Top 10 alternative winter sports activities

These days there’s more to winter sports than skiing and snowboarding, so we decided to look at ten of the more unusual ways to spend your winter break:

 

 

Night Tobogganing Hop on the train in St Mortitz and in minutes you’ll find yourself at the top of Europe’s longest floodlit toboggan run.  Hire a sled and a helmet in Pedra and it’s an exhilarating 6km slide all the way down to Bergün where you can jump on the train and do it all again.

Ice Driving Rally driving isn’t for the faint-hearted and it doesn’t get any easier on ice. Petrol heads can test their winter driving skills on Sweden’s frozen arctic lakes with some serious horsepower from Mitsubishi and Subaru. If in doubt: go flat out.

Fat Biking Hurtling down a snowclad mountain on five-inch rims with balloon tyres might not be everybody’s idea of fun, but it’s the fastest growing winter sport and ‘fatties’ can be seen on slopes across Europe. To test your mettle head for the glitzy Swiss resort of Gstaad, saddle-up, and hit the trails.

Snowshoeing Get in touch with your inner Eskimo by donning a pair of snowshoes and taking a tour on foot. Snowshoeing is popular across Europe and you can book a break anywhere there’s snow, but for sheer beauty it’s hard to beat the Italian Dolomites. Snowshoeing has been popular in these parts for some time and what’s believed to be the world’s oldest snowshoe was recently discovered on an Italian glacier and is thought to be around 5,800 years old.

Ice Climbing If you want to give ice climbing a go it makes sense to head to the land of fire and ice. Iceland boasts more than 4,500 square miles of glaciers; you just need to strap-on your crampons, grab your ice axe, and pitch-up.

Dog Sledding The frozen forests and plateaus of Lapland are a playground for winter sports enthusiasts and it’s hard to think of a better way of getting around than being pulled by a team of huskies. The Sami people have been working with man’s best friend since the dawn of time and can organise unforgettable expeditions into some of the wildest landscapes on the planet.

Snow Kiting Think kite surfing on the slopes and you’ll have a pretty good idea of what snow kiting is all about. Newbies tend to start on the flat before taking to the hills for some seriously big air, whether going downhill or uphill. Snow kiting is still in its’ infancy although it’s really taken-off in the Austrian resort of Obertauern.

Snowmobile Safaris Track down the dancing psychedelic lights of the Aurora Borealis on a snowmobile safari after dark. The Northern Lights have captured the imagination of mankind since the dawn of time and snowmobiles are the best way of zipping about the frozen north.

Ski Jumping If Channel 4’s hit TV show The Jump hasn’t put you off; you can learn to soar like Eddie the Eagle Edwards with ski jumping lessons in the Austria’s Höhnhart. Lessons at the purpose-built ski jumping centre are surprisingly affordable, but then again not everybody has got the stomach for it.

Curling Grab your stones, pick-up a broom, and head ‘north of the border’ to the birthplace of curling. The Scots came-up with the idea of curling back in medieval times about the same time they were getting into golf and today there are curling clubs dotted across the country.

No matter how you plan to spend your time on the slopes; it’s essential to make sure that you’ve got the right insurance. Winter sports insurance from Quoteline Direct provides comprehensive cover for most traditional winter pursuits (including: skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiling and tobogganing) while riskier pastimes can normally be covered for an additional premium. To find out more visit our winter sports insurance page or Tel: 0161 874 7745 to speak with a member of our travel team.

 

 


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