Now that skiing in Europe is more expensive thanks to the increasing strength of the Euro, Canada is attracting larger numbers of skiers from all over the world, as well as locals.

Cypress Mountain and Grouse Mountain are great for beginners. Only a 30-minute drive from downtown Vancouver, you can learn to ski or board in the morning and go sailing in English Bay in the afternoon. There are relatively few runs, but both resorts are set up for schools and beginners.

Lift passes at Grouse Mountain are $55 for adults and $25 for children.

See and do:
Often rated as offering the best quality of life of any city in the world, Vancouver is your oyster and what a pearl it is with culture, shopping and beautiful parks.


And if you tire of the city, why not head off for the bigger kickers of Whistler. You can mountain bike on the North shore or stop for fishing in Squamish on the way.

Whistler Blackcomb resort is quite possibly the best there is. The natural setting is spectacular and the two mountains are connected by a pedestrian village, so moving between the two is easy.

With 8,100 acres of skiing terrain, 12 alpine bowls and more than 200 trails, you’ll run out of holiday before you run out of runs. Then there are the bars, the nightlife and the food. What's not to like?

A five-day pass costs from $336 and $172 for kids.

See and do
Whistler is really becoming Canada’s Aspen, with great alternatives to skiing. Dog sledding, cross country skiing, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, snowcat tours, fishing, spa treatments, and great buffalo wings and nachos at Merlins.

You may not have heard of it, but Kicking Horse mountain resort is just three hours from Calgary and has one of the highest vertical ski drops (1,260m) in North America.

Known for its consistent light and dry snow, it is North America’s best resort for skiing champagne powder and is a truly great place for back country and heli skiing. Access is exceptional, whether by hiking or helicopter, and there are 106 ski trails and five lifts.

A full day’s pass is $73 and $35 for kids.

See and do:
If you're here and you have the cash, then heli-skiing is a must-do. But it’s pricey.

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