When choosing the next skiing trip our mind often wonders to those extraordinary bucket list destinations. There are 97 countries across the world that offer skiing and snowboarding. With ski resorts in the northern and southern hemisphere it is possible to ski throughout the year – it’s always snowing somewhere! With so many possibilities on offer there many fantastic and unique experiences to enjoy in the mountains. Here are our top 5 once in a lifetime ski experiences to get your imagination running wild.
5. Heli Skiing in Canada
For incredible alpine scenery and breath taking untouched landscapes, there is nothing that rivals a heli-ski adventure in Canada. Heli skiing and snowboarding in Canada is the ultimate freeriding adventure; the varied terrain and epic snowfall will guarantee that adrenaline rush you’ve been craving for. The territory is so vast you will feel like the first person discovering a new mountain.
The pinnacle of Whistler’s skiing experience is a heli-skiing tour. Whistler Heli-Skiing has provided once in a lifetime trips for over 37 years and operates in an area that is 50 times the size of Whistler Blackcomb! The glacier climate, vast wilderness and abundance of powder snow make this area ideal for heli-skiing.
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Heli skiing in Whistler
4. Ultimate bragging rights in the 3 Valleys
Can you ski the 10 main resorts of the largest ski area in the world in one day? The answer is yes, and it’s an excellent day out that gets you to all the corners of this massive ski area. What better way to brag to your friends, than saying you’ve skied the 600km of the largest linked ski area in the world, the 3 Valleys. Our Sales Director, AJ took 3 Iglu team mates on a mission to conquer the French giant. AJ takes us through their epic day...
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Val Thorens ski resort in the 3 Valleys ski area
3. Magical landscapes in Finland
Skiing in Finland is unlike any other Alpine ski holiday. If you want to ski in breath taking, peaceful scenery surrounded by ice-sculpted forests and frozen lakes, coupled with uncrowded pistes and resorts, a ski holiday to Finland offers you a very refreshing alternative. Skiing in Finland is varied, with a variety of runs suited for all abilities, but the ski areas are smaller than what we are used to in the Alps and ideally suited to beginners and intermediates.
One of the fantastic reasons to come to ski in Finland is to experience one of the many unique activities at your fingertips. Enjoy meeting the animals and learning about their way of life on either the Reindeer safaris or the Husky dog sledding trips or for adrenaline junkies, you can get your pulse racing on one of the exhilarating snowmobile adventures and a magical visit to Santa in Lapland is an absolute must for the whole family. If you are very lucky you may even catch one of the most amazing natural wonders of the world, the Northern Lights. Head away from the town and bright lights and you should be able to see the lights at certain times throughout winter.
Iglu Ski sells a range of holiday packages to Finland, including Festive Lapland holidays in December packed full of Christmas activities suited to families with young children, and ski holidays in Finland throughout the season from December to March.
2. Epic Luxury in Val d’Isere
Everyone deserves a spot of luxury in their lives, which is why one must experience the ultimate luxury ski holiday in a stunning chocolate box chalet in one of the finest resorts in the world, Val d’Isere. Well-stocked wine cellars, gourmet cuisine, private cinemas, chauffeurs, outdoor hot-tubs, a roaring log fire... luxury chalets are all about being pampered to the max. Good food is an essential part of a luxury ski holiday. The talented chefs are experienced and creative artists, producing modern and traditional cuisine to tantalize your taste buds. Everything in the luxury ski chalets are designed to make you feel relaxed, pampered and special.
Val d'Isere offers one of the world's best ski areas, the Espace Killy, along with accommodation for everyone and anyone. If you are looking for a luxury private chalet then look no further than Chalet Lafitenia, run by Val d'Isere's most exclusive chalet operator and offering the standards of accommodation, food and service that you would expect from a luxury chalet in a world class resort.
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1. Riding powder in Niseko
Japan is home to the powder your dreams are made of. You may find it surprising that ski resorts in Japan get some of the deepest snow in the world. Located in the northern island Hokkaido, Niseko is one of the most famous ski resorts in Japan. With an average of 11m of snow fall a year it is regarded as one of the snowiest ski resorts in the world. Niseko is made up of four interlinked areas, Niseko Annapuri, Niseko Grand Hirafu, Niseko Hanazono & Niseko Village. Hirafu is the main resort where you will find the majority of the town and accommodation. The terrain at Niseko is varied; the main ski area offers great ‘ski-what-you-can-see’ terrain with easy to access to fun off piste between the main ski runs. The legendary tree runs are in the strawberry fields in Niseko Hanazono and hiking from the top gates in Niseko Annupuri will get you some seriously steep runs and views out to the coast.
I was lucky enough to be in Niseko for a few months of the 2013-14 season and can guarantee that nothing will compare after a trip to this ski mecca. The trip does require a 13 hour flight to Tokoyo, followed by a domestic flight to Sapporo and then a 2-3 hour coach transfer straight to the resort, but once you’ve had that first day in fresh, waist deep champagne powder you will forget all about that journey to this dream destination.
There may be a ton of snowfall in Niseko but bad weather doesn’t have to mean bad visibility with the bounty of tree runs and off piste forests to ski through. If you are lucky enough to get a clear day on the hill then you can marvel at the stunning view of Mount Yotei and views of the ocean if you get high enough. If you live for powder days and fanaticise about white snowscapes that your favourite skiers and snowboarders go year after year, then start planning your trip to the land of the rising sun and make your ski dreams to come true. If I haven't convinced you, check out Travis Rice hitting up the iconic forests below.
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For more information and to book one of these once in a lifetime experiences speak to one of our ski experts by calling the number above or emailing here.
Still looking for inspiration? Take a look at ski holidays for your bucket list