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Winter wellness: a skiing holiday beyond skiing

The winter months are the ideal months for high-altitude tourism, and the data of the operators in the sector testify to how a skiing holiday is a tradition that, for Italians and Europeans, never goes out of fashion. Skating, snowshoeing, nordic walking, snowboarding, cross-country and alpine skiing are the favourite activities of winter holidaymakers.

But holidays on the snow are not reduced to sport and, in recent years, a new type of tourism is taking hold that tends to prefer those ski areas that can offer a more complete and transversal holiday experience. For this reason, entire geographical areas have been converted to multifunctional spaces, where it is possible to devote oneself to various hobbies, or to indulge oneself to rediscover the essential pleasures of life.

In Tignes, France, rock enthusiasts climb the walls of a glacier, motor enthusiasts ride the snowmobile or run on the slopes in a kart, and those who can't help but think of the sea, can enjoy kite skiing or ice diving under the surface of an icy lake. In the charming Austrian village of Zell Am See, at the foot of Lake Zeller in Austria, every evening the slopes are transformed into the stage of extraordinary free acrobatic skiing events, with athletes from all over the world performing in lights, laser and music.

In Les Deux Alpes, in the Val d'Isère in France, there are sledge rides pulled by huskies, wine and food tours to the neighbouring countries of Venosc and Mont De Lans, and guided tours of the Ice Cave, a bizarre art gallery that hosts, among plays of light and reflections of ice, beautiful sculptures sculpted by artists from all over the world.

Not only sport during a skiing holiday, but also relax and wellness

Cold weather enthusiasts obviously prefer a multidisciplinary skiing holiday, where low-temperature, high-calorie physical activity is counterbalanced by a wide range of pastimes that do not necessarily include competitive sports. If entertainment is essential, the well-being of the person is not an option. Wellness services, as part of a short winter holiday, are now a must have, and no self-respecting ski area can ignore offering its users such a diversion.
What unites and distinguishes the winter tourist offer, as well as the characteristic that makes the difference in choosing the perfect hotel for your stay, is in fact the presence of spas, wellness areas and massage centres. Hydromassage pools, sauna, Turkish bath. Stubs of the last century renovated and converted to relaxation areas, where you can sip organic herbal teas and relax your tired limbs. This also includes relaxing massages based on arnica and alpine essences, upon returning from the slopes. Solarium and fitness areas are there for the well-being of the body, and yoga lessons on the snow to tone the spirit.

The real luxury during a skiing week is to be able to enjoy an integrated snow experience immersed in a landscape of rare beauty.

The Excelsior Planet in Cervinia, a luxurious 4-star hotel that brings back the splendour of the Habsburg imperial court, has recently inaugurated an exclusive space dedicated to therapies and wellness treatments, which occupies an entire floor of the structure. The hotel, already known for being one of the most sought-after food and wine destinations in the ski resort, for its refined elegance and constant research and experimentation in the culinary offer, probably did not need a further feather in its cap. Yet filling your stomach with taste is not enough. On holiday, you should above all relax.
The Zoe Wellness Centre at the Hotel Des Alpes in the Val di Fassa, boasts an area of over 300 square metres and houses rooms built in natural materials such as ancient mountain hut or fir wood, rock and marble. In the Finnish sauna, the alternation of hot and cold cycles stimulates blood circulation and vascularisation and strengthens the body's natural immune system.

In the mountain herb-flavoured bio-sauna, the beneficial qualities of the sauna meet those of the steam bath. The same alpine essences fill the atmosphere of the herbal bath room, with its dry climate, and that of the Turkish bath, with its more humid climate, which is excellent for freeing the respiratory tract and favouring the transpiration of the skin through the dilation of the pores.

Relax at the spa with a breathtaking view

Even if the mercury column drops below zero, how can we give up the pleasure of bathing in a bathtub? Authentic well-being lies in harmony with the surrounding environment. The QC Terme di Pozza di Fassa, in the Dolomites, is a centre of excellence for thermal balneotherapy. The waters flow directly from the heart of the mountain, from the Alloch natural spring, and have been known for their therapeutic powers for centuries.

In the QC wellness resorts of Bagni di Bormio, the pearl of the Aosta Valley, and Prè Saint Dider, in the heart of Mont Blanc, you can enjoy an extraordinary variety of spa practices and immerse yourself in the outdoor pools in the heart of the Stelvio National Park, or in the presence of the regal snowy peaks of the Alps, for twelve months a year. Panoramic pools, sensory pools, natural waterfalls, Kneipp paths, Vichy showers.

Each location has its own quality of water - sulphuric, limestone and magnesium - for an integrated offer that does not neglect the needs of the palate. Wellness bistrot, wellness tastings, meetings with the maitre chocolatier at snack time and appointments with the excellent wines at nightfall. The tasting of menus based on typical products and local preparations is the icing on the cake of an exclusive holiday experience in the name of the new concept of luxury.

As in Trentino, where the trend is for gourmet snowshoeing, walking on snowshoes followed by lunch at the alpine cottage, where you can taste traditional dishes such as dumplings or stew with polenta, and drink excellent wines of local production. Several lodges have stipulated agreements with the ski facilities to allow customers to purchase, together with the ski pass, a refreshment break based on local food and products representative of the culinary tradition of the place. Because if Paradise exists it is probably right there, between the Alps and the sky.

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