QUIZ: Tell us which song you’re playing on a loop, and we’ll tell you if you are a skier, a snowboarder or an après-skier

QUIZ: Tell us which song you’re playing on a loop, and we’ll tell you if you are a skier, a snowboarder or an après-skier.

If you are willing to take this quiz, it could be because: you don’t know what to try the next ski season; you want to double-check you are doing the right winter sport; and lastly (and most likely), you are bored.

We want you to have some fun doing this quiz so open the notes on your phone (or take a piece of paper and a pen for the old-fashioned way) and after reading each question, write down your answer -A, B or C-. Once you finish the quiz, count each letter, and read the answer of the letter repeated the most. Here we go!

After work, you can find me…

  1. Working out
  2. Reading Sapiens
  3. Having some drinks

How is your balance?

  1. Great!
  2. It has improved after yoga
  3. So clumsy that at Costa they don’t let me have the takeaway coffee without a lid

What kind of photo would showcase your winter holiday on Instagram?

  1. An active photo while I’m practising sports
  2. A photo at the highest point of the mountain, ready to descend the piste
  3. In the kitchen, before going out

Where would you like to go?

  1. Avoriaz, France
  2. Saas-Fee, Switzerland
  3. St. Anton, Austria

When I’m travelling, I like to…

  1. Improvise my plans
  2. Wake up earlier and visit as much as I can 
  3. Go out and party!

Currently, I’m playing on loop…

  1. Blind lights, Weeknd
  2. Hold me while you wait, Lewis Capaldi
  3. Don’t start now, Dua Lipa

How would you describe yourself?

  1. Adventurous
  2. Detailed
  3. Outgoing

The best part of the day is…

  1. Afternoon
  2. Mornings
  3. Evenings

Majority A – Snowboarder 

You don’t mind falling, because you know you’ll stand up immediately after! You are ready to give your best and try one of the most difficult winter sports: snowboarding. Snowboarding is an excellent sport for somebody so audacious and fearless like you. You’ll enjoy the challenges of this winter sport and soon you’ll find yourself taking on the halfpipe like a pro.

For the first couple of days, you’ll fall a lot and it will be challenging to move around since both feet are attached to the same board. But don’t worry, we know you don’t give up easily and you’ll get it soon! To master snowboarding and become the next Chloe Kim, you should improve your core strength. Focusing on your abdominal muscles and lower back, you will develop your balance and hopefully prevent injury. 

If you don’t have a destination for the next snow season, you should consider visiting Avoriaz, you’ll love the stunning views over the Morzine valley and Mont Blanc. This resort has excellent snow conditions, being one of the first resorts to get snow and with 600km of pistes. Also, the alpine resort has some of the best snowparks in Europe, including the Stash, a fun ungroomed area to freeride and freestyle. 

 

Majority B – Skier

You like to take your time and enjoy the moment. In your next snowy holiday, you look forward to learning a new sport, but you are not going to stress yourself, you’ve tried it and that’s what is essential. Skiing ticks all the boxes of what you are looking for in your next winter holiday: easy to catch up, you don’t get too messy and Instagramable.

During the first week, skiing is a lot of fun, many people take it quickly. The first few days you’ll take your first turns on the beginner slopes and by the end of the week, you may even progress to a blue piste. To become the next Bode Miller and compete in the Olympics, we recommend you don’t skip leg day, the stronger they are, the better you’ll control the skis on the slopes. 

Regardless of how many times you’ve taken to the slopes, Verbier is an excellent destination for skiing. The ski resort that James Blunt sings about is located over 2,000m up and is a well-known ski resort for having great snow. Also, if you decide to explore and go to the Mont Fort Glacier, you will be able to enjoy the views of Mont Blanc and the Matterhorn.

 

Majority C – Après-skier

The pub is where you’re in your element. You’re outgoing, lively and you are making video calls with your friends all the time! Skiing and snowboarding are cool, but your plan for a winter holiday is to be surrounded by friends and gather around some fondue – and some alpine wine. 

The next season, you should visit St. Anton, their nights are well-known in the ski scene. On your first afternoon, you can’t miss the legendary après-ski mile, home to iconic bars like Mooserwirt, Taps, and Krazy Kanguruh. After the après-ski mile, the party moves to the centre of town. At Piccadilly/Postkeller there are two ambiences: an area to drink and talk and another one if you feel like dancing. 

5 fearless and inspiring women skiers and snowboarders 

5 fearless and inspiring women skiers and snowboarders 

During the Winter Olympics of 1924 in Chamonix, 248 athletes competed for the gold medal in their sports, but only 11 were females, all of them figure skaters. Slowly, the percentage of female athletes in the Winter Sports has increased over the years, and at the Winter Olympics of 2018, 43% of the athletes were women. Still, there’s a long way to go until we reduce the gender gap in the skiing and snowboarding industry, but women are working hard towards parity. 

The winter sports industry has seen hundreds of fearless women hitting the slopes to win competitions and enjoy the mountains all over the world. For International Women’s Day, we want to inspire you with the amazing stories of 5 female winter sports professionals. 

Mikaela Shiffrin at the FIS Alpine Skiing World Cup in Stockholm 2019, next to Christina Geiger and Anna Swenn Larsson

Mikaela Shiffrin

When Mikaela Shiffrin was six years old, she met her ski icon, the three-time U.S. Olympian Heidi Voelker. Voelker gave to a smiley young Mikaela a signed poster with the acronym “A.B.F.T.T.B.”, which stands for “always be faster than the boys”. As a junior ski racer, Shiffrin made this quote her motto and wrote it on her skis. Now, she has it in her Atomic racing helmet, connecting her childhood ambitions with her adult career as a racer.

With the acronym “A.B.F.T.T.B.” on her helmet and representing the United States, Mikaela Shiffrin has won twice the gold medal at the Olympics and five gold medals at the World Cup. Also, Mikaela is the youngest slalom champion in Olympic alpine skiing history, at the age of 18.

