8 ways that travel to Europe has changed since the UK left the EU

8 ways that travel to Europe has changed since the UK left the EU

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Okay. So the UK has now left the EU – but what can you expect when travelling to the European member states from 1st January 2021?

The UK will no longer be treated like a member of the EU, and is subject to new rules.

Once the COVID situation is under control and UK citizens are generally allowed to travel abroad again, you’ll need to be aware of these 8 changes when travelling to any EU countries (plus Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein).

Planning your trip…

1. How long you can stay

Most British travellers spend a few weeks at time abroad, however if you are thinking of spending longer you need to be aware that you’ll only be able to stay in an EU country for up to 90 days in any 180-day period. If you want to stay longer, you’ll need the right to remain/visa. The rules for Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus and Romania are different – as you can be there for 90-days and not use up your 90-day allowance for other EU countries.

2. Check your passport

You’ll need at least 6 months left on your passport and it must have been issued in the last 10 years. To make sure your passport is valid please visit the Government’s passport checker.

3. Check your travel and health insurance gives you the right level of cover

If you have a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) it is valid up to the expiry date displayed on the card.

There are limited details about what will replace EHIC but the UK government has said it will be issuing UK Global Health Insurance Card, which will most likely cover chronic or existing illnesses, maternity care and emergencies. Further details will follow.

The advice is to always take-out comprehensive travel insurance with appropriate healthcare cover, including existing medical conditions and any activities you plan to do such as skiing or other winter sports.

Ski-Lifts’ partner for travel insurance can be found here.

4. Mobile roaming charges may now apply

While the UK’s four main mobile operators have said they have no plans to reintroduce roaming fees, it’s a good idea to check with your provider before you head off. As of 1st Jan 2021, Brits in Europe are not guaranteed free mobile data roaming so you could be charged for calls, messages or using the internet or apps.

At the airport…

5. We love a queue but make sure you’re in the right one

You will no longer be able to use the EU passport lanes on arrival. You might also have to show a return ticket and that you have enough money for your stay.

6. Duty free is back!

Good news if you are travelling to the EU from the UK (expect Ireland) as you can now stock up on duty free shopping with tobacco and alcohol limits set to increase as well.

7. Know what food you can take with you

Meat and dairy products cannot be taken into EU countries so please check as recent news reports show they are checking. The exceptions are powdered baby milk, baby food or food required for medical reasons.

8. Driving in Europe

Take the hassle-free approach and book a transfer with Ski-Lifts to ensure that your holiday runs as smoothly as possible – be met at the airport and taken directly to your accommodation. Get an instant quote here.

If you are hiring a car, you’ll need to take your driving licence (you’ll need an international driving permit if yours is the old paper version or issued in Gibraltar, Channel Islands or the Isle of Man).

If you are taking your own vehicle, you’ll also need the logbook (V5C) and valid insurance documents – please contact your insurance company four to six weeks before travel to get a green card to prove you have insurance. They may charge you an admin fee for this. You’ll still need a GB sticker on the car.

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Three great places to go skiing in Germany

Three great places to go skiing in Germany

There are several resorts in Germany for skiing. Of note are some great bunny mountains for those wanting to build their confidence, as well as the Kandahar run in Garmisch, which surprises everyone for how tricky it is for downhill ski fans.

Germany is a beginner and family skier’s secret bolthole, with many resorts just an hour away from Munich Airport and Munich Train Station, as well as many tiny towns and villages that no-one really knows about…

Q. Can you go skiing in Germany?

A. Yes! The Bavarian Alps have much to offer – and more so for the peaks and valleys that cross the border with Austrian ski resorts, where there are much bigger peaks to go skiing and ‘boarding in.

 

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Where to go skiing in Germany

 

1. Garmisch, Germany

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Garmisch - Skiing in Germany

Garmisch – or Garmisch-Partenkirchen by its full name – is a very well-known location with 45km of pistes, where a skier can kick off their skiing holiday, before tacking the Kandahar for the week, or whizzing around the four big peaks: the Hausberg, the Kreuzeck, the Alpspitze and the Zugspitze (“Trek Top”), which is the highest mountain in Germany. It casually relaxes itself across the Austria-Germany border and descends into Ehrwald in Austria.

The whole Garmisch area has lots of little pockets of (interestingly named, and) beautiful places to pepper your trip with if you wish. There is the Linderhof, an ex-royal palace open to the public, a glacier Höllental (Wetterstein) – great for trying our climbing in the Alps, and Eibsee, which is quite possibly the most instagrammable lake in all of Germany.

⛷ Need an airport transfer to Garmisch? Let Ski-Lifts take care of your ski transfers today!

 

2. Oberjoch, Germany

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Oberjoch - Skiing in Germany

Oberjoch Bad Hindelan is popular locally in a similar way that The Nevis Range is popular in Scotland, UK – the peaks are family-friendly, and the snow is good when travel costs are cheaper – in January and February. Of course, Oberjoch’s pistes aren’t as dizzying as they are elsewhere, but the slopes add up to a little range of 32km to choose from. While this is small, this number does makes Oberjoch much bigger compared to many tiny slopes dotted around Bavaria that literally centre around about 8 cabins and a few cafes (perfect if you’re on a serious hideaway holiday!). There is also a snow nursery for the smaller kids to meet and go sledding or learn skiing; and in the winter, Oberjoch welcomes a little troupe of horse-drawn carriages for couples wishing to live the actual Bavarian fairy tale.

⛷ Need a transfer to Oberjoch? Get a custom quote for your Germany ski transfer now.

 

3. Oberstdorf, Germany

⛷ Visitng Oberstdorf this season? Book your Munich Airport transfer today, with Ski-Lifts.

