Our Half Term Ski Safari Trip to the Aosta Valley

Our Half Term Ski Safari Trip to the Aosta Valley. Photo: The-Ski-Guru. Piste 6 at La Thuile.

Our Half Term Ski Safari Trip to the Aosta Valley

So this was the time of the year, when we go with two family friends driving to the Alps. This is our half term ski safari trip to the Aosta Valley.
I am super lucky to have a place in the Alps and being able – now again – after the pandemic, to go back all year round. We left a bit earlier than usual, waking up at 1 AM to leave at 2.15 AM, as I have booked our crossing with Eurotunnel a bit late. Rates where too expensive to leave at 6.20, so we tried a 5.20 AM departure.
Tired kids in the car. Our Half Term Ski Safari Trip to the Aosta Valley
Tired kids in the car. Our Half Term Ski Safari Trip to the Aosta Valley
It was not bad at all. But, after the first day of driving, done by my husband, we were exhausted. I don’t drive but I do the copiloting- if that is a word! And try not to fall asleep during all the trip. The idea is to keep my hubby awake!
No-one was at the Eurotunnel terminal and we left one hour early. The weather was good and we did it to Chaumont, to our first pit-stop by 1.30 PM, local time.

The Mad Rush of the Last Days to get out of Britain in Time before Lockdown

Driving to the Mountains. Photo: The-Ski-Guru. The Mad Rush of the Last Days to get out of Britain in Time before Lockdown.

The Mad Rush of the Last Days to get out of Britain in Time before Lockdown

 

What a couple of days.  As Omicron made its way with exponential vigour in the British Isles- more so in England, and Boris Johnson was saying that a tidal wave of infections were looming upon us, all European countries started to freak out and make it more difficult- if not impossible, to travel for Christmas. Therefore, we had a mad rush during the last days to get out of Britain in time before lockdown.

This article may contain affiliate/compensated links. For full information, please see our disclaimer here. 

It was Thursday morning and I needed to get into my computer early due to my work. It was then when I’ve seen one pop up on the News of my computer, with Sky News saying that France was cancelling travels from UK starting on Saturday. Our ticket was for crossing the Eurotunnel on Saturday morning. The story was being developed, so I’ve figured out that it was really fresh!

Queue of frantic drivers trying to get to France before the frontier was closed to us. Photo: The-Ski-Guru. The Mad Rush of the Last Days to get out of Britain in Time before Lockdown.
Queue of frantic drivers trying to get to France before the frontier was closed to us. Photo: The-Ski-Guru. The Mad Rush of the Last Days to get out of Britain in Time before Lockdown.

A French minister has been hinting that more restrictions were going to be done to the UK, as the UK was imposing more severe restrictions to French. But within the twiteratti world of tourism gurus, nobody was seeing this- they’ve thought that maybe the antigen tests were going to be requested 24 hours earlier, as Italy has recently done, or maybe a PCR test would be asked- which was still going to be difficult, as you need to get the result quite quickly if you want them for travelling. You can get PCRs fast, but they tend to be more expensive.

We were making it, getting on board of the Eurotunnel early morning before France closed its borders. Photo: The-Ski-Guru.
We were making it, getting on board of the Eurotunnel early morning before France closed its borders. Photo: The-Ski-Guru.

But this was the crude reality- the same was happening pretty much, that happened last year. I’ve grabbed my computer and took it to bed, while my husband was seeing I was trembling. Got into my Eurotunnel reservation, and as I have a trade account, I needed to ask for any changes via email. I’ve figured out that it was going to be impossible to expect an answer in time now, as Eurotunnel will have a lot of people wanting to change their tickets, so I went ahead and bought a new one way. Now, I should have bought a return ticket, but I did not think that at the moment, but that is for next time. (I could finally talk with Eurotunnel once in France, and buy the return ticket, as if you have your outgoing portion as a no-show, the whole ticket gets cancelled!)

