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20 things to do this ski season (if you’re not skiing)

1. Zip wire in La Plagne, France

Prepare for the sight (and sounds) of people flying through the tall pine trees in La Plagne, as EL Pro, an adventure sports company, unveils 10 new zip wires this season in the French resort – for those who like a side order of adrenaline with their Alpine air.
Address: Centre Cial Amont, 73210 Belle Plagne | Tel:  +33 4 79 09 11 62
Fly to Grenoble

2. Sip on a craft beer or two in Valloire, France

You don’t have to be in Hipsterville to enjoy a good beer – the Brasserie du Galibier in Valloire brews a blonde, an ambrée and a blanche using pure local glacial water.
Address: Rue de la Bonne Eau, 73450 Valloire | Tel: +33 4 79 59 04 95
Fly to Grenoble

3. Dance your socks off in Avoriaz, France

Snowbombing has a baby sister! Bringing the snow rave to Avoriaz with Transi-tion from 13-19 December, the Snowbombing crew promise a host of clubs, mountain stages and, of course, pop-up venues. Headlining is Dizzee Rascal and prices start from a not-to-be-sniffed-at £99 for accommodation and wristband. Tickets are on sale now.  
Fly to Geneva

4. Become a snowball professional in Avoriaz and Morillon, France 

The Japanese take their sports very seriously. So seriously that even snowball fights – yukigassen – have become huge, seven-a-side tournaments. Now those specially designed arenas are coming to the Alps in the resorts of Avoriaz and Morillon. Time to settle that family feud once and for all. 
Address: Office de Tourisme Morillon Grand Massif | Tel: + 33 (0)4 50 90 15 76 | Address: Office de Tourisme Avoriaz, 44 Promenade des Festivals | Tel: +33(0)4 50 74 02 11
Fly to Geneva

5. Get high on culture in St Anton and St Cristoph, Austria

Take a break from the pounding après Europop of neighbouring St Anton and drop into Arlberg1800’s new Art and Concert Hall, in the tiny village of St Chris-toph in Austria’s stunning Tyrolean Alps. As the world’s highest concert venue, it offers bulletproof cultural bragging rights. 
Address: 1 St Christoph, 6580 St Anton am Arlberg | Tel: +43 5446 2611
Fly to Innsbruck

6. Build an igloo at Adelboden’s Igloo Festival, Switzerland

Gather together your hardiest friends and head to Switzerland to get igloo building at Adelboden’s Igloo Festival. Shovels and snow saws are provided, but competition is fierce for the top prizes. 
Address: Adelboden Tourismus, 23 Dorfstrasse | Tel:  +41 33 673 80 80
Fly to Zurich

7. Go ice karting in Saalbach, Austria

Get in a spin, ice karting on Austria’s only snow-and-ice-covered track, IceKart, just outside Saalbach. Wrap up warm and hold on to the wheel tight – even the best drivers will be in for a white-knuckle ride. 
Address: Saalbach | Tel:  +43 (0)676 5175 630
Fly to Salzburg

8. Learn to speak French in Morzine, France

Progress your language skills beyond “deux bières, s’il vous plait”, on a week’s course and holiday with the Alpine French School. Ski every morning, parler bien le français every afternoon. 
Address: 10 Route de la Plagne | Tel: +33 4 50 79 08 38
Fly to Geneva

9. Visit Ice Magic in Interlaken, Switzerland

Why settle for a bog standard, normal-shaped ice rink on your next holiday? Ice Magic, in the Swiss resort of Interlaken, offers four differently themed rinks linked by winding walkways that are, well, very cool.
Address: c/o Jungfrau World Events, 84 Postfach | Tel: +41 (0)33 826 00 90
Fly to Zurich

10. Practise yoga in Gstaad, Switzerland

Om your way to a higher zen on a Yogi Sleep retreat at the Alpina Gstaad, the first luxury hotel to open in Gstaad for 100 years. Sign up for the three-night programme and you’ll be sleeping like a baby in no time. 
Address: 23 Alpinastrasse | Tel: +41 33 888 98 88 
Fly to Geneva

