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I'm trying to plan a skiing trip for Christmas holidays which is when I can use my work holidays, however I do not celebrate Christmas and I do not enjoy the whole consumerist/festive/you-name-it Christmas vibe. Checking a few resorts and packages in the Alps, it seems like they're all going to have massive huge celebrations in the mountains! So I'm considering going somewhere different where xmas isn't too big.

  • Iran isn't an option for this trip as it's on the agenda for the next year
  • Morocco seems to have snow at that time of the year, but I'm not sure what the resorts are like
  • Russia is said to be hit and miss for skiing
  • Flights to Uzbekistan are horrendously expensive
  • Georgia is also similar to Uzbekistan (but less expensive) and since the lifts incident there last year I'm a bit skeptical about going there
  • Turkey is probably one option, but I'd like to know if there are other destinations that I could consider, that would have affordable flights from Europe (no more than a few hundred Euro)?
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    I've voted to reopen this question. Identifying destinations that meet certain criteria is not the same thing as constructing a travel itinerary. – phoog Oct 25 '19 at 1:46
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    @phoog Maybe. But is this not the type of question that attracts list-type answers? – JoErNanO Oct 25 '19 at 11:41
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    Here you call Christmas having a consumerist vibe, but in the comments on one of the answers you talk about Christmas as being the Christian celebration. Those two are different events (the first one is about a dude in a red robe and a Coca Cola bottle, the second one about celebrating, off date, the birth of Jesus 2000+ years ago in September). Which one do you want to avoid? – Hans Janssen Oct 25 '19 at 12:47
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it is a list question which may end up with many equal correct answers. – CGCampbell Oct 25 '19 at 15:11
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    @Neeku I'm not the boss. I'm just venting my opinion. The fact that you added a bullet list of destinations that may or may not be suitable, based on several unpredictable and/or opinion based criteria suggests that this question is likely to attract a list of equally right and wrong answers. Therefore it is my opinion that this question is off topic as per our rules. Have a read on our help center to gain a better understanding on how SE works. – JoErNanO Oct 25 '19 at 16:20
2

It's OTT to say they will all have massive huge celebrations. Russia may have a lot of -20'C at that time. Serbia may have small snowfall till January as it's southerly.

If you check the events time-table of the stations from their website, and research photos/videos for "skitown noel/christmas 2018" to see the atmosphere, and see if they have a swimming resort for the kids if the weather is bad.

The ski-conoisseurs of the alps worry about snow depth at Christmas time, which is often not enough at lower altitudes, so wherever you go, make sure that it will have snowed enough by then. North of the Alps should be cooler for snow.

Yes, Nearly all european stations will have an event on Christmas day and some street decorations for a couple of weeks, and New-Year fireworks. Some stations only have a single day of events on the 25th called "christmas celebrations" and "new year fireworks" which is only one day of celebrations.

Here is a list of small french stations advised to avoid industrial atmosphere and chrismas celebrations, you can translate it to english, and probaby find similar discussions for Austria and the Baltic states.

https://www.skipass.com/forums/enmontagne/stations_ski_france/sujet-142512.html

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Well, Serbia and other countries that still use the Juliane calender celebrate Christmas on 7th of January, so that could be an option. In Serbia there is the Kopaonik ski resort that is really good and has plentiful snow that time of the year. Good luck

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    Bosnia/Serb Republic also have beautiful mountains and low cost flights, but I'm not sure if there's any skiing infrastructure. – alamar Oct 25 '19 at 9:54
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    Jahorina ski resort in Bosnia is one of the biggest in east Europe and even hosted the Winter Olympics. And as I said, Kopaonik in Serbia is a great resort. – user104894 Oct 25 '19 at 10:23
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    Armenia has both good ski infrastructure and recently-opened Ryanair routes. – Alberto Santini Oct 25 '19 at 14:06
  • interesting that the answer about Israel has 3 downvotes and a negative comment with 2 upvotes for political reason, but not a peep about the Serbia answer. I wonder why that is – JoelFan Oct 28 '19 at 22:42
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Japan?

  • Pretty cheap to fly to from anywhere in the world.

  • Fairly standard western country prices once you get there (certainly less than the Alps!)

  • Very good ski facilities and ski-worthy weather.

  • Christmas isn't particularly celebrated beyond a bit of themed advertising in shops. Christmas is a normal work day for most people.

  • Japan in general is awesome.

