In light of the UK referendum vote where the UK has voted to leave the European Union, we wanted to inform British skiers and snowboarders about necessary details for their winter 2016/17 plans. As of 27th June 2016, prices of ski holidays for next season haven’t changed, although some packages that include lift pass and ski hire have increased because of exchange rates, such as the Ski All In deals. Iglu Ski still have a large range of early booking offers and ski deals available with deposits from just £99 pp. View our latest ski deals here.
ABTA released this official statement on Friday 24th July 2016: The Prime Minister has stated that there will be no initial change in the way people travel. Travellers are as free to move between the UK and the EU as they were yesterday, European Health Insurance cards remain valid and regulations such as Air Passenger Rights remain in place. People due to travel this summer will see little changes to their holiday. Once the UK formally notifies the EU of its intention to leave, the remaining Member States will have up to two years to offer the UK a deal for a future trading relationship and during this period holidaymakers will not see any immediate changes.However, the fall in value of the pound will have an immediate impact on holidaymakers and their spending power overseas.
What does Brexit mean for your ski holiday booking? The UK has two years to leave and negotiations will take time so none of the EU rules and regulations will change immediately. When the UK formally notifies the EU of its intention to leave, the remaining member states will have up to two years to offer the UK a deal for a future trading relationship. For the time being it is business as usual.
Will my EHIC card still be valid?The EHIC card is the European Health Insurence Card that gives you the right to access state-provided healthcare on holiday in another EEA country or Switzerland. The UK has two years to leave and negotiations will take time so none of the EU rules and regulations will change immediately. EHIC exists within a group known as the European Economic Area. Therefore, the future of Britons' EHIC cover could depend on whether the UK decided to sever ties with the EEA.
How will this affect currency exchange?
At the moment the biggest change for holidaymakers is the shift in exchange rates. With a weaker pound, travellers will be receiving less Euros to the pound when changing up money for their holiday. Pre book in advance and check a comparison website for the best rate for you.
Pre-book and pre-pay extras Currency exchange rates seem to be the principal concern for many in the immediate aftermath of the Brexit vote, one way to mitigate against unfavourable exchange rates is to book inclusive packages and pre-book your extras.Ski packs and lift passes can be pre-booked for your ski holiday. View All Inclusive Ski Holidays. View further Q&A’s from ABTA ABTA are the UK’s largest travel association, representing both travel agents and tour operators. Iglu Ski (Iglu.com) is a member of ABTA to support and protect our customer’s holidays by abiding to the ABTA code of conduct.Find out more here.
For winter 2016/2017 we have a huge range of new chalets and hotels in France and Austria perfect for families and groups. From newly built chalets in La Plagne to high end hotels in Lech, there is a wide range of new properties to the Iglu Ski programme that cater for all tastes. As Iglu Ski works with over 90% of UK ski tour operators we have the largest variety of new chalets, hotels and accommodation anywhere. For winter 2016/2017 we already have 32 new chalets and hotels added to our growing collection, with more still to come!
The Founets Aval and Amont are 2 new luxury chalets located in the glamorous corner of Courchevel, surrounded by boutiques, Michelin star restaurants and other five and six star accommodations. Chalet Benjamin and Samuel are modern chalets set within the same new complex in Courchevel Village. The excellent location makes these 2 properties ski in – ski out and just 50m from town. New ski chalets in Courchevel: Chalet Founets Aval Chalet Founets Amont Chalet La Vielle Forge Chalet Benjamin Chalet Samuel
Chalet Founets Amont
Located in the middle of the high street in the heart of Val d’isere are Chalet Pic Noir, Ptarmigan and Perdrix. Filled with wooden cladding, high end fixtures and stunning views across the village, these new chalets are a fantastic option for an extravagant stay in one of the best ski resorts in the world.
New ski chalets in Val d'Isere:
Chalet Pic Noir
Chalet Rose and Lily are two new premium ski in – ski out chalets located in La Plagne Centre, overlooking the pistes, ski lifts and nursey slopes. Plagne Soleil have been busy building several new chalet complexes for this winter and we are delighted to be able to offer 7 new chalets, sleeping between 7 and 14 people, for winter 2016/17. These chalets are perfectly positioned just 100m from the slopes with quick and easy access to the La Bergerie chairlift. A regular bus service runs between Plagne Soleil and la Plagne Centre so you aren’t restricted to the one village once the slopes are closed.
New chalets in La Plagne:
Chalet Crocus Blanc
Chalet Iris Bleu
This collection of ‘James Bond’ chalets are fantastically located just 400m of the ski lifts, ski school meeting points and nursey slopes in La Rosiere 1850. Chalet Beretta, Daniel and Tomasz have been built to a high standard and are extremely spacious.