 

Chemmy Alcott

Yes, Chemmy Alcott is a former contestant of Dancing On Ice. Still, she hasn’t only given us great moments on the T.V. show; she’s also considerer the most successful female skier in the UK and an inspiration for a generation of winter sports athletes. The former skier has represented the UK four times in the Olympics and seven occasions during the F.I.S. World Championships. Amongst her awards, she was the Senior British National Champion 7 times and the Overall British Ladies Champion 8 times. 

Alcott spent more time in the hospital than racing: “I had 1,028 minutes of surgery on my right leg, and before Sotchi that year, I raced for four minutes”. After several surgeries, the female skier retired from the competitions in 2014. However, she still has an active life in the ski scene, being honourable president of the Ski Club of Great Britain, ambassador of many brands such as our partners Panda Optics and raising money for skiing-related charities.

 

Lindsey Vonn

Former skier Lindsey Vonn has been considered the most successful ski racer in the world. Amongst her prizes, she has an Olympic gold medal and two gold medals for the World Championship.  

Vonn’s successful career is full of medals, trophies and an impeccable technique on the slopes. But also, she has proven her patience, hard work and efforts during her recoveries from injuries and crashes. Some of them even made her miss part of the 2013 and 2014 season. In 2019 she retired from ski competitions due to her injuries and later published her second book “Rise: My Story”

Lindsey Vonn

Chloe Kim

When she was only 17 years old, Chloe Kim became the youngest woman to win an Olympic snowboarding gold medal when she won in the women’s snowboard halfpipe in 2018. Also, Kim is the first woman to hold the titles of the four significant events in halfpipe snowboard, World, Olympic, Youth Olympic, and X Games champion.

Since having surgery on a broken ankle in March, she’s having some “Chloe time” not competing and to fully recover. Still, Kim has given assurance she’ll be ready to defend her Olympic title at Beijing 2022. We can’t wait to see a wholly-recovered Kim doing tricks in the halfpipe!

 

Janica Kostelic

Janica Kostelic became the first female skier ever to win four Olympic medals in the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah. The former Croatian skier not only stores two Olympic gold medals on her shelves, but also five gold medals from the World Championships, thirty individual races, three slalom titles, three overall titles, and four combined titles.

After several surgeries and chronic knee and back pain, Janica Kostelic decided to retire in 2007 at only 25 years old. Currently, Kostelic is developing her professional career in politics as the State Secretary for Science, Education and Sports in the Croatian Government.

Top 7 ski resorts for late-season skiing

Top 7 ski resorts for late-season skiing 

Winter is almost over, but that doesn’t mean that the ski season will be! Spring is a wonderful time to travel, hit the slopes and perhaps have an après-ski French wine while enjoying the alpine sunshine on a terrace. Also, the daylight lasts longer so you will have more time to enjoy the snow and take the slopes to the fullest. With Spring the weather settles down, and skiers and snowboarders can enjoy some of the most fun events of the season, like Snowbombing or Snowboxx. 

Great reasons to book a last-minute holiday, right? Now you might wonder “Where can I ski in April?”, “Are there any ski resorts opened in May?” or “Where can I book an airport transfer for the Alps?”. Well, we’ve done all the research for you and listed the best ski resorts to ski in the late season.

Book your ski transfers in just a couple of minutes

Tignes, France

At Tignes, approximately 2 hours away from Geneva Airport.

Tignes is located at 2,100m of altitude, and it’s part of the Espace Killy resort, which is one of the resorts in Europe with the biggest ski area over 2,000m of altitude. Because of the elevation of the ski area and the fact that it has some slopes facing north, the ski resort offers almost-certain fun in the pistes until May. 

 

St. Anton, Austria

At St. Anton, approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes away from Innsbruck Airport.

St. Anton has an excellent snow record and is open from November to early May. Even if it has lovely Spring sunshine, the many north-facing slopes hold the powder and the snow machines cover the south-facing pistes. With your ski pass, you’ll be able to ski at any point of the Alberg region, the largest linked ski area in Austria and with highly efficient lifts. 

After the slopes, enjoy the sunshine at the legendary après-ski mile while listening to live music and having an Austrian beer.

 

Mayrhofen, Austria

At Mayrhofen, approximately 1 hour away from Innsbruck Airport.

With 142km of slopes and the runs mostly between 1,650m and 2,500m, Mayrhofen is a reliable destination to make the most of the ski season. The ski resort is close to the Hintertux glacier and is home for the steepest slope of Austria: the Harakiri. Also, in mid-April, Mayrhofen hosts Snowbombing, a music festival that combines fun mountain experiences during the day and excellent live concerts and parties at night.

 

Verbier, Switzerland

At Verbier, approximately 2 hours away from Geneva Airport.

The ski resort that James Blunt sings about is located over 2,000m up and is a well-known ski resort for having great snow in late-season. Verbier’s significant snowmaking installations guarantee that the powder will last longer for visitors, being open until April. Also, if you decide to explore and go to the Mont Fort Glacier, you will be able to enjoy the views of Mont Blanc and the Matterhorn.

 

Breckenridge, Colorado, USA

At Breckenridge, approximately 2 hours away from Denver Airport.

If you are considering travelling to the other side of the Atlantic to hit the slopes for the last time this season, Breckenridge is the ski resort you are looking for. The resort is also known as “Breckenwind”, because of the wind and cold conditions that make the snow hold for longer in the hills, rewarding you with almost 3,000 acres of powder. 

 

Chamonix, France

At Chamonix, approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes away from Geneva Airport.

When you travel to Chamonix in Spring, there is something you have to do after hitting the piste: enjoy a glass of Alpine wine outdoors while contemplating Mont Blanc and the stunning view of the Chamonix Valley, glorious! Skiers can take to the slopes of Chamonix until May since it has the highest point of the resort at 3840m of altitude and it has the most regular snowfall figures in the Alps.

