5 TEFL cities with skiing for the winter
Getting qualified to teach English isn’t just about searching for white-sand beaches and tropical seas, you know. There are also TEFL cities with skiing for the winter to get stuck into. They beckon the powder hounds who want somewhere to pull on the salopettes close to home. And there are plenty of options, with towns dotting the European Alps, hiding in the Carpathians, and even out in China.
Innsbruck was made glorious by the Hapsburg dynasty. They came and raised mighty palaces and gold-topped townhouses, adding charm and character and class to this gateway of the Tyrol. More recently, visiting culture vultures have been diluted with adventure lovers. They come for the endless hiking trails that meander into the surrounding Alps, but they also come for the ski runs that abound in the region. Put together, the resorts form the Olympia SkiWorld Innsbruck. They include Nordkette’s 15 kilometers of speedy downhill runs – the closest of all. And they’ve got the forever-snowy Stubai Glacier, where the top station soars above the valleys at a lung-busting 3,200 meters.
If you’re seeking out TEFL cities with skiing for the winter and a low-cost of living for the rest of the year, Sofia surely has to be up there with the best of them. It’s blessed with gorgeous onion-domed cathedrals and wide plazas filled with coffeeshops and ex-Soviet tenements. And when the snow falls? Be sure to set your compass for either Borovets or Vitosha. The first is perhaps the top-rated Bulgarian ski resort, with a medley of runs wiggling through the Rila Mountains. The second looms high on the horizon above the capital, offering a season of more than 120 days just 10 kilometers away from the town.
Drop your Oktoberfest beers and currywurst for a moment and make for the Alps. They line the southern border between Germany and Austria just an hour to the south of the city. There, the handsome town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen faces the great rocks of the Zugspitze – the tallest peak in the country. Around it, a smattering of ski runs drapes between the pine forests of mountains like Kreuzeck and the Alpspitze – they are largely red and black routes for the more experienced of winter riders. The great news is that regular trains link Munich Central Station with the resort, so it’s just a case of hopping on the rails with your skis in tow whenever you fancy hitting the slopes.
Krakow’s more famous for its grand Gothic Old Town (a UNESCO World Heritage Site, no less) and its vibrant nightlife (they say there are more bars per square meter here than in any other city in Europe) than its winter runs. But if you venture to the south between December and March, you can discover some of the very best skiing in Poland. First up is the resort of Bialka Tatrzanska. It’s an award-winning spot with modern lifts and great beginner runs. Then comes the so-called Winter Capital of Poland in Zakopane. There are little resorts all around that, with Kasprowy Wierch topping the bill, and smaller Polana Szymoszkowa offering stunning views of the craggy Tatra Mountains from its top station.
The sole Asian option among TEFL cities with skiing for the winter comes in the form of bustling Beijing. Tear yourself away from the great monuments of the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square during the colder months of the year, and there are plenty of places in the Chinese capital where it’s possible to pull on the salopettes and whiz down the slopes. The Huaibei Ski Resort is one of the best. Just over an hour away from the city, it’s a mecca for first-time riders, with its mesh of blue runs and nursery runs. Badaling Ski Resort also draws some attention. It’s near winding sections of the Great Wall of China, touting four trails with a vertical drop of nearly 200 meters.
There are actually plenty more TEFL cities with skiing for the winter awaiting newly qualified graduates around the globe. If you’ve travelled to any, we’d love to hear your thoughts on them in the comments below. Or, if you’re looking to get TEFL qualified and skiing slopes near an adopted home abroad, be sure to check out our courses page.