or Connect
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › EpicSki Community › International Zone › First Ski Holiday - Advice [Europe]
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

First Ski Holiday - Advice [Europe]

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

Hi guys/gals, this is my first post.

 

Me and around 9 friends are planning to go away on a ski holiday for the first time next year. We're all in our early 20s and I'm looking for resort recommendations. We're not set on any location just yet, so I'm totally open to suggestions. We've been going to the Snow Centre up in Hemel Hempstead to have lessons to get a taste for it. We're also planning to have some sort of lessons on the real slopes too!

 

I also wanted to know how much we should be (roughly) paying each for a chalet (that sleeps 10) and ski passes and any other costs we might overlook whilst we're planning this. I'm sort of hoping that the large group number might help us reduce costs *fingers crossed*.

 

Any help or suggestions are welcome. Thanks in advance!

post #2 of 17
Sounds like you're looking at Europe? Maybe you should have this thread moved to one of those forums?

There's an Epic Gathering at St. Anton this February.
post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 

Apres Ski Forum??

post #4 of 17
I'm thinking International Zone. I'll flag your first post and suggest they move the thread.

... Unless you're open to ANY continent... You may get a lot of US suggestions if you don't narrow it down.
post #5 of 17

Got it!  Thanks for bringing it to our attention. 

post #6 of 17
Thread Starter 

Yeah, Europe is probably our preferred destination. Where in Europe is best though, for a bunch of skiing beginners that want to have a good time and Apres Ski? How much should be looking to pay?

post #7 of 17

Realph, a lot of folks who might ably comment on European ski resorts are away doing summer things right now so you might not get much feedback, but have you asked your question on snowheads.com?  Lots of friendly Brits and other knowledgeable European skiers/snowboarders on there I believe even at this time of year:  http://snowheads.com/

post #8 of 17

 Hi Realph, best value resorts overall will be Austria, Andorra, Italy. If cheap and dicey appeals then try Bulgaria or Slovenia (snow coverage cannot always be relied upon, food can be interesting but both countries are very cheap, I took my first 3 holidays in Borovets Bulgaria and had a great time but probably will not return now I have more experience and have tasted what else is available). Chalets are more common in France- can be expensive if you go to one of the main hubs esp when you factor in lift passes, Italy- my preference and Switzerland- very expensive. Chalets are not as common in Austria and Andorra but if your willing to self cater you should be able to get a very good deal in either country. 

 

 The cheapest times to go seem to be the week after new year through to first week of February when all the school holidays start or Mid March onwards avoiding the Easter break. 

 

 DIY will probably get you the best deal, booking as early as possible to secure a decently priced flight. All the main tour ops will offer discounts for groups but you might have to pay for unoccupied rooms if you don't want to share with others, there were not many smaller chalets available when I last tried to book.

 

 The smaller areas will likely offer the best value for money and a first holiday on snow doesn't require miles and miles of slopes. Chamrousse in France is worth looking at, never yet had to pay for a lift pass but not the wildest night life.

post #9 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by realph View Post

Hi guys/gals, this is my first post.

 

Me and around 9 friends are planning to go away on a ski holiday for the first time next year. We're all in our early 20s and I'm looking for resort recommendations. We're not set on any location just yet, so I'm totally open to suggestions. We've been going to the Snow Centre up in Hemel Hempstead to have lessons to get a taste for it. We're also planning to have some sort of lessons on the real slopes too!

 

I also wanted to know how much we should be (roughly) paying each for a chalet (that sleeps 10) and ski passes and any other costs we might overlook whilst we're planning this. I'm sort of hoping that the large group number might help us reduce costs *fingers crossed*.

 

Any help or suggestions are welcome. Thanks in advance!

 

Just a couple of quick suggestions to start off with:
First, the best way to save money is to avoid all of the school holidays if at all possible. Christmas/New Year is the most expensive time of the season. February half-term is the second most expensive. Easter (if it's an early one) is the third most expensive. The cheapest time is in the middle of January or middle of March.

Second, keep going to the lessons in Hemel. The more you learn before you go on your trip, the more you'll enjoy your trip. Think of those snow dome sessions as an investment in your happiness.

