When it comes to first-class skiing, resorts in France, Canada, and the United States probably spring to mind. Although the slopes here are some of the best around, there are many more around the world that are worth shouting about. Lesser-known ski destinations may not have the prestige, but they are often more charming and are much quieter—this means less lift queuing and more skiing! So, if you love to ski but you hate zipping down a busy slope, check out these underrated ski destinations around the world.
Pyeongchang County, South Korea
Pyeongchang county is home to the best ski resorts in South Korea. In fact, it hosted the Winter Olympics in 2018. Despite this prestigious attribute, this small county still benefits from being a reasonably quiet ski destination. The largest ski resort, with the widest and longest slopes, is Yongpyong. At Yongpyong, you can expect varied slopes for different abilities, while the longest slope, The Rainbow Paradise, stretches 5,600 meters in length. One of the charms about skiing in South Korea is their version of après ski. Here you can exchange your beer for a shot of soju, swap your fondue with a Korean barbeque and finish your day by relaxing in a jjimjilbang, a Korean bathhouse.
The ski season is mid-November to early April, and there are several flights per day to the capital (Seoul) from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. If you plan to drive to the airport, then make sure you reserve a parking spot ahead of time. Atlanta international airport parking can be hard to come by at an affordable price. By booking in advance, you won’t have to pay an excessive amount, and you will have peace of mind that your car is in a safe location while you travel.
Valle Nevado, Chile
If you haven’t managed to hit the slopes by late April, you may think that you have missed the ski season. Although this is completely true for most ski resorts in the United States and Europe, it isn’t the case south of the equator. In fact, in Chile, the ski season starts in June and can finish in October if there has been heavy snow. This makes Chile the perfect country for ‘off-season’ skiing. The Valle Nevado Ski Resort is blanketed with high quality, dry snow and is well-known for world-class heli-skiing, wide-open terrain, and a beautiful Andean backdrop.
Alyeska, Alaska, USA
Alaska is renowned for its natural beauty, which makes Alyeska a must for skiers who love to ski with a view. Visit this little-known ski destination and take advantage of the heli-ski options, the night-lit terrain, and the North Face, the longest continuous double black diamond ski run in North America. This resort is not for the faint-hearted and is most suitable for intermediate and advanced abilities.
Białka Tatrzańska, Poland
Eastern Europe is not usually associated with winter sports, but a few places in Poland are worth a mention. Poland is home to an impressive mountain range, and the Białka Tatrzańska resort is certainly commendable. Here you can expect a range of slopes for different abilities and some cross-country routes too. Complete beginners will want to visit Zakopane, the winter capital of Poland. This beautiful city is wonderfully atmospheric in winter and has a range of resorts that offer downhill skiing, ski jumping, cross-country skiing, and snowboarding.