15 Alpine Activities for non-skiers on a Winter Holiday

 

Each winter season that passes, the Alps attract eager snow-lovers keen to explore the pristine pistes, challenging parks and steep off-piste on their skis or snowboards. But the mountains offer so much more than simply snowy slopes and deep powder – and there are plenty of alpine activities that non-skiers can enjoy on a winter holiday, too.

With winter 2019/20 in full flow, here’s a rundown of 15 non-ski activities you can try in the Alps – with everything from family-friendly adventure in your ski resort of choice to adrenaline-fuelled excitement in the Alpine wilderness.

Take in a music festival

The Alps’ winter ski season is crammed full of amazing festivals and concerts, where visitors can enjoy live music both on and off the pistes. Festivals like Snowbombing and Rock the Pistes attract music-lovers to the Alps, with bands and DJs keeping the crowds jumping.

music festival in the alps

Explore your resort in style by horse-drawn sleigh

Hop aboard your traditional sleigh and snuggle under your warm blanket, before heading out into the dense forests on a horse-drawn sleigh ride. Horse-drawn carriages are also a great way of exploring your resort of choice.

Take the wheel on an ice-driving or karting experience

Take the wheel and tackle the icy chicanes by car or go-kart. There’s an open-air circuit in Val Thorens, and plenty of ice rinks across the Alps where thrill-seekers can try their hand at ice-karting.

Enjoy the peace and quiet of a snow-shoeing tour

Escape into the Alpine wilderness and stomp around the rugged mountainsides with ease on a snow-shoeing adventure. Tackle deep snow drifts and steep hills, and enjoy uninterrupted views over the soaring peaks and pines.

Get your skates on and take to the ice

It takes a little time and practise to master ice-skating, but it’s wonderful fun – and a very engaging activity for parents and children to enjoy together. Strap your skates on nice and tight, and hit the ice for a few fun laps. 

Catch an ice-hockey match

In ski resorts across the Alps, ice hockey teams compete in the national and international leagues all winter long – and the standard of play is usually very impressive. Teams like Les Pinguins in Morzine showcase their skills each week, though you mustn’t be surprised if the odd fight breaks out – especially in the local derby games like Morzine-v-Chamonix – it’s all part of the fun!

Pound the wilderness trails on a husky-sledding adventure

Whether you’re a dog-lover or not, it’s hard not to fall for those adorable Alpine huskies. They’re born and bred for life in the mountains, and leading eager adventurers through the snowy forests is what they do best! So hop aboard your sled, shout ‘Mush’, and let the huskies do the rest.

dog sledding in the alps

Hold on tight on a bobsledding run

Not for the feint-hearted, bobsledding involves zooming down an icy track at breakneck speeds like a true winter Olympian. You don’t need previous experience to give it a try, but you do need nerves of steel! In 1992, the Alps played host to the 16th Winter Olympiad and La Plagne’s bobsleigh track still attracts brave adrenaline-hunters.

Browse the boutiques for gifts and souvenirs

Why not treat yourself to a little retail therapy during your time in the Alps? In resorts like Courchevel and Verbier, the streets are lined with the luxury boutiques of world-famous brands, but you don’t have to be a high-flyer to browse. Equally, there are plenty of traditional Savoyard resorts – like Morzine or Serre Chevalier – where traditional butchers, bakers and candlestick makers offer a welcome diversion from the slopes.

Tackle the winding turns by toboggan

For family-friendly thrills and spills away from the pistes, tobogganing is a must-try activity. Jump into your toboggan and navigate winding twists and turns, as you race your pals down the mountainside. You can be sure of one thing – you won’t make it down without a crash or two!

Hit the spa or sauna

Resorts across the Alps have tapped into the sauna and spa scene, and today offer a dazzling array of treatments and massages. Relax, unwind and indulge yourself with a session, and you’ll leave feeling completely zen.

Zoom into the wilderness by snowmobile

For high-octane thrills beneath the snowy pines, snowmobiling is hard to beat. Zoom along winding trails deep in the Alpine wilderness, and escape the crowds for a taste of true adventure.

snowmobiling in the alps

Take in the views on a scenic helicopter flight

The Alps boast some of the world’s most amazing mountain scenery, and there’s no better way to enjoy the views than from the air. Take to the skies aboard your helicopter, and admire panoramic views over the forests, lakes, and peaks. If you’re a strong skier, you can also try a heli-drop into the Alps’ steepest and deepest powderfields for an unforgettable day in the backcountry.

Sample the local Savoyard specialities

The Alps are famous for their tasty mountain cuisine, and speciality dishes like raclette, pierrade and fondue grace the menus of restaurants from Arabba to Zermatt. Grab a dining partner and arrive with an empty stomach to make the most of the delicious specialities on offer.

Take to the skies by parapente

For those with a head for heights, parapente is about the most relaxing pastime to enjoy in the Alps. With your pilot at the ropes, catch a thermal and drift high over the Alpine peaks. Perhaps the best place to give it a go in Avoriaz – perched high atop a mighty cliff. It’s wonderfully serene up there!

For more details on the adventurous and adrenaline-pumping activities you can enjoy in the Alps, check out our blog on non-skiing activities for adrenaline junkies. And for details on the travel and accommodation options to help you reach the Alps this winter, give us a call on 0203 0800 200.

 

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