It’s not just the breath-taking scenery that makes the world’s most enticing mountain towns so appealing; from chilled Champagne and steaming mugs of mulled wine, to piping hot Swiss fondue and hearty Italian risotto, these resort towns shine just as brightly after you’ve come in from the great outdoors. To help you choose the right winter escape, we look at which mountain towns are worth visiting for the food alone.
Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy
Fusing spectacular mountain scenery with Italian culture, it’s no wonder Cortina d’Ampezzo has such timeless appeal. Tucked between the snowy peaks of northern Italy’s Dolomites, the sophisticated mountain town affords visitors the chance to try northern Italian risottos and polenta washed down with the local Soave, as the town’s lights sparkle long into the night.
St. Moritz, Switzerland
Lying amidst snow-blanketed slopes, Switzerland’s picturesque mountain towns have long drawn visitors from across the world. St Moritz is the winter retreat of choice for many of the jet set, with its abundance of lively restaurants and bars serving classic Alpine dishes like fondue and raclette and some specialities from the surrounding Engadin valley.
Located just across the border from Italy, Zermatt is another of Switzerland’s most celebrated mountain resort towns, in part due to its proximity to iconic peak, The Matterhorn. The local cooking takes influences from Italy, although at heart it is solid mountain fare, such as röstis, but with three Michelin-starred restaurants it is also the place to go for real foodies.
The Canadian resort town of Banff is without doubt one of the world’s most famous places to go for winter sports, and as such the cooking matches the appetite, big portions of filling winter fare – large steaks, locally-shot game and richly warming fondues. For those after something a little more upscale, Banff does have a gourmet scene where modern Canadian cooking is paired with some of the region’s best wines.
Just like Banff, Whistler has become famous across the globe for its spectacular mountain vistas and with them come tables with a view. Standout mountain-side bars and restaurants serve rustic Canadian cooking washed down with craft beers, while in the resort the food is spectacular, with fish flown in daily, the largest wine cellar east of Montreal and après-ski oysters.
Queenstown, New Zealand
Queenstown might not be the first mountain town that comes to mind, but it does have a restaurant and bar scene to rival Europe and North America’s winter resorts. After a day of exploration, visitors can soak in the town’s outdoor onsen (hot springs), dine on New Zealand’s rich natural larder with a view over tranquil Lake Wakatipu, and hop between the many lively bars.
Travel to each of these mountain settings for a winter escape on a trip with Trafalgar.
Image credits: Cover photo of fondue © iStock / donstock. Cortina © iStock / Hoamatgfui. Flame-cooked Mountain Fare © iStock / Viktor Cap. Zermatt © iStock / alice-photo. Banff © iStock / bgsmith. Whistler © iStock / stockstudiox. Queenstown © iStock / Rawpixel.