Continue reading “The Mad Rush of the Last Days to get out of Britain in Time before Lockdown”

New flight from London Gatwick to Bolzano airport with Sky Alps

SkyAlps airways. Photo by Armin Pixner- Alta Badia Brand. New flight from London Gatwick to Bolzano airport with Sky Alps

New flight from London Gatwick to Bolzano airport with Sky Alps

A new flight is launching on 15 December 2021 from London Gatwick to Bolzano airport with Sky Alps. This flight will operate weekly on Wednesday in December. It will then operate twice weekly on Wednesday and Sundays from Jan 5-16 March, 2022.
Prices start at £116 each way. Bolzano is only 90 minutes from renown resort Alta Badia. This is as well as all the different resorts from Sudtirol and Trentino.
Usually people going to Sudtirol or Trentino tend to go to Verona or Innsbruck or Bergamo. This new route opens a much easier connection to the heart of the Dolomites. People going to Trentino or Belluno (home of Cortina d’Ampezzo), use Venice or Milano (MXP or LIN).
Santa Croce in Alta Badia. Photo by Paola Finali- Alta Badia Brand. New flight from London Gatwick to Bolzano airport with Sky Alps
Santa Croce in Alta Badia. Photo by Paola Finali- Alta Badia Brand. New flight from London Gatwick to Bolzano airport with Sky Alps

Continue reading “New flight from London Gatwick to Bolzano airport with Sky Alps”

$75 Airfare Offering into Aspen; Book by Friday, Oct. 8

$75 Airfare Offering into Aspen; Book by Friday, Oct. 8 Photo Aspen Snowmass.

$75 Airfare Offering into Aspen; Book by Friday, Oct. 8

In Celebration of Aspen Snowmass’ 75th Anniversary Ski Season, $75 Airfares to/from Southern California to Aspen/Pitkin County Airport

 Special this Winter, Also Book $75 Lift Tickets

This winter, Aspen Snowmass celebrates 75 years of skiing in Aspen. In conjunction with this occasion, airlines are offering special $75 airfares to/from Southern California to Aspen/Pitkin County Airport. This unique deal features direct service from Los Angeles and Orange County into Aspen and is available now through Friday, Oct. 8.

Aspen Mountain with the Town of Aspen. Photo Dan Bayer- Aspen Snowmass. $75 Airfare Offering into Aspen; Book by Friday, Oct. 8.
Aspen Mountain with the Town of Aspen. Photo Dan Bayer- Aspen Snowmass. $75 Airfare Offering into Aspen; Book by Friday, Oct. 8.

“Our 75th anniversary is a historic milestone and we are thrilled that our airline partners have joined the celebration by matching $75 one-way airfare offerings,” says Kristi Kavanaugh Bradley, vice president of sales, at Aspen Snowmass. “With up to seven flights daily between Los Angeles and Aspen, during the winter season, it’s a great time for guests to take advantage of these specials.”

 

The 75th anniversary airfare offers round-trip flights into Aspen/Pitkin County Airport from carriers American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and United Airlines, with $75 one-way, or $150 roundtrip basic economy fares. Bookings are valid 21 days starting now through Feb. 28. Minimum stay requirements apply and vary based upon departure date. Inventory is limited to certain fare classes and will not be available on every flight. Restrictions may apply. This offer expires Friday, Oct. 8.

Continue reading “$75 Airfare Offering into Aspen; Book by Friday, Oct. 8”

Ski holidays by train return for 2021/22, from London direct to the heart of the Alps with European tour operator Travelski.

Photo: Travelski. Travelski is cancelling all guests from the UK from 17th December to 7th January

Ski holidays by train return for 2021/22, from London direct to the heart of the Alps with European tour operator Travelski.

European tour operator Travelski (www.uk.Travelski.com, 0800 260 5082) has listened to UK skiers and is exclusively launching rail inclusive packages from St Pancras station direct to six major ski resorts in France.
– The Travelski Express train will leave St Pancras on Friday evenings arriving into Moutiers and then Bourg St Maurice the following morning.
– Transfers will then be waiting at the stations to take guests direct to their accommodation in Tignes, Les Arcs, La Plagne, Meribel, Les Menuires or Val d’Isere.
– There is a broad range of accommodation options selected to appeal to the British customer.
– 7-day lift passes are included in the package to enable skiers to ski on arrival day and maximize their ski experience
With a dedicated check in at St Pancras, the service (operated by Eurostar) will be exclusively for guests of Travelski and is not available to book separately, or through other tour operators.
Aimed primarily at families, couples or individuals wanting easy and comfortable travel to their ski holiday, the Travelski Express is a stress-free experience. The emphasis will be on a safe and relaxed environment,
Lead in prices will be from £640pp for a family of 4 staying in an apartment in the Résidence CGH & SPA Kalinda 4* in Tignes, including return rail travel from London, ski passes and transfers to/from the accommodation.
Travelski Express packages will be bookable online and via their call-centre later in September and the packages will be fully ABTA bonded for the peace of mind of our customers.
Eurostar ski train. Ski holidays by train return for 2021/22, from London direct to the heart of the Alps with European tour operator Travelski.
Eurostar ski train. Ski holidays by train return for 2021/22, from London direct to the heart of the Alps with European tour operator Travelski.
CEO of Travelski, Guillaume de Marcillac comments “We know that a high proportion of British skiers would like to take the train for their ski holidays. As well as being environmentally advantageous, it is also easy, comfortable and delivers you to the heart of the resorts that are constantly popular with British skiers. Through our exclusive tie up with Eurostar we are now able to offer a rail inclusive package that will appeal to many skiers, especially families. Our packages allow you to check in at our dedicated desk at St Pancras, safe in the knowledge that transport to your accommodation will all then taken care of. We feel that this is a very interesting and valuable addition to our existing portfolio of ski holidays throughout the French resorts”

