12 Awesome Benefits of a Skiing Holiday

The decision we make to embark on a skiing holiday is not one to be taken lightly, but it doesn’t have to costs a ton of money, and you don’t have to drag the family halfway across the world to visit some of the most breathtaking scenery on the planet.

The perception of half freezing to death and having to lug a mountain of equipment is shattered by the reality of lots of sunshine, wearing the right clothes and being able to rent top-class boots and skis at the resorts is you want to travel light. The sense of satisfaction and achievement that you get from a skiing holiday is second to none and provides a positive outlook on life.

For skiing enthusiasts, there’s nothing more exhilarating than a change of scenery, time away from work and the feeling of freedom from the drudgery of work-life that skiing with nature gives us. Skiing comes with so many health benefits it ticks the ‘great for you’ box in so many ways. One of the things I love about ski holidays is that it is something the whole family can do together, or I can do by myself. And for me, nothing beats a winter ski holiday as an escape away from the drab, wet, windy, dark days and nights in the UK. Summer skiing holidays are just as fun and can physically and mentally prepare me for the winter months ahead.

As someone who likes to try to keep fit, I love the hours and days spent twisting and turning down the sunny, snowy slopes. I know this works most of the major muscle groups to provide an all-over workout, helping me to build strength and stamina. It can take me all week in the gym to achieve the same work out as a day on the slopes provides me with. Not only that but as someone who hates Cardio work in the gym, skiing gets my heart working faster and provides a fun cardio session that I just wouldn’t achieve in the gym. Especially if I combine it with some cross-country skiing and get a bit of walking in.

Skiing improves fitness and stamina. Imagine a month on the slopes: boy, I’d have had muscles like Arnie! Sadly my ski holidays don’t last more than a week. But in that one week, I can become noticeably fitter, healthier and happier, skiing really does tick all of the health boxes. When it comes to working hard and having fun, skiing is one of the best sports you can do.

I have listed some of the health benefits of skiing below to help you decide whether a skiing holiday is for you:

* Boosts mood – boosts overall happiness and well-being includes physical and mental health.

* Encourages social interaction – people naturally socialize as part of the ski experience.

* Promotes deep sleep – engages your entire body leading to a good night’s sleep.

* Promotes healthy eating habits – naturally be more conscious of eating the right fuel, more protein, healthy fats, less sugar, more fruits, and vegetables.

* Skiing improves proprioception – the ability to feel the position of different body parts and their movements.

* Improves Balance and coordination – need to be conscious of slight movements and positions of your body.

* Strengthens bones and joints – strengthens knees and bones become stronger through the weight-bearing impact on the legs.

* Strengthens lower body muscles – works your inner and outer thighs, hamstrings, quads, and glutes.

* Improves flexibility – building flexibility helps to avoid muscle strains and sprains.

* Increases cardiovascular endurance – works the heart and lungs and burns calories aiding weight loss.

* Improves balance and core strength – challenges your balance and agility and helps to build that six-pack.

For me, skiing is one of those activities that anyone of any ability can do and enjoy. Whether you are looking for a new hobby to keep you fit and healthy or are considering taking up a new sport to keep you out of mischief, skiing could be for you.

Whatever your activity or experience level skiing holidays can provide entertainment and fun for everyone.

Cross-Country Skiing in Norway – Touring on the Peer Gynt Loipe

The Peer Gynt Loipe is a long-distance ski-trail that runs high along the west flank of Gudbrandsdalen, a wide valley that starts near Oslo and then runs north to Lillehammer and beyond.

The trail itself extends from the little settlement at Dalseter to the ski-resort at Skeikampen. It goes through an area known as the Peer Gynt Ski Region. Up here the cross-country skiing is very good, with over 600km of track. And there are good hotels, which are usually willing to accept bookings for just one or two nights – at least, outside the high season weeks in February and at Easter.

The Peer Gynt Loipe links together some of these hotels. Its total length is about 60km. The entire distance is tracked by grooming machines, so you can use light skis without metal edges.

This combination of well-maintained tracks, good accommodation, high altitude and snow security makes the Peer Gynt a good choice for fit and capable skiers.

SKIING ITINERARY

You start from one of the hotels at Dalseter, at 880m altitude and right at the head of the Espedalen valley.

