If you’re looking for somewhere different for your 2017/2018 ski holiday, then we’ve got the perfect ski destination for you. If you want to mix some winter sun with your skiing, why not head to the Sierra Nevada in southern Spain or Tenerife in the Canary Islands? You could even jet off to Dubai, which may not have any traditional ski slopes, but does boast one of the world’s largest indoor ski centres! You could also head to Bulgaria, which offers great value skiing holidays and stunning mountain scenery, or visit Croatia, which has several fabulous ski resorts! If you’re fed up of jostling with the hordes for a spot on the ski lift, why not choose one of our top 5 ski holiday destinations – and leave the crowds behind!
Bulgaria is a fantastic skiing destination that is only just beginning to be discovered by canny British holidaymakers. The family-friendly ski resort of Bansko in the Pirin mountains offers more than 40 miles of slopes plus some wonderful thermal hot springs where you can relax after a hard day on the pistes. The town of Razlog, just 5 miles from Bansko, is an ideal base for ski holidays, and shuttle buses link the hotels with the slopes. The biggest Bulgarian ski resort is Borovets, which combines world-class slopes (it regularly hosts prestigious winter sports’ events) and some of the best après-ski nightlife you’re likely to find anywhere. Plus, the enticing Bulgarian capital of Sofia is just an hour’s drive away. Pamporovo, in the Rhodope mountains, is smaller but has spectacular scenery and 35 miles of slopes.
Croatia is another up-and-coming ski destination, which offers great value ski resorts. If you’re hoping to ski while visiting the Croatian capital of Zagreb, your best bet is Mount Sljeme, just outside the city. It has just four ski runs, but is very easy to reach from central Zagreb if you’re looking for your ski fix. The country’s biggest resort is Bjelolasica, about a 2-hour drive from Zagreb (it’s also accessible by bus and train), where you’ll find the Croatian Olympic Center and a host of modern facilities. Also a 2-hour drive from Zagreb, Platak is a small resort, with 4 miles of runs (mainly for beginners and intermediate skiiers) and another 6 miles of fabulous cross-country runs. You can even soak up sea views from the highest peaks! For breathtaking scenery, head to Plitvice, a national park, which is just over 2 hours away by car, and has a wonderful little ski station that is particularly good for kids and beginners.
If you are longing for some winter sun, but don’t want to miss out on some skiing, why not head to the stunning Sierra Nevada? This beautiful mountain range near Granada in Andalucia offers more than 100km of slopes for skiing and snowboarding at an altitude of between 2000 and 3000 metres at its Sierra Nevada ski resort. Locals like to say they can ski in the morning and spend the afternoon at the beach! If you just fancy a day’s skiing while you’re on a city break, why not visit Barcelona? This breathtaking city on the Mediterranean is only 2 hours away from the Pyrenees, and you can catch a ski bus that will deposit you first thing in the morning on the slopes and bring you back in the evening.
There are plenty of famous ski resorts in Italy, but if you want to get off the beaten track, follow the locals to Lake Garda. Better known to Brits as a summer holiday destination, Lake Garda is also conveniently located for the Monte Baldo ski station. This has 5 miles of ski runs, plus a ski school, and the views over the lakes and mountain peaks are simply heavenly. The Piedmont region is another fantastic skiing holiday destination, and boasts more than 40 ski resorts, from upmarket Courmayeur, which is under 2 hours from Turin, the Piedmontese capital, to Sestriere and Sauze d’Oulx, both just 75 minutes’ drive from the capital.
5. Canary Islands
The Canary Islands are a perennial favourite with holidaymakers looking for some winter sun. But the islands are not all about beaches and bars! Spain’s highest mountain, Mount Teide (3718 metres), is located right in the middle of Tenerife. Set in a stunningly beautiful National Park, Teide is home to a fantastic ski resort, which has 20 kilometres of runs set amid some spectacular scenery.