City-Ski is an entirely new concept where you get to take two holidays in one! On a city-ski break, you’ll have the chance to ski somewhere new and explore the delights of some of Europe’s most vibrant, historic and exciting cities. We’re normally in such a rush to get out of the airport and up to resort that we don’t give a second glance to the city we have just landed in. Yet, in some cases, behind the darkened glass of your coach lie tantalising adventures to discover!
The concept is a simple one; you get to spend two or three days on the slopes, taking the opportunity to try out a new resort and combine it with the chance to discover a new city. You can find ready-made packages at Skiweekends.com or they can tailor-make the trip just for you.
Here is a rundown of what we have on offer this season:
Austrian Delight, Innsbruck
Innsbruck, the capital of Austria’s Tyrol region, is a sight to behold – an archetypal Austrian city with a real mix of old and new. With a wide choice of ski areas within an hour, you can ski somewhere different every day and explore the delights of this charming stay in a picture book city with its baroque cathedral and grand palaces.
Côte d’Azur chic, Nice and Isola
Nice, the city of old world opulence and year-round sunshine, is a magnet for sun seekers. Where else can you lie on the beach one day, then ski the sun-soaked mountains the next day? With its choice of fabulous restaurants, its maze of markets and charming old town, you can easily lose yourself for a couple of days soaking up the Riviera vibe. Next stop – Isola 2000 just an hour or so away. The resort is more snow sure than most other resorts in the Alps and boasts an impressive 120 kilometres of slopes, ideal for intermediates and beginners alike.
Barcelona and Les Angles
A fabulous city stop-over and a gem of a French ski resort! Barcelona has long been high up on the wishlist for city break destinations; travelling in winter can throw up beautiful blue skies and surprisingly warm days. Choose from first-rate tapas bars to world-renowned Michelin star restaurants. There is so much to see and do in Barcelona you’ll be spoilt for choice. After a couple of days in the vibrant city, transfer to the picturesque alpine village of Les Angles in the French Pyrenees. The resort offers over 55 kilometres of runs for skiers of all abilities, alternating between forests of mountain pine and great open spaces. With 60% of the resort lying above 2000 metres and over 350 snow guns covering 70% of the resort, it’s also one of the most snow sure destinations in the French Pyrenees.
Explore Geneva Days
Take the early flight, leave your bags at the airport, then get a transfer to the resort after you’ve had lunch by the lake and wandered around the old city. Geneva is compact enough to explore on foot in a few hours; heading down to the old town will offer hours of exploration with its narrow alleyways, concealed courtyards, charming squares and fabulous art shops. You can also visit the St Pierre Cathedral and climb the north tower’s 157 steps for breathtaking views of the city and lake.
Toulouse and Ax-Les-Thermes
This city is a cultural tour de force, there’s so much more to see than the Airbus museum such as visiting the Basilica of Saint-Sernin church or see a show at the Théâtre du Capitole. Then it’s just an hour to Ax-les-Thermes; this is a charming Pyrenean village and the thermal baths are an absolute must. Skiing is truly pretty, and although the ski area may not be vast, the runs are lovely and there are some fantastic off-piste opportunities!
Here are two of our favourite city and ski destinations this season:
Spain: Granada and Sierra Nevada
Quintessentially Spanish, Granada is a city of whitewashed streets with a dramatic mountain backdrop. The main city is compact, meaning it’s easy to explore by foot. Granada is famed for its Andalusian cuisine with strong Moorish and Arabian influences. Free tapas is served in most bars, try the Papas a lo pobre – fried potatoes with peppers, tomatoes, garlic and olive oil, delicious! If it’s nightlife you’re after, Granada won’t disappoint. Whether you are looking to dance the night away in one of the city’s lively clubs or enjoy a drink or two at one of the many terrace bars listening to live music, there is plenty of choice in a city known for its vibrant nightlife scene.
From the world-renowned Alhambra Palace and the magnificent 16th century Renaissance cathedral to the historic Moorish Albaicín quarter steeped in history, Granada boasts an impressive range of world-renowned architectural monuments and sights.
Our top pick is the Alhambra Palace set amongst a mountain backdrop. Admission is €14 for adults and €8 for children aged 12-15. Visitors under 12 enter for free but still need a ticket. The site is open 8.30am-8pm in summer and 8.30am-6pm in winter. Tickets are defined as “morning” or “afternoon” – with 2pm as the dividing hour – ski in the morning, visit the magnificent Alhambra Palace in the afternoon! Our top tip is to book your tickets well in advance, entry to the site is heavily restricted and it’s unlikely you’ll be able to purchase tickets on the day.
Located just 32 kilometres from Granada is Europe’s southernmost and sunniest ski resort, Sierra Nevada. The resort features an impressive 106 kilometres of pistes from 2,100 metres to 3300 metres. Enjoy spectacular views of the Mediterranean Ocean and the North African coast from the higher slopes. Ski Weekends offers a wide choice of accommodation options, with one of the longest ski seasons in Europe from the end of November to early May. Great for beginners and intermediates with wide open slopes, Sierra Nevada is also one of the best value resorts in Europe; a two-course lunch and a generous glass of wine is less than €10 so not only does the resort offer fantastic skiing it’s kind on the wallet as well.
- Return flights from London City airport to Granada with British Airways
- Transfers from Granada airport to your chosen hotel, onward to Sierra Nevada resort and returning to the airport on your last day
- 1 night Bed and Breakfast at the Palacio Santa Paula, Granada
- 2 nights Bed and Breakfast at the Hotel Telecabina, Sierra Nevada
- Prices from £675 based on two sharing.
Norway: Oslo and Trysil
Oslo is the oldest of the Scandinavian capital cities founded in 1040. Sitting at the end of a 100 kilometre long fjord, it has a laid-back atmosphere blessed with a combination of spacious streets and picturesque squares. The city also boasts a collection of world-class museums reflecting the nation’s colourful history. Located just two and a half hours away is the ski resort of Trysil, Norway’s largest ski area boasting wide pistes, easy going terrain and reliable snow throughout the season. The resort itself is very scenic with panoramic peak views in the higher areas (up to 1,100 meters) and tree-lined lower slopes beautifully maintained. As for restaurants, bars and cafes you are spoilt for choice with everything from the traditional to the contemporary, it’s a great all round combination!
Oslo and Trysil
- Return flights from London Stansted airport to Oslo with Easy Jet
- Transfers from Oslo airport to your chosen hotel by train, onward to Trysil resort by coach and returning to the airport on your last day.
- 1 night Bed and Breakfast at the Clarion Hotel Royal Christiania, Oslo
- 3 nights Bed and Breakfast at the Radisson Blu Mountain Resort & residences, Trysil
- Prices from £540 based on two sharing.