Ski holidays are now very much part of the timeshare lifestyle, but with ski season in full swing now, what do you do when one partner or a member of the family doesn’t ski or snowboard?
The answer? A City Ski break.
So if you’re looking to explore the countries you’re visiting, in between skiing sessions, or someone in your group would rather be sipping hot chocolate and shopping than on the slopes, why not go for a city-ski holiday?
Europe is home to plenty of alpine style cities – each enjoying direct daily flights from the UK – all with fantastic apres-ski scenes. Here are five cities which work beautifully for a ‘shop, ski and sightsee’ timeshare break.
1) Innsbruck, Austria
Based in the centre of the alps, this charming old town is lined with a fusion of Gothic and Baroque architecture. Culture lovers will enjoy strolling around past Ambras Castle, the Golden Roof, and the Imperial Church, then hitting the slopes just 15 minutes later – the Nordkettenbahnen cable car transports skiers from the city centre directly to the slopes of Nordpark.
2) Ljubljana, Slovenia
The capital of Slovenia boasts some spectacular architecture and enjoys tourism hotspots such Dragon Bridge, St. Nicholas Cathedral, and the 12th-century castle on a hill overlooking the city. From Ljubljana, the ski area of Krvavec – suitable for all skiers – is just half an hour away, while Stari Vrh is 50 minutes.
3) Salzburg, Austria
Salzburg combines idyllic old town appeal with a pretty alpine setting. Stroll around the Christmas markets with mulled wine in hand, enjoy a classical concert, or get lost in the town’s narrow streets. The Salzburg Snow Shuttle takes ski bunnies to the ski regions of Salzburgerland, while the Salzburg Super Ski Card offers access to more than 2,200 kilometres of slopes and comprises 23 ski regions. And don’t forget to visit Mozart’s house and bring back a rich chocolate “sachertorte”, one of Salzburg’s most delicious souvenirs.
4) Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany
Based on the edge of the Black Forest and centred around the historic old town, this beautiful city is renowned for its ancient university, medieval cathedral, and bustling pubs. It also happens to be a half an hour drive from the Feldberg ski area, with an elevation of 1493 metres.
5) Zurich, Switzerland
The largest city in Switzerland is famous for its chocolate, watches and banks but it’s also known as “the cultural capital”, thanks to a very impressive number of museums and galleries. The city is set alongside a lake and boasts a pretty old town dotted with gothic and baroque churches. It’s also surrounded by the small ski areas of the Fischenthal (50 mins) and Oberwangen (50 mins), while the larger ski area of Hoch-Ybrig is an hour’s drive. The food is good, too, and you’ll find plenty of cafes and bistros to try, as well as cosy coffee and croissant bars to warm up in.