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Ski holidays don’t have to be about champers and chalets in Chamonix. There’s a winter holiday for you, whether you’re an off-piste adventurer, a hilltop hedonist or a glamorous snow bunny.
An Arctic encounter
An Antarctic adventure will cost you a small fortune. But for similarly wild terrain, long daylight hours and ultra-remote, super-steep 2,000-metre runs dropping into three different fjords, look no further than the other side of the globe: the tiny Arctic oasis of Kangaamiut in west Greenland. It’s still steep (in price terms), but that’s because there are just three slots in which to enjoy this heli-skiing spot next year – April 25-May 1, May 2-8 and May 9-15. They’re limited to 15 people each time, who’ll stay in houses rented from the locals and enjoy home-cooked meals after their physically challenging days out. Talk about a once-in-a-lifetime experience…
From Dhs40,347 including everything except drinks and international flights, www.greenlandheliskiing.com. Fly from Dubai to Copenhagen with Etihad from Dhs6,000 (www.etihadairways.com), then from Copenhagen to Kangerlussuaq with Air Greenland from approximately Dhs1,500 (www.airgreenland.com).
Clubbing on ice
Hard partying and the Alps go together like skiing and bad Spandex, not least because there are plenty of music festival packages luring hedonists their way. The biggest of the bunch, Snowbombing, in Mayrhofen, Austria, is infamous for its fancy dress-themed street party and Arctic disco – a nightclub made entirely of ice – and it returns on April 9-14 this year with a headline set from Snoop Dogg. Over in Kopaonik, Serbia, they have their own version, The Big Snow Festival on March 20-23, which boasts a similarly clubby vibe. For a more boutique feel, opt for the Black Weekend in Chamonix on March 8-11, which last year featured underground electro sets from the likes of Busy P and Drums of Death.
www.snowbombing.com, www.thebigsnowfestival.com, www.blackweekend.com.
Planet-friendly accommodation may be springing up all over the world now, but the seriously energy-conscious among you should snuggle up in a sustainable, carbon-neutral igloo. Iglu-Dorf has igloo villages across seven different locations in the Alps and the Pyrenees, including Andorra, Zermatt and St Moritz, some of which are available for overnight stays and even feature a whirlpool spa or sauna.
Standard rooms at Iglu-Dorf from Dhs510 a night (www.iglu-dorf.com). Air France flies direct to Paris with return flights from Dhs3,000 (www.airfrance.ae).
When it comes to cuisine, skiing holidays don’t have to mean a steaming raclette and cold meats. Plenty of resorts cater for intrepid foodies as well as skiers, and the Alps are a melting pot of cuisines. Zermatt in Switzerland has been dubbed a gastronomic capital thanks to its top-notch mountain pitstops and even gourmet-themed guided tours, available through luxury chalet specialists Mountain Exposure. French resorts Courchevel, Chabichou, Megeve and Chamonix, meanwhile, all boast at least one Michelin-starred restaurant each. The Pistes Gourmandes food festival in Val d’Isere is on March 21-24 next year and comprises competitions, debates, lectures, demonstrations and cookery classes for adults and children.
Gourmet Ski Guiding from Dhs1,042 for one to four people per day if staying in a Mountain Exposure chalet (www.mountainexposure.com). For info on Pistes Gourmandes, see www.valdisere.com.
Time Out Abu Dhabi,