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Top 5 Ski Resorts in Italy

clock 12th December 2014 | comment0 Comments

Italy is a spectacular choice for a ski holiday, boasting some of the world’s best ski resorts it’s a destination that combines high altitude skiing, mouth-watering Mediterranean cuisine plus an après ski scene in a league of its own.  Perhaps even more noteworthy is the affordable price tag and just how far your holiday budget can travel.  Italy offers a great collection of ski resorts and the diversity on offer means that everyone from pro skiers, to first time beginners and winter sports fans can find their perfect winter escape.

Get started on planning your ideal Italian ski holiday with help from our top 5 resorts listed below.

5. Sauze d’Oulx 


Sauze d’Oulx has long held the torch for being a popular party destination and has had Brits flocking in for the infectious après ski scene for decades.  But times have progressed from the days when parties overruled the pistes and  Sauze d’Oulx now flaunts an attractive balance of quality ski runs, mountain village charm and just the right amount of entertainment to ensure you don’t miss a full days skiing on one of the best pistes in the country.  Skiing at Sauze d’Oulx can be great fun for all levels with competent and skilled ski schools available for beginners, intermediates or those looking to pick up a few new advanced skills.  Evening meal times are a real treat with a flavoursome Mediterranean menu offered at many affordable restaurants.

4. Cervinia

Settled in the mountains of Northern Italy and spilling over into Switzerland, Cervinia is a popular snow sure resort offering a fantastic grand skiing area with useful links to Zermatt and Valtournenche.  Skiers of all levels can expect to be welcomed by excellent snow conditions with a virtually guaranteed top to bottom blanket of snow on the slopes. Cervinia is a perfect resort for beginners and intermediates with easy gradients providing ample opportunities for practice runs. Advanced skiers can enjoy a fantastic range of slopes by taking advantage of the easy links to other popular resorts. Fuel your days on the slopes with homemade Italian pizza and delicious fresh seafood.  Make some time to fully explore the resort as some of the best mountain restaurants are not pinpointed on the resort piste map.

3. Cortina

 



Meet the elite of the Italian ski world at Italy’s most fashionable and stylish resort.  As a previous host of the 1956 Winter Olympics and popular stop on the World Cup skiing circuit, Cortina d'Ampezzzo boasts premier skiing amongst the unbelievably magnificent backdrop of the Dolomite Mountains.  Shopping and lunching hold as much prime time here as skiing, due to the luxury boutiques and top class eateries lining the charming cobbled streets of Corso Italia, the epicentre of Italian skiing lux.  Keen skiers will appreciate the less crowded circuits (whilst more than half of Italian visitors parade their fur coats), perfectly groomed slopes and excellent selection of main skiing areas.  All levels of skier are welcome and if you want to learn how to ski in style then this affluently nicknamed   “Queen of the Dolomites” is the resort for you.

2. Val Gardena

A favourite destination for British visitors and affectionately known as the ‘holiday valley of the Dolomite’, Val Gardena is a fantastic ski area situated in the charming alpine region of South Tyrol.  With stunning scenery, idyllic pistes and enchanting wooden chalet-style accommodation, Val Gardena has all the ingredients for your next superb ski holiday.  Visitors to Val Gardena can choose to stay in one of three attractive villages, Ortisei, S.Cristina or Selva and make the most of the 1,200 km of pristine slopes.  Advanced skiers will love the Saslong World Cup piste and the Dolomiti Superski area whilst skiers of all levels can enjoy leisurely pursuits on the Sella Ronda circuit. Accommodation ranges from 5* luxury hotels to friendly guest houses and comfortable self-catered apartments.  Enjoy great music and cocktails from a stylish local lounge bar or admire the striking scenery and indulge in gourmet delights from any of the perfectly placed restaurants.

1. Courmayeur

Be wowed by the magnificence of Mont Blanc, Europe’s highest mountain and experience la dolce vita in the traditional alpine village of Courmayeur in the Aosta Valley.  Charming and rich in history, Courmayeur has the warm welcoming glow of a classic mountain community combined with a fabulous array of shops, restaurants and bars plus an alluring après ski scene.  Bordering France and with close proximity to Chamonix, advanced skiers can take full advantage of first rate ski slopes and enjoy a large area of great ski terrain.  Thrill seekers will be glad to know that Heli-skiing and off-piste skiing are popular past times in Courmayeur, whilst beginners and intermediates are well catered for upon the gentle mountain terrain.

