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Future half term planning - want to avoid France! Got any ideas?

(37 Posts)
Muchtoomuchtodo Thu 08-Feb-18 18:33:09

Thinking well ahead and we'll be needing to ski during school holidays. Possibly Christmas but probably February half term.

I'm keen to find out about places that we've not previously considered and try to take advantage of cheaper flights to non-skiing specific airports. I don't want to spend the week standing in queues for lifts. Up until now we've always stayed in catered chalets and we enjoy that set up but, as the dc will be older, hotels or self catering apartments are more of an option.

Sierra Nevada and The Dolomites spring to mind but I know nothing about these areas - are they snow sure, what are the ski areas, lift pass prices, ski schools etc like?

Are there any other places that I should look into?

Melassa Thu 08-Feb-18 18:40:26

Don't know about the Sierra Nevada but the Dolomites are beautiful, very well equipped, good range of pistes and pretty villages, but it has also got a lot more expensive recently.

We go the the Italian Alps in Piemonte or Val dAosta and tend to frequent the smaller places with better prices and not huge queues for the lifts. Most places have English speaking instructors too. It all depends though on what you're looking for, what your level of expertise is, whether you need a lot of off piste facilities or apres ski etc.

Melassa Thu 08-Feb-18 18:42:35

PS. Feb half term is pretty snow sure. Christmas is often a bit hit and miss, there will be snow cannons in the larger places but the smaller resorts might not have many pistes open.

Ragusa Thu 08-Feb-18 18:43:31

Dolomites all the way but I don't fancy your chances getting cheap flights these days. You can sometimes get malpensa for less but airlines really seriously hike their prices for weekend flights that week. To the point that we have bitten the bullet this year and booked Wednesday to Wednesday.

Muchtoomuchtodo Thu 08-Feb-18 18:44:28


All 4 of us are competent skiers. The DC love jumps parks but none of us are off piste skiers. DC still tend to have a few lessons as they like to ski faster and harder than their ageing parents!

A few non skiing activities (swimming pool, skidoos a few shops and small bars) would be ideal but we don't need any loud or late apres ski!

Notmybag Thu 08-Feb-18 18:45:02

We're flying to Boston - flights were £200 with Norwegian Air. pp. several resorts in Maine.

Ragusa Thu 08-Feb-18 18:47:32

You could also consider places like Jasna-Chopok (poprad tatry airport or others) or somewhere less popular with Brits, like Sweden or Norway but brrrrrr. Not keen on Sierra nevada personally.
Nuremberg often has cheap(er) flights, not too bad for some Austrian resorts.
That's a bit of a brain dump!

Ragusa Thu 08-Feb-18 18:48:27

Blimey @Notmybag that is amazing. Is that the 11-18 Feb week?!

Melassa Thu 08-Feb-18 18:49:16

For the Dolomites you can fly to Verona or Venice, I think Ryanair still do flights? Milan Malpensa is 3-4 hrs away. Bergamo is a bit nearer and there is skiing nearby, but I find skipass prices in Lombardy shocking.

OP I will see if I can dig out the link for one of the smallish resorts we frequent. Loads of English speaking instructors, some relaxing pistes, some more challenging plus a glacier.

Melassa Thu 08-Feb-18 18:50:21

Austria is also good but I can't remember where we went blush

Notmybag Thu 08-Feb-18 21:09:53

Yes, booked last summer I think. We've found prices don't jump for half term if you're looking at USA or Canada. Norwegian have some great fares

Muchtoomuchtodo Fri 09-Feb-18 09:20:58

Thanks for the ideas.

It's so difficult to get a real idea of things from glossy websites.

I'd not considered going transatlantic just for a week but with those flight prices it could be worth looking into.

Notmybag Fri 09-Feb-18 11:22:19

Boston is only 6.5/7 hours flight.
"Ski Safari" is my go to company for North America trips
Agree that Colorado or West coast needs longer though

Muchtoomuchtodo Fri 09-Feb-18 13:23:02

I've started a word document with ideas!

dontcallmethatyoucunt Sat 10-Feb-18 00:00:20

I'm not sure why I keep telling people, but. ... Baqueira Beret

Mumtofourandnomore Mon 12-Feb-18 20:29:36

Go on the skistar website and have a look at the Scandinavian resorts - we've skied in both Are and Sweden and love Swedish skiing (and husky rides, and skidoos !) Christmas would be a bit dark, but February half term is fine - we are going to Are again this Easter. We fly to Trondheim for Are (eith Norwegian) and Stockholm Vasteras for Salen.

dontcallmethatyoucunt Mon 12-Feb-18 21:51:18

Ruka in Finland was amazing at Christmas if you really want different. No queues and lots of other things to do. Skiing under floodlight is great as no flat light.

poshme Tue 13-Feb-18 15:30:05

Trysil in Norway. Or Geilo in Norway.
Cheap flights to Oslo then bus for Trysil, or flight to Bergen then train to Geilo.

Trysil is busier than Geilo. But neither anywhere as busy as France for half term.

But take your own wine with you - it's very expensive.

EssexCat Sat 17-Feb-18 21:31:04

We've just spent half term in katschberg in Austria. Apart from pancake day which is a national holiday, it really wasn't too busy at all. Maximum lift queue time was 10 mins I think.

lizkt Sun 18-Feb-18 13:42:25

Finland is great. Our half term is their low season - it was empty.

dontcallmethatyoucunt Sun 18-Feb-18 16:11:14

lizkt which resort did you go to and how did you travel - I'm always keen to get other options!

lizkt Sun 18-Feb-18 16:26:49

We went to Yllas with Inghams - flights were with Easyjet.

The only downside is lots of drag lifts but we didn't mind this. There were lots of other things to do there as well as skiing - snowshoeing, northern lights, reindeer farm.

lizkt Sun 18-Feb-18 16:35:54

Ps. Who did you go to Ruka with?

dontcallmethatyoucunt Sun 18-Feb-18 18:01:09

Crystal ski. It was excellent. Stayed in Ruka suites (with a sauna in the apartment), bang in the centre.

We would love to go back, but something always gets in the way!

helterskelter99 Sun 18-Feb-18 22:18:45

Voss in. Norway, fly to Bergen
Not loads of runs but nice runs, not massively difficult but that was cool with the kids.
Empty this week, apparently busy on Saturday but nothing compared to the French resorts

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