It’s the time of year where we think ahead to our winter holiday and start to weigh up our options. Last year we had an incredible 8 days in Mauritius where we fell in love with island life. We were booked up to go skiing, staying in a beautiful catered chalet but due to a last minute change of plan (the military life!) we had to cancel. When we looked at re-booking for a few weeks later, we were tempted away from the slopes by the white beaches and tropical waters of Mauritius.
Now we are looking at where to jet off to for Winter 16/17 and we are a little conflicted. Before we were tempted away to Mauritius last year, I’ve been quick to jump on skis and head to the Alps during the winter season but now we’ve got a taste for 35 degrees in February and man, it is nice.
So to help us decide, I thought I’d take a look at the arguments on both sides of the fence. Starting with Skiing.
Why pick a skiing holiday?
It’s close to home.
With great snow less than two hours away by flight, a skiing holiday really maximises the time we have off work – you can be on the slopes within half a day of leaving the UK instead of sweating it out on a 12 hour flight with very little leg room.
Spiced wine, chocolate pastries, fondue and plenty of beer. Apres ski has got to be part of the reason you head up to the top of the mountain in the morning. Skiing is permission to eat ALL of the comfort foods. Oh and Tartiflette. I’ll just leave that thought here.
No need to bear all.
I know that favourite quote of many a confident girl ‘how to get a bikini body – put a bikini on your body’ but I’m going to be completely honest with you…I just have not got quite that level of confidence in my ability not to scare an entire beach once bikini’d up. So a significant perk to skiing is not having to worry an ounce. Just wrap me up in a gazillion layers and a few cute winter knits. I’m happy. No skin bearing to worry about (apart from that very speedy dash into the hot-tub!). Which is convenient, considering the amount of cheesy goodness about to be consumed (see above!).
I LOVE that glorious moment when you get to the top of the mountain for the first time and take a deep breath of fresh air. From the incredible mountain-top views to the crisp white snow. It really is something to wonder at.
The actual skiing is a fairly major reason to go! The adrenaline rush as you come bombing down (I would use a more elegant word like glide but I never look elegant) is fantastic. Pushing yourself to try new runs and more difficult slopes throughout the week is really satisfying. Plus, it’s brilliant exercise (all the more Tartiflette for me then!).
So what about the Winter Sun?
Skiing is sounding brilliant, after simply writing those five points I want to dig out my ski goggles and book the chalet. To give winter sun holidays a fair shot, here are my five favourite things about grabbing an exotic holiday this winter.
No complicated equipment.
No heavy boots, awkward skis, bags full of bulky clothing. You could probably survive the week on one pair of flip flops, a couple of swimsuits, a kaftan or three and your suncream. Simples. (Don’t let my boyfriend read this post, he’ll hold me to packing that little!)
Variety is the spice of life.
I love skiing but after day four or five, I start to get the itch that I want my days to be a little more varied. That won’t be a problem you face on a holiday in the sun, from soaking up local culture to taking a road trip along the coast, there will be plenty to keep you busy if you get bored of sunbathing.
A complete change of pace.
No having to get up early to make the most of the morning snow or beat lift queues, you can enjoy lie-ins and a blissfully slow pace of life. A holiday in the sun in the middle of the UK winter provides such a different environment to the daily grind that you can’t help but feel yourself relax as soon as you arrive.
Spirit of adventure.
Whilst I love the beauty of the mountains, there is still so much of the world to see and deciding on another holiday in the winter sun will keep our wanderlust at bay. Should we head to Sri Lanka? The Andamans? Vietnam? So many adventures to be had!
No Panda Eyes!
Ok so I’m perhaps not the best person to talk tanning (redhead, pale skin – factor 50+) but even I tanned when we went to Mauritius. The best it has ever got on the slopes is dodgy freckle lines from my ski goggles. There was something incredibly nice about getting such a massive vitamin D boost mid-winter which left me feeling ready to tackle the rest of those dark nights before Spring arrived.
What is your preference? Ski or Sun? Are you heading anywhere this Winter or do you have any destinations that you think we shouldn’t miss?