Carve up the Northern Hemisphere ski slopes this summer

On November 26, 2010 at 12:00 PM

Expedia lists the best resorts for the Northern Hemisphere ski season

With the start of the Northern Hemisphere ski season only a few weeks away, keen Australian skiers are readying themselves for a different kind of ‘summer’ holiday. Home to some of the best ski resorts in the world, countries such as Canada, Japan, USA and Austria are bracing themselves for a surge of Australians heading to the winter ski slopes this season, particularly given the continued strength of the Aussie Dollar.

According to recent flight bookings* on, operated by Expedia Inc., the world's largest online travel company, ski holidays are proving popular among Australians as destinations in these countries have all recorded significant December bookings growth.

Louise Crompton, Senior Manager Marketing, Expedia Australia and New Zealand said: “This year we are seeing large numbers of Australians booking holidays to popular Northern Hemisphere ski destinations as they take advantage of the strong Aussie Dollar. Places such as Switzerland and Austria that were once very expensive for many Australians are now becoming more affordable with the strong dollar and great deals on offer. At we are finding that the start of the season is busier than we have seen in many years and the later stages are filling up fast.

With over 120,000 hotels, over 170 airlines and car hire available to book online, offers travellers one website where they have more choice and can find great value for money for their Northern Hemisphere skiing holiday,” Ms Crompton said.’s top ski destinations for the upcoming Northern Hemisphere ski season:

Niseko, Japan

Famous for its deep and fluffy powder snow, the prime ski resort town of Niseko is known for being a skiing hot spot for Australian skiiers. Sprawled between two mountains and offering a total of 57 runs in 4 resorts, Niseko has a good mixture of slopes to challenge skiers and snowboarders of all levels. Travellers can take in the jaw-dropping views of the mountains as well as bathe in the myriad of ‘onsen’, the Japanese term for hot springs. The best way to get to Niseko is to fly into Sapproro and then take a bus or train, or hire a car.

Expedia recommends staying at the 3* Niseko Freedom Inn, located near Niseko Higashiyama Ski Area. Rooms start from $155 per room per night*. Visit book a stay at the Niseko Freedom Inn.

Whistler, Canada

Whistler Blackcomb is consistently ranked as one of the best ski resorts in North America. Located in the Coast Mountain ranges of British Columbia, Whistler offers optimum skiing conditions for travellers wishing to explore this picturesque alpine region. Slopes are available on both Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains and are spread across some 33 square kilometres of terrain, which includes 12 alpine bowls, 3 glaciers and 200 marked trails. To get to Whistler, fly into Vancouver and then jump on a bus, hire a car or even take a helicopter.

Expedia recommends staying at the 3.5* Whistler Pinnacle Hotel, located just five blocks from Whistler’s ski lifts. Rooms start from $187 per room per night*. Visit to book a stay at the Whistler Pinnacle Hotel.

Arinsal, Andorra

Situated north of the capital, La Vella, the resorts of Pal and Arinsal have now formed a single resort, Pal-Arinsal, which is linked by a cable car and accessed with a single ski pass. The combined resort now offers over 60 kilometres of ski runs with the vast majority catering for the intermediate skier. Pal-Arinsal is fast becoming a playground for snowboarders with a recently developed snow park with an extension to the big air half-pipe and jumps with plenty of blue and red runs for boarders to goofy-foot down the slopes. The best way to travel there is to fly to Toulouse or Barcelona and take a bus or hire a car.

Expedia recommends staying at the 3* Husa Xalet Besoli, located near the Pal-Arinsal Resort. Rooms start from $72 per room per night*. Visit book a stay at the Husa Xalet Besoli.

Borovets, Bulgaria

The Borovets ski resort in Bulgaria is the country’s oldest ski resort. The area is split up into three different ski centres; the central Borovets, Yastrebetz and Markudjk with a mixture of different runs to cater to skiers of all levels. For novice and beginner skiers, the Borovets ski school is the place to hone your skills before tackling the slopes. Borovets has built an enviable reputation for its après ski with the area full of bars, cafes and night clubs to enjoy after a day on the slopes.

Expedia recommends staying at the 4*Samokov Hotel, across the road from the Gondola station. Rooms start from $97 per room per night*. Visit book a stay at the Samokov Hotel.

Ischgl, Austria

Boasting arguably the best après ski scene in Austria, Ischgl is fast becoming one of the premiere ski fields in Europe. For those who feel a bit weak at the knees, Ischgl is a great spot for first-time skiers as the Snow Sports Academy is located right next to the beginner’s area and features over 100 trained and certified ski and snowboard instructors. After carving up the slopes, sample some of the local restaurants, arguably the best in the Silvretta region, as well as numerous bars and nightclubs that are the envy of the town. The best way to get to Ischgl is to fly intoInnsbruck airport and the resort is only 100 kilometres away.

Expedia recommends staying at the 3*Clubdorf/Activhotels, located in Ishchgl. Rooms start from $160 per room per night*. Visit to book a stay at the Clubdorf/Activhotels.

Davos, Switzerland

Davos, Switzerland is the largest ski resort in Switzerland and has been rated as one of the best ski fields in Europe. Tucked away in Graubünden, it is one of the Swiss Cantons, and attracts skiers from the world over with a combination of five separate ski areas with over 100 ski runs spread out over 320 kilometres. Aside from the seemingly endless skiing, Davos is also home to Europe’s largest outdoor ice-rink while also offering renowned cross-country trails and tobogganing. Travellers should fly into Zurich airport and then hire a car to reach Davos.

Expedia recommends staying at the 3* Apartment Village Solaria, at the entrance of the Dischma Valley. Roomsstart from $122 per room per night*. Visit book a stay at the Apartment Village Solaria.    

Val d'Isère, France

The French ski resort of Val d'Isère is home to around 300 kilometres of runs. For those looking to try out their tricks and get some big air, wander over to the snowpark, which provides freestyle skiers and snowboarders with different jumps and obstacles to try out their moves. Used as a site for the Winter Olympic Games back in the 90’s and more recently the World Alpine Ski Championships in 2009, skiers can try their hand at the same runs used by World Champions. Travellers should fly into Lyon and then take a train or hire a car for the journey to the resort.

Expedia recommends staying at the 3* Pierre et Vacances Residence Les Chalets de Solaise, located near the Le Fornet Ski Resort ski fields. Rooms start from $139 per room per night. Visit book a stay at the Pierre et Vacances Residence Les Chalets de Solaise.

Vail, USA

Ranked as one of the world’s finest ski resorts, Vail, is the epitome of a winter wonderland. With over 20 square kilometres of terrain as a playground, 11 kilometres of mountain front and 7 back bowls, Vail offers snow enthusiasts the ultimate skiing holiday. The USA’s biggest single ski mountain caters for skiers of all abilities and is set up against a backdrop of breathtaking scenery. For those seeking something different, enjoy a ride on a hot air balloon to see sights that are, quite simply, spectacular. Travellers should fly into Vail airport and the ski fields are located around two hours drive away.

Expedia recommends staying at the 3.5* Vail Racquet Club Townhomes & Condominiums, located close to the Vail slopes. Rooms start from $257* per room per night*. Visit book a stay at the Vail Racquet Club Townhomes & Condominiums.

Expedia offers flights, hotels and car hire to make getting to your ski holiday destination simple.

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