For more certain odds though, you may want to spend your Christmas in a place with a more guaranteed snowfall over the festive period. A high altitude resort offers the best chance of snow in December and with it, the chance to spend some time skiing, boarding or if you want to take it all a bit easier, simply enjoying snow shoe walks.
A skiing holiday at Christmas has a natural attraction to it. After all, on what other holiday can you get such a perfect Christmas combination? Fresh white snow, crispy cold but bright weather and the added feel good factors you get from sipping steaming glasses of hot mulled wine in front of a roaring log fire at the end of the day! It is surely Christmas perfection.
Seasoned skiers and boarders will know exactly what I mean, once you are hooked on the white stuff, you just keep coming back for more. It is also surprisingly easy and enjoyable to learn to ski or snow board . OK, so for the first two or three days you may wonder what you have let yourself in for and you will spend a lot of time on your rear end in the snow. Miraculously, on about day three or four things do start falling into place and you can suddenly see how this winter sport thing could be good fun. You won’t be doing the Olympic black at the end of your first week, but you should be able to manage a gentle blue run from top to bottom without too much angst. The sense of achievement is enormous and this is the point at which you start planning to book for next year!
Where to stay
For those on a tight budget, self-catering accommodation is the best bet, particularly for groups of four or more who are sharing. To keep within the budget though, you do need to plan to actual self cater, because if you simply go out to local restaurants, it will almost certainly cost you more than a chalet or hotel deal at the end of the day.
Chalets are a bit like staying in a large private house; you have your own room and then share the living area with the other guests, typically about 8 to 16 people in total. Some chalets have ensuite rooms and others have several shared bathrooms. The beauty of a chalet though, is that a chalet host will look after you for the week, providing breakfast, afternoon cakes and an evening meal. They will also make your bed, or sometimes bribe you with chocolate if you make your own, thus allowing them to spend more time on the slopes. Chalet dynamics make them ideal for groups and couples but are also great for single holidaymakers, as there is always a group to chat and socialise with at the end of the day.
Hotels are the upmarket option and are the best choice if you want more privacy and choice over what time you eat.
We are lucky in the UK to have so many European ski resorts close at hand. For non-stop skiing and boarding, Europe’s biggest ski area is the Paradiski region which is made up of the two vast resorts of La Plagne and Les Arcs, linked by the massive Vanoise Express cable car. If you picture yourself in a chocolate box pretty resort, then Kaprun or other Austrian resorts will fit the bill. Finally, for wide, empty pistes and less language confusion, consider America and Canada, though don’t expect the resorts to be bigger than the European ones – this is a misconception and Europe has much bigger ski resorts.