Although many parts of Europe have been experiencing a lack of snow this year, the ski season is ramping up. For those wishing to save on costs by avoiding the most popular resorts, or hoping to escape the crowds of tourists, we bring you our top 5 of the best lesser-known ski destinations in Europe and North America!1. Andermatt, Switzerland
Andermatt is located within a short distance from many of the most famous resorts in Switzerland, but has somehow managed to keep its prices low and remains free from tourist crowds. The two main ski areas, Nätschen and Gemsstock, can both be accessed from the village using ski lifts, and the powdery slopes remain untracked for multiple days. Particularly experienced skiers are sure to enjoy the off-piste and deep snow skiing opportunities.
Open until: Late April 2016
Drive: Less than an hour via the A2 from Lucerne.
Sharing the Espace Killy ski area with the more famous Val d'Isere, Val Claret is a dream destination for skiers of all skill levels. Not only is the resort a very safe bet for snow, but also offers over 180 miles of runs with more than 90 ski lifts. Val Claret, the village located the highest in Tignes, also caters well to those looking for a great après-ski experience with a wide variety of establishments. Easy access to pistes is offered by the Funicular, which takes you to the Grande Motte glacier, the Tichot lift going to the Tignes side of the mountain, and the Tufs lift to Val d'Isere.
Open until: Early May 2016
Drive: Two hours via the N90 from Annecy or Chambery. From Lyon the drive takes three hours via the A43.
Bulgaria may not be the first place you think of when it comes to top-notch skiing, but it should be! Bansko has recently seen a huge increase in investment in its facilities, and you can definitely see how the resort is being transformed into a truly first-class destination. Equally important, the prices for lessons as well as food and drinks are remarkably cheaper than other major resorts. Bansko is especially well suited for beginners and intermediate skiers, and the après-ski scene in the town is fantastic, too.
Open until: Mid-May 2016
Drive: Two hours from Sofia via the A3 and Route 19.
For a great ski resort on the East Coast of the United States, head to Gore Mountain in New York. The resort is run by the state, but has amenities fitting every winter sports enthusiast. At Gore, you can enjoy 109 trails with 15 ski lifts, as well as a great eight-passenger gondola and luxury quads. There are also restaurants aplenty as well as a host of different activities to keep you busy.
Open until: Mid-April 2016
Drive: An hour and a half from Albany via the I-87 N, or two and a half hours from Syracuse via the NY-8 N.
At Mont-Tremblant, you can experience the atmosphere of a serene mountain village. The resort is located on the Laurentian mountains in Canada, and offers 96 fantastic trails, with the longest one being an awesome 3.7 miles. Three snow parks allow freestylers to hone their craft, and the trails designed especially for children make for great family fun. The lovely village offers dining and lodgings to suit all tastes and budgets.
Open until: Early April 2016
Drive: From Montreal, follow Route Transcanadienne/Autoroute 15 N, and you should reach Mont-Tremblant in an hour and a half.