Offbeat Ski Destinations Around the World
When it comes to skiing, most people immediately think of the Alps or North America. However, Asia and Africa also offer some incredible ski resorts, alongside the chance to explore new cultures, cuisine and landscapes that you won’t find in the more traditional ski spots. Whether you’re a seasoned skier or a beginner looking for an adventure in the snow, here are our favourite offbeat ski destinations that will offer memorable experiences both on and off the slopes.
Niseko is the most famous ski resort in Japan, known for its endless light powder snow (around 15-18m per season) and spectacular backcountry ski trails. Located on Mount Niseko-Annupuri on the northern island of Hokkaido, Niskeko offers stunning scenery and views across to Mount Yotei, an active snow-capped volcano that resembles Mt Fuji. End your day with après - Japan-style - a soak in a natural hot spring called an onsen.
Tiffindell, South Africa
Tiffindell is South Africa’s only ski resort and faces Ben Mcdhui, the highest peak in the whole Cape Province. For the novelty of skiing in the British summer, the best season is June to August, whilst the rest of the year, the resort is open for hiking, mountain biking, grass skiing, mountain boarding, photography and birding.
While Kashmir’s Gulmarg is India’s best-known ski resort, Narkanda in the state of Himachal Pradesh is a great spot for the discerning traveller, and a fun place for new skiers with its beginner’s slope of 500m. Noted for its scenic beauty, the runs of this resort on the old Hindustan-Tibet road are lined with gorgeous fir forests and apple orchards, as well as breath-taking views of the snow-capped Himalayas. Nearby, Hatu Peak, soaring at 12,000 feet above sea level, is called paradise on earth and is well worth a visit. Stay at Oberoi Wildflower Hall, a two-hour scenic drive away for a flavour of Alpine charm on the subcontinent.
Changbaishan Mountains, China
China offers a fabulous ski experience at the Hyatt Regency Changbaishan, not far from the North Korean border. The hotel is located at the edge of the ski resort which offers well-maintained pistes, great quality snow and beautiful scenery of China’s most famous and unique mountains, Changbaishan (meaning “Forever-White Mountain”). Dive into the hot spring mineral pool after treatments at the wonderful Shui Liao Spa, enjoy delicious food with a Korean influence, and don’t miss a visit to the nearby Tianchi (meaning heavenly) Lake which has to be one of the most spectacular on the planet.
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