 

Saas-Fee, Switzerland 

At Saas-Fee, approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes away from Geneva Airport.

Less busy than its neighbour Zermatt, Saas-Fee is an excellent decision if you want to enjoy a calm late-season break. The Swiss resort has been car-free since 1951, making it a quiet destination and a more environmentally-friendly option. With 100km of pistes and 2 snowparks, as well as being home to 13 peaks over 4,000m; you can hit the slopes of Saas-Fee until after Easter. 

5 environmentally-friendly ski resorts

5 environmentally-friendly ski resorts

As a skier or snowboarder you probably love nothing more than hitting the slopes, enjoying the great snow and having a moment to contemplate the magnificence of the mountains. Unfortunately, the current climate crisis puts the possibility to keep enjoying nature as we know it at risk. Already, we have experienced some devastating changes in the mountains, with animal species in danger of extinction and ski resorts having to close because of the low snowfall

On the other hand, many ski resorts are taking action towards the preservation of the climate and are taking steps to provide an eco-friendly ski holiday for their guests. 

 

Saas-Fee, Switzerland 

At Saas-Fee, approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes away from Geneva Airport.

The incredible feeling of inhaling fresh air when you arrive at the highest point of the piste makes you connect immediately with nature, especially when your ski holiday is a runaway from the hectic city life. Your whole body relaxes and you are ready to descend the slopes. 

To be sure that you take only the freshest breaths of air in the Alps, and to provide skiers with a sustainable ski holiday, Saas-Fee has been car-free since 1951. Not allowing cars in the resort, Saas-Fee reduces its environmental impact and its carbon footprint, taking steps to help to protect the Alps and improve the quality of life. 

Therefore, the Swiss resort is working to be a pioneer in ecological alpine tourism and is developing procedures to be carbon-free. Its efforts in sustainability have seen Saas-Fee win the title of “Energy Town”, because of the introduction of clear quality standards in traffic and energy policies. No other ski resort in Switzerland can show off its use of natural energy so consistently, as it obtains 100% of their electricity by renewable Valaisian hydroelectric power.

 

Pejo 300, Italy

At Peio, approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes away from Verona Airport.

Most plastics take an average of 1000 years to decompose completely. So if you consume a single-use plastic bottle today, it will still exist when your great-great-grandchildren go to college, along with all the plastic their previous generations have used. And yes, that can be a lot of rubbish. This crazy fact has shocked many people who have decided to stop reducing their plastic waste or even wholly stop consuming plastic at all and have a zero-waste lifestyle to reduce their impact on the environment. 

Aware of the impact the plastic has on the climate crisis and following the need to take steps to preserve our mountains, Pejo 3000 has become the first ski resort in Europe to ban plastics. The Italian resort has forbidden disposable straws, bottles, cutlery, glasses, packets of ketchup and mayonnaise and any other single-use plastic items. The new zero-waste action will reduce the disposal of plastic into the mountains and will help to preserve the local nature so all skiers can enjoy the Stelvio National Park for longer. 

Even if Pejo 3000 took the initiative, having a plastic-free ski holiday can be a personal ambition of any skier, besides the polyethene in your skis of course. If you are wondering where to start, we recommend you take a look at Laura Singer’s blog post – most of the things are free! http://trashisfortossers.com/zero-waste-travel-ki/

 

Avoriaz, France

At Avoriaz, approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes away from Geneva Airport.

Designed to be a green ski resort, since the beginning Avoriaz has been zero-car, fuel monitored to avoid energy waste and has planned sustainable accommodation. These procedures have made them win the Green Key accreditation, the top international certification for eco-friendly tourist accommodation.

The resort has done great work building environmentally-friendly construction and developing a dual-energy network. Also, the French resort has two environmentally responsible snowparks and train their drivers to do their tasks in the most eco-friendly way. Lately, they’ve renewed their snow canyons to introduce modern machines which consume three times less energy, and they try to avoid using them so the skiers can enjoy the natural fresh snow.

 

Aspen, USA

At Aspen, approximately 3 hours and 45 minutes away from Denver Airport.

The world-famous ski resort Aspen has been a pioneer in sustainable skiing, applying eco-friendly procedures since 1997. Their goal to eradicate emissions has led them to be one of the first cities in the USA to be powered by renewable energy and become seven-times winners of the Golden Eagle Award for Overall Environmental Excellence.

Besides, they don’t only advocate for green power and develop energy-efficient methods; they also take on the best eco practices in the resort. They purchase local food and beverages to reduce their impact, they are home for the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies (where they inform visitors of the local environment), and they take part in many local activities to protect the climate. 

 

Söll, Austria

At Soll, approximately 1 hour away from Innsbruck Airport.

One of the energy challenges that the ski resorts have to face is heating. To keep all the skiers and snowboarders warm, the ski resorts have to make significant investments in energy which directly affects the climate crisis. However, Söll is renowned for its green heating initiative. Rather than using gas or coal, they burn wood chips to make fuel to heat the entire bottom lift station, an excellent alternative to keep everybody warm and reduce the environmental impact. 

 

Also, the Austrian ski resort uses eco-friendly snow cannons and has a stable system for sorting waste. 

Lastly, the future of the mountains is everyone’s responsibility, and all of us can make a change in our daily life.

Travel to the EU after Brexit: how it would affect my ski holidays?

Travel to the EU after Brexit: how it would affect my ski holidays?

 

Since the 31st of January 2020, the United Kingdom is no longer part of the European Union. The new political relationship brings new arrangements for travelling across borders and with it new questions about how everything will work from now on.

Even if we’ve been reading news about the new political situation for the last few years, some people still have questions about what’s happening after Brexit. So far, British tourists in the EU haven’t experienced any important changes to their holiday, such as needing a visa to visit a European country or paying extra charges, as the travelling conditions will remain the same until the end of the current transition period. 

