Val d’Isère – (FRANCE)

Linked to popular neighbouring resort Tignes, Val d’Isère forms 300km of prepared pistes as well as more adventurous off-piste opportunities. The top lift in Tignes is on the Grande Motte Glacier and reaches 3,456m high. You won’t have to worry about snow cover in this region as it’s backed up by the largest snowmaking facility in Europe, making it perfect for the annual Critérium de la Première Neige, a ski competition running since 1955 that’s part of the World Cup circuit. If après is what you’re looking for, Val d’Isère is your spot, winning the Snow Award for the best après ski resort in 2016. A popular highlight is La Folie Douce, sitting at the top of the La Daille cable car, where there’s live music and dancers who put on a show every single day. Dancing on the tables is always encouraged.

Season: November – May
Elevation: 1830m
Resort size: 300km
No. of Lifts: 78
Nearest airport: Chambery (2hrs)

Courchevel (FRANCE)

At the end of the world’s largest lift-linked ski area, Les Trois Vallées, Courchevel helps make up 600km of heavenly pistes. With terrain that’s suits everyone, the local slopes comprise of 150km of runs: 23 green, 35 blue, 32 red, 10 black. If you’re new to skiing, this may be the resort for you with most of the villages offering free lifts for beginners. Although the cost may be slightly higher compared to other European destinations, Courchevel is definitely worth it for the skiing. You’ll experience incredible 360-degree panoramic views from Les Ecrins, all the way to Mont Blanc. Plus, with around 20 5* luxury hotels, you can make it a trip to remember with plenty to do off the slopes as well, including bowling alleys, ice rinks, cinemas and an indoor climbing wall.

Season: December – April
Elevation: 1850m
Resort size: 150km of local slopes
No. of Lifts: 63
Nearest airport: Chambery (1hr 30), Geneva/Lyon/Grenoble (2hr 15)

Zermatt (SWITZERLAND)

With views of the world’s most photogenic mountain, the Matterhorn, Zermatt is surrounded by 38 summits and has 200km of pistes. Even better, it’s linked by lift and piste to Cervinia in Italy, giving you another 160km of pistes to enjoy. Constantly being developed, a new 25 cabin gondola opened in September 2018, linking the peaks Trockener Steg and Klein Matterhorn, which increased capacity by 2000 passengers per hour. One great perk in this quintessentially Swiss resort is that it’s a car-free town. The only way to get around is by bike, electric bus and a few specialist taxis, keeping it free from traffic and pollution. Although the main ski season is from the end of November to the end of April, the slopes are open all year round on Zermatt’s glacier thanks to artificial snowmaking.

Season: November – April
Elevation: 1620m
Resort size: 200km
No. of Lifts: 53
Nearest airport: Sion (1hr 30), Geneva (2hr 40)

St. Anton (AUSTRIA)

Rated as one of the top 5 ski resorts in the Alps, St. Anton is the biggest connected ski area in Austria, located in the Arlberg region. With 340km of slopes and 200km of off-piste areas, the popular resort is known for being one of Europe’s snowiest regions. It was actually the birthplace of Hannes Schneider, the father of modern skiing, who revolutionised the technique and started Austria’s first ever ski school. It still remains an idyllic, authentic Tyrolean mountain village with many of the hotels, restaurants and shops being housed in centuries-old timber and stone farmhouses. The town’s onion-domed church even dates back to the 17th century. Although there are nursery slopes at the base of the main ski area, St. Anton suits more advanced skiers and snowboarders due to the variety of advanced terrain.

Season: November – May
Elevation: 1304m
Resort size: 340km pistes, 200km off-piste
No. of Lifts: 88
Nearest airport: Innsbruck (1hr 15), Friedrichshafen (1hr 30), Zurich (2hrs)

Whistler (CANADA)

If you don’t know Whistler, get to know. It’s not a surprise that this region is consistently ranked as the top ski resort in North America with its world-class terrain, buzzing nightlife and alternative off-slope activities. The Peak 2 Peak gondola links the two mountains of Whistler and Blackcomb, making the resort’s 8171-acre ski area one of the biggest in the world. With the season running from mid-November until May, make time to visit this world-class après ski location, which is included in the Epic Season Pass, offering unlimited skiing in 10 major resorts in Canada and the US.

Season: November – May
Elevation: 670m
Resort size: 240km
No. of Lifts: 19
Nearest airport: Vancouver (2hr 30)

Niseko (JAPAN)

Skiing… in Japan? It’s not the country that jumps to mind when you think of booking a snowy holiday but it’s been argued that Japan provides the best conditions for winter sports. Niseko’s ski resorts are all located on Mount Niseko-Annupuri and the weather patterns roll in from Siberia, bringing light and dry snowfalls consistently throughout the season. This makes it a popular spot for those who love powder snow. You can buy one lift pass that covers the whole resort and runs stay open till 9pm for those who enjoy the evening buzz. A tip to remember – avoid Chinese New Year as this is the busiest time and the resort gets booked up very quickly. Japan also has the nightlife experience, with Hirafu Village offering numerous options. Although the 5pm après scene isn’t a big thing out in Japan, there are plenty of bars and clubs for people to party later into the night.

Season: November – May
Elevation: 1308m
Resort size: 9km
No. of Lifts: 38
Nearest airport: Chitose (2hr 30)

Glenshee (Scotland)

Being the largest ski resort in Britain, Glenshee is made up of 40km of pisted runs, varying from easy blues to the more complex black runs. It sits in the Cairngorms National Park, where the ski lifts are open from December until April. You can stay in the nearby town of Braemar, making it the perfect location for a cheap, easy weekend of skiing. Tickets are available for a range of passes and you can hire all the equipment you need right on site. If you’re new to winter sports and want to test it out before booking a trip further afield, Glenshee could be the place for you. You can book group or private lessons through the on-site snow-sports school.

Season: December – April
Elevation: 650m
Resort size: 40km
No. of Lifts: 22
Nearest airport: Aberdeen (1hr 50)