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4 Places To Go Skiing You Probably Never Thought Of!

You only have to take one look at the travel section of my blog to see that we love visiting snowy countries. There’s nothing better than climbing white-capped peaks or playing in soft powder. We managed a little bit of cross-country skiing when we were in Norway last year but we plan to hit the slopes properly at some point, we’ve just been too busy booking hot holidays. I know – shock horror!!

I haven’t been skiing on a mountain in years, but if I remember one thing, nothing kills the fun of a skiing holiday faster than crowds! If you’re looking for a winter adventure off the beaten track, then you should check out these hotspots. Forget Switzerland or France (I’ll always have a soft spot for you, Chamonix), for a truly unique skiing experience, try one of these lesser-known destinations:

4 Places To Go Skiing You Probably Never Thought Of! | UK Lifestyle Blog

Oukaimeden, Morocco

Close your eyes and picture Morocco. If you’re imagining bazaars, camels, and desert landscapes, think again! There’s more to this North African destination than Arabian nights fantasies. Head two hours south of Marrakech, and you’ll find yourself in a completely different landscape.

Ouikameden is the highest ski resort on the continent. If you’ve been skiing for a long time, it might feel like a trip back in time. Haggling is common, and if the single chairlift which will take you up to 3,258m fails, then you’ll have to find alternative transport up to the top…donkey. If this appeals to your adventurous spirit, then you’ll be pleased to learn that lift passes are far cheaper than in Europe, and you won’t be surrounded by other holidaymakers.

Malam Jabba, Pakistan

Another country that might not be high on your list of skiing destinations, Pakistan has a hidden gem located in the Swat Valley. Pakistan is growing in popularity as a skiing destination and the Malam Jabba ski resort is the only one in the country and is popular throughout the year – when the snow melts, it doubles as a great spot for hiking.

For a truly special, off-the-beaten-track experience, it’s hard to beat Malam Jabba. The nearest airport, Peshawar, is six and a half hours away, so just getting there is an adventure in itself.

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Niseko, Japan

Skiing is more popular than you might have realized in Japan. Niseko, on the island of Hokkaido, is one of the best of the country’s 600 ski resorts. For a taste of something a little bit different, try tree skiing or even night skiing – you will find extensive floodlights should you wish to try this!

You’re guaranteed an adventure here, but again, make sure you’ve got travel insurance before setting off. Japanese health care is some of the best in the world, but in a worst-case scenario, it can be costly without adequate cover.

Grandvalira, Andorra

If you’re looking for a shorter break or you don’t want to travel that far, then Andorra is a great option. This was the first place I ever went skiing, and I completely fell in love.

For older thrill-seekers, this is without a doubt the best choice for a bargain holiday, as lift passes are completely free for over-70s. Not entirely relevant to me, personally but hopefully it’s useful to somebody else reading this.

Wherever you decide to go on holiday, don’t leave anything to chance. You’ll be saving money on the slopes, so you’ve got no excuse for not picking up some travel insurance. I get mine through Halifax and it’s ideal for all of our trips. Shop around and find the best deal for you, whether it’s family cover or travel insurance for those over 70, make sure you don’t go skiing without it.

2018-06-04T01:07:38+00:00 February 16, 2018|Travel|

How to Stay Safe on a Ski Holiday in France

France is the ideal destination for a perfect ski holiday this winter. Whether you’re travelling solo, with family or with friends, there are several things you can do to make sure you stay safe on the slopes and have the best holiday possible.

How to Stay Safe on a Ski Holiday in France | UK Lifestyle Blog

Join a ski school

If you’re a beginner or want to ski more difficult slopes than you have done previously, being supervised by a qualified ski instructor is the safest way to get you ready for the mountains. French resorts are home to many great ski schools, we’ve picked out just a few of them:

  • ESF: Boasting over 17,000 instructors, ESF is the largest ski school in the world. The vast majority of these instructors are fluent English speakers and are available for tuition at over 250 centres in France. They also offer the successful Piou Piou clubs for children aged 3 and over.
  • Evolution 2: With 11 schools in the French Alps, Evolution 2 offer small group sizes for more personalised tuition, as well as multi-lingual instructors and various ski programmes tailored specifically for children.
  • New Generation: all of New Generation’s ski instructors are fully qualified, and have several years of training behind them, so you can be sure you will be in safe hands. They operate in 15 resorts across the French and Swiss Alps.
  • Progression ski & snowboard school: this ski school offers multiple options for children, but also caters specifically for teenagers, knowing that this age group are often fit and wanting to pick up speed, but might need some help with the technical side of things before they hit the black runs with their parents.

