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Unconventional Skiing destinations

It's said that variety is the spice of life, but you wouldn't guess that from the destination choices of most skiers, who spend winters whizzing down the slopes of the European Alps, western North America or the peaks of Japan.

travel Updated: Feb 24, 2012 11:41 IST
AFP

It's said that variety is the spice of life, but you wouldn't guess that from the destination choices of most skiers, who spend winters whizzing down the slopes of the European Alps, western North America or the peaks of Japan.


For those prepared to cast an eye further afield than the old favorites, the world offers some truly unique skiing experiences. Sure, some of them are rather unconventional, but aren't winter sports supposed to be about a challenge?

Eight skiing destinations you probably haven't thought about

Mount Olympus, Cyprus
Believe it or not, the 1,952 meter-hight Mount Olympus gets a dusting of snow most winters, and it's one of the few destinations where you can probably grab some beach action after a day on the slopes.

Ben Lomond, Tasmania
The Ben Lomond National Park stretches 16,527 hectares and is one of Tasmania's most popular skiing destinations during the Southern hemisphere winter season. (July-September). The scenery -- soaring dolerite columns -- more than makes up for the somewhat tame runs.

Mount Lebanon, Lebanon
Skiing in the Middle East sounds crazy enough, but Lebanon goes one step further -- this is actually good skiing. The Mzaar ski resort offers 80 kilometers of ski tracks between 600 and 2,800 meters high, just 75 minutes by car from the slick capital, Beirut.

Oukaimeden Resort, Morocco
Africa's highest ski resort, Oukaimeden sits in the heart of the Atlas mountains and peaks at 3,258 meters, at the peak of Jebel Attar. There are five runs, although don't expect a particularly well-groomed, smooth skiing experience -- powdery Swiss white stuff this is not.

Ski Portillo, Chile

There are 300 days of sun every year in this unique part of the Andes, bathing 15 trails which are used by national teams from Austria, Italy and the USA during the Northern Hemisphere summer (mid-June - early-October).

Mount Palandoken, Turkey
A long way from the European favourite Istanbul, Turkey's Anatolia ranges have long been popular with Turkish and Russian skiers. Palandoken offers the highest and longest ski trail in Turkey and the season sometimes lasts up to eight months. Last year, the resort was home to the 25th Winter Universiade (university games).

Corsica, France
Corsica's rocky terrain offers unique and superbly accessible slopes, which are normally covered by February and March. Ese, in the south, is the largest station on the island with six slopes, while Ghisoni in the south east offers five.

Yllas, Finnish

Lapland Bathed in a near permanent twilight, Yllas offers an enchanting ski season which stretches out until May, when the darkness of winter gives way to unfathomably long days. It's bitterly cold -- but it's one of the best chances you'll get to ski inside the Arctic Circle.