Top 7 Best Ski Resorts In The World, Ranked

Snow season is just around the corner. If you enjoy the particular feeling of zooming down a hill on freshly fallen powder, you might be on the lookout for themes gnarly ski resorts in the world to trial your skills in new terrain. No matter what your level of skiing expertise is, most resorts have something for everyone to create an enjoyable experience. Grab your skis and snow boots and get ready to hit the slopes – StudyFinds looked through 12 expert reviews to find some of the best ski resorts in the world, both near and far. Zip through the Alps or grab a hot chocolate then get cozy by the fire in some of the finest all-inclusive facilities that will make you feel like you’re in a true winter wonderland. Let us know if we missed one in the comments below!

The List: Best Ski Resorts in the World, According to Experts

1. Zermatt, Switzerland

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Zermatt is one of the most well-known ski resorts in the world, known for the iconic Matterhorn peak. But besides the endless slopes, Zermatt is a skiing vacation heaven, with boutique shops, restaurants, skating rinks, and hotel rooms with a gorgeous view. Far and Wide says it all – this resort is legendary, practically trademarked by the iconic Matterhorn peak that graces Toblerone chocolate and even a Disneyland ride. But Zermatt’s true magic lies beyond the photo ops. Sure, snapping that perfect Matterhorn picture is a must, but it’s the vast, snow-covered slopes and charming car-free village that truly steal the show, keeping visitors coming back for more.

Serious skiers can ski all the way down to Zermatt from the top of the Matterhorn for a descent of 2200m, but there are lifts all over to take you to different sectors for intermediates. Speaking of the Matterhorn, PureWow calls it one of the most recognizable ski mountains in the world, and for good reason! Towering at almost 15,000 feet, it’s a skier’s dream backdrop and even more awe-inspiring in person than on a chocolate bar. But Zermatt offers so much more than just epic views. PureWow also recommends taking a ride on the Gornergrat Bahn, a legendary train that takes you up the mountain for breathtaking panoramas. Feeling adventurous? Book a lesson with a SkiBro instructor or a mountain guide to learn the best lines down and conquer those slopes like a pro.

Oyster Worldwide knows what’s up – they simply can’t create a “best ski destinations” list without mentioning Zermatt. As the highest resort in the Alps, the views are unbeatable, with the Matterhorn stealing the show from practically any angle on the slopes. Plus, it boasts the greatest vertical drop in all of Switzerland, meaning long, exhilarating runs for all skill levels. And for those who crave a true adrenaline rush, Zermatt offers incredible off-piste terrain – a playground for powderhounds and adventure seekers. Whether you’re a seasoned skier or a first-timer yearning for snowy bliss, Zermatt has something for everyone. So ditch the crowds and ordinary slopes, Zermatt might just be your perfect winter escape!

2. Aspen Snowmass, United States

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Aspen, Colorado is home to four different mountains: historic Aspen Mountain, lively Snowmass, uncrowded Aspen Highlands, and the beginner-friendly Buttermilk. Located about four hours from Denver, it can be a little harder to get to, but has been a hub for ski culture since the early 1900s. U.S. News calls it synonymous with North American skiing, and for good reason. Imagine – over 5,600 acres of pristine slopes to explore, all accessible with a single lift ticket – skier’s paradise, anyone? 

Aspen is home to luxurious resorts where you can often find celebrities vacationing, as well as many other award-winning restaurants, bars, spas, and other amenities. But Aspen’s charm goes beyond the slopes. Qantas says the heart of the town throbs with designer stores and hidden consignment gems, chic bars buzzing with après-ski energy, and world-class restaurants like Matsuhisa and Element 47 serving up culinary delights. And for those seeking a cultural fix, the Shigeru Ban-designed art museum offers a stunning backdrop for a dose of inspiration.

On the Snow acknowledges Aspen’s reputation as a luxurious ski resort, but emphasizes the true star of the show – the four mountains themselves. Each peak boasts its own character, with Aspen Mountain, nicknamed “Ajax” by the locals, rising from the heart of the town. Steep runs, challenging bumps, powdery glades, and perfectly groomed trails – Ajax has it all, making it a haven for experienced skiers and snowboarders. So, whether you’re a seasoned pro or a first-timer seeking a luxurious winter wonderland, Aspen promises an unforgettable experience.

