unusual ski resorts

In Hawaii, we also surf on the snow

If Hawaii is best known for its waves, you can also surf on the snowy slopes of Mauna Kea, a dormant volcano in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. It is one of the highest mountains on the main island of Hawaii (4205 meters). Geology suggests that the last eruption of the volcano dates from 1650. According to legend, Mauna Kea and Maula Loa (slightly smaller neighboring mountain) were the domains of two opposite goddesses, Poliahu and Pelé. This is not the most equipped area, we go there to “go on an adventure”. No lift or terrace-restaurant, but a road to take by car to reach the summit. Generally, amateurs take turns shuttles, picking up skiers at the foot of the slopes, and so on. In winter, temperatures vary between – 4 and 4 ° C, with milder weather from April to November.

More information: www.hawaiiinfoguide.com/hawaii_skiing.htm

Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, 62-100 Mauna Kea Beach Dr, Waimea. Tel: +1 808-882-7222 www.princeresortshawaii.com/mauna-kea-beach-hotel/index.php

Ski in Gulmarg, with a panorama of Mount Everest. Jerome Bon / Flickr / cc

A view on the roof of the world

You don’t have to be an expert skier to hit the slopes of the Himalayas. The Gulmarg estate is located in the north of India, in the region of Kashmir. At the top, you have a breathtaking view of Mount Everest. We go there for the wild and sporty side. There is something for all levels, from undamaged pistes for powder snow lovers, to the flatter ones where beginners can train. Since the end of the conflict with Pakistan in 2003, the Kashmir region has been increasingly visited by tourists. Hotels are being built to accommodate the 150,000 annual skiers. Gulmarg and its 300 stations invite fans of strong sensations and the great outdoors.

The Vintage Gulmarg, 2739 Circular Road. Tel: +91 1954 254 582 thevintage.in/

Welcome Hotel Gulmarg, Boulevard Road. Tel: +91 9622 899 417 welcomehotelsgr.com/welcome-gulmarg/

The Khyber Himalayan Resort & Spa, near the cable cars. Tel: +91 9906 603 272 www.khyberhotels.com/

In Morocco, on the Atlas chain

Renowned for its imperial cities, its deserts and its beaches, Morocco hides other assets. That of the snow-capped peaks. We ski there in an exotic setting. We land in Marrakech, at the foot of the Atlas, to reach the highest point in all of North Africa, 75 kilometers away, the Toubkal (4164 meters). Oukaimeden is the mountain station, located at 2620 meters above sea level. You can go there from December to March, to ski under a blue sky. 3 green slopes, 4 blue, 8 red and 3 black, each one finds something to suit them. One hour by car from the ocher city of Marrakech, you can go skiing one day, and visit the city the next. The road to get there is superb, and allows you to discover many villages perched on top of the hills. The fields of fig trees gently give way to the ocher rocky plains. Total change of scenery. For a break in the sun or to sleep, the Anghour inn, nestled at 2,675 meters, offers rooms and a restaurant.

Chez Juju (Anghour Inn). Tel: +212 524 31 90 05 www.hotelchezjuju.com/

Lapland: skiing under the northern lights

The snow-covered plains of Lapland. Timo Newton-Syms

There are around 75 stations in Finland, often located on hills near towns or villages. The most famous are in Lapland, in the North of the country. Aurora borealis in the evening, exceptional light from morning to end of the day, the rays of the sun pass the horizon and light up the snow on the trees. The place is ideal to practice sports activities in a dazzling nature. The high season runs from February to early April. These tracks are less visited than in France or Switzerland, you do not spend hours queuing for chairlifts.

Two essential stations in Finland are separated by around fifty kilometers. Two friendly places to ski in radiant landscapes and stay in ultra-comfortable hotels.

– Levi: incredible area for cross-country skiing. Certificate of Excellence on TripAdvisor. The most popular in the country. Two snow parks; the village is very lively, it can be easily reached from Kittilä airport, a few kilometers away. Here are two hotels that have Travelers’ Choice 2015 on TripAdvisor.

Spa Hotel Levitunturi, Levintie 1590. Tel: +358 16 646 301 hotellilevitunturi.fi/

Hotel Levi Panorama, Tunturitie 205. Tel: 358 16 336 3000 golevi.fi/fi/majoitus/hotel-levi-panorama

– Ylläs: legendary resort for tourists. The first ski lift was installed in 1957, and the six hills which surround the village have kept their authenticity. A hotel holds the Certificate of Excellence on TripAdvisor.

Lapland Hotel Saaga, Iso-Ylläksentie 42. Tel: +358 16 32 32 www.laplandhotels.com/EN/benefits-and-inspiration/inspiration/current-events/lapland-hotels-buys-yllas-saaga-hotel-from- holiday-club.html

The only two stations in southern Africa

– Tiffindell (3000 meters), about half an hour from the South African capital Johannesburg, offers two kilometers of trails in fifteen hectares of land. There is a restaurant and four bars. The snow cannons are activated there for three months, from June to August.

– Afri-Ski (3222 meters) is an area made up of several pistes, including a snow park, in the north of Lesotho, landlocked kingdom of South Africa. An alternative in the middle of July, the coldest month in this country, where temperatures can drop to -4 to -11 ° C. The idea to create a station there comes from the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, in partnership with the Austrian HSP Alpine, in 2005. One kilometer from the slopes, the “Oxbow Lodge” and its bar offer ready spaces for conviviality to receive more than 200 people.

Lodges are available on the estate. More information: +27 87 230 84 08 www.afriski.net/Home/Accom

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