Airport Transfers to Ski Resorts

Ski-Lifts Blog

Following on from the Portes du Soilel opening dates, we’re now looking at when the main French resorts will be opening up.

Partial opening of Grand Montets is planned from 6th to 19th December, snow conditions permitting. Brevent-Flegere, Balme/Vallorcine and Les Houches will be partially opening from 13th December and the rest of the area opens up on the 20th.
The majority of the area will stay open until the 19th April, except for Grand Montets, which has a planned closing date of 27th April, but will hopefully be open for longer if snow conditions allow.
Chamonix Valley Piste Map

The lifts in Flaine open on the 14th December, followed by  Les Carroz, Morillon, Samoens & Sixt on the 21st.
The main Grand Massif area is expected to close on the 21st April, with the planned closing date for Flaine on the 27th April.
The Grand Motte glacier opened at the start of October, so you can already ski in the Epsace Killy!
Tignes and Val D’Isere both open on the 29th November, all the way through to the 3rd May.
Espace Killy Piste Map

Val Thorens, the highest resort in the Alps, opens on the 22nd November and the lifts are open through until the 10th May. Meribel & Courchevel open on the 6th December and all of the 3 Valleys link open as well.
Planned closing of the 3 Valleys area is 24th April.
The higher altitude areas of La Plagne open on the 13th December, with Les Arcs & Peisey Vallandry opening the day after. The Vanoise Express opens up the Paradiski link along with the rest of La Plagne, on the 21st December and the lifts are open until the 26th April.
Alpe D’Huez is open from the 6th December until the 25th April, although some of the smaller resorts close earlier.

Alpe D'Huez Piste Map

Les Deux Alpes is open from the 29th November, La Grave opens later on the 6th December, snow conditions permitting and both resorts close on the 26th April.
Serre Chevalier lifts open on the 13th December and are open until the 19th April, although the Briancon area will close slightly earlier, on the 13th April.

Posted: 10/17/2014 9:26:00 AM by Richard Smith | with 0 comments

With the evenings getting shorter and the mornings decidedly chillier, we’re starting to think about winter and the white stuff! So we’re taking a look at when the lifts are opening across some of the main ski areas in the Alps, starting with the Portes du Soleil.

The first resort to open their lifts in the Portes du Soleil this winter is Les Gets. Snow conditions permitting, there will be a partial opening of the Chavannes area  at weekends  from  the 22nd November, through until  the 13th December, when the Chavannes & Nauchets lifts open daily. The rest of the Les Gets ski area will open on the 20th December, as will the Morzine lifts.
Chatel will also be offering some pre-season, weekend skiing on the Pre-la-Joux area, starting on the 29th November. The lifts in the Pre-la-Joux and Linga area will be open from the 13th December, and also, the link with Avoriaz. The rest of the area will open up on the 20th December.
Avoriaz opens the lifts on the 12th December and will kick the season off with, Rock on Ultimate, a weekend of ski & snowboarding testing, concerts and parties from the 12th to the 14th. The lifts will be open through until the 26th April.
Portes Du Soleil Season Dates 14-15
The whole of the Portes du Soliel area will be open from the 20th December, through until the 19th April.
Ski-Lifts offer Shared transfers to Morzine, Avoriaz and Les Gets from the 13th December and Private transfers are available year round.

Posted: 10/13/2014 12:27:27 PM by Richard Smith | with 0 comments

There is growing chatter that we could be about to head into an El Nino year and this is particularly prevalent on ski forums, where people hypothesise about what that might mean for the winter ahead.

El Nino and La Nina

An El Nino event ( is basically caused by warm ocean waters forming in the Pacific, which then sets of a chain of events which can cause significant changes to global weather patterns. Obviously the more noticeable effects occur the closer you are to the Pacific and then gradually reduce the further away you get, but there are plenty of theories that there can be some noticeable effects on the ski season.

In North America the effects should be felt more strongly than in Europe, with the general theory that the Sierra Nevada and Southern Rockies receive more favourable ski conditions than average, but the mountains further north have a warmer and drier season, which is clearly not good.