But, what does the transition period involve?

The 31st of January 2020 started the transition period. This means that the UK is no longer part of the European Union, but many agreements decided before this stage will still be effective, especially the ones related to travellers. The transition period will be over by the 1st January of 2021, bringing new rules and agreements that haven’t yet been defined.

 

Will I need a visa to travel to the EU?

With the UK and the European Union having a new set-up for the borders, the first question that comes to the mind of a British tourist is: will I need a visa to travel to Europe? During the transition period, British citizens won’t need to get a visa if they’re going to stay as a tourist for up to 90 days in the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.

Therefore, after the transition period, British citizens will become “third-country nationals” and it’s likely that they will have to pay for a ‘visa-exempt travel’ if they’re travelling in 2021. Also, the European Union will implement the European Travel Information and Authorization System (Etias) by 2022, a specific programme for non-EU citizens that would like to travel in Europe, including British citizens. The application for Etias will cost 7 Euros.

 

What will I need to travel after Brexit?

After the transition period, at border control, British citizens may need to show their return ticket and prove that they have enough money for their stay. Also, once at border control, British citizens will have to queue in different lanes from EU, EEA and Swiss citizens. Besides that, when travelling between the UK and the EU, you’ll need to declare cash of £10,000 or more (or the equivalent in another currency).

 

Do I need a new passport?

After the transition period, you’ll need to renew your British passport if the expiration date is shorter than 6 months or if it is more than 10 years old. If you are travelling after the 1st of January 2021 and you need a new passport to meet this requirement, keep in mind that renewing your passport usually takes 3 weeks. 

 

How long can I stay in the EU?

British citizens will be able to stay as a tourist for up to 90 days in any 180 days in an EU country, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. 

 

Can I drive in the EU with my British driving license?

Driving in Europe will be the same for citizens with a British driving license until 2021. After the transition period, citizens with a British driving license may need to purchase an International Driving Permit (IDP) 1968 or 1949, it will depend on which country they are going to and how long are they staying. Therefore, it’s recommended to check the regulation of the country you’re visiting for your holiday.

If you’re travelling in the EU with your car, you might also need a ‘green card’ or valid proof of insurance and a GB sticker.

Of course, there are other issues with driving to ski resorts yourself and this is where a quality ski transfer operator can come in handy. 

How will Brexit affect travel insurance?

Until the end of the year, citizens with the European Health Insurance Card (Ehic) are entitled to have healthcare in any EEA member state as well as Norway, Iceland, Lichtenstein and Switzerland. 

Therefore, the Ehic is not a substitute for travel insurance and it’s recommended to always have travel insurance that covers your healthcare and pre-existing medical condition.

 

What will happen to roaming charges after Brexit?

The guarantee of free-roaming for British mobile in EU countries will disappear after the 1st of January 2021. We recommend you check the new terms with your phone operator to avoid any ghastly bills from getting that perfect photo for the ‘Gram. However, a new law protects you from getting phone charges over £45 without you knowing.

We hope this information has been useful and we’ve solved your questions about travelling after Brexit. In case you need more details, you can find more advice here: https://www.gov.uk/visit-europe-1-january-2021

If you are going on a ski holiday after the 1st of January 2021, we recommend visiting gov.uk to check the latest news about Brexit.

Bon appè-ski! The best ski resorts for foodies

Bon appè-ski! The best ski resorts for foodies

For many skiers, a great holiday must include excellent snow and delicious haute cuisine. After a day on the slopes, you need to relax, enjoy the company and have a nice meal so the next day you are ready for those pistes. If you’re a foodie, taste a classic and warm raclette or explore new flavours like céleri and wild sorrel in sorbet, or risotto with smoked onion at some of the fanciest restaurants in the Alps.

 

 

Hospiz Alm, St. Anton, Austria

At St. Anton, approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes away from Innsbruck Airport.

St. Anton is a great destination for après-ski plans and that makes it a remarkable ski resort for foodies. Hospiz Alm, located in St. Christoph am Arlberg, is upscale fine dining with traditional alpine decoration, gourmet balcony and a wonderful terrace to enjoy the sun. The opulent restaurant serves traditional Austrian cuisine, such as Tyrolean duck and filet of pike.

 

L’Atelier Edmond, Val d’Isère, France

At Val d’Isère, approximately 3 hours away from Geneva Airport.

Part of the illustrious Espace Killy ski area, Val d’Isere is a world-renowned luxurious destination with top-rated accommodations and restaurants such as L’Atelier Edmond, with 2 Michelin stars for chef Benoit Vidal. A little bit pricey, the food of L’Atelier Edmond is well-known in the region. The menu has references to the traditional local cuisine and includes dishes such as céleri and wild sorrel in sorbet or crawfish with candied lemon. Also, the brasserie food is delicious too and it has a more reasonable price compared to the other dishes. 

 

Azimut, Courchevel, France

At Courchevel, approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes away from Geneva Airport.

Courchevel is part of the famous Three Valleys ski area and one of the most exclusive ski resorts in France. The cosy and rusticCourchevel ski resort is also home to 7 Michelin-starred restaurants, with it being the resort with most Michelin-rated establishments in the Alps. Amongst these prestigious restaurants, Azimut stands out for its creativity in dishes like foie gras with caramel and braised chicory with orange and Porto cream.

 

Petit Royal, Courmayeur, Italy

At Courmayeur, approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes away from Geneva Airport.

The charming Courmayeur is one of the best ski resorts to enjoy the traditional home-made Italian cuisine combined with the alpine gastronomy. The chef of The Petit Royal, Paolo Griff, is considered one of the most promising cooks in Europe. His colourful dishes and his attention to local products has caught the attention of the gastronomy critics, giving him a Michelin star for his results at the Petit Royal.

 

Les Explorateurs, Val Thorens, France

At Val Thorens, approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes away from Geneva Airport.

