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24 of The Most Underrated Places To Ski and Snowboard in The World

The Most Underrated Places To Ski and Snowboard

From the Three Valleys in France to the Dolomites in Italy, there are some impressive ski resorts all over the world. 

But with millions of tourists visiting these areas every year, it’s safe to say that the popular spots can get a little crowded. 

Luckily, there are some fantastic places to ski around the world that are far less known, so you won’t be standing in queues for the lift for hours. 

In this post, we’ll look at the 24 most underrated places to ski and snowboard in the world. Hopefully, you’ll find the perfect resort for your next ski trip. 

La Tania, France

  • Perfect for: Beginners
  • Vertical drop: 2305m
  • Lift pass: €42 – €52/day

La Tania is a great resort for families with easy access to the three valleys. Access to the ski area is easy via two lifts, and there is also a free bus that runs between resorts. 

If you’re a beginner to skiing, there are nursery slopes in the village and longer green and blue runs to practice on. Once you’ve found your ski legs, there’s a blue piste and an easier green piste which go to Courchevel 1850. 

Nearby, there aren’t many bars or restaurants, but there are a few shops and cafes. However, the Three Valleys has more than enough to keep families with kids entertained. 

Monterosa, Italy

  • Perfect for: Intermediates
  • Vertical drop: 3000m 
  • Lift pass: €26 – €35/day

Monterosa has a reputation for deep snow. It’s set across three valleys south of Monte Rosa massif – the second-highest peak in western Europe. 

The resort is best for intermediates since there aren’t many slopes suitable for beginners. However, if you’re into backcountry skiing, this is the perfect place for you. It’s spread out over miles without a major base area. 

Nearby, there are a few affordable accommodation options, but it’s not the easiest place to get to. Overall, if you’re looking for a quiet resort where you can focus on the slopes, you’ll like it at Monterosa. 

St Moritz, Switzerland

  • Perfect for: Intermediates/Advanced
  • Vertical drop: 1502m 
  • Lift pass: €25 – €47/day

The main slopes in St Moritz are in Corviglia, just above the resort. It has 100 miles of runs served by 22 lifts. There aren’t a lot of options for beginners, but intermediates have a great range of slopes to choose from. 

If you’re advanced, you can also try out the World Cup downhill race course that starts at 3057m above sea level.

There are also some full and part-day excursions to other ski areas on the Engadin Pass, so you’ll have plenty to do. 

When it’s time to relax, St Moritz has a buzzing nightlife and a gourmet festival that takes place every January. 

Taos Ski Valley, Taos, New Mexico

Taos Ski Valley, Taos, New Mexico
  • Perfect for: Intermediates/Advanced
  • Vertical drop: 954m 
  • Lift pass: $55-$195/day

Taos Ski Valley is home to one of the steepest mountains in North America. The Freeride World Tour extreme ski competitions take place on the steep descents of Kachina Peak, Highline Ridge, and West Basin Ridge. 

The valley also has meandering valleys with pitched green, blue, and entry-level black terrain, all spread out over almost 1,300 acres and 110 trails. 

Over half of the runs at Taos are considered difficult, so this one is a paradise for advanced skiers. 

Mt. Bachelor Ski Resort, Bend, Oregon, USA

  • Perfect for: Intermediates
  • Vertical drop: 1006m 
  • Lift pass: $62-$92/day

At the top of the Mt. Bachelor Ski Resort, you’ll find wide open go-anywhere terrain with chutes, bowls, and gullies. Further down, the trees start and get gradually thicker until you get to the runs winding through the forest at the bottom. 

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Overall, the Mt. Bachelor Ski Resort is perfect for intermediates. There are a few steep slopes for experts, but the main attractions are the off-piste terrain, powder days, and tree-skiing. 

There’s also plenty to do nearby, including:

Soldeu, Andorra 

Soldeu, Andorra 
  • Perfect for: Beginners/Intermediates
  • Vertical drop: 850m 
  • Lift pass: €25-€36/day

Soldeu is one of the most popular ski resorts in Andorra and shares a ski area with Pas de la Casa, Grau Roig, El Tarter, and Canillo. Altogether, there are 197 km of piste, 67 lifts, and dozens of runs. 

The resort has a great mix of runs, including green, blue, red, and a couple of blacks. However, it is mostly catered toward intermediate skiers. 

You can also go to Soldeu to learn to ski. It has nursery slopes away from the village and some large flat sections for building confidence. 

