Winter Sports: Places to Go to Embrace Ice and Snow

By Dan February 8, 2013

As much as snow gives everything a beautiful glow, the threat of it can cause a feeling of dread among busy workers, tired commuters or parents on the hectic school run. Snow can almost bring our entire country to a standstill within a matter of frosty hours, but if embraced in the right way, it also offers an incredible amount of fun and excitement!

If you’re thinking of fleeing the cold for some well-deserved sun, why not flip the idea on its head and get knee deep in snow for a week of après-ski and thrilling winter sports?

Here are a few great ski areas and resorts which are sure to provide a winter holiday to remember…

Andorra

Winter Sports: Andorra

Located in the Pyrenees mountain chain, the Principality of Andorra boasts a selection of intimate ski resorts with a lively village buzz.

Soldeu is one of Andorra’s most popular resorts and keeps keen winter sports enthusiasts flocking back by the bucket load season after season. There are plenty of slopes to suit all skiing or snowboarding abilities, as well a mix of other entertaining outdoor activities including dog sledding, ice scuba diving and ballooning.

If you do decide to visit: Make sure you try the famous Catalan sausage!

St Anton, Austria

Snowboarder on mountain

As proud host of The World Alpine Ski Championships in 2001, St Anton provides the traditional charm and beauty you’d expect from an Austrian mountain town.

This increasingly popular resort is home to a vast ski area with terrain to suit everyone, from the utter novice to the extreme off-piste dabbling daredevil, and the higher you head up the mountain, the more incredible the scenery becomes.

The town itself comes to life at night, with a great mix quirky eateries, cool basement bars, live music and bustling nightclubs open until the small hours. Most impressive of all is St Anton’s 4 km floodlit toboggan run, which starts at the Nassereinbahn Gondola and ends back in the centre town.

If you do decide to visit: Sit down to a traditional Austrian meal at Haus Schindler.

Whistler, Canada

Mountains in Whistler, Canada

Although this resort sways towards snowboarding, there is plenty of scope for skiers too (after all, it did host the Winter Olympics!) and Whistler’s varied mix of terrain makes for an exciting day on the slopes. For particularly confident boarders, the resort also boasts six mighty Nintendo Terrain Parks, complete with over 40 jumps, a snow cross course and for the most daring of all, one super pipe!

The village has a really magical feel and is rife with inviting restaurants, après-ski taverns and lively clubs for anyone who’s partial to a bit of dancing! In addition to this, Whistler hosts many entertaining annual events such as the Luge World Championships and WinerPRIDE Festival.

If you do decide to visit: Try out the Ziptrek traversing cable which runs between the Whistler and Blackcomb mountains.

Before you embark on your snow adventure, you might want brush up on your technique with a skiing or snowboarding lesson or, get into the mountain spirit by checking out our great range of snow-based activities.

Tell us about your best winter adventure? 

Images: via sxc.hu and Hyougushi via Flickr 

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