Home to some of the smartest hotels in the French Alps, the resort also has prime restaurants for the most exquisite palates. Inside the 5-star Hotel Pashmina is Les Explorateurs, awarded with a Michelin star and with a colourful decor inspired by mountaineering expeditions. The signature dish of Josselin Jeanblan is a combination of sea scallops, Nori seaweed and truffle and declination of Jerusalem artichokes: yum!

 

Da Vittorio, St Moritz, Switzerland 

At St Moritz, approximately 2 hours and 45 minutes away from Zurich Airport.

Close to the Italian border, the three-times Michellin-awarded chef Fratelli Cerea decided to open a restaurant in St Moritz, a recognised destination for superb après-ski plans. Da Vittorio St. Moritz is located inside of the elegant Hotel Carlton and it has a beautiful view of the mountain. Stefano Bacchelli, the resident young chef, explores new dishes around the traditional Italian cuisine. Some of the dishes you should try are the risotto with smoked onion or the classic Paccheri alla Vittorio. 

 

Il Gallo Cedrone, Madonna di Campiglio, Italy

At Madonna di Campiglio, approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes away from Verona Airport.

Madonna di Campiglio has a traditional charm, with centenary buildings and barely being able to spot a car in the streets. Still, in the centre of the resort, Il Gallo Cedrone combines an updated and modern style with traditional Alpine decoration. The young chef, Sabino Fortunato, doesn’t limit his menu to the traditional mountain cuisine and surprises the clientele with creative dishes with lobster and sea bass.

 

Piz Boè Alpine Lounge, Alta Badia, Italy

At Alta Badia, approximately 3 hours and 30 minutes away from Bergamo Airport.

With over half of the 130km piste marked blue, Alta Badia is a great destination for beginners, families and newbies who want to test themselves on the slopes. After trying your best for the first time, you deserve a fancy menu at Piz Boè Alpine Lounge with a stunning view of the valley. The restaurant offers Landin cuisine, a fusion of Italian and Tirolean styles that includes dishes such as carpaccio or barley soup. 

 

Le Chesery, Gstaad, Switzerland 

At Gstaad, approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes away from Sion Airport.

Gstaad is famous for skiers and non-skiers who are looking for a luxury holiday. Amongst the extravagant places you can go, Le Chesery is a Michelin-starred restaurant ran by the Chef Marcus G. Lindners. The dishes change depending on the season and the preferences of the chef, but always maintains an updated traditional approach of the Swiss Alpine cuisine with a wide choice of fishes.

 

L’Arlequin in Aime 2000, La Plagne, France

At La Plagne, approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes away from Geneva Airport.

The general quality of La Plagne is moderate, but some restaurants make the exception. One of these restaurants is L’Arlequin in Aime 2000, with a great customer service provided by Monique and Georges, famous in La Plagne for their hospitality. The alpine-homelike restaurant serves raclette, fondue and tartiflette, some of the must-eat food on your holiday in the Alps. Also, you can find other unique dishes such as their creamy risotto with morille mushrooms or a salmon and beef tartare.

How to plan a family ski holiday without breaking the bank

How to plan a family ski holiday without breaking the bank

Guest contribution from Mountain People, the simplified way for you to book your next tailor-made Alpine winter and summer holiday, allowing you to book everything you need for your next trip all in one place

 

A common misconception still remains around the ski industry, that ski holidays are for the chosen few and are expensive. Like all holidays though, they can be as expensive or in this case, as inexpensive, as you want.

Of course, whether you are a seasoned skier family returning to the slopes this season or a family considering your first ever ski holiday (which you won’t regret), the options open to you are endless and this is all reflected in your budget. There are plenty of benefits of booking a package skiing holiday with a reputable tour operator or agent and if you do so in good time you can certainly find a bargain! However, we know some families may prefer to book a holiday independently, and if that includes you, here’s how you can do it.

Family Holiday

Let’s consider the options available for a family of 4 (2 adults and 2 children). Your first port of call has to be looking at your flight options; do you have to fly Saturday to Saturday? The answer is simply no! With the emergence of low-cost carriers and competition between the others, flight prices vary significantly, why not fly on a Friday or any other weekday that works for your party or consider an early morning flight which means more time in the resort. This will all have a significant effect on your flight prices for the whole family.

 

The Resort

Your choice here will have some effect on your budget, but most resorts will have a wide range of accommodation types ranging from Self Catered Apartments, Hotels and Chalets with deals to be found in all. For you, looking for resorts within as short a distance as possible from your airport will start reducing costs from the get-go. Transfer times to resorts range from an hour and thirty minutes up to four hours, depending on your chosen airport and chosen resort, so do your research.

Most big resorts are situated within a larger ski area, like the Portes du Soleil, Les Trois Vallées, Arlberg Ski Region, Dolomiti Superski etc. The majority of these ski areas have smaller resorts or what are known as satellite resorts nestled in the Valleys around them. These smaller resorts and satellite resorts are just smaller villages nestled in the same ski area and here you can make savings on accommodation and also enjoy a quieter space if that is what you and your family like. So why not consider Les Gets in the Portes du Soleil or Les Menuires in the Les Trois Vallées as options when considering where to go.

 

Transfers

Coach, Scheduled, Shared or Private transfer options, they scale in price accordingly. For a family on a budget, your best option could be a return shared or coach transfer to and from resort. Timing is a factor to consider here, so booking as early as possible will always be your best option as prices can go up if left until last minute!

 

Accommodation

Self-catering accommodation has to be next on your list for a budget-driven ski holiday. An apartment for a family of 4 will start off at €500 for non-peak season weeks. Non-peak season weeks are a good option to consider if you want to keep your price down and stay away from the large crowds in-resort. Peak weeks around Christmas, New Year’s, February mid-term, and Easter see prices increase and large numbers travelling, so if you can avoid these peak periods for your winter holiday, you will save accordingly. There are countless Residence operators across the vast majority of European resorts and this will give you access to self-catered apartments ranging from small studios for 2 – 4 people up to 3 and 4 bedroom apartments for 10 – 12 people if your family is slightly bigger or you convince another family to come with you (you won’t have to convince them ever again). One thing you will never forget after waking up in a ski resort is the view you will be greeted with every time you look out the window or stand on your balcony.