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By Ciara



How to dress for the slopes on a budget

clock 13th November 2014 | comment0 Comments

With winter just around the corner, Aldi have launched their new collection of ski and snowboard gear. We went along to the first preview to take an exclusive glimpse of the full line. Set in the beautiful Austrian ski lodge themed restaurant, Bodo’s Schloss, we were treated to an evening of alpine entertainment.

At Iglu Ski, we feel we can cater for all needs when searching for a ski holiday, from budget hotels and self-catering apartments through to uber luxury chalets. Even though we can provide a selection of bargain ski holidays, it’s all the extras you need for your winter getaway that add up and can put people off going skiing and snowboarding.

After the success of last year’s collection, Aldi has come to the rescue once again with its Ski Specialbuys range, offering ski and snowboard wear at an affordable price. These products will be available in stores from 4th December while stocks last.

Whether you’re a complete beginner, regular holiday maker, or even a pro, Aldi has everything you need to fight off the freeze.

For entry level skiers, there are adult salopettes and jackets from £16.99 each. Salopettes include 3M Thinsulate wadding, 2 zipped hip pockets and an inner snow cuff with anti-slip tape. Jackets include 3M Thinsulate wadding, side ventilation, snowbelt and a built in ski pass pocket sleeve. For kids there are bundles from £14.99 that also includes socks, gloves and accessories.

For the seasoned skier, there is the Aldi Pro range that features an enhanced specification to rival big-brand names, just without the large price tag. The Pro Jackets and Salopettes range from £29.99 - £34.99 and the Pro Lite Shell Jacket and Trousers come in between £34.99 – £39.99.

New for this season and hitting stores nationwide in January 2015 will be Aldi’s first ever kids snowboard range, featuring children’s clothing as well as a Snowboard Suit (£19.99), Gloves (£4.99) and Goggles (£7.99).

Other items include:
Children’s ski socks - £1.99
Adult ski socks - £3.99
Hats, gloves & scarfs - £2.49-2.99
Children’s thermal set - £4.99
Ski & Snowboard Goggles - £7.99
Adult Base Layers - £8.99 each
Adult Merino Wool Thermals - £15.99 each
Adult Helmet - £19.99

The Verdict

At first glance we were really impressed with the choices and colours for each of the genders; it was more than just black for men and pink for ladies, which is often the case for budget clothing. Then we had the opportunity to try on all the range: I loved the amount of pockets and detail in the jackets and soft shells; there were lift pass pockets and even iPhone/iPod compartments in some of the coats. 

Direct Marketing Executive and seasoned snowboarder, Millie, also came along for viewing and here's her thoughts on the new Aldi ski Specialbuys:

“Aldi’s new range of ski wear has seriously impressed me. In previous years I’d heard good things about their thermals, but had been dubious as someone who buys things to last from season to season.

Having now tried out a pair of Aldi’s Merino Wool base layers as well as their compression thermals, I can safely say I’m sold. As I’m yet to hit the slopes in them, the jury’s still out on performance. But, I was pleasantly surprised by the snug fit and quality feel of the fabric. For someone on a budget, these certainly deliver functionality without compromising on looks.

Combining great fit, quality, comfort and an affordable price tag, these could give the well-known brands a serious run for their money this season.”

This collection is perfect for families on a budget or anyone looking to give skiing or snowboarding a go for the first time this winter but is anxious about spending a heap of money on a full ski outfit.

As well as the ski clothing, we were very impressed with the winter cocktails that were being served through the night and we thought we would share with you the recipe for our new favourite drink - perfect for something different this Christmas, plus all ingredients can be purchased at Aldi!

Cranbellini: Serves 1

Ingredients
75ml Prosecco Superiore Valdobbiadene NV
25ml Cranberry juice
25ml sugar syrup (or boil together 25ml of water & 25g of caster sugar to make)
Fresh cranberries
1 tsp Mixed spice
1 tsp Icing Sugar
Method:
Dip the rim of a champagne glass into cranberry juice, then into the icing sugar and then into the mixed spice
Pour in the cranberry juice & sugar syrup to fill ¼ of the glass and then top up with Prosessco.
Garnish with a cranberry to finish.


By Krystelle

Where do Londoners love to ski | Where has the best apres this season | Top 5 ski resorts for groups



Top 5 ski resorts to avoid chairlifts

clock 27th August 2014 | comment0 Comments

In which ski resorts can you can access the most ski area without having to sit on a chairlift?

