10 best resorts for non-skiers

By TravelWiseFeb 22, 2024 21:16 PMNews
10 best resorts for non-skiers
Vacationing in the mountains helps to reset your mind and improve your well-being. Source: Freepik

You don't have to go skiing to get the most out of winter in the mountains. Enjoy the enchanting nature, incredible silence and alpine serenity - without the rush and high adrenaline.

Inntravel, a company specializing in leisurely vacations, reported that the number of bookings for snow vacations without skis has increased by 150 percent compared to last year, the Telegraph writes. "When the mountains are covered in snow and the alpine views stretch into the distance, there is a certain sense of calm," says Amber Welford of Inntravel.

"Being in the mountains is good for your well-being and also helps you see a broader perspective. Snow vacations for non-skiers are a growing trend as people discover that there are more benefits to this type of vacation than just hitting the slopes."

From relaxing winter walks, snowshoeing or yoga in the snow to the high-octane thrill of sledding, snowmobiling or dog sledding, there's plenty to do at ski resorts in winter for those who have put their skis on hold or are looking for alternative ways to spend a week in the mountains. Here are the 10 best ski resorts for non-skiers.

Samoen, France: yoga in thesnow or winter rafting

10 best resorts for non-skiers
This is the only winter sports resort in France that is listed as a national heritage site. Source: peakretreats.co.uk

Although the charming village of Samoens is located in the Grand Massif ski area, it has retained its own identity. After all, it is the only winter sports resort in France that is listed as a national heritage site. People come here not only to ski, but also to wander around the old square and the covered market. And to plunge into the cold water: Samoen hosted the 2023 World Ice Swimming Championships, and the Lac aux Dames offers ice swimming courses. Alternatively, try cold yoga or winter rafting on the Giffre River.

Book: Peak Retreats offers La Residence Club Samoëns Village from £296, self-catering, including Eurotunnel crossing, based on five people.

Seefeld, Austria: 142 km of groomed winter hiking trails

10 best resorts for non-skiers
Crystal Ski Holidays. Source: crystalski.co.uk

There is skiing in Seefeld, but the focus in this Tyrolean town is on gentler adventures. Here you'll find 245 kilometers of cross-country ski trails, dog sledding workshops, biathlon training, and curling lessons. The area is especially great for hikers, with 142 kilometers of groomed winter hiking trails and 35 kilometers of snowshoe trails. The options range from short walks around the Wildsee to moonlight tours and Tyrol's first long-distance winter hike through the Leutasch Valley.

Booking: Crystal Ski Holidays offers Hotel Bergland from £1,172, all inclusive.

Jungfrau, Switzerland: mountain railways and cable cars

10 best resorts for non-skiers
Skiline offers Grindelwald's Sunstar Hotel from £1,449. Source: sunstar-hotel-grindelwald

You don't need to have any special skiing skills or anything to get to the top of Europe. For over a hundred years, trains have been climbing 3,454 meters to the Jungfraujoch, Europe's highest railway station, from where you can enjoy unrivaled winter views. Indeed, it is the excellent transportation links that make this region so attractive to non-skiing explorers. Trains, mountain railways and cable cars connect places like Grindelwald, Lauterbrunnen, Interlaken and Wengen, from where you can access winter hiking and tobogganing routes, including Europe's longest toboggan run.

Booking: Skiline offers Grindelwald's Sunstar Hotel from £1,449.

Ukkohalla, Finland: watch the northern lights in a glass room

The little-known resort of Ukkohalla is better priced than the more famous resorts in Finnish Lapland and is less crowded. However, this Arctic lake region is no less impressive. There is a ski center, but Ukkohalla is also ideal for non-skiers - instead of going downhill, try dog sledding, snowshoeing or snowmobiling, or relax in the Finnish saunas and hot tubs. You can also spend the night in a glass Sky Cabin suite to watch the northern lights.

Book it now: Best Served Scandinavia is offering four nights in a glass suite from £1450 including some entertainment.

