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European ski vacation advice?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
We want to take a family sk trip to Europe, Spring Break March 9-17. We want to fly in and out through Amsterdam and take a train to a major resort area. Any recomendations. travel suggestions or general advice?
post #2 of 12
Hi Steve,
A couple of recommendations:
1. FLY from Amsterdam to somewhere a bit closer to the hills, or you'll be spending 10+ hours on the train (this website may help: www.raileurope.co.uk ).
Options on places to fly to:

2. If you want tips from Europeans, try asking on snowHeads ( www.snowHeads.com ), a British site similar to Epic.
post #3 of 12
Hi Steve

I live nearby Amsterdam. Schiphol Airport is 4 Metres below sea level the nearest (Real) Mountains are as "Wear The Fox Hat" says a 10 hour train or car ride or 1 hour in the plane .

The gateway airports coming from the US for :-

Austria are Munich in Gemany or Zurich In Switzerland (Depends where you go skiing in Austria)

Switzerland use Zurich or Geneve

France use Geneve

Italy use Milan.

Off course come to Amsterdam and enjoy the city then take the German ICE train (best I think for scenery) from Amsterdam down through Germany to Austria or Switzerland.
post #4 of 12
There are so many choices and I am not the best informed on the subject. Are you looking for hardcore expert skiing or scenic intermediate terrain? Providing you have time, for the latter type of trip you could take a train ride from Amsterdam to Zurich (good shopping), about 7.5 hours, then a couple more hours to Luzern (pretty city), then another hour or two to the Jungfrau Region of Switzerland and pick a base town there like Murren, Wengen or Grindelwald. The Jungfrau region is an old ski/mountain favorite of the Brits and has amazing scenery like the North Face of the Eiger and lots of intermediate slopes. Much of Switzerland reminds me of a finely restored antique automoble. Many things are old, but almost all in top working order with a nice mix of high technology in underlying infrastructure. The Swiss really know how to treat a tourist.
post #5 of 12
One good option by train:

Consider riding an ICE night express down into the Arlberg. You probably would have to switch trains once behind the German border but from there on sleep on the train and arrive either at Langen (for Zuers and Lech) or directly at St. Anton. I haven't done that for decades but I'm pretty certain that option exists as per today.
Maybe a comparable option is available into Switzerland and France (by TGV) since from Amsterdam everything is pretty much the same distancewise - do an internet research.
post #6 of 12
I'm a big fan of travelling by train - if you have the time and the inclination. But if you want to maximise your time on the slopes, then flying is better. First decide where you want to go ... and if you're going that far in the first place, go for something sensational - St Anton, or L'Espace Killy, or Les Trois Vallees, or Chamonix, or Zermatt ... and so on. Then work out how you want to get there!
post #7 of 12
What they ^ said. First determine where you're skiing, then decide the best way to get there - unless there's family in Amsterdam or some other special reason to route the trip that way, don't lock into that.

post #8 of 12
What they all said - love travelling by train in Europe, especially if you get onto one of the high-speed services, like ICE or TGV. Find a deli before you leave, get some yummy picnic-type food, and make an adverture of it.

St Anton or Zurs/Lech (via Langen) are great destinations, and handy because they are on a main train line. 87 lifts, 6 villages, reliable snow, and scenery to "die for".
post #9 of 12

How old are the kids?

Do you have to visit Amersterdam? Because as others have posted, it's probably not the best city from which to catch the train.

Paris, Milan, Nice or Geneva would be a lot better.

If the kids can ski and are of an age where they can go out in the evening with parents for some apres ski, I would recommend Meribel in the Three (Now Four) Valley area.

If you want to go skiing but the children are young and do not
want a very lively (Noisy) resort at night, then I would say Pila (Italy) or Valloire (France).

Whatever you decide, try and ensure you are not booked into a hotel
which accommodates school parties...

You will find a selection of hotels and loads of ski links here:


post #10 of 12
Valmorel is another good French option for a quiet, family, self-catering holiday.
post #11 of 12

Great Club Trips


My wife and I went to the Three Valleys in France (world's largest ski area) this past March with The World Tour, based in central Massachusetts and had an awesome time! The club is great, low-key, reasonable prices and great locations. Here is the website for the club. I'm going to go back to the Three Valleys this February or to Switzerland in January with the club. I spent countless hours researching trips and found that the World Tour trip prices are a great value, especially considering the fact they include full breakfast and great multicourse dinners. I highly suggest you look into this trip. The town we are staying in is called LaTania which is very child friendly and safe.

Good luck

post #12 of 12
Originally Posted by binobear View Post

My wife and I went to the Three Valleys in France (world's largest ski area) this past March with The World Tour, based in central Massachusetts and had an awesome time! The club is great, low-key, reasonable prices and great locations.
Because I am nosey, I had a look at the prices on this trip - $1395 US looked pretty good value when I did the conversion into £. Especially if it is for February and your flight is transatlantic. Hotels are not normally cheap in the French stations de ski.

I loved your comment that La Tania was a 'safe' town. It is a purpose built area of ski accommodation. Are you worried about getting mugged in a ski town or run over in a traffic accident ?
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