From gentle to advanced slopes, these venues offer fitting adventures and activities just for you. And you don’t even have to fly far to experience them!
Your travel choices need not be limited to cities, cruises and beaches. If you want to try something new – with spectacular scenery and weather to boot – then go for the snow-covered hills of these cool destinations. First-time skiers, welcome. (Just remember to pack the right clothes and gear.)
Alpensia Resort, South Korea
Surrounded by Mt Baekdusan, this resort in Daegwallyeong, Pyeongchang has a lot of facilities to keep you occupied. Among them: Holiday Inn and InterContinental Resorts, a waterpark, two golf clubs, a retail village, an eco-learning centre, a concert hall, a ski museum, and a sports park with a 160 metre-tall ski jump tower.
Go ski: Open all year round, Alpensia’s six slopes for skiing and snowboarding run as long as 1.4 km. They’re so good, in fact, that the Alpensia Ski Jump Stadium will host the 2018 Winter Olympics ski jumping events. Is it your first time? The 4.2 km-long gentle slope is ideal for those just learning to ski.
How to get there: Alpensia is about a three-and-a-half hour drive from Incheon International Airport. You can rent a car or take an airport limousine bus from the airport. www.alpensiaresort.co.kr
“Meadow of flowers” in Hindi, Gulmarg is a hill town and ski destination in the Baramula district that’s 52 km away from the Kashmir capital of Srinagar. Known as the place for winter sports, it has the 3,979 metre-high Gulmarg Gondola – one of the highest cable cars in the world – as well as challenging slopes on hills that have an average elevation of 2,690 metres. There are a lot of hotels here, with the peak ski season starting in December. But as Gulmarg is not as commercialised as the resorts in Korea or Japan, you won’t have to suffer too-long queues.
Go ski: While Gulmarg caters to intermediate and advanced skiers, they also have a ski school that offers 10- or 21-day courses for beginners.
How to get there: It is about a two-hour ride from Srinagar Airport. www.gulmarg.org
Yabuli Ski Resort, China
The host resort of the 1996 Winter Asian Games, the 2008 National Winter Games and the 2009 Winter Universiade, Yabuli in the northeastern province of Heilongjiang is China’s first, largest and most famous ski destination. Heilongjiang is about 110 miles southeast of Harbin.
Go ski: Avaunce, a small ski area, includes terrain on a small hill for beginners. The highest mountain is actually reserved for the Chinese National Ski Team.
How to get there: The train from Harbin takes about four hours. www.yabuliski.com/english/
Located in Abuta District, Shiribeshi, Hokkaido, Niseko is an area of ski resorts within the vicinity of Niseko-Annupuri mountain.
Famous for its powdery snow and backcountry views of Yotei mountain, Niseko promises richly varied terrain and gorgeous scenery for skiers. There are four major resorts here: Niseko Hanazono Ski Resort in the east with its winter woods; Niseko Village Ski Resort in the south for the more adventurous; Niseki Grand Hirafu Ski Resort with its views of Mt Yotei; and Niseko Annupuri Ski Area with its relaxed and wider runs.
Go ski: The gentle slopes at the base of the mountain are perfect for newbies, who will also get to enjoy the beautiful scenery.
How to get there: Most people take a flight from Tokyo to Sapporo, then catch a coach or drive from Sapporo to Niseko. Niseko is about a two- to three-hour drive from New Chitose Airport, Hokkaido’s international airport located just outside of Sapporo. www.niseko.ne.jp/en/
Dizin Ski Resort, Iran
Looking for an exotic ski destination? Head to Dizin Ski Resort at the Alborz mountains north of Tehran in Iran.
A high altitude means Dizin has a longer ski season (November to May) than most European ski resorts. Its amenities are comfortable but not overly opulent, with 19 cottages, five restaurants, tennis courts, and gear and bike rentals for mountain climbing and biking.
Go ski: If you’ve never skied before, you can sign up for ski lessons and snowboarding classes while you’re there.
How to get there: Dizin is about a three-hour drive or mini-bus ride from Tehran. Try irandizinski.com or www.dizinpad.com