Canada has grown in popularity as a ski destination over the last few years but there are still questions as to why a ski holiday across the Atlantic should be considered when the Alps are on our doorstep; well, there are many reasons, but let’s look at the top 7:
1. The snow
Pure and simple; the quality, quantity and reliability of Canada’s snow is unbeatable. The season starts in mid-November and continues to the end of May, later when you take glacier skiing into account. One of Canada’s best resorts, Big White, has as its slogan, ‘It’s the snow’ and many resorts in latter years have broken their snowfall records regularly.
2. The facilities
Canada’s ski resorts offer tremendous accommodation, much of it ski-in/ski out, a good range of restaurants, modern, fast lifts, great grooming, a lack of lift lines and excellent service. Free on-mountain guides, sniffle stations which provide free tissues are just a couple of the extras you will find skiing in Canada.
3. The scenery
Most mountains are beautiful, especially when covered in snow, but many parts of Canada, particularly the National Parks, take it to an extra level. Skiing in Banff or Jasper National Park is amazing. Not only is the scenery outstanding but you will see elk and mountain goats as you travel through the parks or even strolling down the road in Lake Louise. You are also staying in a real Canadian mountain town from where the mountains dominate the landscape.
4. Lack of crowds
Canada is a vast country with tons of space and few people; in the winter months when many areas are covered in snow, on a slow day in January you might just get a mountain to yourself. There’s no guarantee that at half-term you’d be on Whistler mountain without others for example, but you never feel rushed or overcrowded.
5. Ski schools
Whether you are a first time skier or an expert, Canada will have the right ski school for you or your children. Class sizes are small, just 4 skiers or snowboarders in Whistler rising to 8 or 10 elsewhere. Most of the instructors have English as their first language which can be important and they are really well trained in safety, teaching and are of course chosen for their ability on snow.
6. The accommodation
The range of accommodation in Canada includes Relais & Chateaux properties, Four Seasons hotels and the iconic Fairmont Hotels, such as the Fairmont Banff Springs. There are fabulous, unique lodges – perfect for skiers – condos for families or larger parties as well as great hotels to fit every budget. There is literally everything from a studio apartment to a 6-bedroom house, many of which are easily accessible to the ski hills. What they all have in common is space, modern decor and a vast range of amenities.
Last but not least, Canada is very good value. Generally, the earlier you book, the better value your holiday will be, with many resorts and hotels offering booking discounts if you book early, with the best being available until August 31. Those with children can get exceptionally good value, as by taking advantage of all the early booking offers, the under-12s can stay for free, ski for free and rent for free at some resorts.