El Nino effects in North America

In Europe, which is much further from the source, it seems that the impact is closely related to the strength of the El Nino event. Looking back at previous El Nino winters it seems that a weak or moderate El Nino may have little discernible impact on the winter season and if anything can perhaps lead to a milder or drier winter. Whereas a strong El Nino can lead to a much colder winter, because the chain of events triggered by a strong event can lead to a weak Polar Vortex, allowing cold winds from Russia to reach Europe and therefore lead to more arctic conditions here.

For example, if you look at the last two El Nino winters, you can see very different results. The winter of 2006/07 was a weak El Nino and that season was one of the worst for a long time in terms of snow cover across the Alps. However the more recent event in 2009/10 was a strong El Nino and that winter saw some of the coldest weather in the Alps for several decades.

Depending on who you listen too, there are differing opinions on what this El Ninjo may bring, if it does indeed form, but best guesses range between a 50 and 80% chance of an extreme El Nino forming. So if that proves to be the case, you may well want to be packing an extra layer of thermals for this winter!

But with no guarantees yet about whether this year will be an El Nino, or even what that might mean for European ski resorts if it is, maybe it’s best to look at other ways of forecasting the weather ahead.

This summer has so far been very wet in the Alps – certainly not ideal conditions for mountain biking. However last time we had a similarly wet summer (2007), the following winter was a very good snow winter.

We’re also heading towards that time of year where you hear rumours circulating around resort about what might be ahead, with some of our favourites always appearing in the Autumn as farmers tales of thick onion skins, or hairy goats legs (both of which apparently point towards a cold or snowy winter in case you are wondering what we are on about).

Hairy Goats Legs!

So, for now, we’ll keep our ears to the ground and if we hear anything more we'll let you know - whether that's modern science, or local farming facts!

The Ski-Lifts Team

Posted: 8/14/2014 12:17:54 PM by Richard Smith | with 0 comments

Here at Ski-Lifts we don’t try to hide the fact that we love Morzine – it’s where it all started for us after all and we know a lot about the place.

Most people who are familiar with the town, will know it for skiing or snowboarding, or for downhill mountain biking in the summer months and it goes without saying that it is one of the best destinations in the world for both of those. But one thing that puzzles us is why more people don’t take advantage of the town and what it has to offer, outside of the two peak seasons?

For one thing, if you were to travel here outside of these peak periods, you can get cheaper flights and much cheaper accommodation, as demand is lower. Yet the weather can still be fantastic especially through May, June and September and if you are here to enjoy the mountains you don’t have to go far to pretty much experience them all to yourself. Plus there are always a few shops, restaurants and bars open all year, because unlike many other ski resorts, Morzine is a village where people live – not a purpose built resort.

Obviously one down side could be that the lifts aren’t open on the mountain, so to get up there and enjoy them then you’ve got to use your own steam – but that’s all part of the fun and sense of achievement! Plus, pretty much any other activity on offer through the main summer season that doesn’t require the lifts, is still available in these quieter times and can actually be better.

Road cycling in Morzine

For example, if you are into road biking, then getting out and tackling some the famous climbs, such as the Col de Joux Plane (one of the most famous climbs of the Tour De France), or the climbs up to Avoriaz, can actually be more enjoyable outside of the main summer months as the temperatures are more comfortable and the roads have less traffic.

In the last couple of years Morzine has become well known as a base for triathlon training because it has something to offer for all three disciplines. The cycling we’ve mentioned, there’s plenty of nice trails to get out for a run and for the swimming there is an Olympic size pool and Lake Montriond. It’s why some of the biggest names in world triathlon are now using this as their base.

And if you prefer your biking of the off-road variety, then you can take on the numerous cross-country trails around and not have to contend with other riders getting in your way.

Finally, you can’t forget one of the oldest ways to enjoy the mountains, which is getting out and hiking – whether it’s in the forest on the lower slopes, or up in the high mountain pastures, the spring and end of summer months are arguably the most pleasant time to really get out there and experience it.

Hiking in Morzine

It goes without saying of course, that should you take our advice and come and visit Morzine outside of the peak seasons, we’re still running our airport transfers, so it couldn’t be easier.

