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Adventures for Non-Skiers in the Alps

As much as we all tend to forget in our excitement about a new season being upon us at last, not everyone who ventures up to the Alps is interested in snowsports. Not all visitors are remotely excited about throwing themselves down a steep slope and sliding down hill, wildly out of control and uncomfortable; some people are looking for a winter holiday without needing to strap into a snowboard, clip into some skis and set off. 

So, what is there for people who want to explore the Alps without resorting to extreme sports to do it?

Well, any resort has a whole host of local bars, restaurants and shops that will be buzzing most afternoons with skiers and boarders talking about tearing up the slopes, and if all you’re really looking for is a casual stroll through stunning snowy scenery before you settle down in the bar for the night, then you’ll be happy as Larry in any of the bigger resorts. 

Most resorts have a selection of great shops to try out too, as well as activities from snow shoeing to ice skating to sledging and high wires. For those of is looking for something a little more specific though, certain resorts offer more for non skiers than others. 

Jungfraujoch photo credit Examiner640px

Jungfraujoch - Credit: Examiner

As a family resort that sits fairly low, Grindelwald boasts more activities than you can shake a stick at. From the First Flyer, a zip line that runs from the top of one of the ski areas accessible from the resort, if you’re looking for some adrenaline while you’re in the Alps, to the Jungfraujoch – Top of Europe, where visitors can get up close and personal with a glacier from a viewing platform, with a train journey through the famous Eiger and the Monch.

Most resorts in Switzerland boast great transport links, so non-skiers can meet skiers in mountain top restaurants for long, lazy lunches either by train or by gondola. Certain resorts also have snow cats available for hire, with snow cat trails leading all over the mountains like your skiing friends, but with a larger carbon footprint. 

For the real shopaholics among us, resorts like St Moritz and Courchevel are home to all things glitz and glamour, with Cortina in Italy a famously fashionable and stunningly picturesque resort in a quieter spot. Resorts like these sell one of a kind fashion and the most exclusive brands in winter style, with plenty of spas for the full five star treatment as you enjoy the Alps away from the whipping winds and high speed on the ski slopes. 

St Anton in Austria is increasingly well known as home of Alpine cool, where the après ski starts soon after you get out of bed, and the spas are more popular than the slopes, home to wild parties and lazy days in the hot tub rubbing shoulders with the it crowd.