Good Skiing Holiday Destinations for Skiers and Non-Skiers
Being a mixed couple can be hard, the rocker and the deep bass addict picking a car playlist, the United and City household on derby day, the vegan and the burger enthusiast booking a table at a restaurant… It’s a tough minefield to navigate and never has that been put to the test more than skier and non-skiers when choosing a holiday. The stakes are as high as a black piste in the Alps. Right off the plane, the skier is itching to go straight for the slopes for a cocktail of adrenaline and crushed ice. Meanwhile, the non-skier wants to go hiking in the woods, soak up some culture and relax by the pool. Like the Montagues and Capulets, this relationship may seem just not to be. Even worse, you could be a family with kids who are too young to strap on their skis just yet, leaving you both frustrated and resorting to playing rock, paper, scissors over breakfast to see who gets a turn out on the snow first. But don’t despair, with the right planning and destination, even a last minute deal can be a perfectly thought-out victory in the name of compromise. Whether it’s a cheap, long weekend or luxurious treat, here are four European skiing resorts to appease both skier and non-skiers alike.
You can’t name a place more synonymous with winter sports and skiing than Innsbruck. The capital of Tyrol boasts an internationally renowned winter sports centre, hosting multiple winter Olympics including the first ever junior winter championships. However, there is more to Innsbruck than just skiing and winter sports such as Ambras Castle, a 16th century Renaissance palace, perched atop the town. An architectural marvel with grand gardens and panoramic views, the castle served as a residence for Archduke Ferdinand for more than 30 years in the 1500’s with artwork fit for an emperor to marvel at inside. As one of Austria’s largest tourist attractions, this palace is definitely a sight to see. If that doesn’t ring your cowbell, there are countless trails to wander and pristine, turquoise lakes to swim- if you’re brave enough!
Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy
A charming town nestled in the middle of the Dolomite Alps, Cortina is straight off a chocolate box card of quaint chalets, castles, churches and lakes, bringing unbelievable views right to your doorstep. With such dramatic scenery, it’s easy to see why Cortina was the set for films including The Pink Panther, Cliffhanger and James Bond, as well as hosting winter Olympics and other world winter events in the past. There’s more to Cortina than the backdrop though, as a bilingual population of German and Italian mix to create the local dialect of “Ladin”, making this is the perfect place to brush up on your GCSE languages while trying the blend of regional cuisine. A cultural hub, Cortina also boasts a long history of literature and music, with Ernest Hemingway even spending some time here, so make sure to take it all in when you’re not conquering the slopes.
Covering only 181 square miles and with a population of just roughly 77,000, the sixth smallest country in Europe sure manages to cram a load in. Having previously been extremely isolated both geographically and culturally, in Andorra you’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time. Meanwhile, this Pyrenean micro-microstate has had millions invested in it over recent years to bring you a truly world-class skiing experience. This means modern comforts and good accessibility go hand in hand with beautiful slopes and unique culture. You could take the famously long-lived populations advice and take it slow, or hit the pistes and the bars hard. In addition, extremely low duty on shopping goods means you can enjoy some of life’s little sins on your holidays for a bargain price.
Everyone loves Christmas, and where better to go during this magical time of year than Santa’s homeland? Throw in some skiing and you’ve got a recipe for the holiday of a lifetime! With amazing ski resorts throughout this beautiful country of evergreens and reindeer, this is the perfect winter trip for all the family that the grandparents can join in on too. Make sure to visit Santa in Rovaniemi, his official hometown and gateway to the Arctic, as well as gaze up at the legendary Aurora Borealis and hop on a huskie sleigh ride between hitting the slopes.
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