To celebrate the start of the FIS World Cup Ski jumping season, Skyscanner brings you 10 of the most exciting ski jumping competitions in the world.
Ski jumping is a strange sport. Most people of an athletic nature could have a try at any new sporting activity and make a reasonable go of it. You could punt a football, whack a shuttlecock or sit on a horse.
But with ski jumping – it’s not quite the same. You’d have to be either suicidal or on a very drunken stag trip to consider launching yourself from a near vertical ramp and soaring through the air. Even the most adept alpine skier would find themselves in hospital. Immediately.
And this is what makes ski jumping such an exciting spectator sport. Long live Eddie ‘The Eagle’ Edwards!
Engelberg, Switzerland (19-20th December 2009)
Around 20,000 fans turn up for the Weltcup Skispringen in Engelberg. Once the excitement of the competition is over, enjoy some skiing yourself – either cross country or downhill and then relax in the attractive monastery village and treat yourself to some Swiss alpine cuisine in the numerous restaurants. Find cheap flights to Switzerland
Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany (31st December 2009 – 1st January 2010)
Traditionally a ski jump competition is held on New Year’s Day here as part of the four hills tournament (Vierschanzen-tournee) and after easing through the first hangover of the year with some gentle watching of the competitors, you can then go and do some first class skiing yourself before exploring the historic town in, what is undoubtedly, Germany’s winter sports capital. Find cheap flights to Germany
Sapporo, Japan (08-10th January 2010)
Outside Japan, Sapporo is best known to Westerners for its beer, and perhaps as the host of the 1972 Winter Olympics. It stages a number of ski jumping events throughout the season where visitors can enjoy the spectacle as well as sampling the famous powder skiing, which, thanks to its location on the northern island of Hokkaido, is some of the lightest and driest in the world. Find cheap flights to Japan
Whistler, British Columbia, Canada (12-22th February 2010)
Home to the Winter Olympic Games for 2010, the Whistler Olympic Park site will be the home of the cross-country, biathlon, Nordic and ski jumping events. Whistler’s famous skiing needs no introduction and the Olympic buzz means that this February will be an interesting (if not expensive) time to go. Find cheap flights to Canada
Wisla, Poland (27-28th February 2010)
Wisla is the birthplace of Poland’s most successful ski jumper. Who hasn’t heard of the globally famous, Adam Malysz? This is a picturesque town known as The Pearl of the Beskid Mountains and surrounded by beautiful forests on the surrounding slopes. The city offers access to a number of well-maintained ski lifts and the town bustles at night with restaurants, bars and cafes. Find cheap flights to Poland
Eisenerz, Austria (05-07th March 2010)
Once you have enjoyed the ski jump competition, you can then don some cross-country skis and try a 21km route taking you through beautiful frozen forest scenery. There is downhill skiing available too at Skiarena Präbichl, and if you aren’t tired after all that, then how about a spot of ice-skating in the town centre. Find cheap flights to Austria
Courchevel, France (06-07th March 2010)
Watch the airborne lunatics before heading out onto the mountains to make use of the world’s largest lift-linked ski area – the massive Trois Vallées. The skiing is awesome, there are luxury shops and gourmet restaurants, and if you’re really unlucky you might spot a few Russian billionaire oligarchs knocking about. Find cheap flights to France
Kuopio, Finland (08-09th March 2010)
Famed for its ski jumping competition, Kuopio truly is a ski city, with slopes only 1.5km from the city centre. There are a number of other ski areas around the town and be sure to try Kalakukko, a Finnish food delicacy consisting of rye bread stuffed with fish, pork and bacon before baking. Find cheap flights to Finland
Lillehammer, Norway (11-12th March 2010)
Famed for hosting the 1994 Winter Olympics, Lillehammer in the east of Norway attracts around 800,000 tourists a year to take part in a range of alpine sports. The town doesn’t just stage the ski jump world cup, but also attracts a host of other sporting events such as bobsleigh and luge competitions, downhill skiing and this year the Norwegian Skating festival. Find cheap flights to Norway
Planica, Slovenia (18th-21st March 2010)
Planica remains Slovenia’s largest sporting event and for a time it was the biggest ski jumping hill in the world. The nearby ski resort of Kranjska Gora is one of the Slovenia’s most popular ski resorts and will also be hosting the alpine ski races at the World Winter Games Masters 2010. Find cheap flights to Slovenia