November 26, 2012

Winter Travel Excursions — Top-Rated Skiing Destinations

"Man Skiing Off Mountain" from Bigstock
World-famous for their expansive, challenging ski slopes and top quality lodges, the rugged ranges of the western states in the USA are ever-popular among both professional and amateur skiers. Whether you are joining friends for a December weekend getaway ski excursion or taking the family on a winter holiday week’s vacation, the majestic ski slopes in the Rockies or ranges of the Sierra Nevada or Olympic mountains offer the very best quality skiing experience and accommodations, often at surprisingly low prices.

At great destinations like Vail, Aspen, Sun Valley and Lake Tahoe, you will find the ultimate in fine skiing terrain and amenities. You’ll delight in the steep chutes and lengthy groomers. You’ll bask in the shiny, dry clouds of airborne snow powder as you glide down the breathtakingly beautiful slopes. Whether skiing or snowboarding, you and your family, or you and that special girl or guy friend can choose from a variety of silken smooth slopes or the best of bumpy rides.

The well-known destination of Aspen/Snowmass in Colorado offers the marvelous benefit of four separate skiing spots in one—Aspen Mountain, Snowmass, Aspen Highlands and Buttermilk. This spectacular resort area, stretching over more than 5,300 acres, includes myriad great opportunities for enjoying excellent food, shopping and entertainment. As a thrilling, all-encompassing winter sports resort, Aspen/Snowmass has much to offer for skiers and snowboarders of all skill levels and is favored by many experts and pros.

Sun Valley, Idaho, is known as a low-key ski resort of the finest quality. Here you can enjoy the highly celebrated ski and boarding slopes, Baldy and Dollar. Many professional and celebrity skiers rate Baldy as the overall best ski mountain in the US. Dollar is considered by many skiing enthusiasts to be a great starting place for beginners, with its gently inclined slopes. Of course, staying at the famous Sun Valley Lodge, a favorite of numerous celebrities, is an additional treat.

Eastern States’ Best Ski Resorts in the US

Popular ski resorts in the northeastern region of the United States are New England’s famed Stowe and Killington, both in the state of Vermont. Stowe, now a classic skiing location, has enjoyed much popularity for the last 70+ years. Its steep, well-groomed slopes are both a challenge and a joy for fast, skillful downhill skiing. In addition, Stowe Mountain Resort’s Mount Mansfield and Spruce Peak provide excellent quality skiing for all ages and levels of skill. This gorgeous mountain resort is also well-known for its cross-country skiing and romantic ambiance.

Killington offers skiers an amazing expanse of 200 runs and 33 lifts, extending over seven different mountains. Known also for its high-spirited nightlife, this exciting winter sports arena is the largest in the eastern US.

Europe’s Most Popular Fine Quality Ski Resorts

One of the most popular high quality ski resorts in Europe is France’s Les Arcs. Located in the French Alps just 110 km from Chambery airport, this very fashionable resort complex was designed and built in the late 1960s. It offers an attractive display of mountainside apartments along with “state-of-the-art” snow sports facilities. The astounding beauty of Les Arcs is further enhanced by such conveniences as covered walkways and doorstep skiing. The resort also boasts a famed flying kilometer speed skiing course on which outstanding world records have been accomplished.

There are four “Arcs,” at 1600, 1800, 1950 and 2000 meters. Arc 1600 is now the family resort, while 1800 is home to the major facilities and nightlife. Arc 2000 is best known for its comprehensive modern gym and general sports center, and Arc 1950, Le Village, is the stylish resort complex where modern creature comforts and elite quality service take precedence.

One of the largest skiing areas in the world, Les Arcs is linked to Villaroger and Vallandry. A short train ride will take you to Bourg Saint Maurice and to La Rosière, which has a link to La Thuile in Italy. By means of the Savoie Olympic Pass you can also enjoy Val d’Isère and Tignes in the Espace Killy (named for the great French skier, Jean Claude Killy).

Val d’Isère was first made famous by Jean Claude Killy and is now a favorite of many skiers worldwide. Its high altitude provides year-round snow and excellent skiing conditions. The area’s terrain, which seems limitless, hosts 90 ski lifts. In 2004, the resort became home to the prestigious Alpine Ski World Championship.

If skiing is your passion, or just a sports skill you’ve been wanting to learn and haven’t yet tried, why not choose from the best ski resorts in the world for this year’s winter vacation? You can find plenty of great destinations and travel deals to suit your own schedule, and traveling before or after major holidays can give you great discounts! Believe it or not, there are still an abundance of amazing travel steals and deals waiting just for you. Bon Voyage!

Photo: “Man Skiing Off Mountain” from Bigstock

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About the Author

Ellen Gilmer
Ellen Gilmer
Ellen Gilmer is a writer-composer and artist and who lives in New York City. She is the author of two books, La Belle Famille, a novel, and Free Style Run of the Heart, a book of dramatic monologues with songs. Her books were published by The Pentland Press Ltd and Carnegie Publishing Ltd in England. As an IPA member for many years, she has now joined the IMPress staff to share her writing talents with our readers.

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