INVIGORATE your winter sports break with one of these great ideas, says Sarah Marshall.

Waving goodbye to the summer is always done with a degree of sorrow, but a dip in temperatures does mean there's one great pleasure on the horizon: the European ski season will soon be in full swing.

Old favourites and flashy new resorts are set to woo winter sports fanatics, along with a raft of innovative new tours and training aids. From forging better connections on the slopes, to arriving at your destination in good time - here are three of the most fun developments in store.

1. Connecting with nature on the slopes

Proof skiing doesn't always have to be an adrenaline-fuelled activity, a new course at French ski resort La Plagne aims to introduce some mindfulness to the slopes through sophrology (a relaxation technique). Ski instructor and sophrologist Karine will lead a 1.5 hour course in Montchavin Les Coches, encouraging skiers to appreciate nature and their own wellbeing. Students will leave with greater self-confidence, refined mental focus and improved physical strength. Afterwards, everyone will enjoy a Serenity Afternoon Tea in an altitude restaurant. Individual sessions from E75/£65pp; group lessons from E25/£21.50pp. Visit

2. A green route to the white stuff

Snow sports enthusiasts with a focus on efficiency should consider a trip to Austria this season, where a new Alpen Express sleeper ski train is set to slash journey times and carbon footprints. Operating from the Netherlands and Cologne, the direct overnight train serves almost 100 ski resorts in Austria, including St. Anton, Alpbach, Kitzbuhel, Soll, Mayrhofen, Ischgl, Solden, Westendorf, Kirchberg in Tirol, and new Zell am See-Kaprun. Friendlier to the environment, the trip also produces 80% less carbon emissions. According to to Best Foot Forward, part of the Anthesis consulting group, a one-way journey by plane from London to Zell am See-Kaprun generates 111kg of CO2 per passenger and a one-way road journey 256kg per car. Rail journeys meanwhile generate just 23kg of CO2 per person. Prices start from E179/£154 on the Alpen Express from Amsterdam and Cologne to Austria, with a place in six-berth sleeping car. Visit

3. The perfect digital coach

Imagine having your own ski instructor permanently by your side? Launched two years ago, the Carv app fulfils that role - and a new 3.0 version promises to be even better. Using two thin footbeds packed with sensors, which are worn in ski boots, the technology is able to accurately assess a user's ski skills. Information is transmitted to a ski tracker and then sent to smartphone via Bluetooth, with real-time audio feedback communicated through headphones. Competitive types can also monitor their performance compared to other users. Carv 3.0 goes on sale (on iOS and Android) on December 1, 2019 and costs £299. Available to pre-order for £279. Visit