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Recommendations across the pond?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Hi all!

My wife and I are both 36 years old and started talking about what we wanted to do for our 40th birthdays. Much to my surprise and elation, we agreed on a two week ski trip to Europe.

I skied Europe as a high-school kid but only did a couple of smaller resorts. My wife has visited Europe but never skied there. What would you recommend? Here's what we're looking for:

- She's a low intermediate and enjoys long, long, long groomers. The longer the run the better for her.
- I would spend most of my time on this trip skiing with her but would take a few hours each day skiing the harder stuff. I like bumps and chutes the best.
- The European atmosphere is critical. We don't want to jet across the ocean only to ski a Vail-lookalike. The more "classic European" the better.
- The village should be close enough to the mountain to walk to the lifts or take public transportation. We wouldn't want to ski a place that requires a lot of driving or bussing between different mountains. (Chamonix comes to mind)
- It should be accessible by train. Our plan is to fly to Paris or Zurich and connect by train. I remember Europe's railways were excellent so this shouldn't be a problem.
- Cost isn't much of an issue.
- Nightlife isn't too important. Our nights usually include a long hot-tub soak and a nice dinner. We're not into the all-night disco thing. I can get drunk and dance poorly without flying to Europe!

Thanks in advance!
post #2 of 8
Bormio, Italy is highly uncommercial and classicly European. There is no "ski village". The surrounding area is a medieval Italian village. You can walk or take a free bus to the lifts. Apres ski consists of going to the natural thermal baths. There are some incredible long, long, runs.
Only one caveat: Avoid the ski school at all costs!

Be Braver in your body, or your luck will leave you. DH Lawrence
post #3 of 8
Maybe they want to be insulted.
check out this thread http://www.epic-ski.com/ubb/Forum4/HTML/000221.html
post #4 of 8
KevinH, I´ve never been to Vail, and I have to guess what you mean with " classic European"...
But I can recommend Val d´Isere! The skiing area is connected with Tignes and XXLarge.
Best way of getting there is flying to Geneva and to go by bus from there. You can also fly to Grenoble. St. Anton in Austria is a safe bet to but I haven´t been there myself.
post #5 of 8
I'll post a second for Lech. We went there this February for a week, and are going back next year for sure. Maybe twice. The town is a good 1000 years old, and mostly in easy walking range of the lifts. There is free bus sevice that covers the whole town too. There's more intermediate groomers than you can shake a stick at, and the off-piste skiing looks awesome.
post #6 of 8
You should check out Davos. The Parsenn is a huge mountain and not particularly crowded. The snow was fantastic the week I was there. There are 3 or 4 other areas besides the Parsenn that are easily reached via free buses. Davos is much less crowded than Cham.
post #7 of 8
Look into Samoens.

It is a real French town situated the other side of the mountain from Flaine. There is a free bus to the slope and the lift pass covers both areas.

I haven't been since I was younger, but I remember the skiing being pretty good. We used to go as a fmily and my Mum isn't too hot on the old DH boards, but she still enjoyed the terrain.

Otherwise, I'll second the Val d'Isere idea. They have an abundance of long groomed runs and loads of harder stuff too.

You may also consider the three valleys. Whilst they do, unfortunately, have a bit of a cliched ski town feel to them, they have great skiing for all tastes - and thay aren't short of hot-tubs!

For the more authentic European feel, Austria may be a good idea. Try, for example, Soll for a small resort.

Anyway, there are plenty to choose from. Pick a few and research them more. I'll be glad to give you my thoughts the places I've been to.

Happy 40th for when it rolls around!


Pass me a bottle, Mr Jones...
post #8 of 8
I'll second the emotion for the Arlberg region of Austria (Lech, Zurs, St Anton, Stueben, St Christoph). Train goes right to St Anton. Of the areas, Lech is by far my favorite. Even though St. Anton has more (volume-wise) challenging terrain, Lech has some undescribable (indescribable?? now you know why I can't describe it) feeling to it that just screams old-style European skiing. There are miles and miles of cruising pistes that aren't boring for the better skier because of the twists, turns and the awesome views. Then there are the steep drops and (sort of) chutes to keep you on your toes. Go to the Arlberg...you'll never forget it.
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