If you absolutely love hitting the slopes, there’s no better time to treat yourself to an adrenaline-packed getaway than the festive season. There are so many last-minute deals available over Christmas and new year, you’ve really got the opportunity to treat yourself or a loved one to a festive break they won’t forget in a hurry.
Whether you’re an extreme sports fan or a complete beginner, here are my top picks of the best snowsport destinations to hit before 2017.
While you can go further afield to the USA, Canada, or even ski in New Zealand, there are so many amazing ski resorts in Europe to talk about. The Alpes d’Huez in France is consistently ranked among the best resorts for families and beginners, with a great variety of difficulties to master and comprehensive teaching at the ski schools. If you’re on a budget this year, Flachauwinkl in Austria offers a great budget getaway, with self catering apartments and plenty of opportunity to freestyle. Alternatively, Livigno in Italy has lots to offer, with guaranteed snow, great slopes for beginners to get the hang of, and an excellent pub crawl route in the village for that aprés-ski party.
For a mini-break, grab your skates and head to London to experience some of the most gorgeous skating rinks around. Choose from skating at Hampton Court Palace (stepping into the skates of Henry VIII), the rather imposing Tower of London, combine an afternoon skate with science lessons at the Natural History Museum, or the striking Canary Wharf rink – London’s answer to Rockerfeller Centre. If you’re holidaying a little further from home, you might want to consider heading to the actual Rockerfeller Centre for the quintessential NYC Christmas experience, or enjoy skating to sets by acclaimed DJs, between visiting a Christmas market and being surrounded by beautiful gothic architecture at the Vienna Ice Dream, Austria.
When you want to make waves in gorgeous powdery snow, there’s so many places to choose in Europe and America. If you can make the trip, California, USA, is home to some incredible snowboard resorts: the Alpine Meadows is friendly, relaxed, and caters pretty evenly to beginner, intermediate, and advanced level boarders, so there’s something for everyone. For more advanced boarders, check out Squaw Valley’s more vertical terrain for a new challenge, and enroll the kids in the Family Cross Cause where you can all learn new tricks together. For a visit closer to home, Verbier in Switzerland offers great terrain for all abilities in the alpine pistes, and has a well-deserved reputation as a world class resort.