Activity / Specialised Holidays

Discussions relating to activity and specialised holidays
I have just come back from Soll in Austria and this looks like a suitable village for you if you want the quiet life.

The village itself is small but there are a few other villages nearby and a day trip to Saltzburg would be possible.

Facilities on offer in the village are : Sleigh Ride, Cross Country Skiing, Tobboganing, Sports Centre, Ice Skating, Skittles.

Why not try skiing. I would suggest booking a learn to ski package, these are normally quite cheap and some come with an option for a refund if it is not suitable. I dont know how bad your knee is but you only need to take the skiing as far as you want. The Nursery slopes are very gentle after that the slopes are graded, so by taking it easy you should be able to at least move on to an easy blue run. The grades of run are (Green/Blue/Red/Black) and are graded by gradient and width.

I think you're well advised to steer clear of any of the purpose built resorts, especially the French ones but having spent many an enjoyable non-sking holiday in both Austria and Slovenia I'd certainly recommend either place.

In Austria I think that Kitzbuhel or Mayrhofen are worth looking at - Kitzbuhel would probably be my first preference but it is also the more expensive resort. Both have pretty, quaint village centres, good lift systems to take you up on to the slopes even if only to have a beer and watch the world go by from one of the mountain cafe terraces. Both also have good cross-country ski track systems too as well as other non-skiing activities etc. But Kitzbuhel has the edge for me because it also has an excellent leisure and sport centre with a really good swimming pool and massage therapies etc on offer if you get bored with all that snow and fancy something a bit more chilled out! Also it is on the main railway line and getting to both Saltzburg and Innsbruck by train is really easy and the efficiency of the railway system makes using the trains a dream compared to here.

In Slovenia I would suggest you take a look at Kranska Gora, it is very alpine in character and being literally a hop, skip and a jump from Austria it shares many of the same characteristics as the Austrian resorts and offers very similar facilities. However, if the skiing isn't that important then I'd have a look at Bled as a base instead - it's close enough to the Bohinj skiing area to mean that all that is within easy reach but the setting on the lake and the town itself are much more picturesque.

As for trying out some skiing I'd advise you to speak to your docter first - even cross-country skiing can put strain onto knee joints. If s/he suggests that it might be safe enough to give it a go, depending on where you live why not try and book a trial lesson at a dry ski slope before committing yourself? Also, the Ski Club of Great Britain used to publish some excellent exercise guides designed to help strengthen knee joints prior to going on holiday.

Also, having experienced knee injuries myself in the past I would recommend that you get some walking poles to take with you. They're similar to ski poles but adjustable and will collapse small enough to pack in a case. Go to a reputable outdoor shop and they'll both 'fit' you for them and show you how to use them properly. They not only reduce the strain on knee and hip joints but will also make you feel much more secure walking around in snowy and/or icy conditions.

Check out Levi, in Lapland. Its got everything you want. Inghams go there, Look at too.

Just got back, having done the skiing (gentle slopes), but also tried Snowmobiles, Reindeer Sleigh and Husky dog sleds too. Hundreds of kilometers of cross country skiing trails, all marked, as are the snow mobile trails. Mostly flat country, and the snow is everywhere. Not an inch of tarmac in sight.
Thanks for taking the time to get back to me everyone.

Must admit, I'd already had my eye on Kitzbuhel and Soll and Lake Bled! Hadn't really thought of Lapland, but the thought of guaranteed snow is a draw. To be honest I'm mad on snow and going somewhere in february and hardly seeing any doesn't appeal to me! (Am a big kid really!)

Thanks for the advice re my knee. It isn't actually that bad when walking - have a 'walking machine ' / 'ski' type 'thing' I use to exercise on and don't have any problems at all. The problems come if I try to play something like tennis and have to change direction quickly. Am ok walking / hiking at the moment. I suppose I'm just careful! Am worried that if my leg had to suddenly take the weight of my body (say if I was about to slip) then it'd give way - end of holiday! (Then again I could get around on hubby's shoulders!)

Again, thanks for all your help - am off to look at the brochures again now ...... time to dream.............

(Looks like it's convinced hubby too .......... cheers folks!)


One of the things to bear in mind if considering Lapland is that in February the daylight hours will be shorter than here and noticeably so compared to places like Austria or Slovenia.

Actually, not as bad as it's perceived.

Last week, it was light by 8am, which is OK for most people, and stayed light until 4.30-5pm (though the sun is below the horizon before then). When I was in austria last year (same time), the lifts shut at 4:30 anyway, wheras at Levi, you can ski until 8pm, thanks to the floodlit slopes.

Have been looking through all the brochures re going to Finland - must admit having seen all the things on offer it would be the holiday of a lifetime.

Can I ask who you travelled with and where you stayed.


Booked with Inghams, and stayed at the Matkailumaja Chalets, Self Catering. Very clean and comfortable. The only disappointment was that the size of chalet we booked did not have a log fire, but the private sauna more than made up for that.

Spar supermarket was literaly just accross the road. Saved a fortune by not paying for half board (but then there were 2 adults & 3 kids), & we only ate in once. If you prefer it all laid on, then talking to people when we were there, those at the Crazy Reindeer hotel were more impressed with the food than those at the Levintunturi or the Sirkantahti (which is where you eat if you take half-board at the chalets we stayed in, and is across the road).

If you go self catering, you can eat at any of the hotels, or the pizza place (best pizzas we've had for a long time, and also does take-away), or even the kebab place, though we never tried that. There are also a small number of resturants that are not tied to hotels.

There are lots of 'Safari' companies, that do the reindeer/husky/snowmobile stuff, so you can shop around for what you want. You can also hire show shoes, and I think it is possible to go on guided snow shoe walks, as well as the cross-country skiing.
Thanks for that (again!)

Would you say it was pretty cheap to eat out?

A few sample prices I can remember:-
Double burger at the bar at bottom of slope 5€
Pizza at Levintunturi hotel 7.5 - 9€
Pizza at Koti Pizza 7 - 16€ (family size)
Pork in Mushroom sauce at a restuarant 14€
Traditional Sauted Reindeer & mash 15€

Beers not cheap. ranged from 4-6€, and wine is dear too.
Sauted Reindeer!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


They don't actually EAT Rudolph do they. How to spoil my 'fairy tale'!


(Hope there isn't Husky Pie 'n Peas on the menu as well!)

AW beat me to it!

We are off to Levi (crazy reindeer) next weekend (6th March) and are taking the mother in law with us (that'll melt the snow.....)

she doesnt ski and is coming along for the experience, including reindeer and husky dog safaris, art museum, shopping etc - we meanwhile, will be hiding from her on the slopes!

glad to see AW enjoyed it!
Hi again,

Hope you have a great time. Let us know how you go on when you get back - am seriously tempted by Finland .................. it sounds exactly what we'd want.

Again, have a great time - hope the Mother in Law enjoys it too!

Would highly recommend Crazy Reindeer in Levi, went there in December 2003 with First Choice ,had holiday of a lifetime. Going back first week in January 2006 same place but with Inghams. Payed £800 each for 4 nights last time, with Ingham 6 nights with thermal suits , snowmobile excursion, husky and reindeer safari,s paying only £630 each and flying from more local airport. Yes it is expensive but once you have been you are soon drawn back!.
We're already working out what we need to buy in the sales to wear and keep us warm!!!!!!!!!!!

Thanks to everyone on this post - would never have thought of Finland, but is sounds like its going to be magical. We're now struggling to find the exact location - decisions, decisions!

Cheers everyone!

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