5 Unique Ski Resorts With Breathtaking Surroundings
This article is also available to read in Chinese (HK).
Whether you are a keen skier or a fan of luxury dining in breath-taking surroundings, the best very antidote to the mundanity of the work week is a long dose of mountain air. If you're feeling the need for a refresh, here is a round-up of five of the best-hidden gems to visit for a unique and reinvigorating ski holiday.
At 2,000 meters altitude, the picturesque village of Obergurgl is one of Europe’s most snow-assured resorts. The village itself is small and boasts a relatively low number of tourists making it an ideal retreat for a relaxing trip. The resort has an unmistakably Austrian feel and the restaurants and bars are primarily run by local families who create a welcoming atmosphere. Obergurgl is perfect for young children and beginners with a small ski area and a plethora of long, winding blue runs with a wide beginner's slope. Make sure to visit the famous Nederhutte for Apres-ski; the first people to get up and dance gets a glass of schnapps on the house.
Saint-Martin in France is one of the lesser-known yet beautiful resorts in the French Alps. Nestled between its louder, more crowded neighbors Courchevel and Val-Thorens, Saint-Martin has maintained its quaint charm and idyllic “chocolate-box” feel. The lift pass covers all Val-Thoren's lifts meaning there is no compromise on the ski area either.
If you can't wait for six months to pass before you get your skis on again, the season in Argentina’s Catedral runs from July to September. Catedral is the ideal resort to try if you are looking for somewhere truly unique to escape to for a skiing holiday. The ski area is south America’s largest and has recently announced plans to install not only another chair lift but more slopes too. The scenery here is unparalleled with views of the Andes mountain range however the slopes are more suited to advanced skiers and snowboarders.
Niseko in Japan is fast becoming a more popular ski destination than the Alps due to its world-famous powder snow. The first-rate snow, which typically falls from November to March, combined with the excellent terrain makes Niseko a dream location for beginners to advanced skiers.
Also found in the Tyrol region of Austria and only a short drive down the mountain from Obergurgl, Soelden sits in the middle of the Ötztal Valley. With three mountains over three-thousand meters, two glacier areas, and an extensive ski area with one hundred and forty-four kilo-meters of slopes, Soelden is one of the top resorts in Austria. What makes it really stand out is the breathtaking ICE-Q restaurant where scenes from the Bond film Spectre were filmed. The imposing glass building sits at 3,048 meters above sea level at the top of the Gaislachkogl mountain and offers a panoramic view of the Ötztal Alps.