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Late December skiing in Europe

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

Hi,

 

Planning a trip to Europe for about two weeks starting around Dec 20th. Meeting some family from Europe. No experts, I'd say I am an obssesed, aspiring Advanced skier, the rest are intermediates. There is also a 5 year old that started last year and ended the season skiing easy blues at Breck, but needs ski school. Will also need to keep non-skiers busy (Anything reasonably close to a major city that is nice during Christmas time is a bonus). We are particularly interested in Swiss Alps, but haven't been there.

 

Thank you in advance for any recommendations!

post #2 of 17

(Big) cities and Swiss Alps don't go toghether very well. You could check out hight altitude and glacier ski areas in Austria, though. St. Anton is very nice, and - very important - it has a train station in the village, that will get you to Innsbruck in no timie.

post #3 of 17

I would definitely consider staying in Avoriaz which is a little over an hour away from Geneva.  Avoriaz is a purpose built French ski resort. Traffic free and everywhere is ski in ski out. Easy access to Morzine.

 

Morzine is a typical Savoyard mountain small town and is linked to Avoriaz by cable car and a short navette ride .Public transport to Geneva.

 

Champery is a Swiss resort that is part of the Portes du Soleil the giant ski area which includes Avoriaz. It is a traditional Swiaa mountain village. It is lower than Avoriaz and definitely not ski in or out. Gondola up and down. Montreux is about 40 minutes and Genava 1.5hrs.

 

Be careful about leaving things late to book, The week around new year often sells out.

post #4 of 17

Zell am See might be a good option. It's a proper town that will have plenty of stuff to do for the non-skiers. And if the temperatures are too warm on the lower slopes, then Kaprun and its glacier are just around the corner.

 

Davos is another option. It's a proper city, so there will be even more stuff for the non-skiers to do.

 

Innsbruck is a really nice town. But, it doesn't have much terrain at higher altitudes, so it's a bit risky for early season skiing.

post #5 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by CerebralVortex View Post
 

Zell am See might be a good option. It's a proper town that will have plenty of stuff to do for the non-skiers. And if the temperatures are too warm on the lower slopes, then Kaprun and its glacier are just around the corner.

 

Davos is another option. It's a proper city, so there will be even more stuff for the non-skiers to do.

 

Innsbruck is a really nice town. But, it doesn't have much terrain at higher altitudes, so it's a bit risky for early season skiing.

Innsbruck is easy to get to from most resorts in Tirol though. 

post #6 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheizz View Post
 

Innsbruck is easy to get to from most resorts in Tirol though. 


That's true, especially if you've rented a car.

post #7 of 17

Good thing about Porters de soleil beside the enormous choice of places to ski (but be careful not to get stuck in Switzerland when you're staying in France or vice verse when the lifts close!) is that at that time of year you also can relatively easily get to glacier 3000 if the snow is not great - the skiing at the top of the glacier is great that time of year, and the views are unreal.

 

If you do go that route, PM me if you want great English language ski instruction.  We know a Swiss/New Zealand couple based in Leysin but they will usually meet up at PdS or the glacier.

post #8 of 17

I'd have said Innsbruck was the obvious.  Briancon isn't a bad option - easy access from Turin, thermal springs etc good skiing from town and lots of other resorts within an hour if you have a car.


Also Swiss cities IME tend to be deader than a dead thing in winter except for Fasching.

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

I'd have said Innsbruck was the obvious.  Briancon isn't a bad option - easy access from Turin, thermal springs etc good skiing from town and lots of other resorts within an hour if you have a car.


Also Swiss cities IME tend to be deader than a dead thing in winter except for Fasching.

As the OP wants Switzerland Briancon is a bit far I think.

 

I agree about Swiss cities being a bit dead at the time the OP is visiting But Geneva will have stuff going on and that is why I suggested Avoriaz and Chambery as they are close. Also Geneva is a likely airport for them to arrive at.

post #10 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by TQA View Post
 

Geneva is a likely airport for them to arrive at.

Not from the States, I wouldn't think. Much more likely you'd get a direct to Zurich. 

post #11 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheizz View Post
St. Anton is very nice, and - very important - it has a train station in the village, that will get you to Innsbruck in no timie.

 

I must have misread the OP, because I thought there was an adult beginner in the group. Now that I've read it properly, I think St. Anton is a good suggestion.

 

The town will have enough stuff to keep the non-skiers occupied for a couple of days. Then, the train station will come into play with Innsbruck and other towns close enough for easy day trips.

 

The adult skiers should be happy with the terrain, and I'm pretty sure the kid will be able to get into a group being taught by a native English speaker (probably British). From what I've seen, it looks like the ski school hires people from around the world so that they can offer instruction in different languages. I've seen a few British people in ski school uniforms over the last couple of years, in addition to people from other countries.

post #12 of 17

Agree St Anton is a good choice with some good early apres bars that non skiers can get a bus or walk to and a great  mega Wellness at the old railyway station

post #13 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by prickly View Post
 

Not from the States, I wouldn't think. Much more likely you'd get a direct to Zurich.

Several airlines fly direct from the states to Geneva. United and Swiss being two.  I researched this intensively last year as I thought about a nostalgia trip to Europe starting with a few days in Morzine skiing the Portes du Soleil.

 

But the simplicity of flying to SLC and skiing BCC/LCC won.

post #14 of 17

Just for future reference and research purposes: what US hubs are used most by you guys to fly to Europe? I imagine that when you're on the East Coast (Boston ,let's say), the outcome of your search for reasonably priced and direct flights to the Apls might be different than when you live in LA, for instance? Or does all air traffic go through the same hub(s)? 

post #15 of 17

Leaving aside JFK,which offers directs to pretty much everywhere, there are directs to Zurich from Chicago, Boston, SFO, LAX, probably some others too. If you're going to have to change flights anyway, eg, you don't live in a place with a direct to a city near the Alps, then you can fly pretty much anywhere in Europe changing in London, Paris, Amsterdam or Frankfurt. By way of reference, I generally try to fly through Amsterdam when I travel to the US, unless I'm going to New York. 

post #16 of 17

On the off chance that you end up in the Munich area (Starnberg) we (mostly intermed/advanced skiers with out 6 year old son who has skied 2 seasons) will be there from the 20th to the 4th. We may spend a few days further south depending on snow conditions. 

With a car day trips as far as Innsbruck are not too bad. 

St Anton looks pretty sweet though, I am planning a trip there a little later in the season...

 

scoTt

post #17 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by rsmillbern View Post
 

On the off chance that you end up in the Munich area (Starnberg) we (mostly intermed/advanced skiers with out 6 year old son who has skied 2 seasons) will be there from the 20th to the 4th. We may spend a few days further south depending on snow conditions. 

With a car day trips as far as Innsbruck are not too bad. 

St Anton looks pretty sweet though, I am planning a trip there a little later in the season...

 

scoTt

Upon re-reading that was not as clear as it could be... Not enough coffee this morning yet.

We will be in Starnberg, near Munich. 

I don't know much about the Swiss area, but my wife comes from Munich, if you end up more in Germany drop me a line and I can get beta, or maybe meet up for a day skiing Germany/Austria.

 

scoTt

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