News Winter wow: bargain off-piste ⛷ ski holidays

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Winter wow: bargain off-piste ⛷ ski holidays

Escape the regular crowd this winter and slope off to a ski trip further afield. Now’s the time to book to save money on flights in the high season when the snow is at its best. Save your pennies for the après-ski! Here’s our pick of the coolest snow destinations the world has to offer.

1. Oslo, Norway

If you want to combine a culture-jammed city break with some action on the slopes, you can’t beat the Norwegian capital. Oslo is a compact city – something visitors really appreciate in -12 temperatures – and it’s possible to spend your morning wandering the picturesque old town, exploring the regenerated harbour area, perusing art in the sleek, modern Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art – before hopping on the metro to ride out to the slopes. Less than an hour out of central station on Line 1, you reach Frognerseteren, where you can scoff apple cake and coffee in the chalet restaurant before tobogganing or skiing down the slopes.

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2. Yongpyong, South Korea

Spectacularly showcased in the 2018 winter Olympics, Yongpyong is one of South Korea’s best-loved ski resorts, with an average of 2.5 metres of snow every year, some 30 slopes and 15 lifts. On a particularly clear day, skiiers can glimpse the East Sea from the slopes. For European visitors accustomed to Alpine twee, the architecture is unquestionably charming; even the modern Dragon Plaza ski house is intensely instagrammable.

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3. Niseko, Japan

Japan’s northern Hokkaido Island, near the (blessedly dormant) Mt Yotei volcano, has recently risen to the top of any intrepid skier’s bucket list. With the surrounding mountains populated with hot spring resorts (or onsen) and the white-water-rapids of the Shiribetsu River performing as a backdrop, Niseko is one of the most photogenic ski resorts on the planet.

Comprising four interconnected resorts on the eastern side of the mountain, totalling more than 800 hectares of skiable terrain, Niseko is a world-class resort that leaves European and North American aficionados slack-jawed. A diverse, sophisticated and thoroughly international dining and drinking scene is the cherry on top. Niseko is most definitely a splurge, but now might just be the time to do it… 

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4. Powder Mountain Utah, USA

If you’re the sort of skier who prides themselves on getting off the beaten track and into the backcountry, Powder Mountain is your place. Despite easy transport links – it’s just 55 miles from Salt Lake City International Airport), there are over 7,000 skiable acres, meaning it regularly feels like you have the world to yourself. Around half of Powder Mountain’s skifields are lift-served by four chair lifts, and there is night skiing (and spectacular stargazing) until 10pm. In recent seasons Powder Mountain has seen a growing number of in-the-know Silicon Valleyites, but for now it retains a small-town, unpretentious feel.

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5. Golden, Canada

Banff and Whistler tend to get most of the column inches and crowds, but Golden is up there with the best ski locations in North America. A bona fide winter playground, Kicking Horse Mountain Resort offers world-class skiing, as well as tubing, snowshoeing and direct access to snowmobile tours and heli-skiing. Kicking Horse can also lay claim to the fourth highest vertical drop in North America, at 4,133 feet. Throw in over 2,800 acres of skiable lift-served terrain, and you have a beyond-the-beated-track powdery paradise.

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Still looking for winter inspiration?