Oberstdorf - Skiing in Germany

Oberstdorf’s range technically crosses over in Austria – some skiers will tell you that Oberstdorf is Austrian because that’s where the bigger footprints of the mountains are… But if your resort or chalet is in Oberstdorf proper, you are actually still in Germany – albeit, the most southern tip of Bavaria.

It’s much bigger than most people imagine it to be, with 130km of pistes to choose from, including the more challenging red runs – the Fellhorn and Walmendingerhorn mountains. Off-piste, you can explore another untouched 70km of mountain and crag – a place that hikers and climbers tend to make more use of in the summer.

⛷ Visitng Oberstdorf this season? Book your Munich Airport transfer today, with Ski-Lifts.

 

4. Feldberg, Germany

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Feldberg - Skiing in Germany

Feldberg is the name of the mountain and the village, located at the “end” of the famous Black Forest. It is sizeable in terms of the kinds of skiing areas that exist in Germany – there are 60km of slopes across the Feldberg and Seebuck mountains here (not including any off-piste shenanigans), which together make Feldberg a third bigger than Garmisch’s range in total, just for on-piste.

Feldberg has 36 slopes and 28 lifts – again, not massively known internationally, but a new year must-do in Germany, with lots of city folk rushing in during the Christmas and school holidays here. Feldberg is also the spiritual home of skiing in Germany – at least in the sense that in 1892, Germany’s first ever ski club was established on Feldberg mountain; and the first ski-in ski-out lodge in the country.

⛷ Ski-Lifts has your ski transfers to Austria and Germany covered! Book now.

 


Q. Which areas in Germany are popular for skiing?

A. Garmisch is probably the most famous ski resort in Germany, home of the country’s tallest mountains and most challenging downhill runs. Oberjoch and Oberstdorf are also well-known as Bavarian Alps wonderlands; the latter crossing over into Austria. Oberstdorf offers an impressive 80 miles of piste to explore, and a World-Cup ski track.

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Scotland Skiing During Coronavirus

Scotland Skiing – Where Is Best?

Scotland skiing? Really? Yes, really. A vintage trend that is gaining huge popularity during Coronavirus as UK skiers are not allowed to travel outside of their own borders.

And it’s underrated, especially for freeride junkies and skiing families. The Nevis Range, Glencoe, Aviemore, Cairngorms, Glenshee and Lecht 2090 arguably aren’t the first peaks and valleys that skiers and snowboarders are used to hearing of, or even thinking about when planning ski holidays for the season.

A vintage ski trend, renewed

But don’t speak too soon about Scotland for skiing! Internet search engine queries for “Scotland skiing” have experienced a meteoric rise of 1000x the usual amount of interest over the last two years. With trends moving increasingly towards low-impact and sustainable tourism habits in the UK, particularly for “new” holiday makers aged 20-39 (and with the oldest Millennials now hitting 40s in 2019 and beyond), doing a Scotland skiing season is experiencing a spike in its popularity for outdoorsy folk, skiers and snowboarders.

Granted, we are more likely to dream of The Three Valleys before we even consider the Grampian. Yet Scotland skiing is savouring its own renaissance tale of late: with local funds being dedicated to help capitalise on the Scottish ski trend for years to come, a ski holiday focused around Scotland skiing is destined to become one to actually tick off the list once more.

So where’s good for Scotland skiing?

Best Scotland Skiing Locations

 

The Nevis Range

Ben Nevis Ski-Lifts Ski Airport Transfers

The Nevis Range is iconic, with Ben Nevis being the highest peak and the most famous mountain in the UK. It only stands 1,345 metres above sea level, but the carns at the top of the cairn means that skiing in The Nevis Range puts you just 100 metres below the actual summit itself, which is quite cool. With lots of freeride areas, untouched snow and a 500 metre vertical descent in the Back Corries, the Nebis Range offers a lot of variety for every skier and snowboarder.

This chunky mountain range in the Highlands is also popular with mountain bikers in particular. (We say MTB because The Nevis Range hosts the UCI Downhill World Cup every year, which is why you’ll see many mountain bikes sticking out of the gondolas!)

 

Cairngorms & Aviemore

The biggest ski resort in Scotland, relatively speaking, with 32km of slopes, the Cairngorms has been steadily hosting more and more skiers and snowboarders since the 1960s. The Cairngorms ski transfer from Inverness is just one hour, and usually a little less in late season.

Aviemore is the place to stay if you ski and want to explore the Cairngorms.

As matter-of-factly as Boaty McBoatface, the Cairngorms National Park is of course named after the Cairn Gorm itself – the cairn (peak) standing at the heart of this highland. The Cairngorms park is spectacular throughout the year, and for skiers, they offer the most family-friendly facilities plus a better guarantee of snow. Visit Scotland recommends the whole-family-together classes at the snow school in the Cairngorms. The Ciste has the most snow and least explored runs where you’ll find the off-piste crew.

Airport Ski Transfers - Cairngorms Ski Lifts Transfers

Accommodation-wise, you’ll often find the best deals in the Cairngorms and Aviemore if you are skiing in Scotland. They’re not ski chalets obviously, but in Scotland you’ll generally find yurts, treehouses, cabins; and mostly lodges, guest houses, farmhouses and family-run B&Bs.  Accommodation generally in Scotland often allow pets, but be sure to call up before booking to check – especially in reserve areas where most of the wildlife in the Cairngorms is protected by law, such as the reindeer which you may see on your airport transfer into the mountains.

