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Reuben Krabbe
Reuben Krabbe

The best ski resorts

The best skiing destinations

Top 5 ski resorts

From the mighty Andes to the rugged Scottish Highlands, the adventurous skier is always looking for the next thrilling mountain. Go for fresh powder snow and sushi in Niseko, après-ski in Zermatt or warm up in the Banff hot springs - we will take you to five unique ski resorts.

Dive into the snow
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Skiing in the Canadian Rockies

Banff, Canada

How about skiing in a national park so stunning that UNESCO declared it a World Heritage Site? Welcome to Banff. This mountain resort nestled among the jagged peaks of the Canadian Rockies features 3 different resorts: Sunshine Village, Mount Norquay and Lake Louise, where snowboarders and skiers glide through breathtaking scenery. You will find slopes for every skill level, but the most notorious one is Delirium Dive: one of the world's most dangerous descents. 

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Reuben Krabbe
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To soothe your muscles, relax in the Banff Upper Hot Springsand take in the spectacular view of the snow-capped mountains from the warmth of the steamy spring. And with more than 130 bars, cafés and restaurants, Banff is packed with great spots to end your day on the slopes sampling a local craft beer.

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Après-ski with a shot of whisky

Cairngorms, Scotland

Deep in the Scottish Highlands lies a small winter wonderland: the bustling village of Aviemore in Cairngorms National Park. In the United Kingdom, Cairngorms is known as a prime ski destination. With an elevation of 1,230 metres the slopes are the highest in the country, but not too steep, making Cairngorms a popular destination for families and beginners. 


The local pride is the Cairngorm Mountain Railway: this cable railway carries you to the country's highest restaurant to enjoy lunch at a height of 1,097 metres. 

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Après-ski spots are not hard to find in Aviemore: Cairngorms National Park boasts six whisky distilleries and a brewery. A fun local pub like The Winking Owl is the perfect place to sample a bit of everything.

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Year-round snow

Zermatt, Switzerland

Many consider it the ultimate ski destination: charming Zermatt, straddling the border between Switzerland and Italy. The main landmark is the iconic Matterhorn, the jagged icy peak that towers high above the village and the ski slopes. Europe’s highest ski resort offers year-round skiing. The Matterhorn cable car takes you to the highest point: from a dizzying altitude of 3,883 metres you look out over 38 Swiss, Italian and French mountain tops, including Mont Blanc. 

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At night, skiers flock to the rustic chalets for a well-deserved après-ski – complete with live music, Swiss fondue and a hearty drink to warm your legs.

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Skiing in the Andes

Valle Nevado, Chile

Glide like a condor in the Valle Nevado in the mighty Andes mountains. A 90 minute drive along a steep hairpin road from Santiago de Chile brings you to one of the best-known ski resorts in South America. Slopes at an elevation of up to 3,670 metres treat skiers with fresh powder snow, often under a bright blue sky. Devoid of trees, the area also boasts some great out of bounds skiing. Looking for a more extreme day on the mountain? Take a helicopter ride deep into the Andes for pristine snowfields and spectacular drops. 

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And those northern hemisphere skiers who cannot wait to strap on their skis will be happy to hear that the ski season in Chile runs from June through October.

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Japan's powder snow

Niseko, Japan

Trade in your après-ski raclette with bitters for sushi with sake. Niseko on the island of Hokkaido is Japan's most popular ski destination. The icy Siberian wind brings a guaranteed amount of feather-light powder snow to the slopes - plenty to delight ski fans from around the world. Niseko features 4 resorts for skiers and boarders of all levels, and even some out of bounds skiing routes. The slopes are located on Mount Niseko Annupuri overlooking Mount Yōtei, a majestic dormant volcano.

Take a break from the slopes with a soak in a steaming bath at a traditional onsen: Niseko boasts 15 different hot springs.

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KLM

iFly Magazine

February 2018

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