Travel Picks: Top 10 ski destinations
LONDON (Reuters Life!) - For travelers who embrace the snow with sheer dedication, winter is a time to take advantage of all the fresh powder on the ski slopes. Travel website Cheapflights.com (wwww.cheapflights.com) offers powder hounds its choices for the top 10 ski destinations. Reuters has not endorsed this list:
1. Park City, Utah
Just south of Salt Lake City, Park City is no little sibling when it comes to drawing tourists. Famous for hosting the Sundance Film Festival each year, it's also home to serious alpine skiing. Six mountains and 114 trails give cold weather adventurers plenty of room to roam, and other mountain activities like tubing and an alpine coaster won't disappoint. Its dining and aprs ski options aren't half bad, either.
2. Whistler, Canada
Alpine skiing and mountain biking are big at Whistler Blackcomb, which is consistently voted a top ski destination each year. Whistler hosted most of the 2010 Winter Olympics' alpine, Nordic, skeleton and bobsled events, so if you're ready to claim your glory on the slopes, head to the world-renowned Whistler to try your hand at these great heights. But watch out for the bears -- the fuzzy friends in Whistler have been known to open even locked car doors for a snack.
3. Zermatt, Switzerland
Just near the border of Italy, situated in the Swiss Alps at the southern end of Matter Valley, Zermatt is a prime starting point for explorers who take the Haute Route to Chamonix and the Patrouille des Glaciers. You can also get an international lift pass that allows you ski on the Italian side of the border in Cervinia. Skiing inside Zermatt gets divided up into four areas known as Sunnegga, Gornergrat, Klein Matterhorn and Schwarzsee, each characterized by its own unique traits. Another distinct note about Zermatt -- you can ski here in the summer.
4. Val d'Isere, France
In southeastern France, on the border of the Vanoise National Park, sits Val d'Isere. Diverse in its level of difficulty, the ski haven welcomes visitors from all over the world to explore its downhill slopes and outstanding culture. Its lively slopes cater perfectly to its even livelier nightlife, and making the transition between the two is made easy. A free shuttle between the towns of Val d'Isere and La Daille runs every five minutes during the day, and every 30 minutes at night. The area also shares ski domain with Tignes. Continued...