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Christmas ski options - Val D'isere or La Plagne

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hi all, I've just had the first few options through for our xmas ski holiday and thought I'd gauge opinion here Very Happy As these are TO offerings, and mostly in France, there are quite a few in La Plagne and a couple in Val D'isere. Looking at last year's photos of La Plagne at Christmas, there didn't seem to be much snow. We spent last Christmas in Tignes and were happy with the amount of snow there - had that lucky early snowfall which stuck around. It's just for two of us this year, and as usual I want the moon on a stick to start with, for a sub £1k budget! Medium size Chalet or small half board hotel -ski in/out, hot tub/pool etc. but snow is the most important ingredient. Would you say Val is more snow sure than La Plagne or have any other suggestions to confuse me further? Very Happy TIA
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Hi @Dubmuffin,

Last year was a particularly poor start to the season in a lot of places unfortunately.

La Plagne is a great resort and certainly capable of delivering your desired budget(ish). No one can ever predict what the snow Gods have in store for us, but there will always be some skiing in La Plagne thanks to the height of many of it's pistes.

In terms of accommodation, I can vouch for the folks at Ice & Fire - we had a lovely stay with them in Chalet Genepi a couple of years ago. They currently have two beds left in that Chalet for £599pp - slightly over your desired budget but it does include a 24/7 free bar if that makes up for it!!
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@Dubmuffin, Val D'Isere is the better resort and more snow-sure(ish) at Crimbo
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Surely we cant have another snowless Christmas at lower levels again this year Sad
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
For me, it would be Val D'isere every time.

FWIW. I have spend Christmas at Arc 1950....which was enjoyable.
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@Dubmuffin, I'd say Espace Killy would generally have better snow conditions than Paradiski at Christmas. Consequently you may not get quite as much for your budget in EK.
If you enjoyed Tignes then I'd say staying in Val D is even better. I've stayed in Tignes, Val D and Les Arcs 1600 over the festive period and none of them is too shabby!
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
We spent Christmas and new year in Val, last year. The snow was perfect and it is a pretty special time to be in the village.

I would really recommend it, despite the fact that we are off to the Caribbean this Chrimbo Confused
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Quote:

I would really recommend it, despite the fact that we are off to the Caribbean this Chrimbo Confused


Whats the skiing like there?

Or is all just bobsleighing
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Have you considered the three valleys?
• Minimum skiing altitude: 1,300 metres / Maximum skiing altitude: 3,230 metres

• 85% of the ski area situated above 1,800 metres

• Over 2,100 artical snow making machines : 1/3 of the ski area equipped with artificial snow
We are a chalet company based in La Tania, which is a north facing resort at 1400metres. The blue run was open from the first day of the season last year (which was 10th December)
We would be happy to give you a quote for Christmas week.
www.ski-dazzle.com
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@johnE, Laughing Cool runnings
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Hi all, thanks for the replies, and based on the general consensus, we have booked a Chalet in Val D'isere for Christmas, so now all I have to do is look forward to it Very Happy Thanks for your offer Sally, I've booked a cheeky few days in Val Thorens early December to get my ski legs back on track which is why we wanted to try somewhere else for Xmas. Now we just have to hope for plenty fresh snow!
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Dubmuffin
Where is your chalet?

johnE wrote:

Whats the skiing like there?
Pretty rubbish but the apres on rum punch is just as good.

It was a real toss up for us this year. We have lots of trips planned to Val so are getting in a cheeky winter sun trip too.
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
@Dubmuffin,
Quote:

we have booked a Chalet in Val D'isere for Christmas

Great choice.
Quote:

so now all I have to do is look forward to it

and maybe find out about the best skiing, bars, etc before you go?? Maybe you know Val D well already.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@Dubmuffin, I'd go EK but Tignes rather than Val at Chrimbo. Higher accommodation and better access to high slopes, ie quicker to the snow.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@Markymark29, not that I want to get involved in a Val/Tignes p!ssing contest, but really? Val is picture postcard old village beautiful at most times but especially so at Christmas. And Tignes is, well, you know, not going to win any beauty pageants any time soon.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Val does have some nicer town areas than Tignes and do more for Christmas; e.g. the snow sculptures on the roundabouts, etc. But during the day I find as you can ski both resorts easily it does not matter that much as you cannot see the relevant towns from most of the slopes.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Quote:

I'd go EK but Tignes rather than Val at Chrimbo. Higher accommodation and better access to high slopes, ie quicker to the snow.

Val D closer to the Pissalais glacier above La Fornet. I think, on balance, Val D better as a base, given that access to Tignes is easy and quite fast anyway.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Quote:
I'd go EK but Tignes rather than Val at Chrimbo. Higher accommodation and better access to high slopes, ie quicker to the snow.

Quote:
Val D closer to the Pissalais glacier above La Fornet.

1. To the Pissalais Glacier from Val D'Isere Centre: Bus to Le Fornet, then rides on a cable car, a very long gondola and two chairs.
2. To the Grande Motte Glacier from our digs in Tignes Val Claret: 5 min walk then 7 minute funicular ride.

Hmmmm....wink
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mountainaddict wrote:
Quote:
I'd go EK but Tignes rather than Val at Chrimbo. Higher accommodation and better access to high slopes, ie quicker to the snow.

Quote:
Val D closer to the Pissalais glacier above La Fornet.

1. To the Pissalais Glacier from Val D'Isere Centre: Bus to Le Fornet, then rides on a cable car, a very long gondola and two chairs.
2. To the Grande Motte Glacier from our digs in Tignes Val Claret: 5 min walk then 7 minute funicular ride.

