Don’t Ski? These are the best ski resorts in the world for non-skiers

As we are right in the middle of the Ski season (now until April), the non-skiers among us continue to see Instagram stories of snowy chalets and posts of our friends whizzing down the slopes, all while we sit on the sofa awaiting their arrival home - right? Wrong! 2024 is the year when we, who are more likely to faceplant than freeride, hit the snow zone.

Noelle Alejandra Salmi from Matador Network says “the reality is the mountains are beautiful, and you don’t need to be a skier to appreciate the snow-covered peaks, the forests, and the crisp alpine air”.
So, for those who have always wanted to experience the “après”, but shy away from the thought of “ski”, there are plenty of things for non-skiers to do while others hit the slopes. The list is endless, from renting a snowmobile to melting your stress away in a spa - rather than freezing in the snow.

As the leaders in luxury ski travel for over 65 years, we’ve created an index based on the best ski resorts in the world for non-skiers so that everyone can get the most out of their ski holidays. We analysed a number of different activities for non-skiers, including hiking trails, local events and tours so that skiing holidays can be for everyone!

The top 10 Europe ski resorts for non-skiers

With 14 ski resorts in The Alps, Europe is what we know best! Enjoy the best of The Alps with a variety of holidays to choose from with your friends and family. In particular, our all-inclusive ski holidays to The Alps have it all, you don’t have to worry about anything - just relax and take in the picturesque views and enjoy your ski holiday.

We’ve revealed Europe's best ski holidays for non-skiers and Chamonix in France came out on top, standing out in particular with the highest number of things to do, spas, events and extreme tours and activities! Livigno in Italy scored 44 out of 100, Zermatt in Switzerland scored 42 out of 100, Morzine in France scored 35 out of 100 and Pinzolo in Italy scored 34 out of 100, these all follow behind Chamonix in France, making the top five.

Ortisei, Italy - The sixth best European ski resort for non-skiers

Ortisei in Italy takes the sixth spot on the index with a score of 23 out of 100. Ortisei has the highest number of cafes, restaurants and pubs on the European index, making this the perfect choice for any foodie in search of some famously delicious Italian cuisine. If shopping is more your thing, you’ll also find 7 shopping centres in Ortisei, with endless shops waiting for you to sift through!

St Mortiz, Switzerland - The seventh best European ski resort for non-skiers

St Mortiz in Switzerland is the seventh best European ski resort for non-skiers! St Mortiz has an impressive total of 62 things to do, such as places to explore and activities, as well as 14 events on offer, including nightlife experiences and air tours, so it is safe to say that St Mortiz has plenty to ensure you make the most of your stay.
Why not treat yourself to a holiday to St Moritz? Nestled at the foot of the Swiss Alps, the Club Med Saint-Moritz Roi Soleil is situated in the Engadine Valley, the perfect location to experience all that the glamorous St Moritz resort has to offer. Not only has St Moritz hosted both the Winter Olympics and Ski World Championships multiple times, it’s also the host of plenty of non-ski related activities - and let’s face it, what can beat a cosy dinner of Swiss fondue? Find your perfect holiday today from £1,331.

St. Anton am Arlberg, Austria - The eighth-best European ski resort for non-skiers

St. Anton am Arlberg in Austria ranks as the eighth best ski resort for non-skiers in Europe. With 43 things to do for non-skiers, such as places to explore and activities near the resort, this is the perfect destination for those looking for adventure.

L'Alpe d'Huez, France - The ninth-best European ski resort for non-skiers

L'Alpe d'Huez in France is the ninth-best European ski holiday destination for non-skiers and we can definitely see why! Here, you’ll find 5 different spa facilities to choose from, perfect for those in search of tranquillity and relaxation on their ski holiday.
From £1,936, travellers can explore the wide variety of the Savoie ski area and the incredible ski and non-ski activities it has to offer. With breathtaking views, stunning apres ski, and the opportunity to relax at the blissful PAYOT spa- a Club Med holiday to Alpe d'Huez has it all!

Saalbach-Hinterglemm, Austria - Rounds off the top ten best European ski resorts for non-skiers

Rounding off the top ten is Saalbach-Hinterglemm in Austria, if this is the place for you, remember to pack your walking boots, as this location made it into the top ten thanks to its six hiking trails waiting to be explored, the perfect way to fully embrace the alpine air and views!

The best world-wide ski resorts for non-skiers

Queenstown, New Zealand

(Takes the top spot for the best ski resort for non-skiers)

Taking the top spot with an impressive score of 91 out of 100, Queenstown, New Zealand has a lot to offer non-skiers. With 31 spas, this is the perfect place to kick back and relax, and when you’re done making a splash in the hot tub, splash some cash at one of the 51 shopping centres Queenstown offers! For those who want to explore all the city has to offer, Queenstown has 141 local events from nature and wildlife tours to horseback riding, and even a tour of the Lord of the Rings filming locations! With a huge variety of offerings, Queenstown makes the perfect winter getaway.