Third, the cheapest deals I've ever found from the London area have been trips to France. In mid-January, I've seen deals for flights (from Gatwick), transfers, and accommodation (2 people sharing a studio flat) for about £200 per person. At the moment, the cheapest prices I'm seeing are around £300, but they'll probably come down a bit in the next couple of months.

Check www.igluski.com or www.skiworld.co.uk. They've usually got a wide range of trips to compare. Most trips are 7-night deals running Saturday-Saturday or Sunday-Sunday.
Edited by CerebralVortex - 7/29/13 at 2:18am
post #10 of 17
Oh yeah, 6-day lift passes in most big resorts will cost about £200. Ski rental will probably be about £100, but I'm not sure if boots are separate. You can check Intersport's website for more details about gear. They've got locations all throughout the Alps, so they'll probably have a shop in whichever resort you choose.
post #11 of 17
All good advice so far. Look at going with a tour op (such as Skiworld, Crystal, etc), and get them to organise everything. For your first time it makes it a lot easier for you if they do that.

I learned to ski in Saalbach, Austria. Good skiing and great apres. Tignes in France is also a good one for apres and has some good beginner runs. St Anton has great Apres, but the beginners area isn't as extensive. But, if you're getting good instruction at Hemel, you'll be able to go out beyond the beginners area fairly quickly.

Who is your instructor at Hemel? Is it Carol, Brett or Rob? If it's one of them, tell them I said hello!

Carol is one of the best instructors I know for helping and encouraging new skiers to get going.
post #12 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wear The Fox Hat View Post

All good advice so far. Look at going with a tour op (such as Skiworld, Crystal, etc), and get them to organise everything. For your first time it makes it a lot easier for you if they do that.

 

+1 for the tour ops. Trying to do a DIY trip with that many people will be a headache.
post #13 of 17
I know that from the Netherlands, where I live, that trips to Saint François Longchamps and other Maurienne Valley resorts are mostly cheapest.

To avoid costs, try a self-catered appartment. They're not very big in France, but they enable you to prepare your own meals, including lunch, which can be quite expensive on the mountain in France.
post #14 of 17

A more detailed analysis of the 9 plus people might be in order.

Are you budget minded?

Do you want heroic drops?

Megasteep?

Culture?

3 Star Michelin restaurants?

 

I am inclined toward Austria because it is affordable and super friendly, Romania because the Transylvanian Alps are so strange and happy, and Italy because ... it is sooo Italian.

post #15 of 17

Andorra will fit the bill nicely for a beginner on so many levels, especially compared to Bulgaria. I can't comment on Austria until after January, but I would also pick Andorra over France. Grandvalira is big, is difficult to get lost, loads of slopes to gain confidence, the instruction has a very high rep', the people are friendly. It's just good fun, without the rudeness and pretence. Bansko is 3rd world sleazy and a total rip-off when you get there, France has slopes that will terrify beginners and lots of French people. 

post #16 of 17

I've been trying to go to Austria for the same price as my trips to France (when budget mattered), and I never succeeded. In my experience, France is much cheaper than Austria, even ski areas like Espace Killy or 3 Valleys. As long as you get a self-catered appartment and prepare your own meals. Eating out is what's can make trips to France pricy. 

 

If you want great skiing, budget lodging and cheap and great Italian food, go to Breuil-Cervinia (the Italian side of the Zermatt-Matterhorn area). Best value for money in Europe, IMO. And it has great beginner runs above Cervinia and Valtournenche and some tougher ones on the Swiss side.


Edited by Cheizz - 8/16/13 at 2:08pm
post #17 of 17

The bigger places tend to have better Apres (St. Anton, for instance), but they're also the most crowded, the most expensive, and probably the lowest value for a beginner. 

 

The smaller places are much cheaper, much less crowded, and just as good for a beginner-- but tend to have less interesting Apres because the population supporting it just isn't there. That said, you might find yourself a cuter village at such a place. But it'll also be more difficult to get good info online.

 

One-day lift tickets in Austria are 30-50 euros, depending on resort. Prices go down from there with multiple days, notably a week. 

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: International Zone
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › EpicSki Community › International Zone › First Ski Holiday - Advice [Europe]