As well as attracting overseas skiers from Scottish heritage families in the US, Canada and Australia, the Cairngorms are also chosen by skiers in the Nordics looking to experience their own tradition with a twist; along with the ongoing surge of hiking holidays with millennials and Generation Z who venture to the Highlands to learn ice climbing and snowshoeing from base camp.

 

Glencoe

Glencoe Ski Lifts Airport Transfers

Glencoe is the quieter area, away from the Nevis Range but just as neighbourly to the beautiful areas of Fort William. Although it’s a small ski area, it was the first ever Scottish ski resort, and it continues to be noted as being the most chilled out of all the cairns. If you’re lucky, you might catch a rare sighting of the world mountaineering legend and inventor that is Hamish McInnes in the wild! In Glencoe you’ll only find 6 skilifts, most of which are old school drag lifts/ T-Bars, and a couple of chair lifts. Nevertheless, Glencoe has a great variety of runs, for beginner skiers to advanced skiers – the latter whom might be pleasantly surprised by the diversity of freeride areas and untouched highland.

The runs all have brilliant names – a few examples being Happy Valley, Thrombosis and Old Mugs Valley. Although, if you want to get serious, then the most notorious ski run to try in Glencoe is the Flypaper, a black run that is small, but challenging and perfectly formed for advanced skiers.

Glencoe is an easy reach from Glasgow Airport and all Glasgow Train Stations, with the ski transfer time taking just 90 mins. The short road trip makes for a moody, stunning view from your ski transfer. It’s important to note that Glencoe is usually busy during the UK school holidays and over Christmas, and the car parks get full fast. It might be an idea to rise early and book mini-transfers through the week from your resort accommodation to Glencoe, to beat the queues and save on the petrol. If you’re looking at Glencoe, booking your accommodation early is also highly advised, with traditional lodges and cabins being the most sought after.

Lecht 2090

The Lecht Ski Airport Transfers Scotland

OK, this photo doesn’t do justice to the snow. Locally it’s just called ‘The Lecht’, but internationally it’s Lecht 2090. Loads of wholesome skiing fun and another one that’s great for families and young skiers, as this super cool ski day in the Lecht video attests to.

 

Glenshee

Glenshee Scotland Skiing Ski Transfers Ski-Lifts Ltd

The snow, most years at least, speaks for itself in Glenshee.

After your stint of Scotland skiing

As we well know, the French are adept at coining the perfect term for anything – just as they did with Après-Ski, a time-honoured European winter tradition. Après-Ski habits, however, are believed to have originated in Norway, Sweden and Finland, where the done thing was to guzzle and share your mulled wines in almost medicinal fashion, cook food together, and huddle in furs as a group to stay warm before skiing back home…

Of course it’s not really an idea to be hugely comparative in great detail to what we see and know today for Après-Ski culture around the globe! In Scotland, it’s totally chilled out; something more in line with its Nordic heritage.

Ideas for a Scottish Après-Ski

Bonnet Cheese Scottish Apres Ski - Scotland Skiing Culture

An Après-Ski culture in Scotland is a hospitality opportunity waiting to be both revived and renewed. Scotland après-ski is a very relaxed affair for wining and dining in your lodge, guest house, stone cottage – or just your nearest pub in front of a hearth. Sipping a dram in Fort William is definitely a far cry from hitting the bars and clubs!

Restaurants, lodges, cafes and pubs are usually rammed during lunch and dinner. You might be best off self-catering or waiting to do your own apres-ski as a late dinner if you want to avoid the food queues – unless you like queuing with the bustle of it all, meeting new people.

Either way (as far as we’ve heard) Scottish Après-Ski does happily involve imbibing yourself with the local nectars and having a dram or three. Which of course you must try in the Cairngorms, being merely a few miles from Speyside!

Food-wise, it doesn’t have to be all haggis and deep fried everything. Although, there is nothing wrong with enjoying a one-off deep fried Mars bar with ice cream, other than suffering your GP’s and probably your own massive disapproval. In terms of your long, late after-ski dinner, partaking in the local salmon, beef, lobster, grouse and game; and enjoying at least one cullen and one Scottish-only cheese platter, comprising fare from the Highlands and Islands: Bonnet, Fearn Abbey, Kedar smoked, Isle of Mull cheddar, Hebridean blue and so on – similarly grass-fed cheese goodness which is all there to be experienced.

 

Other Traditions


Screenshot from Ski Club video of Scotland Ski Series
Kilts are optional! Scotland is a quirky pick for skiers of all levels. Advanced skiers might bore of the same gradients after a few days, but they will be kept entertained in areas like Glencoe where the freerides are as plentiful as the bunny slopes. And should you go off-piste, there are more challenging conditions and locations that necessitate some Nordic and mountaineering skills – simply because there are several areas with no skilifts, and getting stuck in the middle of an unmarked run here is as dangerous as it would be anywhere else in the world.

Get in the mood for Scotland skiing

There are some fun homebrew videos on YouTube from UK, US and Canadian skiers enjoying Scottish skiing. This primer Scotland skiing video series from Ski Club is stunning, and we’re sure you’ll be just as surprised as they were at how fun skiing in Scotland is.

With a bit of luck, an extra gust of arctic wind in April and May will see the snow last longer for Scotland skiing again this year, too.

Why some UK skiers are heading to the Cairngorms for skiing

Why some UK skiers are heading to the Cairngorms for skiing

So the Cairn Gorm certainly is not Mont Blanc. But it deserves to be respected for its unique beauty and non-mainstream appeal. It’s funny that a season spent in Scotland skiing isn’t more well-known as it makes for a more authentic, environmentally-friendlier ski learning experience than sliding up and down a large fridge. The UK – often completely unknown to, and unwanted by UK skiers and snowboarders – has a petite number of its own natural ski destinations; the most stunning and snowsure of these being in Scotland. And in particular to the powder hounds who are ‘staying home’ – heading to the Cairngorms skiing will be your safest bet for fresh and long-lasting snow.

