The best snow holidays for non skiers
The sound of impatient barking fills the air, the huskies flinging themselves bodily forward in their eagerness to be off. Then silence, only the soft sound of paws crunching on snow as the brakes are released and we speed through the winter landscape.
I’ll never forget the dogs’ sheer joy at being able to run and run through the snowy paths among the trees, the infectious enthusiasm which brought a grin to my own face and set my heart racing. Years on, it’s still one of my favourite travel memories.
For someone who’s had a grand total of two ski lessons, and normally defaults to beach over mountains, it’s activities like this which tempt me more than making it off the nursery slope – finding the best snow holidays for non skiers, in fact.
Especially when that means I can also enjoy powdery snow all day, a luxuriously cosy place to curl up in the evening or some of the famous après-ski (or instead-of-ski in my case).
And that’s exactly what family-friendly French holiday company Pierre & Vacances is offering as part of its new Make My Day adventures, alongside stylish self-catering apartments in the French Alps.
With options in Avoriaz, Arc and Val Thorens, three of the most popular mountain resorts, it’s all bookable on site too.
In Avoriaz that includes an Inuit camp where you can go dog sledding, as well as exploring igloos – finishing up with a glass of something warming. Mulled wine is one part of the ski experience that I do have practice at.
While that only takes place in school holidays along with electric snowmoto racing on a special course, there’s also laser rifle shooting as part of biathlon (yes, the one you see in the winter Olympics) and archery tag plus e-fat biking – riding electric snowbikes with their specially designed fat tires over the snow.
Sounds fun… although I can’t help thinking it would be like learning to cycle all over again. Good job snowy mountain holidays also mean plenty of padding thanks to thermal ski gear!
Or once my daughter turns six, Arc should be on our radar, with new generation Airboard sledges to whizz along the slopes – a little like bodyboarding on snow – plus a special snowball fight arena, where you’re divided into teams and have obstacles to avoid as you pelt each other.
I’ve been on the receiving end of my daughter’s snowballs so I’m definitely staying on her team – her aim might not always be accurate, but she doesn’t hold back!
Older kids could take a snowmobile ride to have dinner in a yurt in Val Thorens, or try a night-time snow shoe hike under the stars.
Of course you could ski as well… Personally, after that, my sights are firmly set on finding a sauna.
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Disclosure: compiled in association with Pierre & Vacances*
Main image copyright skvortsova, all others courtesy Pierre & Vacances