Breckenridge, Colorado

(The second-best ski resort for non-skiers)

The second-best ski resort for non-skiers is Breckenridge, Colorado, with a score of 79 out of 100. Here you’ll find an incredible 239 things to do, and waiting glumly in the hotel for your skier friends to finish isn't one of them! Breckenridge is the place for those who think of Italian food and not ski positions when they hear “pizza slice”, with 13 cafes, restaurants and pubs on offer. If you’re looking for a way to keep active during your trip, wrap up warm and explore one of the 14

Jackson, Wyoming

(Rounds of the top three ski resorts for non-skiers, with the most shopping centers)

Jackson, Wyoming ranked as the third-best ski resort for non-skiers, with a score of 71 out of 100. If you prefer to shop than ski, Jackson is the perfect place with 62 shopping centres - the most out of all cities analysed! Jackon is also joint with Queenstown as the location with the most events, with 141 different options, from horseback riding to water activities, there will certainly be something perfect for you.

Whistler, British Columbia

(Ranks as the fourth best ski resort for non-skiers)

Coming in fourth place of the best ski resorts for non-skiers is Whistler in British Columbia. Whistler follows closely behind Jackson with a score of 70 out of 100. This is thanks to its incredible variety of 23 different spa facilities for those hoping to relax and unwind on their ski trip. Whistler also has lots to offer those in search of adventure too, including 15 extreme tours and activities, such as zip lining and paragliding in the snow, ideal for those ready to step out of their comfort zone.

Park City, Utah

(The most spa facilities)

Only 22 points less than the top spot, Park City, Utah, rounds off the top five best ski resorts for non-skiers with a score of 69 out of 100. Park City has an impressive 32 spa facilities on offer, the most spas of all resorts analysed! Park City also offers 276 things to do, such as places to explore and activities, so you are guaranteed an action-packed ski holiday in Park City if you don’t ski.

The best ski resorts in the world for hiking

Hiking on ski holidays is the perfect compromise for those who don't know how to ski, yet still are wanting to get out into the alpine air and feel the crunch of the snow under their boots. Hiking is great for promoting a healthy body and mind, you’ll be able to get your steps in amid the scenic views! With this in mind, we have found the top ski resorts in the world with the most hiking trails to explore.

Aspen, Colorado

(the perfect place for a hike in the snow)

Aspen takes the top spot, with 27 hiking trails all definitely worth the effort. Featuring photogenic lakes and rocky mountains, this is the perfect place to trade in your skis for hiking boots. Crater Lake is great for those looking for a less intense hike, and there are plenty of options for those looking for something slightly more physically challenging.

Livigno, Italy

(the second-best ski resort for hiking)

Surround yourself with nature on one of the 22 hiking trails in the second-best hiking location for ski holiday goers, Livigno. Be sure to visit the Livigno Pass, a 7,595 ft mountain pass in the Alps, it’s one of the highest paved roads in Europe!

Banff, Canada

(the third best ski resort with the best hiking trails)

Banff is home to over 994 miles of hiking trails landing it the third spot on the index with 14 trails to explore. From turquoise-blue lakes, and a panoramic sea of peaks, Banff in Canada is breathtakingly beautiful and the perfect place to enjoy a long hike on your travels.
Breckenridge takes fourth place with 14 hiking trails followed by Queenstown with 13, Whistler with 9 and Vail comes in seventh with 9 trails to explore.

The top ski resorts with the most extreme tours and activities

If you don't want to get your skis on and hit the slopes, but still are in search of something adventurous on your ski holiday, why not plan your stay at one of these ski resorts that offer not only skiing, but a range of extreme tours and activities? The fun doesn't have to begin and end with the slopes, these extreme tours and activities include snowmobile tours, adventure parks, ziplines, paragliding in the snow and much more.

Queenstown came out on top with the most extreme tours and activities of all resorts analysed- a grand total of 45. Queenstown is known for being the perfect spot for jet rafting, so definitely give that a go during your visit!
Jackon followed closely behind with 38 extreme tours and activities, landing the second spot and Banff rounds off the top three with 17 extreme tours and activities for adrenaline seekers!
Three European destinations rank in the top ten.
Chamonix in France ranking in sixth, with 13 extreme tours/activities, where you can channel your inner dare-devil and parasail and paraglide over the Mont-Blanc range.
Morzine in France followed Charmoinx in seventh place with 10 extreme tours/activities, with the opportunity to explore some unusual places during caving, canyoning, and mountain excursions!
Zermatt in Switzerland ranked ninth with six extreme tours/activities, renowned for climbing, this is a must-do during your stay!

