Ski resorts are magical winter wonderlands – places to escape the winter blues and turn that temperature drop into an excuse for enjoyment. Many people jet off during the cold months to spend their winter break whizzing down slopes and rolling in piles of the much-loved powder. Unfortunately, for those who don’t have a natural desire to jump on skis, shelling out to stay at these sometimes costly resorts can seem like a bad idea.
However, this could not be further from the truth. The dream-like atmosphere and unique experience that staying in a mountain top chalet can offer can be easily enjoyed by skiers and non-skiers alike, and while no-one is expecting you to take to the snow, there are plenty of other equally enjoyable activities that can help you while away the wintery weeks.
Most ski resorts offer horse-drawn sleigh rides, and there’s no better way to enjoy the enchanting nature of the cold seasons than wrapped up warm on the back of a sledge. It’s a great chance to view to local area and a good option for those with kids, couples looking for a romantic afternoon away or for non-skiers looking for entertainment while their friends are on the slopes. They’re relaxing and sure to involve a plethora of breath-taking views!
Catering to an endless clientele of hungry skiers, resorts are known for their eclectic and delicious restaurant options. For non-skiers they offer the opportunity for great foodie holiday, chowing down on delicious local dishes while taking in the beautiful views that these mountain top eateries have to offer. These restaurants range in price and exclusivity and some require booking far in advance to ensure yourself a place.
One great example of this is Chez Vrony in Zermatt, a lusted-after centrepiece in the resort that’s home to Switzerland’s famed Matterhorn peak. Run by the restaurants’ namesake herself, the enterprise has been a family business for well over 100 years, so the quality and authenticity that is sure to accompany any dining experience here is unmatchable. The organic produce and grass-fed meat are all sourced and produced locally so every meal explodes with authentic alpine flavours. Grabbing some food here is sure to make you forget that the place is even a ski resort at all!
Practice Your Photography Skills
Ski resorts are situated in some of the most beautiful locations in the world. The mountain top villages combined with crisp snowy landscapes and soft winter lighting create some of the most breathtaking views that travellers can experience anywhere. Budding photographers from all backgrounds try and capture the magical atmosphere within the lens of their cameras. Whether you’re trying to pursue a professional career or just looking to take some memorable holiday snaps, spending a day wandering the slopes and hillsides of these stunning resorts is always set to be time well spent.
Many places have onsite photographers who work throughout the day to capture skiers, so you might even be able to link up with a professional and pick up some tips. For those who don’t feel photographically inclined, just as much can be gained from simply taking in the views with your own two eyes.
Take a Dip
Water parks seem to be an increasingly common feature at ski resorts and a great place for non-skiers to enjoy themselves. The contrast of warm water pools and jacuzzis against the frostbitten climate outside makes for a welcome break and invigorating experience.
Avoriaz resort in France has created an intricate and exciting tropical water park, named Aquriaz, that is well worth checking out whether you’re planning to ski or not. Set to a constant temperature of 29°C, this microcosm of summer within the harsh winter climate offers waterfalls, pools, jets, slides and even a variation of different currents. There’s also a unique slide for the most daring, that involves a steep half-pipe and a 10-metre drop! Alongside this, the centre also has its own water gym and offers sessions on a regular basis. This water park offers so much variety and entertainment that it could easily make a stand-alone holiday within itself.
Curl Up By the Fire
Sometimes the most enjoyable part of winter is being able to curl up inside and avoid it altogether. The quaint and cosy design of many ski chalets, with their wooden floors and open fires, make the perfect place to relax, away from the winter weather that is raging outside the window.
Whether you chose to get stuck into a good book or catch up on some of your favourite TV series or films, these charming mountain huts are the ideal location to do so. Perfect for lone travellers or even family adventures, there is literally no better place in the world to get some well-deserved rest than high up in the warmth and safety of a picturesque ski resort.
However, if you are planning to spend some downtime inside—especially if you’re staying abroad—it’s always worth remembering to install a Virtual Private Network (VPN) on any devices before you go. This is because many sites, especially TV streaming services, block content when users are abroad. However, by using a VPN you can get around these restrictions and settle down for a good movie session by the fire without any problems.
Not being a ski fan shouldn’t have to prevent you from enjoying the amazing experiences that ski resort getaways can offer. There are so many things for non-skiers to enjoy that this list is merely the tip of the iceberg. If you have any more suggestions for activities or know or any resorts that cater particularly well to non-skiers, then be sure to leave a comment below.
Jess Signet runs the travel blog tripelio.com, here she offers a guide to ski resorts for non-skiers