Guide to Ski Holidays

by : J Tillotson

In Britain, we don't get an abundance of either sun or snow, so it stands to reason we'll go elsewhere for it. Ski resorts are a popular holiday choice amongst the British, and while not as great a variety as there is with sunspots, there's still plenty of choice to suit any taste.

The miniscule principality of Andorra, nestled in between Spain and France, is known as one big ski resort, although it has 5 distinct regions. The largest of these is Grandvalira, which has over 160km of skiing and snowboarding reaching an altitude of 2560m. The smaller region of Vallnord is quieter and more picturesque but just as popular for ski holidays.

The other 3 resorts also have their own personalities. For brash, loud night-life visit Pas de la Casa on the French border. For elegant chic, Soldeu is the place to be, or try Arinsal for a family friendly village. English, French, Spanish and Catalan are all spoken and understood in Andorra, and although the official currency is the Euro, shopkeepers will often deal in other currencies too.

For veteran skiers, Austria is the place to go. It has long been established as the unequivocal ski holiday destination, and offers an alpine charm not found in the up and coming resorts in France, USA and the like. The resort of Mayrhofen boasts almost a third of its slopes as suitable for beginners, while also offering many slopes of intermediate and advanced levels.

Skiing is the national sport of Austria, so it's obvious that ski holidays in this country will be unrivalled. While the slopes aren't quite as high as the French or Andorran slopes, the Austrians have a reputation for aprÃ?s-ski that is famous the world over. From slap-dancing, Euro pop and table-dancing with your ski boots on, there's no shortage of the Austrian party atmosphere!

Canada is a relatively undiscovered destination for ski holidays, and has developed a reputation for being a quiet place with not too many skiers to spoil your views. Canadian ski resorts are very multi-cultural, like the rest of Canada, and while English is the main language spoken, the resorts in the Quebec regions also have a high volume of French-speakers.

AprÃ?s-ski in Canadian resorts varies from quiet sleigh rides while sipping hot chocolate to nightclubs and rock bars. Each resort has a different feel to it, so do your research before booking to see which would suit you best.