Europe's first ever snowboarding holiday for four to eight-year-olds comes to Morzine this winter. In response to increasing demand for kids' snowboarding schools and equipment, rudechalets and Mint Snowboarding are offering fun-through-learning lessons enabling children to adopt the basics of the sport in an exciting and stimulating environment. Children will have access to a specialised fleet of Burton Snowboards' Learn To Ride equipment, which is designed specifically for youngsters under the age of eight. Prices from £699 per child, per week including snowboard lessons, equipment rental, transfers, en-suite chalet accommodation (adults pay £469 per person, per week) on a half-board basis.
Madesimo, on the Italian border with Switzerland, has a burgeoning reputation due to its great value, quiet slopes and tasty food. This season the resort just gets better as skiers can take advantage of complimentary airport transfers. Throughout January there are free transfers on offer for Saturdays and Sundays from the Milan airports: Bergamo, Linate and Malpensa. These will run at 10am or 9pm from the airport to Madesimo, returning to the airports at 4am or 3pm. As part of the Valchiavenna ski area there is over 60km of varied slopes to discover at Madesimo. The resort itself boasts a Michelin-starred restaurant, among many reasonably priced restaurants and friendly bars.
Cutting edge and funky design arrived in Verbier this season in the form of W Verbier. The W chain's first Alpine hotel has brought stylish Dutch design, culinary innovation and an extravaganza of glamour to the Swiss resort. Fabulously located beside the Medran gondola, the hotel features four tradition wooden chalet-style buildings that house a signature spa, indoor and outdoor pool, plus countless gourmet and lounge settings for jetsetters.
Looking for a stress-free cross-country skiing holiday? This season you can really get into the sport in the Italian Dolomites without being weighed down by your luggage. Trans Dolomiti is a brand new cross-country skiing tour that lasts five days and covers up to 200km of pristine snow. Your bags will be transported for you during the day so you can ski weight-free during the day and arrive at the hotel at night to find your luggage already in place. The holiday includes four nights' half-board accommodation, transfers, luggage transport and ski passes. Prices for a five-day trip start from €299 per person.
Italian ski resort Livigno is always increasing its family friendly features and this year sees the arrival of the Baby Free lift pass offer allowing all children born after 1 January 2006 to ski for free throughout the season. Before they get high onto the mountain, the two snow kindergartens are the perfect place to develop their ski legs and confidence with mascot Lupigno the wolf on hand to put children at ease.
You may have heard of yoga on the ski slopes, but did you know you can do it wearing your skis too? Grand Hotel Kronenhof in Pontresina is inviting yoga bunnies to attempt the mountain pose on a slippery surface wearing their skis with its new winter yoga package. The hotel has teamed up with ski instructor and yoga teacher Sabrina Nussbaum to introduce guests to the benefits of doing yoga on their skis at the top of the slopes in crisp Alpine air. The package, which costs £885 per person, includes half-board accommodation, a ski pass, a one-to-one consultation with a yoga teacher, a three-hour morning Ski-Yoga session with Nussbaum, two afternoon indoor yoga sessions in the Kronenhof Spa, a Hydrojet massage bath and a Kronenhof Energy Massage.
Belambra has introduced an avalanche of winter sports to its holiday clubs across the French Alps. Guests looking for an alternative to skiing or snowboarding are being invited to try Le Ski-Joëring, where skiers are pulled behind a horse, guided by a rider, through woodlands and along nature trails. Thrillseekers can take on the challenge at a gallop and beginners can enjoy it at a leisurely canter. Then there's Le Yooner, a thrilling board sport that requires you to sit on a seat-mounted mini ski that speeds down the slopes, like a streamlined version of a toboggan. Le Snake Gliss is a team sport that links a group of lugers together to tackle a twisting luge track without falling out of their sleds (it's easier said than done!). And Le Snowscoot is performed on a thin snowboard mounted with BMX-style handlebars. Inspired by ex-games enthusiasts, it involves tricks off ramps and jumps.
