Winter sports for beginners #4 – 19x what to do during a winter sports holiday?
I love sunny destinations, but I also get very happy if I can play in the fresh snow. Are you also a winter lover? Then you will definitely go to a winter sports destination at some point. And even if you’re tired of the slopes (although it’s hard to imagine that) I have some more suggestions for you. I give you 19 activities that you can do during a winter sports holiday!
1. Exploring the slopes with ski/snowboard
Yes, the obvious one: most people go to a winter sports destination to explore the slopes on their skis or snowboards.
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2. Snow shoe walking
Snow shoe walking was maybe THE big surprise during my last winter sports holiday. What an experience! During this walk you go to snowy places where you normally can’t go. The special snow shoes – that you click around your normal shoes – make you feel like a penguin, but after some wiggling you get used to walking with them. By the way: use good, comfy and waterproof shoes during this walk, because the snow shoes don’t protect your shoes entirely. Most of the times you can sign up for the snow shoe walking for free at the local tourist office if you have a special holiday card. In general you get these cards from your accommodation when you stay for more than 1 night.
3. The “normal” walk
Of course you don’t have to walk and roll in the snow with special snow shoes. There are lots of hiking trails that you can explore by yourself and your normal shoes. Or make a little walk in the town you’re staying. Don’t forget to ask at the local tourist office if the roads are accessible. In winter time some of them are not accessible because of the snow and sometimes it’s even dangerous to go there at all.
4. Torchlight walk
One of the most romantic things you can do during a winter sports holiday: the guided torchlight walk. At night nature is totally different: you hear other sounds and if you’re lucky you can see some night animals as well. And although it feels really romantic and a lot of couples will sign up I – a solo traveler without a partner – enjoyed it a lot. It has something mysterious: walking in the dark, while the light of the torch is the only thing that makes the road visible.
5. Trying local dishes
Normally I don’t really focus on food. You need it, but that’s it. But during winter sports it changes. A lot of delicious things to try and taste! Especially if you’re a sucker for sweet things and cheese. Here are some of my favorites:
1. Kaiserschmarrn – caramelised pancakes with jams.
2. Cherry and apple strudels – dough filled with fruit.
3. Fritatensuppe – soup, made of meat or vegetables bouillon, with slices of pancake in it.
4. De kasspatzln – pasta-like dish with a lot of (spicy) cheese. Sticky, but delicious.
A different way to explore the snowy mountains: tobogganing. I’m from the Netherlands, so as a kid I would go to the nearest hill with my sled, jump on it and walk up again. I know: our “mountains” are a joke, but it was great for sledging. In most winter sports destinations the mountains are a bit bigger, so they have special tobogganing routes nearby the slopes. That way you don’t end up bumping into a random tree. Nice way to explore the mountains if you don’t feel like skiing or snowboarding!
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7. Visit the villages and cities in the area
Tired of playing in the snow all day long? Then go and explore some nice villages in the surroundings. In Tirol you have a lot of picturesque towns, but also Innsbruck and Salzburg are great for a day trip. One of my favorite villages in Austria is Rattenberg. This is the smallest town in Austria and famous because of the glass artists. While it’s more quiet in winter time you can still visit some shops to check out their master pieces. And if you’re lucky you will even see some of the craftsmen working!
8. Snow ball fight!
Most of the times this happens spontaneously, but how can someone not love snow ball fights? The little kid in me is very happy when I have some snow balls to throw at others. Bonus points if you hit someone right in the face!
9. Be an artist and make some snow sculptures
Or a snow man, if you’re not that creative with snow.
10. Reading a book
Almost everyone has a book you wanna read for a long time, but you never seem to have time to actually do it. Well now you do! Preferably with some hot chocolate near a fire place of course.
11. Warming up in a hot tub or a sauna
Nothing is so relaxing after a long, cold day on the slopes as a hot shower. Another perfect way to treat your hard-working muscles is a visit to a sauna or a hot tub. Some hotels have a private one, but most winter sports destinations have a swimming pool and/or a sauna in the area as well. Check beforehand if you can have a free visit with your holiday card!
For most people a winter sports holiday is not complete without a night (or two) of après-ski. Some people already start on the slopes, but personally I think this is not the greatest idea. You still have to go down that hill and you don’t wanna do that drunk, do you? Après-ski is a great way to connect with your fellow snow lovers and after a beer or two you will sing along with the après-ski hits as well!
With a big bow in your hands you will for sure feel like Robin Hood or a Lord of the Rings elf. In the summer most places offer archery outside, in nature. But at a lot of places you can also give it a try at an indoor archery range. This is definitely one of my favorite indoor activities during a winter sports.
14. Exploring mode with a camera
Because you can’t go home without some shots of those beautiful winter landscapes and cute winter villages right?
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There are some other activities as well that I haven’t tried (yet) that you can do during a winter sports holiday:
15. Snow scooter trip
Definitely a nice activity for adrenaline junkies!
16. Dog sledding
There are so many cool ways to move yourself from one place to another. One way is dog sledding, mainly popular in the Scandinavian countries. I did it a couple of years ago in Sweden and it was so much fun! Luckily nowadays you can also do it at a lot of winter sports destinations.
17. Dancing on ice
Ice skating and dancing on ice gives you such a great feeling. The feeling of freedom. Did you know I joined a figure skating team when I was younger? I for sure know how to make some pirouettes and I always get really excited when I see some fresh ice to skate on. Some villages have a special ice skate rink, but if you’re lucky there’s a lake or a river nearby where you can go as well.
18. See the northern lights
Seeing the northern lights – or aurora borealis if you wanna use the fancy word – is on the bucket list of many people. And for a reason. How magical is it if you see different colors dancing in the sky above you? This one is mainly for winter sports destinations like Canada, Finland and Norway, where you have the best chance to spot the northern lights.
I think we all know Dutchies love biking. Unfortunately that’s not a great idea to do in the snow. But there’s a solution: fatbiking. A fatbike looks like a mountainbike with really thick tires, so it’s easier to move around on snowy roads.
That’s it! I hope you have found some inspiration for activities you can do during your next winter sports trip. Do you wanna add some activities or extra tips for a winter sports holiday? Please let me know in the comments.