We were inspired by this topic after a question on our ski blog. Taking a gondola maybe preferred by groups with beginners, families with young children, anxious skiers or anyone that prefers to keep out of the cold (why are you skiing?) Both have their advantages and disadvantages, but for the majority of us we just choose whatever gets us up the mountain quick enough.

So for a bit of fun we decided to take a look at which ski resorts you can access the most ski area without having to sit on a chairlift. Here are our top 5 ski resorts to avoid chairlifts.

5. Val d’Isere, France

From Val d’Isere you can take the Olympique cable car to the Rocher De Bellevarde peak at 2827m where there is a huge selections of ski runs from the top. There are green, blue and red run options all the way down to 1785m where you then have the benefit of taking the funicular at La Daille back to the top. From here there is the blue Santons and black Face de Bellevarde which you can ski all the way back to Val d’isere.

On the otherside of the valley, the Solaise cable car gives you access to another green beginner area, plus the red run Plan that forms the black Rhone-Alpes or red Piste M.

In neighbouring Tignes, it is possible to take the Funiculaire Grande Motte and the Grand Motte cable car all the way to the glacier at 3456m before skiing all the way back down to Val Claret on a choice of blue and red runs.

4. Levi, Finland

Levi is a fantastic resort for beginners; the small ski area mainly consists of blue and red runs which are great for anyone new to ski, particularly with the quiet slopes and lack of queuing. What is also great for beginners is that there is only one chairlift - you can access the 43 pistes in Levi using the 2 cabin lifts, 1 chair lift, 14 T-bars, 6 drag lifts and 4 rope lifts.

3. Alpe d’Huez, France

Similar to many of the large resorts, there are many chairlifts in Alpe d’Huez but there is a surprising amount of bubbles, gondolas and telecabins where you can access all over the ADH ski area.

From the village in 1860m, the 1st and 2nd Troncon can take you all the way up to 2700m where there is an assortment of green, blue and red runs that take you back to ADH. Otherwise you can carry on and take the Pic Blanc cable car up to the glacier at 3330m. If all lifts and runs are open, from 2700m you can follow the blue runs Couloir and Boulevard des Marmottes to Plat des Marmottes and take the Marmottes 2 and 3 up to the glacier as well.

From Oz en Oisans at 1350m there are the Poutran bubbles to get you back over to ADH or there is the L’Alpette bubble that takes you up to 2050m, with green, blue and red runs to ski, or the Alpette Rousses cable car to 2800m at Dome des Petities Rousses with fantastic red runs that came take you all the way back down to Oz en Oisans or ADH.

2. Verbier, Switzerland

From Verbier village at 1500m you can get all the way to Mont Fort at 3330m using la Chaux bubble, plus the Gentianes and Mont Fort cable cars. Verbier is home to some of the most challenging skiing in the Alps, including the runs from Mont Fort. There is a fantastic variety of tough reds and exhilarating blacks from intermediates and advanced.

1. La Plagne, France

La Plagne has a huge 225km of ski area across the villages; yes there are mainly chairlifts to access the whole expanse but you maybe surprised how much you could access without having to touch a chair.

From the Grande Rochette ‘Funitel’ Gondola in Plagne Centre there are a variety of blue, red and black runs to ski down. From the top at 2505m you can head left to pick up the black Rochette or the leisurely blue run Mira back down to Centre, or if you head right at the top you can access the red run Carina which leads into a few blue options plus the Colorado Park.

Also from the top you can access the back of this mountain where you can head all the way down to Champagny at 1250m, although to get back to Plagne Centre you will need to take a bubble and 2 chair lifts.

At Plagne Bellecotte you can ride the Roche de Mio bubble, which makes a stop in Belle Plagne, to the peak of Roche de Mio at 2700m. From the top you can take the blue run Tunnel back down to Belle Plagne and Bellecote, or you can choose my favourite run in La Plagne, the red Sources which leads in to blue runs back down to Bellecotte at 1930m.

Also from the top you can access the back of the mountain on the fantastic blue run Levasset, plus the Bellecotte bubble up to the glacier. Even non skiers can take in the views at 3417m on the glacier as it is completely accessible from Bellecotte with the 2 bubble lifts. If you did want to completely avoid chairlifts, you can take the ski bus between Bellecotte and Centre, otherwise the Colosses and La Bergerie chair lifts can take you between the two ski areas quickly.



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