Nothing says winter like a skiing holiday. Whether you want to strike out on your own, or you have kids that are eager to make the most of their newfound freedom now that school’s out, why not spend some time this winter on the slopes?
Make this festive period one to remember with our top tips for 2014-2015 season.
Everyone loves a family holiday, right? But the truth is, they’re only really fun if the adults get some downtime too. That means choosing a resort where the kids can follow their own activity programme. Vallorcine, near Chamonix, is a good option. There’s a whole range of fun things on offer, from juggling to yoga, as well as a number of discounts on equipment hire.
Still, perhaps you’ve been to France more times than you care to remember. Obergurgl, near Innsbruck in Austria, owes its fame to an aviation accident in 1931.
Auguste Piccard, a Swiss pilot, crash-landed his hot air balloon there, just after he had propelled it to a staggering 16,000 metres. Thanks to a daring rescue escape, Piccard survived, and the resort has been popular ever since. At 1,930 metres, Obergurgl is one of the highest ski villages in Europe and is an excellent choice for beginner and intermediate skiers. In short, it’s a good family destination with lots to do in the surrounding area. If you can get the kids to bed, the après-piste is pretty good too. Try the Nederhütte for a night of reckless abandon.
Finally, if you don’t fancy being confined to Europe, remember that the Canadians are also pretty handy when it comes to family skiing. Whistlerin British Columbia even offers on-slope nannies for those after a more personal touch.
Striking out on your own
For those of you who don’t have to worry about kids, you’ll be reassured to know that there are a number of excellent options this season. It’s set to be quite a winter in Ischgl for starters. Located in the heart of Tirol, Ishgl’sSilvretta Arenaski resort has recently benefited from an investment to the tune of €40 million and is set to showcase its latest acquisition: a 28-seater tri-cable car system that will ferry skiers from the village to the top station in little over nine minutes. TheTrofana Alm Bar, meanwhile, offers the perfect mix of atmosphere and sophistication, with a tub-thumping happy hour giving way to candlelight and courting couples at just after 7pm.
In amongst all the talk about skiing, it’s worth remembering that there are other forms of winter sport too. Snowboarders who feel they aren’t always treated with the respect they deserve would be well advised to check out Laax in Switzerland. As well as boasting a healthy scene, the resort is also home to a number of excellent terrains, not to mention the best superpipe in the Alps.
Anna Jeffreys has been hitting the slopes ever since she was a little girl, and has used her time as a travel journalist to try as many new resorts as she possibly can.
Images by Rita Willaert used under the Creative Commons license.