The 10 best resorts for non-skiers to visit this winter

Skip the slopes and head to the hot tub in Chamonix

More people than ever are looking for the benefits of a holiday in the snow – the gentle silence, the immersion in winter nature, the magical sights – without the intense, adrenaline-packed and environmentally damaging aspects of traditional slopes. The non-ski holiday is officially in vogue.

Slow holiday specialist Inntravel reports that bookings for its non-ski snow holidays are up 150 per cent on last year. “When the mountains are covered in snow and the view of the Alps stretches into the distance, there is a certain sense of serenity,” says Amber Welford of Inntravel.

“Being on the mountain is good for well-being and also helps to gain a bigger perspective. Snow holidays for non-skiers are a growing trend as people discover more and more benefits from these types of holidays that go beyond just hitting the slopes.”

From the relaxing pursuits of winter hiking, snowshoeing or yoga in the snow, to the exhilarating thrills of tobogganing, snowmobiling or dog sledding, ski resorts are bursting with winter activities for those who have hung up their skis for good or aren’t ready yet. looking for alternative ways to spend a week in the mountains.

Here we reveal the 10 best ski resorts for non-skiers.

1. Samoëns, France

Best for village vibes

Charming Samoëns is classified as a national heritage siteCharming Samoëns is classified as a national heritage site

The charming Samoëns is classified as a national heritage – Hemis / Alamy

Although the charming village of Samoëns lies within the Grand Massif ski area, it has retained its own identity. Indeed, it is the only winter sports resort in France classified as a national heritage site. People come not only to ski, but also to wander the old square and covered market. And for refreshing dips: Samoëns organized the Ice Swimming World Championships in 2023, and ice swimming courses are given at Lac aux Dames. Alternatively, you can try cold yoga or winter rafting on the Giffre River.

Book It: Peak Retreats offers La Residence Club Samoëns Village from £296, self-catering, including Eurotunnel crossing, based on five people.

2. Seefeld, Austria

Best for winter walks

Seefeld has 142 km of cleared winter hiking trails and 35 km of snowshoe trailsSeefeld has 142 km of cleared winter hiking trails and 35 km of snowshoe trails

Seefeld has 142 km of cleared winter hiking trails and 35 km of snowshoe trails

Seefeld does skiing, but the emphasis in this Tyrolean town is more on gentle adventures. Here you will find 245 kilometers of cross-country skiing opportunities, sled dog workshops, biathlon tryouts and curling lessons. It’s especially beautiful for those on foot, with 142km of cleared winter hiking trails and 35km of snowshoe trails. The options range from short walks around the Wildsee to guided moonlight tours to Tyrol’s first long-distance winter hike through the Leutasch Valley.

Book It: Crystal Ski Holidays offers Hotel Bergland from £1,172, all-inclusive.

3. Jungfrau, Switzerland

Best for dizzying heights

Jungfrau has the longest toboggan run in EuropeJungfrau has the longest toboggan run in Europe

Jungfrau has the longest toboggan run in Europe: Christof Sonderegger

You don’t need any special skills, skiing or otherwise, to reach the Top of Europe. Trains have been running to the 3,454 meter high Jungfraujoch, the highest train station in Europe, for more than a hundred years, offering the ultimate winter view. Indeed, it is the excellent transport that makes this area so good for exploring non-skiers. Trains, mountain railways and cable cars connect places like Grindelwald, Lauterbrunnen, Interlaken and Wengen, from where you can access winter hiking and tobogganing routes – including the longest toboggan run in Europe.

Book It: Skiline offers Grindelwald’s Sunstar Hotel from £1,449.

4. Ukkohalla, Finland

Best for crowd-free snow

Ukkohalla is a spectacular Arctic wildernessUkkohalla is a spectacular Arctic wilderness

Ukkohalla is a spectacular arctic wilderness – Dmitry Khrustalev / Alamy

Under the radar, Ukkohalla is better value than Finnish Lapland’s more established resorts, and also less crowded. However, this Arctic Lakeland wilderness is no less spectacular. There’s a ski center here, but Ukkohalla is also perfect for non-skiers – instead of skiing you can try husky sledding, snowshoeing or snowmobiling, or relax in the Finnish saunas and hot tub. You can also sleep in a Sky Cabin Glass Suite to see the Northern Lights.

Book It: Best Served Scandinavia offers four nights in a glass suite from £1,450, including some activities.