Why are some UK skiers choosing the Cairngorms?

The Coronavirus epidemic in 2020 has had a huge role to play in UK skiers choosing the Cairngorms for skiing as flight bans and travel bans were put in place.

Nonetheless, they probably deserve more credit than that. A huge, undulating Celtic landscape of protected natural beauty, filled with wildlife and completely untouched forests, meadows and valleys topped by the Cairn Gorm mountain – the Cairngorms are a must-see and do for any skier, at least once. The Cairngorms have the most reliable snow out of all the peaks in Scotland, which normally lasts into the late season. The best way to stay up to speed with the snow is to sign up to the Scotland snow alerts from the official Visit Scotland site.

Other field notes for Cairngorms Skiing

For skiers heading up the actual mountain peak itself, the Cairn Gorm, having Nordic ski skills will be immensely helpful for more of the daring runs, where it is likely you will need to go off-piste onto the peaks, across unmarked territory and where there simply won’t be any working lifts – at least for a few years while the £20 million funicular repair work gets underway. In the meantime, some little pistes to enjoy:

 

Get in the mood for Cairngorms skiing

It’s a different type of anticipation, that’s for sure – but the Cairngorms have a habit of surprising people for the size and majesty of the area, both in the traditional Scottish wintertime and throughout the rest of the year – making it hugely popular with those looking to take hiking trips. One way of getting in the mood for skiing in the Cairngorms might be thinking about the landscape and its wildlife. And as for a subject matter that is incredibly unique and specific to the Cairngorms, check out The Tigers of Scotland by UK natural history producer Wild Films. It’s documentary about the endangered Scottish Wildcat species narrated by Iain Glen (Games of Thrones) – it has snow-covered cats, sure – but also you can also expect lots and lots of footage of the peaks, and all the fresh powdery snow as it settles throughout Cairngorms National Park in the winter:

 

The Cairngorms are popular for skiing locally with Scottish skiers at Christmas and during the holidays, so it means there can be some big queues for a relatively small area. So it pays to get in early and book your lift passes ahead in the Cairngorms for sure. Or if you’re looking for other locations in Scotland for skiing, check out the mini guide.

 

Regular, experienced UK family skiers aged 26 – 40? You’re likely to pick the Cairngorms these days

Whole-family ski classes are abundant and popular in Scotland, which means new and young UK families from further afield are continuing to opt for Scotland skiing and a ‘staycation’, particularly if they are choosing to avoid flying with small children – this might sound familiar to you. Certainly, this global tourism meta trend: i.e. new families around the world, according to Skift, are far more likely to book a cruise than they are to fly for a short-haul all-inclusive (and to this point, the biggest data clusters in the actual research were only for cruises, resulting in so little flight data, that it ended up being removed from the original survey!) coupled with the eco-friendly staycation preference and Covid fears – all this is helping drive a steady rush of ski tourism into the Cairngorms again. So the big question is, will you be trying Scotland as family skiers, or sticking with your:

Tried and trusted Ski-Lifts destinations such as

  • Morzine
  • Avoriaz
  • Les 2 Alpes
  • Sestriere
  • Verbier
  • Le Clusaz
  • Garmisch
  • Whistler
  • Champoussin

Where are you planning to go skiing this time? Let us know on Ski-Lifts’ social media channels, we can’t wait to hear from you!


Coronavirus: Where Can I Go Skiing if I’m from Ireland?

Where can I go skiing 2020/21 if I’m travelling from Ireland?

Where can I go skiing if I’m travelling from Ireland? Ireland’s response to the coronavirus has been fairly exemplary in terms of digital resources, following the majority of global response models by using the secure, Apple and Google ready-made track and trace apps. Irish holidaymakers also have access to a free Government-made travel safety app called TravelWise, which contains all-round, real-time personal safety information about the country they’re visiting, as well as the current Covid-19 restrictions from the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA). Holiday makers have also been invited to stay in contact with their Irish Embassy whenever and wherever they’re travelling to, as an extra safety precaution.

Of course, ensuring you have your EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) renewed and up to date will be of paramount importance anyway, regardless of restrictions.

The list of countries that you are allowed to visit is based on a traffic light system (Green, Orange, Red) which is updated every Thursday, with any arrivals and departure changes at all ports and airports taking effect the following Monday.

NB: At the time of writing, there are no longer any countries on the Green list as per the spike of Coronavirus cases throughout Europe. This means all non-essential travel is against DFA advice, and will not be insurable while Ireland is on lockdown.

 

Where can I go skiing – if I’m travelling from Ireland uninsured, and if I follow the rules?

Irish snow-loving tourists – as soon as its OK to travel again – can visit the following on the basis of full personal risk and complying with local restrictions in place:

Sweden (light testing measures could be brought into most airports in the future)

Andorra  (you may be spot-tested at the airport if suspected of having symptoms on arrival)

Bulgaria (NB: rules transitioning: have proof of a negative PCR test within 72 hours or less of arrival)

Italy (fill out form, have proof of a negative test taken within 72 hours or less of your departure date)

Germany (fill out form, take the test, register travel info with Customs Health Officials, self isolate for 14 days)

Switzerland (self isolate for 10 days, register travel info at Customs)

Norway (quarantine in Norway for 10 days, you may need to take a test)

Slovenia (show proof of negative PCR taken in the Schengen area within 48 hours before arrival, or, self-isolate for 10 days)

Poland (Flights only permitted into 3 territories, but internal travel and rail links are open)

 

Airport Transfers to Ski resorts

 

What if I’m travelling from Ireland outside of Europe?

