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Getting around a ski resort

(10 Posts)
justwondering72 Tue 20-Jan-15 09:49:08

We are looking at a family weekend skiing in either the pyrenees or the alps (we live in France). As it's going to be during the vacances l'hiver i.e. when the whole at France goes skiiing, accommodation is hard to find and we may need to be say 20km outside our chosen ski resort to find affordable accommodation. My question is: can we use our normal family car to get around i.e. back and forward from our accommodation to the slopes / town / resort? It's a VW Passat, so pretty sturdy, but it's not a 4x4. Are the roads in resort areas kept clear?


TheReturnoftheSmartArse Tue 20-Jan-15 09:53:42

Whether or not the roads are clear will depend entirely on snowfall around that time. Busier roads may well be clear, but less used routes less so. You'll need chains, but I think they're a legal requirement in France anyway, aren't they? Or is that just winter tyres? I can't remember that bit!

SignoraLiviaBurlando Tue 20-Jan-15 15:18:38

Winter tyres definitely. With those you may be okay - may still need chains but I have managed to avoid using them quite often by having winter tyres. Chains not a legal necessity, but you may need them, so definitely have them in the car and practice putting them on before you go.

LIZS Tue 20-Jan-15 15:32:10

Winter tyres and carry snow chains. Tbh 20 km can feel a long way from the action. You might be better staying in a smaller satellite area to a resort with a cable car or lift connection. How good skiers are you ?

justwondering72 Tue 20-Jan-15 16:04:56

Total beginners for the boys aged 4 and 7, DH is a good skier. We'd planned maybe doing one day skiing with lessons for the boys in the morning, DH heading off for skiing on his own and me generally 'around' to pick up and drop off from lessons (and read a book with a hot chocolate in peace!) . Then the other day, sledging and skating in the resort. DS7 is heading off on a school snow trip soon, and will be getting lessons then, this is intended as a taster. Sadly we can't afford a full week.

So you'd recommend prioritising accomm close to slopes? I'll keep looking... ;)

LIZS Tue 20-Jan-15 17:52:32

I think it would be an aggravation you could do without. If they need lessons you should aim to be as close as possible to skischool . I would suspect hoping for less than a week may restrict your options for accommodation but try via the tourist office.

TheReturnoftheSmartArse Wed 21-Jan-15 10:50:38

LIZS is right - 20km might not sound much, but if 15km of that is up a mountain, it could seem like a very long way, particularly if the roads are snowy or the traffic heavy. I speak as someone who lived in France for 15 years at the bottom of a mountain. Every winter weekend was spent driving up to ski resorts! Were you looking at any particular area?

Reallyfeelingmyage Thu 22-Jan-15 11:59:26

Through work, I just met Anna Fontan from the Hautes Pyrenees tourist office and she was really helpful. She also said that their accommodations can be more flexible (short stays over school hols in the Alps are v difficult to come by). Am sure she would happily help you with advice. Let me know if you would like her contact details.

anotherdayanothersquabble Thu 22-Jan-15 12:33:32

Look on resort websites for reasonably priced accommodation, I was surprised at the options available in Les Gets for example.

justwondering72 Sat 24-Jan-15 10:10:59

Thanks all! We just heard that DS is going on a school classe de niege that includes about three days of skiing lessons, so that has taken the pressure off. And I think we'll have a couple day trips to the slopes, we are about an hour away, so it's doable. But I have filed all your advice away for next year and we'll get organized much earlier!

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