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If you love nothing more that hitting the ski slopes and are looking for inspiration for your next trip, then this article is for you! There are plenty of countries guaranteed to give you excellent mountain skiing combined with amazing attractions.

Where is good for skiing in Europe?

Europe’s ski meccas are undoubtedly the popular alpine resorts in France, Austria, Italy and Switzerland. However, there are plenty more destinations where you can enjoy the full winter season, so read on for more ideas! Where is best for skiing outside of the Alps? Fans of sun and the southern European climate will be delighted with the slopes in Catalonia or Sicily. Meanwhile, fans of rugged mountainous scenery will love Georgia and tourist attraction hunters will love nothing more than Ski Dubai’s artificial slopes. Those who love a little bit of everything will enjoy the rich array of options available at American ski resorts.

A couple on a skiing trip © iStock
A couple on a skiing trip © iStock

Georgia – skiing in the Greater Caucasus

The great skiing conditions found on the Caucasian slopes are largely possible thanks to their unique geographical location. The area’s close proximity to a number of “five-thousanders” along with the Black Sea has a beneficial effect on the amount and flow of snow, as well as optimal hardening of the downhill surfaces. Georgia guarantees excellent Caucasian hospitality, delicious food, lowprices, and above all, a raw landscape of as-yet-undiscovered mountains to enjoy.

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Gudauri – Georgia’s flagship ski resort

The largest and most popular mountain resort in Georgia, Gudauri was established by the USSR authorities in the 1980s as a destination for wealthy Western European visitors. Its winter sports season lasts for five months and its highest point is at an altitude of 3276 m above sea level. With 18 ski lifts and over 52 kilometres of slopes in beautiful natural surroundings, you’re guaranteed a successful ski trip.

Snowboarding in Georgia © iStock
Snowboarding in Georgia © iStock

A family-run resort in Bakuriani

Bakuriani is located 200 kilometres from Tbilisi and consists of nine modern lifts and over 20km of ski slopes. Its mild location at 1700 m above sea level and average route difficulty makes it a good starting point for families introducing their children to skiing.

Mestia, in the mountains of the Greater Caucasus

The most distant ski resort from the Georgian capital, Mestia offers three ski runs that are adapted to both beginners and experienced skiers alike. Visitors will enjoy the phenomenal landscapes of Svaneti – known as the most beautiful region in all of Georgia. The area, famous for its numerous churches and towers, is sure to delight everyone.

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Spain – skiing in the Pyrenees

Spain is, the second-most mountainous country in Europe after Switzerland and a real paradise for all winter sports enthusiasts. This is due to the fact that Spain’s skiing and snowboarding season begins at the start of November and runs all the way through until early spring.

The Catalan Pyrenees

The Catalan Pyrenees has great ski infrastructure and you’ll find the Boí-Taüll and Baqueira-Beret resorts popular with both the French and Spaniards. La Molina, is the country’s oldest ski resort situated just 150 km from Barcelona. It is famous for the large number of cloudless days each year.

Skiing in Pyrenees © iStock
Skiing in Pyrenees © iStock

When skiing in this part of the country, you should plan a side trip to Barcelona for a dose of warm Mediterranean sunshine after the intense winter conditions in the mountains. A skiing trip to Catalonia can also be combined with cheering for FC Barcelona during a league competition at Camp Nou.

Aragonese Pyrenees

You can also enjoy skiing on the perfect slopes of the Aragonese Pyrenees, which is home to full-service ski resorts such as Candanchu, Cerler and Astún.

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Sicily – skiing with a view

Sicily is most often associated with sun, sea and excellent Italian food, however few people known that this sun-drenched island also has its own ski resort.

Skiing on Piano Provenzana

The beautiful Piano Provenzana stretches above a pine forest of the same name, giving it an almost alpine landscape. The main attractions here are the stunning views of Mount Etna and the Ionian Sea – in clear weather you can see as far as the neighbouring island of Calabria.

A view at snowy Etna © iStock
A view at snowy Etna © iStock

It would be hard to ski in more beautiful summer landscapes in the winter season. The sea’s pure blue is perfectly juxtaposed against the dazzling white snow, with the dramatic (and ever-smoking!) 3,300-metre volcano making for a looming presence in the background. Guests have four ski lifts at their disposal – one chairlift at Puchoz Tanaurpi and three T-bar lifts at Anfiteatro, Monte Conca and Coccinelle. The resort offers almost eight km of ski runs at altitudes between 1,800 and 2,310 m above sea level.

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Dubai – the greatest ski resort in the Middle East

Twenty years ago, nobody could have predicted that winter sports could be practiced in the Persian Gulf. However, anything is possible in Dubai and Ski Dubai is now the Middle East’s largest indoor ski resort. This impressive facility is located in one of the world’s largest shopping centrrs – The Mall of the Emirates – and was created with funding from the wealthy Emirati company, Majid Al Futtaim.

Sanboarding © iStock
Sanboarding © iStock

Ski Dubai is more of a novelty attraction than a professional ski resort, however it offers five ski runs, the longest of which is 400 metres. An entrance ticket is valid for up to two hours of skiing costs the equivalent of €60 and it’s easy to rent gear and protective clothing, ensuring packing for your trip remains a breeze. Dubai’s winter centre has a total of 22,500 square meters of artificial snow, with an 85-metre-high slope designed to feel as though you’re in one of the famous alpine resorts, complete with stylised mountain huts lining the course.

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USA – serious skiing

There are over 300 modern ski resorts in the United States, a country of many mountain ranges that are perfect for winter sports. This is by far the most expensive of the skiing destinations mentioned in this article, but it offers plenty to tempt advanced skiers.

Vail Ski Resort, Colorado, USA © iStock
Vail Ski Resort, Colorado, USA © iStock

Vail Ski Resort in Colorado

The US’s third-largest ski resort is located in Colorado, offering 234 km of pristine routes for winter sports geeks at altitudes between 2,457 and 3,433 metres above sea level. Located in the rugged Rocky Mountains, Vail Ski Resort is one of the most famous in the US, with modern facilities and timeless elegance reminiscent of the old west. Vail is popular with everyone from cowboys to the very wealthy people, and you’ll see your share of expensive furs in the wooden ski shelters.

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