11. Eat at the world’s best restaurant near Vallter 2000, Spain

Just an hour and half’s drive from the Pyrenean ski slopes of Vallter 2000, you’ll find El Celler de Can Roca. And what’s the big deal about that? Only that El Celler, in Girona, reclaimed its spot at the top of ‘The World’s 50 Best Restaurants’ this June, that’s all. 
Address: El Celler de Can Roca, 48 Can Sunyer, Girona | Tel: +34 972 222 157 |
Fly to Barcelona

12. And relax… in Megève, France

Let the Nordic serenity soak into your skin at the Pure Altitude spa in the five-star Les Fermes de Marie hotel in Megève. We’re going out on a limb: this is the most luxurious spa in the Alps. 
Address: 163 Chemin de la Riante Colline | Tel: +33 4 50 93 03 10 
Fly to Geneva

13. Explore mountaineering history in the Dolomites, Italy

Corona’s Messner Mountain Museum, buried deep into the Italian Dolomites, offers a double educational whammy. The sixth and final museum to be curated by mountaineering maestro Reinhold Messner provides a fascinating insight into the history of Alpine exploration and, because it’s been designed by star architect Zaha Hadid, it’s also a masterclass in contemporary architecture. 
Address: MMM Corones, Kronplatz | Tel:  +39 0471 631264 
Fly to Innsbruck

14. Have dinner in a volcano near Reykjavik, Iceland

Hands down Instagram gold and not as foolish as it sounds – the Thrihnukagigur volcano in Iceland, a 15-minute helicopter ride from Reykjavik, is dormant and dinner is served on the crater, all organised by Jacada Travel. The Northern Lights pale in comparison. 
Address: Jacada Travel | Tel: +44 (0)203 553 6905
Fly to Reykjavik

15. Watch a chukka or two in St Moritz, Switzerland

St Moritz has been home to snow polo since 1985, holding the annual Snow Polo World Cup on its frozen lake every January. Appearing incongruously against the snowy mountains of the Engadin Valley, it’s one of the winter season’s best people-watching opportunities.
Address: Evviva Polo St. Moritz Ltd, 4 Via dal Mulin | Tel:  +41 (0)43 343 98 54
Fly to Zurich

16. Luge in Courchevel, France

Why walk or ski between Courchevel 1850 and 1550 when you can luge? Jump on a sled and enjoy the ride down a winding 2km track. And here’s the kicker – there’s a cozy gondola waiting at the bottom to take you back up. 
Address: Courchevel Tourisme, 73120 Saint-Bon-Tarentaise | Tel: +33 4 79 08 00 29
Fly to Grenoble

17. Dive beneath the ice in Tignes, France

Wrap up warm in a dry suit and submerge yourself to scuba dive beneath the ice on the frozen lake of Tignes for an enchanting and otherworldly experience. Not for the claustrophobic. 
Address: Ecole de Plongée sous Glace de Tignes | Tel: +33 (0)4 80 98 50 01
Fly to Grenoble

18. Follow in the footsteps of Bond in Schilthorn, Switzerland

Piz Gloria, the iconic revolving restaurant built as Blofeld’s lair and the start of the best Bond ski chase, is now home to the 007 Walk of Fame, the finishing touch to Bond World, found at the summit of the Schilthorn at 2,970m. 
Address: Schilthorn Cableway Ltd, 2 Höheweg, Interlaken | Tel: +41 33 82 60 007
Fly to Zurich

19. Take a giant leap in Font-Romeu, France

Canyoning – you know, the activity that involves swimming down rivers and jumping off waterfalls – isn’t just for summer. Head to the geo-thermally heated river in Font-Romeu in the French Pyrénées where the temperatures will seem positively balmy in the depths of winter.  
Address: Office de Tourisme de Font-Romeu, 82 Avenue Emmanuel Brousse | Tel: +33 (0)4 68 30 68 30
Fly to Barcelona

20. Go downhill on two wheels in Kitzbuhel, Austria

Leave your skinny tyres at the door. If you want a cycling fix on snow, fat bikes and their 12cm-wide knobbly tyres are the way to go. Embrace the whole scene in Austria at the Kitzbuhel Fat Bike Festival in early January. 
Address: Bike Academy | Tel: +43 664 9597970
Fly to Salzburg