Rosa Khutor, Russia

  • Perfect for: Intermediates/Advanced
  • Vertical drop: 1745m 
  • Lift pass: 1800 RUB-3500 RUB/day

If you’re a terrain park enthusiast, you’ll love Rosa Khutor in Russia. The area has 13 km of Olympic ski runs and 19 lifts. The terrain is suited to all abilities, but being an Olympic area, most of the runs are catered to the pros. 

Rosa Khutor does a great job catering to its guests. Nearby, you’ll find cafes, restaurants, a sauna complex, museums, theme parks, and more. 

Rosa Khutor has ten lifts within its terrain that are suitable for intermediate and advanced levels, including terrain park enthusiasts.

Val di Fassa, Italy

Val di Fassa, Italy
  • Perfect for: Beginners/Intermediates
  • Vertical drop: 1750m 
  • Lift pass: €41-€58/day

Nestled in the far southwestern corner of the Sella Ronda circuit, within the stunning Dolomites area, you’ll find Val di Fassa. The area is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the mountain scenery is some of the most spectacular in the world. 

Thirty of the runs are meant for beginners, so Val di Fassa is a great place to learn to ski. There are also more nursery slopes which are usually pretty quiet. Once you’ve mastered the basics, there are 41 different intermediate runs to try out. 

There are ski chalets, hotels, and apartments in the area, as well as some bars and restaurants for when you need a break from the snow. 

Samoëns, France

Samoëns, France
  • Perfect for: Beginners/Intermediates/Advanced
  • Vertical drop: 1800m 
  • Lift pass: €30-€52/day

Samoëns is a great place if you have a group of mixed-ability skiers. Newbies will start their holiday by taking the Grand Massif Express lift up to Samoëns 1600, where there are some great nursery slopes. 

The pros won’t get bored, with more than 25 miles of steep terrain (black graded) and off-piste skiing with unbelievable views. 

The expansive Grand Massif ski area has enough to keep you entertained for months. So whether you’re looking for the perfect first ski holiday with your kids or you’re after some thrill with your friends, this one is a well-catered area. 

Borovets, Bulgaria 

  • Perfect for: Beginners/Intermediates
  • Vertical drop: 1300m 
  • Lift pass: 44 BGN – 75 BGN/day

Borovets means Pine Tree Forest, named after the stunning forest that coats the area. An underrated place for skiing, it’s actually one of the most convenient locations for brits looking to hit the slopes. 

This is a great place to learn to ski, with gentle slopes and cheap lessons and equipment hire. The Rila side has several green and blue runs, as well as some short red runs cutting through the pine trees. 

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On the other side, intermediates will love the red runs and the short Fonfon black run – something a little more adventurous. 

Borovets is a casual place with laid-back bars, live music, and clubs that go on late. Don’t forget to try some warming rakia after a long day of skiing!

Mad River Glen, Vermont, USA

  • Perfect for: Intermediates/Advanced
  • Vertical drop: 610m 
  • Lift pass: $80-$99/day

General Stark Mountain is off-limits to snowboarders, but there are some great skiing opportunities. Home to the last surviving single chairlift in the US, Mad River Glen has 20 black runs and 800 acres of off-piste access. 

It’s not a great place for beginners, but the 45 pistes will keep intermediates and experts busy. The area is located in Vermont’s pretty Mad River Valley, with the season generally running from mid-December through early April. 

Les Houches, France 

Les Houches, France 
  • Perfect for: Beginners/Intermediates
  • Vertical drop: 990m 
  • Lift pass: €42-€52/day

There is a quality teaching school in Les Houches and a wonderfully relaxed atmosphere that’s perfect for kids and first-time skiers. You’ll find plenty of easy green and blue slopes, as well as gentle nursery slopes to build confidence. 

Intermediate skiers will love the Chamonix Valley’s largest ski area above the resort. With 55km of local slopes, it’s a well-suited area for families with young kids. 

The village of Les Houches is quiet, with a few nice restaurants to try. Marmotte is a local favorite, with seasonal dishes and traditional specialties you won’t want to miss. 

Kronplatz, Italy

Kronplatz, Italy
  • Perfect for: Beginners/Intermediates
  • Vertical drop: 1325m 
  • Lift pass: €41-€59/day

Sitting in the Dolomites region, Kronplatz mountain dominates. Once you make it to the summit, there is a massive plateau with panoramic views of the mountain range that are unbeatable. 

There are three cardinal directions to choose from, with long pistes meandering down the mountain. The average length is 5km, and you have 40 wide blue and red runs to choose from. 

