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Ski Blog

Top 5 Ski Resorts for Groups

clock 8th July 2014 | comment0 Comments

Getting away and hitting the slopes on a big group ski holiday is a fantastic way for family and friends to get together. Here are our top 5 resorts that will keep any group of friends or family happy throughout their ski holiday.

5. Soldeu, Andorra

If you love the choice of skiing and attractions of large French resorts, but seek for a more cost-effective alternative then look no further than Soldeu. The attractive Pyreneean resorts sits at the centre of the Grandvalira ski area with access to a fantastic 210 km of pistes, so there is enough variety to satisfy the most demanding skier.

With large properties, numerous restaurants, shopping and bustling night life there is plenty to do off the slopes as well. Andorra is well known for its duty free status and drinks are not served in uniform measures but by the amount that you want. This all helps to create a relaxed and friendly atmosphere on ski holidays in Soldeu.

4. Les Deux Alpes, France

Les Deux Alpes has an extensive ski terrain and is snowboard friendly, with one of the best freestyle parks in Europe. With an impressive snow record, the ski area peaks at a huge 3600m so is guaranteed snow throughout the season. This mixed ability ski domain lends itself to all levels of skiers and snowboarders alike with endless fun to be had both piste side as well as village side in the bars, restaurants and other sports facilities that this fun filled town has to offer.

3. Mayrhofen, Austria

Set in the beautiful Ziller Valley, Mayrhofen has long earned its place as one of the world's top ski and snowboard resorts. The ski area is large, varied and high. The terrain offers a good mix of cruisers and steeps and is well laid out for beginner skiers around the mid station of the Finkenberg. For advanced skiers there is the Harakiri piste, as well as some impressive off piste ski terrain.

There are good quality and affordable accommodation options which makes Mayrhofen a top resort choice for families and large groups . Mayrhofen is famous for the legendary end of season blowout, Snowbombing and has some of the finest Austrian après bars to keep you entertained throughout your holiday.

2. Tignes, France

Skiing in Tignes in so vast, it is great for all abilities. Joint with the just-as-amazing resort Val d’Isere, the 300km Espace Killy ski area is one of the most loved circuits in the world.

Tignes is perfect for adult groups with the large selection of accommodations and après across the resort, and families will love this ski area with the fantastic beginner areas and excellent ski and snowboards schools. Children will love the activities in Tignes, with ice skating, bowling, swimming pool and Husky rides on offer. I have had amazing ski holidays in Tignes with both family and friends groups, and still consider it to be one of my favourite ski resorts.

1. Sauze d'Oulx, Italy

There is no surprise that Sauze d’Oulx is a firm favourite amongst British skiers, with over 400km of pistes over the extensive Milky Way ski area there is excellent skiing available for all skiers. From the stunning tree lined runs of Sportina to the black runs of Mount Motta and Mount Sises. With long hours of sunshine you can ski all day long then party all night long in the lively town.

Down in resort, Sauze d'Oulx's original village has retained its old world charm, while the newer part provides all you need for a fun-filled holiday. The transfers are short, the accommodation is good value and the food is delicious.


By Krystelle


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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.



Chile VS Australia: Battle of the Southern Hemisphere Resorts

clock 13th June 2014 | comment0 Comments

Today marks the start of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil and many of the countries fighting it out to be the winner of the World Cup are also some of the finest countries in the world to ski in, so in true Iglu Ski style we have been pondering which countries would win in a battle of the best ski resorts.

First up is Group B teams Chile VS Australia with a clash to find the best of the southern hemisphere resorts. We will look at the 3 top factors of a leading ski resort (the slopes, the après and the cuisine) in an endeavour to crown the winner of Chile VS Australia.


Perisher, Australia

The Slopes

Chile
Skiing in Chile is often regarded as a once in a lifetime opportunity due to its location in South America and the legendary off piste. The country offers 20 ski resorts which are located in the south with ski lifts peaking at 3500m. The Andes provide the perfect playground for adrenaline seekers and adventurers wanting to heli-ski with its 1 million acres of untouched powder. The Andes is the second highest mountain range in the world with the summit of Aconcagua sitting at 6950m. One of the best reasons to visit Chile is for guaranteed snow due to the high altitude.