 

Ski Pass

Let’s be honest, you do not need a full area access ski pass, it is your first time skiing, a local area ski pass is going to be more than you need for your first trip and your next one (once you start skiing, you won’t stop). The difference between these two options is significant; you will save between €50 and €60 per ski pass. This will aid greatly in reducing your overall price. Further discounts are also available if you purchase a family pass which is available for groups of 2 Adults and 2 Children minimum, across a range of resorts.

 

Rental

You will be learning how to ski or snowboard and spending some time on your bum laughing in the snow, so you will require basic equipment. You’ll need an economy pack (Skis, Boots, Poles or Snowboard and Boots) for the week which will cost you around €90 per adult and between €50 and €70 per child depending on their age. A must recommend for us is a helmet, not everyone wears them (but you should), some insurance companies have gone as far as stating that you must wear a helmet under their insurance policy. An adult helmet will cost another €25 with children’s helmets costing around €20.

 

Lessons

The only way to ski or snowboard is to learn! With numerous Ski and Snowboard school providers in each resort, you will have a choice to make in terms of who to go with? Some of the big names have been around for years and subsequently charge accordingly. However, these providers will give you and your family some of the most reliable and focused ski and snowboard lessons on the mountains. For a family of 2 adults and 2 children having lessons every morning (half day) for the duration of their stay (6 ski days) the cost will be €740 approximately, that breaks down to €185 per person. To keep your family lesson costs down, take your lessons in a group. Each of these groups will generally have up to 6 people sharing a lesson with a dedicated instructor. These other people in your group will be of the same skill level as you and it is a great way to meet new like-minded people while in resort. Kids will love the group lesson experience and will receive a badge or equivalent at the end of the week after completing their lessons.

 

Travel Insurance

This is a must! No matter what level of Skier or Snowboarder you are, travel insurance with winter sports cover is something you and the whole family should have. Travel insurance comes in various options, where you can avail of a cheaper single holiday cover. However, if you will be travelling again later in the year, it may be more beneficial to get yourself multi-trip cover. There are countless travel insurance providers so you will always find a good deal for this.

 

 

QUIZ: Where to ski and snowboard?

QUIZ: Where to ski and snowboard?

With more than a thousand ski resorts in the Alps, it can be hard to find the perfect place for that amazing trip that ticks all the boxes, especially if it’s your first time going on a ski holiday. Therefore, we’ve created a quiz to help you find your ideal destination and guide you in the right direction in your search. At each question right down your option -A, B, C or D- and at the end of the quiz count the letter it has been repeated the most. Here we go!

1. Apart from skiing, why would you like to go on a ski holiday? 

  1. As a break-away from the routine
  2. I just want to take to the slopes!
  3. Discover a new place
  4. Have a great time with my friends

2. How much should the transfer take from the airport to the resort?

  1. I don’t mind as long as the trip has a beautiful view
  2. Less than 2 hours, I’m too impatient!
  3. “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” – Lao Tzu
  4. I just want to arrive on time for the après-ski

3.  What type of skier are you?

  1. The one that takes their time to contemplate the views
  2. I’m a snowboarder
  3. The adventurous kind
  4. An après-skier

4. What’s your skiing level?

  1. Intermediate
  2. Expert
  3. Beginner
  4. I can try…

5. Which is your most-used emoji?

  1. 😍
  2. 💪
  3. 🔍
  4. 🍻

6. Best company to tackle the slopes with?

  1. My partner and people from my closest circle 
  2. Anyone who loves the snow as much as I do
  3. Somebody willing to explore around
  4. Friends! The more, the better

7. How will you spend your evening?

  1. Relaxed at the spa
  2. Still snowboarding or skiing
  3. Discovering a new place in town
  4. Drinking with my friends 

8. The most important thing about the resort?

  1. The scenery
  2. The pistes
  3. The connections
  4. The bars

 

Majority A – Val Thorens, France

At Val Thorens, approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes away from Geneva Airport.

After working so hard you look forward to treating yourself and relaxing. A great ski holiday must come along with a great spa! In the top-floor of the Pashmina Hotel, you’ll find the Occitane. You can have a massage, relax at the jacuzzi or at the steam room and take a nourishment treatment before descending the slopes. 

While you relax, and let the treatments take full effect as you have a glass of the finest champagne, you can enjoy the stunning winter panorama of the Trois Vallées. Also, if you want to explore other ski resorts, the Three Valleys is well connected by lifts with Méribel, La Tania, Courchevel and more.

Even if the first development built was a somewhat unsightly apartment block, Val Thorens is now home to some of the smartest hotels in the French Alps, more sympathetic with the Savoyard style. Some of the best hotels in the resort are Altapura, with an elegant Scandinavian style and Koh-i Nor, named after the largest diamond in the world.

 

Majority B – Avoriaz, France

At Avoriaz, approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes away from Geneva Airport.

All you care about is taking on those slopes! You are happier on the pistes and surrounded by snow, that’s why you’ll love the stunning views over the Morzine valley and Mont Blanc. Avoriaz has one of the best conditions to snowboard and ski: it has 600km of pistes to freeride, it’s usually one of the first resorts to get snow, and it’s the highest resort of the Portes du Soleil ski region (over 5900 feet). Also, the alpine resort has some of the best snowparks in Europe, including the Stash, a fun ungroomed area to freeride and freestyle. 

