Where should you go skiing this winter?
When you think of booking a skiing holiday, you probably automatically think of destinations like Austria, Switzerland and France. Or you might opt to holiday at home and head for a Scottish resort. But why not consider one of the more unusual countries with skiing facilities? These have the benefits of being less crowded, cheaper and often more interesting than the more popular resorts.
Here are some of the more unusual countries to go skiing.
Africa is probably the last place you’d think of as a ski destination, but this vast continent does contain a few possibilities. The tiny kingdom of Lesotho has a ski season from June to August (winter in the southern hemisphere), thanks to the height of the Maluti Mountains. So head to the Afriski resort; you can even buy your own chalet if you’re smitten with this unusual ski destination.
Who would have thought Pakistan had ski resorts? Malam Jabba drew the attention of the Taliban spoilsports in 2006, who promptly blew it up – but they couldn’t keep it closed for long. If you’re bored with Gstaad and Chamonix, this will make for a far more adventurous choice.
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Again, it’s hard to imagine hot countries like Morocco having ski resorts – except when you remember that many of them have some pretty impressive mountain ranges. You can get to the resort of Oukaïmden in the Atlas mountains courtesy of an alternative to the usual ski lift.
Now that the civil war is over, Lebanon is being rediscovered as a travel destination. In addition to its history and culture, Lebanon can also boast a number of ski resorts. Don’t forget to buy a suitable ski insurance policy, as many standard policies exclude activities like skiing.
Even the most adventurous skiers would probably rather pick any country than North Korea. But this secretive country, synonymous with repression, famine and its rather comic leaders actually offers a luxury ski resort – although tourists pay a lot more than locals (who wouldn’t be able to afford it otherwise).
If the heat of India is too much for you, head up to one of its ski resorts. This huge country actually has a number of winter sports destinations. Truly adventurous skiers who can handle off-piste skiing will find wonderful, wild slopes to whizz down.
Argentina is a romantic holiday destination, but also a long way to go for skiing. Still, it if you want to enjoy the longest ski season in South America then make for the Cerro Castor resort. As the most southerly ski resort in the world, it provides a year-round destination for ski buffs – if you don’t mind the long flight from the UK.
For those with fat wallets and a thirst for true adventure, there’s always Antarctica’s Union Glacier. Don’t expect luxury chalets and ski lifts though – you’ll be roughing it on this trip!
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