Feb half term 2015(19 Posts)
Thanks for advice- still mulling options but smaller villagey locations have lots of appeal
We ski in saas fee in Switzerland, its not been horrific the last two half terms, bit of a queue first thing or if any lifts are limited by bad weather but this is rare, and to be honest, if there's a snow storm, the same queues form in January. The restaurants up the hill tend to be busier but we always found somewhere quiet enough to ski.
We drove last year, leaving from the school gates and going overnight (non-stop, but with a few long breaks for food 10pm eurotunnel), arrived at 7am to a lovely view, and most importantly spaces in the undercover car park. We only realised it was half term when we tried to get on the tunnel coming back and the border control was busy.
It's not cheap, but i'd recommend it for a traditional village atmosphere and a small-ish resort but with enough to keep most entertained
nowwearefour I haven't been to Meribel during half term only out of season so cannot compare however I have been to La Plagne several times during half term. The lift queues are big straight after ski school drop off in the morning, when trying to get back for ski school pick up in the morning and directly after lunch. It also depends where you are picking the lift up from - at the very bottom to go the very top then very busy at those times but lifts on the piste, generally okay. Agree with angelcake that Plagne Bellecote is particularly bad at the times I suggest (I hate it with a passion and avoid it where possible, particularly the bubble up to the Roche de Mio).
We haven't been to Meribel so I'm afraid I can't compare but we went to La Plagne last year the week after UK half term, though catching the last week of the French hols, and the lift queues were pretty bad compared to the smaller French and Italian resorts we usually ski in. Plagne Bellecote was a terrible bottleneck, particularly at the end of the day, with a minimum 30 minute wait, often longer. We thought we'd try a large linked area as DCs are now very competent skiers but it put me off large resorts (the slopes were very crowded in places as well).
Does anyone know whether la pagne suffers much more than meribel in terms of lift queues? We went to meribel this year and although busy it was just fine. I read about how bad la plague is and wonder how it compares?
A quick vote for Alpe D'Huez - lovely for the whole family. A good range of slopes, night skiing, tobogganing, and lots of stuff for the kids to do if they get tired. Only negative is that it's a bit of a journey from the airport.
We are going to Sauze d'oulx in italy for half term. Apparently italy doesnt suffer so much from half term crowds and its true the prices dont seem to go up for that week. Flights were £180 each - the 3 bed apartment is £800 for 5 of us and car hire will be £100. I think I've done quite well!
BTW we went to vaujany last half term and it was incredibly quiet. highly recommended. would have gone back but the flights to france are double the price this year???
in 2015 the Paris holidays are the same time as the main UK half term ( week of 15th Feb) - in the past couple of years the Paris week has been the week after the UK half term so we have actually missed the peak French ski week. So I expect it will be busier in half term 2015 than in previous years. Also in 2015 the fasching ( carnival) week for Germany & Austria also clashes with UK/Paris half term which it hasn't for a few years. So basically most of Europe will be off in the same week next year.
We are going to go Meribel at Christmas again this year which is usually quieter in France than New Year or half term. Christmas in Austria tends to be quite busy.
If you want to avoid the crowds in France in 2015 then consider Xmas or Easter.
Or sneak the kids out of school ( something we used to do when ours were younger - but can't now that eldest DS is at senior school).
I have been to Praz de Lys a few times, it's fab!
Les Contamines is also a lovely little French resort (am bias though, I did four seasons there)
Ooh I'm going to price up Praz de Lys justgoogleit looks fab.
We went to Serre Chevalier at half term - Monetier les Bains was the village we stayed in. Didn't find it particularly busy, although the slopes got a bit more crowded in the afternoon. Very scenic resort.However the problem is getting there 3.5 hr drive from Grenoble airport, but only an hour from Turin if you have anyone who flies from there.
Courchevel this year - Brit half term and Paris holidays - no problem at all. Sometimes some of the linking runs got busy but generally it was brilliant and quieter than a smaller resort on a regular weekend.
We have skied at half term for the last 3 years and have been amazed by the lack of queues every year (at both well known and smaller reports). I really wouldn't worry about it.
Italy does not have a half term so is usually much quieter, though some regions have a holiday for Carnivale, which moves around with Easter and can clash with Half term. I would also agree with the smaller resorts suggestion, if that suits for other reasons.
We have just returned from Tignes and I really don't know why everyone worries so much about half term. We didn't queue for lifts, the runs back down to the village at lunch and quitting time were busy but nothing mega, and easily got tables in restaurants and cafés. Also went at new year to val d'isere and had no problems there either.
justgoogleit, we were wondering where all the Brits had appeared from - been going for 17 years and there are more and more each year
I'd go for the smaller, less well known resort. Yes, morzine has lots of facilities but its absolutely rammed during the holidays to the extent that when we did a season there, we didn't even bother going up the hill during half term. Its also really spread out over a large area whereas a lot of the smaller resorts are ski in ski out which is the best if you have young children.
In all honesty, February half term is going to busy everywhere. It is also the time of year that school trips head off to the slopes.
If you choose to go to a resort off the beaten track you run the risk of it not having the child-friendly facilities that you need.
Morzine is really family friendly and have been awarded the "Family +" certificate for exceptional family experience.
There are plenty of beginner and child-friendly learner slopes (as well as the tougher stuff for adults) and lots of good English-speaking ski schools.
Kids under 5 ski for free.
But what is really good is the amount of activities off the slopes too. If the little ones want a break from the slopes mid-week then there is Aquariaz - a family orientated water park with plenty on offer for young children to teenagers, and adults.
The Telegraph included Morzine it in their 'Best Family Ski Resorts' list.
Can you keep a secret (looks both ways)... Praz de Lys - Sommand
and Shhhush! no telling!
Heres a resort review with the secret exposed:
It's a twin village resort, plenty of skiing for a week. Very pretty and popular with French and nearby Swiss but no noisy Brit crowds.
About 1 hour from geneva airport so you wont waste time getting there and great if you hire your airport car and self cater chalet.
Next door is the noisier and crowded Les Gets and Morzine.
I know that February half term is the busiest week but if I'm to take the children then that is the only option open to us.
Does anyone have any recommendations to avoid the worst of the crowds please?
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