Not all of us are winter people who feel comfortable wrapped up in layers of wool and polyester. It’s a pity that in order to enjoy skiing, snow boarding, sledding and all the other awesome winter sports, you have to brave the ice and snow to get there!
Lucky for the winter haters out there, snow-making technology has allowed popular destinations to expand their offering and provide things like skiing in the desert. I don’t mean on sand or water either – but snow skiing, sometimes in the middle of summer. Sound too good to be true? Read our list of sunshine skiing spots and prepare to change your mind.
Oukaimeden Ski Resort, Morocco
Home to the highest ski lift in Africa, Oukaimeden is about 45 miles south of Marrakech, based high in the Atlas mountains at an altitude of 2,600 metres. Although Morocco is better known for ornate architecture, sizzling beaches, medinas and desert tours, it’s also possible to take a chairlift to the peak of Jebel Attar and ski down again. Lift passes cost 90 Dirham (about £15).
Skiing in the Sierra Nevada in Spain
It has the distinction as Europe’s southernmost ski resort, but in Sierra Nevada, you can also come off the ski slopes, don your swimsuit and hit the beach on the same day. It typically has a long season because of the high altitude despite its proximity to the Mediterranean coast, and compared with European ski resorts, it’s relatively affordable. Skiing in the Costa del Sol is definitely one of the best ways to keep your tan intact through winter!
Troodos in Cyprus
Troodos rises nearly 2,000 metres above sea level across the south western part of Cyprus. The ski resort, which takes advantage of the soft powder snow that accumulates, has four ski lifts that operate across the beautiful piste. Skiing under clear Mediterranean skies is a popular pastime, so it’s best to book early!
Ski Dubai in the desert
Once an unassuming fishing village on the Persian Gulf, Dubai has become a poster child of the oil industry, booming with construction, glittering shopping malls and entertainment parks. It prides itself in offering visitors every type of entertainment under the sun, and indoor skiing is available at Ski Dubai, which covers 22,500 square metres and hosts five runs of varying difficulties.
Skiing in Lesotho, the mountain kingdom
A tiny mountain kingdom landlocked by South Africa, Lesotho is not just a favourite among princes (Prince Harry has visited often), it’s also home to a charming ski resort high up in the Maluti mountains that provides spectacular views of the harsh African landscape below. Also home to some amazing arctic rats, Lesotho is arguably one of the most unique places in the world; check out some more cute and exotic creatures here!