Whether you’re in a mixed ability ski group or a family ski holiday, some tourists won’t necessarily be on the trip for skiing. It’s not just about the fun on the slopes, there are some great off-mountain activities for visitors to enjoy. Whether it’s eating out or other sporting facilities, ski resorts have a lot to offer. Our experts have created a guide to the best ski resorts for non skiers.
Avoriaz is one of the best ski resorts for non skiers for many reasons. The main village is car-free which makes it easy to get around. You can admire the breath-taking views of the Dents du Midi and Dents Blanche mountain ranges. Besides skiing you can go ice skating, snowshoeing or even a trip in a horse-drawn sleigh.
There are some fantastic bars and restaurants to enjoy too. For a unique experience, you can head to the igloo village and enjoy a meal in a fantastic winter setting. If you want a lively night of dancing Le Yak is the main nightclub in the area. There’s also the Avoriaz Folie Douce which is lively from the early afternoon into the evening.
Near the iconic Matterhorn mountain is Cervinia. The views alone are a big draw to tourists around the world. It has some fantastic bars and restaurants in the village that deliver top Italian cuisine. If you have a car, the market town of Aosta isn’t far at all. A great day excursion.
We recommend La Chandelle restaurant in the five-star Hotel Hermitage. It has a stylish fine dining experience that serves fresh Italian dishes and wine. If you love pizza head to Al Solito Posto for the best menu in town. Yeti Bar is the most popular spot for a drink and there are snow sport films being played throughout the season.
Based at the foot of the iconic Mont Blanc mountain, Chamonix is great for non skiers. There are great alternative sports activities you can do in the village. You can try ice skating, curling, indoor tennis and squash in facilities in town. You can also take a trip to neighbouring Megève, to go shopping in designer boutiques.
If you’re a foodie we recommend the two Michelin star Restaurant Albert 1er. It is one of the best restaurants in the Alps and serves top quality food with beautiful views. Chamonix also has a lively nightlife, with plenty of bars and clubs to enjoy. L’Amnesia is the main nightclub in town and has international DJs play throughout the season.
Cortina is one of the most luxurious ski resorts in Italy. It’s also one of the best ski resorts for non skiers. There’s plenty of shops, bars and restaurants to enjoy. There’s a shopping centre called Corsa Italia with many brands on offer. There are also several museums too to visit, for those who have an interest in history and Italian culture.
When you’re eating out, a top restaurant to book is the Michelin-starred Tivoli. It serves some of the best dishes in the region which are made by a top young chef. Cortina also has a great après ski scene with brilliant bars and clubs. La Suite Wine Bar is worth a visit if you love a good glass of wine. Another popular spot is LP 26 bar which has live music and affordable drinks.
Ellmau is great for those who aren’t skiing during their stay. You can do great alternative sporting activities such as ice skating, bowling, swimming and paragliding. Excursions to Innsbruck, Salzburg and Vitipeno if you fancy a city break as part of your winter getaway. You can also use the funicular to head up to the mountain to enjoy the views or eat at a mountain restaurant.
Known for holding one of the most-watched ski races in the world, Kitzbuhel is also fantastic for non skiers. If you’re not on the slopes you can enjoy hiking, tobogganing, ice skating and curling. There are also two big annual events to watch too. The Hahnenkamm World Cup ski races and the Snow Polo World Cup have thousands of fans visit each year.
Kitzbuhel’s bars and restaurants are fantastic too. One of the best restaurants is KITZnBAR, where you can enjoy rooftop sushi. Another great place for seafood is 1st Lobster restaurant. As for the nightlife, The Londoner and at the Stamperl are the best spots in town for a drink and a lively atmosphere.
Panorama is home to Canada’s largest on-mountain hot pools. Located on Toby’s creek there are varying temperatures you dip into. A perfect way to unwind in the mountains. In addition, there are fantastic off-slope activities such as snowmobiling, fat-tire biking and snowshoeing to horse-drawn wagon rides and glass-bead making. On top of that, there are brilliant restaurants and bars to enjoy for different tastes. Non-skiers will have a brilliant time in this fantastic Canadian ski resort.
Many rich and famous faces visit St Moritz, a lot being non skiers too. There are many top quality designer shops, classy bars and fantastic restaurants within the village. It’s also located in a stunning setting, surrounded by beautiful lakes, forests and mountain ranges. You can also try the world’s oldest bobsleigh run, traditional horse sleigh rides and snowshoeing in the forests.
One of the best restaurants to visit is La Marmite which has panoramic views and specialises in caviar, truffles and Bellinis. For a lively night out head to Cresta Bar, Stübli Bar and Sunny Bar. For a more relaxed evening, you can enjoy a drink at piano cocktail bar in Hotel Schweizerhof.
Vail is one of the best ski resorts for non skiers in the USA. The town itself has a fantastic range of shops and people flock from around the world to visit. There are fantastic spas, bars and restaurants to enjoy too. Non skiers can also head up the mountain for lunch or admire the views too.
When you are eating out, Larkspur is a popular spot that serves first-class ingredients and has an extensive wine list. Garfinkels is a huge apres-ski bar that has a brilliant atmosphere from mid-afternoon through to the evening. During the day and evening, you’ll love your experience of Vail.
Non-skiers will be entertained day and night in Val d’Isere. There’s an impressive amount to do off the slopes in the village. There’s a giant leisure centre with brilliant sports facilities and two large swimming pools. You can also go BMW ice-driving, dog sledging or winter walking in the beautiful surroundings. There’s also a great cinema which shows English speaking films too.
Not only this there’s brilliant bars and restaurants to visit too. Le Grande Ourse restaurant serves beautiful traditional French cuisine dishes. For a fun night out Dick’s Tea Bar is the best nightclub in town and is open until the early hours of the morning.
To find out more about the best ski resorts for non skiers, please call our ski experts on 0207 471 7700.
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