Wednesday 26 October 2016

4 to try: Ski holiday activities that don't involve skiing

Alternative aprés ski activities

Meadhbh McGrath

Published 18/10/2015 | 02:30

Austria's Bad Hofgastein is home to the Alpentherme spa resort.
Austria's Bad Hofgastein is home to the Alpentherme spa resort.
Stock image: Bob Sledding
Why not try Ice Diving?
Shopping in Boston
Caldea, thermal leisure spa complex at Escaldes Engordany.
Under Ice

From spas to ice diving and shopping, Meadhbh McGrath has four suggested activities after skiing.

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Sensational Spas, Andorra & Austria

Andorra's Caldea Thermal Spa looks like a futuristic cathedral straight out of a science-fiction film, but inside you'll find a total oasis of relaxation. Meanwhile, Austria's Bad Hofgastein is home to the Alpentherme spa resort - a luxurious haven for those looking to ease those piste-inflicted aches and pains with a full range of beauty and massage treatments. Soak in one of the centre's thermal baths, or avoid the slopes entirely.

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Ice-diving, France

Ice-diving may not be the first thing that springs to mind when you think of a ski holiday, but if you're looking for an extra winter thrill, this could be right up your alley. Picture yourself plunging into the icy waters of the Tignes lake, gazing up as rays of sunlight play on the frozen ceiling above, and working your way underwater before re-emerging to a stunning view on the other side. That image may send a chill down your spine, but you'll be kept warm by a special dry suit and strapped to a professional diver for the whole trip. A once in a lifetime adventure.

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Shopping, Boston


Boston is a real shopper's paradise, and its outlet centres are the perfect place to take a break from skiing and indulge in some retail therapy. The exchange rate may be tough, but New Hampshire is a tax-free state. You'll find fantastic value for money at Settlers' Green and the Tanger Outlet Centre, both of which are packed with more than 60 designer outlets. Closer to home, there's duty-free shopping in Italy's Livigno and Andorra, where Andorra la Vella is just a 30 minute bus ride from Soldeu and El Tarter.

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Bobsledding, Norway


With an Olympic bobsleigh track nearby, adrenaline junkies won't be hard-pushed to find things to do in Lillehammer. Not for the faint of heart, a bobsleigh run starts off slowly, but by the final bend, the sled whips through the frozen chute at a blistering speed of nearly 100 miles per hour. If you're feeling really daring, try the 'skeleton', in which you lie head-first on your stomach - with your nose just 1cm from the ice.

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