So you’re tagging along on a ski trip with your friends/family but for whatever reason won’t be venturing onto the slopes. Never fear, there are plenty of things to keep you occupied from the active to the more sedate to make sure you get the most out of your holiday:
There are often organised excursions during the week in most resorts, some during the day, others at night. Your guide can take you to some interesting places away from the slopes and you may even learn something about the local flora and fauna as well as the history of the area. It’s also a good way to meet other non-skiers if you are looking for company while your friends are skiing. Also a great way to get fresh air and exercise!
Snowshoeing in Madonna di Campiglio, Italy
Cross country skiing
A more strenuous way of getting the aforementioned fresh air and exercise. Make sure you take suitable clothing (PLEASE don’t go in your jeans…), and don’t layer up too much as you’ll heat up pretty quickly. Take some technical sportswear and a light waterproof jacket, a light pair of gloves and a headband or hat, don’t forget sun-cream and sunglasses. The best way of approaching this sport is by taking a lesson or two, but you should pick up enough to be able to proceed on your own. Cross-country skiing is surprisingly cheap, the pass to use the trails and equipment hire cost a fraction of their Alpine equivalent.
Cross-country skiing in Livigno, Italy
An increasing popular activity in many resorts, think mountain biking on the snow, these bikes just have thicker tyres for better grip, hence the name.
Fat biking in Folgaria, Italy
Husky dog sledding
Try a dog sledding excursion, the dogs are well trained so all you need to do is stand on the sled and hold on tight!
Dog sledding, Folgaria, Italy
Relax, enjoy the view and catch up on your reading
Find a mountain restaurant you can reach by cable car, enjoy a hot chocolate or coffee and enjoy the view, or sit by the fire and get stuck into a good novel. Then you can meet everyone for a good lunch.
Pamper yourself at the spa
Many mountain resorts have thermal spas due to the amount of hot water springs in the Alps. Even if your destination is not a spa resort, many of the hotels there will have spa facilities, if your accommodation doesn't, find out which ones accept paying non-guests and hang out there for an afternoon.
Bagni Vecchi spa, Bormio, Italy
Tip: Head to the tourist information office when you arrive to see what they have organised for the week – there is usually something going on, especially in the bigger resorts – so don't miss out!
Get your own adrenaline rush and try a tandem paraglide with an instructor. Many mountain resorts offer this opportunity, so if you’ve got time to kill why not give it a go? It’s a fantastic experience, just like sitting in an armchair while floating through the sky; it will make your holiday.
So there you have it, just because you're not joining the others on the slopes, doesn't mean you can't get the most out of your non-skiing ski holiday. If you have any more suggestions that we haven't covered, let us know in the comments!