New chalets in La Rosiere:
Chalet Viking is a brilliant value chalet close to both the town centre and slopes of Alpe d'Huez. Sleeping up to 24 people, it is an excellent choice for large groups who like to ski hard during the day then party hard in the evening at one of the many busy bars and clubs. Chalet Percheron and Rebeque are better suited for smaller groups as they sleep 8 people each.
New chalets in Alpe d'Huez:
Chalet Cirrus, Stratus and Nimbus are 3 luxury chalets new to our winter 2016/17 programme. The chalets are located between the Rendl and Galzig lifts allowing easy access to both sides of the St Anton mountains and the vibrant resort centre. We are pleased to now offer 3 chalets in the Chalet Amelia complex for this coming winter. Amelia 4, 6 and 12 are premimum chalets that are perfect for small groups or larger groups that can be spread across the 3 chalets.
New chalets in St Anton:
Chalet Amelia 4
Chalet Amelia 6
Chalet Amelia 12
Hotel Theodul is a stunning new addition to our collection of properties in Lech. Located in the outstanding Arlberg ski area, intermediate and advanced skiers will love the vast selection of slopes and terrain that this corner of Austria has on offer.
2 of the biggest ski destinations in Europe fight it out this weekend in the group stage of the UEFA EURO 2016. On Sunday 19th June, the France and Switzerland football teams go head to head at the Grand Stade Lille Métropole. Both contries are big favourites for many skiers and snowboarders, but which one will be crowned King of the Alps? We compare the slopes, après and cuisine to find out…
SwitzerlandMost resorts in Switzerland are set at a high altitude, bringing guaranteed snow as well as glacier skiing and good conditions throughout the season. Many of the ski areas provide long runs and challenging pistes, making it particularly good for skiers at a more intermediate to advanced level. There are, however, still opportunities for beginners. The resort of Wengen has a ski school as well as a blue piste and a ‘slow speed zone’ for those just starting out. From stunning scenery to plenty of pistes, backcountry runs and snowparks, Switzerland certainly has a lot of variety. The Graubunden ski area is Switzerland’s largest alpine area, offering a whopping 225km of skiable piste. Head to Verbier and you’ll find your ski area expanded to across the 4 valleys, which includes the neighbouring resorts of Nendaz and Les Collons. If you visit Zermatt you’ll soon spot the famous Matterhorn peak (pictured above), which is often featured in many photos of the resort. There are some great advanced runs here as well as the opportunity to do some heliskiing for those who are looking for a new challenge. It is also the highest altitude resort in the country sitting at a top height of 3900m.
For the adventurous ones out there, Flims Laax is home to 4 snowparks (including Europe’s largest half pipe) and a glacier for spring and summer skiing.
France Much like Switzerland, France also offers plenty of variation, from high altitude resorts to snowparks and glaciers. Snow reliability is high and the majority of resorts offer good snow conditions throughout the season. Les Deux Alps is the highest resort, standing at a top altitude of 3600m. The resort experiences long sunshine hours and boasts 220km of piste, a board park and a halfpipe. There are plenty of linked ski areas such as the massive 3 Valleys with its 600km of runs. Portes du Soleil is one of the largest skiable areas in the world, with lots of ski-in ski-out accommodation which is ideal for families and kids. For your freestyle fix, the Paradiski area has four snowparks and two half-pipes. France caters equally well for beginner, intermediate and advanced skiers. Alpe d’Huez has lots of blue runs, beginners only areas and no abundance of ski schools. If you like backcountry skiing, Tignes has some fantastic off piste opportunities, as does Val d’Isere. There are also numerous glacier resorts in France, including Tignes, some of which offer skiing all year round. Winner: France
La Plagne, part of the Paradiski area in France
Switzerland The après scene in Switzerland is a little on the small side, with not a great deal of après venues on offer. However, each of the bars makes up for it, with resorts such as Verbier known to have some fun and lively nightclubs. As well as nightclubs, expect to find discos, jazz bars and quiet pubs – something to cater for every taste.
France France is home to some well-known après venues, like Rond Point in Meribel and the legendary La Folie Douce, which has bars in Val d’Isere, Meribel, Val Thorens and Alpe d’Huez. Ibiza Rocks the Snow Festival is also held yearly in France, bringing some great partying and music to the mountains. All in all, expect some wild après, live bands every night and quieter venues where you can relax with a drink. Winner: France
Folie Douce in Val d'Isere
Switzerland Switzerland is the home of the delicious Fondue as well as a whole other collection of comforting mountain foods. Enjoy Käseschnitte (cheese on toast), Raclette (melted cheese scraped overmeat, bread and vegetables) or fried potato Rösti’s. To satisfy your sweet tooth, Switzerland is a great place to find Swiss Chocolate and no end of delicious cakes and pastries.
