Top 10 winter activities in the Alps
The snow-capped mountain peaks await you during this well-deserved vacation during the winter season. If we cannot ski for the first season, we still find there are many advantages to go to the mountains for a pleasant winter break and do the best winter activities in the Alps.
For the ultimate, whitish Christmas, a winter break is about celebrating the beauty that snowmen and snow angels create in their luxurious chalets’ gardens. With a whole family time. Not to mention the open fire drink of Champagne and the beautiful alpine dishes in the chalet spa, which complete the ideal glamorous chalet experience that we all appreciate. Enjoy the pure and fresh mountain air in the mountain, the kind you want to pick up and bring home. And don’t miss the incredible view of the mountains!
You have every reason for leaving and reconnecting to the mountains this year but read about some of the best luxury winter holidays… and find out what are our top 10 winter activities in the Alps for this winter.
1/ Cross country skiing:
Less of a challenge uphill but a kind of skiing to enjoy without the lifts. There are trails of different difficulties much like many of the alpine sports available, but cross-country skiing is generally very easy to pick up so certainly worthwhile. If you’re skating or classic, you’ll win an afternoon tea and a 5-course meal at night as the sport needs exercise, and you can guarantee all your calories are burned! The Alps deliver some of the finest cross-country destinations with spectacular routes and beautiful landscapes off the beaten track for everyone to enjoy! Switzerland is very famous for the Alpine ski, but also for the cross country skiing in resorts such as St Moritz, Gstaad, Klosters and Davos where the best teams of the World come for training in the winter. France and Italy are also known for skating or classic routes skiing. With over 50 km of Nordic trails and the gorgeous views of the Mont Blanc and Aiguille du Midi, Chamonix is one of the most famous resort for cross country skiing in France.
While you can do some sledging in almost all ski resort, there are also some incredible toboggan runs in the Alps. Many luxury ski resorts offer skidding experience from gentle runs for kids and family to much steeper runs for people that look for adrenalin!
3/ Ice skating on the lake:
Switzerland has thousands of lakes and most of them ice in the winter. But only a few iced lakes have been tested for protection by municipal authorities and prepared for public use. So it could be tricky to decide when and where to go walking and skating on frozen lakes.
Control these carefully, particularly at the end of December and early January, when temperatures are normally the coldest.
In the area of Graubünden, there is even the Skateline Abula, a 3km walking path in the middle of the forest, which is iced over for staking. It is open from mid-december to February.
4/ Ski touring:
There’s a way when there’s a need. You can even ski if the lifts don’t work! This kind of skiing takes a lot more endurance and energy, but the rewards will be worth it! There are plenty of ski resorts that both have gentle touring routes and more difficult ones. You should not be an ultra distance athlete to do it all. In addition to the boost during the day, ski tourism delivers the ideal blend of hiking and skiing in the winter, where you can enjoy beautiful mountain scenery on your way up and be recompensed with downhill turns on your way down. For the early risers, look over your skins and climb up to the roof in time to see the sunrise – the winter season is a bucket listing practice.
5/ Snowshoeing & Winter hiking:
You can definitely enjoy mountains from a new viewpoint on a winter stroll in the Alpes from casual walks through stunning winter wonderlands to the hidden jewels with all the equipment. Follow the marked paths and feel the magic and tranquility amid the snow-covered forests, the frosty alpine lakes and the pristine fields of fresh snow. It’s a perfect winter experience for the senses to reconnect and withdraw from the real world.
All resorts in the Alps offer trails from easy to hard difficulty and from 1 km to more than 10 km. The magical landscapes are usually exceptional, like in Zermatt, where you can walk and have views on the iconic Matterhorn. We advise you to get a map with you when walking in an area where you have never been before.
Snow-tubing is so much fun! There are several snow-tubing runs in the Alps ski resorts, but one of the most impressive on is In Zermatt. The snow-tubing run is at 3,883 m and promises high thrills. Rings full of air, like huge inner tubes, the traveller just enters, holds on the handles and whizzes down the snowy road and have fun. It is excellent entertainment for all ages. Suitable for children from age of 6.
Don’t wait for the warm season to go cycling! The new movement « fat biking, » which gives both fit citizens and thrill-seekers excellent fitness experiences for winters, has been taken over. The excessive pneumatic scale makes a healthy and exciting adventure.
In North America about ten years ago, fatbikes or snowbikes were created. They were designed without sinking in to glide through the snow. Fatbiking has large pneumatic tires and very low pressure is powered. They are suitable for rough terrain like snow, sand, sludge or mud. These bikes are now also conquering Switzerland as they have become very popular in the snow and sand deserts in the US, especially in Alaska and New Mexico.
In the Alps, you can find a few destinations that offer fatbiking, sich as Gstaad, Davos Klosters, St. Moritz, Zermatt, Val d’Isère, Méribel…
8/ Ski Joëring:
This ancient practice is created for all those animal lovers who still have a passion for rich adventures and are pulled by a horse on skis. The involved speeds are incredible, and you need to realize when to let yourself be completely enjoyed. Please notice that a great skier or even a rider is not needed, the speed of the horses adapts to the level of your skiing. In combination with a guide, children (7 years old) can even attempt ski-jogging. We are leaving to take 1 hour’s fun for the more exciting move, trot or gallop.
9/ Dog sledding:
Share our sled dogs of memorable moments!
A ride to and around frozen lake, going through forests, admire panoramic views is a genuine time of adventure. Comfortably sit on the sleigh, encourage yourself to enjoy a breathtaking view of our lovely Greenland skimos (dog race) and their mushers. Take a moment in the far north conditions and refresh your battery! You can do this activity in every resort in the Alps and you can also do at nightfall!
10/ Ice diving:
If you like adventure and mysterious worlds? Experience ice diving with our qualified teachers. You will discover a special and mystical setting from this dimension and feel the excitement.
Tignes is one of the best destinations for ice diving, in the natural lake of Tignes 2100 which is iced for the whole winter season, up to 2 meters thick.