The Ski-Lifts Team

Posted: 7/15/2014 9:39:21 AM by Richard Smith | with 0 comments

 Montreux Jazz Festival

Forget Glastonbury and the UK festival scene this summer and revisit Europe, where you’ll find some of the best music festivals are just a stone’s throw away.

Take in the cultural surroundings of a new destination and catch some incredible music. This summer there are some great names to be seen and some great festivals to get to.

In recent year’s music festivals in the mountains have been on the rise, such as Snowbombing in Mayrhofen and Rock The Pistes in the Portes Du Soleil, meaning when you’re on your skiing or boarding adventure you can team it with the fun and sounds of a music festival.

Snow + beer+ music = what more could you want? Exactly…but when it comes to the UK festival scene, you play weather roulette in the hope that you won’t be knee deep in mud. So, why not team your festival agenda with a bit of sightseeing this summer?

Venture forth to some new ground over in Europe for some more (let’s face it) reliable weather, and a taste of something different, here’s a few we think are worth a look…

Montreux Jazz Festival  4th-19th July 2014.
Montreux Jazz Festival Transfers
In its 48th year and clearly they are doing something right, there’s something for everyone here, so don’t be fooled by the name. Perfectly placed on the edge of Lake Geneva and surrounded by mountains, Montreux delivers on both scenery and serious line-ups. With 6 stages covering various genres and plenty of free music also available this is an event not to be missed. The festival runs for 2 weeks and you can purchase tickets for particular artists or areas, starting at around £40.

Who’s playing? Stevie Wonder, Pharrell, Lykke Li, Damon Albarn, Ed Sheeran, Outcast, Norma Jean Martine, Thomas Dutronc.

How do I get there? Transfers from Geneva Airport to Montreux take around one hour and are €38 per person (when 8 of you are travelling), you can book online directly with Ski-Lifts.

 Primavera, Barcelona 28th-31st May 2014.
Primavera Sound
The now legendary festival is known for its super friendly crowds and warm weather- this is surely a great excuse to go and see a fantastic city and squeeze in your summer music hit.  Set by the sea just 20 minutes from the city centre you’re likely to see most of the up and coming artists of the year, and some that will no doubt be big next year too.
Tickets are a steal in comparison to what some of the UK festivals ask, starting at just €195.

Who’s Playing? Arcade Fire, Pixies, Haim, SBTRKT, Foals, the National, Jagwa Ma, Hot Chip DJ set, Nine Inch Nails.

How do I get there? Located in the heart of Barcelona there is public transport running from the airport to the festival sight frequently. Or contact us and we will happily arrange private transfers for you.

BIG Festival in Biarritz will appeal to the surfers out there.
Transfers to the Big Festival in Biarritz
Running from the 16th to the 20th of July and only in its 6th year, this festival is just starting out, but here you can spend the day in the famous Biarritz surf and then head into the festival to catch some big headliners as well as some more local bands. The party goes on till late, with club nights open till dawn - however you might need to go out wearing your wetsuit to catch the morning surf! Some days are free but to catch the bigger headliners tickets are just €49.

Who’s Playing? Placebo, Metronomy, Flight Facilities, Cassius, Claptone.

How do I get there? Book you airport transfers from Biarritz airport with our sister company

The Garden Festival – Croatia. 2nd-9th July.
The Garden Festival
This boutique festival stands out in Croatia’s growing independent festival scene, set in Garden Tisno, this festival has got more of an electronic feel to it than its competitors and some really special additions. With a tiki bar, outdoor night club as well as a beach stage this festival is something special. But the highlights not to be missed are its Boat Party’s. The Garden Festival allows you to perfectly combine the best elements of a festival and your summer holiday in one breathtaking place.
Tickets start at £120 for a week’s pass.

Who’s playing? Eats Everything, Greg Wilson, Session Victim, Ben UFO, Midland, Jimmy B.

How do I get there? Book your flight to land in Split, coach transfers to local bus stations are available via the website, or contact us and we will arrange private transfers for you.

Posted: 5/12/2014 10:12:08 AM by Richard Smith | with 0 comments