Indoor ski slopes offer the chance for people to learn and experience skiing and snowboarding without having to necessarily jump on a plane and head straight to a proper mountain resort which can be intimidating.
We take a closer look at some of the best snowsports centres across the world for you to check out and possibly visit if you are lucky enough to live close enough or have plans to visit these destinations…
UK Indoor Ski Centres:
#1 Chill Factore - Manchester, United Kingdom.
For Brits looking to learn ahead of their first ski trip or simply trying to get their fix in-between seasons, Manchester’s Chill Factore, is a good place to visit to get your Alpine experience. Chill Factore is the UK’s longest real snowindoor ski slope and when it was first built in 2007 was also for a time the widest of it’s kind in the world at 180m (590ft) long and 100 metres (330ft) wide at its widest point.
In addition to the main slope, the centre features a beginners slope, a luge track, dedicated tubing/snowplay areas and a number of shops/restaurants in its Alpine Village. More than enough to keep the family busy and make you feel like you’ve jetted off to the mountains for the day.
Mon/Wed/Sat - 7:30 – 22:00
Tue/Thu/Fri - 9:00 – 22:00
#2 The Snow Centre – Hertfordshire
Whether you’re looking for ski lessons or a place to freestyle ski without jetting off to the slopes, this indoor ski centre offers you all your ski needs. Perfect for all ski newbies or ski experts, you can enjoy a range of ski and snowboarding activities indoor, one being the main slope with real snow at 160 metres.
Off the slope you can enjoy a feast at the alpine inspired restaurant, which showcases panoramic views over the slopes.
Mon – 10:00 – 20:00
Tue – 7:00 – 22:00
Wed/Thurs/Fri - 10:00 – 22:00
Sat/Sun – 8:00 – 22:00
#3 Snozone – Milton Keynes
Snowzone has a variety of locations in the UK including Basingstoke, Castleford in Yorkshire and Milton Keynes. But the Milton Keynes location operated with renewable electricity, making social responsibility at the forefront of their company values. It also contains specialist coaches for adaptive skiing.
Mon/Thurs - 9:00 – 22:00
Fri – 9:00 – 23:00
Sat – 8:00 – 20:00
Sun – 8:00 – 20:00
#4 Snowtrax – Dorset
If you’re looking to improve both you skiing or snowboarding skills or simply want to enjoy the slopes, Snowtrax has everything you need to have a great time! The indoor ski centre has its own minature lake and island with pine trees, to really immerse you into life on the slopes.
Mon/Fri - 9:00 – 22:30
Sat – 8:30 – 22:30
Sun – 9 – 22:30
Indoor Slopes Around The World
#1 SnowWorld - Landgraaf, The Netherlands.
SnowWorld holds the title of being the largest indoor ski resort in Europe. With 5 slopes, 8 lifts and a pretty formidable park under one roof it really is more than just an indoor ski slope. It also boasts the longest indoor slope in The Benelux, and with its highest run sitting at a summit of 230m (755ft) probably one of the steepest in The Netherlands too.
So much space enables you to have a pretty quiet experience, whether using one of the two nursery slopes to learn or hitting the kickers, rails and boxes in the Olympic fun park it really does make SnowWorld in Landgraaf as close to the real thing as you can get in Europe.
Mon/Tue/Wed/Thurs/Sun - 9:00 – 23:00
Fri /Sat - 8:00 – 23:00
#2 Ski Dubai - Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Ski Dubai is located in the Mall of the Emirates which is one of the largest shopping malls in the world. Temperatures in Dubai can comfortably reach 41°C in the summer months, and even at their lowest in winter only dip to around 14°C. However inside the slope you will need your one piece suit as it maintains a temperature of -1-2°C, so that you can experience the mountains in the desert heat of Dubai.
Opened in November 2005, the indoor resort features an 85m high indoor slope (the equivalent to of one of Dubai’s 25-story buildings), and includes a 400m long run, the world’s first indoor black diamond run. For those not looking to ski there is also the option to make snowmen, have a snowball fight or simply enjoy the cold in the dedicated snow park!
Mon/Tue/Wed/Thurs/ - 10:00 – 23:00
Fri /Sat/Sun - 9:00 – 00:00
#3 Harbin Wanda Indoor Ski and Winter Sports Resort - China.
It will come as no surprise that in 2017 China became the home of the world’s largest indoor ski resort, covering roughly 80,000 square metres, and with the Winter Olympics coming to Beijing in 2022 the Chinese are building quite the passion for skiing and snowboarding.
The indoor resort in Harbin Wanda has 6 different runs suitable for a wide range of abilities, with the main intermediate run measuring at 60m wide and 500m long, making it the 4th longest indoor run on the planet. There are also two black runs, a blue run, a snow play area including a snow castle and two 40m beginner slopes, all of which are served by an indoor chairlift and magic carpet. This monster of an indoor ski resort can host up to 3,000 visitors at one time, so if you’re ever in the area make sure you get down there.
#4 Copenhill - Copenhagen, Denmark.
Yes, we know this isn’t strictly ‘indoors’ but it is still a man made ski slope and makes our top 5 on account of its quirkiness. Also know as Amager Bakke or Amager Slope, this is the first ski destination for Denmark’s capital city and is truly innovative.
Opened in 2017 and built on top of a combined heat and power wate-to-energy plant, it partially replaced the nearby incineration plant in Amager, which is also in the process of being converted from coal to biomass. The two plants play a major role in Copenhagen's ambitions of being zero carbon by 2025. So you can see whilst it might technically be outdoors, it is well worthy of making the top 5 and is well worth a visit for a truly unique and unforgettable experience.