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Sun Vs. Snow: Urban Surfer’s Round Up of Winter Destinations Part 2

Part 2: For the Snow Bunnies

As winter approaches, so does ski season!! We have rounded up some of the top ski resorts for this winter, along with some options for those bidding snowman builders who aren’t too fond of the slopes! Are you looking for an action-packed ski trip, or would you rather sip hot chocolate while watching the snow fall? Read on for some great recommendations!

For the Skiers:

Bansko, Bulgaria

Bansko is a beautiful resort located in between a medieval town and the scenic Pirin National Park. It boasts 75km of piste, and altitudes of up to 2500m, with consistent snow coverage between December and March. It is characterised by great value for money and a joyful ambiance. Bansko has great options for both intermediate and beginner skiers and snowboarders. When there is heavy snow there are even some good off-piste options for the more advanced.

Cervinia, Italy

Cervinia is Italy’s most snow-certain destination, with access to 360km of slopes and proximity to a number of other resorts (Zermatt included). This is a fantastic option for the ski bunnies! Staying here means that you can explore one of the world’s top ski zones at a fraction of the cost, in comparison with the far pricier Swiss side. Cervinia’s high altitude (2,050m in town and 3,480m at the top of the lift station) ensures a long season of great snow. For the super eager, it is open for glacier skiing and snowboarding in the summer.

Be sure to stay ‘slope safe’ and wear a helmet, I am loving this Bern helmet!

Morzine, France

Morzine is one of fourteen resorts within the enormous Portes du Soleil ski area, which traverses the Franco-Swiss frontier. The resort is viewed as the capital of this enormous ski area (which offers 650km of slopes) and provides a perfect base for exploration! It is a great destination for beginners and intermediate skiers and snowboarders. Morzine also offers access to some of Porte du Soleil’s off-piste areas for the more adventurous. There are even lifts that lead you directly to some of these areas, meaning less hiking and more slope time!

Another great element about Morzine is that it has a great host of alternative activities for those who are not too fond of skiing, ranging from ice-diving beneath a lake, nature discovery tours, snowmobiling, tobogganing, snowshoeing and shopping. There is even a world-class ice rink and a large swimming pool.

St Anton, Austria

Check out these awesome Dirty Dog Bullet snow goggles!!

St Anton is known as the ski capital of Austria, situated in Austria’s Arlberg region, one of Europe’s snowiest zones, it boasts 340km of pistes, and 200km of off-piste itineraries Furthermore, it has a super-efficient lift system and a beautiful town teeming with chic hotels, chalets and restaurants. Be warned, St Anton is more for advanced to expert skiers, there is also plenty of good skiing for less experienced skiers and snowboarders too. This resort is also famous for its celebrated party atmosphere, with a number of well-known après ski bars strategically located on the lower slopes leading back into the village!

Breckenridge, Colorado

For those willing to travel a little further afield, Breckenridge is a fantastic option, with a wide range of terrains suitable for all levels of skiers and snowboarders. The mountain offers five interconnected summits, covering everything from steep runs to perfectly groomed beginner friendly slopes. It also boasts one of the highest elevations in the US at 3,962m. The resort also has four award-winning terrain parks, along with a 22’ superpipe! Breckenridge town is beautiful and has an impressive array of bars, pubs, restaurants even including their very own brewery!

For the winter lovers who aren’t fond of the slopes

Meet Father Christmas in Lapland

Lapland is regarded as the traditional homeland of the genial man in red. Experience a truly magical Christmas experience, in a snow-white wonder! This is the ultimate Christmas for the whole family. You fly over the Arctic Circle to the north of Finland. There are a variety of destinations to visit, but the most well-known is the large and humming Santa Claus Village!

After spending some quality time with Santa, there are plenty of other things to do in Lapland! Go dog sledding around the beautiful eerie landscapes, try out some snow shoeing, eat some reindeer, if you’re lucky enough you may even catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights! Keep warm out there with this great beanie from Barts!

Stay in an ice hotel

What better way to experience the full beauty of a white winter than in an idyllic igloo village! These frozen retreats are truly the coolest place to stay! The ice hotel trend started in the 90s in Sweden and has since developed into a fantastic industry. These hotels offer much more than just a frozen roof. They are genuine snow and ice galleries, with delightful cuisine, fantastic amenities and a plethora of winter adventures! Many of these hotels offer spectacular saunas, amazingly inviting beds, and incredible ice sculpture displays, while others offer supreme views of the Northern Lights. Check out this list of Europe’s top ice hotels and take your pick!

Christmas Markets in Bremen, Germany

For a delightfully ‘Christmassy’ winter trip, Bremen ticks a lot of boxes. Bremen is heart stoppingly beautiful in winter. You will feel like you have been plucked up and dropped straight into a Grimm fairy tale! Picture a stunning medieval square with its traditional Christmas market, choirs of carol singers and the sweet smell of baked goods! Given its northern position, there is a high chance of snow in December making it the perfect white Christmas! Keep yourself warm with these great gloves!

New York, New York!

New York has a great atmosphere in winter! The city is definitely chilly, but also typically very sunny! There are limitless opportunities in New York, every block has its own microcosm of culture with a little craziness sprinkled on top! From art galleries and museums, to Broadway shows, to shopping and not to forget some seriously great ice skating rinks, there is something for everyone here! Don’t miss the ramen at Ippudo, the perfect way to warm yourself up in winter!

Stephanie Contomichalos

Stephanie Contomichalos is a sports enthusiast. She is an avid crossfitter, wakeboarder and has recently qualified as a Level 1 CrossFit coach. She is also an advocate for women’s sport and for using sport as a tool for development. She is currently living in Athens, Greece.

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