Culture Travel

    Lake Resia in South Tyrol, Northern Italy

    Where to go for snow: six winter escapes

    14 January 2019

    Sail & Ski in the Arctic Circle

    Skiing the Norwegian Arctic Circle is a bucket list item for serious skiers with a sense of adventure. But for skiers in search of a twist on this classic formula, Scott Dunn offers an exclusive sailing and skiing itinerary in Northern Norway, staying aboard the exclusive Firebird yacht – your very own floating chalet. When you’re not sailing past towering mountains and fjords, a typical itinerary includes skiing in a different location each day, including the Lyngen Alps – consistently voted one of the best off-piste skiing destinations in the world. Forget chair lifts – you’ll be accessing your ski runs by boat for a truly off-the-beaten-track experience.

    Scott Dunn offers four nights on board the Firebird from £28,000 based on full occupancy (six people). Prices are full-board and include a mountain guide, fuel, berthing, all on-board food and drinks, return flights from the UK and private transfers.

    A Spanish snow trek on horse-back

    Snow in Spain? You heard it here first. El Lodge Ski & Spa in the Sierra Nevada National Park, Andalucia, is Europe’s most southerly ski resort. And if you’re after an adventure that isn’t on skis, the hotel can arrange horseback rides through the park in the snow, as well as hiking in Los Cahorros – a pristine network of gorges, rock pools and waterfalls, knitted together via hanging bridges and winding trails – particularly beautiful on a blue but wintry day.

    Rates start from €350 per room, per night, breakfast and VAT included.

     Ice skate on an Italian lake

    Lake Resia in South Tyrol, Northern Italy

    The landscapes of South Tyrol in Northern Italy are transformed completely in winter. Visit Lake Resia where a flooded village protrudes eerily above the ice. Stroll right up to the old church tower and imagine the frozen world beneath your feet. Ice skate the natural way on Lake Kaltern or take a sleigh ride in Val Casies. Those seeking the thrill of sporting challenges can try ice-climbing up waterfalls in the Martello Valley. San Luis hotel in South Tyrol is the perfect winter destination from which to enjoy your snowy escape – stay in a tree house and warm up in your own hot tub or next to the open fire.

    San Luis Retreat & Hotel, Vöranerstraße, 5, 39010 Avelengo Bozen, Italy

    Take a snow train near Chamonix

    Terminal Neige, credit: Sophie Molesti & David Andre

    The adventurous non-skier should hop on the famous little red train through alpine forests and snowy peaks before arriving at Terminal Neige Refuge du Montenvers near Chamonix. It sits at the edge of Mer de Glace (France’s largest glacier) and offers breath-taking panoramic views of Mont Blanc. Their Snowshoes & Snowflakes package includes a guided snowshoeing excursion, a glacier hike and an ice climbing initiation.

    Rates for the 2-night Snowshoes & Snowflakes package at Terminal Neige Refuge start from €850 (currently approx. £751) per double room on a half board basis and €575 (currently approx. £508) per person for a stay in a dormitory room (sleeping up to ten people). The price includes breakfast and dinner, a guided glacier hike, snowshoe excursion and ice climbing initiation and all equipment needed for the activities.

    Terminal Neige Refuge du Montenvers , Impasse du Montenvers, 74400 Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, France

    Sculpture on the slopes

    Badrutt’s Palace, Credit: Gian Giovanoli

    Head to the Swiss resort of St Moritz as its transforms into a cultural and artistic hub over the winter months. The famous Badrutt’s Palace Hotel has partnered with the lauded Hauser & Wirth gallery (best known for their other outpost in Bruton, Somerset) to host an exhibition dedicated to French-American artist Louise Bourgeois, as well as a selection of other 20th century artists.

    Badrutt’s Palace, Via Serlas 27, 7500 St. Moritz, Switzerland

    Follow in the footsteps of 007

    Fly to Innsbruck, Austria, and you’re only an hour away from the town of Sölden, which played host to some of the dramatic chase scenes in the 2015 James Bond film, Spectre. Sölden has now opened an extraordinary cinematic experience called ‘007 Elements’ at the summit of Gaislachkogl Mountain, sitting at 3050 metres altitude. The ascent, on one of the world’s most modern gondolas, only adds to the spectacle. Built into the side of the mountain and designed  to look like a Bond villain lair, once inside, you’re taken on a journey through a series of high-tech interactive installations, each exploring the signature elements that define a James Bond film. For lunch, and of course a martini, Ice Q restaurant, Spectre’s ‘Hoffler Klinik’ is right next door.

    Das Central hotel, Sölden has a presidential suite available from £1,845 per night, based on four people sharing a room on a half-boar d basis; double rooms start from £350 half board; +43 5254 22 600.