Top 6 winter sports that aren’t skiing

Person snowboarding

Enjoy dog sledding, ice fishing or even a balloon ride

There’s more to winter sports holidays than skiing. Top activities like dog sledding, snowboarding or a balloon ride could give you something different to throw into the après-ski conversation.

Make sure you’ve always got the right winter sports travel insurance, so you can relax and enjoy the adventure. There’s more to winter sports holidays than skiing. Top activities like dog sledding, snowboarding or a balloon ride could give you something different to throw into the après-ski conversation.

  1. Discover dog sledding. Set off on an exhilarating ride into white, open spaces on a sled pulled by a team of lively huskies. Mushers take care of the dogs and skillfully select a team, each with their own special role to play. The huskies wear special boots to grip the snow and can reach speeds of 16 to 22km per hour – and it feels even faster!

    Where: Mostly Canada, Scandinavia and on the Alaskan glaciers
  2. Give snowboarding a try. This high-energy winter sport is a big hit with the skateboarding generation, but it’s not just for the young ones. Snowboarding now has around 7 million keen followers and most ski resorts have terrain parks or dedicated slopes with boxes, rails, jumps and ‘half-pipe’ ramps.

    Where: France, Austria, Switzerland, US, Canada – take your pick
  3. Hop on a snowmobile. If you’ve a love of speed and don’t mind wrapping up warm, snowmobiling could be right up your street. It’s an adrenalin-pumping way to explore a winter landscape. You might even spot herds of grazing reindeer or other wildlife. Depending on where you ride you could need a driving licence. And of course it’s important to stay sober when you’re in charge of a vehicle.

    Where: Sweden, Finland, US – anywhere there’s snow, basically
  4. Take a hot-air balloon ride. There are few things more breathtaking than colourful hot-air balloons drifting across a snow-covered landscape against a deep blue sky. Chateau d’Oex in the Swiss Alps hosts an International Hot Air Balloon Festival each year, and is one of the best places to spectate or take a ride yourself. More resorts are offering this unforgettable experience now too.

    Where: Swiss Alps, France– this one’s really taking off so look out for other ballooning destinations
  5. Check out a frozen lake. Well supervised and safely frozen lakes provide several ways to enjoy the icy conditions. Ice skating on an outdoor rink is fun for all ages, while older kids and adults can enjoy ice-kart racing around a prepared circuit.

    Where: Austria, Sweden and lots of other places – but only ever where skating is well organised and judged to be safe
  6. Go ice-fishing. Hardy types love the challenge of ice-fishing on a frozen lake. You need to rent a rod, bait and a huge drill to cut a hole in the ice, and then you sit and wait. Winter layers and small canvas tents protect you from the icy winds, and a tot of schnapps may help pass the time. A reward of super-fresh fish can make it all worthwhile.

    Where: Canada, Iceland, Norway – anywhere there’s ice and fish

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