Irish skiers and snowboarders sadly cannot go beyond Europe to ski or board right now – so this means USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand are off the list.

Foreign Nationals In Ireland

You are advised to consult with your local Embassy first and then the DFA.

Non-Essential Travel and Insurance

All travel that is not repatriation, emergency, homebound/main residency travel or key-worker related is considered non-essential – much as it is in the UK and Northern Ireland.

In similar fashion, this also means some tour operators will have a tougher time being able to validate and insure travel properly unless the country is on the Green list. Travel insurance is still available – however most individuals will not be able to acquire valid insurance if they travel against Foreign Affairs advice.

Again, this is similar to UK policy, where repatriation and emergency medical are covered by insurers only if you are travelling somewhere that is considered safe for non-essential travel, otherwise it is invalidated.

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Coronavirus: Where Can I Go Skiing if I’m from the Netherlands?

Where can I go skiing 2020/21 if I’m travelling from the Netherlands?

Where can I go skiing if I’m travelling from the Netherlands? The Netherlands have a super simple orange-or-yellow system for holiday makers looking to travel around Europe and beyond.  Many countries have been downgraded from ‘orange’ (not advised) to ‘yellow’ (permissible). If the country is not listed anywhere, you simply cannot go at the moment.

As with all types of travel during the pandemic, many countries rely on the rules and regulations imposed by the desired destination country of the holiday-maker, as they essentially have the final say as to your health status and fitness to travel before crossing the border in any case.

This is great news for skiers and snowboarders from the Netherlands who wish to go abroad and still be insured for travel in a number of selected countries. One notable skiing country that seems to have been left out is Andorra, which means if it’s not on the list – you can’t go. (Yet); Spain is currently not advised but there are limited operating flights there, at least at the time of writing.

However it doesn’t prevent that destination country from stipulating new conditions upon or prior to arrival. As with all of our information pages, the information in these posts are subject to change in accordance with the changing regulations of various countries around the world and will be updated accordingly.

Where can I go skiing in 2020/21 from the Netherlands?

The following destinations are open for travel, as long as Dutch citizens and residents follow their host country’s rules, which normally means self-isolating on arrival. You will normally have to self-isolate when you get home too. These countries are currently on the ‘yellow’ list:

Sweden

Austria (self isolate for 14 days, get tested at the airport)

Switzerland (self isolate for 10 days, register travel info at Customs)

Italy (fill out form, have proof of a negative test taken within 72 hours or less of your departure date)

Germany (fill out form, take the test, register travel info with Customs Health Officials, self isolate for 14 days)

Liechtenstein (Borders controlled by CH; self isolate for 10 days, register travel info at Customs)

 

Where can I go skiing if I’m travelling from the Netherlands uninsured and unadvised, and if I follow the rules?

If you’re from the Netherlands, you may still find travel routes to these locations but they are ‘orange’, and therefore not currently advised by the Kingdom of Netherlands Government:

France

Bulgaria (NB: rules transitioning: have proof of a negative PCR test within 72 hours or less of arrival)

Norway (quarantine in Norway for 10 days, you may need to take a test)

Slovenia (show proof of negative PCR taken in the Schengen area within 48 hours before arrival, or, self-isolate for 10 days)

 

Ski Lifts - Airport Transfers to Ski Resorts

 

Where can I go skiing if I’m travelling from the Netherlands – outside of Europe?

Europeans like yourselves have been mostly “confined” by the rest of the world (oh, no…) to Europe. (And let’s face it, that’s not always really the worst thing). Of course sadly it also means that people from the Netherlands currently are not permitted to visit the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

Foreign Nationals In the Netherlands

You are advised to consult with your local Embassy first and then the Kingdom of Netherlands Gov.

Non-Essential Travel and Insurance

As with the rest of the world combined, travel that is not secured by any kind of permission or ‘air bridge’; travel that is not repatriation, emergency, homebound/main residency travel or key-worker related will likely not be advised by the Netherlands currently. However, the list of countries that our fantastic Dutch customers like yourself can visit is indeed wider than a lot of your neighbouring countries! Make the most of it while you can, book for a skiing holiday now, get your transfers with us at Ski-Lifts, and avoid the crowds this season!

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Top 5 Last Minute Ski Holidays in Italy

Top 5 Resorts: Last Minute Ski Break in Italy

(As Long As You Test Negative for Covid-19)

We were inspired to create a ‘Last Minute Ski Break in Italy’ list, given where people like yourself are now looking to go somewhere different for the snow season. That, and a lot of our UK customers were finding they can avoid much of the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) travel drama – as long as they have proof of a negative Covid-19 test at most, 72 hours before travel and are happy to quarantine once back home.

It’s true – you really can’t go wrong with the Dolomites, or the Italian Alps, really. The Dolomites are practically worshipped by the locals downhill in Veneto, Emilia-Romagna and down as far as Rome, who all make plans to spend long summers there to escape the tourists in their own cities; thousands of native Italians trekking cross country for spa weeks, hiking, cycling and eating as much fresh Alpine cheese as possible over the summer.

The way things are going for this pandemic: we’re predicting that there will be a lot of last minute ski breaks being booked from across Europe and UK for the ski season. We’re starting to see this pattern emerge already – while over on the US side, we’re seeing searches for backcountry skiing, cross country treks and ski touring grow exponentially, as people try to avoid the crowds this season without missing out on the snow.

