Five funky alternatives to skiing - and where to do them
There’s nothing quite like a winter sports holiday - that fresh mountain air, impeccable scenery and all that après. Skiing is the most traditional activity to try on a snowy break, while snowboarding has snowballed in popularity. But why follow the crowd when there are so many other options?
Whether you’re an expert skier or boarder who wants to try something new, or skiing has simply never been your thing, there’s plenty more fun to be had amidst the mountains of Europe and the Citybond team has rounded up some of its favourite funky alternatives - and tips on where to enjoy them. Plus the good news is that Citybond Winter Sports policy covers all those mentioned – and many more!
Ski-blading, Borovets, Bulgaria
Ski-blading - sometimes referred to a snowblading - is a type of skiing performed on shorter skis. While these skis are often used as a teaching tool, helping skiers to improve their technique, they’re becoming a new way to ski too. Ski-blades pick up speed on compact snow quickly and it’s easy to manoeuvre as they’re shorter than normal skis, making them a fun new way to tackle tricks. Ski-blading isn’t easy, however, making it a better option for experienced skiers than those just starting out on the slopes. Borovets in Bulgaria is the perfect resort to try out ski-blading, being the gateway to numerous runs on Rila Park’s Musala Ridge and surrounded by glorious Alpine scenery. Do some research before you arrive to find the most suitable runs for practicing ski-blading.
Glacier hiking, Iceland
Love being immersed in snowy mountain scenery, but want to experience something a little different this year? Then you might be up for a glacier hike in Iceland. The country’s many glacier tours allow you to get up close to some of its most staggering ice caps. There are tours that cater to all skill levels and groups that meet both in Reykjavik and on location. Skaftafell and Vatnajokull in South-East Iceland, South Iceland’s Solheimajokull Glacier, and Snaefellsjokull Glacier in West Iceland are all popular options among hikers. If you like the sound of glacier hiking but feel a little nervous, try a single-day tour rather than the multi-day hikes for those more familiar with the great outdoors.
Kick sledging, Taevaskoda, Estonia
Kick sledging is a winter sport the whole family can enjoy. The kick-sled is a small sledge which incorporates a chair mounted on a pair of flexible metal runners, with handles at the front. You propel the sledge forward by kicking off the ground, in a similar way to a scooter or skateboard. In the picturesque Estonian village of Taevaskoda you can join kick sledging hikes on the iridescent snow. Typical hikes measure 1.5-4.5 miles, but there are longer options if you just can’t get enough of your new hobby. Arriving back at your accommodation, a hearty meal and a sauna are on offer to shake off the chill.
Snowtubing, Leysin, Switzerland
This is one you can bring the kids along to. Snowtubing is more akin to a ride than a skilled activity - and it’s heaps of fun. Switzerland is something of a snowtubing leader and in Leysin, close to Lake Geneva, you’ll find the perfect terrain. Leysin’s Tobogganing Park is next to the town’s ice rink and boasts eight pistes between 100 and 250metres. There are no hard toboggans or sledges however, just inflatable rings. There’s also a mini-run for kids under the age of six and an adorable tube roundabout for toddlers, so the whole family can join in the fun.
Yooner, Morillon, France
The yooner - sometimes known as a mono-sledge - is essentially a ski with a mounted seat. The yooner is ridden like a single ski, but with a handle for breaking, and shock absorbers to make for a more comfortable ride. Riding the yooner feels like a cross between skiing and tobogganing. Best of all, it’s pretty easy and fun to master. The enchanting little ski resort of Morillon in France is a top destination for yooners. They allow everyone from the age of 12 upwards to ride this whimsical mode of transport. Full ski wear is required, but with snow boots rather than ski boots.
Wherever you plan on heading to this winter, whether it’s to the slopes or to the beach, it’s good to know that Citybond Suretravel is committed to providing you with the highest level of protection to ensure you are safe and secure 24 hours a day when away.
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