So many people say they don’t go on snow holidays because they don’t like skiing. That’s a fairly logical argument, but it disregards all of the other amazing activities that go on around ski resorts.
With some of the most stunning scenery you’ll ever witness, new ways to relax, exercise or just have a lot of fun, and some of the best bars, restaurants and spas in Europe, there’s so much to do at a ski resort that doesn’t involve actually skiing.
Skiing might not be your bag, but fear not as there are plenty of other exciting winter sports to try. Want to go on a bracing walk across the peaks? Try Nordic Walking! All you’ll need is a tough, all-weather pair of walking boots and two ski poles to help propel you up the inclines.
If you’re brave enough, you could go up an even steeper incline and go climbing. After all, there’s more than one way to go up and down a mountain.
If you still want to feel the wind in your hair, there’s snow mountain biking, snow paragliding and even dog-sledding, ice skating or bobsleighing.
Ski resorts are famous for their exciting nightlife and you don’t need to have spent the day on skis to join in. Read our article on the wonderful world of après ski for a taste of some of the great restaurants, bars and clubs in Europe’s top ski domains.
Snowboarding and music go hand in hand, and many domains hold big music festivals during peak ski season featuring top international bands and DJs alongside daredevil stunts and exhibitions by ski and snowboarding teams. If you don’t fancy skiing, you can just enjoy some amazing music in a unique snowy setting.
Here are some of the best winter festivals around Europe:
Polaris – Verbier, December (Electronic)
Snowboxx – Avoriaz, March (Electronic)
Rise – Les Deux Alpes, December (Electronic)
Snowbombing – Mayrhofen, April (Rock, Pop, R’n’B, Electronic)
From overwhelmingly beautiful landscapes to candid après moments to exhilarating action shots, if there’s one thing that ski resorts offer in spades, its inspiration for budding photographers. And the advantage to not being on skis is that it’s much easier to stop and observe everything going on around you, whether that’s mountain wildlife, or fellow humans living the high life, often literally.
The wellness trend has most definitely caught on at ski resorts. Whether you’re hitting the slopes or not, there’s still a lot to be said for the benefits of some tactfully applied heat or pressure to help relieve you of any stiffness and soreness.
The spas in many resorts are run in partnership with some of the top global spa companies around, such as Decléor, Carita and L’Occitane, where you can indulge in massages, body scrubs and manicures. Getting your lower back and legs massaged after a day skiing is a great way to prepare your body for the next day. Also, a visit to the hot tub or sauna after a day on the slopes will also put you in the best form for the next day.
Alternatively, you can switch the snow for steam in the Turkish baths, or for water in outdoor and indoor heated pools or outdoor hot tubs. What better way to stay warm and still enjoy the snowscapes?
There are even facilities for those looking for an extra workout, whether they need to feel the burn or want to do some ski exercises to improve their fitness and skills on the slopes. As well as weights and cardio rooms, there are Pilates, yoga, stretching and fitness classes which are common in most hotels or ski domains.