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Europe Advice

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

I've read through literally hundreds of the posts on this site. They are all helpful. What a great community of posters! Thanks in advance.

 

Based on my readings I've narrowed down some of my questions to anyone who is kind enough to respond.

 

 

 

Here's what I want:

 

1. Ski a few different places, I have about 7 days to ski, coming from Toronto (I live north of Toronto).

 

2. I skied Kitzbuhel 10 years ago and loved it, but after my readings I want to narrow down a few new places to ski.

 

3. I have always wanted to ski Zermatt and read great things, same goes for Trois Vallee, Chamonix, and now after reading, the St Anton area.

 

4. I'm not too concerned about cost, but if it's that much cheaper somewhere, I will keep that in mind - most people on this board have commented how expensive switzerland is....

 

5. I want a place to fly into where it's easy to hit a few different places by train or shuttle, maybe just two areas, but I'm open. My original thought was fly into Geneva and hit trois Vallee, Zermatt for a day, and somewhere else. Now I am intrigued by St. Anton....among other places...

 

6. not looking for night life, but like a good apres scene....

 

 

so.....with all that said above, does anyone have a pre-planned trip including transfers that makes sense given my information above?

 

oh and btw, it's me and a friend, we're both advanced skiers, but won't do off piste....

 

thanks

post #2 of 11

I would think you would be better sticking to an area like the Tarantaise Valley with a choice of 15 ski resorts close together.

 

http://www.onthesnow.com/tarentaise-valley/map.html

 

Start by staying in Meribel and ski there for a day then Courcheval and finish with Val Thorens. Make sure you do the run under the Cime de Carron cable car.

 

2 days in Les Arcs/La Plagne

 

and finish off with 2 days in Val D'Isere/Tignes

 

You could do the transfers on public transport but if money is not a huge issue then rent a car. The price of taxi or van transfers will be fairly high. eg Meribel to Val d'Isere will be 190 Euros for two people with Cool Bus.

 

Also look at the Portes du Soleil in France and maybe the Dolomites in Itlay.

post #3 of 11

Go St Anton - combined with Lech and Zurs the place is huge.  You could ski St Anton proper for 2-3 days, Lech/Zurs/Warth for two days.  It is about 90 lifts and I have no clue how many acres of skiing.  Then when tired of that head over to the next valley south and hit Ischgl (the land of the beautiful people) which is only 45+ lifts with tons more skiing.  Just got off google maps and looks like 45 minutes to Ischgl.  Just so much skiing right there.  You will not be disappointed.  I think much better than Kitzbuhel IMO.

post #4 of 11

When you talk about skiing places like the 3 Valleys, Zermatt, and maybe another area within the same week, this is like watching 30 minutes of one film, then driving to a different theater to watch 30 minutes of another film, and then driving to another theater to watch 30 minutes of a third film all in the same evening.

 

These areas are absolutely enormous. The travel time involved in hopping between them is a waste given that pretty much any of them could easily keep you entertained for a week, and the limited accommodation for 1- or 2-night stays will make it a hassle to book. You'll probably be happier if you just pick one ski area and stick to it.

 

Wherever you decide to go, avoid Christmas/New Year's and mid-February. Mid-January and mid-March are usually the best times to go to avoid crowds and unnecessarily high prices.

post #5 of 11

I'm with Cerebral Vortex on this. 

 

The only place I can think of that has a few different (and not connected) areas close together on one ski pass and with travel time limited to about an hour from one place where you can stay all week: The Dolomites. Get the Dolomiti Superski pass, get a nice littje accommodation in Corvara in Badia or Arabba and explore the Sella Ronda (400 km's of red and blue runs, connected by lifts and pistes), or take a drive (around 30 minutes) to Cuinqe Torre, Cortina d'Ampezzo or Alleghe to ski the rest of the Dolomites. 

 

Flight to Munich and car rental is most practical I think. UNESCO World Heritage surroundings, supreme food and great atmosphere to simply cruise around in.

 

Or what CB said: pick a hotel in Meribel and try to ski half of the Three Valleys in one week. Very diffrenet, but also great.

post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 

Ok, that is good advice....maybe I'm spreading myself too thin by thinking I can take trains, buses, shuttles, etc., between mountains when there is more than I can handle for a week in 3 Vallees, or St Anton, or the Dolomites...

 

Considering I've already been to Austria, I am leaning towards the 3 vallee region.

 

But looking at accomodation, Val Thorens seems booked solid for accomodations....Maybe I'm not looking for the right spots?

 

 

anyone have any ideas as to where to stay in that region? There is so much information, I'm lost....

post #7 of 11

It's not really the ease of travel that's a problem. It's just that the size of the ski areas is so large that leaving one after only a couple of days is like walking out early from a good movie. Any of the big areas should have enough terrain to keep you happy for a week, so hopping between 2 or 3 is an unnecessary hassle.

 

If you've got your eye on France, then I'd recommend the Espace Killy (Val d'Isere and Tignes). It offers a lot of very good skiing in a layout that's quite convenient to get around. Tignes has more of the cheap accommodation, but it's all purpose-built stuff that's not particularly pretty. Val d'Isere looks nicer and has some cheap accommodation, but not as many options as Tignes.

 

If you're looking at Austria, then I'd recommend St. Anton. It's a nice town that's part of a big area with a lot of good skiing, and it's easy to get to by train from Zurich. There are some B&Bs right in town that are conveniently located but just far enough off the main street to offer some peace and quiet at night.

post #8 of 11
Your main problem in Europe is not distance between resorts but accommodation availability for non std 7 night Sat-Sat (or in some cases Sun-Sun) stays. Lots of places in primo locations e.g. in resort won't take advance bookings for non std stays. This is a bit of a blow for resort hopping and means you either need courage to make plans on the fly or tenacity to winkle out the places which do let you take shorter stays.
post #9 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by fatbob View Post

Your main problem in Europe is not distance between resorts but accommodation availability for non std 7 night Sat-Sat (or in some cases Sun-Sun) stays. Lots of places in primo locations e.g. in resort won't take advance bookings for non std stays. This is a bit of a blow for resort hopping and means you either need courage to make plans on the fly or tenacity to winkle out the places which do let you take shorter stays.


This is true.  I had this problem when looking for places in Switzerland a few years back.  Takes some effort to find places willing to book individual nights, and you pay a premium.

post #10 of 11

Last year we did Zermatt - then took the Glacier Express to St.Moritz .... One word = Epic ..

 

Zermatt is an amazing place - and St.Moritz is also very cool.... Flew in and out of Zurich ... 10 days  

post #11 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by triplenet View Post
 

Last year we did Zermatt - then took the Glacier Express to St.Moritz .... One word = Epic ..

 

Zermatt is an amazing place - and St.Moritz is also very cool.... Flew in and out of Zurich ... 10 days  


Kinda what my plan was.  Both places are great high altitude skiing.  It all fell through for us.  But we may revisit it one day.

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