18 Feb '18 in Holiday Guides
Great Ski Resorts for Non-Skiers
On group ski holidays and family ski holidays alike, there tends to be some guests who aren’t in the resort to ski. Whether they will be looking after the kids, there to enjoy a white Christmas, take advantage of other winter activities or some legendary apres, the Alps aren’t just for skiers. However, many resorts just don’t cater for guests who don’t ski, especially purpose-built resorts.
Where are the best ski resorts if I don’t…well, ski?
There are some wonderful ski resorts that cater really well to non-skiers, but they can be tricky to identify if you don’t know the resorts that well. Guess what? That’s where we step in! We can recommend resorts and even specific catered ski chalets based on your requirements, and we’ve put together a short list of resorts that we think work well for non-skiers.
I’m sure for most of you, this won’t have been the first resort that springs to mind! We think “Serre Che” is one of the best options for non-skiers. First of all, the resort is linked with Briancon and it’s on the free ski bus route. Briancon has several UNESCO World Heritage Sites thanks to its Vauban fortifications, including a medieval fort right at the top of the town. Within the walls is a real maze of little shops, bars and restaurants. It’s a lovely spot to while away the hours.
The other feather in Serre Chevalier’s cap is the thermal baths in Monetier, another part of Serre Chevalier. These really are something special and almost a reason in itself to visit the area.
Serre Chevalier also has an ice driving track, dog sledding, parapenting and all the other alpine activities you’d expect.
St. Anton is more of a small town than a purpose-built ski resort. It therefore offers more for people that aren’t there for skiing because the town has year-round residents who need a little bit more than skidoo-ing to keep them busy!
The town has a great selection of shops and bars but the jewel in the crown is the state of the art wellness centre.
The other activity which always goes down well is a day trip into Innsbruck. Because St. Anton has its own train station in the centre of the resort, getting to this historic market town is a doddle – trains run every hour and are relatively inexpensive. Innsbruck is a gorgeous town and well worth exploring.
Val d’Isere is one of THE iconic ski resorts. If you asked 10 people on the street to name a ski resort then chances are a good percentage would go with “Val”. But Val d’Isere also caters for the non-skier very well indeed. The resort centre, albeit mostly purpose-built, has been beautifully done. The main thoroughfare is lined with shops and bars and plenty of places to sit outdoors and watch the world go by. Top tip, try the hot chocolate at the Chevallot bakery!
Val d’Isere also has a world-class aquatic centre with all sorts of activities.
Another plus is the lunch spots accessible by lift, the most famous of which being the Fruitiere restaurant and its neighbouring apres-ski bar, La Folie Douce. These two spots are on the ski hill but thanks to the immediate access provided by the gondola, that’s no reason for non-skiers to miss out!
We also love the walks available up the Manchet valley. These walks are directly accessible from Val d’Isere centre but also have a ski bus drop off point at the starting point too. This is really only going to be a viable activity during periods of fair weather because the tracks will otherwise be very snowy and slippy, but on a sunny day it’s a gorgeous spot to stretch your legs for an hour or two. If you have a dog with you, it’s also the best place in the resort for letting your pet have a run around during the skiing day.
Morzine is another resort that is a town first, ski resort second. Because of this, there are lots of different non-ski based activities to keep anyone busy. The main resort centre has a good selection of shops as well as plenty of bars and restaurants.
The main resort swimming pool is something to behold; not only does it have the 25m swimming pool but also a kids’ pool and even a spa area.
Another activity (for skiers and non-skiers alike) is the local ice hockey that plays in Morzine during the winter. It’s a super way to spend an evening and a bit different to chilling in the chalet or heading to one of the bars.
And finally, the another extremely cool thing to do is ice diving! There is a truly stunning lake in the Montriond and here you can plunge into the icy depths for a look around.
If you are booking a group or family ski holiday and want a resort that’s great for non-skiers too, contact us and let’s have a chat!