers can relax in ski huts and laid-back restaurants serving delicious Pinzgau cheese dumplings and homemade Kaiserschmarrn (shredded pancakes).
Where to stay: AlpenParks Hotel & Apartment Sonnleiten is located directly at the ski slope Kohlmais in the center of the winter sports area of Skicircus Saalbach Hinterglemm Leogang Fieberbrunn. Featuring heated ski storage as well as a heated outdoor pool that is open throughout the year, this beautiful Booking.com Travel Sustainable property is just a short walk away from the Turm 6er chairlift and the Kohlmaisgipfelbahn ski lifts. The property’s modern apartments have a terrace or balcony to enjoy the picturesque mountain views, while some apartments even have a private sauna for guests to relax their muscles after a long day skiing.
Every Skill Type, Val Gardena - Gröden, Italy
For a refreshingly relaxed approach to skiing, Italy is the place to go. Travelers can enjoy lazy espresso-filled mornings, cruise down quiet slopes, and have a full ski experience. Divided into three areas, Val Gardena (Gröden) offers direct access to 108 miles (175 km) of piste in the Dolomiti Superski Area, and also recommended as a perfect ski area by locals travelers who have visited the ski area in the past**. A network of 79 lifts enables travelers to easily pick and choose runs all over the valley – from long and lazy blues to rapid blacks used for world championships. Val Gardena is a great destination for both ski beginners and those looking for a more challenging experience. Both beginners and families with younger kids will love the resort as it has three ice rinks, a whole ski area dedicated to kids, a variety of ski schools, as well as practice lifts. Travelers can reach Val Gardena via Bolzano airport 20 miles away (33 km) or Innsbruck Airport which is 74 miles (120 km) and the closest train stations are Ponte Gardena, Chiusa, Bressanone and Bolzano. Bolzano is about a 40-minute drive away by car and is one of Booking.com’s Top Trending Destinations for 2023. Set amongst the stunning snow-capped mountains of the Italian Dolomite, Bolzano is a beautiful alpine destination with many medieval castles and pastel-painted houses, ideal for a day trip.
Where to stay: Pra Palmer The Green B&B enjoys a quiet location right on the Palmer ski slopes, less than 2 miles (3 km) away from Val Gardena and only a short walk from the car-free center of Ortisei, an alpine village highly endorsed by Booking.com travelers for scenery, mountains and relaxation. Guests can put on their skis and start skiing in front of the property. Offering traditional wooden furnishings, calm atmosphere and beautiful views, this property is a unique base to enjoy the beautiful Val Gardena Slopes. The property also has a Booking.com Travel Sustainable badge for its efforts it has taken to offer guests a more sustainable stay, as its building itself is energy-efficient and the property keeps CO2 emissions to a minimum.
Popular, 4 Vallées, Switzerland
Famous for its seemingly infinite mountain terrain, Switzerland has a great variety of ski resorts. 4 Vallées is Switzerland's largest ski resort, with 256 miles (412 km) of trails and 67 ski lifts. Most of the resort sits above the treeline, granting access to wide valley runs and steep slopes leading from the 10,925 foot (3,330 meters) peak of Mont-Fort. Kids and beginners can enjoy the easy slopes, while the most experienced ones can try heli-skiing, an off-trail, downhill skiing experience where the top of the mountain is reachable by helicopter, and freeride skiing. The ski area is open for about 10 months every year, giving ski fans the opportunity to to their hearts content almost year around.
Where to stay: Offering a south-facing terrace with panoramic views of the Dent Blanche and The Matterhorn mountains as well as the mountain valley of Val d'Hérens, Hotel La Cambuse sits in the center of the resort of Les Collons, about 15,5 miles (25 km) from the medieval city of Sion. Located right next to the slopes, this stay has ski to door access and traditionally decorated rooms overlooking the mountains. The hotel’s restaurant "La Cambuse" is ideally located at the start of the 248 miles (400 km) ski slopes of 4 Vallées where guests can enjoy Valais specialities like cheese fondue.
