Winter snow holidays

Cross Country Skiing & Winter Snow Holidays

Our winter snow holidays

Who doesn't enjoy having fun in the snow? For some, it's the chance to get close to nature and try out gentle activities such as snowshoeing through the silence of a virgin snowscape. Others enjoy experiencing exhilaration of winter activities such as skiing, dog sledging or horse-drawn sleigh riding.

Top tips for planning your ski holiday

Our ski holidays are popular with beginners and experienced skiers alike. If this is your first time planning a ski trip, there are a few questions to which you'll probably want answers.

What's a skiing holiday like?

A ski holiday is active and exhilarating. You'll spend most of the daylight hours skiing or, if your resort offers other snow sports, you may also have the option to go sledging, snowshoeing and ice-skating. Some resorts also have a sports centre where you can go swimming or climbing.

After the ski lifts close for the night, you'll want to use the other facilities in your ski resort. They'll usually start with bars and restaurants but rarely end there.

It's up to you how you fill your evenings. Some skiers enjoy a quiet night in the chalet. For those who want to party into the night, many resorts have an active nightlife scene.

A skiiing holiday is what you make it!

How do I choose my ski resort?

If you want to book a ski holiday but you're not sure how to decide upon the right resort, consider what type of experience you and your family or group are after.

If you're bringing young children, you'll want to look for resorts that have a crèche and other activities for kids. Child-friendly slopes and ski classes are another major one for which to check.

If you're organising a group ski holiday and you know that some of your fellow travellers are nervous about skiing, keep an eye out for ski resorts with sports centres, sledging and snowshoeing. There's more than one type of skiing holiday, and more than one way to enjoy life in the snow!

If you and your group are looking for good nightlife, make sure that your resort has a good range of bars and nightclubs where you can envision yourself partying until dawn!

How can I go skiing on a budget?

If you're looking for a way to go skiing on a budget, there are ways to keep down costs. One of the most obvious ways to do this is to go during a quieter part of the ski season, which is between December and April in Europe.

The first few weeks of the season are often the quietest, and this is also the best time for beginners and intermediates to practice on the slopes. January can also be quieter, as kids are at school during this time and all the festive travellers have returned home.

If you're going on a family ski holiday and want to budget, it's best to get on the ski slopes as soon as school has broken up. If you are restricted to choosing between going at Christmas or New Year, Christmas is often the cheaper of the two options.

Consider looking for self-catering accommodation when you're booking your trip, and make sure that the resort has a good supermarket where you can buy ingredients for your meals.

Also, consider the altitude of your accommodation. Hotels and chalets situated lower down the slopes can save you money. That's because those who stay higher up pay extra for the convenience of being able to ski straight out of their door.

The lift pass is another for which cost to account. Lift passes are often cheaper at the beginning or the end of the ski season  another reason to pick these times to ski if you can! If you're bringing kids, bear in mind that some resorts offer discounts on kids' lift passes, and others even let those under a certain age ski for free.

You may even be able to save money by only buying a lift pass for certain days. On others, you could try different snow activities or even try cross-country skiing, which usually doesn't require a lift pass and provides an even more scenic experience.

View our cross-country skiing holidays

Cross-country skiing FAQs

Most people associate skiing with the usual downhill slope-based variety and make this the main activity of their snow holiday. Sometimes people ask us about the other snow sports that they can experience on one of our snow holidays, though, especially cross-country skiing. Read on to find out more!

Cross-country skiing dates back thousands of years to a time when humans first realised that, by attaching two long pieces of wood to their feet, they could travel a lot faster across snow-covered fields to hunt!

The beauty of cross-country skiing is that you can admire the stunning scenery around you while skiing on crisp white snow. This is different from downhill skiing, where you move at a much faster pace.

Take your time and marvel at the fascinating wildlife, beautiful winter flowers and sky-blue alpine lakes. In some places, you can stop off in a little hut and cook a snack en route to warm up and maintain your energy levels. In others, you can buy food and hot drinks in a restaurant, bar or mountain hut. All the while, you'll be getting a great overall workout that will tone your entire body.

What are you waiting for?

Why should I go cross-country skiing?

Cross-country skiing is a popular winter sport for people of all ages. It's a great alternative to snowshoeing or downhill skiing that enables you to see as much scenery as possible while keeping fit. Just like when you first learn to ride a bicycle, cross-country skiing is all about mastering the art of balance. Once you've done that, you're halfway there!

What's the difference between cross-country and downhill skiing?

Cross-country skiing allows you to have more control. You can travel as quickly or slowly as you like. When downhill skiing, you mostly focus on speed rather than scenery. When cross-country skiing, you'll move at a more leisurely pace and take in your beautiful surroundings, mainly using the leg muscles.

Although both types of skiing require physical strength, when cross-country skiing you'll use every muscle in your body, particularly your arms and legs.

Is it a dangerous sport?

Cross-country skiing is one of the safest winter sports. Although falling could result in minor sprains, serious injuries are very rare. They usually occur only when the cross-country skier ventures into steep terrain or off the main piste. On a Headwater holiday, you'll have the help of a local expert who will give you easy step-by-step instructions right from putting on your ski boots to learning control techniques.

Can anyone take part?

Yes, cross-country skiing is suitable for all ages and abilities, provided that you are fit and healthy. You can do as much or as little as you want on a cross-country skiing holiday, too, so there's no pressure. The combination of low injury risk with smooth, dynamic movement also makes it an ideal sporting pursuit for older people.

Even if you have done alpine (downhill) skiing before, the equipment and the techniques are different, so it's best to have a few lessons before you get started. You will learn how to stay balanced, how to control the equipment, brake, go up and down and, most importantly, how to fall and get back up again (it can happen).

View our cross-country skiing holidays

Why choose a snow holiday from Headwater?

When you go on one of our skiing holidays, you can book with confidence, safe in the knowledge that we'll do what we can to enable stress-free travel.

Amazing destinations - We use a five-stage approval process to ensure that all of our snowy experiences are well organised, fun and stress-free.

Expert local guides - Our in-house experts will be on hand to help you to get the most out of your ski trip.

Flexible flights - When you book your flights with us, we want to make it as simple as possible for you. Just let us know a few details, such as from where you want to travel.

ABTA and ATOL protected - All our walking tour holidays are ABTA and ATOL protected for your peace of mind. Find out more about what your key rights are when booking with us.

Award-winning - our holiday deals have been recognised for their superior quality. We've been feted by Which? National Geographic and the British Travel Awards, among others. See our awards.

We're sustainability-conscious - We're careful to ensure that our ski holidays are Nature Net Positive. This means that they actively benefit nature, doing more than simply mitigating the impact of travel.

We benefit communities - Through our Exodus Travels Foundation, we make sure that our holiday deals benefit social, conservation and disaster relief products.

Learn more about Headwater

*Booking conditions apply.