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Eisklettern in den Dolomiten, Bild: makasana photo / shutterstock

Active winter holidays: More than just skiing

Anyone can go on a winter holiday, but in the long run even skiing and snowboarding become boring. However, this does not mean that you have to cancel your winter holiday. There are still a lot of activities off the beaten track. Snow and ice have much more to offer. In addition, the most beautiful areas for your winter holiday in Europe make it very easy for you to occupy yourself off the slopes. We have summarised the best activities for your active winter holiday for you here.

Where is the journey going?

In Europe , we can consider ourselves really lucky, because here we have some of the most beautiful winter sports resorts in the world. If you look at the Dolomites , for example. They offer several areas for enthusiastic winter sports enthusiasts.

Two of the most popular are Val Gardena and Alta Badia. Here you have the opportunity to practice winter sports on the Dolomites World Heritage Site . Treat yourself to a break in one of the wellness hotels in the Dolomites, which offer great relaxation and recreation programs.

In addition to the Dolomites, there are also other classic winter sports areas in this country, in France, Switzerland and Austria. However, it has a lot more to offer besides Ischgl. However, winter activity does not necessarily always have to be associated with an overnight stay. If you live near a ski resort, you can simply plan a day trip at the weekend to work out in the snow.

Cross country

Skiing in a different way – that’s cross-country skiing. On predetermined trails you can move comfortably on skis. This eliminates the rush of speed that you experience with regular skiing. However, this will give you much more time to enjoy the landscape and its surroundings.

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However, cross-country skiing beginners should first get to grips with the sport. It may look easy, but the discipline is technically very demanding and exhausting. A wide variety of muscle groups, such as legs, arms and torso, as well as endurance are trained.

Hiking with snowshoes

You can really slow down on a hike with snowshoes. You are mainly out and about in deep snow and rather untouched nature. The snowshoes ensure that the weight of the hikers is evenly distributed on the surface and that they do not sink too deep during their steps.

In this sport, the equipment is very important. In addition to snowshoes, a warm snowsuit is essential. Since you often move around in untouched landscapes in the mountains, there is a risk of avalanches. Therefore, you should take appropriate precautions, for example with an avalanche backpack, a shovel, an avalanche transceiver and a probe.

Ice skating

Ice skating is now possible almost everywhere in larger and even smaller cities. In the corresponding ice rinks, beginners can rent skates and take their first steps on the ice.

Ice skating itself is a very good sport to train endurance. At the same time, the cardiovascular system is stimulated. In addition, coordination and the sense of balance are trained. Ice skating is particularly suitable for people with joint problems.

The gliding movements on the ice do not challenge the body as much as, for example, jogging, where every step causes a small impact shock.


Winter sports - curling on a frozen lake
Curling on a frozen lake, Image: Bernd Juergens / shutterstock

The so-called curling is a little more leisurely. However, this sport is still challenging, even if not so much physical effort is required. Two teams compete against each other.

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Each team must try to glide their curling stones over an ice surface as close as possible to a set target. With the so-called curling broom, the speed of the stones as well as the distance they cover can be measured.

In curling, good hand-eye coordination and strategic thinking are particularly important. It is not for nothing that it is considered a precision sport.


Not only children will have fun with this winter sport, but also the adults. For tobogganing itself, you don’t need more than a sled. Ideally, it should be made of wood. Models made of plastic are simply less robust and can break down more quickly.

In ski resorts you will find specially marked toboggan runs where you can ride your sled. If you don’t want to travel that far, however, a snow-covered hill near you will do. However, tobogganing is not as easy as it looks. Above all, the control requires some practice, because it is done by shifting the weight.

Ice climbing

A breathtaking and equally dangerous winter sport is ice climbing. This is where the Dolomites come into play again, because the Val Travenanzes in the eastern Dolomites in particular offers great opportunities for ice climbers. There you will find a rock about 200 meters high and 400 meters wide, covered with various ice lines. Beginners in particular should not dare to climb the ice wall on their own, but should be guided by a mountain guide.

Swimming in the thermal baths

After so much excitement on the ice wall, you deserve a little relaxation. In addition to the wellness hotels in the Dolomites already mentioned, you can also relax in the various thermal baths. In sub-zero temperatures, you can swim outside in the wonderfully warm water. This relieves tension and gets the circulation going. This is a really relaxed way to bring an active winter holiday to a close.