The best ski resorts for food and drinks

Whether you're skiing, hiking or sledging, you’re going to be working up an appetite having fun during these activities, so, of course that is where food and drink comes in, not to mention warming you up! With this in mind, it's great that ski resorts offer a range of food and drink spots to choose from.

San Carlos de Bariloche came out on top with a total of 417 restaurants, cafes and bakeries, bars and pubs and more! San Carlos de Bariloche has 338 restaurants to choose from, making it the perfect ski destination for any foodie.

Morzine ranks second with 290 restaurants to choose from, their local speciality fondue is a must-try, the perfect dish for warming up after a day in the frosty air!

Chamonix follows in third with a total of 281 foodie spots, and 10 pubs and bars to relax and enjoy a drink after a day of action.

The fourth best ski resort for food and drinks is Queenstown, offering an impressive 59 bakeries, cafes and places to grab a quick bite, perfect for a pre-adventure caffeine boost!

Pinzolo rounds off the top five best ski resorts in the world for food and drinks, with 249 spots to choose from. It is no surprise that three of these top five are European ski resorts, famous for their incredible cuisine!

Other European ski resorts rank in the top 10 too, as the best ski resorts in the world for food and drinks.

Zermatt in Switzerland ranked in eighth place, with an impressive 182 restaurants to choose from, as well as six bars and pubs where you can indulge in a classic hot toddy.

St.Moritz , also in Switzerland ,is another European destination that made the top 10, in ninth place. St. Moritz offers 188 food and drink locations in total, 175 being restaurants, 6 cafes and bakeries and 3 pubs and bars.

Whistler rounds off the top 10 with 139 restaurants to choose from.

The top 10 activities for non-skiers

Snow tubing

If you fancy something fun while on your ski holiday, snow tubing is a perfect choice to have fun in the snow. To go snow tubing, all you need is an air-filled inner tube to sit in while you slide down a snowy hill - the higher up you are the faster you go!

Spa

Spa facilities at a ski resort are great for unwinding after a tiring day of activities, but it also is great to take full advantage of the facilities at your disposal and make a day of it! Stay in and away from the freezing outdoor temperatures and get toasty in the sauna, or treat yourself to a treatment and leave feeling balanced and nourished.

Hikes

Do you love getting your steps in and seeing beautiful scenery? Then don't skip out on hiking on your ski holiday. Hiking is one of the best forms of exercising there is, combined with the tranquillity and beauty of nature surrounding you on a ski holiday, it truly makes for an unmatched experience.

Snowmobile

If you're in search of an adrenaline-pumping activity then snowmobiling on your ski holiday is the way to go! Getting out into the snow, gliding over the surface surrounded by snowy landscapes and unique wildlife, you’re in for an unforgettable experience.

Ice skating

If you’re travelling with children, ice skating is a great family-friendly activity to get everyone out together. Whether you’re a beginner or an expert on the ice you’ll enjoy gliding around the many indoor and outdoor ice rinks available!

Wildlife tours

If you want to learn more about the heritage of your holiday destination, a wildlife tour is a wholesome way to get to know the local wildlife in their natural winter habitat and hear all about their survival adaptations.

Snowshoeing

Snowshoeing is a great ski holiday exercise and makes the perfect alternative to the more traditional skiing or snowboarding, not to mention it is far easier to get the hang of. Snowshoeing is essentially an adaptation of hiking, where you walk over snow with the assistance of snowshoes!

Ziplines

If you’re after a thrilling activity (and aren't afraid of heights), why not try ziplining? Soar over the breathtaking scenery with an unobstructed view while the refreshingly chilly breeze blows past you!

Nightlife

Partying and skiing go hand in hand, what is a ski trip without apres-ski after all? Let your hair down on your getaway by enjoying the booming music and alcoholic beverage the bars have to offer!

Shopping

The perfect time to treat yourself is when on holiday, especially when you have hundreds of stores with unique designs at your disposal that your local stores at home may not stock! If you’re looking for a chilled-out daytime activity, shopping is a great opportunity to treat yourself and catch up with friends and family who join you.

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Fancy taking on your own adventure?

We hope that we may have swayed any uncertain non-skiers to join your friends and family on their ski travels this year, and opened your eyes to the array of alternative activities that you can participate in! Whether you're going with family or friends there's always loads to do on a ski holiday- even if you don't ski!

Methodology

To find out the best ski resorts in the world for non-skiers, Club Med collected data on the top 20 most visited ski resorts in the world according to TripAdvisor. Tripadvisor was then scraped on 7 data points to find a total index score per ski resort.
We collected data on each ski resort by these 7 metrics;

  • Things to do (total of places to explore/activities)
  • Number of Spas
  • Number of Shopping Centers
  • Number of Hiking Trails
  • Number of Cafes, Restaurants and pubs
  • Number of local events
  • Number of extreme tours/activities
    This is then wrapped with a final average score of each metric to determine the best ski resorts in the world for non-skiers.