And with the world still reeling from the Coronavirus – particularly with UK customers only having 6 countries out of the whole world to visit (at the time of writing – UK skiers should check our updated skiing during the pandemic page); there is one side of the Alps that might see a little more action than usual given the lack of quarantine required on arrival. So, we put together this list of Top 5 Last-Minute Ski Break Ideas in Italy.

We’re hoping this list of last minute ski break ideas in Italy will come in useful for you – particularly for those of you booking your skiing holidays a little later than normal.

Naturally, we do want this to also help and persuade you into ensuring that you’re booking your airport transfers to Italian resorts with the best value possible, even at short notice. And at Ski-Lifts, usually, we can accommodate booking up to 48 hours in advance, and sometimes we can do it on the day. We’ve also created our Covid-19 guarantee, so there’s no excuse (you know, other than a blanket global quarantine) for you not to book with full confidence!

That’s why we’ve put together this list – Fontina cheese guaranteed (and it certainly should be plentiful this year)! So let’s get inspired and get to our first ever Italian ski break ideas list.

Which are the best last-minute ski resorts in Italy?

  1. Courmayeur
  2. Cervinia
  3. Cortina
  4. Madonna di Campiglio
  5. Sauze d’Oulx

and we couldn’t not mention Sestriere!

 

Courmayeur

Courmayeur Mont Blanc Monte Bianco Ski Lifts

Courmayeur is an incredible location from which to ski a bucket-list peak – Mont Blanc (or Monte Bianco, which has a slightly dangerous ring to it, wouldn’t you agree?). It has resurged in popularity again in recent years compared to its 70s reputation, with some skiers gliding over the border year after year to see how their famous Savoie natural superstructure feels under-ski from the Italian side.

Courmayeur is a small Alpine town like the others, yes, but it packs a lot of punch. It offers everything from the 5* AMEX preferred Le Massif, very much the luxury accommodation in Courmayeur to be seen in; all the way through to some gorgeous, homely chalets offering that playful Italian twist on hospitality. You’ll also find the usuals: a couple of funky nightclubs, nearly 50 bars, and lots of small, little eateries and restaurants using homegrown food.

Courmayeur is easily reachable from Geneva and so makes a most excellent last-minute ski break in Italy. You can also get to this Valle d’Aosta location easily from Chambery, Bergamo, Lyon, Innsbruck, Milan and Turin airport, so you can be extra crafty about booking the best value flight to arrive in Courmayeur.

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Cervinia

Cervinia Airport Transfer

Valle d’Aosta’s Cervinia is indeed a practical choice for booking your last minute ski break in Italy.

It’s made for the beginner-to-improver skier. Cervinia is snowsure, has the Matterhorn, the food is delicious and cheap; plus the late season is great if you want to get those super cheap flights which allow you to transfer to the Valle d’Aosta from Turin in January. It’s linked to the village of Valtournenche, and the slopes are gentle. Advanced skiers looking for a challenge might get bored of Cervinia’s slopes – although that’s fixed by a climb and venture over the Little Matterhorn and back into Switzerland, where it gets far more daring again. Cervinia is a destination of choice for millions of skiers – and it can also be one of your best ever last minute ski resort ideas in Italy for a quick week in the Alps.

Cervinia is another ski resort kind of like Sauze d’Oulx but that’s also great for those families who are finally starting out as skiers together, that want to stick to budget and avoid the crush of the typical resorts over the border, going at their own pace.

BOOK NOW: Cervinia transfers from Geneva Airport

 

Cortina

Cortina Ski Transfers - Ski Lifts

In what might be the laziest analogy, Cortina d’Ampezzo is the winter Hamptons for the upmarket Italian, and for many European neighbours. Italians themselves don’t actually flock to Cortina to ski all week (which means more pistes and off for the guests!). They come here to wear fur coats, drink scores of cocktails, go window shopping, breathe in that indescribable old-world Italian glamour on tap which is their heritage and ultimately bask in the early sunset passeggiata after a late lunch, through the wide cobbled streets of Corsa Italia and Piazza Venezia. Cortina as a resort packs a lot of character, (and nearly 200 bars!) tucked within a largely unspoilt mountain town, and so it proves popular with grouped solo skiers and couples.

Although that’s not to say it’s not family friendly – because it really is; but it would be privy to remember that this is second home land, where most metropolitan Italians come to escape their own kids. A last-minute ski break in Italy via Cortina? We say go for it.

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Madonna di Campiglio

Madonna Di Campiglio - Ski Lifts Airport Transfers

Madonna di Campiglio is indeed the Mother of the Little Valley. This stunning, car-free resort is a place the locals would prefer to be kept secret thanks to the little town’s unspoilt Alpine elegance, tree-lined runs and its extremely relaxed vibe. This is the new cool kids’ choice for a last minute ski break in Italy – for skiers tiring of the usual fare over the border, Madonna di Campiglio is the chilled-out choice in the Dolomites for intermediate skiers and snowboarders looking to concentrate on their technique in a much less crowded- although still-buzzing – mountain setting. Viewing a golden winter sunset fall into the Brenta Dolomites is on the bucket list of many a native southern Italian – and therefore as a skier or snowboarder, it’s your duty to venture up to northern Italy and book your ski break in in Madonna di Campiglio this year, even if just to see these iconic views for yourself over a glass or two of the local Vespolina. For your last minute ski resort ideas in Italy – you can’t go wrong here.

