Search for holiday rentals Search for holiday ideas
Nicola Iseard is a freelance travel writer for the Observer and Guardian.
It may seem superficial to begin a ski resort guide by talking about the scenery (a bit like beginning a car review by talking about the colour), but there is no denying that when it comes to jaw-dropping, stop-and-take-a-photo-on-every-run vistas, Switzerland takes the biscuit. Watching the sun set on Zermatt's majestic Matterhorn is something that everyone should experience before they die; as is seeing Wengen's trio of peaks (Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau) dusted in fresh snow on a bluebird day. Best of all, many resorts are accessed via railway, so you can start enjoying the scenery before you even get there.
In 2012, almost 900,000 Brits packed up their thermals and thick socks to travel abroad and go skiing or snowboarding; and around a third of those people chose to go to France. That's more than for any other country. It's easy to see why so many of us are attracted to French slopes, for when it comes to clocking up mileage, the country has the biggest lift and piste networks in the world, with Les Trois Vallées taking the top spot, with over 370 miles of linked slopes; you could ski first lift to last lift all week and not cover the same run twice. Most of these areas are also at high altitude, meaning that you can expect good snow cover even if the snow gods don't play ball during your trip. By Nicola Iseard