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Alternative Ski Holidays

Skip the slopes.

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Your partner or friends are desperate for a winter sports holiday, but you hate skiing or snowboarding. This doesn’t have to be a problem, since the world’s ski resorts are full of lovely ways for you to fill your day without ever having to go near a board or pole.

Five ways to have an alternative ski holiday

Still want to get in amongst it?

If you love the fresh mountain air in your nostrils but just don’t have the skill for snowboarding or skiing, there’s an array of alternative activities out there. Dog sledding, snow rafting, snow mobiling, bobsleigh, helicopter rides - you name it, there’s an exhilarating experience with your name on it. And you’ll be able to hold your head high when your companions return from the slopes each day with their “extreme” tales of broken bones and high-speed collisions.

Lonely Planet, alternative winter sports

Canadian Wilderness Adventures, Whistler, BC

Meribel Snow Biker, Meribel, France

A slower pace

You might not care at all that your friends think you’re a wuss, and dream of more sedate excursions for your winter break. Take in the amazing scenery and taste the great outdoors on a snowshoeing, ice fishing or cross-country ski trip. Please note that cross-country skiing does involve skis and poles, but much less expertise or nerve than the downhill variety.

Extend the après ski

It’s rude not to partake in a little après ski; in fact you could probably spend an entire week nicely sozzled in a cosy bar or eatery. But to avoid knocking back the schnapps on your lonesome, and at least pretending you’re doing something useful, you could indulge in a wine tasting session or sample the culinary delights of the region.

Hotel de Charmes les Airelles, Courchevel, France

Chez Vrony, Zermatt, Switzerland (in German)

Dick’s Tea Bar, Val d’Isere, France

Krazy Kanguruh, St Anton, Austria

Pamper yourself, you’re worth it

If you need a break from pickling yourself, you could try a healthier method of preservation. Most ski resorts offer spa facilities, from basic to ridiculously luxurious. So while your holiday mates are off breaking their wrists and bruising their bottoms, you could be having yours buffed and toned to perfection.

The Telegraph, the world’s best ski-spa retreats

Le Ludicur fitness centre, La Chaudanne Hotel, Meribel, France

Stowe Mountain Lodge, Vermont, United States

Local colour and culture

Believe it or not, in many ski resorts there is life beyond the mountains. Delve into the wider cultural scene and enjoy jazz and film festivals, galleries, museums, theatre, cinema, markets and, of course, the shops.

Sundance Film Festival, Utah, United States

Snow Jazz Gastein festival, Austria (in German)

Ski Club Great Britain resort guide

Be sure to use our handy Skiing holiday checklist before you jet off.

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Written by Maxine Clarke: a writer, mummy, missus and campervan-lover. Used to travel, now enjoys a good holiday! Follow her on Twitter.

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