Ah, the thrill of hurtling down the side of a mountain on a pair of skis! Just make sure you have your Churchill Winter Sports cover in case you hit a big bump or a tree. But where in the world should you go to find the best snow, the best resorts, and the best après-ski action?
For most Britons, a skiing holiday entails a trip to the nearby Alps. And with good reason. The Alps offer some of the best, if most overcrowded, ski resorts in the world.
There is something for skiers and snowboarders of all abilities in the Alps. Après-ski there is plenty on offer too, from the pomp of St Moritz to the revelry of Val d’Isère.
For those looking for something a little cheaper, the resorts of Eastern Europe are becoming increasingly popular. Destinations such as Bulgaria offer cheap but limited facilities, although major investment in recent years has improved things. Cheap skiing can also be found in Romania, the Czech Republic and Slovenia.
If you are after something a little off the beaten track, try Norway, with its guaranteed snow and magical landscapes. At night you can even catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights.
Norway is a favourite with both cross-country skiers and those looking to head downhill only. The terrain is varied and the slopes are wide with modern lifts. The abundance of snow means there is also plenty for non-skiers to do, such as dog sledding, tobogganing and ice fishing.
Closer to home, Scotland has lots to offer when the weather is good. The resorts are small, but can offer some challenging skiing and great nightlife.
The US is another favourite winter sport destination, with good facilities, orderly queues and that famous ‘service with a smile’. While the east coast can be crowded, with hard, icy pistes, the Rocky Mountains (Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, New Mexico) are the place to go for really good off-piste powder.
As you would expect from the second largest country in the world – and one of the most northerly and mountainous – Canada has tons of ski resorts. It is also known as the backcountry capital of the world – that’s to say, the best place to go skiing away from the resorts, however you must be accompanied by a qualified guide or instructor - so if you are brave and have a penchant for riding the powder, Canada is your place.
And if you can’t survive the summer months without your fix of snow, then you’ll have to head down into the southern hemisphere. Argentina and Chile are both options, but the best “summer” skiing is to be found in New Zealand, where the season lasts from July to September.
There is a world of winter sport playgrounds out there just waiting to be discovered. as long as you have travel insurance, the pleasure will be all yours. So, get your skates on and sign up today for Churchill Winter Sports cover.