Skiing holidays: head off the beaten piste

Avoid the crowds and brush up on your skiing at these four resorts. Nicole Garcia Merida reports

Chedi Andermatt

No wonder avid skiers plan a trip whenever they can. Hot chocolate, crackling fires and picture-perfect views are an excellent cure for winter blues, and there is a vast array of resorts to explore. If you want to skip the crowded world-famous pistes you don't have far to look, says Alex Cody in the Sunday Times. Whatever your taste, ability or budget you're bound to find something that suits you.

The slope less travelled

At the heart of the skiing village lies the Chedi, a resort that has become a destination in itself. It boasts luxury accommodation, a spa, a 6,000-bottle wine cellar and a Michelin-starred Japanese restaurant.

Subscribe to MoneyWeek

Become a smarter, better informed investor with MoneyWeek.

But Andermatt's key selling point is its vast expanse of powdery snow. A gondola takes skiers to the top of the Gtsch peak, which is ideal for beginners and intermediates: it is dotted with blue, green and red slopes. Another cable car goes up to the Gemsstock ski area, which lends itself to both piste and off-piste skiing. It is also possible to take two cable cars up to the summit, which offers panoramic views of the Swiss alps. "The time to book your trip is now."

Powder skiing in Ischgl

Back country skiing

Heavyweight gondolas take you up the mountain and offer a breathtaking view of rugged mountain ranges and the picturesque villages below. The 240-kilometre ski area "best suits mileage-hungry intermediates who enjoy covering lots of ground each day before returning to the resort for some of the wildest table-dancing in the Alps", says The Daily Telegraph. For more seasoned skiers, there is plenty of space to ski off-piste.

Advertisement - Article continues below

Something for everyone

Penken is home to the Harakiri piste, the steepest black slope in Austria. There is also Penken Park, an obstacle course that allows beginners and advanced skiers or snowboarders to hone their skills. The valley of Ahorn, meanwhile, offers nursery slopes ideal for beginners and families. It is also home to the White Lounge, an igloo bar and hotel. Mayrhofen is known as one of Austria's most musical areas and is also renowned for its Tyrolean architecture and picturesque wooden houses.

A sunny weekend break

Sky Way staion, Mont Blanc, Courmayeur village, Aosta district, Valle d'Aosta, Italy

Courmayeur, at the foot of Mont Blanc, is an excellent option to fulfil any weekend wanderlust, Rachael Martin told the Italian edition of The Local. Because it is on the Italian side of the mountain it receives plenty of sunlight even during the winter, so it is not as chilly as its French counterpart Chamonix.

It offers 100km of piste and off-piste skiing and opportunities for cross-country skiing, snow-shoeing, and other winter sports. "The town's centre is the pedestrianised Via Roma with bars, restaurants and boutiques," notes Martin, so there's lots to do once you've exhausted the slopes. Its proximity to airports in Turin and Geneva will appeal to those after a weekend break of fast skiing and slow living.

The resort is also known for the Skyway Monte Bianco, a cable car that travels to the closest point of the mountain's summit. This "Italian feat of extreme engineering" offers rotating cars that give panoramic view of the surrounding mountain ranges.



Travel and holidays

The Royal Palm in Mauritius: the pleasures of arriving after dark

A dramatic morning surprise and a rum tasting at the Beachcomber Royal Palm in Mauritius puts Chris Carter in a good mood.
14 Feb 2020
Travel & holidays

Chill out on holiday at these ice hotels

Ice hotels are some of the coolest places to spend the winter. Chris Carter looks at three of the best.
7 Feb 2020
Travel & holidays

Four of the best unusual river cruises

Learn how to paint on a cruise along the River Seine and do yoga at sunrise on the Ganges.
31 Jan 2020
Travel & holidays

Holidays that won’t pile on the pounds

Going on holiday needn’t mean breaking those New Year resolutions.
24 Jan 2020

Most Popular

House prices

The biggest risk facing the UK housing market right now

For house prices to stagnate or even fall would be healthy for the property market, says John Stepek. But there is a distinct danger that isn't going …
17 Feb 2020

Money Minute Monday 17 February: good news ahead for the UK economy?

Today's Money Minute looks to a week in which we get the latest employment and inflation numbers, plus retail figures for January and a slew of eurozo…
17 Feb 2020

The euro’s slide against the US dollar looks set to continue

The euro has been in a bear market against the US dollar for two years now. And on a broader scale since 2008. A decline like that is telling us somet…
19 Feb 2020

The rare earth metal that won't be a secret for long

SPONSORED CONTENT – You can’t keep a good thing hidden forever; now is the time to consider Pensana Rare Earths and the rare earth metals NdPr.
31 Jan 2020