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Advice on Family Ski Trip in Europe in Early Jan

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

EPIC skiers,
Looks like I will be leaving for ? in Europe with adult son for a week (Sat - Sat)in early January. Will meet up with daughter's family (2 adult and 3 small skiers) for a week of sking. Question is where...Austria, Switzerland, Germany, even France or Italy. Real problem is where?
Need advice. Where is snow in early Jan least iffy?
Not looking for the toughest skiing, just pleasant family skiing in real Alps. Kitzbuel? St Anton? Interlaken region? Kids will spend a lot of time in ski school, ages 5, 5 and 6. All have skied several times. Looking for experience, fun, sightseeing, etc. As any family who have traveled to Europe with kids knows...hard to find a room with two large beds. Apartment? HELP!!!
Looking for info and on-line places to get honest info!  Willing to fair pay for trip, but only two arms and one leg...I can hop on the other to get around!
I need to be booking planes and daughter is having trouble getting info in this her first and only winter in Germany!
The Colonel smile
 

post #2 of 9

Where are you meeting your daughter?

 

If she is in Germany maybe go down to Garmisch-Partenkirchen, if not head into the Austrian Tirol for some great atmosphere and picturesque resorts. Austrian accommodation tends to be pension (Bed and Breakfast) based. Size of beds and apartments in Europe will be MUCH smaller than you are used to in the States. Avoid France for that reason. 

 

January from the 7th onwards is low season so you should be able to get some decent prices. Your suggestions for Kitzbuhel, St Anton and Interlaken are spot on.

 

Have a great trip

 

 

post #3 of 9

Austria is great and family friendly but most resorts are fairly low. Zell am See/Kaprun has a glacier and is open from end of November so should be safe for skiing around there. Most of the larger French resorts are fairly high and cater well for families but can be expensive. St Anton is very difficult skiing, Kitzbuhel a great resort, fairly exclusive and expensive though....A good friend has a lovely chalet in Courchevel area, France and pretty sure she has some rooms with a double and bunk beds. 

 

Whilst January is typically the quietest month to ski seems a little different this year. We run an airport transfer company and so far our busiest dates are the 7th of January and the 21st January. 

post #4 of 9

Where will you be coming from in Germany?  The Arlberg region (St. Anton, Lech, Zurs, St Christoph) is a good bet for snow.  As you may be aware, snow coverage is about non-existent now, except for the glacier areas, but the forecast is encouraging for South-Western Austria for the next 10 days.  If looking for fairly easy skiing, Lech has many blue (easy) runs and is a beautiful area to ski, complete with the Alps feel.  I skied there twice last season (early Dec and late Jan) and the conditions were very good for what turned out to be a lousy snow year in Europe.  From Lech you can take local (free with lift ticket) buses to the other Arlberg areas.  

 

If you have already started to look you probably have been hit by the sticker shock of the weak US dollar.  Pretty much everything is expensive.  I have heard that the Oberlech area is nice for families.

 

Two websites I have found useful for information on European ski resorts are:

 

www.snow-forecast.com, and www.j2ski.com.  For reservations I often use www.booking.com, which is associated with www.j2ski.com.  www.welove2ski.com is also good for resort information.  

 

Good luck, hope you enjoy the trip, and pray for snow.   

 

 

post #5 of 9

Austria is a more family oriented (hotels, welness,...) and generally offers more in terms of apres-ski an general family hapiness.

 

France is more ski- oriented (3 vallees, Tignes/Val d'Isere etc...)

 

We went to Austria a couple of times, did some Switzerland (Crans Montana, Villars,...)

 

Last couple of years we went to Tignes (Fr) because it's the most hardcore skiing experience, and one of the more snow-certain areas.


Yet IMHO the v. best area still is Verbier, Switzerland - but quite expensive.

 

 

post #6 of 9
I personally think that, pound-for-pound Val d'Isere/Espace Killy is the best ski resort in the Alps & possibly the world.

I prefer to ski elsewhere as I can deal with the compromises in order to experience the high points, plus I prefer to remain flexible and chase the snow but IMO Val has it all if you must choose a single resort with family in tow.

The lift system is absurdly efficient - if there's something out there that's more modern I'd like to see it. There are superhighway-width pistes, extensive off-piste skiing, it has altitude on its side, and it's snow-sure (as far as can be in the Alps). Plus there are a couple of glaciers, one with skiing year-round.

I haven't personally experienced the kids facilities, but as an experienced instructor I observed them and noted that they looked very good. The buses are regular and much of the accommodation is close to the lifts.

The only downside that I could see is that it's not cheap.

I realise that my first sentence is bound to cause some controversy, but hey, that's what forums are for huh!

I have reviewed Espace Killy, plus a number of other resorts in my book The Powder Bible
Edited by CM - 12/6/11 at 8:21pm
post #7 of 9

The resort Serfaus-Fiss-Ladis (three different villages) is generally regarded as the top family resort in Austria:

 

http://www.serfaus-fiss-ladis.at/en/

 

It will also be much cheaper than heading to France or Switzerland. I love Switzerland, but the exchange rate now will kill you.

 

Kitzbuhl and St. Anton are also on the expensive side for Austria.

post #8 of 9
post #9 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by CM View Post

I personally think that, pound-for-pound Val d'Isere/Espace Killy is the best ski resort in the Alps & possibly the world.
I prefer to ski elsewhere as I can deal with the compromises in order to experience the high points, plus I prefer to remain flexible and chase the snow but IMO Val has it all if you must choose a single resort with family in tow.
The lift system is absurdly efficient - if there's something out there that's more modern I'd like to see it. There are superhighway-width pistes, extensive off-piste skiing, it has altitude on its side, and it's snow-sure (as far as can be in the Alps). Plus there are a couple of glaciers, one with skiing year-round.
I haven't personally experienced the kids facilities, but as an experienced instructor I observed them and noted that they looked very good. The buses are regular and much of the accommodation is close to the lifts.
The only downside that I could see is that it's not cheap.
I realise that my first sentence is bound to cause some controversy, but hey, that's what forums are for huh!
I have reviewed Espace Killy, plus a number of other resorts in my book The Powder Bible


Yep been to Val 9 times now and 2 times to Tignes... amazing place and been there probably a total of 18 weeks... 

 

i however have gone for somewhere different this season... Cervinia due to links with Zermat but also i was looking for height/value etc... Europe has so much to offer and there are so many places to meet your criteria - decide on what exactly you need then go from there...

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