The Winter Olympics kick of next week, allowing us to view a number of competitive events including Cross-country skiing, snowboarding and curling.
It the coming events have motivated you to have a go at winter sports yourself then there are many destinations that offer a piece of the action. There has never been a better time to combine a winter holiday with some winter sports. Below is a roundup of some of the best Winter Olympic sports and also some alternative winter sports and the best destinations for you to have a go for yourself.
Cross –country Skiing
The ‘peak’ skiing season may be over, but there is still time to hit the slopes and enjoy a bargain break away, many destinations boast great skiing conditions well into March and prices tend to be cheaper after Christmas and the New Year. Norway, Sweden, Austria, Italy and France offer some of the best locations and resorts among a wide list of destinations for a skiing holiday.
If you are not satisfied with the UK indoor slopes then there are many places you can go to have a go at snowboarding whether you are a beginner or a seasoned snowboarder. Whistler in Canada and Verbier in Switzerland are just two of the destinations that offer some of the best snowboarding locations the world has to offer. If you are after something a little closer to home then France has some great snowboarding destinations including Chamonix.
Curling is believed to have originated in Scotland and the country offers some great opportunities to see some curling in action. Even if you are after world class curling then you don’t need to travel as far as Russia, the world mixed doubles championships take place in Scotland in April and the world junior curling championships are in Switzerland in February and March. To have a go at curling you needn’t leave the country, Kent for example has a dedicated Ice Curling Rink, so you can get involved in the sport at your leisure.
Some of the most beautiful outdoor ice-skating rinks can be found in London, including Hampton Court Palace, but these are typically open between the months of November and January. However there are some worldwide destinations that have some of the best and most famous ice rinks open even after the winter months are over. The Rockfeller Centre in New York houses one of the world’s most famous ice rinks and is open from October through to April. And the outdoor ice-skating rink in Helsinki, Finland is open until mid –march.
Bobsleigh and Skeleton
There are few places in the world that you can have a go at these Olympic sports for yourself but it is possible if you are willing to travel. Throughout the winter months until 30th March 2014, The Whistler sliding centre in Canada, the site for the 2010 Bobsleigh, Luge and Skeleton competitions for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic games is open to the public for anyone to have a go at both bobsleighing and skeleton sports.
It’s not an Olympic sport, but if you prefer to combine your Winter sports with the love of man’s best friend, then Dog sledging is a great winter sports activity. Finland and Alaska are two of the most obvious places to enjoy sledging with the help of some amazing huskies. Greenland is another destination to enjoy dog sledging throughout spring as well as the winter months.
Snowshoeing is fast becoming a popular sport, and although there are no games in the Winter Olympics dedicated to Snowshoeing racing, this sport shouldn’t be overlooked. Slovenia is a great place among many to enjoy a snowshoeing holiday, but there is a huge selection of destinations to choose from and companies dedicated to planning this specific kind of holiday.
If you are planning a winter holiday then make sure that you have the right kind of Travel Insurance. Regular Travel Insurance policies are likely to exclude some winter sports activities, so if you are hitting the slopes you should make sure you invest in Winter Sports Travel Insurance. For more information on Winter Travel Insurance click here.