Sun, snow or mountains
The year is drawing to a close. Some want to be in the sun, but many are drawn to the mountains and the snow, or to a city break. We have taken a look around to see where there is some snow and where you can spend some pleasant days.
The view of the mountain ranges indicates the first signs of winter and the anticipation of snow-covered mountains, hills and sweeping meadow slopes increases with each passing day. Some want perfectly maintained slopes, while others prefer the peace and solitude of the mountains to get in shape on cross-country skis or snowshoes. Connoisseurs prefer to hike through the postcard landscapes, while adrenaline freaks let off steam with ice climbing. However, the reward in the form of physical well-being and feelings of happiness is common to all winter sports. We stay mainly in Europe in our exploration.
Biathlon in the footsteps of the pros in Bodenmais
After the European Championships in 2022, the winter sports elite will once again be in Bodenmais: From 9 to 14 January 2023, the IBU Cup Arber Biathlon will host the best athletes around the highest mountain in the Bavarian Forest. If you want to test your own skills, you can train in the combined discipline of cross-country skiing and sharp shooting in the local biathlon centre in the footsteps of Olympic champion 2022 Denise Hermann.
Winter joys in East Tyrol
Friends of alpine skiing enjoy reliable snow, extensive slopes, sunny slopes and guaranteed no waiting times at the lifts in seven winter sports resorts in East Tyrol. The prices in East Tyrol are also family-friendly: For example, there is a child tariff up to 18 years of age.
The “Ski Hit Osttirol” ski pass is valid for all seven ski areas. NEW in winter 2022/23: The Leppleskofel six-seater chairlift in St. Jakob in Defereggental. As the highest cable car in the region, it takes guests up to 2,683 metres in no time at all.
Information on the opening hours of the ski resorts, ski pass prices and details on the slopes can be found here. Extra tip for cross-country skiing fans: In the Obertilliach cross-country skiing and biathlon centre at 1,450 metres, the first trails have been open since the beginning of November.
Children have fun in the Hochzeiger ski resort in the Pitztal
The family-friendly Hochzeiger ski resort in Pitztal proves that skiing holidays with children don’t have to be expensive. Newcomers to the slopes between the ages of three and six take part in ski courses here free of charge. In addition to the mascot “Pitzi”, well-trained ski instructors from the Hochzeiger snow sports school accompany the little ones during their first attempts on skis, show them how to “ski like a pizza slice” and motivate them to take on new challenges.
What would you like in the afternoon? Explore the 40 kilometres of slopes in the ski resort together with your parents or would you rather go to the supervised children’s program and go snowshoeing, tobogganing and building snowmen with new friends?
Dates of the free ski courses: 9 to 27 January 2023 and 13 to 24 March 2023, Monday to Friday from 9:15 to 10:45 for early risers or from 11:00 to 12:30 for late risers (offer applies to overnight stays in Pitztal). The day pass is available for adults from 35 Euro.
Children under the age of ten who are travelling with a parent can use the cable cars and lifts for free with the Bambini Free Pass anyway. By the way: Youngsters can also learn to ski for free on selected dates in the Rifflsee ski resort and on the Pitztal Glacier.
Mild winters on La Palma
From June to September it is summer on La Palma. On the greenest island of the Canary Islands, temperatures are at their highest then, and classrooms in schools remain empty for over two months. The small coves, black sand beaches, as well as the natural pools of Charco Azul and La Fajana become the first port of call for anyone looking for refreshment.
But far be it for those who expect to see towel after towel on the beaches at this time of year. Temperatures of up to 23 degrees in December or up to 20 degrees in January hardly attract locals to the waves, but for travellers it is precisely this mild winter that is appealing.
Into the sun to Puerto Rico
With sparkling turquoise waters, golden sandy beaches, streets filled with lively music, culture and art, the Caribbean island nation of Puerto Rico is an ideal escape from the cold winter here. The Puerto Rican capital San Juan, the second oldest city founded by Europeans in the Americas, is particularly colourful.
In the middle of the city and yet far from the hustle and bustle, travellers will find picturesque beaches. The palm-fringed Condado Beach, for example, is located in San Juan’s trendy neighbourhood of the same name, with numerous shops and restaurants. Snorkelling enthusiasts explore Puerto Rico’s underwater world at Playa El Escambrón, protected by coral reefs, while surfers meet for surfing at Ocean Park Beach.
