Filed under: Luxury Travel & Hotels
The Luxist Awards' Readers' Choice nominees for the Best International Ski Destination nominees include one of the planet's most decadent getaways that is nestled in the southwestern Swiss Alps. Another is a mile-high Swiss village that is one of the best-known holiday resorts in the world. The third nominee, based in the French Alps, offers dramatic slopes that are among the most challenging in the world. The fourth nominee offers the glamour and glitz of Milan or Paris in the setting of a quaint mountain town while the final nominee, features challenging slopes, spectacular panoramic views of the Alps and delectable Italian cuisine.
For Francophiles and French homebodies alike, winter paradise can be found in Chamonix. Located in the shadow of Mont Blanc, Western Europe's tallest, Chamonix is a popular destination for winter sports, and not just wealthy ski bums. Its dramatic slopes are among the most challenging in the world, drawing ice climbers, paragliders, and extreme skiers and snowboarders who relish the chance to go "off-piste" and conquer inclines sometimes steeper than 60 degrees while dodging dangerous crevasses. There are a multitude of slopes for skiers who are beginners and intermediate level, as well. Chamonix offers tremendously long slopes, skiing through the trees and free ride. For those with tamer tastes, there's the spectacular cable car ride to the top of the Aiguille du Midi; during the trip, riders rise 2,800 meters in 20 minutes.
Chamonix's skiing extends over three main areas: Brévent/Flégère, offering south-facing slopes and exceptional views of the Mont-Blanc chain, the Grands Montets, high altitude north-facing slopes which dominate the village of Argentière and the Balme area, wide open slopes at the top of the Chamonix valley, bordering on Switzerland. The sister resort of les Houches lies at the opposite end of the valley and is accessible with the Mont-Blanc Unlimited ski pass.
Vote now for what you believe is the best international ski destination. Readers' Choice Awards for the Best in Winter Travel will be announced on January 31st.