10 best resorts for non-skiers
Stay in a glass Sky Cabin suite to watch the northern lights. Source: best-served.co

Corvara, Italy:Michelin-starred chefs and a mountain cable car

10 best resorts for non-skiers
Discover Michelin-starred cuisine in Corvara. Source: Armin Terzer, telegraph.co.uk

Skiers love Alta Badia. But perhaps foodies love it more? This appetizing part of the Dolomites is home to many delicious winter activities: Michelin-starred chefs create dishes for mountain huts, sunrise breakfasts on the snow (accessible by snowmobile) and cooking classes with local Ladin bakers are offered. Make Corvara your base: you'll have easy access to both the mountain cable car and the Michelin-starred La Stüa de Michil restaurant. The new SkyAlps London-Bolzano flight makes this journey even faster.

Book it: Ski Solutions offers La Perla from £1,695.

Beitostolen, Norway: 320 km of cross-country trails and a wild spa

Tucked away under the Jotunheimen National Park, Beitostolen is a real find for groups looking to diversify their winter vacation. Skiers can enjoy the uncrowded slopes (this is especially good for beginners). The rest of us can tackle 320 km of cross-country trails, go dog sledding, ice fishing, and snow rafting - an adventure where inflatable boats are towed by a snowmobile was invented here. Alternatively, unwind in the wild spa by taking a dip in the frozen lake, then warm up in the hot tub with a glass of bubbly.

Hurry up and book: Magnetic North Travel offers five nights at the Hotel Beitostolen from £1,295, self-catering, excluding flights.

Ramsau bay Berchtesgaden, Germany: boat trips and historic villages

10 best resorts for non-skiers
This is Germany's first official ski village, where people come for winter forests, lakes and mountains without the noise of skiers. Source: inntravel.co.uk/

The traditional Bavarian village of Ramsau, in the Berchtesgaden National Park, doesn't look like a ski resort at all. It is Germany's first official ski village, where people come to enjoy winter forests, lakes and mountains without the noise of skiers. With walks in the snow, mist boat rides and lifts to breathtaking viewpoints, as well as visits to historic villages, winter is a great time to wander the frescoed streets of Berchtesgaden, which are packed with traffic in summer. Stay at the family-run Berghotel Rehlegg to enjoy mountain views, a spa and pool, and hearty German dinners.

Book: Inntravel offers the Berghotel Rehlegg from £1,635, full board.

LesHouches, Chamonix, France: floatplane flights and shopping

Just below Mont Blanc, Chamonix is the perfect city for outdoor activities. There are plenty of activities for non-skiers, from paragliding and ice climbing to bars and boutique shopping. On the other hand, Les Houches (a short bus ride away) is located in the same mountains but is much cooler. Both resorts are just an hour's drive from Geneva, making them ideal for short snow vacations - a growing trend: according to heidi.com, two-day ski trips are up 2,300 percent this year.

Book them: BA Holidays offers two nights at RockyPop Les Houches for £156, B&B, based on a family of four.

Chateau d'Oex and Roujmont, Switzerland: gastronomic center and hot air ballooning

These two Vaud villages offer easy access to excellent ski slopes - Gstaad is nearby. But it is not necessary to go. Gourmets will love Rougemont, a growing gastronomic center of excellent regional and world-class restaurants - not least La Table du Valrose, awarded two Michelin stars in 2023. High-flying enthusiasts will prefer Chateau d'Oex, the hot air balloon capital of the Alps; book a flight, come for the International Hot Air Balloon Festival or visit the newly opened Espace Ballon museum.

Book: The Ermitage Hotel offers double rooms from £180, B&B, excluding travel.

St. Johann, Austria: snowshoeing and carriage rides

Best for families

10 best resorts for non-skiers
Crystal Ski offers Hotel Park from £691. Source: crystalski.co.uk

Located close to the legendary Kitzbühel, the chocolate box town of St. Johann is its smaller sibling. With a friendly atmosphere, it is ideal for families looking for snowy fun. Try the winter excursions on the segway, zipline, snowshoeing and carriage rides, and take day trips to other beautiful villages. Pick up a St. Johann card for free transportation and guided winter hikes, plus handy discounts at indoor pools, cafes, and museums.

Book: Crystal Ski offers Hotel Park from £691.

Please note, unless otherwise stated, prices are per person, seven nights, half board, including flights and transfers, based on two sharing.

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