When you take a ski holiday, you don’t ski all the time. After you’ve possibly taken out some ski rentals and spent some time on the slopes you might feel tired after a while. You probably couldn’t even do it for half the time actually (trust us you would be exhausted!)- so with all that downtime, you’re going to need some activities to keep you entertained in the après ski hours.
Of course, what you do is up to you, but here you can find some great suggestions for the 5 top fun and exciting activities that you can do apart when you aren’t enjoying the slopes.
- Food & Drink
Most resorts have fantastic restaurants, and you can also get creative in the kitchen yourself if you opt for a chalet with self-catering facilities. There are numerous ways to find the best cuisine in your resort, but generally you have several options:
- Restaurants – There are plenty of restaurants at ski resorts, and these range from the fine dining experience to the casual bite. Many resorts have crepe stands in France where you can grab a quick snack on your skis – and you can even unwind in the evening with a relaxing quiet meal in-chalet.
- Bars – Bars are plentiful in ski resorts and offer snacks as well as a variety of drinks. Typically bar food is available but this varies from place to place so it’s worth investigating the local establishments to find what you need.
- Clubs – Some resorts have clubs where music is played and drinks are served. These tend to cater to those twenty-something skiers but there are also really good junior clubs with activities at many resorts that help you to keep children on family ski holidays and teenagers occupied.
Keeping hydration at the forefront of your mind is also very important. Skiing is a very physical activity and you will lose a lot of energy and water whilst doing it.
Whatever you choose to do when not skiing, you will have to eat – so it’s inevitable that exploring and enjoying your food and drink options is the number one thing to do off-piste.
- Non-Skiing Snow Related Fun
If you’re not skiing you can still enjoy snow related activities. Whether that is bum-boarding, horse-drawn sleighs or much more. Some of the most fun non-skiing activities include the following:
- Snowmobiling – Snowmobiles don’t just look fun, they are fun! It’s a high-adrenaline and high-horsepower adventure that can make you feel like an action hero – and it certainly doesn’t require as much energy as skiing. Snowmobiling options vary between resorts, but there are a lot of resorts that offer it.
- Snowshoeing – You can walk through beautiful scenery on snowshoes if you don’t want to ski. This is like a hike, but the snowshoes make it easier to walk across snow and it can be great exercise at a slower pace than skiing. You can usually hire snowshoes from the resort you’re staying at, but you can also hire equipment from somewhere like REI, which you can read more about here.
- Ice-Climbing – You’ll find few adventures more thrilling than ice climbing, and resorts such as La Plagne in the Alps offer a fantastic wall of ice to climb if you’re brave enough! It’s basically like rock climbing but on a sheer wall of ice. It’s a really good way to break up activities if want a change of scene from skiing and is a lot of fun.
Snow is not just for skiing, as you can see there are plenty of activities you can take part in to make the most of it..
- Non-Skiing, Non-Snow Related Fun
You can easily not ski and have plenty of fun in and around the snow. But what about getting away from the snow entirely? We’re not suggesting you leave your resort, but if you want to get really adventurous you can still have an adrenaline filled adventure in addition to your time on the slopes. Why not try:
- Hang Gliding – You won’t get a more breath-taking view of the mountains than from above. It might be a bit fast and furious but there aren’t many better ways of seeing the surrounding area and there is actually a unique calmness to the experience.
- Hot Air Ballooning – If hang gliding is a bit daunting, you can take a balloon ride. If you take a hot air balloon up above the resort you will see for miles around – and it’s extremely quiet and peaceful too. Hot air balloon options depend on the resort and weather conditions.
- Swimming – Indoors obviously! Many resorts offer very good swimming facilities which are a nice way of mixing up your activities – and it’s great for kids too. One particularly good example is in Avoriaz where there is a huge pool complex – known as Aquariaz.
You don’t have to get in the snow to have fun on your ski holiday, and depending on the resort you will find a variety of options to choose from.
One of the most popular things to do after your day on the slopes is to relax. This doesn’t just mean sitting in a chair with a glass of mulled wine – although you can certainly do that too. For the perfect way to unwind why not try:
- A Jacuzzi – There’s something magical about being in warm water when you’re surrounded by snow. It’s like being dry in the rain. It’s a great way to soothe weary muscles after skiing too.
- A Sauna – There is a great way to relax that is good for you too – saunas and steams are fantastic for warming up and also for unwinding and getting your muscles loosened up.
- Spa Treatments – You can often find resorts offering various pampering services, from massages to pedicures. This depends on the facilities in your particular resort but can be a great way to reenergise after skiing.
Of course relaxation is resort specific, but many will provide a spa or similar kind of facility for guests to enjoy.
The reality is that many resorts are a little bit isolated, so taking day trips out can be a little bit tricky, however there are plenty of places you can explore:
- The Villages – Many ski resorts are next to or part of small towns or villages in the Alps. You can enjoy many a pleasant hour here, wandering the winding streets and discovering quaint cafe’s and bars.
- Trails – Why not take you and your family cross-country skiing through picturesque snow trails? Doing this means you can soak up the scenery, and also explore new areas at your leisure that you might enjoy.
- Shopping – Many resorts have fantastic cafes and shops that you can browse. Some resorts specialise in designer goods and luxury goods, but most will be more laid back and offer shopping for those living in the area, general tourist knick-knacks, and all the basic amenities too.
Whatever you do with your time not skiing, you’ll be able to explore an environment that is, most likely, completely new and exciting. So make sure that you make the most of your time off-piste and enjoy all that there is to offer.
Skiing is Not Just About Skiing
If you’ve booked a family ski holiday or are going with a small group of friends, you will most likely find yourself looking for things to do apart from skiing. So, hopefully, now you have a better idea of what you might be able to do.