3. Whistler Blackcomb, Canada

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Whistler is only a two-hour drive from Vancouver, and is home to enough versatile snow space that’s perfect for families. Hit the slopes or take part in activities at the full-service resort. Ever dreamed of a ski vacation with endless slopes and Olympic-worthy thrills? Then Whistler Blackcomb in British Columbia, Canada, might be your perfect match! The Culture Trip calls it Canada’s most famous ski resort, and for good reason – it hosted the 2010 Winter Olympics and welcomes over two million visitors a year. With a massive skiable area of over 8,000 acres, it’s one of the biggest on the planet. Plus, thanks to those Olympics, the facilities are state-of-the-art, ensuring a smooth and luxurious experience.

Whistler has great terrain for all levels of skiers and snowboarders, and even enough snow that you can ski year round in some areas. The views on the slopes stretch all the way to the Pacific Ocean, and there are over 200 runs serviced by over 30 lifts. PlanetWare says that the resort’s two incredible mountains, Whistler and Blackcomb, are practically begging to be explored. Imagine over 200 marked runs, a combined 8,171 acres of skiable terrain, and not just one, but three glaciers to conquer. An average snowfall of 465 inches a year practically guarantees pristine slopes throughout the season. And with so many lifts to whisk you up the mountain, you’ll spend less time waiting and more time carving epic turns. Don’t miss the legendary Peak 2 Peak Gondola, a must-do aerial experience that takes you between the two mountains for breathtaking panoramas.

The Independent spills the tea on Whistler’s après-ski scene, calling it legendary. After a day of conquering those slopes, unwind in style at a high-end bar, sip on fresh oysters, and soak in the vibrant atmosphere – pure bliss! And for those seeking ultimate relaxation, luxurious chalets with world-class spas await. Whether you’re a hardcore skier craving challenging terrain or a luxury lover seeking a glamorous winter escape, Whistler Blackcomb has something for everyone. So pack your warmest coat, your sense of adventure, and get ready to experience winter wonderland magic at its finest.

4. Chamonix, France

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Serious skiers will love coming to Chamonix, due to the large amount of extreme runs. Hire a guide and ski down the famous 12.4 mile glacier. If you bring the family, there are also plenty of beginner and intermediate runs. If you crave epic runs and a resort steeped in winter sports history, look no further than Chamonix, France. Planetware hails it as one of the best and most popular ski destinations in the country, and for good reason. Here, the iconic peak of Mont Blanc, the greatest height differential in the world for skiers, and the legacy of hosting the very first Winter Olympics in 1924 all collide to create an unforgettable winter experience.

The town is home to luxurious five-star hotels and Michelin star restaurants to enjoy after a day of skiing. CN Traveler understands the allure of Chamonix, calling it a bucket-list destination for serious skiers. The expansive backcountry and challenging terrain are legendary, promising heart-pounding runs that will test even the most experienced snow shredders. But Chamonix isn’t just for adrenaline junkies. The pedestrian-friendly town itself oozes with alpine charm, offering a delightful apres-ski scene and a surprising variety of beginner and intermediate slopes. Don’t miss a ride on the Aiguille du Midi, the highest cable car in Western Europe – the panoramic views from the top are simply unforgettable.

The Culture Trip spills the tea on Chamonix’s dual personality – a hardcore skier’s dream and a welcoming winter wonderland for all. Its four ski areas are set against the majestic backdrop of Mont Blanc, the highest peak in Europe, making every turn a postcard-worthy moment. Whether you’re a seasoned pro yearning for challenging glacier runs or a first-timer seeking a charming European ski village with beginner slopes, Chamonix has something to offer. So dust off your skis, pack your sense of adventure, and get ready to experience the magic of Chamonix – a place where legendary slopes meet a rich winter sports history.

5. Niseko, Japan

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Niseko is known for being the most famous ski resort in Japan, with great powdery snow and resorts that are extremely tourist friendly. Imagine carving through fresh snow so light it feels like floating – that’s the magic of Niseko, Japan, according to Harper’s Bazaar. This island paradise in Hokkaido boasts some of the world’s best powder, making the journey from anywhere totally worth it. Just a two-hour drive from Hokkaido’s biggest city, Sapporo, Niseko beckons skiers and snowboarders with a blanket of dreamy white snow every winter. 

One unique feature about Niseko is off trail skiing, where visitors can hire a guide to explore the backcountry. The major resorts are all connected and easily accessible to ski between or take shuttle buses. PureWow says powderhounds and culture enthusiasts alike flock to Niseko. Not only will you experience legendary snowfall, but you’ll also be immersed in Japanese culture with a wide variety of dining options to tantalize your taste buds. From traditional Japanese fare to Indian curries, Thai specialties, French classics, and even casual pizza and pub grub, Niseko offers something to satisfy every craving after a day on the slopes.