The only tour operator offering rail inclusive ski holidays direct from London St Pancras, Travelski (https://www.uk.travelski.com/travelski-express ; 0800 260 5082) has opened sales for packages in six popular French ski resorts.

 

Covered by ABTA bonding (number Y6751) for complete security and peace of mind, these packages all include exclusive transfers from the stations of Moutiers or Bourg St Maurice direct to guest’s accommodation in Tignes, Les Arcs, La Plagne, Meribel, Les Menuires or Val d’Isere. Seven-day lift passes are also included in the package to enable skiers to get on the slopes on arrival day.

 

The train service will leave London St Pancras at 19.45* on Friday evenings and travel through the night, arriving at Moutiers and Bourg early the following morning.  With a dedicated check in at St Pancras, the service (operated by Eurostar) will be exclusively for guests of Travelski and is not available to book separately, or through other tour operators. Aimed primarily at families, couples or individuals, the emphasis will be on a safe, relaxed and stress free experience.

Example prices on two dates are as below and are shown per person, for a family of four.  The price includes return direct Eurostar from London St Pancras, accommodation, transfers direct to/from accommodation and seven day lift passes.

w/c 15/01/2022   w/c 12/02/2022

Pierre & Vacances Premium residence Arc 1950 Le Village                                 £723             £1,717

Résidence CGH & SPA Kalinda 4* – Tignes 1800                                                £680             £1,710

Résidence Belambra Le Hameau des Airelles – Les Menuires                             £569            £1335

Résidence Prestige Odalys Front de neige 4* – Plagne Villages                            £661             £1,473

Apartments Bec Rouge – Tignes 2100 Le Lac                                                     £620             £1307

Apartments Les Hauts De Rogoney – Val D’Isere centre                                      £726             £1415

Pierre & Vacances Premium residence L’Hévana – Meribel Centre 1600               £741             £1813

 

CEO of Travelski, Guillaume de Marcillac comments “We are very pleased to be opening bookings today as this will allow skiers to fully assess what is included in the Travelski Express holiday package. Our packages allow you to check in at St Pancras, safe in the knowledge that transport to your accommodation will all then be completely taken care of. We believe Travelski Express offers excellent value for money for skiers wanting a safe and relaxing ski holiday. As well as being environmentally advantageous, the direct train is easy, comfortable and delivers you to the heart of the mountains with minimal fuss. The holiday begins as soon as you get on the train in London and when you arrive in Bourg or Moutiers you are already surrounded by the mountains.”

 

Travelski.com is part of the Travelfactory group which is an online holiday specialist that has been providing excellent holiday options to the Alps for over 15 years. Owned by Compagnie des Alpes, Travelski is expanding its reach by offering premium access to the top end ski resorts in France to the UK ski market.

Continue reading “Ski holidays by train return for 2021/22, from London direct to the heart of the Alps with European tour operator Travelski.”

Vail Resorts announces indoor safety protocols for 2021-22 season

Kids Ski School at Vail, CO. Photo: Daniel Milchev. Vail Resorts. Vail Resorts announces indoor safety protocols for the 2021-22 season.

Vail Resorts announces indoor safety protocols for 2021-22 season

Vail Resorts today announced its Winter Operating Plan for the 2021-22 ski and ride season across its 34 North American resorts, centered on its commitment to safety and the guest experience. The protocols were shared in a letter to guests Monday, and focus on the spaces most prone to transmission – those located indoors. 