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    @stbr No location was given in the question or tagged so it should be treated as a general travel question. – pboss3010 Oct 25 '19 at 11:26
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    @pboss3010 Location is given in the last line of the question:*"[destinations] that would have affordable flights from Europe (no more than a few hundred Euro)?"* – Chronocidal Oct 25 '19 at 11:30
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    The idea that Japan is "pretty cheap to fly to from anywhere in the world" is certainly news to me. – Chris H Oct 25 '19 at 11:32
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    In any case Japan wouldn't be a good choice. Christmas is a huge date night there. – pboss3010 Oct 25 '19 at 11:33
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    The question mentioned Uzbekistan, so no mention of Europe only. The question also said they want to avoid xmas. So, the catholic/protestant parts of europe are out and I personally have never been to Russia, Georgia or other potential eastern places. Japan is actually a pretty cheap place to fly to. Loads of flights into Tokyo every day. 500 euros return at a max. Christmas as a date night in Japan- only in anime. In reality most regard it as little more than another day. – the other one Oct 25 '19 at 11:50
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Pakistan.

It has one of the most beautiful and scenic skiing slopes in the world. Malam Jabba and Naltar to name a couple.

There are no Christmas based festivities either.

Your flight might be costly but that’s just about it. Rest of the stuff isn’t costly.

Malam Jabba

enter image description here Courtesy: dawn.com

Naltar

enter image description here

Courtesy: Wikimedia

Google for Shimshal, Rattu, Nathia Gali, Astore and you will have numerous options.

Good Read

7

In general, you cannot find such thing.

Christmas is a massive holidays around the world, often with holidays from schools, so you have many tourists that go around the world in such period, so nearly everywhere you will find price hike. This is independent if in the destination Christmas is celebrated or not. The same for flights (but here if you add few extra days, on both end, you can get easily the cheap prices).

I assume you are looking ski holidays in Christmas period for the same reason: you (like many people) have free days on such period.

I recommend you to work as much as possible on such period, and do holidays in January (if possible, no kids): you will find good place to ski (because they need to prepare all slopes for Christmas, and be ready for the February holiday period). In such period you have much cheaper holidays (in general, not only on sky regions), but on ski regions you have very very few tourists [but on week ends].

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    Another issue is that a skiing destination is bound to have tourists. And lot of people in countries that celebrate holidays/gregorian calendar New Year will have days off, and some of them will want to go skiing. And the business at the location may chose to "celebrate" Christmas as a way to attract more of those tourists, even if it is not a local tradition. – SJuan76 Oct 25 '19 at 10:18
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    "In general, you cannot find such thing.": I can. The places I and the other two answerers have mentioned are some of the spots that don't celebrate xmas. Remember that xmas is a Christian and Western thing and not all the world population fall into that category; those using other calendars than the Gregorian one, don't necessarily celebrate xmas. I am in fact planning to escape well before and after the peak season, and top of a mountain could be one of the best places to run away from xmas consumerism madness. – Neeku Oct 25 '19 at 10:42
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    @Neeku: no, Serbia does not celebrate xmas like western Europe, but many Serbian in western Europe will fly home during western xmas. Ski destinations are mostly used by non-local people (during high season). To Japan: I see on Google flights that the flights are 70% (or more) more expensive than outside western xmas period, so the other answers didn't find the "cheap" part of your question. – Giacomo Catenazzi Oct 25 '19 at 11:03
  • Begin of january still a bit of high season. Best is end of january - beginning of february until the week BEFORE Valentines. – Rui F Ribeiro Oct 25 '19 at 13:51
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    Downvoted: in Russia the week of December 25th is pretty quiet. Everyone's preparing for the New Year celebrations (which is the biggest holiday in Russia), so there might be a lot of people in shops buying gifts etc., but otherwise it's a normal working week. Also due to visa requirements, there're not a lot of tourists from Western countries. There're also several skiing regions in Russia (although as OP mentions the reviews are mixed). – Spc_555 Oct 25 '19 at 15:36
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You could try Russia. There are several Ski Resorts. The week of 25th December is very quiet as Christmas is celebrated on 7th January.

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Israel has the Mount Hermon ski area. I would expect you wouldn't find much in the way of Christmas observance there.

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    I don't know about the Mount Hermon area in particular, but Christmas is absolutely huge in Israel -- not so much locals celebrating, but tourists packing the place. – Mark Oct 26 '19 at 1:51
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    In addition to Mark's comment, Israel has only a single ski mountain and when it is snow-covered, it is absolutely packed. As much as I recommend traveling to Israel for culture, hikes, beach, resorts, and religious holidays, I do not recommend Israel for skiing. – dotancohen Oct 26 '19 at 15:33
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    @einpoklum-reinstateMonica Reported this comment: Brings politics into a travel-related question... "don't support the occupation" could be applied to virtually every answer on this site. Every country is "occupying" something according to somebody Of course some people only bring this up with a "certain country" for a "certain reason" – JoelFan Oct 28 '19 at 22:29
  • @Mark I don't know where you're seeing that but I have been around Israel a lot and have not seen hardly any signs of Christmas. If a tourist area celebrated Christmas it would seriously turn off most of the local tourists, so I doubt they would do that. – JoelFan Oct 28 '19 at 22:40

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