Fancy hitting the slopes with the pros this winter? For the first time ever, Delancey has teamed up with British Ski and Snowboard to create the ultimate travel package that allows skiers to spend the day with member of the British ski team. The Alpine Aficionado package costs £20,000 for a group of six and includes three days' skiing at the Delancey British National Alpine Ski Championships in Meribel, one day with a British ski team member, accommodation at the luxury Hotel Allodis In Meribel and the chance to rub shoulders with Olympic athletes at the British Ski And Snowboard Annual Cocktail Party.
A dizzying new attraction has opened at 3,840 metres on top of the towering Aiguille du Midi in Chamonix. The Skywalk allows thrill-seekers to step out into the void overlooking the vast expanse of glacier below. The glass room built around a metal frame is suspended in space and offers visitors the chance to admire the views from a dramatic new perspective. High Mountain Holidays offers seven nights at Apartment Frasserands in Chamonix from £245 per person based on four sharing. A six-day adult ski passes costs from £195 per person.
If you haven't been skiing for a few years and want to get back on the slopes but have lost your confidence, luxury ski lodge L'Ancienne Poste, in the French Pyrenees, is launching ski clinics for the 2013/14 season. The courses are ideal for restoring your confidence and to help you regain your technique. Ski and race instructor James Dealtry runs the clinics, from €499 per person, which are suitable for all ages and include three nights' half-board accommodation at the lodge, personal tuition, course notes on improvements and a full video analysis and playback.
Who needs the winter holiday rush at Heathrow and Gatwick? This season Inghams has launched its first ski holidays departing from Cambridge International Airport. From December, you can travel to more than 18 popular ski resorts, including Courchevel, Meribel and Verbier, with flights from Cambridge to Geneva every Saturday until April. The new flights are operated by Swiss carrier Darwin Airline and skiers can enjoy 23kg of luggage each and complimentary in-flight service. Plus there's no additional charge for ski equipment providing it’s within the baggage allowance.
New village Tignes 1800 opens this winter following a multi-million pound transformation of the traditional village, providing a stark contrast to the cosmopolitan bustle of Tignes 2100. A new by-pass makes the village virtually traffic-free and a large beginner's area makes it ideal for families and novices. Ski enthusiasts have direct access to the heights of Espace Killy via a high speed eight-seat lift, which takes just four minutes to the peak. The four-star superior Kalinda Village, close to the slopes and with superb spa and leisure facilities, has prices from £259 per person for seven nights' self-catering accommodation based on five sharing a two-bedroom apartment.
Italy’s first learning snow park just for kids has just opened in Carezza, South Tyrol. A special and varied course was developed so that young skiers and snowboarders can experience turns, jumps, rails, boxes and kickers, while parents can rest assured that everything has been built especially for children and to the highest standards of safety. The snow park also runs a kindergarten area complete with slides, mini snow hills and a conveyor belt so juniors aged three and over can get used to the snow and learn how to handle a lift in a child-friendly environment. Plus, if the weather turns bad, the snow park has special heated lounges for warming up and indoor play.
Set between the Zillertal Alps and the Dolomites, Kronplatz is a fantastic ski destination with panoramic views and over 100km of pristine slopes. Now it's even easier to get straight to the slopes with the new ski in, ski out train station. It connects the Kronplatz slopes to the local railway network, so getting to the slopes is much more relaxed and scenic while also reducing traffic on the roads. In order to make the transition from station to slope completely seamless, a new 7.2km slope was created with a cable car running all the way onto the station platform in the valley below.
Forget paper brochures this year as planning your winter break has gone digital with Virgin Holidays as the company launches its first ever digital ski brochure for iPads. The Ski & Board 2013-2014 brochure boasts pop-ups, scrolling, click through content and exclusive deals, plus more choice of destinations, including Utah's Park City and Vermont's Jay Peak. What's more, it will save you time browsing ski trips on your commute home from work using your iPad and not having to wait until you get home to flick through the paper version.