5. Corvara, Italy

The best for gourmets

Discover Michelin star cuisine in CorvaraDiscover Michelin star cuisine in Corvara

Discover Michelin star cuisine in Corvara – Armin Terzer

Skiers love Alta Badia. But maybe foodies like it more? This delightful part of the Dolomites is home to a plethora of tasty winter events: Michelin-starred chefs create dishes for mountain huts, there are powder snow breakfasts at sunrise (accessed via snowcat) and cooking experiences with local Ladin bakers. Make Corvara your base: you’ll have easy access to both the mountain cable car and the Michelin-starred La Stüa de Michil. The new SkyAlps London-Bolzano flight also makes it quicker to reach.

Book It: Ski Solutions offers La Perla from £1,695.

6. Beitostolen, Norway

Best for skiing – and not skiing

Enjoy the peaceful slopes and cross-country ski trails of BeitostolenEnjoy the peaceful slopes and cross-country ski trails of Beitostolen

Enjoy the tranquil slopes and cross-country trails of Beitostolen – Nick Moore / Alamy

Tucked beneath the Jotunheimen National Park, Beitostolen is a real find for groups wanting different winter holidays. Skiers can enjoy quiet slopes (especially suitable for beginners). The rest can tackle 200 miles of cross-country trails, husky rides, ice fishing and snow rafting; this escapade, in which inflatable castles are pulled by a snowmobile, was invented here. Or relax in the wilderness spa, taking a dip in a frozen lake before warming up in the hot tub with a glass of sparkling water.

Book It: Magnetic North Travel offers five nights in Beitostolen from £1,295, self-catering, excluding flights.

7. Ramsau near Berchtesgaden, Germany

Best for off-piste fun

Winter is a great time to visit the historic villages of RamsauWinter is a great time to visit the historic villages of Ramsau

Winter is a great time to visit Ramsau’s historic villages – bluejayphoto/Getty

The traditional Bavarian village of Ramsau, in the Berchtesgaden National Park, doesn’t feel like a ski resort at all. Germany’s first official mountain village, a place where you can go for wintry forests, lakes and mountains without the swoosh of downhillers. Take snow walks, misty boat rides and chairlift rides to breathtaking viewpoints and visit historic villages. Winter is a good time to wander the frescoed streets of Berchtesgaden, which are packed in summer. Stay at the family-run Berghotel Rehlegg for mountain views, a spa and pool, and hearty German dinners.

Book It: Inntravel offers Berghotel Rehlegg from £1,635, full board.

8. Les Houches, Chamonix, France

Best for a Mont Blanc blast

Take a snowy short break in ChamonixTake a snowy short break in Chamonix

Take a snowy short break in Chamonix

Directly below Mont Blanc, Chamonix is ​​the ultimate outdoor town. There’s plenty to do for non-skiers, from paragliding and ice climbing to bars and boutique shopping. Alternatively, Les Houches (a short bus ride away) is in the same mountains but is much cooler. Both are just an hour’s drive from Geneva, making them perfect for short snow breaks – a growing trend: has seen a 2,300 percent increase in two-night ski trips this year.

Book It: BA Holidays are offering two nights at RockyPop Les Houches for £156, B&B, based on a family of four.

9. Château-d’Oex and Rougemont, Switzerland

Best for food and flights

Chateau-d'Oex is the hot air balloon capital of the AlpsChateau-d'Oex is the hot air balloon capital of the Alps

Chateau-d’Oex is the hot air balloon capital of the Alps – Switzerland Tourism/Philippe Woodtli

These two Vaud villages offer easy access to great ski areas – Gstaad is close by. But there’s no need to leave. Foodies will love Rougemont, a growing gastronomic center with great regional and world-class restaurants – not least La Table du Valrose, awarded two Michelin stars in 2023. High flyers will prefer Chateau-d’Oex, the hot air balloon capital of Alpine; book a flight, come to the International Balloon Festival or visit the newly reopened Espace Ballon museum.

Book It: Hotel Ermitage offers double rooms from £180 pn, B&B, excluding travel. IMAGE

10. St. Johann, Austria

The best for family fun

Head to St. Johann for family funHead to St. Johann for family fun

Go to St. Johann for family fun – Image Professionals GmbH / Alamy

Close to the legendary Kitzbühel is the chocolate city of St. Johann, its modest brother. With a friendly atmosphere, it is ideal for families looking for snow fun. Try winter Segway rides, zip lines, snowshoe and carriage rides, and take day trips to other beautiful villages. Buy a St Johann Card for free transport and guided winter walks, plus handy discounts on indoor pools, cafes and museums.

Book It: Crystal Ski offers Hotel Park from £691.

Unless otherwise stated, prices are per person, for seven nights, half board, including flights and transfers, based on two people sharing.

Leave a Comment