Exotic Ski Resorts That Will Tempt Your Adventurous Side
Choosing which among prospective exotic ski resorts is the best can be hard especially when you have a variety of options to consider. For example, South Africa is not just home to exotic animals, but to exotic resorts as well.
One of the factors that may affect your decision is the level of your skiing, whether you are a beginner or an advanced skier. Some places are good for beginners, but not good enough for advanced skiers. Thus, you should look for a wide terrain that can cater to your specific needs.
Aside from your skiing level, the timing and cost are an equally important factor to consider. Early December can be a good choice if your focus is reduced cost, but it might mean less snow. January is a perfect time, with cheaper costs and firm snow. February gets busy, the prices rise, and so does the demand.
People are usually particular about the places depending on the type of accommodation they require and the kind of sceneries they want. Furthermore, people mostly give priority to the views surrounding the resort. Here we give you some of the most exotic ski resorts to challenge your senses!
1. Mt. Olympus (Cyprus)
Mount Olympus is one of those exotic ski resorts worth visiting. The skiing period lasts from January to March. To get the perfect snow and weather, you will have to remain updated through the Troodos web. However, the snow there has a tendency to melt quickly.
Mount Olympus is the highest peak in Cyprus (1,952 meters, 6,404 feet). Located only 2 km from Mount Olympus, is the Troodos mountain range, which is a beautiful place. In fact, it is surrounded by forests and the Mediterranean Sea, providing just the perfect tourist spot.
Apart from this, present on the mountain is a ski club that centers on all the skiing activities at Troodos range.
Terrain for Beginners and Non-Skiers
Beginners can choose the Aphrodite - Sun Valley I (150 meters) and Hera (350 meters) by second beginners. The terrain is divided into 3 areas - 10% beginner, 55% intermediate and 35% advanced.
Like various other club ski fields in NZ, Mt. Olympus is one of the exotic ones for skiing. It’s deep, steep, unique and cheap. However, there’s only a small percentage of terrain for beginners. Overall, the skiing area consists of only 60 hectares of terrain.
Terrain for Intermediates
It’s important to know about the weather before you go skiing. The terrain for intermediate skiers is around 55% and is groomer free. The terrain at Mt. Olympus is suited perfectly for intermediate snow lovers on to the advanced ones. There is a lot of terrains to explore. Certainly, those who are looking for the experience of a lifetime will get what they are wishing for.
Terrain for Advanced Skiers
Skiers can choose from four different slopes for skiing according to their level of skiing. The beginners can choose the Aphrodite - Sun Valley I terrain (150m). Second beginners can use Hera (350m), while Hermes (150m) and Zeus (500m) are the perfect slopes for intermediates and advanced skiers.
This ski club also offers cross country ski tracks and provides ski schooling. Young skiers receive their lessons from professional coaches.
As Cyprus is a usual spot for skiers, the skiers can also access the full skiing equipment from the ski shop located at Sun Valley. Skiers can get access to Alpine skis, boots, and snowboards and cross-country boots. The ski shop remains open during the winter season.
Where to Stay
There are a number of resorts and hotels around Mt. Olympus where skiers can rest while enjoying the ambiance and the breathtakingly beautiful views full of greenery and snow-covered pines. More importantly, Cyprus serves as a great place for tourists and photographers who are eager to capture the beauty of the world.
2. Etna (Sicily, Italy)
In the list of exotic ski resorts in Sicily, Etna is a top-rated one. There are numerous ways to have fun at Mt. Etna, but skiing is one of the most exotic ones.
In spite of the fact that Mt. Etna’s slopes might not be as exciting and expansive as compared to those in northern Italy, skiing around a volcano with the breathtaking view of the sea can be an exciting experience.
Ski Slopes of Etna-Italy
There are two main ski resorts in Etna - Nicolosi and Piano Provenzana. Both of these resorts offer downhill slopes and alpine. Nicolosi is located in the southern part of the mountain and is known to cover a larger area and comprise of more vertical pistes.
Due to the volcano settled lava, the trail is very smooth for the skiers.
Best Time to Ski at Etna-Italy
Mt. Etna has a high altitude (over 10,000 feet). Hence, there is snow on the peak of the mountains from the end of November to April. If you prefer to ski in optimal snow, you should go in December, January or February.
Towards the end of the season, the climate of Etna-Italy becomes warmer as compared to that of the north. This is all thanks to the Mediterranean location.
If you haven’t gotten the chance to visit and ski in Etna in winters, you can enjoy the fascinating weather and have fun in the summers. In fact, summers bring some breathtaking views and amazing skiing experiences.
Terrain for Beginners
As you go further down the volcano, around 1800 meters, you will see that the lava is spread out like a demerara sugar forming gentle undulating slopes. This makes skiing easy for beginners.
