Off Piste skiing Holidays

World Snow, Glacier and Resort Index

We have now compiled a table with a complete list of countries where skiing is theoretically possible and practically achievable...

The tables below list countries with

1. Countries with permanent glaciers - skiing is theoretically possible all year round. 23% of the worlds countries.

2. Countries with Reliable Snow cover every year (in either winter or the wet season) - at least some skiing, somewhere, should be possible every year in the right season.

3. Countries with occasional snow cover - skiing will only be possible on rare occasions.

Categories 2 and 3 combined include 27% of the worlds countries.

4. Countries with no known snow cover - countries in which outdoor skiing unlikely to ever be possible. 50% of the worlds countries. Some of these now have artificial indoor facilities though.

5. Countries with well developed ski resorts  These countries have medium or large resorts with multiple uplift and reasonably reliable snow. Note these aren't all enormous resorts, 3 or 4 lifts giving access to 10 runs or so is enough to count.

6. Countries with primitive ski fields. Countries with only small single tow ski-fields or seriously unreliable snow.


1. Hailstorms are possible in most countries, even low-lying tropical countries, but in the tropics the hail melts fast..... The occasional snow cover category only includes countries where snowfall that occurs (however rarely) is at least reasonably likely to remain on the ground for 24 hours.

2. Countries, such as the UAE, with only artificial snow slopes are not included on these lists.

3. Where there is some uncertainty, countries have been allocated into the most likely category but their names appear in Pink. These countries have been included in the adjacent totals. Any information on snow and/or glacier cover in these countries would be gratefully received.

4. Only independent, UN, countries are listed and accounted for at the moment. Territories, overseas possessions, etc., are not included.


Countries with Glaciers

Africa Congo DR, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda. 4
Asia Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Bhutan, China, Georgia, India, Indonesia, Iran,  Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Uzbekistan.

Armenia (reported to have small glaciers)

 Europe Austria, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy,  Norway, Russia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland

Albania, Bulgaria, Montenegro,  (reported to have small glaciers)

North America Canada, Mexico, USA 3
Oceania New Zealand 1
South America Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Venezuela 7
TOTAL   46

Countries with reliable snow

Africa Algeria, Lesotho, South Africa

Morocco (might have small glaciers)

Egypt, Ethiopia (cover believed to be reliable, but might class as occasional)

Asia Israel, Iraq,  Lebanon, North Korea, Syria, South Korea, Taiwan, Turkmenistan.

Japan, (Technically Japan has glaciers, but as these are buried by rocks the country is included here).

Europe Andorra, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia,  Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Kosovo, Latvia,  Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg,  Macedonia, Moldova,  Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Serbia, UK, Ukraine.

Poland, Slovakia (may have very small glaciers)

North America Guatemala (cover believed to be reliable, but might class as occasional) 1
Oceania Australia

Papua (cover believed to be reliable, but might class as occasional)

South America Brazil (cover believed to be reliable, but might class as occasional) 1

Countries with occasional snow

Africa Cameroon, Rwanda, Tunisia. Also see countries noted above and below 3
Asia Jordan, Saudi Arabia,  (cover might class as reliable) 2
 Europe Malta, Monaco, Vatican. 3
North America no candidates 0
Oceania no candidates 0
South America Uruguay (snow recorded 2007) 1

Countries with no snow

Africa Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina, Burundi, Cape Verde, Central Africa, Congo, Comoros,  Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Libya, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Sao Tome, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Swaziland, Togo, Zambia.

plus .... Madagascar, Chad, Zimbabwe (which might have occasional snow)

Asia Bahrain, Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, East Timor, Kuwait, Laos, Maldives, Oman, Philippines, Qatar, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Timor Leste, UAE.

plus....  Malaysia, Vietnam, Yemen (which might all have occasional snow)

 Europe Malta might fall into this category - but it has been provisionally placed above. 0
North America Antigua, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Panama, St Kitts, St Lucia, St Vincent, Trinidad.

plus....Costa Rica (an outside bet for occasional snow)

Oceania Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu. 11
South America Guyana, Paraguay, Surinam. 3

Countries with Ski Resorts

Africa Morocco. 1
Asia Armenia, China, Georgia, India, Iran, Japan, Kazakhstan, Lebanon, North Korea, Pakistan, South Korea, Turkey. 12
 Europe Austria, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Kosovo, Liechtenstein, Macedonia, Montenegro, Norway, Poland, Romania, Russia, Scotland, Serbia,  Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine. 27
North America Canada, USA. 2
Oceania Australia, New Zealand. 2
South America Argentina, Chile. 2

Countries with ski-fields

Africa South Africa. 1
Asia Mongolia,   Uzbekistan (may have a larger resort)

Israel, Kyrgyzstan,  Nepal, Tajikistan.  (may not have anything)

Europe Belgium, England, Estonia, Latvia, Portugal.

Iceland. (may not have anything)

North America no candidates 0
Oceania no candidates 0
South America Colombia, Peru. 2
TOTAL   16

See our  Worldwide Ski Resorts page for further information on resorts in quite a few of these countries.

See Snoweye for pictures of many of these resorts.