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Sauze d’Oulx 

sauze d'oulx airport transfers - ski lifts

Sauze d’Oulx remains the family-friendly ski resort in Italy, and is popular with large groups and families booking their super last minute family ski holidays. For some time, Sauze d’Oulx had the whole Club Med, super-resort image, which it has since shaken off somewhat. Whether it’s because that reputation itself made the slopes a little less crowded over the last few years from the skiers who worry they might be looking bit passé there, we’ll never know… Nonetheless, that should make it even easier for you to book any of your last minute ski resort ideas in Italy, It’s all about decent snow, loads of food, fantastic wine and it’s wide variety of slopes which that most beginners and families look to tick off their Alps list early on in their journey across the world’s mountains each season.

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Sestriere

sestriere airport transfers with Ski-Lifts

Sestriere sits up high on the France-Italy border in Vialattea. The higher altitude cousin of Sauze d’Oulx in the Western side of the Italian Alps  – Sestriere is a ski-in ski-out purpose built ski resort. It’s great for improving and intermediate skiers looking to better their abilities, with a perfectly diverse mix of runs to suit everyone over the former Winter Olympic slopes which makes it popular with solo groups and small groups who need an affordable, practical getaway to the Alps. As the add on to our Top 5 last minute ski resort ideas in Italy – Sestriere is a great location to choose, to ensure you don’t regret missing the snow.

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Skiing: the safest holiday to take during the pandemic?

Goggles and buff – Is skiing the safest holiday to take during the pandemic?

 

Is skiing safe during the Coronavirus? In many parts of the world, particularly in the Alps in Europe, extra precautions and measures are being taken to ensure that those looking to book skiing holidays are not being subject to careless exposure. France Montagnes is one excellent example of how various cleaning measures and extra facilities – which have been in place since the summer – including hand gel and masks, are helping to support the infection safety of those who travel.

In addition, our fantastic Ski Lifts network is helping to support hygiene measures during your transfer, which match those that are in place in various countries. For example, our transfer vehicle safety measures – again, updated in the summer, is complimentary to the existing international travel measures that are in place at airports, train stations and even on board ships.

Can ski gear help protect against the Coronavirus?

It would be foolish to say that it does! Although saying that, let’s consider how things don’t feel so hugely different: the ski gear, ski sets and equipment that we use to keep us safe while we are skiing may well also be helpful to protect us while we are out and about in the ski resort, as long as we’re not allowing this to give us a false sense of security.

There are various ways we can find some forms of PPE as analogous to our googles and buff. Goggles indeed are already a form of personal protective equipment; the only difference being that these are designed to protect us and keep our eyes and the surrounding skin safe, due to weather and light conditions – as opposed to being personal wearable controls for infection safety.

Yet, it stands to reason that we might treat our ski gear and ski extras with a little bit of extra care to ensure we’re not contributing to further mini-outbreaks that can put our own, or other’s loved ones at risk.

What extra tips can skiers and snowboarders consider to stay safe while skiing this season?

We have put some general ideas together as extra precautions to take to help minimise your risk further, in addition to working with the sanctioned and regulatory measures required by the various ski areas across the world such as French ski resorts, Italian resorts, Austrian resorts, Swiss, resorts in Liechtenstein, German ski resorts and others.

The below are some pieces of advice we’ve picked up from skiers who are already planning their half term ski holidays, and ensuring they don’t miss the ski while the borders remain relatively open. We’ll be sharing this online across our socials, so be sure to keep an eye out for it!

 

Our ‘Clean Ski’ Protocol – ideas to use while skiing this year, in addition to the measures deemed mandatory by your local health authority:

Stay Ski Safe This Season - Coronavirus nInfographic

(Please see the same tips as in the infographic above):

Wash and dry your buffs and scarves daily

Wash items using buff manufacturer’s instructions. Use the warmest water setting, dry items completely. Don’t shake laundry before washing – this can disperse trapped viral particles back into the air. (Source: gov.uk)

Wipe goggles with clean cloths and anti-fog spray

PPE needs anti-fog spray and clean microfibre cloths to ensure infection-safe standards. Naturally, the same can apply to your goggles. Be sure that any spray is compatible with your ski goggles. (Source: Amazon)

Bring extra gloves

A few pairs of gloves might seem pointless, but being able to clean what you’ve been wearing, especially where it could be more crowded than advised, will help to stop the spread. It’s not a popular thing to do, but it counts. (Source: gov.uk)

Make the most of the sunlight

Not sunlight totally, but UV light specifically is supposed to be a natural radiation source that inactivates the Coronavirus. However, don’t let that lull you into a false sense of security… sunburn is real thing too.

Help your fellow skiers and snowboarders

Social distancing at 2m, not 1m… remains one of the most effective ways to prevent virus transmission, at least while there is no known cure or mass prophylaxis for Covid-19.
(Source: World Health Organisation)

 

Do I really need to wear a mask under my buff, coat or scarves?

Under the advice of the World Health Organisation and various other international health and regulatory bodies, the use of masks has been made either a legal or regulatory requirement – so wearing a mask is still a good idea in order to comply and respect these countries’ measures. It is usually advised that masks are disposed of safely after eating or drinking and replaced.

The  NHS Oxford University Hospitals Trust website has an excellent guide on how to do this most effectively with masks:

How do I wear a face mask correctly?

Wash or sanitise your hands before putting it on

Ensure the mask goes up to the bridge of your nose and all the way down under your chin

Tighten the loops or ties so it’s snug around your face

Avoid touching your face, or the parts of the mask that cover your nose and mouth

Wash or sanitise your hands before taking it off

Use the ear loops to take the mask off and wash or sanitise your hands afterwards

How long do I have to wear each mask for before changing to a new one?

