My family and I love activities that will get our hearts racing. Whether it’s surfing in sunny Biarritz, or exploring the slopes in Verbier, there’s nothing better than spending a day in the great outdoors. While skiing and snowboarding are two of our favourite wintertime activities, we’ll often spend (at least) a few afternoons sledding. In Europe, there are more than enough places to choose from – you can practically sled your way from France to Italy! If you’re planning a winter break, test your sledding skills at any of my top five sledding spots in Europe.
1. Preda, Switzerland
This four-mile run takes you through the spectacular Swiss Alps, under historic bridges and around hairpin turns, starting in Preda and ending in Bergün. But your adventure begins well before this. To get to Preda, which is high in the mountains, you have to catch the Rhaetian Railway from Bergün, passing through the UNESCO-protected Abula Valley. The run itself is incredibly beautiful, and you’ll get to experience views like you’ve never seen before.
Enjoy the amazing views from the Rhaetian Railway. © Kabelleger
2. Bramberg, Austria
Not too far away, in western Austria, is the record-breaking Wildkogel Sledding Arena, home to the world’s longest floodlit sled run! The run covers eight miles, from start to finish, and takes between 30 and 50 minutes to complete. Take the chair lift almost one mile up to the start of the run, then begin your descent, twisting and turning through the snow. The run is lit up until 10pm every night, so you can sled well into the evening.
3. La Clusaz, France
La Clusaz is located in the Rhône-Alpes region in south-eastern France, and is one of France’s premiere spots for winter sports, including sledding. There are three runs just for sledding, each varying in difficulty, catering to people of all ages and abilities. The 400-foot run is gentle enough for small children, and ours loved it when they were a little younger. There are, of course, more challenging runs for the more experienced sledders amongst you.
4. Wallberg Mountain, Germany
In the heart of Bavaria you’ll find Wallberg Mountain, a wintertime paradise. Its sled run covers just over four miles, and takes around 30 minutes from start to finish. Take the Wallbergbahn cable car and prepare for a fun sled ride to the bottom. Whenever my family and I visit, we like to do the run in the morning and then take the cable car back up to the Panorama Restaurant for a bite to eat.
Most places will provide sleds for hire. © Leo-setä
5. South Tyrol, Italy
Not to be forgotten is South Tyrol in Italy, a region in the Italian Alps’ Dolomites mountain range. There are lots of runs to explore here, from the very easy to the very difficult, and everything in between. Monte Cavallo has the longest sled run in Italy, stretching a massive six miles and starting at a 6,000 feet elevation, and the surrounding mountains are amazing to watch as you whizz past on your sled.
Start your sledding adventure…
...with Eurotunnel Le Shuttle. Travel from Folkestone to Calais in 35 minutes, and then take your pick from any of these fantastic sledding spots. Just remember to wrap up warm.