But if you go to Avoriaz don’t forget your swimming costume (yes, your swimming costume), you are going to need it at Aquariaz Indoor Water Park. Built on the top of a cliff, you can see the whole valley covered in snow while you’re swimming in a heated pool. Aquariaz has all the features you expect from a water park: a gently-flowing river to float around, an aquatic play area for young children, massage tables, and even a 10-metre high water half pipe.

Once a year, Avoriaz also hosts the Snowboxx Festival, with many ski and snowboard activities and an epic après party. Each year the line-up of the festival is headed by some acclaimed DJs such as Jax Jones, Annie Mac and Rudimental, amongst other artists. 

 

Majority C – Borovets, Bulgaria

At Borovets, approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes away from Sofia International Airport.

For you, each day is a chance to discover the world and skiing is just a pretext for new adventures! If you know the Alps well already, and they’ve lost their charm, then you should ski in Borovets, located at the foot of Mount Musala, the highest peak in the Balkans. This Bulgarian resort has great connections to other places worth exploring and it’s easy to find excursions to Sofia and Plovdiv. Also, it’s near the Rila Mountains and you can visit the fascinating Rila Monastery, the largest and most famous Eastern Orthodox monastery in Bulgaria. 

At 2925 metres of altitude, Borovets is a more budget-friendly destination compared to the Alps, and it has a wide offer of courses and activities for beginners. Still, intermediates can also have fun in the Balkans.

The resort also offers great après-ski plans where you can make other international friends, have fun and share some travelling recommendations. Besides, many skiers highlight Borovets’ nightlife as a key feature, as it’s the ski resort with the most bars per square km in Europe. Bulgaria is also one of the cheapest countries in Europe to buy beer, but you might want to try Rakia, Bulgaria’s national drink.

 

Majority D – St. Anton, Austria

At St. Anton, approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes away from Innsbruck Airport.

Taking to the slopes is an exciting idea, but you can’t stop thinking about the après-ski plan! St. Anton nights are well-known in the ski scene. Skiers and snowboarders can start their afternoon in the legendary après-ski mile, listening to live music and having an Austrian beer in bars like Mooserwirt, Taps, and Krazy Kanguruh. If it’s after 8pm and you are still looking for a place to continue the party and have some Jagermeister, you can go to Piccadilly/Postkeller, a complex in the middle of town with two ambiences: an area to drink and talk and another one if you feel like dancing. 

St. Anton is one of the snowiest areas in Europe, offering excellent snow conditions suitable for skiers and snowboarders of any level. However, experts will have a great time on the slopes in the resort and they can test their skills in areas like Galzig. On the other hand, the Nasserein area is more suitable for beginners and they can join the Ski School Arlberg, the largest school in Austria.

The Alberg region is the largest linked ski area in Austria and the lifts are highly efficient. With your ski pass, you’ll be able to ski at any point of the 305km in the Ski Arlberg area and visit neighbours resorts of St Christoph and Stuben and any of the other place in Lech and Zurs.

 

Happy with your resort? Which one is going to be your next destination? Share it with us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, we’d love to know the result!

 

Upcoming events in the Alps this ski season

Upcoming events in the Alps this ski season

Updated 09/03/2020 – With the recent coronavirus pandemic, many events have taken precautionary measures and cancelled or postponed activities. Please check on the individual event sites for the latest updates. 

After choosing a destination with stunning scenery and a great ski resort, buying the plane tickets, arranging the airport transfers with Ski Lifts and booking a relaxed and comfy chalet, you might be searching for activities to create enjoyable memories with your family or a group of friends. For this reason, we want to keep taking the hassle out of your holidays and suggest some exciting events for you to attend in the Alps.

International Hot Air Balloon Festival at Château-d’Oex

International Hot Air Balloon Festival

From the 25th of January to the 2nd of February.

At Château-d’Oex, approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes away from Geneva Airport.

Every January Château-d’Oex hosts hundreds of hot-air balloons for a 9-day colourful event in the Swiss Alps. The event includes a night-time show, flights in a hot air balloon, passenger flights in a helicopter and Wednesday afternoon is always dedicated to children, with many entertaining activities for families. 

See all the activities at https://www.chateau-doex.ch/fr/Z4237/festival-des-ballons-test-vitrine

 

Snowattack Festival 2020

From the 25th of January to the 2nd of February.

At Les Orres, approximately 3 hours away from Turin Airport.

For the 13th time, the French Alps welcome the Snowattack: a skiing, snowboarding and music festival that promises to keep you up all week. At Snowattack, you can start your day running a ski contest, participating in a Snow Dodgeball or tackling the slopes in a bikini. With sunset, the fun doesn’t stop, all the music events start and provide an endless amount of parties until dawn.

Check out the line-up and all the activities at https://snowattack.hu/en/

 

Backcountry Festival Davos 2020

From the 30th of January to the 2nd of February.

At Davos und Umgebung, approximately 2 hours away from Zurich Airport.

The Backcountry Festival Davos will take place for the fourth time this winter 2020. The Festival, with a base camp in Hotel Montana, offers daily courses and activities, such as ski tours, Snowshoeing and Freeride, Splitboard and avalanche courses. The activities are available at any level, from newbies having their first ski holiday to experts of the Davos slopes. An excellent opportunity to enjoy the snow with your family and friends or meet other skiers in the Swiss Alps. 

Find more information at https://www.backcountryfestival-davos.ch/

 

Snowboxx Festival 

From the 21st to the 28th of March.

Avoriaz’ stunning scenery

At Avoriaz, approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes away from Geneva Airport.

In the heart of the charming Avoriaz, you can join many activities, such as beginners ski and snowboard lessons or freestyle lessons to become a pro. And from skiing to an epic après party. The line-up of the festival is headed by acclaimed DJs such as Andy C, Annie Mac or DJ Ez, amongst other artists. Snowboxx offers an epic week full of music, ski and snowboard activities and more.

Visit https://www.snowboxx.com/index.php for more details. 

 

Coverfestival Davos

From the 26th of March to the 29th of March.