There is no set time, nor recommended number of masks you should use each day. It all depends on what you are doing. However, if your mask gets dirty, wet or damaged, or if you touch the inside of it, then you should change to a new one (following the steps above). When you take it off to eat or drink, you should dispose of the old mask, wash or sanitise your hands, and replace it with a new one once you have finished eating.”

Wearing a mask will be inherent given flight and train station rules – be sure to bring plenty with you so that you can change them when you need. Undoubtedly wearing masks will have been an important component of your travel already; particularly in airports and on public transport, where they are mandatory across most of Europe.

The France Montagnes body has hygiene measures for skiers, as well as various resorts across the Alps, are specifying that masks need to be worn on lifts and in shared spaces – particularly for bars, cafes and restaurants, even if eating outside.

Whatever you choose to do this season – ensure you are keeping yourself and your group safe! Now is a great time to stock up on those ski extras – take a look at some of our partners and their offers which are exclusive to Ski-Lifts customers.

Book your ski transfers in just a couple of minutes - airport transfers offered by Ski Lifts

 

Top 5 Ski Magazines

Top 5 Ski Magazines

Skiing and snowboarding are incredible pursuits, as we all know. The culture of what we do is also just as important, so, we thought creating a Top 5 Ski Magazines list was a great way to celebrate the way writers, publishers and those passionate about skiing and boarding help us to shape our tastes, and bring even more meaningful insights to our experiences.

So, we thought it best to celebrate these magazines – especially as they are keeping us going in what has been a dreary 2020. Without further ado, welcome to our ‘Top 5 Ski Magazines’ list. Find out which magazines our panellist picked as the top 5 ski magazines (and snowboard magazines!).

They’re the perfect place for you to begin if you’re interested in ski and snowboarding culture, sports, ski gear and board gear, the latest news about ski resorts as well as news from across the world of professional skiing and boarding. These magazines are also great resources for beginners and seasonaires alike, in terms of getting the insider knowledge about various destinations like Morzine, Les Gets, Meribel – or even Ischgl, Cervinia or Courmayeur – the writers here are likely to have lived and loved it, with the best ideas to share from that.

Readers:

Did we miss anyone? Who would you like to nominate for the next list? Be sure to contact us on our social media channels.

So what are the Top 5 Best Ski Magazines? Let’s find out!

 

  1. In The Snow
  2. Ski + Board
  3. Ski Mag
  4. The Snowboarder’s Journal
  5. The Ski Journal

 

The Best 5 Ski Magazines

1. In The Snow

in the snow top 10 ski magazine

In The Snow is the UK’s most read ski magazine, and is extraordinarily popular around the world as a whole. Founded, edited and published by a team of true snow heads, In The Snow is the go-to title in terms of looking for unique takes on the love of  skiing, boarding and the quiet geekery that goes with it. Their gear reviews are renowned and genuinely affect the buying decisions of skiers and snowboarders (including ours!). Also of note are their fantastic interview pieces with some people whom you might not expect immediately, which only adds to the pleasure of their work. Take for instance their recent ‘10 Minutes With Jenson Button” – only 10 minutes – sure, but with lots of juice squeezed out for an entertaining read.

Website: inthesnow.com

2. Ski+Board (from Ski Club of Great Britain)

For disclosure, Ski Club of Great Britain are trusted partners of ours here at Ski Lifts, but obviously with excellent reasons: their wisdom, advice, info, tips and subsequently their magazine features are informed by almost a century of skiing culture. In this way, Ski+Board can’t be beaten. Ski+Snow is a fantastic resource to help get you excited for your seasons – and it’s also one of the best ways to find a ski holiday based on your actual ski and board abilities, and to tailor them to what you’re after – whether that’s enjoying where you’re at, or getting tutored support to improve. SCGB’s Freshtracks programme has plenty for you to choose from.
Website: skiclub.co.uk/news-and-events/ski-and-board-magazine

3. Ski Mag

skimag top 10 ski magazines with ski lifts

Ski Mag is slick, stylish and a fabulous pre-ski read, available online for free and in print for extremely reasonable rates on an international subscription if you’re not from the US. Ski Mag is great for newbies and professionals alike, known for coverage of famous figures in the sport, as well as their generous commissions to the world’s best photographers in the industry.
Website: skimag.com

4. The Snowboarder’s Journal

the snowboarders journal - a top 5 magazine

Yes, this is The Snowboarder’s Journal (published by the same house as the next magazine in our list) and used to be known, a small aeon ago, as ‘Frequency’ for those of us grey enough to remember. The Snowboarder’s Journal is a luxe snowboarding magazine which secures interview and review access to some of the biggest – and also most obscure, but cool – names in boarding, with reviews about hidden gems to visit for those on “the dark side” covered in their ‘Locale’ section, where you can expect to find amazing chalets and locations that no-one’s really ventured to before…
Website: thesnowboardersjournal.com

5. The Ski Journal

the ski journal - a top 5 magazine

Just as stylish and suave as magazine number 4, The Ski Journal was made to intimidate all possible guests at your coffee table, except of course, skiers. The Ski Journal is a uniquely produced magazine that feels more a like a fine cheeseboard – you’ll read snow thought-pieces and scan your eyes over the most exquisite photo essays, or savour their interview profile pieces on industry activists and brave backcountry skiers in Canada and Alaska, while skiing propre is peppered in the margins.
Website: theskijournal.com

***

To everyone included in the rankings:

There are a number of ways you can shout about your listing on Ski-Lifts’ work list of Top 5 Ski Magazines. Check it out:

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World’s Top 5! We’ve been featured as a @Ski_Lifts Top 5 Ski Magazine 2020! Check out the full list: https://www.ski-lifts.com/guides/top-5-ski-magazines