The most exotic, unusual, and unique ski resorts in the world

Estimated reading time: 8 minutes

Archaeologists have found skis that date back to 8,000 BC. So, it is not surprising that this long-beloved sport has accumulated a number of fascinating statistics and facts over time. This article will give you some interesting facts to talk about on the chairlift.

Skiing holidays. Image credit: Glade Optics/Unsplash

With more than 6,000 ski resorts worldwide, skiing has become one of the most popular winter activities. As luxury hotels, fine dining restaurants, and après-ski entertainment have emerged, ski resorts have become exciting winter getaway destinations. This popular activity is no longer just about powder skiing for adventure geeks, but rather a lifestyle for many people. The facilities in the resort, the nightlife in the area, the family-friendliness of the town, or a combination of variables determine the destination.

In this statistic roundup, you’ll get to know the biggest resort in the world, the fanciest one, the oldest one and other newsworthy stats.  

What is the biggest ski resort in the world?

The Les 3 Vallées ski resort in the Tarentaise Valley, France is the biggest ski resort in the world. It has a total slope length of 600 km. As the name suggests there are three valleys in Les Trois Vallées, called Vallée des Belleville, Vallée de Méribel and Vallée de Courchevel. Various valleys offer a variety of landscapes, ranging from high Alpine terrain with cliffs and meadows to forest slopes. The space between the slopes is also accessible to freeriders.

There are eight ski resorts in this resort complex, including La Tania, Saint Martin De Belleville, Courchevel, Brides Les Bains, Val Thorens, Méribel, Les Menuires, and Orelle. Whatever your budget or level, Les Trois Vallées has a ski resort that will meet your needs. There are 25 mountain summits and four glaciers in the area. The skiing paradise has more than 200 ski lifts and over 1200 snow cannons, and you can ski on powder snow until May.

Trois Vallées’ ski slopes are always well groomed, even after heavy snowfalls. There are also some great snowboarding facilities, including world-class snow parks. The Cime Caron in Val Thorens offers Michelin-starred views of Mont Blanc and the surrounding French Alps. Located two hours away from the resort, Lyon Airport is the closest airport.

What is the biggest ski resort in America?

Park City Mountain Resort in Utah is the biggest ski resort in the United States. The total slope length is 250 km. The area is comprised of two ski resorts, Deer Valley Resort and Park City Mountain, as well as an action sports facility.

Park City Mountain Resort was the host of the Winter Olympic Games 2002 and features 7,300 acres of diverse alpine terrain, over 330 trails, 43 lifts, 6 terrain parks, and ski-in-ski-out access to Main Street. The majority of its trails are blue runs, which makes it particularly appealing to intermediate skiers. For advanced and expert terrain enthusiasts, there’s also 3,200 feet of vertical drop.

A 35-minute drive from Salt Lake City International Airport makes this resort even more appealing. Park City’s charming Main Street is also just steps away from the resort.

What is the biggest indoor ski resort?

Harbin Wanda Indoor Ski and Winter Sports Resort in Harbin, China is the world’s biggest indoor ski resort. This resort was opened in July 2017 and can accommodate 3,000 people.

Six slopes with varying levels of difficulty are available for snow sports enthusiasts. It measures 487 meters long, 150 meters wide, and 114.5 meters high. Additionally, there is a black run for advanced skiers, as well as a blue run for intermediate skiers. 

This 80-hectare resort contains a shopping mall, movie theater, outdoor theme park, hockey rink, curling training lanes, hotels, and live theaters. There are restaurants at both the mid- and top stations. The base area contains a snow playground with ice bumper cars and a snow castle with toboggan runs for children.

Located close to Russia, Harbin’s winters are long and cold, often reaching -36°C. There are also numerous outdoor ski resorts in the area, including Yabuli and Changbaishan.

What is the hardest place to ski in the world?

Tortin in Verbier, Switzerland is considered one of the hardest ski resorts in the world for its steep off-piste terrain and 103 km of black runs. This track should be done on fresh snow, otherwise the descent will be quite challenging if not hazardous. Once the snow melts, all the dangerous features become apparent. Even professionals find it difficult to handle sharp rocks, cracks, and icy stretches. Over a quarter of the slopes are black. 

Verbier is the main resort of the 4 Vallées Switzerland’s largest ski area. The area includes Verbier, Thyon, Versonnaz, and Nendaz. Approximately 400 km of ski runs and more than 100 ski lifts are available in the area. 

