Top 5 Winter Vacation Destinations

While many of us are wondering what happened to summer this year, the folks at Club Med are already gearing up for the winter holiday season. They’ve sponsored this great list of top 5 winter destinations for those of you who love the snow and those who want to escape it.

When we go for a winter holiday there is generally one of two things on our mind. One is to escape the cold, wet, winter months for a while and enjoy more temperate climates, bask in brilliant sunshine on a foreign beach and maybe take in a little snorkelling, sailing or some other water sports. The other, of course, is to enjoy some winter sports like skiing or snowboarding, while hopefully enjoying some sunshine at the same time. Thus, in compiling this list of the top ten winter holiday destinations for 2011/12, we have taken both of these motivations into consideration. We begin with some great places to enjoy all inclusive ski holidays, and finish with some suggestions for indulging ourselves in the balmy climates of foreign islands.

Winter Holiday Destinations for Snow Lovers

The first 6 of our top 10 destinations are ideal for skiing and snowboarding. They include four of the top European resorts along with, for the more adventurous, two somewhat further afield; in China and Japan.

1. Starting with Europe, there are many great ski resorts in the southeast of France and one of the most attractive of these is Val d’Isère, located close to the Italian border. There you will find a host of resorts that vary from the comfortable to the luxurious. Whether you are venturing to the ski slopes for the first time or you are an avid skier, you will find conditions and slopes that are appropriate to your skill level.

2. With so many places to ski in France, it is difficult to select which to include in our top ten, but one that must not be excluded is the largest ski area in the world, Les Trois Vallées in the Vanoise National Park. Les Trois Vallées consist of three valleys which are interlinked by cable car and can be skied with just a single ski pass. With over 600 km of slopes and over 100 km of cross-country skiing you’re guaranteed to never get bored.

3. For the third in our top ten we have chosen a resort in Switzerland. This is Villars-sur-Ollon which is in the Vaud Villars canton. This is considered by many to be one of the top ski resorts in the world.  As well as some of the best ski slopes you are likely to find, you will also enjoy some of the most spectacular views, overlooking the Rhône Valley and Mont Blanc.

4. Also in Switzerland is St Moritz which has twice hosted the Winter Olympics and many other winter sports championships. The region includes the highest mountain in the Eastern Alps. There are several resorts to choose from but Roi Soleil is a highly select one with extensive and luxurious facilities.

5. For those wanting to explore further afield, Sahoro, Japan is certainly worth considering, especially for the more adventurous skier. Here you will find a totally different skiing ethos. Unlike the huge resorts of Europe, Sahoro, which is in the prefecture of Hokkaido, is tiny. There are just 16 pistes served by 9 ski lifts. The whole experience is more tranquil and this is a great way to enjoy life the Japanese way.