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Skiing on a Shoestring 2010/2011

clock 28th October 2010 | comment0 Comments

5 ski holidays under £500

For those of us who are feeling the pinch this winter but can’t do without our annual snow fix here are some hot tips for skiing on a shoe string, with prices (including flights) from just £223 per person!

1. Self-catering

Self-catered apartments are a good value option if you have the discipline to plan and prepare your meals in advance – if you end up eating out every meal time it is a false economy and you would be better off in a chalet:

La Plagne 22nd January 2011, £223 per person for 7 sharing or £335 for 4 sharing. Includes: flights, transfers, self catering accommodation

2. Try something new

Skiing in the Three Valleys is great but it does come at a premium and there are many other great ski areas out there that are not so hard on the wallet:

Arinsal 16th January 2011, £386 per person Aparthotel Crest. Includes: flights, transfers, hotel accommodation, breakfast and dinner.

3. Get away for Christmas

Christmas is an expensive time of year; pre-Christmas drinks and parties, presents, Christmas day itself – whether you are driving hundreds of miles to visit family or hosting lunch yourself – it all adds up. Escape from it all and enjoy a white Christmas:

Soldeu 19th December 2010, £426 per person Xalet Casale. Includes: flights, transfers, chalet accommodation, breakfast, afternoon tea and evening meals with wine.

4. Short breaks

This year due to the fact the Christmas Day is on a Saturday the departure dates around Christmas and New Year have been altered and there are a lot of great value short breaks in the first week of January – not only is your holiday cheaper but your lift pass/ski hire costs will also be reduced. You will just need to make sure you make the most of your available time on the mountain (or a least give yourself an extra day to recover when you get home):

Les Deux Alpes 3rd January 2011, £441 per person + 2 for 1 lift passes. Chalet Chartreuse, 5 nights, includes: flights, transfers, chalet accommodation, breakfast, afternoon tea and evening meals with wine.

5. Catered Chalets

A chalet holiday offers fantastic value as your meals and wine are included, if you speak to the right people (such as Igluski.com who work with all the ski operators and therefore have a great overview of the market and current deals) you can find yourself a bargain. This season there is already some great early snow, so you can be the envy of your mates with a cheeky pre-Christmas trip:

Alpe d'Huez 12th December 2010, £425 per person Chalet Hotel L'Escapade. Includes: flights, transfers, chalet accommodation, breakfast, afternoon tea and evening meals with wine.

Full index of the cheapest ski holidays available.

 

 

 



Glenski at Glenshee

clock 17th September 2010 | comment0 Comments

While discussing skiing in the UK we can’t ignore the fantastic season enjoyed by the Scottish resorts last winter, particularly Glenshee.

Glenshee enjoyed it’s most successful season since 2001, welcoming 116,000 skiers up from 45,000 in previous winters. The snow cover allowed the resort to remain open continuously from 22nd December through to 11th April, something that is not always possible due to snow levels.

The success of the winter season has enabled the ski centre to carry out much needed maintenance work and they have some exciting potential enhancements in the pipeline.

If the Snow Gods are good to us again this winter and you fancy some Scottish ski action Glenshee is easily accessible and perfect for a few days to satisfy your snow cravings.

  • Aberdeen, 69 miles, 90 mins
  • Dundee, 45 miles, 1 hour
  • Edinburgh, 84 miles, 90 mins
  • Glasgow, 101 miles, 2 hours
  • Perth, 40 miles, 1 hour
  • Pitlochry, 36 miles, 45 mins

There is plenty to keep you busy with 36 runs (8 green, 13 blue, 13 red and 2 black) served by 21 lifts (2 chairlifts, 16 pomas and 3 t-bars), which give you a respectable 40 kms of piste. The runs are spread across 3 valleys and 4 mountains providing an extensive and enjoyable variety of skiing and snowboarding.

A full day pass is just £27 for an adult and £17 for a child and the ski centre offers lessons, equipment hire and even ski suit hire if you don’t have your own gear.

Before looking into this I had underestimated the size and scale of Glenshee, now I know what it has to offer I will be keeping an eye on the weather and keeping a few winter weekends free just in case.

