There are more than 5,000 ski resorts in the world, in more than 50 different countries. So how on earth do you begin to find the right one for you? The choice of destination can be overwhelming, let alone picking an individual resort. And don’t expect Google to have the answer. Unless the question is: “Which ski resorts are best at search engine optimisation?”
A more reliable approach is to ask for tips from friends and family, or to look at resorts that are popular with other skiers and snowboarders. To save you from drowning in information, the Club Med ski report 2019/2020 has done the hard work for you. The report reveals that the French Alps continue to be the most favoured destination among holidaymakers, with more than a third of British skiers booking a winter break there, a rise of 18% from 2018.
Second to France is Switzerland. Next came Austria, followed by Italy. The research also shows that more and more British skiers are looking at farther afield destinations including Canada, which was the fifth most popular country, with visits up 33% from 2018 and second in the list of places British travellers would like to visit in the next five years. Sixth was the US, followed by Japan, an emerging ski destination for Britons, which is expected to grow significantly over the next few years.
Here’s everything you need to know about skiing in France, Switzerland and Japan.
Family-friendly fun in France
Typical ski season: December-May
It’s easy to see why France continues to be so popular with UK skiers. From Val Thorens and Val d’Isère, to Alpe d’Huez and Les Arcs, the French Alps are full of big-name resorts with vast piste networks that deliver a top ski holiday experience year after year.
The appeal is helped by France’s proximity to the UK, which means short flight times and plenty of low-cost airline choice, along with the opportunity to drive or take the environmentally-friendly train option.
And French resorts are especially good for family snow trips, thanks to their English-speaking ski schools, tailored beginner areas and fun snow parks for kids. Many resorts also have an impressive array of non-ski activities to keep things enjoyable for children.
Nestled in an enchanted pine forest at 1,750 metres, Club Med Les Arcs Panorama is a great choice for families, as it’s right on the slopes and has children’s classes and clubs available from four months up. Kids will love the playful animal sculptures dotted around the property, the ski trails through the woods and the resort’s famed toboggan runs.
A luxury treat in Switzerland
Typical ski season: November-May
Skiing in Switzerland is for those who want to push the boat out – a place of chocolate box beauty, where time appears to have stood still. But its popularity with Britons is also because it boasts some of the best ski resorts in Europe, with great pistes for all levels, excellent snow records, and renowned ski schools.
Saint-Moritz was the world’s first winter sports resort and continues to have a reputation for glitz and glamour. By staying at the Club Med Saint-Moritz Roi Soleil you can enjoy all the chicness from a safe distance, knowing the price of your all-inclusive holiday was fixed in advance. The resort is linked to the extensive Engadin valley, and off-piste activities include Nordic skiing, riding in horse-drawn carriages and cosy fondue suppers.
Dusk over Saint-Moritz
Crowd-free adventures in Japan
Typical ski season: December-March
Heading to Japan is the ultimate choice for adventurous skiers and snowboarders who want a fresh and original take on their winter break. Yes, you have to travel farther, but once you’re there Japan will more than deliver on the experience, as more and more British travellers are discovering each year.
Hokkaido in the north of the country is the premier spot for skiing and snowboarding. Expect uncrowded slopes, plentiful fresh powder snow, phenomenal food, and unique insights into Japanese culture. Club Med’s Tomamu Hokkaido gives you ski-in ski-out access to Tomamu Mountain, a mix of cultural exploration and a great snow experience. Enjoy the 145 hectares of powder to play in, thaw out in a Japanese onsen and learn how to make sushi from the resort chef.
Club Med, founded in 1950, is the pioneer of the all-inclusive concept, offering nearly 70 premium resorts in stunning locations around the world including North and South America, Caribbean, Asia, Africa, Europe and the Mediterranean.