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Ski Blog

Top 5 best long ski runs

clock 18th August 2015 | comment0 Comments

It’s a truly gratifying feeling when you finish one of the world’s longest ski runs. Stretch your ski legs to the maximum and conquer one of the greatest pistes known to skiers and snowboarders.

Everyone has different ideas about what makes a great ski run. You could prefer tree lines, steep drops, roller coaster terrain or just a long gentle slope. Rather than choosing the top 5 longest ski runs ever, we have selected a variety of favourites amongst the team which you can enjoy on this winter’s ski holiday.

Get the most out of your ski holiday and gain those vertical ski miles with these best long ski runs.

 

Top 5 Best Long Ski Runs

 

5. Peak to Creek, Whistler

Selected by Phil, Sales Team Leader

Peak to Creek is an 11 km intermediate run with a variety of terrain and iconic views. You’ll experience a bit of everything on this ski run – from tree glades, to rollers, to steep sections and huge alpine bowls. From Whistler’s Peak Chair to the base by Creekside Gondola, you can rack up to 1544 vertical metres whilst riding this epic piste.

Find out more about skiing in Whistler

 

Phil on his descent down Peak to Creek in Whistler

 

4. Saulire, Courchevel

Selected by Laura, Digital Marketing Manager

One of my favourite aspects of the Saulire is the stunning mountain views at the peak (2700m). The Saulire/Creux range is a network of red and black runs between 2700-2000m, which then open up into blues as you ski down into the villages. Whilst skiing down Saulire you can view the famous Couloir formations, including Grand Couloir which you may like to tackle towards the end of your trip once your ski legs are fully warmed up!

Even Great Britain’s number one ski cross athlete, Emily Sarsfield, calls this one of her favourite ski runs.

Find out more about skiing in Courchevel

 

Skiing in Courchevel, France

 

3. La Sache, Tignes

Selected by AJ, Sales Director

If you are an expert skier or snowboarder and love a challenging piste, La Sache in Tignes down to Le Bréviere is brilliant and very long.

La Sache is a long black run that gets steep and fast as long as it’s done before Lunch. After lunch it gets VW Beetle size moguls that really throw the intermediates who clutter up the steepest part of the Run. If conditions are good, you can discover great off-piste on the left hand side as well.

Find out more about skiing in Tignes

 

Skiing in Tignes France

 

2. Pic Blanc to L’Enversin d’Oz, Alpe d’Huez

Selected by Krystelle, Ski Editor

Alpe d’Huez is famous for its long ski runs, which is perfect if you love a holiday packed with plenty of skiing. Did you know that the Alpe d'Huez Grand Domaine de Ski offers 5 descents with a total vertical drop of 10,000m between them? My favourite line is the Pic Blanc (3330m) to L’Enversin d’Oz (1125m) – that’s over 2000m vertical meters!

From the peak of Pic Blanc it is a black run down to 2700m, but after that it is a mix of red and blue pistes to the finish. The runs take you right across the ski resort over a mix of terrains. Alpe d’Huez is known for its great snow conditions, so even in late season you can still conquer this huge run all the way to the bottom.

Or for the more adventurous, Alpe d’Huez is home to the longest black run in Europe, La Sarenne. The illustrious Sarenne is 16 km long and starts at the peak of Pic Blanc. The legend is quite deceptive, as the last half is a gentle slope along the river. Even though it’s not a particularly scary black run, your legs will be burning by the end (if not in the middle!)

Read more about Alpe d’Huez in our recent blog 10 reasons Alpe d'Huez is a must-ski destination

 

Skiing in Alpe d'Huez France

 

1. The OK, Val d’Isere

Selected by Thomas, Senior Ski Sales Expert

This run has it all, not least the heritage of one of the oldest World Cup Downhill courses but also its varied terrain. Named after local legends Oreiller and Killy, OK run means a thousand metres of vertical drop set in stunning surroundings. Access is by underground funicular, cable car or two stage chair lift. The OK confers plenty of bragging rights to ‘intermediates’ who compare times with Ski Sunday stars thanks to generous width enabling plenty of turns if necessary.

Skiers marvel at the start of Mont Blanc views and soon find their pace along the well-groomed rollers gradually building up in steepness. Passing the Folie Douce is when one can stretch legs and let gravity tow you into speeds beyond comfort zone. The increasingly blur of surroundings becomes more acute as after the cable car the gradient becomes more of a wall than a slope. Manage this section in a schuss before the tree line will certainly turn heads, especially from those on the terrace of the rustic Le Triffolet restaurant or those on the chairlifts above. The relentless vertical drop within the tree line also starts to take its toll on the thighs, turning at will highly recommended as the piste narrows and crowds increase. The last section is a nice drop finishing in La Daille but not before plenty of bumps present themselves on the sides of the piste should you want to mix up your style. .