The resort of Portillo averages 24ft of snow as well as plenty of sunshine similar to spring skiing in the Alps. Resorts in Chile are smaller than its European counterparts and lifts can be quite dated but slopes are quiet and Portillo even limits tickets sold so there is never a busy day on the mountain. Valle Nevado is situated in the heart of the largest ski area in the southern hemisphere and snow is guaranteed by the height and the considerable size of the terrain. This season, Valle Nevado opened 2 weeks early, on Friday 13th June, due to fantastic early snowfall.

Ski Pucon is situated on a volcano and is popular with freestylers due to the natural half pipes formed by lava. Chile famously featured in the Art of Flight with Travis Rice and Scotty Lago sending it off a 12ft kicker in the pristine South American backcountry. This put Chile on the map for many snowboard enthusiasts, including myself!

Australia
With winter kicking off down under this month, many ski resorts in the Southern hemisphere are starting to open… with or without snow! Unfortunately it hasn’t been the best start of the season in Australia and many resorts are still looking green on opening weekends. Resorts have to rely on snow guns to get some snow on the slopes, but with temperatures gradually dropping, it is expected to dump very soon.

Australia is famously known for its sun, sea and surf, but it is also a ski lovers paradise. Most ski resorts are found in the two states of New South Wales and Victoria. Perisher is the largest ski area in Australia, located in the picturesque Kosciuszko National Park neighbouring Thredbo just up the road. Mt Perisher peaks at 2054m, with the highest chair lift reaching 2034m.

One of the most visited Australian resorts is Thredbo, the resort has the steepest terrain in Australia and also the longest runs including the 5.9km Super Trail. Further South sits Mt. Hotham and Falls Creek which are linked by a helicopter ride. Falls Creek freestyle park and pipe consistently wins awards as well as playing host to many high profile snowboard events throughout the winter. Cross country skiing is available in most resorts where visitors can take advantage of the long groomed trails through the forest.

Winner: Chile



Portillo, Chile

The Après


Chile
Due to the small villages nightlife is limited in many resorts. Valle Nevado has the largest concentration of restaurants and bars and Portillo offers live music in a local bar and an all-night disco

Australia
Most of the resorts in Australia are well developed with large villages. Some tourists even come mainly to party with may be some skiing thrown in on the odd day. With 4 villages, Perisher is known for bars and restaurants becoming very active in the evening once the lifts have closed. Falls Creek has 28 bars and restaurants but if you are looking for a quiet evening there are spa options or places to sit in front of an open fire.

Winner: Austalia


Mt. Buller, Australia

The Cuisine

Chile
Traditional Chilen food may be hard to find in ski resorts. In large hotels you will probably encounter high quality international food and in budget accommodation you will find simple foods. Chile produces a bounty of fine fruit and vegetables which are easily found around resorts. Typical Chilan food is normally meat heavy with plenty of slabs of meat and fish in restaurants, where breakfast is more of a sweet affair with biscuits, cakes and tarts.

Australia
As Australian resorts aren’t very high and villages are easily accessible the food is general to what you find all over Australia. Many villages have a range of restaurants from fine dining to better value options. A traditional lunch on the mountain would be a burger/hot dog and chips but many resorts are starting to extend their ranges to include healthier options. If you are able to travel just outside the ski area to sub-alpine villages in Victoria, you can treat yourself to a feast of flavours including local beers and fresh produce

Winner: Chile


Chile

The Verdict

Winner: Chile

We love snow and the more snow the better. The Australian ski season can be variable with bad years having barely any snowfall. Australia does have many great resorts and features to make a fantastic week on the slopes, but Chile has it in the ‘back of the net’ with its epic backcountry and snow sure resorts.


By Krystelle



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