A city break in Helsingborg in Sweden
Helsingborg was originally a Danish city and is now one of the oldest cities in modern-day Sweden. Helsingborg and its surroundings are a pleasant mix of urban and idyllic atmosphere. Dunkers Culture House in the centre hosts (inter)national exhibitions, while Frederiksdal Open Air Museum and Sofiero Castle also invite visitors to linger outside. Sofiero, built in 1864 in the Dutch Renaissance style, is considered one of Sweden’s most picturesque castles.
Its green areas were awarded the title “Europe’s most beautiful park”. The coastal resort’s bathing areas are very popular all year round – for sunbathing and daydreaming in summer and for cold baths and saunas in winter, when the water temperature is only a few degrees above zero. Helsingborg has one of Sweden’s highest densities of pubs, in addition to a number of popular restaurants. There are also a variety of restaurants with food from all over the world. There are a number of pastry shops and cafés in Helsingborg, some of which have more than a hundred years of history. There are also three seaside bathing houses, located south of the Viking beach, which is very popular in summer. Incidentally, Ruben Rausing, the inventor of Tetra-Pak, was born here.
Bratislava’s special places
If a city bears the nickname 72-hour city, one thing is clear: It is the ideal destination for a weekend trip. Located on the Danube, Bratislava not only has two river banks, but also many faces. In addition to popular sights such as the Old Town or Bratislava Castle, it surprises with a variety of unusual places and tours.
In the middle of Bratislava’s city centre there is an oversized, upside-down pyramid. Its interiors hide the best concert and recording studios in Slovakia. The concert hall also houses one of the largest organs in Central Europe with 6,300 pipes. Visitors can experience even more culture and art on a peninsula in the Danube.
This is where the Gallery of Modern Art is located: Danubiana. It combines modern architecture with exhibitions by leading international artists. The building is surrounded by an 8,000 square metre park in which a wide variety of sculptures are presented.
Horsky Park provides nature in the middle of the city. Located in the heart of Bratislava, it is an oasis of calm where you can hike along forest trails or just relax. A dinner in the UFO restaurant is a culinary experience of a special (or third) kind.
At the end of the famous Most-SNP bridge, guests take the lift to the very top, where the UFO restaurant is located 85 metres above the ground. With Mediterranean and Asian dishes on their plates, guests have the city at their feet.
Weekend planning made easy: With so many options, it’s not easy to keep track. On the 72-hour city website, travellers have the opportunity to put together their own personal plan. Depending on the travel group and preferences, very individual ideas and suggestions for the trip are created here. If the plan is decided, the Bratislava Card is the ideal complement for a visit to the city on the Danube. It offers, among many other discounts, free admission to 18 museums and galleries and free use of public transport.
In winter on Lake Maggiore
Lake Maggiore is world-famous for the blossom in its renowned parks. From March to October, the botanical gardens on the lake and its small islands are real attractions. How Lake Maggiore presents itself in winter, on the other hand, is only known to locals and insiders.
Especially during the quiet time of the year, you can let the authentic magic of the lakeside towns work enchant you. There is a lot to do here, such as strolling along the shore in mild temperatures, strolling through picturesque old town streets, going on a panoramic trip by boat, gondola, bike or train – or just going skiing for a few hours.
Winter holidays in the mountains
When the cold season sets in, the Tyrolean Lechtal offers unique conditions for climbing. Tons of ice grow down the cold rock, making formations ranging from sloping cascades to vertical columns.
In Austria’s smallest municipality Gramais in the Tyrolean Lechtal, adventure-seekers have the chance to go on guided tours to spectacular icefalls. Hubertus Lindner, a state-certified ski and mountain guide, offers appropriate training for both beginners and advanced skiers at his Lechtal Mountain School.
However, before the licensed guide and his group dare to climb the steep ice walls, the participants receive theoretical and practical basics in advance. Depending on their knowledge, there is an introduction or improvement in climbing technique, tour planning and avalanche knowledge are just as important.
About five minutes from the Lechtal Mountain School, there are three practice ice climbing walls where first skills are applied. There are other areas in the alpine terrain, where “Hubs” Lindner even has his huskies with him to help with the steeper ascents. For experienced climbers, the Ice climbing guided tour of the Lechtal Mountain School is also worthwhile.
We wish you a wonderful Christmas and winter holiday, and stay healthy.