Find out more about skiing in Val d'Isere

 

Skiing in Val d'Isere France



Other long favourites that narrowly missed out in the top 5 are –

Best for beginners - Cascades, Flaine: The longest blue run in Europe

Best for off piste - La Vallée Blanche, Chamonix: A 22km glacier route starting from the Aiguille du Midi

Best ski circuit- Sella Ronda, Dolomites: Ok it’s not just one run, but it’s very gratifying to complete.

Best for rollers – Jerusalem, Meribel

Best for destroying your legs – Olympic, Avoriaz

 

By Krystelle



Top 5 ski in ski out chalets for winter 2015/16

clock 11th August 2015 | comment0 Comments

Ski-in ski-out chalets make a ski holiday a more enjoyable experience with peace of mind that you will be able to enjoy maximum time on the slopes during your stay.

Many ski and snowboard enthusiasts favour a ski-in ski-out accommodation so they can hit the slopes straight away without wasting time getting a ski bus or walking with all your equipment to the nearest ski lift.

These types of properties are one of our most popular booked ski holidays. Get your prime spot on the mountain with one of our favourite ski-in ski-out chalets for winter 2015/16.

 

 

5. Chalet Hotel De Champoluc

Champoluc, Italy

This is the perfect choice if you prefer a smaller, more traditional style resort compared to the popular ski capitals. Champoluc is a beautiful ski destination filled with stunning scenery and delicious Italian cuisine. The ski area is particularly suited for intermediate to advanced skiers and snowboarders, and there are endless opportunities with the epic off piste. The Chalet Hotel De Champoluc is located at the foot of the home-run slope back to resort, which is next to the main Crest gondola and ski hire shop, making it the perfect spot for a ski holiday in this Italian gem.

View more about Chalet Hotel De Champoluc

 

Ski holidays in Champoluc in Italy

Chalet Hotel De Champoluc

 

4. Chalet Maison Rose

Val d’Isere, France

Chalet Maison Rose is one the best located ski chalets in Val d’Isere. Based by the Solaise nursery slopes and lifts you can easily be the first to the top of the mountain every morning. The charming traditional style building is just 5 minutes from the town allowing you to easily explore the glamorous town and night spots of this fantastic ski village.

If you are thinking about visiting Val d’Isere this season, read about what’s new for winter 2015/16.

View more about Chalet Maison Rose

 

Ski holidays in Val d'Isere in France

Skiing back to Val d'Isere

 

3. Chalet Christophorus

Obergurgl, Austria

The British love skiing in Austria, we love the beautiful villages, the tree lined pistes, the cheaper prices compared to France and the quicker transfer times. Unfortunately there are a lack of chalets in many resorts and it is often un heard of for a ski chalet to ski-in ski-out… this is what why Chalet Christophorus is one of our most popular Austria chalets. This adult only chalet is surrounded by ski slopes allowing you to ski straight down to the Festkogl gondola each day.

Obergurgl has an excellent snow record with a longer than most ski season, making it an excellent choice for a ski holiday in Austria.

View more about Chalet Christophorus



Ski holidays in Obergurgl in Austria

Obergurgl ski area

 

2. Chalet Violetta

Avoriaz, France

Avoriaz is another super high ski village that offers properties with fantastic close proximity to the slopes. Chalet Violetta is situated right by the piste giving skiers and snowboarders the best opportunity for a full day on the slopes and enjoying your ski holiday to the max. No walking, no bus rides, just pop on your skies and off you go.

View more about Chalet Violetta

 

Ski holidays in Avoriaz in France

Chalet Violetta in Avoriaz

 

1. Chalet Catherine

Val Thorens, France

You can’t get more ski-in ski-out than this; you can physically ski to and from the doorstep from this popular chalet. Val Thorens is well-known for its easy access to the mountain as the resort is purpose as Europe’s highest ski village so it could benefit from the finest snow conditions and guests can rejoice in the easy slope access.

View more about Chalet Catherine

 

Ski holidays in Val Thorens in France

Val Thorens ski village and slopes



Take a look at more ski-in ski-out properties here

 

By Krystelle



Top 5 best après ski resorts in Austria

clock 21st July 2015 | comment0 Comments

One of the most frequently asked questions we get is where is good for après. The quality of the après scene could make or break a ski holiday for some. After a long day on the mountain, many of us love to unwind and celebrate with a cold beer, great music and dancing.