How to Stay Safe on a Ski Holiday in France | UK Lifestyle Blog

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Ensure you’re equipped & fit to ski

It’s always a great idea to check the weather forecast before you head out onto the slopes, and make sure you’ve packed the necessary equipment and are wearing suitable clothing. You should also be physically ready for the day ahead, experts recommend that you warm up before doing any kind of skiing. Remember that you need to be focused and alert to ski safely, so don’t consume alcohol before you head out or whilst you’re on the slopes. Many French resorts offer great après ski activity, but do save it for après!

Be prepared for emergencies

If you follow the guidelines for skiing safely, hopefully you’ll have a perfect ski holiday and it won’t come to this! However, it’s always a good idea to cover yourself in case of an accident or emergency. Always purchase travel insurance before you leave for your skiing holiday, and make sure that your policy covers winter sports. Do also pay attention to the small print; for example, some policies require that you wear a helmet and will otherwise be invalid. In the off-chance that you do have a skiing accident in France, you can call the Europe-wide emergency services number 112.

How to Stay Safe on a Ski Holiday in France | UK Lifestyle Blog

SnowTrex is an international winter sports tour operator, offering ski holidays in up to 1.500 accommodations and 500 resorts around the Alps and other areas.

2018-06-04T00:53:12+00:00 December 4, 2017|Travel|

We’re heading to the French Alps: 14 days and counting!

Known for its rabbit warren of runs, vast unspoiled landscapes and unusual lifestyle both on and off the slopes France is a skiers paradise. Here, visitors come from all over the world, flock in their thousands to make the most of the short-lived ski season and challenge themselves to go faster, be better, and push harder.

It’s not just the slopes we come for either; there’s a small percentage of people who won’t be going near ski boots. Instead, they come for fabulous European fusion cuisine, beautiful scenery, and hard-to-find winter clothing as well as unwinding in luxury spas, having their hair done in opulent salons and tasting bespoke cocktails in hotel lounges.

We're heading to the French Alps: 14 days and counting! | UK Lifestyle Blog

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We absolutely LOVE going away and scrambling to the top of mountains because the views are mesmerising. However, for my birthday in a couple of weeks we’ve decided to opt for stunning landscapes without the pain of climbing to the top – instead we’ll be in a cable car to the top of Aiguille Du Midi. We fly out to Geneva before crossing the border and staying in a log cabin in Chamonix below Mount Blanc in just 14 days!

Thinking of doing the same? Here’s some of the locations that was on our shortlist.

Chamonix

Probably the most iconic names in skiing, let alone France, Chamonix is where the creme de la creme of high society come when they’re bored with Whistler, Vail, and Aspen. It’s on every skier’s bucket list be they keen amateurs or semi-professionals and is known for its dizzying descents, impeccable terrain and gorgeous vistas.

Chamonix is where style reigns supreme, and you’ll find entire shopping malls filled with designer brands and world-class cuisine. Nestled at the foot of the majestic Mont Blanc, Chamonix is practically littered with red, black and blue runs as well as the infamous Valle Blanche Descent. Think very, very carefully before you decide to do this run, it’s extremely tough, guides must accompany skiers, and it can only be reached by a vertical cable car.

If like us you aren’t going for the ski-ing, then don’t miss standing in a glass box ‘Step into the Void’ 12,391ft high. I cannot wait to be standing here in a couple of weeks!! S isn’t quite as excited about this part as I am..

We're heading to the French Alps: 14 days and counting! | UK Lifestyle Blog

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Not sold? Here are a couple of other places we considered, too!

Meribel

This lively, chalet style resort is much loved, especially by the Brits which doesn’t come as much of a surprise as Meribel was founded by one. In the 1930s, Peter Lindsay, a huge fan of winter sports sketched out the design for Meribel and construction soon began. Purpose built, the resort has all the home comforts you could want, including local pubs and bars as well as acres of intermediate runs and lovely boutique shops. Something which instructors and your Meribel ski guide will suggest, is when skiing the valley follow the sun, that way you’re less likely to wipe out thanks to ice and slush on your way back down. Love a good party? Meribel does too and come mid-afternoon bars, pubs, restaurants, cafes and anywhere you can get a drink are packed with revelers looking to dance till dawn.

Val d’Isère

Home to numerous markets, upscale restaurants, boutiques, elegant hotels, charming cafes and even resort cinemas Val d’Isere is a real winter playground. Why not make your French ski adventure a trip of a lifetime and splash out on a luxurious chalet complete with maid, cook, and butler? That way you won’t have to worry about any domestic chores and can focus on having fun. Val d’Isere has a variety of top quality terrain both on and off-piste including glacial zones, powder bowls, and gorgeously steep couloirs. The ultimate thrill for experienced skiers and boarders has to, of course, be La Daille. An impossibly high peak that’s famous for her iconic La Face black run – a terrifying almost vertical drop down into the arms of the of the valley below!

2018-01-08T03:33:33+00:00 February 13, 2017|Travel|
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