7 Lesser Known Destinations for Winter Sports ...


Aspen, Vale, St Moritz, and Whistler all trip lightly off the tongue when you think about places to go skiing, but what about some of the lesser known destinations for winter sports? There are some fantastic places for winter sports you may never have considered or even heard of, and they might offer as many facilities as some of the bigger well known places, or they might offer the perfectly charming, intimate experience. Check out these lesser known destinations for winter sports and you might just be booking your next ski trip sooner than you imagined.

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Poiana Brașov, Romania

Poiana Brașov, Romania Having suffered years of oppressive communism, Romania is struggling to climb the list of desirable tourist places, but this Eastern European country is an absolute delight and is as yet one of the lesser known destinations for winter sports. As well as the historical association with Dracula, there is stunning countryside. Few areas are as picturesque as the Carpathian Mountains, and it is here you’ll find Poiana Brașov. Romania’s premier ski resort is hugely popular with its countrymen but is also gaining fans among winter sports fans from Germany, Italy and Switzerland. The purpose-built resort is ideal for beginner and intermediate skiers, and although there’s only a couple of black runs available for the more experienced, there are lips, natural bowls and great off-piste. Adding to its benefits is that it is one of the cheapest skiing destinations in Europe.


Queenstown, New Zealand

So you want to go skiing when all your friends are booking summer vacations to tropical islands and paradise beaches? That means heading to the other side of the world! I don’t think anyone needs an excuse to visit New Zealand any time but fabulous skiing calls to any fan of the white stuff. Queenstown is the adventure capital of New Zealand whatever the season and there are two (Northern Hemisphere) summer ski resorts within easy reach. Granted, you won’t get as much snow coverage as the Alps of Europe and US, but the slopes are well more than adequate, the scenery is amazing and you also get tons of sunshine. So you may go skiing but your tan will be just as good as your bestie’s who went to Palm Beach.


Queenstown, New Zealand is a great destination for winter sports enthusiasts looking for something a bit different than the usual ski resorts in Europe and the United States. Located in the Southern Hemisphere, Queenstown is the adventure capital of New Zealand and offers two summer ski resorts for those looking to hit the slopes during the summer months. Although the snow coverage is not as extensive as what you'd find in the Alps, the slopes are still more than adequate and the scenery is breathtaking. Plus, you get the added bonus of sunshine while you ski.

Queenstown is a great destination for those looking for a unique skiing experience. The town itself is full of adventure activities such as bungee jumping, canyon swinging, jet boating, and more. There are also plenty of restaurants, cafes, and bars to explore when you're not on the slopes.


Oukaimeden, Morocco

Oukaimeden, Morocco Skiing in tropical Africa? Surely not? Oh surely yes! The small resort village of Okaimeden in Morocco’s Atlas Mountains is the highest ski resort in Africa. This is one of the lesser known ski resorts and this is in the main due not only to its size, but also that it is pretty much ungroomed and unkempt. This makes it an interesting proposition for experienced skiers and boarders who can enjoy the off-piste and virgin snow. The facilities are pretty good – the ski lifts will carry you up to more than 3,200 meters – and have a distinct Moroccan flavour. If the ski lifts break down, donkeys provide the means to get up the mountain.


Oukaimeden is a small resort village located in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco. It is the highest ski resort in Africa, boasting ski lifts that take visitors up to 3,200 meters in elevation. The resort is ungroomed and unkempt, making it an ideal destination for experienced skiers and boarders who are looking for a challenge. Despite its rugged terrain, the resort offers a variety of facilities, including ski lifts, restaurants, and even donkeys to help transport people up the mountain if the lifts break down.

The village of Oukaimeden is also a great place to explore Moroccan culture. Visitors can take in the stunning views of the surrounding mountains, explore the small villages, and sample traditional Moroccan cuisine. The resort is also home to a variety of wildlife, including snow leopards, mountain goats, and eagles.

Oukaimeden is a great destination for those looking for a unique winter sports experience. With its rugged terrain, stunning views, and traditional culture, it is a great destination for those looking for an adventure. Whether you're a skier or snowboarder, Oukaimeden is sure to provide an unforgettable experience.


Cerro Castor, Argentina

Cerro Castor, Argentina Cerro Castor is about as close to skiing in Antarctica as you can get without stepping on the ice continent proper. Located in Ushuaia, practically at the edge of the world, where the mountains meet the sea, you are guaranteed deep snow and the longest winter sport season anywhere in the world. Catering to all abilities of skiers and boarders, there are brilliant marked runs as well as 30 kms of off-piste. The scenery is breathtaking too. If wilderness skiing appeals, you’ll love Cerro Castor.


Cerro Castor, located in Ushuaia, Argentina, is the perfect destination for winter sports enthusiasts looking for a unique experience. This is the closest you can get to skiing in Antarctica without actually setting foot on the frozen continent.

Cerro Castor is renowned for having the longest winter sports season in the world. Skiers and snowboarders of all abilities are welcome, with both marked runs and 30 kilometers of off-piste terrain available. The surrounding landscape is stunning, making Cerro Castor a great choice for those looking for a wilderness skiing adventure.

The ski resort is located at an altitude of 1,050 meters, with the highest point at 1,550 meters. The snowfall averages between one and two meters per year, making for some excellent skiing conditions. The season usually runs from late June to early October, with the peak season being in August.

The resort offers a variety of amenities, including ski and snowboard rentals, ski schools, and a ski shop. There is also a cafeteria and a restaurant with a panoramic view of the mountains.


Mauna Kea, USA

Mauna Kea, USA Admit it! You didn’t really expect to see Hawaii on a list of lesser known destinations for winter sports, did you? Hawaii only has one ski destination and it is the 4,205 meter high Mauna Kea – the mountain that is so high that if all of it that is under the sea were above the sea, it would be twice as high as Mount Everest. There are no resort facilities here, so it’s very much a DIY experience, with just one dodgy road up to the summit of the extinct volcano.


Kashmir, India

Kashmir, India If you like your skiing to be at high altitude, there are few places better than Gulmarg in India’s Kashmir. The ski slopes here are on the slopes of the towering Himalayas. Due to lack of facilities it is a dream for wilderness skiing. The gondola at Gulmarg takes you up to 4,200 meters and is the third highest in the world. The snow fields in the main are untracked and those trails that are marked are not maintained but the snow is par excellence. Local guides are advised but a magical experience awaits – including transport to and from your hotel by pony!


Dubai, UAE

Dubai, UAE Skiing in the Middle East is not such an alien concept. The region’s biggest resort is Mzaar in Lebanon and this offers the unique opportunity to spend half a day on the slopes and half a day on a Mediterranean beach! However, Ski World in Dubai is a huge indoor resort, part of the Mall of the Emirates. It styles itself as the ultimate year round winter sports destination. The whole family can enjoy skiing, boarding and tobogganing in an amazing fake, but oh so realistic, mountain setting. You won’t for one minute imagine you’re in a shopping mall when you greet the Snow Penguins, slip down tube slides, jump a 10 foot ramp or go sightseeing from a chairlift.

Do any of these lesser known destinations for winter sports take your fancy? Are you heading off to the slopes this year?

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You can add Sierra Nevada, Granada, Spain and chill factorie, Manchester, England to your list :) although chill factorie isn't really a resort :S

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