Austria has the best après bars in the world. If you crave a lively ski resort full of lots of entertainment after a day of skiing or snowboarding then look no further than the picturesque villages and beautiful mountains of Austria.

Get your après boots at the ready and take a look at our contenders for the best après in Austria:

best apres ski resorts

 

5. Soll

This party town is popular with younger crowds with its large club like venues such as Whisky Mule and Salven Stadl which are open to the early hours. If you prefer a quieter après venue there are plenty of more sophisticated bars in Soll such as Bella Vita and Rossini café. With around 30 restaurants and bars in resort there are plenty of options to suit everyone’s tastes.

4. Saalbach

This skiing gem has some of the best après ski in the Alps. Between Saalbach and Hinterglemm there are over 40 après venues! You are truly spoilt for choice in this beautiful part of Austria. One of the most rememberable venues is the ‘goat themed’ Goasstall in Hinterglemm. If you are with to dance in your ski boots until dinner time, look no further than Hinterhag Alm next to the Kohlmais piste.

apres ski in saalbach and hinterglemm

Goasstall

3. Mayrhofen

I was fantastically surprised by the après in Mayrhofen, not only was it spectacular fun, it was great value too (especially compared to the large French resorts). Mayrhofen is a huge party town with a wide variety of pubs, bars and clubs making it a perfect choice for large groups.

On piste I loved the White Lounge Igloo bar at the Ahorn and the uber cool Grillhof Alm by the Van park on the Penken side. Once back in the village head to the Ice Bar or Bruck ‘n’Stadl for the liveliest après, then if you are still wanting to carry on the party after dinner, Mo’s, Scotland Yard, Funky’s and Harakiri are open till late.

apres ski at Bruck n Stadl in Mayrhofen

Bruck n Stadl

2. Ischgl

There was a divide in the Iglu Ski offices over the top spot on this list. We have a handful of ski experts that believe Ischgl deserves the golden crown. With incredible party venues like Trofana Alm, Schatzi Bar and the Kuhstall you are guaranteed a vibrant week of amazing après.

Apres ski ar Kuhstall Bar in Ischgl

Kuhstall Bar

1. St Anton

It’s no surprise that St Anton is the undefeated heavyweight champion with its world renowned legendary après bars. With an abundance of piste-side bars, you can’t avoid stopping off for a post-ski beverage on your last run home. The Krazy Kangaruh and Mooserwirt are 2 of the most famed après bars in resort, that are packed to the brim with skiers and snowboarders daily and the best spots to get your dose of dancing on tables in your ski boots!

Are you thinking about skiing in St Anton this winter? Read our experts guide to St Anton

apres ski at Mooserwirt in St Anton

Mooserwirt



View our top ski deals in Austria

By Krystelle



Top 5 Ski Resorts to See the Northern Lights

clock 30th June 2015 | comment0 Comments

The Northern Lights, also known as the Aurora Borealis is a magnificent natural phenomenon that lights up the night sky with a stunning and eye-catching display. This natural wonder attracts spectators from all over the world and it’s easy to see why a northern lights sighting features high on many people’s bucket lists.

For centuries the Aurora has baffled, bewildered, terrified and delighted mankind. Appearing around the northern polar region in a spectrum of illuminate colours from green to yellow, red and even purple. The lights are best seen around midnight and can appear as a static glow or a pulsating dynamic dance amongst the stars. Certain countries are blessed with frequent visits from the Aurora due to their geographical location with some better than others for optimal sightings. Select ski resorts can also enjoy spectacular displays when the timing is right; and a combined ski holiday with a once in a lifetime northern lights sighting is a trip to be treasured for a lifetime.

Try something different for your next ski holiday and venture to one of the top 5 resorts below who have reported good Aurora activity in the past.

Harstead, Norway – For Cross Country Skiing

Nearby Tromso, Norway
 

Húsavík, Iceland

Nearby Vik, Iceland


Banff, Canada

Sunshine Village, Banff  View ski holidays in Banff                                                                      image ©Dan Dolson

 

Levi, Lapland (Finland)

View Ski holidays in Levi

 

Fairbanks, Alaska – For Ski Touring

Dalton Highway, north of Fairbanks, Alaska

 

 Fun Facts

-The Aurora Australis are the southern counterpart for the Northern Lights and can be spotted from Tasmania, Antarctica, Argentina and more.

-The Aurora are named after the ancient Roman goddess of Dawn who goes by the same name.

-Native American legends tell how they were able to summon ghosts and spirits by whistling at the lights.



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