Snowy Adventures for Non-Skiers

Rachel Nonoo

07 Jan 2015

Snowy Adventures

You don’t have to be proficient on two shiny blades to indulge in beautiful snowscapes. Winter holidays can offer so much more than skiing.

Ice capped mountains, huge glaciers emerging from a crystalline sea, unique weather patterns and amazing wintery light, play host to extraordinary spectacles such as the Northern Lights and wildlife wonders that can be found in Svalbard, Arctic Canada and, for the more ambitious, Antarctica. 

Svalbard 

The Svalbard archipelago is between Norway and the North Pole and offers a stunning and accessible location to indulge in polar bear spotting among the frozen Arctic landscape. The frosty wilderness sparkles under a vast sky and high sun and during the summer months melts enough to allow passage among the fjords when you can also find reindeer, Arctic foxes, walruses and lots of birds. 

For a more active trip you can have fun with snow mobiles, dog sledding, ice caving, glacier hiking and mountain trekking for many months of the year. 

When to go:

Polar bears: May – September

Arctic Canada

Churchill and the Nunavut archipelago in Arctic Canada offer some of the most spectacular experiences to be had on a wintery snow holiday with not a ski in sight. Get among the polar bears on a giant 6-wheel tundra vehicle to Cape Churchill, enjoy an aerial view from a helicopter flight over the tundra and get closer to the ice on a dog sled. 

For something super special you can indulge in track polar bears by foot, camp on the ice and see unicorns! Well, narwhals actually – even more special to be honest. Let’s not forget the potential of seeing Aurora Borealis too. Truly fantastic opportunities that beat après ski hands down. 

When to go: 
Churchill: October - November 
Northern Lights December – March
Nunavut: May - June

Antarctica

For the definitive snow and ice holiday uninhabited Antarctica is waiting for you. With huge glacial icebergs, mountains, pack ice, and a varied wildlife, this is an epic destination for bold explorers. Travelling on specially adapted expedition vessels, the Antarctic Peninsula is just under 48 hours from Ushuaia in Argentina by boat. The lack of human population rewards you with a variety of inquisitive and sociable penguin species in vast numbers including the majestic Emperors, comical rock hoppers and cute Adelie and gentoo’s. Friendly seals study you from the sea and ice and this is also passage for whales including humpback, minke, sperm and sometimes even blue whales.
 
A trip to Antarctica is not just the ultimate way to enjoy a winter holiday without skis – it is the ultimate winter holiday. No lift pass required.

When to go: November - February

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