If you like the English Lake District, you'll love the Austrian one, says Tim Spanton in The Sun. In the central European lakes, set in the heart of Salzkammergut, "forested peaks replace grassy slopes and afternoons pause for chocolate cake instead of cream teas". Austria's Lake District is home to salt mines, and while some are still working, others have been turned into galleries and concert venues. In the mine in the village of Altaussee, you transfer between levels by a wooden slide, although "there are staircases for the faint-hearted". Nearby are the Dachstein ice caves, which are sealed each winter to keep in the cold and opened in the spring to reveal natural ice sculptures. The area is also rich in wildlife you might see eagles, dipper birds and deer. All in all, a trip to the Austrian lakes offers "just the right mix of walking, sightseeing and comfort", says Spanton. Stay at the Hotel Seevilla for "sumptuous breakfasts" and seven-course dinners.
Seven nights from £1,475 including flights from Gatwick. See Adagio.co.uk
Adventures in the Alps
Alternatively, for the "perfect family activity break" in the mountains, head to Morzine in the French Alps, says Anil Dawar in the Daily Express. This village resort entertains its visitors with activities and sports such as white-water rafting, climbing and horse-riding. In a guided tour on mountain bikes, for example, you speed along dirt tracks, through pastures, and alongside rock-strewn rivers. "The most exhilarating experience" on offer is paragliding at several thousand feet over Morzine.
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Less adventurous visitors could take a boat across Lake Geneva to Lausanne, and walk to the village of Les Lindarets, where goats roam freely, or spend a day in the medieval town of Annecy.
Once you've worn yourself out for the day, Paul and Francesca, the owners of chalet firm Chilly Powder's hotel Au Coin du Feu, "couldn't be more welcoming". The chalets are just outside the town centre in Les Prodains, and they "sit at the bottom of a valley with the lush wooded Alps looming over them on either side". Each evening begins with canaps before a four-course dinner.
Chilly Powder (ChillyPowder.com) offers seven nights from £655 per person based on two sharing), half-board.
A little closer to home is the Scottish Highland village of Braemar, a two-and-a-half-hour drive from Glasgow, where the "awe-inspiring scenery and amazing wildlife" make for a break that is "literally a breath of fresh air", says Sam Love, also in The Sun. Love stayed in a larch-clad cabin in the centre of the village, which has underfloor heating and floor-to-ceiling windows, making it a "warm, cosy and airy" base for exploring. After "a hearty breakfast", Love and his family set out to conquer the nearest hill, Creag Choinnich, with mountaineer and local resident Sue Harper Todd, who was the first British woman to lead an expedition to the summit of Mount Everest in 2004. They visited the abandoned farmstead of Auchtavan and the Queen Mother's Cottage, in an area that's home to deer, red squirrels and golden eagles. Balmoral Castle and the Royal Lochnagar Distillery are nearby, as is Scotland's largest ski resort, Glenshee, which offers mountain biking in the summer.
A four-person cabin costs from £475 for a week. See BraemarCabins.com.
An unusual new ski resort in the Caucasus
A ski resort has "taken its accommodation to new heights" by creating a towering hotel out ofre-purposed shipping containers, says Harriet Mallinson in the Daily Mail. The Quadrum Ski and Yoga Resort in Georgia has been built 7,200 feet above sea level and is described as "the first boutique hotel" in the Caucasus mountains. All rooms have panoramic views designed by architects Sandro Ramishvili and Irakli Eristavi, and range from single rooms to family and deluxe suites, and all guests can enjoy the pool and sauna. See Quadrum-gudauri.com.
Alice grew up in Stockholm and studied at the University of the Arts London, where she gained a first-class BA in Journalism. She has written for several publications in Stockholm and London, and joined MoneyWeek in 2017.
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