Many think of winter holidays as non-stop piste action from early in the morning until late at night. After a tiring day on their skis or snowboard, most people focus on how many kilometres of snow they've covered. Too many forget to take the time to recover during their holidays. A snowy landscape has much more to offer than just groomed pistes and deep snow rides.

Looking for a little variety during your skiing/winter holiday? We’re going to tell you how to enjoy the winter on snowy hiking trails and toboggan runs - no skis needed.

1. Winter Hike Up Hubertusspitze In Zillertal Valley
2. Sledging In Hainzenberg
3. Winter hike to the Eggergrubalm hut (South Tyrol)
4. Winter hike in Val Thorens (France)
5. Winter hike through Veluwe (the Netherlands)

We think there’s no feeling better than having the snow beneath your feet and a hot drink between your hands while you take in the views. Discover another side to the winter wonderland and take inspiration from our suggested outdoor activities. Winter hiking view

Winter Hike Up Hubertusspitze In Zillertal Valley

The Zillertal is famous for being home to several three-thousanders and four large ski regions that cater to all ability levels. Apart from sporty activities on the piste, Zillertal valley boasts countless hiking trails through snowy forests, so you can escape the hustle and bustle on the slopes.

From the upper car park in Innerst town (1,283 m), you can take hiking route 315 towards the Weidener mountain hut, which is at 1,799 m above sea level and is a popular destination for hikers, mountain bikers, ski tourers and sledge-riders all year round.

Continue by following hiking route 302A or 315 towards Geiseljoch and take a little detour right just before reaching the Nafingsee lake. Winter Hiking Weidener Hut

Source: Hermann Hammer

Cross the field and the Nafing stream and follow the windy uphill path that takes you through the beautiful rhododendron-covered hillsides on the way up the mountain. If the weather’s good, you can take a direct route right up to the Gipfelkreuz summit.

At the top, you'll be rewarded with breathtaking views of the neighbouring mountains: Nafingköpfl (2,454 m) and Hoher Kopf (2,373 m).

Difficulty: moderate Length: 10,4 km Duration: 3 - 4 hours
Starting point: 1.283 m above sea level Climb: 885 m Highest point: 2.168 m above sea level

Sledging In Hainzenberg

If you want a little more action on a sunny winter's day, check out the Gerlosstein toboggan run in Hainzenberg, which is the longest in the Zillertal area. On this run, you have the freedom to explore 7 km without being strapped onto skis. The run is open and fully lit until 1 AM.

To get to the start of the toboggan run, 1,650 metres up, take the Gerlosstein cable car. The descent into the valley lasts around three-quarters of an hour and will take you past quaint, rustic little taverns that offer a warm welcome to all guests. From there, you also get to enjoy great views of the Zillertal valley, the neighbouring Larchkopf (1,856 m) and the whole area of Zell am Ziller.

Difficulty: easy Length: 7 km Duration: 45 minutes
Starting point: 930 m above sea level Climb: 715 m Highest point: 1.650 m above sea level
Winterhiking landscape Try the routes and activities out for yourself to find out if you prefer a gentle hike through the wintry landscape or an action-packed afternoon on a sledge.

It goes without saying that there are beautiful winter destinations in other countries too. Here is a short list of three of the prettiest winter trips in Europe:

Winter hike from Stulles to the Eggergrubalm hut, Merano (Italy)

The Merano area is a fusion of Mediterranean climate and beautiful alpine scenery - and our selected winter trip takes you straight through it all. This popular hiking route begins at the car park in the western area of Stulles and it offers hikers a breathtaking winter experience.

The path leads you past several old farms, snowy forests and meadows. The final destination is the Eggergrubalm pasture at 1,929 m high. The field is open every Saturday and Sunday from December to April.

Difficulty: moderate Length: 9,2 km Duration: 3,5 hours
Starting point: 1.304 m above sea level Climb: 625 m Highest point: 1.929 m above sea level
Winter hiking peak

Winter hike in Val Thorens, French Alps (France)

Val Thorens is located in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region in France, and it’s the highest ski area in Europe. Along the winter hiking route we’ve chosen for you, you’ll first pass several reservoirs and follow a path that takes you to the 2 Lacs restaurant.

Carry on going and you’ll reach the Plateau de la Moutière and La Moutière restaurant, where you can enjoy a wonderful view of the Vallée des Belleville valley.

Schwierigkeit: moderate Länge: 6,1 km Dauer: approx. 5 hours

Winter hike through Veluwe, Veluwezoom national park (the Netherlands)

The Veluwezoom national park is the oldest national park in the Netherlands. The hilly landscape and vast heathlands are ideal for a relaxed hike on a beautiful winter’s day. Set off from Dieren and climb over the Onzalige Bosse hills until you reach a fork in the path. Follow the path for Rheden railway station, which will take you through snowy forests and little streams before you get to Rheden town. Alternatively, you can take the path towards Velp railway station and end up in Velp town instead.

Schwierigkeit: moderate Länge: 11 km Dauer: approx. 5,5 hours
Winterhiking ascending