There aren’t many slopes to challenge experienced skiers, but Kronplatz does feature one of the steepest black runs in Italy if you’re feeling adventurous. In fact, if you can master all five black runs at Kronplatz, you’ll be named a ‘Kronlpatz Black 5 Champion’.

In the area, there are cross-country skiing opportunities, stunning mountain huts serving traditional Italian cuisine, and a range of winter activities. 

Ellmau, Austria

Ellmau, Austria
  • Perfect for: Beginners/Intermediates
  • Vertical drop: 1050m 
  • Lift pass: €37-€53/day

The pretty village of Ellmau is directly linked to the SkiWelt Ski Circuit – Austria’s largest linked ski area. A short bus ride from the resort, you’ll find excellent nursery slopes, while the SkiWelt has mostly gentle slopes for boosting confidence. 

Intermediates and experts probably won’t be satisfied with Ellmau, but it’s perfect for learners and families with kids. There’s a declining snow record in Ellmau, but that’s boosted by huge artificial snow machines to make sure the resort is snow-covered throughout the season. 

The resort boasts live music in the bars and eateries and plenty of activities to keep you busy on your trip. 

Monarch Mountain, Salida, Colorado, USA

Monarch Mountain, Salida, Colorado, USA
  • Perfect for: Intermediates/Advanced
  • Vertical drop: 354m 
  • Lift pass: $89-$119/day

There are 64 ski trails at Monarch covering 800 acres. With seven ski lifts, gondolas, and trams, it’s easy to get around, with a fairly moderate amount of skiable terrain. 

Monarch isn’t the best place for beginners. Over 77% of the slopes are rated at intermediate or difficult, so it’s definitely aimed at more advanced skiers. 

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There aren’t huge resorts or shopping villages at Monarch. The focus is on a friendly, welcoming atmosphere for skiers to enjoy the slopes in peace. 

Pamporovo, Bulgaria 

Pamporovo, Bulgaria 
  • Perfect for: Beginners/Intermediates
  • Vertical drop: 1650m 
  • Lift pass: €69/day

Sitting up in the Rhodope mountains at the foot of Mount Snejanka is Pamporovo. The resort is home to long green and blue slopes, as well as fantastic nursery slopes for beginners. Bulgaria is known for high-quality, affordable ski instruction, so this is another great place to learn to ski. 

If you’re an intermediate, Pamporovo has a World Cup run and some fun through-the-trees off-piste trails to try out. But this one really isn’t a resort for experts looking for a hard challenge. 

Serre Chevalier, France 

Serre Chevalier, France 
  • Perfect for: Beginners/Intermediates/Advanced
  • Vertical drop: 1200m 
  • Lift pass: starts at €17/day

Serre Chevalier is based in the largest ski area in the southern French Alps. It’s known as a resort, but it’s actually 13 separate villages stretching across 15km of the Guisane Valley floors. 

In this giant resort, there is something for everyone. You’ve got a lot of nursery slopes to choose from if you’re learning the ropes, as well as dozens of gentle green slopes to try. 

For intermediates, there are 99 easy green to intermediate red slopes to fly down, all of which take you from village to village. 

For experts, there are 15 different black runs and plenty of off-piste trails to challenge yourself. 

Wildcat Mountain, Notch, New Hampshire, USA

Wildcat Mountain, Notch, New Hampshire, USA
  • Perfect for: Intermediates/Advanced
  • Vertical drop: 644m 
  • Lift pass: $79-$99/day

Wildcat Mountain has been ranked one of the best ski areas in North America, even though it has no slopeside lodging or on-mountain food options. What it does have is unbelievable views and an interesting variety of terrain. 

With a total of 49 ski trails and five lifts, Wildcat Mountain is a smaller-than-average ski area. However, it has some of the cruisiest top-to-bottom greens and epically challenging steep slopes to take on. 

You won’t find much else on the mountain, but the slopes are worth a visit. 

Obergurgl, Austria 

Obergurgl, Austria 
  • Perfect for: Beginners/Intermediates
  • Vertical drop: 1280m 
  • Lift pass: €41-€52/day

At the head of the Otztal Valley, Obergurgl is just 20 minutes from the larger resort of Sölden. With over 110 km of manicured pistes, this is a great resort for beginners and intermediates. 

If you’re an advanced skier, you’ll probably prefer the off-piste trails but may find yourself traveling to Sölden after a few days for more challenging runs. 