Skiing in Davos

At Davos, approximately 2 hours away from Zurich Airport.

Apart from winter sports activities at Davos, you can also enjoy The Davos Cover Festival, with International cover acts and tribute bands playing your favourite chart hits. With several locations such as the Bolgen Plaza or the Steigenberger Grandhotel Belvédère, the festival stands for fun days in the snow and pure nightlife.

Don’t miss your favourite tribute act and see all the details at https://www.coverfestival.ch/

 

Red Bull Home Run

The 4th of April.

At Davos (Jakobshorn), approximately 2 hours away from Zurich Airport.

Red Bull has organized the craziest downhill race in the Alps. The contestants will start the race at Jatzhütte, sprint to their boards and descend the slope until the finish line at Bolgen Plaza. There will be four categories; ski women, ski men, snowboard women and snowboard men, and each one will have a winner. The first ones to cross the finish line will win a ski weekend with hotel accommodation in Davos for two people. After the race, everyone will be able to enjoy the biggest end of season party in Davos, with live music, food and drinks. 

The registration is already open, check all the details at https://www.redbull.com/ch-de/events/homerun

 

Rüfi 900

The 4th of April.

At Lech Zürs (Arlberg), approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes away from Innsbruck Airport.

Rüfi 900 is an Uphill Challenge at the Lech Zürs am Arlberg that starts at the parking lot of the Schlosskopf lift and finishes at the Rüfikopf platform. Ski tourers, mountain runners, hikers or even cross-country skiers can prove themselves and ascend up 960 metres of altitude difference with an average gradient of 78%.

Check the different categories and the equipment recommendations at  https://www.lechzuers.com/en/ruefi-900/

 

Snowbombing

From the 13th to the 18th of April.

At Mayrhofen, approximately 1 hour away from Innsbruck Airport.

Once again, another music festival that combines fun mountain experiences during the day and awesome live concerts and parties at night. Liam Gallagher, Foals and The Street, amid other musicians, will be the soundtrack of an amazing week in the Alps. Party in a forest, rave in an igloo, hang out in luxury spa hotels and meet a community of like-minded party starters. 

For the line-up and details, check out https://snowbombing.com/

 

Weingondeln – Wine Gondolas

The 17th of April.

Lech Zürs landscape from the gondola lifts

At Lech Zürs (Auenfeldjet), approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes away from Innsbruck Airport.

Have a unique wine tasting experience after a morning on the slopes. Enjoy the amazing scenery of Lech from a gondola lift while you try a great selection of Austrian wines. 

For times and prices visit https://www.lechzuers.com/en/event/wine-gondolas/

Lech in spring

Oberlecher Spring Festival

From the 18th of April to the 19th of April.

At Lech (Oberlech), approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes away from Innsbruck Airport.

If you are going to enjoy some late-season skiing in the Austrian Alps, you shouldn’t miss the Oberlecher Spring Festival. A great après-ski plan with several music bands playing in the open-air while you enjoy the sunny terraces of Lech. 

For more details go to https://www.lechzuers.com/en/event/25th-oberlech-spring-festival/

International Mountain Day 2019

 International-mountain-day-ski-lifts

At Ski Lifts, we’re excited for one of the most important days of the year. That’s right, it’s International Mountain Day!  

What’s International Mountain Day?

Celebrated each year on the 11th December since 2003, the U.N. designated the day to raise awareness of the importance of sustainable mountain development and mountain communities, with 15% of the world’s population living in mountains.

The particular areas that the U.N. wants to highlight are the mountains’ importance in disaster risk reduction, providing water, tourism, food, youth, indigenous peoples and biodiversity. 

Why is it necessary? 

Covering around 27% of the earth’s land surface, mountains play a critical role in moving the world towards sustainable economic growth. Mountains are under threat from land degradation, exploitation, natural disasters and climate change which has ramifications on both a local and global scale.  

In fact, mountainous areas are particularly sensitive to the effects of climate change. For example, in The Alps temperatures have risen by just under 2°C over the past 120 years, which is almost twice as much as the global average, with researchers predicting this will continue to rise.

This can have serious consequences for the flora and living environment of the area, as can be seen by the loss of the Pizol glacier earlier this year. And of course, could make it more difficult for future generations of skiiers and snowboarders.

Is there a theme?

This year’s International Mountain Day focusses on how ‘Mountains matter for Youth’ and draws attention to younger generations as active agents of change, who will be the mountain custodians of tomorrow.

It’s also an opportunity to educate children and young people about the vital role that mountains play in supporting billions of people globally.  

How can the ski industry help?

As a whole, the ski industry is aware of the impact it has on the environment, particularly as it is most often pronounced in mountainous areas such as the Alps. As a result, many companies including us, are looking at ways we can minimise our impact and effect positive change 

For example, at Ski LIfts we actively decided to offer train station transfers as well as airport transfers to offer our customers a more accessible way to reach the Alps. We also recommend shared transfers where possible, as not only are they cost-effective but they also reduce the number of vehicles on the road. Moving forward, we are hoping to add more zero-emission transfers to our portfolio of suppliers.  

Team Trees

Team-Trees-Ski-Lifts

More directly though, in celebration of International Mountain Day, and as part of a wider initiative towards offsetting our carbon emissions and driving a positive impact for the industry, we have donated towards the planting of 500 trees through Team Trees 

In collaboration with the NGO the Arbor Day Foundation, Team Trees aims to plant 20 million trees in a sustainable and environmentally-friendly way, with studies showing this is one of the most effective ways of combatting global warming as trees remove carbon from the atmosphere.  

Get involved 

With mountains and their sustainable development being integral to many lives on Earth, there is still plenty to be done. To achieve sustainable mountain development, it is essential that all concerned stakeholders are involved and that awareness is raised about mountain ecosystems, their fragility and prevalent problems, and about ways of addressing them. For more information and to find out how you can get involved, click here 

 

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