So, you want to go on a winter holiday but don’t like the thought of skiing? Or maybe you have kids in tow who are just too young or unable? Well there are a good deal of winter sports that are a great alternative to Skiing and snowboarding.
Hit the rink and go Ice skating
A popular winter sport for those of us who are less athletic, it is also one of the oldest winter sports dating back as far as 3000 years ago, in Finland. The whole family can take part together young and old which makes it a great bonding experience. Ice rinks are usually found in ski resorts and are a gentler way to enjoy your time in the cold. Be ready for some slips and trips if this is your first time but you will be gliding around the rink before you know it.
Brave the gentle slopes with Tubing
Tubing is a great winter activity that is ideal for kids and very much like sledding. It may look easy but it does require a bit of skill as it is difficult to steer a giant rubber ring on snow! This can be the perfect activity to do with younger kids who are not able to ski very well whilst on your winter sports holiday. It will even please the big kids and young at heart amongst you. Pure fun and what winter holidays are made for.
Ride along with Dog-Sledding
If you love dogs, then you will love trying dog-sledding as an alternative winter sport. The dogs love hard work, running and pulling and even the cold temperatures. Some tours will show you how to care for the dogs and give you an insight into the history of using dogs in the snow, as well as take you along for the ride. Sled dogs know their terrain too and they won’t go anywhere dangerous so you are in safe hands (or paws).
Go to the extreme Snow-Kiting
This one is definitely not for the faint hearted and requires some strength, training and a whole lot of courage. Also, called kite-skiing, where the power of a kite is used to glide over snow and ice. It is said that snow-kiting can give you the sensation of weightless skiing. However, this sport can be very dangerous and you should already be a strong skier or snowboarder before you try this one out!
Go Scandinavian with Equestrian skijoring
Equestrian skijoring is a single horse, generally guided by a rider, pulling a person on skis. Simple. There are no poles just a tow rope attached to the horses and guiding the participant along. Think water skiing but instead of a boat you have a horse and you are on snow! A really different type of activity to try and great for all abilities too. Less confident skiers can take a gentle ride through woodland, whereas the more experienced might enjoy a gallop!
Tread carefully Snowshoeing
Distributing your weight over a large area, snowshoes make light(ish) work of walking on snow. You can take snowshoeing guided tours but they can also be hired at most resorts to take out on your own. The shoes can take a bit of getting used to but with a bit of practice you will be walking steadily on snow in no time. Most good resorts will tell you where the best trails are so make sure you follow a route and you will enjoy an amazing mountain walk.
Test your need for speed Bob Sledding
Being packed into a sled and sent on your unstoppable way might not be everyone’s cup of tea but if you want to earn some boasting rights then this is the winter sport to try. Think of a roller coaster ride but there’s no stopping you whilst you hurtle down the ice track at unimaginable speeds. You will thank yourself for your courage at the end because although quite terrifying, you will want to do it again! Resorts in Franc, Italy and Canada offer tourists the chance for a ride.
A bird’s eye view of the resort whilst Paragliding
It may initially seem like a high adrenaline sport but paragliding can be pretty relaxing. Gliding high over the resort you will have your instructor to do the difficult tasks for you such as steering and landing. Whereas, you will have the time to enjoy the peaceful altitude and beautiful scenic views as well as the rush of wind against your face. See a different side of the mountains, from above!
Follow the tracks Fat Biking
Winter biking is done on special bikes with extra wide tyres and is sometimes called fat biking. It’s much easier to get to grips with this sport than skiing as if you know how to ride a bike then you can do it! No learning required. You can also choose your terrain, whether it’s a leisurely ride in the snow or to test your manoeuvring skills on jumps, climbs and descents. The best place to try this relatively new sport in Europe is Italy.
With all of these things on offer you may be forgiven for forgetting that skiing is the most popular winter sport to try in the mountains. As you can see whether you want an exhilarating, adrenalin pumping activity or a more relaxing and amenable thing to do you, have a great choice when it comes to enjoying your cold weather holiday.