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10 of the best ski resorts for non-skiers

14 Mar, 2023
6mins, 56s read
Sarah Cramer
Sarah Cramer
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10 of the best ski resorts for non-skiers

Ski resorts aren't just for avid skiers or snowboarders. There are loads of activities for non-skiers too. From snowshoeing and ice skating to relaxing in the hot tub or exploring charming local towns, you can enjoy a fantastic winter holiday without ever hitting the slopes. Here we've pulled together Heidi's top 10 skiing destinations for non-skiers.
Group of friends snow shoe hiking across snowy mountain in Val Cenis ski resort

Chamonix, France

Located in the French Alps, Chamonix is well-known for its world-class skiing and snowboarding. But it's also a mint location for non-skiers. Enjoy stunning natural landscapes, authentic French charm, and fun activities off the slopes. Explore snowy meadows on snowshoeing hikes, pick your way up frozen waterfalls, and climb Mt Blanc. Or, for something less active, indulge in some serious retail therapy in the town's designer boutiques. Ready to party? The lively apres ski, festivals, and concerts will have you dancing all season long. Let's boogie!

Kitzbuhel, Austria

A charming and picturesque town located in the Austrian Alps, Kitzbuhel is much more than just a first-class ski resort; non-skiers are also kept entertained by the town's wide range of activities and attractions. Take a scenic cable car ride to enjoy breathtaking views of the glistening snowy mountains, go snowshoeing, or embrace your inner zen with an afternoon in a luxury hotel spa. Ommmm! Artisan craft shops in the historic centre are well worth a browse, and a ride on a horse-drawn carriage is a must-do activity. Giddy-up! Kitzbuhel is also known for its vibrant après-ski scene, with a fantastic selection of bars and restaurants serving traditional Tyrolean meals and gourmet specialities.
Couple trying white and red wine on holiday in italy

St Johann in Tirol, Austria

Aside from skiing, there's always lots happening in the ancient medieval mining town of St Johann in Austria. Admire the local Baroque church and discover fresco-painted buildings before learning all about them in the Local Heritage Museum. And a day trip to the Liechtenstein Gorge will take you deep into one of the longest ravines in the Alps. If you want to burn off some energy, head to the indoor swimming pool, climb bouldering walls or enjoy a scenic snowshoeing excursion. When the skiers return to the resort, St Johann's apres scene is fairly low-key, but there’s a great mix of bars and restaurants offering relaxed dining with a warm and friendly atmosphere.
Man walking across snowy path wearing snow shoes

Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy

Whether you're a skier or not, prepare to be wowed by the spectacular scenery in Cortina d'Ampezzo. Set at the heart of Italy’s 'Alpine Dolce Vita' in the UNESCO Dolomites, beautiful snowy peaks rise into bright blue skies, creating a stunning backdrop for picturesque hikes, breathtaking snowshoeing trips, and even helicopter tours. Bellissimo! Feel as though you're on the film set of James Bond's ‘For Your Eyes Only’, which was filmed here in the 80s. And learn about the local First World War battles at the Museum of the Great War. Feeling peckish? Whet your appetite with a huge choice of sophisticated restaurants and cafes servicing delicious Italian cuisine before relaxing in a chic hotel bar with a glass of wine.
Helicopter waiting to take holiday goers on ride above French Mountains

Engelberg, Switzerland

Engelberg is an advanced skiers' paradise with long descents and vast off-piste terrain, but this shouldn't put off non-skiers - there's heaps to do away from the slopes too. Home to the world's first revolving cable car, a trip to the top of Titlis at 3,041 metres above sea level reveals spectacular 360-degree vistas across the Swiss Alps. Dare to cross the TITLIS Cliff Walk, Europe's highest suspension bridge, and explore the underground glacier caves. Back in the resort, Engelberg's historic 12th-century Swiss village offers superb dining options and boutique shops. Shop till you drop! Or get some thrills on the ice skating rink and toboggan runs.
Tourist exploring glacier ice cave while on holiday

Zermatt, Switzerland

With intermediate runs cascading down the mountain from the mighty Matterhorn Glacier, and some of the highest slopes in Europe, Zermatt is a popular Swiss ski resort. But it's more than just a thrillseekers playground. This charming town boasts beautiful wooden chalets and pretty streets and is surrounded by the most spectacular mountain scenery, including the iconic Matterhorn. It’s a photographer’s dream! Make the most of the view on a paragliding tour. Or explore on foot with a snowshoeing excursion. Luxury boutiques will lure you in for some decent retail therapy, and traditional delis will get your taste buds singing.
Traditional church and town of Zermatt ski resort in winter at sunset

Serre Chevalier, France

Serre Chevalier is one for the sun worshipers. Renowned for its epic bluebird days, this fantastic French ski resort is loved for its good weather by skiers and non-skiers alike. Soak up the rays with a relaxing afternoon on a mountain hut terrace. Don't forget the sun cream! Or explore the picturesque mountain scenery with a snowshoe hike in the Ecrins National Park. Daredevils will love the giant zipline between Grand Serre and Grand Alpe. Or take it easy with a day at Serre Chevalier's thermal spa; its steaming outdoor pools and saunas are too good to miss. So zen!
Couple enjoying thermal spa hot tub at Megeve ski resort

Seefeld, Austria

Austria's Seefeld ski resort is a popular winter getaway for non-skiers thanks to reams of cross-country walking trails. Wander across vast snowy plateaus and tree-lined paths on foot. Or, if you fancy trying cross-country skiing, there's over 245km of terrain to explore. If that all sounds too energetic, there's no better way to spend a sunny bluebird day than taking a gondola up the mountain and relaxing in a deck chair on a mountain hut terrace. Utter bliss! In the charming car-free village centre, you're spoiled for choice with many boutique shops, cafes, and restaurants. Plus, with a short transfer of just 30 minutes from Innsbruck airport, Seefeld is ideal for a long weekend or short mid-week break. Come on, let’s go!

Bad Gastein, Austria

Don't let the name put you off; Bad Gastein is a pretty town embellished with classical Belle Epoque architecture and blessed with breathtaking mountain vistas and mineral-rich natural spas. Set at the heart of Austria’s Gastein Valley ski area, non-skiers will never get bored - whizz across the Gastein Gorge on a giant zip wire, zoom down toboggan runs, or scale a frozen waterfall. Go, go, go! As the sun sets, Bad Gastein's lively apres-ski gets started. Sip Glühwein in a cosy bar or dance to live music with a peach schnapps in hand. In need of some R&R? Head to the world-famous Felsentherme Spa to unwind in natural thermal waters. And relaxxxx!
Couples enjoying christmas in traditional christmas market in winter

Ellmau, Austria

Ellmau boasts easy access to one of the world's largest linked ski areas but also offers mountain loads of activities for non-skiers too. Hop onto a gondola to take in panoramic views across the Wilder Kaiser mountains, relax with a warm Glühwein at one of many mountainside huts, or grab an ice-cold Stiegl at the Igloo Village in nearby Hochbrixen. Down in the valley, treat yourself to a traditional horse-drawn carriage ride through magical snowy landscapes, or chill out in the local spa. If hearty Austrian cuisine is your thing, you're in the right place. Wiener schnitzel, apple strudel and giant portions of kaiserschmarrn pancake are on the menu. Yum!

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