As the saying goes “a bad day on the slopes beats a good day at work”. We hear that!

Why not put work on the back-burner for a week or two because January is prime time to think about heading off to magical winter climes for a spot of skiing.

You actually could return home fitter, leaner and more flexible than before and with a whole lot of colour in your cheeks.

Skiing improves core strength, aids sleep, can help you lose weight and burn of carbs like crazy.

And it also boosts your mood.

Plus, it’s something anyone can do these-days.

With lessons, equipment hire and beautiful Alpine resorts just two hours away from Essex, it’s a sport that has become accessible to all.

One of the most glamorous resorts, Chamonix in France, is so convenient for Essex travellers because you can fly direct from Southend to Geneva, then take a one-and-a-half hour scenic route through the Alps to the town of via coach, bus or private car.

But there are also plenty of other locations to get your ski on in 2019 - all easily accessible from Essex.

And even if you don’t have time to travel this winter, Essex is lucky to have its own Ski and Snowboard Centre based in Brentwood.

A wide range of lessons and packages are available from the complete beginner to the most advanced skier. ( the Hertfordshire border lies Britain’s newest indoor ski centre.

The Snow Centre in Hemel Hempstead boasts a huge 160m main slope as well as the largest indoor ski lesson slope in the UK.

Where to hit the slopes from Essex airports:


How to get there: Fly from Southend Airport to Geneva, Switzerland (easyjet). Then it’s about a one hour private bus/coach ride into the centre of Chamonix.(

Why go? Chamonix is a truly delightful resort area near the junction of France, Switzerland and Italy.

Situated at the base of Mont Blanc, the highest summit in the Alps, it’s renowned for its skiing as well as its beautiful and quaint shops, church and restaurants.

Must do: Year-round cable cars take visitors up to the magnificent Aiguille du Midi above Chamonix. It’s high (the Aiguille du Midi cable car holds the world record for the highest vertical ascent and this is the closest you can get to the Mont Blanc on a lift system) but the views across the Alps and the vast glacier fields are spectacular.

If you can stomach it, don’t miss the Step into the Void skywalk with its see-through glass viewing platform!


How to get there: Fly Southend Airport to Lyon (Flybe). Then it’s a two and half hour very picturesque train ride to Annecy or a two hour drive by car.


Why go? The Grand-Bornand has all the charm of a traditional mountain village and equally all the modern amenities of a world class ski resort.

Skiers have two villages from which to select their base: Le Grand Bornand and its slightly higher neighbour in the next valley, Le Chinaillon.

Each has a genuinely quaint feel with traditional chalets, streets and restaurants.

Must do: As well as skiing, you can try snowshoeing, paragliding, hot air ballooning, ice climbing and horse riding.


How to get there: Fly from Southend Airport (Easyjet) to Geneva in Switzerland. Then it’s a 65-minute transfer to the resort (

Why go? Not only does La Clusaz have an excellent snow record, it’s also great for beginners, intermediates and especially families.

Plus it’s great for apre-ski with 10 bars and restaurants, a nightclub, a cinema and more than 200 shops.

Must do: La Clusaz is often described as the prettiest ski village in France. In the centre there’s a 200-year-old baroque church.


How to get there: Fly from Stansted Airport direct to Oslo (Ryan Air). The resort is just 30 minutes from the city centre. (

Why go? The winter park is the largest ski resort in the Oslo area, with 18 slopes and 11 lifts but conveniently located just outside city centre.

Must do: Snowboarders won’t want to miss trying out their skills on the resort’s Olympic Superpipe and halfpipe.


How to get there: Take the five and a half-hour flight from Stansted Airport to St Petersburg (Ryanair) then it’s a one hour ride from the city to the resort.

Why go? Opened in 2006, Igora is currently the most popular ski resort in the St Petersburg region, with plenty of activities and facilities for every taste and need.

The resort complex also in includes an outdoor skating rink, indoor swimming pool, spa, restaurants, cinema, bowling club, billiard and room.

Must do: Enjoy a day trip. Frequent trains and buses run between the ski resort and the historic city of St Petersburg - Russia’s second largest city.