Ski Holiday Based on Non-Skiing Activities

There are many instances when you plan a skiing holiday where you have to take into consideration a member of the party who will not ski. There are clearly many reasons for this but it is important to cater for someone who, whilst you are occupied all day on the slopes, has enough to keep them happy. Of course relaxing and reading a book in a chalet or cosy apartment can be appealing in itself, but most people need and want more than this during a weeks holiday.

As a general rule the larger the resort. The more possibilities there are for the non-skier. Scenery and resort charm is important as just walking around and taking in the atmosphere can keep many people happy for days. If they are a little more active, then there are many options available depending on the country and resort you are in.

Non-skiing activities in winter resorts include, shopping, walking, snow shoeing, ice skating, curling, snow mobile riding, sleigh riding and of course eating and drinking. If your non-skiing companion does not want any kind of physically active experience then choose a resort which has charm, scenery and plenty of shops. If they don’t ski but still want some excitement then the larger resorts might be more suitable.

Each different European country has its own brand and appeal for the non-skiers who travel there during the winter months:

Chamonix in France is an obvious choice for non-skiers who are searching for an active holiday whilst Megeve, close by, is more sedate but equally as suitable for those who want relaxation and a sophisticated environment.

Italy has an abundance of up market resort towns that would satisfy the most demanding of shoppers. Cortina d’Ampezzo is a fine example of what is on offer in the Dolomite region of The Alps and with Venice a train ride away, the non-skier can take advantage of day trips to this fantastic city.

In Switzerland, resorts like Zermatt and Grindlewald will keep non-skiers happy with the amazing scenery and charming atmosphere. Zermatt has a great shopping area and world-class restaurants whilst Grindlewald has easy access to towns like Interlaken.

In Austria, a resort like Kitzbühel has a lot to offer and if you go around the time of the famous Hahnenkamm (at the end of January) then the whole town is in party mode and the atmosphere is fantastic, not to mention the chance of watching one of the greatest sporting events in the world.

Scandinavia has a great choice of non-skiing activities on offer. Towns like Lillehammer, which hosted the 1994 winter Olympic games offers many activities for the non-skier. Try their Elk safaris or visit the Olympic venues. You can even try the bob sled run. The capital city of Oslo is possible to reach on the train for a day trip, if you feel the need for further entertainment.

If you need more specific advice, on where to ski based on non-skiing activities, then make a comment and I will do my best to help you out.

Next time in ‘Ski Holiday Advice’, I will discuss different locations of ski resorts and what differences each country has to offer.

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Robert Stewart

Ski Editor at Snow.Guide

Rob has extensive knowledge and experience of winter sports and has been qualified to instruct and teach Alpine Skiing for over 25 years. He is also an experienced off-piste and backcountry skier and has competed in freestyle and freeride events around the world. Now a full-time ski writer and Director of Ski Press, Rob is Snow.Guide’s Ski Editor and contributes to many other snowsports, national and lifestyle publications.

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2 thoughts on “Ski Holiday Based on Non-Skiing Activities”

  1. Hi I really like your blog. Don’t forget Andorra though – duty free shopping, 2nd biggest spa in Europe, plenty of eating and drinking at reasonable prices. Better than a lot of places for the non-skier. Of course personally I think everbody should be made to ski until they appreciate how fantastic it is.

    1. @Ian Huyton
      Thanks Ian, comments appreciated. Actually I really like Andorra, I spent two weeks on a BASI course there once and was really impressed. I often recommend Andorra to skiers of all abilities. The accommodation is of a really high standard and the atmosphere is relaxed and laid back, which is a refreshing change from some other resorts. The skiing is also varied and I thought especially good for all standards up to expert level. I will definitely be mentioning Andorra in my blog at some point in the near future.

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