Who wins the battle of the ski seasons – Europe or the rest of the world?

What images or words spring to mind when the term “ski season” is used? You might think of the beautiful chalets you are planning to stay in, or the snow-covered mountains of France and Switzerland.

Perhaps you have flashbacks of that terrible trip down the mountainside after a few hours of apres-ski.

It doesn’t matter if you recall the famous skiers you saw on the red trails or the number of Canada Goose gilets that you counted at the bar, the chances are that you think about Europe when you think about ski season.

Is the continent still the best for skiing? Or are there better alternatives?

To find out which one is the best, we’ve compared Europe with three other ski hotspots.

Contender 1: Europe

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It is no surprise that Europe’s ski resorts have a reputation for being world-class. It’s no surprise that most Europeans choose to stay in Europe for their season. There are resorts such as Courchevel, Zermatt Chamonix and St Anton.

Alongside this, the snow is perfect, food and accommodation are reasonably priced, and the travel is quick and cheap, not to mention environmentally-friendly if you can get there without flying.

Is Europe still the best when it comes skiing? It really all depends on who you ask.

A yearly ski trip can be a great way to spend quality time with family and friends. Skiing is not the only thing that matters, but making memories is what it’s all about. This is possible in ski resorts, which have large chalets that can be used for entertaining and eating by the fire.

It’s a status thing for others, however. It’s obvious that Europe has the best slopes so why go anywhere else when you can do it here?

Contender 2: Japan

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Hokkaido is a great place to go if you are tired of the same old European slopes.

The northern island is known for its snow, and there are 117 resorts that are open to the public.

Rusutsu and Niseko are the most popular resorts.

Many of these can be reached via public transport from Sapporo (the main city).

Every February, Sapporo hosts a week-long snow festival with activities for children and adults.

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There are many tourist attractions for those who don’t want to go skiing. These include the Sapporo Beer Museum and the Maruyama park.

Let’s not forget about the food. Hot bowls with ramen, Japanese curry and gyoza will warm you up after a hard day on the slopes.

If you have the time, you could also spend a few days in Tokyo and Osaka.

Hot bowls with gyoza, Japanese curry, or ramen are great for warming up after a long day on the slopes.

Apres-ski is not available in Japan, but a large bowl if ramen and a dip into a traditional Onsen (a Japanese hot spring) can be a great substitute.

Accommodation and food in Europe are comparable in price, but accommodation is more often a hotel than a chalet rental or apartment rental.

You can take regular buses from Sapporo to get to the resorts. They are quite inexpensive, but we recommend staying at One Niseko. The Onsen, which is private, is a delight. Each room has its own kitchen and you can ski up to the hotel at the end of the day.

The Niseko resort is a highly-rated one and it is not accessible by public transportation. You would have to book a nearby stay.

Contender 3: Canada and the USA

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If you’re in America, there are resorts in Colorado or Canada that offer apres-ski as well as great slopes. They do things big, just like most things in America or Canada.

Apres-ski is an integral part of the ski culture. You can expect lots of beer and comfort food before you hit the slopes.

You will find friendly people in the resorts.

Colorado offers more than snow, making it a worthwhile experience to ski stateside.

Two-day trips to cities like Toronto and Denver are possible in many cities.

Contender 4: Argentina & New Zealand

There are great options for skiing in July and August if you live in the southern hemisphere.

Professional snowboarders and skiers love Patagonia, Argentina. New Zealand is close behind.

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Professional snowboarders and skiers love Patagonia, Argentina. New Zealand is close behind.

Both offer excellent steaks and wines and are more than ski resorts.

While Europe has a long-standing reputation as hosting the best skiing season, you have many options if you’re from another part of the globe.