Hmmmm....wink


But the funicular only takes you to the bottom of the glacier. There's a cable car trip (which isn't quick) to add to this too.........
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@Dr John, Totally agree about the fact that Val is a much nicer village and Christmasy etc but if you are after early season skiing and high altitude then i'd say Tignes takes some beating. We stayed 20 week+ in Val and latterly 7-8 in Tignes over the years and my view is that on balance if I was going back sometime i'd be in Tignes (even though its an ugly sprawl).
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We have a "budget" chalet in Val D'Isere centre "near the church" apparently. We were in Tignes last Christmas so popped over to Val one afternoon midweek, but my ski legs were a bit worn out so didn't ski as much as I'd have liked to. We liked the look of the village, and as there are just the two of us this year, staying somewhere with a bit of an atmosphere will be good. Tignes was great but fancied somewhere new this year
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Espace Milky has more skiing above 2500 metres than any other resort in Europe.
If snow is short low down, it means a lot of skiers crammed in two bowls at La Plagne. It does offer a bit of tree lined stuff though if its bleak and windy.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Quote:

Espace Milky

...is very cool for cats wink
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Markymark29 wrote:
@Dr John, Totally agree about the fact that Val is a much nicer village and Christmasy etc but if you are after early season skiing and high altitude then i'd say Tignes takes some beating. We stayed 20 week+ in Val and latterly 7-8 in Tignes over the years and my view is that on balance if I was going back sometime i'd be in Tignes (even though its an ugly sprawl).


New Year is not really early season in Espace Killy, it's been open 5 weeks by then.

Mountain Addict wrote:

I'd go EK but Tignes rather than Val at Chrimbo. Higher accommodation and better access to high slopes, ie quicker to the snow.

Quote:
Val D closer to the Pissalais glacier above La Fornet.

1. To the Pissalais Glacier from Val D'Isere Centre: Bus to Le Fornet, then rides on a cable car, a very long gondola and two chairs.
2. To the Grande Motte Glacier from our digs in Tignes Val Claret: 5 min walk then 7 minute funicular ride.

Hmmmm....wink


The Grande Motte is somewhere to avoid really at New Year. Sure it's a great view, but the NY queues can be horrendous for the cable car. Late afternoon is the best time to avoid queuing. Pisaillas, on the other hand, will be deserted.
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@bar shaker,
Quote:

New Year is not really early season in Espace Killy, it's been open 5 weeks by then.

Early for off piste still I'd say, pistes'll be fine I guess though. Spent many a Christmas/ NY in EK and its great if snow cover good, got to be out early to beat the crowds though.
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bar shaker wrote:
The Grande Motte is somewhere to avoid really at New Year.


Even in quiet weeks getting up there is more hassle than the one run down is worth. If you just miss a funi then you have 20 minutes to wait, then miss again at the cable you're talking 40 minutes to get to the top.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Quote:

Even in quiet weeks getting up there is more hassle than the one run down is worth. If you just miss a funi then you have 20 minutes to wait, then miss again at the cable you're talking 40 minutes to get to the top.

I went up at easter last year. OK it was sunny so we took the chair lift up for a more relaxed ride. Got straight onto the telepherique. The run down the "black" was wonderful. We were the only people on it so were able to run at speed with wide carved turns. Sadly the return to Val Claret was nowhere near as pleasant, really heavy, full of skischools and people returning at the end of the day.

Mind you it can be cold at new year. My nephew got frost bite in his toes (yes, really, not just my toes got a bit cold) one year. Luckily it was not too severe and he kept them.
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Dr John wrote:
@Markymark29, not that I want to get involved in a Val/Tignes p!ssing contest, but really? Val is picture postcard old village beautiful at most times but especially so at Christmas. And Tignes is, well, you know, not going to win any beauty pageants any time soon.

OTOH Val D is in a gloomy valley when the days are short. Each to their own, of course.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Had some rotten queues for the GM cable car and funi last year, even in Jan and week after easter. 3 cable cars went before we got to the front. Only did it once, whereas the Val glacier was deserted and we had the runs to ourselves. Just bad luck I guess, but there's some great skiing around the val glacier, and some gentle intro to off piste in the Pays Desert.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@achilles, not sure which Val d'Isere it is that you've visited, but the one I know is about as far from gloomy as it's possible to get. Clutching at straws perhaps?

Behold the town at Christmas time, when the days are at their shortest and the village at it's most gloomy;
https://www.skiworld.co.uk/images/uploads/photos/large/main_street_at_night,_val_d%27isere,_france_5494.jpg
http://www.valdiserechalets.co.uk/sites/default/files/valdisere-at-winter.png
http://www.insignia-lb.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Christmas-Val-dIsere-2-630x418.jpg
http://www.crystalski.co.uk/dbimages/asset/Large/v01/359/385.jpg

(apologies for the lack of proper picture posting, admin feel free to fix)
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@Dr John, 'clutching at straws' is an enigmatic remark, I am not sure what you mean - but hope this answers you. Gloom is in the eye of the beholder (ask Old Fartbag) - and of course artificial light helps. I used to go to EK a lot and stayed several times at Val Disere - but it was quite a few years since I was there last. I found I really did not like staying there early January because the valley was so gloomy - it came close to making me feel depressed as I was coming down the hill. From, say, mid February onwards I was a lot happier. I have stayed at both La Daille and the main town area - but the area I enjoyed most was Le Fornet, partly because there was a lot of easily accessible off piste that wasn't trashed as quickly as elsewhere, and partly because it seemed sunnier.

I am delighted that you are happy with Val D'Isere. I have no wish to go back - but I've been there many times. Mostly enjoyed it a lot. But I personally wouldn't want to go there at Christmas. Each to their own, as I said above.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
December/January can certainly be/feel gloomy.

And SAD is a known medical condition.

But generally ski towns are bright, vibrant places and being the mountains uplifting. Not sure if there something especially gloomy about Val d'Isere.
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