Best snowy holidays for non-skiers
Love the snow? But don’t love to ski? There’s far more on offer than just skiing if you’re after a magical winter break. So we’ve put together ten amazing ways you can enjoy a snowy getaway without being a skiing pro.
Try a Snooc
A Snooc you say? What’s this? Well, it’s a great piece of equipment that looks like short skis and allows you to hike up a mountain and then whizz down. You’ll be able to walk into the peace and tranquility of snow-dusted peaks and then enjoy the thrill of sledding to the bottom! There are a few resorts now offering Snoocs – Le Grand Bornand in France being one of them.
Fly direct from Heathrow to Geneva.
Enjoy an ice music festival
Quiet literally – the Ice Music Festival in Geilo, Norway creates music from ice by carving musical instruments out of great lumps of ice. This brings an unearthly quality to the music – although you will be rather chilly and it's probably best you layer up with all your thermals!
Fly direct from Heathrow to Oslo, Norway.
Go for an ice hike
Are you the outdoors type? Then we’ve got the perfect adventure for you! Try ice hiking in Iceland – there are many trips available starting out from Reykjavik. You’ll pass through the stunning coastal roads visiting waterfalls, glaciers and even get the chance to see the Northern Lights.
Fly direct from Heathrow to Reykjavik.
Pick up a fat bike
The clue to this activity is – you got it – in the name! Fat bikes are bikes with fat tyres that can be ridden over snow. Originating in the USA, fat bikes are now available in European ski resorts – Lenzerheide in Switzerland has turned one of its ski slopes into a fat bike piste. So what are you waiting for?
Fly direct from Heathrow to Zurich.
Strap on a pair of snow shoes
Snowshoeing has a long history – and many resorts offer snow shoe trails. You don't need any experience but just need to be happy to walk for around five hours. It’s a fabulous way to take your time soaking up the glistening mountains and magical forests. There are family trails, challenging trails and each will be rated – so you know what you’re getting into!
Jump in a dog sled
From the Arctic to the Pyrenees, the Alps and beyond – dog sledding is gaining in popularity and availability. If you’re up for learning, you can take a lesson and within an hour be mushing yourself! Or if you have a young family, take a trip with an experienced musher and a team of huskies across frosty terrain.
Take out an ice kart
Saalbach in Austria has opened an ice karting track – offering customised go-karts and plenty of excitement. Try your driving skills out on this 3,500-square-metre track. The course is floodlit so can also be ridden at night under the stars.
Fly direct from Heathrow to Innsbruck, Austria.
Glide the day away in a kayak
Kayaking and icy waters don’t sound like they go hand-in-hand, however in Switzerland on Lake Brienz you can enjoy a breathtaking and completely original kayaking day out. Under snowy peaks on pristine waters there are guided tours of the lake offering an unforgettable winter experience. You can go for half day tours which include all the equipment and (most importantly) dry suits.
Fly direct from Heathrow to Geneva or Zurich.
Take a time out
OK so you could argue that spas aren’t exactly a winter activity but it cannot be denied that gazing out from a hot, bubbling jacuzzi over staggering white mountains and sparkling blue skies is incredible way to spend an afternoon. You’re on holiday – so why not take some me time and relax? There are some truly unique spas across many ski resorts and when it’s freezing outside and you’re chilly from a morning outdoors there’s nothing like sauna to help you unwind.
Attempt ski jöring
So this one is a little more taxing than relaxing in a spa! Ski jöring is where you are pulled, on skis, by dogs, horses or a motor vehicle. It’s a combination of dog sledding and cross country skiing – so what’s not to like?! Many resorts in Europe offer ski jöring – and though it may take some time to master it’s certainly a fun way to spend an afternoon.
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