Snowshoes in the Dolomites, Italy
Promising magical hikes along the snow-capped forest paths of Fanes-Senes-Braies Natural Park, around Lago di Braies and under the craggy peaks of Tre Cime di Lavaredo, an Exodus group snowshoe trip in the Dolomites explores some of the most beautiful landscapes of the region. The charming Hotel Adler, which has an excellent restaurant and wellness center in the village of Villabassa, is the base of the week and from this winter the tour is offered with the option of train travel instead of flights.
From £ 1399pp, including guide and full board activities, corn excluding flights or train tickets, exode.co.uk
Electric snowmobiles in La Plagne, France
Do you like snowmobiling but hate fumes and noise? There is an electric option. The first fleet of Moonbikes in the Alps, easier and lighter to ride, with a top speed of 26 mph, are available for hire from the Oxygène ski school in La Plagne for guided tours in the early evening, after the ski lifts close. It’s a leisurely but exciting way to explore the slopes.
Minimum age 16 years, 90 € pp for one hour, Oxygene.ski. Stay at the luxurious new White Pearl Lodge & Spa with swimming pool from € 1,064 by week for an apartment for four people, cgh-residences.co.uk
No-Flight Snowy Escape to Budapest
The journey is part of the fun on a short train break to the Hungarian capital. Departure from London St Pancras to Brussels, then a change of train in Cologne (and dinner time in the old town) to jump in the bunk to Vienna and arrive in Budapest the next day for lunch (goulash, surely) . Three days here are enough to pack your bags at the city’s thermal baths, Buda Castle, clubbing in the Jewish Quarter and Christmas markets. On the way back there is a stopover in Munich, near the Bavarian and Austrian Alps, so it is possible to extend the trip for some snow sports.
From £ 749 pp, hotel (B&B) and train travel included, on mesureail.com
Great Scandinavian tour by train
The Polar Express is an epic new train journey through Scandinavia’s coolest cities and the most exhilarating arctic realms. By train from London to Cologne then to Copenhagen, Gothenburg and Oslo, the 21-night adventure passes through the scenic Dovre and Rauma railways and crosses the Arctic Circle on the Nordland Line. Cool days will be spent exploring the Norwegian mountains, running moose safaris, visiting fjords, forests and Lofoten Islands (by ferry), looking for the Northern Lights and warming up with fika (coffee and cake stops). Some of the area’s best architectural hotels – the Icehotel, Treehotel, and Arctic Bath in Swedish Lapland – are included.
£ 3,459 per person with accommodation, tours and all transport, Discover-the-world.com
Wine on skis, Alta Badia, Italy
Delicious South Tyrolean wines are one of the best things about vacationing in Italy’s Alta Badia region, where one of the most popular winter activities is the “sommelier on the slopes” event. Accompanied by a ski guide and an oenologist, the skiers spin (or waver) from refuge to refuge for tastings of fine wines. New this year are dates which include a four-course tasting menu lunch in a gourmet cabin. Try it on a Ski World driverless package to the reconstructed Villa Trieste residence in Corvara.
Details of the event on altabadia.org. Package from £ 816pp one week including return Eurotunnel tickets, skiworld.co.uk
New chic hostel in Austria’s Zillertal
‘Basic but wow’ is how Das Gerlos’ rooms are described, and while the new pad calls itself a modern hostel, it looks rather sleek and has a spa. In the peaceful mountain village of Gerlos, at 1,246 meters, it is an ideal base for cross-country skiing and winter hiking. A short walk from ski lifts connect the wider Zillertal ski area, with 180 ski lifts and 542 km of slopes, and unusual activities such as moonlit skiing.
Double of € 116 one night B&B, dasgerlos.com. To travel by train, take the Eurostar to Amsterdam, then the Nightjet sleeper to Jenbach, then the local form
New ski train passes to the French Alps
The end of the paid Eurostar Ski Train service, which carried skiers from the UK to the Alps, was a big blow, but Compagnie des Alpes, which operates ski lifts at many ski resorts, has launched a new service chartered. Unlike the Eurostar, tickets must be purchased as part of a package with ski pass and accommodation via Travelski Express. The nonstop overnight journey departs from London St Pancras on Friday evening, arrives at Moûtiers and Bourg-Saint-Maurice the next morning, and returns the following Saturday. Transfers to Tignes, Les Arcs, La Plagne, Méribel, Les Menuires or Val d’Isère are included. Oh, and there are no bunks, only reclining seats.
Of £ 620pp one week for an apartment in Tignes, fr.travelski.com
Festive family skiing in France
Skiing at Christmas is a magical and sparkling Santa Claus cave experience, but prohibitively expensive for most families. For a good deal, take a look at the budget-oriented UCPA. Created 56 years ago by the French government to encourage young people to practice outdoor sports, today it is a non-profit organization. During his family weeks at French seaside resorts, accommodation is usually in a large hotel with a bar and nightclub, with buffet meals and evening entertainment – everything is included and the atmosphere is fun. .
A week in Flaine from December 19th costs £856 adult, from £ 531 child full board in a dormitory for four people, lift pass, equipment rental and four days of lessons included, but not travel, action-outdoors.co.uk
New French base for isolated winter walking
A few miles from glitzy Courchevel in the French Alps, but a world apart, the village of Pralognan-la-Vanoise has landed on the map with the opening of the elegant four-star hotel, Edelweiss. This unusual village has been a mountaineering center for over 150 years and is an excellent location for cross-country skiing and winter hiking as well as for downhill skiing. Close to the center of the village, 1,500 meters away, the hotel has 23 chic rooms dressed in pine trees and a spa.
Double from €980 one week guest rooms, hotel-edelweiss-pralognan.com
Cumbrian fondue at the foot of the slopes
For a taste of alpine life closer to home, the Yan Boutique Hotel near Grasmere is a fun option for a winter weekend, influenced by the owners’ years of ski chalet management. A new winter menu features Cumbrian fondue and croziflette – baked pasta with cheese – and if the snow is plentiful, there is real skiing on Raise, a summit on the Helvellyn Range, where the Lake District Ski Club lifts come alive to access nine ungroomed slopes.
Double of £ 130 one night room only, Theyyan.co.uk. Ski £ 30 per day, ldscsnowski.co.uk