It’s a big world out there. It’s surely snowing somewhere.
Indeed, thanks to the alternating winters in the northern and southern hemispheres, skiers and snowboarders are able to hit the slopes no matter the time of year. If you prefer fresh powder to sand and surf – and you’re willing to travel from Scandinavia to Australia and beyond – here’s a list for chasing winter all year long.
Skiers and boarders discuss Utah’s voluminous powder snow in rapt tones. State license plates have bragged about “the greatest snow on Earth” since 1985 – and the hype is well-founded. Few North American winter sports hubs enjoy as much snowfall – around 550 inches per season – as the four main resorts clustered around Salt Lake City.
Cold, dry weather gives the snow a buoyant quality, ideal for off-piste antics (not to mention very soft landings). Skiers will revel in the breathtaking views around Alta, while the top pick for snowboarders (who are not allowed at Alta) is vast Snowbird. Meanwhile, wide-open Solitude has a web of challenging black (advanced) runs that will keep even the most advanced skiers engaged.
In Hokkaidō, cathedrals of ice and snowy beasts aren’t hallucinations induced by too much sake. Each February, sub-zero sculptures are unveiled at Sapporo Snow Festival. On the mountains, nature crafts its own surreal display: juhyo (snow monsters), formed when trees are blasted with snow and ice, are at their most impressive in February.
Ski past battalions of juhyo at crowd-pleasing resort Sapporo Kokusai, one hour’s drive west of Sapporo city – or (if you’re a pro), thunder across legendary backcountry. Still yearning to face-plant in fluffy snow? Continue southwest to powder capital, Niseko.
When the dreaded spring melt sets in at resorts across Europe and North America, skiers in British Columbia continue merrily on the mountains. Eight-thousand-acre Whistler-Blackcomb groans under 12m (472 inches) of snowfall each year, which means it’s still at its prime in March. More than 200 well-groomed pistes wend across the two mountains, with a mile of skiable vertical that dwarfs other North American resorts. To leave fresh tracks in pristine backcountry snow, grab some avalanche gear and a local guide to explore the lonely snowfields of Garibaldi Provincial Park.
Think quaint chalets and pillowy snow are for wimps? Winter travelers who crave wild, windswept terrain should head to Obertauern, 90km (56 miles) south of Salzburg, Austria. From its dizziest heights – around 2350m (7701ft) – you can survey the towering Austrian Alps as you zoom across 100km (62mi) of pistes; just be sure to bring a balaclava to fend off the biting winds. Obertauern was one of the filming locations for Help!, should that inspire you to belt
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There are only two peaks in the Alps higher than Mount Erciyes — Mont Blanc and the Dufourspitze — but I hadn’t heard of this mighty Anatolian mountain until I was presented with the opportunity to ski its slopes. At 3,917 metres, it only ranks as Turkey’s fifth-highest mountain, but the dormant volcano lends its name to the country’s largest ski resort and it offers a very different experience to skiing in the Alps.
When it comes to single malt whiskey, America has been, fittingly, like the Wild West. Sure, there are some basic rules that everyone follows—the whiskey must be produced from malted barley at a single distillery in the United States—but after that things have been wide open.
The Canary Islands welcomes approximately 450,000 LGBTQ+ tourists annually, representing 2.7% of the total tourists to the islands. This accounts for over 5.4% of the tourism revenue and generated a turnover of €960 million in 2022.
There’s an old Welsh farming tradition called hafod and hendre. The hafod (coming from the Welsh, haf meaning summer) was the house at the top of the mountain where the farmer and family would reside to graze sheep and raise new lambs during the spring and summer and allow crops to be grown lower down in the valley at the hendre (old home). Come winter, the farmer, family and flocks would move to the warmer valley floor. Families would dine on the produce they’d grown over the year and preserved, as well as fresh meat and foraged foodstuffs.
One of the joys of travel is that moment when you come across something unexpected that lingers long in the memory. It could be a little-known church with stunning stained-glass windows, a backstreet cafe that offers toothsome pastries, a country walk that serves up cinematic views, an offgrid campsite that delivers peace and serenity, or a stopover town that you wished you had more time to explore. We’d like to hear about your best travel discovery of 2023 – but please restrict your tips to Europe.
From January up until the end of September 2023, Spain received 66.5 million international arrivals, up 18.8% year-on-year, and 0.6% below pre-pandemic levels in 2019. The main inbound tourism markets were the United Kingdom, representing around 13.8 million arrivals, France with almost 9.4 million arrivals and Germany, with almost 8.5 million arrivals.
Its translucent teal waters, neatly terraced rice fields and ancient Shinto shrines make Iki Island an unforgettable place. But like so many resorts in Asia, it's easy to overlook this out-of-the-way destination — and a five-star hotel like the Iki Retreat by Onko Chishin.
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