You can get there by public bus from Lillehammer (which is reached by train from Oslo Gardermoen airport). Alternatively you can stay on the train beyond Lillehammer, to Vinstra, and take a pre-arranged hotel car to Dalseter, a 35km drive.

The tour can be broken down into the following stages.

The first is an 18km stretch from Dalseter to Fefor. The trail climbs steadily to 1030m, makes a long descent and then winds easily over to Fefor. At Fefor there is a hotel.

The next stage goes to Gala-Wadahl. The distance is 10-15km, depending on which of these neighbouring villages you aim for. Each has a hotel. Initially the trail undulates through forest, but then drops down to the lake Galavatn. After following the lake shore for a couple of kilometres it climbs steadily up to Gala. The continuation to Wadahl is flatter.

The next stage, to Lauvasen, is less than 10km and the track is flat and easy. At Lauvasen there is a mountain hotel with rooms in the lodge or in adjacent cabins.

The final stage, from Lauvasen to Skeikampen is a long one, about 25km. The trail mostly keeps to a height of about 1000 metres – above the tree line. Finally it comes steeply down to the bustling resort of Skeikampen where there is a hotel. From there you can take a bus down to Lillehammer.

Of course it’s possible to combine some of the stages. A reasonably strong skier could consider doing it in three days, with stops in Dalseter, Fefor and Lauvasen. I once did it in two days, overnighting at Lauvasen.

LOGISTICS

Some travel companies offer a supported tour along the Peer Gynt Loipe. They make a relaxing week of it, with a few extra side-loops and with baggage transfers between the overnight stops so that you can ski with just a light pack.

But it’s easy to make your own arrangements, especially if you are prepared to travel light and carry all your kit in a rucksack. (You can leave your main bags at left-luggage at Gardermoen airport or at Oslo rail station.)

It is also possible, although rather expensive, to have your baggage transported between the hotels. You need to set this up with the individual hotels at the time of booking.

Alternatively, you could leave your main bags at Dalseter and return there after the tour, taking buses via Lillehammer.

The 10 Best Places For Skiing & Snow Boarding Around Neuschwanstein Castle – Schwangau – Bavaria

How about combining your skiing or snowboarding holiday with the visit of the most popular castle in Europe: Neuschwanstein Castle? Stay at one of the boutique and luxury self-catering apartments or a rustic hotel and enjoy the view of the King’s Castles, which look stunning especially when lit at night.

And as a special bonus you can use the Royal Thermal Spa with its hot indoor and outdoor pools, its sauna and massage offers after a fun day in the mountains.

Here is a list of the best places to go skiing in and around Schwangau.

1. Tegelberg Mountain (1720m) & Wintersport Arena / Schwangau Germany

Right in Schwangau, the village of the King’s Castles Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau is the wintersport arena Tegelberg with its cable car, 4 regular lifts and flood light at night. You will enjoy 7.3 kilometres of downhill piste here as well as a separate one for tobogganing. This place is great to for beginners and intermediate skiers, has a ski school and a ski/snowboard rental facilities. Snow machines provide snow garantuee.

A special highlight is the 2km long Neuschwanstein Cross Counry Skiing Track which is lit at night…and of course skiing with “cinderella castle” in your view.

2. Buchenberg (1140m) Ski Area / Buching Germany

Only a 5 minute drive from Schangau you will find a double seater lift taking you to the top of the Buchenberg. 2 more regular lifts provide variety.

A special highlight is the 2.5km long tobogganing track right from the top of the mountain. The hut on top of the mountain provides stunning views of the lakes and the valley. This area is great for beginners and families as well as for tobogganing fans.

3. Alpspitz (1575m) Ski Arena / Nesselwang Germany

Only a 20 minutes drive away from Schwangau is the Alpspitz Ski Arena. It benefits from the longest 2km long daily floodlit piste in the region, has one cable car, a 4-seater, one 2-seater, 3 regular lifts and 2 children’s ones. This varied place provides skiing fun for advanced skiers as well as beginners and families. Ski school, ski/snowboard/tobogganing rental facilities and tobogganing areas are available and so are several excellent mountain huts for your après-ski.

Snow machines provide snow garantuee.

