Ever imagined you could ski in temperatures above forty degrees? How about in the middle of summer? This month, we count down the Top 10 Most Unusual Places To Ski, looking far and wide across the globe at some of the most unthinkable locations we never imagined!
10. Troodos, Cyprus
The slopes of Mount Olympus get light snowfall during the coldest spells of winter, making it a surprisingly joyous place to be when there's fresh powder around. People come out in droves, anxious to make the most of the occasion before the snow melts under the clear Mediterranean sky. The resort near Troodos has four ski lifts that operate across the beautiful piste areas. Equipment is available for hire, but in limited supply, so you'll need to get there early to beat the swarms of excited people with the same idea. If you get it right though, you'll be able to make your holiday a Fire And Ice affair - swim in the morning and ski in the afternoon.
9. Timberline Lodge, Oregon
Near the peak of Mount Hood, just below the Palmer Glacier, you'll find the Timberline Lodge - the only year-round ski resort in North America. The Magic Mile Sky Ride takes you roughly 7000 feet above sea level, where skiers and hikers can take in panoramic views of the dramatic, snowy landscape in the middle of summer. For a day of dramatic contrasts, spend the morning on one of Oregon's beautiful beaches and come up to Timberline Lodge for a ski in the afternoon. Timberline Lodge
8. Ski Dubai, Dubai
People aren't joking when they say you can get 'anything' in Dubai - there is even snow! Inside the Mall of the Emirates, a highly impressive structure on its own, you will find the Ski Dubai slopes. In between trying on designer shoes and sampling new perfumes, there are 3000 square meters to ski, snowboard or toboggan. Easily the coldest fun you will have anywhere in the United Arab Emirates. Ski Dubai.
7. Oukaimeden Resort, Morocco
Mention of Morocco normally makes you think of ancient architecture, historic mosques, beautiful beaches, spice markets and camel-back desert tours. But only 80 kilometers away from the hustle and vibrancy of Marrakesh is the Oukaimeden Ski Resort. Some 3,000 meters up the slopes of the Atlas Mountains, you will find Africa's highest ski resort. With a fully functional ski lift, trails that cater for all levels (as well as some magnificent hiking trails) and an abundance of accommodation, a ski holiday in Morocco offers the perfect balance of sand and snow. Oukaimeden Resort.
6. Alps Ski Resort, South Korea
The Alps Resort in South Korea takes you to the summit of the Jinburyeong plateau, where skiers can view the Eastern Sea and Mount Seoraksan from high above verdant hillsides. The resort is packed with great runs for skiers of all levels - obviously it's not quite what you would expect from the top French resorts. But the true charm comes through in the picturesque setting and vibe around the resort itself. From December to March, the village is packed with travellers from around the world. If you are easy-going and looking for a great holiday rather than a serious ski trip, Alps Ski Resort is a must. Alps Ski Resort
5. Yllas, Finnish Lapland
Yllas is like Santa's own personal ski resort, complete with reindeer and Christmas villages nearby. The scenery in Lapland is hauntingly beautiful. From glacial lakes to hills that roll all the way off the end of the earth, you find yourself lost in a beautiful frozen world. Cap off your holiday by gazing up at the Aurora Borealis with a cup of cocoa in hand - this celestial fireworks show will be a memory you will always treasure. The resorts in Yllas are low key and loaded with great runs for skiing at all levels. Great restaurants and family facilities make it suitable for almost anyone wanting to get away to somewhere special. Yllas Ski Resort.
4. Cerro Cathedral, Argentina
Cerro Cathedral, or Mount Cathedral, offers unbelievable skiing and a healthy dose of Latin American hospitality in the nearby city of Bariloche. From Cerro Cathedral's 2000 meter summit, skiers are treated to breathtaking views of the Los Andes Mountain and Patagonian rivers. The slopes are flawless, offering a selection of trails to suit all skiers - there is even a ski school for beginners. Accommodation in Bariloche varies from backpacker/budget to five star, but you could probably sleep on a bench and still have fun, with ski festivals, film festivals, lively nightlife and an outstanding selection of restaurants. Cerro Cathedral.
3. Ben Lomond, Tasmania
Tasmania's wild and unbridled landscape is better known for its rugged coastline and indigenous animals. But Ben Lomond National Park, Tasmania's premier ski resort, is becoming increasingly popular for its range of great slopes and accommodation options. From atop the 1500 meter summit, take in the contrasting beauty of the island as you go careening down the snowy mountainside and enjoy the most unconventional Australian holiday out there. Ski Ben Lomond.
2. Afri Ski, Lesotho
Odds are that you probably haven't even heard of Lesotho - a small country within the borders of South Africa. But believe us, there is the most charming ski resort inside this tiny republic that will melt your heart. Situated in the Maluti Mountain range, some 3000 meters above sea level, the slopes offer you a eagle's eye view of the sweeping African landscape below. It might not offer the most dangerous or thrilling downhill extravaganza, but the scenery is incredible and the staff are renowned for their excellent service. Accommodation ranges from backpacker style hostels, to luxury cabins for those wanting something extra. Afri Ski Resort.
1. Mzaar, Lebanon
Just over an hour away from Beirut's unique vibe and historical architecture lies the Mzaar Ski Resort. Enshrined by the beauty of Mount Lebanon, this unique ski resort offers top quality slopes and accommodation in the most unusual place - not quite what you'd expect from the Middle East! Mzaar has been tried and tested by skiers in the know since the 1950's, and over the years it has gained more commercial success, becoming the destination of choice for knowledgeable skiers. www.skilebanon.co.uk.
Last Updated: January 2011