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Whilst some of us are still recovering from the excesses of the festive season, many Dutch are already looking forward to their next annual break – the much anticipated ski holiday! Indeed, between the months of December and March, countless Dutch enjoy an adrenaline-fuelled week of winter sports activities abroad. And, although most of them opt for ski destinations within a comfortable drive of the Netherlands, some seek their thrill and adventure further afield.
The most popular ski destinations
According to a study by the (recently defunct) Dutch social media website, Hyves, the majority of Dutch choose Austria for a week on the slopes. For them, the most popular Austrian ski resorts are the towns of Gerlos, Koenigsleiten and Zell am Ziller, which is better known in Dutch circles as the “Zillertal Arena” and enjoys a reputation for its distinctly Dutch après-ski scene, where Dutch beer flows freely and typical Dutch snacks, such as bitterballen, kroketten, cocktail nuts and Dutch cheese, are always on the menu. Other preferred Austrian winter sports destinations include Mayrhofen, Flachau, Sölden, Kirchberg and Hinterglemm.
Unique winter sports destinations
Austria certainly isn’t the only winter sports destination to draw the Dutch, and traditional ski countries such as France, Switzerland, Germany and Italy, all welcome their fair share of Dutch skiers and snow boarders each winter. Those who prefer to avoid the madding crowds increasingly head for lesser-known ski destinations, such as the Czech Republic, Norway, Spain, the United States, Canada, the Atlas Mountains in North Africa, Table Mountain in South Africa and even Afriski in Lesotho.
Most Dutch people take their winter break in February – by far the busiest week is during the Dutch carnival holiday / spring break, which falls between 15th and 22nd February or 22nd February and 2nd March (depending on the school region) this year.
Prefer to read this article in Dutch? Then why not visit our sister blog, Heimwee.info, specifically intended for Dutch emigrants abroad?