Here I have put together the must-read guide to the Rhône Alpes. It is pretty inclusive so I’ll do it as a bit of a bullet point. But it is a good start where to see all their ski resorts and which ones could tempt you for your perfect ski holiday.
The Rhône Alpes is an extensive area in the Central West of France. From west to east it offers the Auvergne Volcanoes to Lyon and the French Alps and Mont Blanc. This is the roof of Europe at 4,810 meters.
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How to get there: The Must-Read Guide to the Rhône Alpes.
Paris Airport- transfer to Lyon is 45 minutes.
Paris – TGV (fast train)
London with the Eurostar
Brussels with the Thalis
Lyon airport: 1-3 hours
Geneva airport: 1-3 hours
Chambery airport: 1-1.5 hours
Grenoble airport: 1-1.5 hours.
The French Alps – The Must-Read Guide to the Rhône Alpes
The French Alps are the most renown ski mountains in the world. Here are some specs to explain why:
It has been three times host of Winter Olympic games:
Chamonix in 1925 (first edition)
The 3 Valleys is the world’s largest ski area, with 600 km of ski slopes and more than 200 cable cars. Most of the terrain is above 1800 m altitude.
There are different connected ski areas, or if you prefer to call them ski carousels.
Les 3 Vallées
Val d’Isère- Tignes.
It has the longest snow season in Europe, from November (October for Tignes this year!) to May.
It offers summer skiing from June to August at
Les 2 Alpes
This guide will pinpoint the unique particularities of the different main ski resorts.
Ski-Lifts report: Top 10 ski resorts with short transfer times in the Alps
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Our partnered ski transfer company Ski-Lifts started 15 years ago with only one minibus and now offers transfers to over 200 resorts in 14 countries across Europe, Canada and the USA.
Travelmole has asked Ski-Lifts to tell them who would be for them the top 10 ski resorts with short transfer times to the mountains, which is useful more when you are going for a short time, such as a long weekend.
Here is their list.
1. Morzine, France Ski-Lifts’ Airport to Ski Resort Transfer Time – Geneva Airport to Morzine (75 minutes, 76km).
Morzine is a genuine mountain village with a fantastic choice of activities for skiers and non-skiers alike. Located in the Portes du Soleil ski area in France, which stretches up the France-Switzerland border, it has over 50 hotels to choose from and more than 40 bars and restaurants. When it comes to the slopes, Morzine is a perfect resort for beginners and intermediate skiers, with plenty of gentle pistes. When you’re not skiing, try ice-diving in a lake, nature discovery tours, snowmobiling, tobogganing, snowshoeing and there’s also scope for a bit of retail therapy.
So, you want to take your family skiing, but you do not know where to start?
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The summer holidays are finished, kids starting school again, and you got the holiday blues. The best thing to do to combat this feeling is getting ready for your next holiday.
I don’t know if you are like me, but I always need to have a holiday to look forward to. How about if you want to initiate your family into skiing but have never done so? And what happens if yourself are not that experienced at it? You might have gone when young with your school but did not think any more of it.
And maybe the mountains caught your attention, but you did not have the money when young and the world was a big place to discover and were not thinking in this kind of holiday.
Now you are tied down with kids, and holidays are completely different. But you’ve heard of friends going skiing already, and of how much fun they had, and how good it is for your kids to start the sport when they are young, as they are not afraid about falling.
You could maybe master a couple of blue or red slopes, but you are not an expert, or, you have never skied.
The problem with skiing, is that it seems daunting: with the travelling, lodging, transfers to the mountains if not lodged ski in – ski out; the equipment, the weight of it all, the clothing you need, the ski or snowboard school for getting all started….you are tired of it before you even begin organising yourself!
But do not despair – I know that all seems awful before starting, but if you like to master tasks and break them into little bits and bops to tackle one at a time, you can definitely be organising the first of an annual holiday that you’ll cherish for ever. Or, if you could not be bothered with the fuss, but still want to introduce your family to a holiday in the snow, then you can always contact a tour operator or travel concierge!
The big picture
Just imagine the rewards, paradisaic landscapes in pristine snow and blue skies, or snow tip-tapping in your face, the silence you can feel when it is snowing, cuddling up under a fluffy blanket by the fire with a nice cup of hot chocolate or wine, the interminable strings of stories of hilarious things that happen to you when you are in the mountain which are great to share with friends. All these things make these kinds of holidays really worth it. For me, it is the holidays I like the best, I think all year of them, I crave my time in the mountains like crazy when I am in the lowlands.
