If the dark nights have left you longing for summer sunshine but you don't want to compromise on your winter skiing holiday then a 'Ski and Sun' holiday package is a clever alternative. Already popular with honeymooners, what could be more exhilarating than spending a week on the slopes followed by a week chilling out on the beach. Here Ski Safari selects five of their most popular Ski and Sun combinations:
Tremblant and Antigua
A holiday to the Caribbean conjures up dreamy days spent on white pristine beaches and combining it with a ski break on Canada's east coast in Tremblant creates an added twist. This combination is a winner as the flights work seamlessly together. From London you can reach Montreal in just over 7 hours. On selected dates there is a direct flight from Montreal to Antigua, taking you from the slopes to the beach in under 5 hours and at the end of your stay it's just over 8 hours back to London. In the heart of the Laurentian Mountains, the ski resort of Tremblant offers varied slopes for all abilities, ski-in, ski-out properties all close to the heart of the colourful town centre and a diverse range of off-slope activities, from ice-skating on the frozen lake to dog sledding or snowmobiling. For some added relaxation a visit to the amazing Scandinave spa is a must. There's a superb choice of affordable and spacious, ski-in, ski-out properties all close to the heart of the colourful town centre. After skiing, add a bit of contrast and spend 6 nights on one of the Caribbean's most popular islands, laid-back Antigua. With winter temperatures averaging 25°C there will be plenty of time to relax in the crystal clear waters and on the beautiful sandy beaches.
Vail and Miami
Connected by a 4 hour direct flight from Denver to Miami, this holiday combination brings together the glitz and glamour of skiing Vail and the sunshine and shopping of Miami. Arguably one of the most famous resorts in the world, Vail in Colorado offers a fantastic ski area with fabulous back bowls and amazing terrain for intermediate and advanced skiers and snowboarders. Vail is included on a number of different Colorado lift passes so you can also ski Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone and Arapahoe Basin during the course of your holiday. Everyone should experience Vail at least once in their lifetime. Moving on to Miami, it's up to you to decide what sort of holiday you want. Opt for the buzzing city experience and immerse yourself in a little piece of shopping heaven in Miami and discover the bars and nightlife or kick back in the sunshine and soak up the rays around the South Beach area.
Park City and San Diego
Thanks to the favourable flight connections and short transfer times, the ski resorts of Park City in Utah can make for a perfect combination with California's San Diego. Explore the vast terrain and amazing snow conditions in Utah. The big news this season is Park City's huge expansion. Park City and Canyons have merged to create the largest single ski area in the United States, with more than 7,300 acres of skiable terrain, connected by a new high speed gondola. Park City is the most popular place to stay as it offers the best value accommodation, is the central point for all three ski mountains and the historic Main Street has a fantastic vibe with plenty of bars, restaurants, shops and cafes. It's only a 2 hr flight from Salt Lake City to San Diego so you can quickly swap the mountain air and white snow for the sandy beaches and warm winter sunshine of San Diego, opening up a whole host of different things to do, from taking a trolley bus tour through the city to relaxing on the sandy beaches.
Whistler and Hawaii
Ski Safari's most popular Ski and Sun combination is undoubtedly Whistler and Hawaii. Undeniably a must-ski resort thanks to its awesome terrain, Whistler also boasts superior accommodation and an energetic village vibe. Located a scenic two hour drive north of Vancouver, it's no coincidence that Whistler is repeatedly voted the number one ski resort in North America. Swap the crisp mountain air and white snow for the white sandy beaches and tropical sunshine of Hawaii. The second largest of the Hawaiian Islands, Maui is known to locals as 'no ka oi' (the best) and it is easy to understand why. There can be few better places to soak up the sunshine and relax but equally the more energetic can discover a host of activities, including surfing, windsurfing, kitesurfing, diving, snorkelling, hiking and more.
Winter Park and Mexican Riviera
The key to finding a successful Ski and Sun combination is to minimise travel, flight and transfer times but also selecting the best sun destination that will give you more for your money. Teaming up the Colorado resort of Winter Park with the Mexican Riviera does just that, thanks to the ease of the direct 4 hour flight from Denver to Cancun and with the Mexican Riviera being one of the best value sun destinations. Despite having celebrated its 75th anniversary last season, the ski resort of Winter Park is less well known on the UK market, compared to its Colorado counterparts. However with a fantastic snow record, close proximity to Denver Airport, excellent value for money and over 3,000 acres of terrain, it's clear to see why popularity for the resort is growing. After a week's skiing, get ready to enjoy a true beach experience on the Mexican Riviera, with comfortable winter temperatures averaging 25c and all-inclusive accommodation catering for your every need. If you need something a little bit more adventurous then take to the water for some diving or snorkelling.