France Most dishes found in the French mountains are cheese, potato or bread heavy. Traditional French dishes include Tartiflette (baked cheese, potatoes and meat), Beaufort Tart (a cheese and pastry tart), sweet crepes and pastries. Winner: Switzerland
Swiss cheese fondue
Winner: France This one was a very close call – both countries have some excellent skiing, après and food and are both firm favourites for many snowsports enthusiasts. The winning streak came from France due to its ability to cater equally to beginner, intermediate and advanced abilities. It also knows how to throw a mean après party to end the day!
Our friends over at Ongosa have put together this handy guide to assist preparing for skiing and snowboarding off piste. It is super important to stay safe doing this sport we love so following some basic rules and hiring a guide will help you enjoy your day on the mountain to the max!
4 preparation essentials before you ski off piste: Powder days seem a faraway dream for the moment, but while you spend your summer getting ski-fit (that’s what we’re all doing right?!), here’s a list of four essential things you’ll need to have prepped, before you even leave the chalet.
Any skier on the mountain is at mercy of Mother Nature. On the piste, however, risks are assessed and managed; off piste the decisions are yours. To be able to plan a trip to the backcountry, monitoring the weather and snow conditions is one of your best tools. Make note of recent activity: avalanches, cracking, whoomping (that strange rumbly noise snow makes when it’s scrunched or moving), sudden rises in temperature or strong winds. All these things should make you question your trip, or at least look at how you can manage the risks they will present.
Speak to a local, or hire a guide who will have detailed knowledge of what the conditions have been like all over the mountain. They’ll be able to tell you if your ideas are safe or silly. In addition to what’s been going on recently, look up a detailed forecast. Again, any predictions of high wind, heavy snow or rising temperatures should flash a red light, however if it’s a forecast for bluebird powder days, it could be your signal to rally the troops!
There are optional items to take skiing off piste: fancy technical jacket, weird-tasting energy sachets, Go Pro paraphernalia, the list goes on! And then there are the essentials: beeper, shovel and probe. Skis or snowboard too yes, but let’s not split hairs… You don’t have to immediately invest in a beeper (transceiver), shovel and probe if you’re new to skiing off piste.
If you head out with a guide or off-piste instructor and they’ll often have kit to lend you, or point you in the direction of a hire shop. Furthermore, you should be taking a map, compass and first aid kit. First aid kit for yourselves, and for your skis that is; imagine being stuck up at 3000m with the breaks jammed on your skis and no way of fixing them… no thanks! This may sound like stating the obvious, but check and double check that all your kit is functioning and fully charged. It will not only be dangerous if you’re stuck with faulty kit, but you will have carried that dead weight for nothing.
The conditions are looking good and all your kit is tip top. Now the human factor plays its part. An ideal group size is between two and four people, of the same fitness and skill level. This is so important because it means your goals and attitude are likely to be the same too.
It’s vital that everyone has the same level of risk perception, ie. no one person is going to push others outside of their comfort zone. It will become clear if you’re all on the same page when you plan how to tackle certain ascents and descents. If you know the area, and conditions, this shouldn’t be a problem. If not, hire a local guide who will help to put together your itinerary, and show you the most amazing routes you’d never have found. Either way you’ll be preventing the need for snap decisions on the hill (some of course, are unavoidable).
The last thing that you must have agreed before you head out and up, is what to do in an emergency avalanche situation. Besides having the local snow patrol’s number and being equipped with all the (fully functioning) kit, you need to be extremely well practiced and comfortable using it. Even if one person in the group’s knowledge is slightly lacking, it puts the whole group in a higher position of danger.
This goes for using your shovel and probe as much as the transceiver. Effective probing and shovelling techniques can make or break a rescue. Using a transceivers and shovelling are both more efficient activities when you work in a team, so make sure you have your plan decided before you reach the snow. Plenty of resorts have transceiver training parks with beepers buried for you to find. Or, on a bad-weather day, why not hire an off-piste instructor and spend a couple of hours getting some tips, and hunting out their beeper, to refresh your skills.
Find out more about Ongosa
Ongosa is a helpful tool to assist you with finding the best instructor or mountain guide. It allows you to search through some of the best ski and snowboard professionals in Europe. All of the instructors and mountain guides have been handpicked for their experience and qualifications in order to provide the best service. All you have to do is tell Ongosa your holiday dates and requirements then they find the best matches for you that are available to book.
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