Take a peak at alternative ski destinations
For many, winter ski trips are as important as sunbathing on the beach during the summer. However, increased popularity and accessibility has contributed to the classic Alpine resort ski scene becoming somewhat overcrowded at times.
Just as you can with summer sun destinations, you can still find some hidden gems where you can have space and freedom to enjoy the perks of the peaks and pistes without the pressures of mass tourism.
The Flexicover Team explores some of these alternative destinations.
Europe's northernmost ski resort lies approximately 160 miles north of the Arctic Circle. The fells of Kaunispää and Iisakkipää are the primary winter sports locations offering 15 runs of varying difficulty and a freestyle park for snowboarders. Other activities include cross-country ski trails, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, husky tours and reindeer sleigh rides. For extreme sledding try the legendary 1.5 km track down from Kaunispää… just make sure to hold on tight! One thing you can be certain of is the snow - it's on the ground for up to six months each year. On clear winter nights, the Northern Lights dance across the sky in green waves, lighting up the silent snowy landscape, what a spectacle!
Poiana Brasov, Romania
Located in the Carpathian Mountains, in the heart of Transylvania, Poiana Brasov is Romania’s premier ski resort. Recently, it has seen some serious investment in its skiing infrastructure, including snow-making equipment and piste-maintenance machines in order to keep the slopes in the best possible shape. The resort is only 8 miles away from the medieval town of Brasov with its old world charm, cobbled streets and a plethora of inviting cafés. Also just 25 minutes away, is Bran Castle, more commonly referred to as "Dracula's Castle"!
Turkey is not traditionally thought of as a ski destination because of its Mediterranean climate. However, there are several mountainous regions within this vast country that serve it well for snow sports. A popular one is the Taurus mountain range just 16 miles from Isparta; the slopes offer spectacular views over Egidir Lake and the resort is suitable for Nordic and Alpine skiing, snowboarding and general snow fun. Davraz has the added advantage of being located just a couple of hours’ drive from Antalya and the stunning Mediterranean coastline. Imagine it - you could ski and jet ski on the same day!
Even though it’s better known for its summer cherry blossom (“sakura”) than winter snow, Japan has some truly amazing winter sports opportunities. Hakuba village, located in the heart of the northern Japan Alps, is surrounded by ten resorts featuring over 200 runs and was used as a primary venue for the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympics. Additionally, as is to be expected in Japan, the dining options are superb. When you’re not hurtling down the side of a mountain, head to Jigokudani Monkey Park nearby - you’ll encounter the famous snow monkeys bathing in the hot springs (“onsen”)!
Imagine soaking up the sun by the pool in Marrakech and, within a couple of hours, carving through the powder in the High Atlas Mountains. Whilst it may not be Courchevel, you will get the novelty of skiing in Africa and this resort has all the facilities you find in a typical European resort (ski/board hire, ski school, restaurants and hotels), albeit the Moroccan way. The best time to head to Oukaimeden is in January and February for deep snow - sometimes tainted pink by the sand of the Sahara!
Wherever you decide to travel for some wintery fun, Flexicover Direct, the travel insurance specialists, are committed to providing the highest level of protection to ensure that you are safe and secure, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year when away.
If you are travelling soon, have a great trip!
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