 

Straight from the Newsroom of VailResorts.com 

Photo: Craig Orsini. Vail Resorts. Vail Resorts announces indoor safety protocols for the 2021-22 season.
Young and Independents walk through the village to ski in Vail, CO. Photo: Craig Orsini. Vail Resorts. Vail Resorts announces indoor safety protocols for the 2021-22 season.

“We are fortunate that the core of our experience takes place outdoors in vast mountain settings,” said Rob Katz, chairman and chief executive officer of Vail Resorts. “However, as we welcome guests from around the world to the indoor experience at our resorts, we feel it’s important to do our part to combat the spread of COVID-19. We all need the opportunity to enjoy and experience the great outdoors, and we could not be more excited to welcome guests back to our resorts for the 2021-22 ski and ride season.” 

 

All safety protocols outlined in Vail Resorts 2021-22 Winter Operating Plan are subject to change based on the evolving nature of the pandemic as well as federal, state and local public health guidelines. Key details include:  
Continue reading “Vail Resorts announces indoor safety protocols for 2021-22 season”

Will the Green Pass be the new normal on the South Tyrolian and Aosta Valley lifts this coming season?

Alto Adige - Trentino. Photo Iuliia Boiun- Unsplash. Will the Green Pass be the new normal on the South Tyrolian and Aosta Valley lifts this coming season?

Will the Green Pass be the new normal on the South Tyrolian and Aosta Valley lifts this coming season?

 

The coming 2021-22 ski season might bring the use of the Green Pass to get on the lifts of Sudtirol and the Aosta Valley.

 
This is what it looks like at the moment. It is at least, as per what I’ve read on Neveitalia and as reported by ANSA, La Stampa and the portal Trentino.
Alto Adige - Trentino. Photo Iuliia Boiun- Unsplash. Will the Green Pass be the new normal on the South Tyrolian and Aosta Valley lifts this coming season?
Alto Adige – Trentino. Photo Iuliia Boiun- Unsplash. Will the Green Pass be the new normal on the South Tyrolian and Aosta Valley lifts this coming season?

The case of Alto Adige. Will the Green Pass be the new normal on the South Tyrolian and Aosta Valley lifts this coming season?

 
In Alto Adige (Sudtirol), the president of Dolomiti Superski wants to impose the Green Pass. Dolomiti Superski is a big carrousel of interconnected lifts that is located east of the Autopista del Brennero. It comprises 1,200 km of pistes, including Alta Badia, Val Gardena, Cortina d’Ampezzo, Val di Fassa, Val di Fiemme, Kronplatz, amongst others.
 
Helmuth Sartori, the president of Dolomiti Superski supports this motion. He said: “We support political efforts to introduce the Green Pass as a pre-requisite for access the ski lifts.” This was at the assembly of the Association of South Tyrolean cable car operators held in Bolzano. “Winter 2020/21 could have been a record season, considering the early snowfalls and the optimal Easter date, it will instead go down in history as a total failure – added Sartori – and we can no longer allow another to occur a situation of this kind”.
Alta Badia. Gruppo del Sella. Photo: IDM Südtirol- Alex Filz- Alta Badia. Will the Green Pass be the new normal on the South Tyrolian and Aosta Valley lifts this coming season?
Alta Badia. Gruppo del Sella. Photo: IDM Südtirol- Alex Filz- Alta Badia. Will the Green Pass be the new normal on the South Tyrolian and Aosta Valley lifts this coming season?
 
More than 360 million euros in turnover is missing. Companies that did not have been operating during the summer have been without income for 20 months. They are fighting for economic survival. All these solutions have to be looked in advance for the 2021/22 season. Sartori wants that the legal framework is set up in advance.
 
South Tyrolean lifts engineers estimate that lift capacity can be reduced to 80% in closed cablecars. This was reported on the online portal Trentino. They agree to the Green Pass and other measures such as obligation of use of masks and providing desinfectant gel. They want to act now to plan security in advance to the season.
 
 

Continue reading “Will the Green Pass be the new normal on the South Tyrolian and Aosta Valley lifts this coming season?”

News of Cortina d’Ampezzo for the 2021-22 ski season.

News of Cortina d’Ampezzo for the 2021-22 ski season. Photo credit: Pietro Albarelli. Cortina Marketing.

News of Cortina d’Ampezzo for the 2021-22 ski season.

Cortina d’Ampezzo is preparing for the 2021-22 ski season. Here you have the news of the Queen of the Dolomites.

