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Unique activities for an original ski holiday

By TravelFactory , 20/10/2022
A mother leads a pony pulling a sled

We often associate ski resorts with downhill skiing, and it’s certainly the perfect activity for the whole family. But have you heard of horse-drawn skiing and heliskiing? These unique activities may well be your next family favourites!

Not a big skier? Ski areas also offer plenty of ways to enjoy your holiday without ever hitting the slopes. Dive into the world of snowtubing and ice climbing!  You’re sure to make memories that will last a lifetime—even if you never put on a pair of skis.  

We’ve compiled a list of the most fun and innovative ski and non-ski activities below. Take your pick! 

Alpine skiing  

Alpine skiing, also known as downhill skiing, is the classic winter sport for everyone. Accessible to people of all ages and abilities, it has become the quintessential winter holiday activity for families and groups. Learn a bit about the origins of the discipline (which originated in the Alps, hence the name) and how to get started as a beginner. There’s a bit of a learning curve, but you’re sure to enjoy it every step of the way! 


Nordic skiing  

If downhill skiing isn’t your cup of tea, and you’d prefer to make your way across snowy landscapes, look no further than Nordic skiing. Developed on the rolling hills of Scandinavia, Nordic skiing is an endurance activity, a bit like trekking on skis! We discuss ‘classic style’ and ‘skating style,’ so you won’t be lost when you step into your ski boots. Then, it’s time to set your own pace as you take in the beautiful scenery around you! 


Telemark skiing  

If you’d like to take your Nordic and Alpine skiing techniques to the next level, Telemark skiing may be for you. Telemark combines the two systems for maximum flexibility and ease going uphill. The heels on Telemark ski boots detach, so you’ll have lots on freedom. It’s the perfect way to have a completely new skiing experience without wandering too far off the beaten track! 


Ski touring  

Ski touring is an opportunity to take a tour of the backcountry, as its name suggests. It’s a bit like mountaineering on skis. Participants with take on natural terrain—bumps, uphill climbs, and all—to reach the summits. All that hard work will pay off when you reach breath-taking views of pristine, snow-covered wilderness. This unique activity, accessible to advanced Nordic and Alpine skiers, would be a great addition to time on groomed pistes. 



There are some swathes of backcountry that can only be accessed by air, and that’s where heliski comes into play! It’s certainly an investment, but going on a helicopter ride and being dropped off in an untouched, remote area is a truly unforgettable experience. You’ll have the mountain entirely to yourselves. But be prepared! Avalanches and other risks loom out in the wild, so only survivalists and experienced outdoorspeople need apply. 


Ski joering 

Ski joering, or horse-drawn skiing, is certainly something you don’t see every day, but it’s exactly what is sounds like. Skiers hold reins and are pulled along by work horses. It’s a great way to bond with animals, earn their trust, and learn to keep your balance as they set off! Ski joering literally means ‘ski driving’ but no certification or equestrian experience is required to give it a go! 



Snowboarding has taken the winter sports world by storm. If you’ve always wanted to surf the snow, why not test it out on your ski holiday? Whether you’re curious about Alpine snowboarding, Freestyle, or Freeriding, ski resorts are now equipped with the infrastructure you need. Stick to the classic pistes or take on ramps and half pipes. The choice is yours! 



If you’re longing to let out the adventurer in you, mountaineering may be just the thing. Equipped with ice axes, crampons, and ropes, you’ll make your way up and down sheer cliff faces and traipse through all sorts of terrain. There are no skis involved here, this is pure trekking and climbing. Mountaineering expeditions are usually day-long exploits, so make sure you’ve done some training before your holiday. You’ll need the endurance! 



Snow tubing is the perfect family or group activity. Race your friends and family and see who can slip and slide to the finish line first. Attain speeds of up to 40km per hour! Even the littlest kids can participate, and there are slopes just for them. Soak up the sensations and hang on to your inner tube! 

Fat biking 

Have you ever wished you could go mountain biking in the snow? With a fat bike, now you can! Fat bikes have oversized tyres designed to ride over snow. Set off on scenic trails for a BMX adventure on two wheels. All cyclists welcome, older kids included! 

Dog sledding 

Going dog sledding is the ultimate alpine experience. Feel the wind in your hair as you discover new horizons, led by a musher and a team of sled dogs. You’ll traverse pristine snowy landscapes, and the only things you’ll hear are the rustling of paws and sled whisking you along. This traditional Nordic activity is sure to please kids of all ages! 


Bask in the beauty of the backcountry with a snowshoeing outing during your winter holiday. Marked trails far from the slopes were specially designed to give snowshoers a trekking experience in the wilderness. Set your own itinerary or go with a guide. The sky’s the limit! 

Snow biking 

Can’t decide between fat biking and snowboarding? No problem! Snow bikes have skis in the place of tyres. This extreme sport is lots of fun, whether you’re going downhill or hitting the snow park for tricks. Adults and teens alike can get some air on winter holiday. 

Ice karting 

Ice karting puts you behind the wheel and in the driver seat. No driving license required! Race on an icy outdoor track at high altitudes. It’ll take a couple of laps to get the hang of it. But once you do, you’ll be unstoppable! Can you reach the finish line without slipping and sliding? 

Ice climbing 

If you’re longing for a wintry adventure, ice climbing is the domain of the true mountaineer! Grab your ice axes and your crampons and you’re ready to reach the summits of glaciers, frozen waterfalls, and more. No need to have experience on Everest. Ice climbing is accessible to beginners, led by the Alps’ most prestigious guides! 

Bob sleigh 

If you’re holidaying in La Plagne, their Olympic bobsleigh track is a must-see! The only bobsleigh track in France, it’s a truly unique experience for the whole family. Hop into a bobsled for two or for four and fly down the track at speeds of up to 90km per hour. It’s not for the faint of heart, but if you’re brave enough to try, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience!