Ski and city break in Lebanon
Part of Lebanon’s charm is the sheer range it manages to pack into a relatively small space. Within a few hours, you can drive from the sunny capital to snowy peaks, passing through Mediterranean-style landscapes flecked with orchards and olive groves, before climbing into a wintery scene of rugged mountains, complete with cosy ski chalets and busy slopes. Mzaar is considered one of the country’s most scenic resorts and, at less than an hour’s drive from Beirut, is ideally placed for those seeking to combine a ski and city break.
Skileb.com can arrange package trips that include time in Beirut, with activities and excursions to the capital’s top attractions, followed by a session on the slopes. Trips can be tailored to suit different budgets and requirements.
Need to know
A six-night package – two nights in Beirut, five in Mzaar – with Skileb.com starts from Dh2,020 per person. Price includes accommodation in both Beirut or Mzaar, transfers to the ski resort from Beirut, ski passes and ski rental. Visit www.skileb.com or call 0096 17 010 3222.
Scaling the summits in Turkey
The ski scene in Turkey gets better every year as more winter sports enthusiasts come to take advantage of the scenic runs, powdery snow and long ski season. There are lots of resorts to choose from, each with its own advantages. Kartalkaya is one of the country’s most popular resorts, with runs equally suited to skiers and snowboarders, while more experienced skiers tend to opt for Palandöken, home to the longest trail in Turkey.
The resort offers a number of excellent accommodation options and several challenging runs down the back of the mountain. Those who want to combine sport with a bit of relaxation can explore some of the spa centres and luxury hotels around picturesque Uludağ, Yalova and Bursa City.
Need to know
Five days with Ski Turkey starts from Dh556 per person per day. Price includes accommodation and some meals. Call 0090 232 4454 545 or visit www.skiingturkey.com.
Family fun in Finland
A postcard-worthy winter scene awaits in Lapland, complete with reindeer sleighs, husky dog sledges and cosy log cabins lit by the flicker of crackling fires. On the Finnish Lapland trip, organised by Crystal Ski Holidays, you’ll get to experience all of this, in addition to snowmobile safaris, ice fishing, husky farm visits and cross-country and downhill skiing, alongside other wintery activities. There are several excellent ski resorts to choose from, including Ruka, which was voted Finnish Ski Resort of the Year thanks to its scenic runs, excellent ski school and abundance of children’s activities.
Need to know
A seven-night Lapland Activity Week with Crystal Ski starts from Dh4,344 per person. Price includes self-catering accommodation located near to the ski lifts, transport, five activities to be confirmed by the guest, thermal clothing and helmet hire, and resort-rep support. Call 0044 871 231 2256 or visit www.crystalski.co.uk.
Skiing for all abilities in Japan
Japan’s ski scene is made up of some 600 resorts, although only a few are well known to an international clientele. Niseko is one of the largest of these and attracts a growing number of visitors each year as more and more skiers discover its first-rate facilities, a bustling après-ski scene and sophisticated accommodation options to suit different budgets. Made up of four different resorts, this family-friendly destination is equipped for skiers of all levels. Meander down picturesque tree runs, race through huge powder fields, take on steeper slopes at the top of the mountain or glide along gentle inclines at the bottom. Niseko Powder Connection offers tailored winter holiday packages for groups of all sizes and will take care of the entire itinerary from accommodation and ski hire to restaurant bookings, babysitters, local days tours and more.
Need to know
Seven nights at Niseko Landmark View with Niseko Powder Connection starts from Dh2,750 per person. Price includes accommodation in a three-bedroom apartment and lift passes with access to all Niseko resorts. Contact 0081 136 21 2 500 or visit http://hanazononiseko.com.
Skiing and sightseeing in Iran
The ski season in Dizin runs from December to May – several months longer than European resorts making it a great option for those looking to go later in the year. The resort is known for having excellent powder snow and attracts thousands of skiers every year as a result. It’s also conveniently close to Tehran – around 70km away making it ideal for holidaymakers seeking to combine skiing with sightseeing in the country’s capital city. Iran Ski runs a Ski and City tour that stretches across two weeks, taking in local highlights including Tehran’s historic bazaar and archaeological museum and the beautiful resort island of Kish, where the stunning beaches provide a marked contrast to the winter wonderland of the Alborz mountain range, where Dizin is located.
Need to know
A 12-night Ski and City Tour with Iran Ski starts from Dh5,796 per person for a group of four, or Dh5,194 per person for a group of six. Price includes visa support and all paperwork, plus accommodation in hotels, domestic flights and transportation. Call 0098 912 144 1758 or visit www.iranski.com.