Discover your adventurous side in Åre, Sweden - and massages away nerves
Passport? Check. Snow gear? Check. Nerves of steel? Er, I know they're here somewhere... As I travel to Sweden for an action-packed escape, I'm filled with both excitement and trepidation. I can't wait to hit the slopes, but I'm more apprehensive at the thought of the other adventure activities I've got lined up - including attempting Europe's longest zipline.
Åre, I swiftly realise, is the kind of resort for which the term 'winter wonderland' was invented. The skiing facilities are first class (in fact, the area hosted the 2007 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships), but if that's not really your scene, there are many other activities on offer, atoo. First up for me is a snowmobile safari, scaling a nearby mountain on something that resembles a jet-ski. Whizzing across the snow in my snug black jumpsuit, I felt every inch the Bond babe (although I suspect I look more like a cross between Darth Vader and a Kwik Fit fitter). The whole experience is thrilling - with the view from the summit nothing short of spectacular.
The following day, I'm ready to sample the skiing. Thanks to its in-house ski-hire shop and ski-in/out access, my luxurious hotel - Copperhill Mountain Lodge - is the perfect base from which to start, and I spend the morning having a handy refresher lesson, before taking to the slopes for the rest of the afternoon.
Though the skiing does wonders for my soul, it has the opposite effect on my legs, so back at the hotel I pay a visit to the tranquil spa, complete with indoor pool. Beneath a 'starry sky', I unwind with the blissful Mountain Breath treatment, consisting of a body massage, bubbly foot spa, and hand, foot scalp and massage. It's the ultimate antidote for aching ski limbs.
With my feet revived, I'm back out the next morning to finally face the formidable zipline. Perched anxiously on the wooden platform, peering at the snow-covered tree tops below, I can feel my knees start to turn to jelly, as I check and double check the sturdy safety harness. 'I'll see you on the other side...' says the girl before me, helpfully.
It's too late to back out. I close my eyes, take a deep breath and throw myself into the unknown. Suddenly it feels like I'm flying - and I manage to open my eyes just long enough to catch a glimpse of the incredible surroundings. So amazing, in fact, that I dash back up... another four times! OK, so maybe I'm not a natural adrenaline junkie. But I think I've unleashed my inner adventurer - and she's already demanding another holiday...
For more information on travel to Sweden, see www.visitsweden.com. To book accommodation, ski passes, ski school and ski hire, or for more information on Åre, visit www.skistar.com or call 00 46 771840000. Scandinavian Airlines - SAS (www.flysas.co.uk; 0871 521 2772,) operates regular services to Östersund via Stockholm from Heathrow, London City and Manchester airports. Copperhill Mountain Lodge (www.designhotels.com) costs from about £187 per room per night on a B&B basis.
Posted: 31/07/2011 at 18:14
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