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08 April 2017

Top 5 Exotic Ski Resorts

If you're looking for an adventure and to book that holiday of a lifetime to a far-flung ski resort then look no further than the Ski Club's top exotic destinations for the upcoming winter season.

Although some of these may sound like a hassle to get to, all five of the following resorts are within easy reach of international airports and transfers will cost you a fraction of what they would in the Alps. This theme of excellent value continues through to accommodation, food and lift passes – making these trips more than attainable, even on relatively tight budgets.

Gudauri (Georgia)

The Caucasus Mountains have some serious terrain and Gudauri in Georgia is one of the first major resorts to make the most of it! Boasting an impressive 1300m of vertical and 57km of pistes, Gudauri is a great adventurous option for a ski holiday that is slightly outside of the box. Some of the off piste is truly world class and the lack of crowds mean it can stay untracked for days – not bad for a £10/day lift pass... There is a surprisingly good range of accommodation available, starting at around £30 and a private transfer from Tbilisi (recommended) is only £80 return, so Gudauri offers great value too.

Gudauri, Georgia

Mt Erciyes (Turkey)

Mt Erciyes is definitely a resort going places. Loads of new fast lifts and hotels have been built in recent years and a read through the Erciyes Master Plan tells you that they are not yet finished. For the 2016/17 season expect to be able to use 18 lifts and 59km of pistes covering almost 1,000m of vertical, all on the giant Mt Erciyes volcano that soars to almost 4,000m. Luxury and budget options are available when it comes to accommodation, but of course expect to pay far less than you would over in Europe – and you get the bonus of fantastic Turkish food.

Mt Erciyes, Turkey

Mt Parnassos (Greece)

The largest resort in one of the most mountainous countries in Europe, Mt Parnassos has spent a huge amount of money improving their infrastructure in the last couple of years. As a result there are now two gondolas, three combination lifts (6-seat chairs & 8-seat cabins) and a high-speed quad – by far the best lift system in Greece. Although the snow is not as reliable as in the Alps, as sadly the Ski Club TV Team found out this winter, during a good winter the snow can last well into April. There is also the added bonus of a short transfer to Athens, cheap prices, stunning scenery and authentic Greek cuisine.

Mt Parnassos, Greece

Shahdag (Azerbaijan)

The resort of Shahdag is mid-way through one of the most ambitious projects in the world of snowsports. It is Azerbaijan’s first ski resort and currently has 12 brand new lifts, with a further 10 in the pipeline – making the ski area more than big enough for a week of exploring. Luxury hotels, all excellent value in comparison to the Alps, have sprung up in the resort, including the 5* Shahdag Hotel & Spa where a week for two people starts at a bargain price of £500. The transfer from the Black Sea city of Baku takes only three hours so it might sound remote but Shahdag is within easy reach of the UK.

Shahdag, Azerbaijan

YongPyong (South Korea)

South Korea’s biggest resort and host to some of the Alpine events at Pyeongchang 2018, YongPyong is well worth the long flight for anyone with a sense of adventure. It has already hosted regular World Cup events, underlying the quality of the snow and the slopes at the ski area, which total 28 and range from green to black. There are several smaller areas to explore nearby, including the host site for the Olympic Downhill at Jeongseon and the freestyle-specific resort of Bokwang. Now is a great time to visit and feel the pre-Olympic buzz, whilst experiencing a completely different skiing culture.

YongPyong, South Korea

If you're not a member already, join the Ski Club now for full resort guide information, access to Ski Club Leaders and Freshtracks holidays, as well as an extensive range of discounts from our partners.

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