Luxury, Breckenridge, Colorado, United States
Known for its stunning mountain scenery and skiing, the town of Breckenridge in Colorado is set at the base of the Rocky Mountains’ Tenmile Range. The luxury resort town features five mountain peaks, 187 trails, 4 terrain parks and the tallest chairlift in North America. Highly endorsed by Booking.com travelers for downhill skiing, mountains, scenery and relaxation, travelers will definitely find something that matches their expectations. With two-thirds (66%)* of global travelers saying that the variety of activities offered impacts their decision when choosing a destination, Breckenridge is a great destination as there are plenty of activities on offer here including riding a high-speed sledge down a mountain trail, astrophotography classes, and scavenger hunts. Guests can stroll around and do their shopping at the town’s historic district, dine in one of its fine restaurants or pamper themselves at a wellness and spa center.
Where to stay: Located at the base of Peak 8 (the highest point of the ski resort), One Ski Hill, A RockResort offers ski-in, ski-out access to Breckenridge Ski Resort. Set 15 miles (2.5 km) from the center of Breckenridge, the resort offers free convenient parking just outside the center of the town. Guests can also take advantage of the free bus transportation from the lot to the BreckConnect Gondola, offering quick access to Peaks 7 (the smallest base area) and 8. After a day on the slopes travelers can treat themselves to a relaxing spa treatment or use the indoor pool, as swimming helps winter sports fans to effectively regenerate after skiing.
Snowboarding, Niseko, Japan
Highly endorsed by Booking.com travelers for downhill skiing, snowboarding, scenery and hot springs, the town of Niseko is situated in Shiribeshi Subprefecture in Hokkaido. With stunning views of the dormant volcano of Mt. Yotei, Niseko is one of Asia’s most popular ski resorts, with tons of light powder snow typically falling from November to March. The powder snow capital is great for freeriding and has some of the best snowboarding trails with long runs of high-quality and consistent soft powder snow. Hosting many international and local snowboarders and skiers each year, Niseko has four big resorts: Niseko Hirafu, Niseko Village, Niseko Annupuri, and Niseko Hanazono. In total, Niseko has about 31 miles (50 km) of slopes and 32 lifts. The area is also known for its great culinary options and hot springs. The best way to get to Niseko is to fly to New Chitose Airport (near the city of Sapporo) and take public transportation or pick up a car and drive to Hirafu Welcome Center which is about 2,5 hours away. For travelers who are happy to drive, Booking.com has over 900 car rental pick up locations in Japan, many of which are located in the Hokkaido prefecture.
Where to stay: Ideally located with less than 328 feet (100 meters) from the high-speed gondola at Niseko Mt Resort Grand Hirafu, Ki Niseko offers perfect ski-in ski-out access and ski storage, as well as incredible mountain views. Guests can ease soreness after skiing by warming their muscles in the resort’s indoor and outdoor hot spring baths. According to Booking.com guests, the resort’s ski valet service is very convenient for drying and storing their gear after a long day at the slopes.
*Research commissioned by Booking.com and independently conducted among a sample of 48,413 respondents across 31 markets (2,000 from USA, 1,864 from Canada, 1,999 from Mexico, 2,003 from Colombia, 2,005 from Brazil, 2,002 from Argentina, 1,020 from Chile, 1,777 from Australia, 818 from New Zealand, 1,999 from Spain, 2,002 from Italy, 1,998 from France, 1,990 from UK, 2,005 from Germany, 2,003 from Netherlands, 985 from Denmark, 999 from Sweden, 910 from Croatia, 918 from Switzerland, 1,986 from Belgium, 998 from Russia, 953 from Israel, 1,999 from India, 1,990 from China, 901 from Hong Kong, 1,775 from Thailand, 1,001 from Singapore, 975 from Taiwan, 1,800 from Vietnam, 1,757 from South Korea, 1,001 from Japan). In order to participate in this survey, respondents had to be 18 years of age or older, had to have traveled at least once for business or leisure in the past 12 months, and planning to travel in 2022 and be either the primary decision maker or involved in the decision making of their travel. The survey was taken online and took place in January 2022.
**Based on local travelers input from Booking.com’s Travel Communities who have visited the destination in the past.