This is a little-known area for skiing, so there are rarely queues for the lift. It’s also not the liveliest resort, but there is decent food and a peaceful atmosphere. 

Grindelwald, Switzerland

Grindelwald, Switzerland
  • Perfect for: Intermediates/Advanced
  • Vertical drop: 1380m 
  • Lift pass: 64 CHF/day

Grindelwald is a massive ski resort with 50 hotels, most of which are 3+ star establishments. You’ve got plenty of choices for accommodation, and there are dozens of bars and restaurants to choose from. 

The nursery slopes and ski schools are a bit of a trek, so you’ll have to get the bus every morning. However, it’s worth it because the schools are excellent. 

The resort is more catered toward intermediates and advanced skiers. Over half of the terrain is rated intermediate, with long cruises running above the treeline. The longest trail is an impressive 13 km, and several trails plunge down into the trees. 

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For advanced skiers, there are 20 black runs, several posing some serious challenges. Number seven is very aptly named, Oh God!

Oukaïmeden, Morocco

Oukaïmeden, Morocco
  • Perfect for: Beginners/Intermediates
  • Vertical drop: 658m 
  • Lift pass: $20/day

Most people wouldn’t associate Morocco with skiing. But there has actually been a long tradition of skiing in the High Atlas Mountain Region – home to Africa’s highest ski resort. 

Oukaïmeden has 10 km of skiable slopes, and you’ll find more locals than tourists on the trails. For beginners, the nursery slopes and intermediate slopes are serviced by six drag lifts. Not to mention a family sledding area that’s perfect for little ones. 

If you’re a pro, there are more advanced slopes available at the top of a slow single chairlift. You could also have a rather unique experience and ride on a donkey between slopes instead of taking the lift.

Bad Kleinkirchheim, Austria

  • Perfect for: Beginners/Intermediates/Advanced
  • Vertical drop: 1054m 
  • Lift pass: €17-€56.50/day

Bad Kleinkirchheim sits right on the edge of the Nock Mountain National Park in Carinthia. The resort is known for two things: downhill skiing and incredible spa facilities. 

Franz Klammer, former champion alpine ski racer, was known to ski here, so you know the downhill slopes are incredible. 

Most of the slopes are suited to intermediates, with many long verticals. However, there are also some challenging black slopes (including the Franz Klammer World Cup run). 

For beginners, there are nursery slopes at the top of the Nockalm gondola and some at the base of the mountain, too. 

Once you’re done skiing, you can relax in the world-class spa facilities, which have a range of treatments from steam rooms to massages. 

Champoluc, Italy

Champoluc, Italy
  • Perfect for: Beginners/Intermediates
  • Vertical drop: 1587m 
  • Lift pass: €36-€50/day

Champoluc is known for its uncommercialized villages and family-friendly atmosphere. It’s a picturesque place to ski, with incredible views of some of the highest peaks in the Alps. 

The resort is spread out along the valley, with a number of modest pistes for beginners and intermediates. However, there are a couple of 1000m+ verticals for those looking for a challenge. 

The villages are quiet, with enough to keep families fed and entertained during a trip. But this isn’t the spot if you’re looking for a buzzing nightlife. 

Crans Montana, Switzerland 

  • Perfect for: Intermediates/Advanced
  • Vertical drop: 1500m 
  • Lift pass: 50 CHF – 89 CHF/day

Crans Montana isn’t a traditional chocolate box resort you might expect from Switzerland. Instead, it’s a buzzing town filled with designer shops, high-end hotels, and almost 100 restaurants and sports facilities (including an epic indoor climbing wall). 

The ski resort is split into four parts:

  • The family area
  • The fun area
  • The glacier area – home to the highest point for piste skiing
  • The nature area 

There are 61 runs, graded blue, red, and black, although the black runs are entry-level. If you want a challenge, the Woman’s Downhill run is one of the steepest in Europe and perfect for thrill seekers. 

Conclusion

No matter what part of the world you’re in, there are some incredible places to go skiing that are wildly underrated. But that’s what makes them so great – hardly any queues, quiet slopes, and a chance to get away from the crowded, well-known resorts. 

Whether you’re a newbie looking to learn to ski or a black slope champion on the lookout for your next adventure, there’s a perfect resort for you in this list.

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Lisa Hayden-Matthews

Lisa Hayden-Matthews

A bike rider, triathlon enthusiast, amateurish beach volleyball player and nature lover who has never lost a dare! I manage the overall Editorial section for the magazine here and occasionally chip in with my own nature photographs, when required.

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