The day is not over after skiing. Many winter sports fans still want to do something once they have unstrapped their skis or board. Those who spend their winter holidays in the mountains can enjoy a varied leisure programme with tobogganing, snowshoeing or wellness off-piste. SnowTrex presents the best alternatives to skiing for your skiing holiday.
A classic: tobogganing
If you can’t get enough of the snow, it’s best to do another round on the sled after skiing. Tobogganing costs hardly anything and usually combines the fun of tobogganing with a short winter hike and a cosy stop at a mountain hut. Wonderful!
In almost every holiday region in the mountains there are one or more toboggan slopes, which are well developed, prepared and sometimes even illuminated for the evening toboggan fun. An exact number in the alpine region can hardly be determined, but it must be hundreds. No matter where the skiing holiday goes – there is certainly a toboggan run nearby.
The longest toboggan run in Europe is the “Big Pintenfritz” in the Swiss Grindelwald (Bernese Oberland). It is 15 kilometres long and bridged from the summit of the Faulhorn (2,680 m) down to Grindelwald at an altitude of 1,650 metres. Its only disadvantage is that it is not illuminated. It is advisable to pack headlamps. The longest floodlit toboggan run is in Bramberg in the Wildkogel Arena in the Salzburger Land. It goes from the middle station of the Smaragdbahn over 14 km into the valley – complete with lighting. Those who descend at high speed can make the trip in 30 minutes, those who are more leisurely – perhaps stop more often and take bends more slowly – need up to 50 minutes for the tobogganing fun. After that, every toboggan runner definitely deserves a hot chocolate.
Tip: fun sports equipment that can also be used on the slopes is becoming increasingly popular. You can find an introduction to various new types of driving styles here.
Adrenaline kick: bobsleighing
Fancy a very special sport? Then let’s go bobsleighing! Just one ride through the ice channel in the so-called “Gästebob” or “Taxibob” and you will be thrilled by an otherwise peaceful skiing holiday. Four of the 20 or so bobsleigh runs worldwide are located in Germany. In Winterberg, in the Hochsauerland region, for example, three guests each race through the 1.6 km long tube with a pilot in a 4-man bob at speeds of up to 130 km/h. The guest bobsleigh ride in Oberhof takes about 1.3 km through 15 bends, in Altenberg through 11 and in Schönau am Königssee even through 18 bends. On the artificially-iced track in Innsbruck-Igls, where Stefan Raab once raced down in a wok, you can choose between a 4-man racing bob (2 guests, 1 handlebar, 1 brakeman) and a very special guest bob (5 guests and 1 pilot). Among the more expensive classics are the Olympic Bobrun in St. Moritz and the track in Cortina d’Ampezzo.
Sport trend: snowshoeing
The quiet alternative to all the tobogganing fun is pure winter hiking. However, this is increasingly being replaced by the trendy snowshoeing. After all, you can also walk off the beaten track on snowshoes. Tramping through the deep snow is a kind of “adventure for everyone” and with a bit of luck, you can even observe wild animals in the forest on Trapper’s tracks. Guided tours are offered in many places, because in the terrain, for example, the possible danger of avalanches and the habitats of wild animals must be taken into account. Recommended are for example the panorama routes on the Seiser Alm in South Tyrol or around Oberstdorf in the Allgäu. If you are not afraid of the exertion and want to go high up, you should put on your snowshoes in the French High Alps. The terrain at Chamonix on Mont Blanc or the paths above Val Thorens in the 3 Vallées are challenging, but reward with fabulous views.
After the action in the snow, it’s time to relax and relax your muscles. Many people prefer swimming pools, saunas or even extensive wellness treatments. The main thing is to relax. If your own hotel or apartment complex does not offer a bathing or sauna area, thermal baths or adventure swimming pools are available in many places. In Austria, there are some attractive thermal spring regions – for example, the Gastein Valley with its two large bath houses Alpentherme and Felsentherme. At the Kitzsteinhorn, you can take a stylish bath in the huge Tauern Spa Kaprun and in Bad Kleinkirchheim, you will find the Römerbad, the country’s very first adventure spa.
The bathing highlight in the Ötztal valley is the Aqua Dome in Längenfeld, which already impresses with its exciting architecture of the outdoor pools. The Merano Thermal Baths in sunny South Tyrol are also an unusual construction. The large cube-shaped building has glass fronts all around, which provide a fantastic view of the surrounding mountains from every angle. In the French Alps, too, people outdo one another with large, chic swimming pools. The Centre Aquasportif in Val d’Isère, for example, is a large complex with beach, spa, sports and wellness areas. The new “Mille 8” adventure area, which was built in the middle of the Les Arc 1800 ski area, also includes an adventure swimming pool. Here, one practically falls from the lift into the pool. This list could be continued for a long time. One thing is certain: for water lovers, sauna fans and spa connoisseurs, the European ski resorts are well prepared.
If you are still in the mood for fun sports in the snow after a day’s skiing, you should also take a look at the fun sports tips from SnowTrex.