So yes, it seems like everyone’s been sticking their ski in recently and offering their own take on the perfect winter sports destinations this season, but this week air carrier bmi really did give me pause for thought with its recommendations for “ski holidays with a difference.”
At first glance, you might think “how different can they be?” After all, without snow, or mountains, there’s precious little chance of skiing, and if you’re looking for cheap holidays on the piste then there’s only a limited choice of destinations, surely? Surely?
Well, bmi begs to differ, and might even surprise you.
Ever considered the Middle East as a suitable destination for a winter sports excursion? I’m sure the chances are against it. But with cheap holidays in the Middle East constantly growing in popularity, more and more people are finding out that there’s much more to the region than scorching deserts – and here comes the Mzaar resort in Lebanon to underscore that point.
Mzaar has some 42 ski trails for visitors to enjoy, along with 80km of piste for skiers of all different ability levels. You can also grab some mouth-watering Lebanese cuisine and relax after a day’s skiing at the stylish waterfront area, the Corniche Beirut, with its smart bars and restaurants.
Morocco is also another country more readily associated with heat and sunshine than with snow and ski goggles, but its Atlas mountains can be relied upon to be snowy much of the year round, and at an altitude of 2,600 metres, with a chairlift rising to a dizzy 3,258 metres, there is much good skiing to be had at the Oukaimeden resort – which provides all that you would expect from its Alpine equivalent, including equipment hire, lessons, hotels and restaurants.
Finally, bmi brings us a little closer to home, with the winter sports resort of Lecht 2090 in Scotland’s eastern Cairngorms, a shivery 645 metres above sea level. Close to Aberdeen, beginner and intermediate skiers will find a home here, although it might be a little tame for the more advanced types.