Oyster Worldwide highlights the sheer scale of Niseko’s winter wonderland experience. Located on the northern island of Hokkaido, this resort boasts an average snowfall of a whopping 15 meters – that’s nearly 50 feet of fresh powder each year! Nicknamed “Niseko United,” the resort is actually four interconnected areas, offering a mind-boggling variety of terrain for all skill levels. Imagine untouched backcountry, perfectly groomed pistes for carving turns, and exhilarating terrain parks – all blanketed in that famous Japanese powder snow. So, if you’re dreaming of an unforgettable ski adventure with an extra helping of cultural charm, Niseko might just be your perfect winter escape.

6. Vail, United States

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Vail Ski Resort may seem like a small town at first, but it is home to 5,317 skiable acres. With 195 trails and 31 lifts, you won’t run out of terrain to ski here. The Independent says to imagine iconic peaks, a celebrated après-ski scene, and charming villages that wouldn’t look out of place in the Swiss Alps – the perfect setting to share your epic ski stories over a pot of fondue, perhaps even alongside a celebrity or two.

Vail is a great option if you’re looking for a ski resort that feels similar to the French Alps without going transatlantic. On the Snow acknowledges Vail’s reputation for elegance, but emphasizes that its beauty goes beyond the surface. This world-class resort boasts terrain that has hosted major events like the World Championships and numerous World Cup competitions – a testament to its quality. The majestic Rocky Mountain scenery provides a stunning backdrop, while Vail Village itself feels like a Bavarian fairytale come to life. Whether you’re a seasoned skier or a complete beginner, Vail promises an unforgettable experience. But for the thrill-seekers out there, be sure to dive into the legendary Vail Back Bowls – a powderhound’s paradise that will leave you with memories that last a lifetime.

U.S. News highlights the sheer scale of Vail, calling it one of America’s largest single-mountain resorts with over 5,300 acres of skiable terrain. One of its most iconic features – the seven back bowls – beckons experienced skiers with endless opportunities for epic runs. But Vail’s charm extends beyond the slopes. The village itself offers a delightful small-town atmosphere with a plethora of art galleries, jewelry stores, and restaurants serving everything from gourmet cuisine to casual comfort food – ensuring you’ll be yearning to return for more after your ski adventure comes to an end. So, if you crave a luxurious ski escape that combines world-class terrain, stunning scenery, and a touch of small-town charm, Vail might be your perfect winter wonderland.

7. St. Anton am Arlberg, Austria

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St. Anton is known as the “cradle of alpine skiing” due to its long time influence in the history of skiing. The town and ski resorts are connected by an array of bus routes that make getting around easy. Tucked away amidst the picturesque woods of the resort, Hotel Tannenhof offers just seven suites, each one a haven of indulgence. But don’t be fooled by the small size – Tannenhof boasts a staff of 25 dedicated to your every whim, a private ski school to get you on the slopes in style, and a fleet of Maseratis to whisk you to nearby bars and restaurants after a day of conquering the mountains. And for ultimate relaxation, unwind in the expansive spa with a steaming hot tub overlooking the majestic peaks, or savor a delicious meal in the hotel’s restaurant, or have breakfast delivered straight to your suite for a truly private mountainside moment (The Times).

Beyond the luxurious confines of Tannenhof, the village of St. Anton itself is a skier’s paradise. On the Snow calls it the “cradle of Alpine skiing,” and for good reason. For intermediate skiers, the Valluga, Kapall, and Schindler peaks offer a solid mile of vertical skiing. For more experienced adventurers, Schindlerkar and Mattun are peaks with more rugged routes. This charming resort sits at the heart of Austria’s largest connected ski area, boasting a staggering 186 miles of marked runs, 87 lifts and cable cars to whisk you up the mountains, and endless opportunities for off-piste exploration for the adventurous souls. But St. Anton welcomes skiers of all levels – their top-of-the-line ski school ensures beginners can learn and progress with confidence.

Far and Wide acknowledges the village’s lively après-ski scene, but emphasizes that St. Anton’s true beauty lies in its slopes. So, whether you crave luxurious pampering or epic adventures on the slopes, St. Anton am Arlberg offers the perfect blend of indulgence and snowy thrills.


Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations. This article may contain affiliate links in which we receive a commission if you make a purchase.

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About the Author

Elsa Lee

Elsa is a freelance journalist, copywriter, and marketer based out of the Los Angeles area. She has been writing for 7 years.

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