The world’s best snowboarding destinations almost all year-round
Despite Canada’s winter coming to a close soon (hopefully), you don’t have to quit your snow dreams just yet. There are places around the world – some in much warmer climates than you may normally think of for skiing – where you can hit the slopes well into spring, and one even through August. Which almost brings us right back into Fall, essentially offering skiing opportunities almost year-round. Apres-ski cheers to that! Booking.com, the global leader in connecting travellers with the widest choice of incredible places to stay, has compiled the best destinations for beginner and expert snowboarders.
Kartalkaya, Black Sea Region, Turkey
Kartalkaya has kept a low-profile over the years but recently this pine tree-dotted resort in the Koroglu National Park has been attracting more and more snowboarders. Part of the reason for this is the choice of runs and pistes, with over 20 km of slopes available and facilities for snowboarders of all levels.
Best time of year to visit: There is reliable snow coverage from early December to late March.
Defrost your toes at: Villa Neva Hotel
Yuzawa, Niigata, Japan
The Japanese region of Yuzawa is known as ‘yukiguni’ or ‘snow country’ and, as the most convenient winter sports location within travel distance of Tokyo, the Yuzawa ski resort attracts both local and international visitors of all experience levels. The town itself has remained free of tourist developments so visitors can quickly immerse themselves in the tight-knit snowboarding community.
Best time of year to visit: The season runs from mid-December to early May.
Defrost your toes at: Takahan
Mount Buller, Victoria, Australia
Mount Bueller is the closest winter sports resort to Melbourne and the mixed terrain offers something for snowboarders of all abilities. Regular beginner and refresher classes are hosted throughout the week, and the 840 hectares include every kind of slope you could hope for.
Best time of year to visit: The season runs from late July through to the end of August.
Defrost your toes at: Hotel Pension Grimus
Laax, Graubünden, Switzerland
Laax is one of the world’s most reliable snowboarding regions and with many of its slopes at an altitude between 2,000 and 3,000 metres, snow is almost guaranteed. The ski resorts surrounding this Swiss town cater to snowboarders of all levels, with blue, red and black routes mixed in among 224 km of slopes and four snow parks.
Best time of year to visit: The season runs from mid-December to mid-April.
Defrost your toes at: Posta Veglia
Myoko, Niigata, Japan
Myoko’s slopes and resorts are praised by professionals and amateurs as one of the best snowboarding destinations in Asia. At the height of the season (usually the last two weeks of January), the Myoko snow walls can reach over three metres high and throughout the season the area averages four metres of snow. Facilities for beginners and experts are extensive and the nearby hot springs are a great place to relax after a long day on the slopes.
Best time of year to visit: The season is mid-December to early-April.
Defrost your toes at: Akakura Wakui Hotel
Les Menuires, Rhône-Alpes, France
When it comes to winter sports in the French Alps, recent years have seen the emergence of the neighbouring area of Les Menuires as a veritable nirvana for aspiring and established snowboarders. Favourite blue runs among visitors include the Boulevard Cumin and the Pluviometre, although the scenery surrounding Les Menuires is naturally beautiful enough that many boarders skip the chairlifts, preferring to walk and take it all in. Cabins and chalets are the desired accommodation for almost a fifth (17%) of Canadian travellers so warm up at the Chalet Hotel Kaya and get cozy.
Best time of year to visit: February is the high-season in Les Menuires.
Defrost your toes at: Chalet Hotel Kaya