Olympic Secrets: Best Destinations For Winter Sports & Active Holidays (Vol. 2)

by Travelling Peach

1. Chartering A Yacht, Greek Islands
Recommended by: Saskia Clark, Team GB Sailing
Saskia says If you’re not a keen sailor but enjoying sailing, or want to relax and explore a little more, I recommend chartering a yacht. That way, you can take an experienced skipper with you and travel for longer distances and times, and explore fabulous islands that you wouldn’t usually be able to. Sailing around the Mediterranean and visiting several Greek Islands is lovely. You can scuba dive, snorkel, explore the stunning marine life, caves and more.’

2. Les Deux Alps, France
Recommended by: Elena Hight, Team USA Snowboarding
Elena says ‘I’ve just returned from spending a few weeks snowboarding there. They have an awesome glacier so definitely worth visiting.’

3. Calgary, Canada
Recommended by: Chris Spring, Team Canada Bobsleigh
Chris says I love nature and being active outdoors; whether it’s reaching the top of a mountain or skiing down it, anything like that is absolutely amazing. Canada has them all and more… hiking, camping, surfing, skiing, snowboarding… lots of wilderness adventures and, believe it or not, there are some great surfing spots too.’

‘Whilst there, you can also visit The Richmond Experience – one of the only interactive Olympic museums in the world - and if you get hungry there’s a great restaurant called The Main Dish. It’s a crazy, cute little restaurant. I don’t have much time to cook so, whenever I’m training there, they always make sure I’m full with the most delicious and healthy treats. I definitely recommend it.’

4. Königssee, Germany
Recommended by: Arianne Jones, Team Canada Luge
Arianne says Set in the mountains and surrounded by nature, Königssee has one of the oldest and most magical luge tracks in the world. It’s so much fun to slide down and totally unique - like a rollercoaster with crazy twists and turns that no other track has. I love being in nature so racing here feels incredible. At the bottom of the track, there’s a huge lake and, at the very top, a waterfall trickles, following the track all the way down to the lake at the bottom. Beautiful.’

‘I love exploring. We spend so much time there so I get to practice my German and learn the ins-and-outs of these teeny tiny villages. You want to fit in and feel at home but it happens so gradually that you don’t realise how much you know until family visit. When my dad visited for the World Championships, I said ‘We’ll go to this place to drink beer because it’s got the best pretzels’ and ‘We’ll go and have coffee at this teeny little hole in the wall.’ It was cool knowing that, in this teeny European town, I actually knew the ins-and-outs of where to go, where the best markets were and things like that.

5. Lake Varese, Italy
Recommended by: Victoria Thornley, Team GB Rowing
Victoria says ‘Lake Varese is absolutely stunning. The water is lovely and calm and, as you row, you can see the French Alps reaching out across an endless horizon. We stay in a lovely lakeside hotel with the Italian family who own it.’

6. Innsbruck, Austria
Recommended by: Lisa Zimmermann, Team Germany Freestyle Skiing
Lisa says ‘I love skiing in Innsbruck, Austria. It’s my favourite city to spend time and compete in. I’m doing my rehab training there at the moment. It’s a lovely small city full of students, skiers and snowboarders. A lot of fun and a great atmosphere.’

7. Lucerne, Switzerland
Recommended by: Jack Beaumont, Team GB Rowing
Says ‘Lucerne is my favourite place in the world. I have great memories of family holidays there as a child and of our team competing in the World Cup there. There’s a huge lake – not the one we race on – that’s surrounded by enormous snow-capped mountains and nature. It’s so picturesque and, whether you’re rowing or in one of the little restaurants, it’s such a cool place.’

‘In contrast, the lake we compete on is completely different but nonetheless incredibly beautiful. It’s in the middle of nowhere and surrounded by lush green mountains. I love it. The whole city feels special so I’d definitely recommend visiting. When we race there, all of the rowers catch the tram around the town to get to the venue. It’s the best atmosphere. All of the locals are really welcoming and it feels like the rowing buzz takes over the city for the week.’

And fellow Team GB rower Victoria Thornley agrees. She says ‘Lake Lucerne is also known as ‘The Lake of the Gods’ and it’s easy to see why. The lake itself is very small but it’s the most mesmerizing turquoise-blue colour. We row there annually for the World cup and, as you row, you can hear the sounds of cowbells and people pottering around the surrounding villages. There are some beautiful mountains to climb and cycle up too. It’s just beautiful.’

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