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Winter is an ideal time to plot an escape. Long hours at the office, crowded holidays with family and other seasonal stresses have the average person clamoring for that much-needed release. Skiing fans will inevitably turn their heads toward the slopes, which is why so many choose to purchase their second homes in geographic locations that lend themselves to the beloved winter sport. Destinations for luxury ski properties in the Americas and Western Europe boast snow-capped mountains and pristine slopes. The rugged terrain of these regions provide unforgettable rides for thrill seekers from across the globe. Christie’s International Real Estate offers homes in a variety of locations, providing home buyers with the ingredients to create their own winter wonderlands.

Patagonia, Argentina is home to some of the sport’s most sought after slopes, thanks to the Chapelco Ski Centre. Also home to the Chapelco Golf & Resort, the first Jack Nicklaus created golf course in Latin America, Patagonia is a versatile location. The typical home here takes on the shape of the land, with free-flowing designs often incorporating Patagonian materials for a natural, yet modern look. The breathtaking views of the Chapelco Mountain Massif alone are enough to keep adventurers coming back time after time.

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For those who’ve left their hearts in Northern California, a second home in sunny Lake Tahoe means they never have to abandon it again. The nearby High Sierra Mountains offer unparalleled views and powdery slopes for avid skiers. These picturesque sights are best enjoyed from spacious decks, a feature seen of many stylish lakefront homes. Expect to get the full treatment within these spacious properties, which commonly include access to boat docks, stone saunas and other features that make them appealing year-round.

Across the ocean in Western Europe there are numerous options for ski enthusiasts. Between the Swiss Alps and the Salzburg Mountains, there are an impressive amount of skiable slopes. In these regions you’re more likely to find oversized lodge-style homes and chalets – the ones that offer residents lavish and relaxing atmospheres that stomp out the bad rap that cold weather so often attracts. Characterized by blazing wood-burning fireplaces, incredible deck space and steaming hot tubs, these encompass the more traditional concepts of a ski-centric getaway. Spots like Salzburg, Austria and Stockholm, Sweden remain top options for winter destinations thanks to their wide variety of upscale, multi-bedroom homes and resort-sized facilities perfect for those extreme enough to tackle the elevation.