Winter Holidays with a Difference

If you are looking to embrace the cold this winter, then there are a variety of thrill-seeking activities for you to experience. From Dog Sledding in Norway to bathing in the hot springs of Iceland, there is something for everyone.

Dog Sledding

You can take a trip by dog sled across much of the Nordic Region; whether you’re looking for a short trip of just a few hours or an expedition that lasts six days there is plenty of variety to choose from. A short trip perfect for adults or families is the  husky tours in Kiruna Sweden. This allows you to drive your own dog sled or share a sled pulled by three to six huskies, lasting between approximately four to five hours. If you are looking to take on the challenge of manning your own sled, you can do so for £224, or £178 if you are looking to share.

It’s not just day trips you can take, there are also Dog Sledding experiences that involve an overnight stay. Such as this one in Norway that combines Aurora Camping and Dog Sledding. Here you get to enjoy the Northern Lights whilst relaxing around a campfire.  You can then retire to a communal tepee for a rest before a Dog Sledding trip the next day. You can drive your own sled across the tundra in Norway, or simply enjoy the ride as a passenger. You can experience all this for £299 per adult and £99 per child. Both tours run from November through to April, so you can choose a time right for you.

Bobsled

Bobsled is an activity best known by many for featuring in the Winter Olympics. You yourself can experience the feeling of flying down the track at up to 120km per hour at the Lillehammer Olympiapark in Norway.  The park hosted the 1994 Winter Olympics and offers you the chance to be a passenger in a bobsleigh, down a course used for top level bob. Anyone over the age of 16 who meets the health criteria can have the opportunity to experience this thrill-seeking ride for 995 Norwegian Krone (approximately £91).

If you are looking for something slightly closer to home the La Plagne bobsleigh track in France offers you an Olympic Experience. This track hosted the bobsleigh and luge competitions for the 1992 Winter Olympics and offers ‘a once in a lifetime experience’. This event offers you the chance to race down 19 bends and 11,500m of track with Bruno Mingeon, Olympic Medallist and World Champion, driving you down the track for €295 per person.

Ice Driving

Ice Driving offers you the chance to take your driving to the extreme, giving you the opportunity to get behind the wheel and slide the car around the ice track. Land Rover offers you such an experience in Arjeplog, on the edge of the Swedish Artic Circle. The normal Ice Drive is offered to those who are embarking on it for the first time, giving you the option of a three-day experience for €2,990 or a four-day experience for €3,750. The first day of this experience will consist of arriving at the hotel and relaxing with the other guests. Day two and three is when you get the chance to go out on the ice, the first day giving you the opportunity to get used to driving the latest Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles and learning how to skid correctly. The third day is then spent facing some more extreme tracks.

There are also one-day Ice Driving experiences available, such as Below Zero Ice Driving in Åre Sweden.  Here you are able to drive a Porsche 911 across their ice circuits for approximately six hours. You will have time to master the basics of the car and how to control it before being able to go out onto the first ice circuit. You will also be able to experience driving on fully studded competition tyres. Though prices for this trip vary based on group size and the number of cars needed, the price starts at £1,600 per person with two people sharing a car.

Cross-country Ski

Cross-country skiing is generally at a slower pace than the previous experiences, allowing you to glide along taking in the beautiful landscapes of the mountains surrounding you. Beitostolen is a village located in the Jotunheimen National Park, Norway, which offers you such an experience. Voted ‘Best Cross-country Ski Resort in Norway’, Beitostolen boasts 320km of cross-country trails of various difficulties for you to try your hand at. However, you can take this experience at any time of the day as the village also has floodlit trails. Cross-country skiing isn’t just available in Beitostolen it is available locally at many ski resorts across Europe.

Heli-Ski

Heli-skiing allows you to reach new heights, taking you to ski off-trail on deep powdered snow. This experience is available largely in Italy and Switzerland. One such company that offers heli-skiing across the Tarentaise area of the French Alps is Val Heliski. For people who have never heli-skied before, they offer a ‘My First Heliski/Board Experience’. This activity is designed for skiers and snowboarders who are comfortable on blue to red runs, also giving you the chance to use their powder skis under instruction. You will then travel off-piste to the helipad. The descent after Heli-drop will then take approximately one to two hours. For a private group of four people, this experience will cost €429 per person.

Heli-skiing is also available in other European countries and Heli Guides offer heli-skiing in a variety of these, one of which being Switzerland. A day trip in Verbier, Switzerland allows you to ski big terrains after your heli-drop and is offered from €495 per person.

Northern Lights and Hot Springs

Whilst this winter holiday doesn’t push you to the extreme, it is a unique experience. This holiday combines Iceland’s hot springs and the once in a lifetime opportunity to see the Northern Lights. This all takes place in Reykjavik, Iceland across three nights. It includes a ‘Warm Baths and Cool Lights’ evening excursion where you visit the Geothermal baths and a Northern Lights Hunt. This is an experience you can have for just £369.