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Top 5 What To Consider When Booking Your Family Ski Holiday

clock 24th June 2014 | comment0 Comments

Skiing can bring such enjoyment for the whole family and with a little preparation in advance while booking your ski holiday, you and your children will love the whole experience more and they will end up being keener than you by the end of the week. Here are our top tips to think about when planning your exciting adventure.

5. Accommodation with Childcare

Choosing your ski accommodation is a big decision for any ski holiday, and is even more important when deciding for your family trip. There are many factors that can make your week on the slopes an easier and more enjoyable experience so you can make the most of your time in the mountains. Being near the slopes and ski school meet point is paramount and makes the mornings less hassle when getting the kids, plus equipment, to ski school on time. There are some resorts and accommodations with childcare that take care of your children throughout the ski day so you can head for first lifts and the child care team will take the little ones to ski school and pick them up again after so you can stay out till last lifts.

A catered chalet or club hotel provides the perfect setting for any family ski chalet holiday. Cosy surroundings, an intimate level of service and professional childcare all add up to a perfect week on the slopes.

There are plenty of holiday options with childcare available in your chalet or hotel so you can enjoy peace of mind during your week. Childcare services include qualified English speaking nannies, exclusive ski school classes, variety of services depending on ages and flexible care. In selected resorts there is evening child care available which is perfect for children who aren’t quite ready for bed when it is time for the adult only dinner. Evenings are normally themed with a variety of games, storytelling, quizzes or even a mini disco!
Resorts in France with evening childcare

4. Ski School

Many resorts have an array of ski schools available but some of our ski holidays have the added bonus of exclusive small ski classes just for selected accommodations. With classes with no more than 8 children per instructor, you can have peace of mind that your children are having a safe, enjoyable time on the mountain whilst learning to perfect their turns.

3. All Inclusive with Club Med

For complete satisfaction on your family ski holiday, you cannot beat the services from an all-inclusive Club Med holiday. For 40 years Club Med has been running clubs for infants through to teenagers and has adapted its facilities so that kids can discover the pleasures of winter sports, as well as the fun of skiing. Some family holidays do not cater for teenagers, but at Club Med your youngsters will love their winter getaway with ‘Special Teenager Ski Programmes’ that gives them a chance to experience all techniques of alpine skiing, from freestyle to slalom and ski jumping.
Read about our family trip to Club Med Valmorel

2. Childcare Equipment

Igluski are pleased to offer a wide range of family ski holidays that can cater for children as young as 3 months. The correct childcare is key to a good family ski holiday and rather than packing all the toys and kit you need for the week we can help you find the perfect family location that will have basic childcare equipment already in resort, such as cots, monitors, bottles and much more.

1. Where to Buy Kids Ski Gear

Little Skiers are our favourite supplier of kids ski wear. It’s a family business, run by parents who love to ski, so they really know what they’re talking about when it comes to figuring out what to pack for your first ski trip with the family, along with what sizes you will need . They are a one-stop shop for everything from skis to helmets and jackets, so if you’re thinking about preparing for next season, head over to their website. We recommend taking an extra pair of gloves to avoid expensive purchases if they are misplaced, plus a good base layer as the kids will enjoy their day on the slopes much more if they are warm.

Tess and Chris from Little Skiers have been kind enough to offer us £100 worth of Lucky Bums ski wear and equipment – enter the competition by liking this picture on Facebook, or retweeting it here. Winner announced Friday 27th June.


By Krystelle

View our board on Pinterest here



Switzerland Vs France: Battle of the Alps

clock 20th June 2014 | comment0 Comments

Last week we launched our World Cup blog series with two Southern Hemisphere resorts - Chile VS Australia. Chile came out top, beating Australia with its epic backcountry runs and reliable snow conditions.

This week we’re moving a little closer to home, with the battle of two European countries, Switzerland VS France. Both 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.


Zermatt
Zermatt, Switzerland

Slopes

Switzerland
Most 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 mountain area, offering a whapping 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, 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 Three Valleys with its 600km of runs. Portes du Soleil is one of the largest linked ski 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


Avoriaz
Avoriaz, France

Après

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


St Moritz
St Moritz, Switzerland

Food

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


Les Deux Alpes
Les Deux Alpes, France

The Verdict

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!



Top 5: When football meets ski

clock 17th June 2014 | comment0 Comments

The top 5 football and ski crossovers

The world is going wild with World Cup fever at the moment and there’s no end to the mention of famous footballers that we keep seeing across the headlines. But what does football have to do with ski, snow and mountains? Turns out there are a few footballers who aren’t exactly strangers to the mountain. And there are also a few snowsports athletes out there who have some pretty good skills with a football too!



5. 2018 FIFA World Cup in Sochi

The 2018 FIFA World Cup host country has been announced and it’s none other than Sochi, Russia – home to the 2014 Winter Olympics. The plan is for football fans to attend the matches of their choice and then participate in activities such as skiing and snowboarding in between. The football will be held inside of the Fisht Olympic Stadium, whose name is inspired by the highest mountain in Sochi, Mount Fischt. The stadium has a little snowy twist itself and has been designed to look like the peak, with its roof design made to resemble a snowy mountain top.



4. Jamie Nicholls, Billy Morgan & Ben Kilner

These three talented Team GB snowboarders showed us they don’t just keep all of their eggs in one basket with this clever football-snow fusion video. The video shows them performing footy tricks while on their boards, such as kicking the ball up mid-flip in the half pipe. A new sport in the making perhaps? We would love to see this one pop up at the next Winter Olympics!



3. David Beckham

David Beckham is no stranger to the ski scene, with his wife Victoria and three sons spotted holidaying out in the Alps multiple times each season. The footballer was also once spotted at The Snow Centre in Hemel Hempstead taking his sons for skiing lessons – rumour has it he also gave it a cheeky try himself. We’ve never actually seen Beckham accompanying his family out on the pistes and we suspect that this may be because of his footballing contract (most footballers have contracts which ban them from partaking in other sports which could cause them injury!). This doesn’t stop Becks from enjoying the mountain atmosphere though and he has been photographed strolling through the snow in Courchevel, as well as partying it up at London après bar, Bodo’s Schloss.



2. Ramon Vega

Ex-Tottenham Hotspur footballer, Ramon Vega started up a new venture in property development after he retired, beginning in the ski resort of Verbier, Switzerland. The ultra-luxurious Coco Club, where you can purchase cocktails served in ice sculpted glasses for £500, is the first members club to open in the Alps. If you want to be in with chance of spotting some famous footballers while skiing in Switzerland, then definitely head here!



1. Jeremy Bloom

Unlike Beckham, Jeremy Bloom managed to play football and ski - he even went on to have successful careers in both of these sports. Born in Keystone, Colorado he joined The United States Ski Team aged fifteen, making him the youngest ever freestyle skier to join. He went on to become a world champion skier and in 2005 he was named as the #1 freestyle skier in the world. At the same time, Jeremy was also a professional American footballer who played for the Colorado Buffaloes, Philadelphia Eagles and the Pittsburgh Steelers.



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