Located in the Valais canton in southwest Switzerland, Verbier is bordered on the west by France and on the south by Italy. Geneva airport is about two hours’ drive away. Trains are available from the airport to Le Chable, where gondolas take you to the resort.

What is the fanciest ski resort in the world?

Aspen Ski Resort, Colorado, is among the fanciest ski resorts in the world. It is known as a winter playground for the rich and famous and most probably you saw your favorite celebrities posting pictures from this resort.

Aspen Ski Resort, Colorado. Image credit: Joshua Sukoff/Unsplash

Highlands, Buttermilk, Aspen Mountain, and Snowmass are the four skiing mountains in Aspen. Skiing opportunities range from blue to black. Even though the resort is small, it’s extremely well-equipped and can easily keep you occupied for a week. There is a pleasant sense of seclusion about it. Aspen is also a destination for outdoor activities, such as biking. Arts and culture thrive in this buzzing hub as well.

There are some of the most luxurious hotels and resorts in Aspen, which will ensure an unforgettable stay. From Dior to Ralph Lauren, the town itself is packed with high-end boutiques, restaurants, and champagne bars. Additionally, there is an art museum, an opera house, and quirky antique shops.

For greater convenience, you can fly directly to Aspen Airport (ASE). Additionally, Grand Junction Airport in Mesa County, Eagle County Airport, and Denver International Airport are within close proximity.

Where is the prettiest place to ski?

Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy has established itself as one of the most scenic vacation spots, and it’s easy to see why. Just two hours north of Venice, Cortina d’Ampezzo boasts many virtues, but its greatest asset is the stunning Dolomite scenery that surrounds it. The whole family can enjoy this UNESCO World Heritage Site. The stunning mountain views will even awe non-skiers. The resort has also been chosen to host the Winter Olympics in 2026.

Cortina d’Ampezzo. Image credit: Daniel Seßler/Unsplash

Skiing in Cortina is an excellent introduction for first timers. Intermediaries have a fine choice of red and blue runs, which aren’t that long but thread through spectacular alpine scenery. However, the Staunies on Cristallo and the black Forcella on Tofana are exciting and steep. Dedicated experts will find relatively little groomed terrain. While there is less challenge for experienced riders, Cortina is a good place to learn to snowboard as it has plenty of open and wide terrain.

As one of the oldest ski resorts in the world, the town itself is equally attractive. Affluent visitors from Venice and Milan flock to Cortina for its elegant architecture, luxury boutiques, exquisite dining, and classy après-ski style.

What is the oldest ski resort?

La Clusaz, in the Aravis chain of the Northern French Alps, has been operating since 1907 and is considered the oldest resort in operation. Extending across five linked mountains, it is an appealing ski resort with fun terrain, some deep powder and of course lots of ski lovers. Despite having a few slow, old lifts, La Clusaz has the world’s first Telemix lift, combining chairs and gondolas.

As one of the most popular ski resorts in the wealthy region of the Northern French Alps, its charm and atmosphere have remained largely unchanged. Due to its location on the front-side of the Alps, it can get some serious snowfalls, making it a great place for some fun powder days or a leg-warmer before moving to more challenging resorts.

A genuine mountain village, La Clusaz has many old buildings, new chalets, and a rustic and picturesque center. The location is ideal for weekend getaways. The resort is less than a drive away from Annecy and Geneva and is one of the closest areas for skiers from the UK.

What is the snowiest ski resort in the world?

With around 19 meters of snow, Mount Baker in Washington State consistently gets the most snow on the planet. It also holds the record for the greatest snowfall in one season, which was 29 meters set during the winter of 1998-99. 

Despite its snowy status, the resort isn’t huge, with only 38 runs and 11 ski lifts. It offers skiers a vertical descent of 484 meters. In addition, it has 71 trails covering 1000 acres. It is best suited to intermediate and advanced skiers and snowboarders. The resort is all about powder, hits, trees, steeps, cliffs, and chutes and offers some of the most isolated slopes anywhere.

Located just south of the Canadian border, the mountain is close to Seattle, Washington. It is also just over an hour from Bellingham in the U.S. and Abbotsford in Canada.

If you want to start your holiday off the right way, we recommend downloading the Blacklane app to make your airport transfers a breeze.