Alternative places to ski

Alternative places to ski

Ski season is upon us and if you're looking for a change of scenery we've found some of the best alternative places to hit the slopes on skis or snowboards.

Fancy St Anton but without the crowds? Head for its lesser-known little sister St Christoph for a more intimate ski experience.

Looking for a fun alternative to the European favourites? Bosnia is a rising star and offers bargain skiing somewhere you'd never think of getting your skis out.

And if you want to combine a family ski trip with an American Western-style adventure, Montana is the perfect place to take the kids.

Click through our slideshow to find the best alternative ski holiday for you...

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Alternative places to ski
Europe's newest ski haven Bosnia offers an affordable and fun alternative to European favourites, like the Italian Alps and French Pyrenees. Bosnia is home to first-class slopes, as well as local culture and spectacular scenery. The great-value destination provides travellers of all abilities with somewhere new to ski and socialise this winter. Ski Sarajevo marks the 30th anniversary of the Bosnia Winter Olympics 1984 by offering cheap ski holidays to Jahorina, located 28km from capital Sarajevo, from just £269 per person.

With its affordability and chic après-ski scene, Solden is a great alternative to Austria's St Anton. Located in the Otz Valley, Solden is a relative newcomer to British skiers but is becoming more popular due to its excellent snow record. The resort's extensive network of slopes offers runs for all abilities and a six-day lift pass can be extended to include the neighbouring resort of Obergurgl. Chalet Karl Riml is ideally located close to the lifts and boats all the perks of a catered chalet with Austrian charm. Ski Solutions offers seven nights catered accommodation from £489, including meals and transfers.

One of Europe's best-kept secret ski resorts is Baqueira in Spain. Set in the heart of the Pyrenees, the resort is excellent for intermediate skiers and nestled among dramatic scenery. A favourite of King Juan Carlos and the Spanish Royal Family, Baqueira is family-friendly and offers fine dining plus lively nightlife. Keen skiers and boarders will adore the extensive terrain and off-piste possibilities at Spain's largest winter resort, which is off the British ski radar. Best of all, Baqueira has high-capacity lifts meaning rush hour queues are almost unheard of. Scott Dunn offers seven-night holidays at the five-star La Pleta, from £1,080 per person including British Airways flights.
Like St Anton but wish you could experience it without the crowds? Head to its chic little sister St Christoph for the best of Austrian skiing with a smaller, more exclusive feel. Located in the heart of the Arlberg ski area, picturesque St Christoph was originally a refuge for weary travellers crossing the heights of the Arlberg pass, but has become a centre for first-class hotels and gourmet cuisine. There are pistes of more than 2,500 metres and a link to St Anton for when you do want to dip into its buzzing après ski scene. Scott Dunn offers a seven-night holiday to St Christoph including a stay at the rustic Arlberg Hospiz from £2,460 per person with British Airways flights and transfers.

Italy's Dolomites are a hidden gem just waiting to be discovered by skiers. With some of the most beautiful mountains in the world, the jagged peaks of the Dolomites are home to 12 ski areas all accessible with one ski pass. The lifts are fast and super-efficient, while more than a thousand kilometres of well-groomed pistes range from wide, confidence-boosting boulevards to challenging couloirs, including the unique and wonderful Sella Ronda. The Dolomites are ideal for any budget too. You'll find affordable trips with Inghams, easyJet Holidays and Ski Total. Want luxury? Abercrombie & Kent Villas offers seven-night breaks at Chalet Iergl in San Cassiano from £3,010 per person.

Often overshadowed by its glitzier neighbours Courchevel and Meribel, Les Menuires is perfect for access to the Three Valleys ski area for less. The resort offers excellent snow and skiing for all abilities and it comes with an affordable price tag. Located 1,800 metres below Val Thorens, Les Menuires has superb pistes: nursery slopes, wide runs, challenging blacks and vast off-piste areas. The resort is relatively quiet but there are plenty of bars and restaurants to choose from. For the best value and location try an apartment - the majority are ski in and out. Powder White offers seven nights at Les Alpages de Reberty from just €175.50 per person based on six sharing.
Can't bear the thought of a summer off the slopes? Head Down Under to New Zealand and explore some of the most spectacular Alpine skiing in the world between June and October. Base yourself around the spectacular Lake Wanaka and enjoy access to five incredible resorts including Treble Cone and Cardrona. For something a little different, opt for Snow Farm, which is known as New Zealand's only commercial cross country ski area with 500km of groomed trails, plus day and night skiing. A ski holiday in New Zealand also makes for a unique summer getaway if you're not a fan of the heat.
Expert European skiers love it but the resort of Andermatt in the Swiss Alps has always been undiscovered by British skiers. As one of the snowiest resorts in the Swiss Alps, it's also a wonderful alternative for those seeking a bit of luxury away from the Verbier jet set. The town is remarkably tranquil and there are two mountains offering over 78 miles of quiet slopes, with pistes for all abilities. This winter sees the opening of five-star The Chedi Andermatt in December 2013, available via Ski Solutions. The Andermatt-Sedrun ski area is also being developed to open up over 120 new slopes to offer the most extensive skiing in central Switzerland.
Adventure travellers in search of an epic trip will want to check out the ski scene in Iran, which is different to any other country. The mountainous country offers fantastic pistes for skiing and one of the most impressive resorts is Dizin, in the Alborz Mountains north of Tehran. The highest ski lift reaches 11,800ft and the resort has a reputation for providing skiers with powder-like snow, high altitude and north facing slopes. Snowboarding and wild skiing are popular and you'll find restaurants, hotels and holiday cottages at the resort. Travel The Unknown offers 10-day ski holidays in Dizin for £1,495 per person.

If you've taken the kids to family-friendly ski resorts in France, Austria and even Lapland, but fancy treating them to somewhere completely different to what they'd expect, head for Montana in America, where they can experience a ski holiday combined with a working ranch experience. In the winter, Montana turns into an expansive powder hound state, with almost 4,000 acres of slopes at top two resorts Big Sky and Moonlight Basin. Perfect for when you want to join the crowds, the resorts are home to plentiful accommodation, restaurants and off-slope activities. For a more intimate ski experience and to ski with the locals, hit Red Lodge Mountain. Just a few miles away, you can visit the historic mining town Red Lodge and the Lonesome Spur Working Ranch, where you can drive the cattle over the snow-covered trails for a Western-style ski experience. Ranch Rider offers seven-night ski holidays in Montana from £1,369 per person.

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