Another factor that makes Etna pretty great for beginners is that it’s 40 minutes away from the delights of Taormina and the coast of Catania.
Terrain for Advanced
If you are an advanced skier and need a more challenging experience, you can start off from the southern slope of the volcano. With sealskins strapped to your skin and parallel to the 3,329-meter steep summit. Then all the way down towards the beach landscape of the northern flank.
The upper slopes of the volcano are treeless and are the perfect slopes for wild off-piste snowboarding. Not only this, the high-altitude winds and the lava bumps make the place one of the most exotic ones for skiing, particularly for advanced skiers.
3. Mt. Hermon (Israel)
Mount Hermon Ski Resort is the only exotic resort located in Israel in the Golan Heights in the far north of the country. It’s astonishing to just think that in a small area like Israel, you can drive from a desert to a ski resort in less than two hours. Mt. Hermon ski resort is quite popular as a tourist attraction in the winter season.
In the winter season, the ski resort attracts more than 300,000 visitors and is open for up to 50 days. It’s usually open for boarding and skiing. It also attracts a huge number of tourists between the months of January and March. The resort comprises of 5 chair lifts and 14 ski runs.
Terrain for Beginners
Hermon operates all year long. The area covers around 2434 dunams at an altitude of 1600-2040 meters. During the winter season, the terrain is used for snowboarding and skiing with a wide range of trails for beginning skiers.
Tourists and visitors can also have fun with other recreational activities such as snow sledding for children and other snow games.
4. Saklikent (Turkey)
The Middle East does not fall short when it comes to ski resorts as well. Saklikent is situated in the Mediterranean Region (Turkey). For snowboarding and skiing, there are 10 km of slopes available and 5 lifts for the purpose of transporting guests.
The area is situated between the elevation of 1,850 and 2,54 meters. Geographically, the ski resort is part of the Toros Mountains. It is a developing area where you can reach by car as well as a cable car. The ski resort is open for around 120 days, where skiing is available between mid-December to mid-April.
During the day, the temperature is rarely under 5 degrees Celsius. The average thickness of the snow at Saklikent Resort is around 100-230 cm. In fact, there are times that it reaches up to 5 meters.
First of all, there are not many options to hire snowboards and ski equipment. Ski schools are there to offer snowboarding and skiing lessons. During skiing activities, 300 people capacity Panorama Cafeteria and 200 guest capacity Lodge Restaurant serve and accommodate the guests.
Furthermore, the resort also offers a new hotel which consists of an indoor swimming pool, 240 beds in total, wellness center, Turkish baths, sauna and disco, and a 200 people capacity meeting hall. When there is winter season, the hotel hosts nature fans and ski lovers with its moderate capacity.
5. Oukaïmeden (Morocco)
Oukaïmeden is a ski resort near Jebel Toubkal in the Atlas Mountains. It is around 80 kilometers from Marrakesh, Morocco. The skiing area has six ski lifts and is at an altitude of between 2,600 meters and 3,200 meters. There are also some ski rental and hotel facilities available at nearby locations.
For the purpose of snowboarding and skiing, there are 7 lifts that operate to transport the guests. Furthermore, there are 10 km of slopes available and the winter sports area is situated between the elevations of 2,610 and 3,268 m. Oukaïmeden is one of the highest (10,734 feet) and equipped ski resorts in Africa.
January and February are actually good months for skiing. The ski resort lies 72 km south of Marrakech, high in the Atlas Mountains, sitting at 2600 m.
The resort consists of a single chairlift (or the optional donkey) which will help you reach up to 3,258 m – at the peak of Jebel Attar. Once you reach that height, there are 3 routes that will help you return. The longest one is at a distance of 3 km.
Terrain for Beginners
Oukaïmeden is a ski resort that consists of surprising slopes and is located 49 miles/ 78 kilometers south of Marrakesh. This makes it fun for beginners who love adventures.
There is a single chair lift which will take you to the top, where you can enjoy six downhill runs. Each one of them is made more challenging by a lack of piste maintenance.
Where to Stay
Hotel Club Louka: Just before the lifts, on the right past the army camp, is Hotel Club Louka. It consists of decent rooms and can be used as a stay point by visitors and tourists. However, with 101 rooms, the hotel is in dire need of refurbishment.
Chez Juju: This hotel consists of newly designed rooms in chalet style with bathrooms.
Club Alpin Francais: The CAF accommodation is quite substantial with dorms and rooms of different sizes.
Whichever hotel you choose, they will pick you up directly from your place before you embark on an amazing day trip of piste skiing at Oukaimeden Ski Resort.
Have you ever wished to visit the most exotic ski resorts? What is the first thing that comes to your mind then? The next time you plan a skiing holiday, consider these tips and suggestions for your trip!