Written by Charlie Hamilton-Beaufort



Five Forgotten Gems

clock 1st September 2010 | comment0 Comments

Now us Brits love a good chalet holiday. Those of us who frequent the Alps have probably been to Europe's big super-resorts and huge ski areas such as Meribel, Val d'Isere, Les Arcs and St. Anton. There is also a rather large proportion of us who find ourselves going back to the same resort year on year. I'm as guilty as anyone with three trips to Morzine in the past two winters.

With this in mind I'd thought I'd take a look at the forgotten gems of chalet holidays. There are a mixture of world class resorts and hidden gems here, and though you may argue some of these resorts are not exactly forgotten, in terms of chalet holidays, not hotels, we all forget about them.

Zermatt

Zermatt, with the iconic Matterhorn, is among the most famous and revered resorts in the Alps, though it is not a typical chalet holiday resort. The resort may boast a great selection of chalets but it is better known for its 5* hotels and luxury accommodation. The Matterhorn and the Gournegrat offer some fantastic skiing, and with Cervinia the other side of the valley offers great motorway pistes and affordable Italian mountain restaurants. Zermatt chalet holidays are a great way of staying in this über luxury resort.

Saas Fee

The chocolate box resort is again better know for its luxury hotels, ski in/out village and the glacier, but it also offers a couple of incredibly popular chalet hotels. With only a handful of chalet hotels to choose from this picturesque resort often falls under the radar from the masses, yet offers a world class snow record and beautiful Swiss village-style resort. Whether you are skiing with your partner or going away with your family, Saas Fee chalet holidays offer great value in one of Switzerland's finest, snowsure resorts.

Ischgl

Ischgl is one of Europe's finest resorts, yet remains largely undiscovered to Brit skiers. With two of the biggest parties in the Alps, the resorts opening and closing festivals, a great apres ski scene and superb skiing, this is a resort we have somehow forgotten about and really shouldn't have. Okay, so along with the likes of Zermatt, Lech and Courchevel it is one of the more exclusive resorts full of 4* and 5* hotels, but with the addition of the Chalet Hotel Abendrot you can enjoy a more affordable Ischgl chalet holiday and make the most of this fantastic resort.

Obergurgl

Obergurgl is my token purpose-built resort, though some people are not fans of the high rise buildings and lack of trees, these resorts were built with one thing in mind - the skiing. Not as unattractive as Val Thorens or Tignes, and offering a slightly more chilled feeling compared to the usual Austrian apres madness, Obergurgl is great for families and intermediate skiers. With loads of glacier skiing, Hochgurgl only a cable car away and Solden a short bus journey, there is more than enough on offer here to fill your week. With Obergurgl chalet holidays making a come back, this is a resort for families to flock too.

La Rosiere

Quaint, French and friendly are not three words that some skiers will use to describe the Tarantaise Valley. Though a fan myself, the Three Valleys' vast pistes and crowds are not to everyone's liking and La Rosiere is anything but busy. This great little resort is a family skiing haven, yet also offers un-tracked off-piste and the chance to ski over to Italy thanks to being linked with La Thuile. If a more French & relaxed feel, among one of the most famous skiing valleys in the world, is what you are looking for then La Ros is perfect. Most of the accommodation on offer is chalets therefore a La Rosiere chalet holiday is the way forward to enjoy this hugely under-rated resort.

We may be creatures of habit, but if you fancy a change of pace from the hectic skiing in the Three Valleys and Espace Killy or a resort with more of a village feeling to purpose built ski resort, these are all worth a look.

If you want to escape the Euro-zone then Zermatt's Matterhorn offers incredible views from the rotating restaurant in a star studded resort, or Saas Fee offers a romantic and picturesque feel. If Austria's love of sausages and um-pa-pa apres ski is more up your street then try out the world renowned Ischgl or more family-friendly, though purpose-built Obergurgl. And last, but by no means least, if you have a love affair with the French skiing scene head to La Rosiere for its quieter slopes, fantastic terrain and relaxed atmosphere.

As a Meribel and Morzine addict I am looking forward to trying somewhere new this year, with Ischgl at the top of my list!



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