This article may contain affiliate/compensated links. For full information, please see our disclaimer here.

A classic in Cortina d'Ampezzo- Bombardino in a terrace absorbing great views! Photo credit: Cortina Marketing.
A classic in Cortina d’Ampezzo- Bombardino in a terrace absorbing great views! Photo credit: Cortina Marketing.

New chairlift: Ra Valles

There will be a new four-seater chairlift in the area of Ra Valles. This is the highest in Cortina. You reach it with the Freccia nel Cielo Gondola and cablecar from the town centre. This new chairlift will replace two lifts.
It will reduce transport time dramatically. You will be able to reach much faster the top of the Bus de Tofana slope. This is the highest slope in Cortina,starting at 2,743m.

The Must-Read Guide to the Rhône Alpes

Les Saisies. Photo: C. Martelet. Rhône Alpes Tourisme. The Must-Read Guide to the Rhône Alpes.

The Must-Read Guide to the Rhône Alpes

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.
Pointe d'Ireuse. View on Mont Blanc. Chablais Massif. Photo: Christian Matelet. Auvergne Rhône Alpes Tourisme. The Must-Read Guide to the Rhône Alpes.
Pointe d’Ireuse. View on Mont Blanc. Chablais Massif. Photo: Christian Matelet. Auvergne Rhône Alpes Tourisme. The Must-Read Guide to the Rhône Alpes.
 

This article may contain affiliate/compensated links. For full information, please see our disclaimer here. 

How to get there: The Must-Read Guide to the Rhône Alpes. 

 

By Air:

 
  • Paris Airport- transfer to Lyon is 45 minutes.
  • Geneva Airport
  • Chambery Airport
  • Grenoble Airport
 

By Train:

 
  • Paris – TGV (fast train)
  • London with the Eurostar
  • Brussels with the Thalis
 

By Car:

 
  • Lyon airport: 1-3 hours
  • Geneva airport: 1-3 hours
  • Chambery airport: 1-1.5 hours
  • Grenoble airport: 1-1.5 hours.
Sunset on the Grandes Jorasses. Mont Blanc Massif. Photo: Carmen Villa/Auvergne-Rhône Alpes Tourisme. The Must-Read Guide to the Rhône Alpes.
Sunset on the Grandes Jorasses. Mont Blanc Massif. Photo: Carmen Villa/Auvergne-Rhône Alpes Tourisme. The Must-Read Guide to the Rhône Alpes.
 
 

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)
    • Grenoble, 1968
    • Albertbille, 1992.
  • 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
    • Paradiski
    • 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
    • Val d’Isére-Tignes
    • Les 2 Alpes
 
This guide will pinpoint the unique particularities of the different main ski resorts.
 

Continue reading “The Must-Read Guide to the Rhône Alpes”

EcoSki- a new way to think about ski clothing

Chemmy Alcott is charging down the mountain on skis. Chemmy is an ambassador of EcoSki. EcoSki- a new way to think about ski clothing. Photo: EcoSki.

EcoSki- a new way to think about ski clothing

EcoSki is a new concept that will help people to change the way to think about their ski clothing. Their aim is to stop unnecessary purchases and waste. There is a most cost-effective way of dealing with this.

They aim to do so with four different avenues. EcoSki- a new way to think about ski clothing. 

 

1. Repair– what you already own, they will do this on your behalf. Check Repairs (ecoski.co.uk)
2. Rent – this will be a new project that will go live any time. It will feature a full range of high performance items. Brands such as Patagonia, Ortovox, Mammut, Picture and Amundsen. Items will range from socks and water bottles to ski jackets, pants and mid-layers. Not to forget also about avalanche safety equipment. EcoSki will sterilise between uses (O Zone Treatment). This will work in conjunction with My Wardrobe HQ.
3. Buy New but Buy Better. Do so from responsible brands. These are working to reduce their social and environmental impact. You will have the option to trade in when you no longer need them. They will then sold again preloved.
4. Buy Preloved. EcoSki will repair and list any items you don’t need anymore. They will then go again and list it on their preloved page (Ecoski’d ). At this moment you can find the preloved stock on Instagram. They soon will have their own website. EcoSki works also with Bluebird Exchange and will start working with WhoSki.com . Both companies specialised in Preloved outdoor wear.
EcoSki- a new way to think about ski clothing
EcoSki- a new way to think about ski clothing

Continue reading “EcoSki- a new way to think about ski clothing”

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