People in Belgium looking for a spot to practice for their winter skiing break could be forgiven for being frustrated by the relative lack of facilities. Compared to somewhere else like the UK there’s something of a dearth of such places here.
Happily, there are a few exceptions including Ice Mountain, situated in Flanders, on the Belgian/French border and only a comfortable one hour drive from Brussels. The facilities here are first class for people in search of some serious pre-skiing holiday prep. The two ski slopes are, of course, also available to all and that includes complete beginners.
Note, though, that if you haven’t skied before you need to have a couple of hours of training with one of the centre’s ski coaches before you are to be left on your own. The slopes are 210m and 85m in length, both on a gradient of 40m from top to bottom.
Unlike some other ski centres, the snow here is real – 40cm deep – and it all takes place in a huge hall where the fluffy white stuff is maintained at a constant temperature of -6 degrees (that’s quite cold so wrap up well).
Equipment can be hired, including ski gloves, or obtained from the on-site shop. There’s also a couple of pleasant restaurants, including one decked out with a typical Alpine-style décor. However, there’s a lot more to this place than just skiing because it also offers indoor ski-diving, snowboarding and other activities such as paint-balling. There is also an impressive outdoor kids playground.
The parking is free and the centre is relatively easy to access from Brussels – the rail station is located 15 minutes away on foot and there are good bus services too.
If you visit on a Sunday, there is a special deal consisting of a pasta dish and two hours on the slopes. This costs just €25 per person and is available from 5pm-10pm. There’s another deal on Tuesdays where you pay for one hour on the slopes and you get the 2nd hour for free. Equipment is included and this costs €25. Every Friday and Saturday night the venue organises a “nocturnal evening”, with two hours access to the slopes from 9pm-11pm along with music and a disco.
The centre is open 7/7 from 10am to 10pm apart from Friday and Saturday when it is open ’til 11pm.
Its location in Komen (Comines) is a curiosity in itself – in a French speaking “enclave” in the country’s Flemish region.
Prices are very reasonable, starting from as little as €14.50 for kids and €17 for adults. You can buy a 1 hour, 2 hour or 1-day ski pass. Another option is a season pass for either one month (€109); three months (€235) or a six month pass – the most popular one – which costs €354, or €59 per month.
Located 15km away in Wevelgem is a new aqua adventure park, under the same ownership, which offers water skiing and an aqua park. It all makes for a great day out, whether you are looking to brush on those skiing skills this winter or after another type of fun activity.
Further info is available via