A special highlight here is the O’Neill Alpspitzpark, a top modern Freerider Snowboard Park with Floodlight every night from 6-9pm.

4. Breitenberg Mountain (1877m) Ski Centre / Pfronten Germany

Only a 15 minute drive away from Schwangau you will reach the Breitenberg Ski Centre with its cable car, an open 4-seater and 5 regular lifts as well as 4 children’s lifts. Nearby in Steinbach is the Snowboard fun park, the ski school as well as two more floodlit pistes.

A special highlight for the first time in winter 2009/10 is the 6.5km long tobogganing track right from the top of the mountain.

5. Hahnenkamm Ski Resort (1900m) / Reutte Austria

Only a 25 mintue drive away from Schwangau into Austria is the Hahnenkamm Ski Resort with its cable car, double seater and 5 further regular lifts. It has one of the best ski schools for adults and children. Skis and snowboards can be rented there.

6.-9. Füssener Jöchle (1821m) & Ski Arena Tannheimer Tal / Austria

There are 4 ski resorts in the Tannheimer Tal in Austria, no more than 30 minutes away from Schwangau, one of which is Füssener Jöchle in Grän. It has a cable car, a 6-seater and 3 regular lifts. The piste from the top is 3.5 kilometres long.

The other ski resorts here are Neunerköpfle / Tannheim, Schattwald and Nesselwängle.

10. Jungholz Ski Centre / Jungholz Germany

About 40 minutes away from Neuschwanstein castle is a super family friendly ski centre with two special 4-seaters for children and one training lift. For adults there are 4 regular lifts. Snow machines provide snow garantuee.

There are even more cross-country skiing/ nordic skiing opportunites which I will cover in a separate article. And if you get bored of downhill skiing, how about tryin snow-kiting, letting the wind in your kite pull you across the piste?

Packing for a Skiing Trip

Contrary to popular belief, it is currently ski season in a lot resorts. People assume that ski season is before Christmas because that is usually when it snows where they are. But, countries that have ski resorts, will tell you that ski season can sometimes run into April.

If you have booked a ski holiday and you have never been skiing before, it can be hard to know what to pack. You probably won’t know what clothing that you need to buy and you won’t know whether to pack for winter or summer because the slopes can be hot. This is not because of their weather; it is more because skiing is exercise.

So, if you are wondering what you should pack and what you need for the trip, you should read ahead for some tips.

1. Skiing equipment – Some people will think that they have to go out and buy all the skiing equipment. If they do this then they will be risking wasting their money. What if they spend a lot of money on the equipment and then they don’t like skiing? Even if they resell the equipment, they will lose money on them. Therefore, it is important to know that all good ski resorts will allow you to hire the equipment. They cost of hiring can be included in the price of the trip, or you can pay a rental fee when you arrive.

2. Clothing – It is mentioned above that you will get hot when you are skiing, but that does not mean that you should pack for the summer. You should definitely pack for the winter because it will be snowing and it will be cold. When you stop skiing, for a break, or for lunch, you will get cold very quickly. Therefore, you should consider packing thermal clothing as well. A good thermal suit that runners wear in the cold weather, might be better for you because this type of suit turns your sweat into another layer. This reduces that drastic changes in temperature and reduces the chance that you might get ill. You need to be conscious of your health, even though you will be having a lot of fun.

3. Ski specific clothing – You will need to buy some clothing that is specific to skiing. For example, you will need a thicker coat and you will need some salopettes. You can’t just go skiing in your regular winter coat and some jeans. You need clothing that is thick and waterproof. They have to protect you from injury and from the elements. If you wear jeans, when you fall over, and you will over a lot, they will get wet and heavy. It will take a long time for them to dry and they will hinder your movement. Therefore, waterproof clothing will be better for you. It is important to know that you should not wear the salopettes on their own because they are a very thin layer. You should have some thermals and some sweatpants underneath. Again, you should not wear jeans underneath because they will restrict your movement.

4. Gloves and Hats – You should definitely pack some thick gloves and some warm hats. You should pick gloves that are thick and waterproof, you should not pack thin cotton gloves because they will not be suitable. You should pick some warm hats with woolen layers and you should make sure that the hat has some ear flaps to keep your ears warm, otherwise you will get ear ache in the cold. Consider a sheep skin material because they are thick and durable.