Skiers heading to the slopes this winter face ‘winterisation’ and ‘ski rack’ charges of up to £179 by car rental companies.
The research by iCarhireinsurance.com, the leading provider of stand-alone car hire excess insurance, surveyed the costs of six car hire companies for a week’s car hire, from 27 December 2018 to 3 January 2019, in Barcelona, Geneva, Grenoble, Innsbruck, Sofia and Turin.
The ‘winterisation’ charge, which includes the price of winter tyres and/or snow chains, varies widely and is normally only payable at the rental desk. Hertz in Grenoble, for example, charge £110 to hire a ski rack and £69 for ‘winterisation’ adding £179 to the hire car bill.
The average ‘winterisation’ fee across the six destinations is £37, but travellers could pay up to £74 in Barcelona with Budget. Winterisation is an optional charge in all destinations except for Turin. Here, travellers pay on average £40, and up to £71 with Sixt for this compulsory charge.
How not being scammed when contracting your ski chalet holiday
Each year there are lots of skiers and boarders that travel to the ski resort where they have chosen to take their holiday to find out that the ski chalet that looked so perfect and with such a great rate does not exist. These are tips compiled by our friends at Chamonix All Year so you don’t finished up being conned out of a booked ski chalet.
As Chamonix All Year says: … “if you feel that something just isn’t quite right, follow the steps below and check out your gut feeling before parting with your money, to give you peace of mind”
Chamonix All Year has been operating for 15 years, which makes them pretty knowledgeable in giving advice on what you have to look so you are not disappointed.
So, what to take into account when looking for your special ski chalet. Ask you these questions: these are all tips of Chamonix All Year
Read on to see what is new for the 2018/19 ski season at Skicircus Saalbach Hinterglemm Leogang Fieberbrunn- the home of Lässig.
The Skicircus Saalbach Hinterglemm Leogang Fieberbrunn is one of the largest ski areas in Austria with 270 km of pistes, of which 140 km are blue runs for beginners, 112 km red runs for intermediates and 18 km of black runs for more advanced. This added to 70 lifts and more than 60 cosy mountain huts, various Snowparks, flood-lit pistes, toboggan runs and a Freeride Park.
New in winter 2018/19
Every summer the Skicircus Saalbach Hinterglemm Leogang Fieberbrunn undertakes investments to make the ski area more efficient.
When driving to the mountains, it is important to know the laws about carrying winter tyres and snow chains. Not all countries and states or provinces oblige you to wear them. I would suggest you to check before you travel. Even if there were no law for using snow tyres, I would at least recommend taking snow chains, because if you are caught in a big snowstorm, you will need them. If you can buy at least second hand winter tyres, do so. It is an investment, more if you are going to drive to the mountains each ski season.
Also, if renting a car, don’t assume the car will come with snow tyres, even if going to countries full of mountains everywhere, remember to request them when booking your car rental, and also reserve snow chains.
Here is a summary of where snow tyres are mandatory – please you need to do your own search, as this is not by any means 100% accurate- we cannot be held responsible for you deciding not to take winter tyres! Do your own homework!
When should you start planning your ski trip? For me it should be at least six months in advance to your trip, more if you are planning to travel in school holidays.
If you are travelling in the shoulder season (low season), such as early December – before the 20th), January, March in Europe (not in the US and Canada as they have Spring Break) and April (outside of Easter weekend), you can plan a bit more on top of the time and maybe see how snow conditions are.
For me, I need to know I have a trip in sight to be able to cope with routine. I always have my winter trip arranged by July (we go skiing with the family in February), and I do reserve the flat we use year-on-year as soon as we leave the place when our week is finished- so I book it one year in advance! That is because I have such a great deal, and my kids love going back to the same place, that is a no-brainer.
So where to start for planning your ski trip?
Well, you can try to start thinking where you want to go. Talking of the Northern Hemisphere- if you live in the UK as we do – are you going to drive (so that is only Europe and it would be France, Switzerland, Italy and maybe the Pyrenees’ or Austria, or fly, where you can add also the US, Canada or Japan. You can see the different websites with information on resorts and try to sort what resort is for the type of skier/boarder you are, or which one caters a diverse group.
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