Friday, 26 October 2012 10:49 PM
Skiing is perhaps the best-known winter sport but, if you fancy having a go at some other activities during a snowy getaway, there are plenty of pastimes you might want to try out. The majority of skiing resorts also provide opportunities for getting active in other ways, and it's worth checking these out before deciding on a specific location.
Whether you want to book your break in Austria, Switzerland, France or somewhere else, a bit of research can ensure you find the right spot in terms of the activities you'd like to try out. Keep reading to find out about some of the best places for an active winter sports break.
The traditional resort - Zermatt
Zermatt is one of Switzerland's most popular skiing destinations, and the resort has a traditional yet lively ambience. Skiers with intermediate or advanced abilities are well catered for here, as the location offers 67 runs over its 313 km of skiable terrain.
In addition to the skiing facilities, Zermatt has a snowboard park, as well as three ice rinks, of which one is artificial. You can have a go at skating on any of these, and if you want to push yourself a bit, try ice hockey - there's a school on site.
Another exciting activity to test out is parapenting, but this isn't for the fainthearted. The pastime involves having a canopy attached to your clothing and running off a mountainside. The canopy is a parachute of sorts and allows you to sail over the rugged peaks for some astounding views.
Other amenities include a gym, health spa and an outdoor heated pool, while there are many restaurants and bars, as well as eight nightclubs to choose from, if you have energy to burn well into the evening. Local attractions include a theatre and an art gallery, so you're unlikely to ever be bored!
The exclusive resort - Courchevel
If it's real luxury and relaxation you're after from your winter sports break, a holiday at the exclusive resort of Courchevel in France could be ideal. The chic location is renowned for its all-round excellent skiing conditions, which cater for all skill levels.
Non-skiers and those keen to try out sports other than skiing will also be in their element here, as there is a range of activities on offer. Have some fun ice karting, or rent a snowmobile and whizz around the white stuff, stopping to take in the stunning snowy vistas.
Ice skating is another popular pastime, while there's also a climbing wall at the resort. In the evenings, you'll find plenty of bars, bistros and nightclubs to explore if you're keen to experience the party atmosphere.
The party resort - St Anton
Austria boasts some of the world's best ski resorts, and St Anton is among the top spots for winter sports holidays. The resort offers 134 trails that mainly cater for intermediate skiers.
There's plenty to do here besides skiing and, in fact, the resort is as well known for its lively apres ski scene as it is for its excellent skiing conditions. The car-free village has many bars and nightclubs that draw holidaymakers looking for action-packed nights, as well as days.
During the daylight hours, you can try your hand at ice skating and tobogganing, or head to the leisure complex for some indoor activities. At the end of a busy day, call in at the opulent spa, where you can spend some time in the sauna or solarium.