ESCAPE THE CITY: ALTERNATIVE ALPINE ADVENTURES TO TRY IN 2018
1.) Cheval Blanc Courchevel, France
Set in the prestigious Jardin Alpin of Courchevel 1850, Cheval Blanc Courchevel, is a contemporary ski-in ski-out Maison, with direct access to the world’s largest ski domain, the Trois Vallées. With 36 elegant rooms and suites, this beautiful location is an intimate and inviting haven with impeccable, personalised service and home to the only three Michelin starred restaurant in the resort, Le 1947 a Cheval Blanc. Cheval Blanc offers the following unique new experiences for guests:
- Dog-sledding: through the snowy forest, offering spectacular mountain views. During the incredible adventure, a gourmet meal is prepared to be enjoyed overlooking the snowy mountains. Once back at Cheval Blanc Courchevel, a signature hot chocolate awaits at the Ski Service.
- Aperigloo: takes the aperitif to a new level - when the slopes close for the day, sledge dogs await guests in front of the Maison’s Ski Service for an exhilarating trip deep into nature, to a traditional igloo made from metre-long blocks of ice for pre-dinner Moët & Chandon champagne.
- Hot Air Balloon Ride: Guests can enjoy a sensational hot air balloon experience on an Alpine peak discovery. After lift-off in the early morning light, guests can indulge in a gourmet breakfast whilst wrapped in baby cashmere throws and overlooking the Courchevel slopes.
Rates at Cheval Blanc Courchevel start from €1,770 (approx. £1,570) per night in a Superior Room on a bed & breakfast basis, based on two sharing. www.chevalblanc.com/courchevel
2.) Victoria-Jungfrau Grand Hotel & Spa, Switzerland
Ideal for outdoorsy thrill-seeker types who thrive on high-energy activities is the picturesque Victoria-Jungfrau Grand Hotel & Spa, sitting at the foot of the snow-capped Jungfrau massif in Interlaken. The hotel can organise:
- A paragliding trip over Jungfraujoch: experience life at the top of Europe, where adrenaline-junkies can take in breathtaking birds-eye views of the Alpine wonderland.
- Mountain cycling adventures: enthusiasts can race through the stunning Swiss Alps, providing the perfect backdrop for an unforgettable day out.
- Hiking: the hotel can organise a combined boat trip and hiking trail to the world-renowned Giessbach Falls, the lakeside promenade between Spiez and Faulensee and the ridgeway between Ringgengerg and Oberried.
A Deluxe Double Room at Victoria Jungfrau costs from CHF389 (approx. £315) including breakfast, admission to the Nescens Spa, free use of the fitness centre, wifi internet access and is based on two sharing. www.victoria-jungfrau.ch
3.) Iceland and Greenland Adventure
Wexas Travel is offering a seven-day tailor-made tour to Iceland and Greenland. This week long trip enables travellers the rare opportunity to see some of the world’s most impressive natural sites.
- Begin in glorious Iceland: highlights along the way include seeking out the Northern Lights in a Super Jeep; visiting Thingvellir National Park, the site of Iceland’s first parliament; seeing the great geysers and steaming vents of Haukadalur and visiting Gullfoss, Iceland’s largest waterfall.
- From Reykjavik, head to Ilulissat: a small settlement on Greenland’s west coast. Spend three-nights at Hotel Arctic, which offers guests a number of excursions including dog sledding and iceberg cruising to wintry hikes and guided tours of neighbouring settlements – nearby Ilimanaq is home to just 80 people and a visit to the village offers a fascinating glimpse of life in Arctic isolation.
Wexas Travel (0207 838 5892, wexas.com) is offering a seven-day Volcanoes & Ice: Iceland and Greenland tour from £2,785 per person. This includes return flights to Reykjavik; transfers; three-nights accommodation in Reykjavik; three nights in Illusiat, meals as per the itinerary; Golden Circle excursion including farewell dinner at Restaurant Reykjavik; flights from Reykjavik to Iulissat return; city walk of Ilulissat; local representative in Ilulissat.