Our favourite ski runs in the world

Categories Our Top Tips

Every resort has that one must-ski run, from the Olympic classics to the scenic stonkers. These are our favourites.

Ventina – Cervinia, Italy

Difficulty: Blue + Red
Area: 11km

A joyous final-day epic for first-week beginners and an old sparring partner for multi-season experts alike, Ventina unites all lovers of long slopes in lovely surroundings. Setting off from the top of the Testa Griglia cable car at 3,480m, you get the drama of a long descent without the headache of steep sections of piste. Red number 7 drops 1,430m down to Cervinia, giving a real sense of achievement. At the end of the season there used to be a 1,000-person, 100-gate slalom race all the way down – with the winners taking under five minutes.

Kandahar – Sestriere, Italy

Difficulty: Black + Red
Area: 2.5km

Sestriere’s duo of Kandahar runs bring out that race thrill in the everyday skier, in a resort steeped in ski-racing history as far back as the Arlberg-Kandahar race between Austrian and British ski clubs in 1952. Feeling like an Olympian? A steep drop into the 2006 Olympic slalom course hits you with overwhelming exhilaration and billowing wind rush – this is a run for experts or the most confident of intermediates in good conditions. The long run offers moments of respite before issuing a final challenge with a steep and technical finish.

L’Aiguille Rouge – Les Arcs, France

Difficulty: Black + Red
Area: 5km

An incredible descent from the windswept heights of the 3,226m Aiguille Rouge to the gentle wooded pistes below – confident intermediates can pretty much ski from the summit to the valley bottom. If you don’t fancy tackling the red or black runs from the very top of Les Arcs, the Aiguille Rouge mountain gives you plenty of variety in difficulty. The viewing point also merits a team photo, and for another worthy photo opportunity, the run finishes in the rustic village of Villaroger.

Harakiri – Mayrhofen, Austria

Difficulty: Black
Area: 10km

Named after an ancient samurai practice, Mayrhofen’s Harakiri will induce stomach-dropping moments and test your resolve. There is honour in tackling Austria’s steepest piste – you’re a samurai; your blades are on your feet. Pitching you into an immediate descent of 375m at a 78% incline, this is a white-knuckle ride. The resort only worked out how to properly piste the run 15 years ago by using groomers on winches. The categorisation and legend shouldn’t put off confident intermediates. It’s not long but there’s plenty of run-out at the bottom to counter the vertical drop.

Olympia Run – Igls, Austria

Difficulty: Black + Red
Area: 5km

The Olympia Run stands alone in ski history. Only one run in the world has hosted downhill skiing at three separate Winter Olympics. Following its debut at the Innsbruck winter games in 1964, it featured again in 1976 and most recently in 2012 for the Youth Winter Olympics. Sitting on Igls’ Patscherkofel peak, while the run is challenging, confident intermediates can still enjoy its 1,350m descent of tricks and treats. It’s lumpy and bumpy and bags of fun, but the real draw is the dramatic views of Innsbruck, which nestles at the foot of the mountains.

The Front Side Area – Lake Louise, Canada

Difficulty: Blue
Area: 1,200 acres

Bathed in south-facing sunshine, a run down the rolling Front Side piste is a marvel. Lake Louise’s array of monuments lie waiting to be blinked and gasped at, clicked and grinned at – the Victoria Glacier, frozen Lake Louise, the grand Fairmont Chateau hotel and the sea of peaks blanketing the horizon. Cameras safely stowed, beginners or those there for the scenic life can then head down Sunset Terrace for a succession of well-groomed blues back to the base lodge.

Head online to book your trip and ski one of these well-known favourites or discover your own ultimate ski run.

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