Skiing originated in Sweden and Norway, and its roots can be traced all the way back to 5,000BC! Early cave drawings detail primitive images of skiers with one pole, and the first ever ski was discovered in a peat bog in Hoting. The ski was carbon tested by scientists, revealing its creation was around 1010BC. The term ‘ski’ is only one of many words Norway and Sweden exported to the world, and it comes from the world ‘skio’ meaning a split piece of wood. The world’s first recreational ski resort was built in Kiandra, Australia, and from there many different types of skiing emerged, such as Alpine, Nordic and freestyle.

Today, thanks to the continued popularity of skiing, there are thousands of resorts all over the world that help beginners to learn, and professionals to flourish. But just what makes a typical ski town? Obviously it has to be naturally beautiful, and most crucially it needs a towering, inviting mountain smothered in snow, heritage and culture. However there are many skiing holiday hot (or cold!) spots that contain so much more than your standard ski slope. Take a look at our top places to ski from all over the world, and compare airfares at the cheapflights.com.au page on Tiger Airways for the best online deals!

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Aspen, Colorado

This town is very popular with celebrity stalkers and well-heeled scenesters that love high quality skiing. For over 30 years, Aspen has been the ski town all North American winter resorts compare themselves to, and it remains one of the only places in the world that sticks to its classic roots while also installing a modern feel. Apart from being riddled with coffeehouses, boutiques and galleries, it’s also an excellent place to dine, with the town housing a variety of Michelin Star restaurants and five star hotels.

With four separate ski and snowboard areas, the activities in Aspen aren’t bad either. All slopes cater for skiers of varied abilities, however Aspen is famous for being a professional’s playground. This means no green runs, and it’s also home to Canada’s steepest mountains. All four slopes are easily reached by accessible ski lifts, but if you’re even in need of assistance, why not ask a local – let’s say, Christy Mahon? Mahon is certainly a celebrity in the town of Aspen, as she is the first ever women to ski down all of Colorado’s peaks – each 14,000 feet! She’s also the Aspen Centre for Environmental Studies Development Director, and she recommends the Hotel Jerome if you’re looking for a luxurious stay.

Niseko, Japan

If you’re looking for hot springs, sushi and powder worshipers, then Niseko is the place for you. Neighbouring Siberia’s weather climate – near-constant storm cycles – provides the mountains on the island of Hokkaido with some of the most consistent and lightest snow powder in the world. The ski town consists of four independently owned resorts that circle the 4,291 foot Mount Niseko Annupuri, and Niseko receives an eye-watering 590 inches of snow every year!

Night skiing is the most popular activity in the Niseko mountains, and huge stadium lights illuminate the 2,560 foot vertical ski slope. The forests of Niseko are also a great tourist attraction, however as the slope is subject to daily wind storms, it’s best not to venture to far into the woods.