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April 2019 - ski accommodation driveable to resort

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Having just returned from skiing in Sierra Nevada, Spain we would like to book our next family skiing holiday for Easter 2019. As Easter is late this would most likely be in the first week of the school holidays 6-13 April.
Despite flights not yet released I've found that accommodation in the 'snow sure' resorts below is either already full and/or very expensive:

Obergurgl
Ischgl
Val Thorens
Tignes
Cervinia
Are (although skistar have some)
Trysil

In Spain we actually stayed about 30 mins from the slopes, in a much nicer apartment, at a quarter of the cost of one in the resort. I would happily do something similar again but cannot see many options around the above resorts and it is difficult to know which areas to look at as obviously we would want to ensure main roads which are cleared quickly of snowfall etc. Has anyone any experience of doing something similar, or suggestions of other resorts to try at that time of year with self-catering accommodation for a family of 4?

We are not very experienced skiers so don't need much. Happy to drive/bus to the slopes if needs be. Ideally somewhere with a reasonable choice of restaurants and not ridiculously expensive (which is what puts me off Trysil).
Many Thanks
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Or, @jostar, the accommmodation/resort just hasn't decided how late they'll open? I am surprised that Easter would be so booked out so early.
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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?
@jostar just a suggestion given your happiness to trade a bit of commuting against cost and quality.....I have looked at this place, the prices and reviews always look excellent. I think the link from Valtournenche would still be open to Cervinia. Hotel Tersiva www.hoteltersiva.com in Valtournenche . Think it shuttles you to the lifts, though there may not be a great deal happening nearby. I fancied it but could never sell it to my 'ski in/out wannabe' friends!
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@jostar. Apologies just re read your self catering preference......
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Thanks both.
I hope you are right about the accommodation not being available yet, I may have been fooled by the websites exclamations of "last room just gone" etc. I did think it was rather extreme. But if that's the case I will have to choose my flights with no idea on accommodation availability or wait and risk the flight costs going up....

And thanks @toyah807 for the suggestion near Cervinia. I am not totally against hotels, again it is to cut down on cost (and avoid being cramped up in the same room as the kids)
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Avoriaz would be worth a look. Lots of s/c ski in ski out accommodation. https://www.pierreetvacances.com/gb-en/ski-holidays-france_ms I skied there a lot in the 80s and loved the place.

Easy drive and you do not need to hassle your way up the Tarentaise valley.

At 1800m it is snowsure for Easter. PDS is a huge area.

If you are really pinching the pennies accommodation down in the valley around Morzine will be cheaper and you can drive to a free park at Ardent with a shuttle to Prodains. At least I think it is free.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Not sure what sites you are checking but have you tried to find Sc accommodation in Orelle? The lift there links into Val Thorens I believe and sometimes offers a cheaper way of doing it.
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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 am surprised that Easter would be so booked out so early.

So would I - very surprised. In France, it's low season once the four week February/March "vacances scolaires" are finished. If you are booking flights, be aware that although Sat/Sat flights will be the most expensive, they will give you a much bigger choice of accommodation - which you could leave till much nearer the time. Many websites for French accommodation will not yet have their act together for the end (or even the beginning, for that matter) of next season.
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@jostar, couple of thoughts on the Scandi options.

Are is brilliant, one of my favourite ever resorts. If you aren't finding accommodation a year out it's because it's not been released/advertised yet.

Trysil - I have recently returned from a grown-up-only trip (OK for that), the main take away being I thought it would be the perfect resort for a late season family trip, to the extent that I was scoping accommodation for that week a few days ago on the usual suspect hotel sites and found family accommodation in the Radisson Blu Mountain Resort for £800 for the week. Flights will be cheap. For self catering, there are a couple of large supermarkets in Trysil that are around 50% over UK prices. Adult main meal out is c. £20.

An Austrian suggestion, if you can find cheap flights to Salzburg, which is getting increasingly hard. A few years ago I stayed in a valley town called Mautendorf for peanuts (or it was something like €30 a night) which gives you 15 minutes by car access to very snowsure resorts at Obertauern, Grosseck-Spiereck, Katchberg and Fanningberg.
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For Val Thorens, a nice option would be to stay down the valley in St Martin De Belleville or one of the local hamlets. We rented a place in a next door hamlet for this winter and it got really quiet once we got to easter. It's a lovely village. If the weather is cold enough then you can ski from the village itself, but if you want to avoid the mush, it's a 20 min drive up to VT with a free car park and direct access to the slopes as you come into the resort. A good local accommodation agent in St M is agencedesalps-they have everything from purpose built slope side apartments to quaint renovated farm buildings on their books. They have proved very easy to deal with.
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Quote:

Despite flights not yet released I've found that accommodation in the 'snow sure' resorts below is either already full and/or very expensive:

I would be suprised if most of the apartments have been released yet. I know we have not even been asked if we are releasing ours yet. Be patient. Lots of low price accommodation will become available for the week you are looking for even in the resort. Since you are planning to go before the Easter holiday period I imagine it will be just about the cheepest week of the season.

May I suggest you add Bourg st Maurice to your list. It is only a half hour drive to Tignes or even quicker funicular trip to Les Arcs, or even a short drive to La Rosiere, all of which in my experience have pretty good snow in mid April. But a word of warning the parking chages in the French resorts are typically 10 euros a day and lift pass prices are eye watering.
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Thanks everyone, that is all very useful. It sounds as though I am panicking too soon and will have to make a decision on flights before knowing the full cost of accommodation.

@JimiHendrix, I'm very interested in Scandinavia so your info is useful. I too had found the Radisson Blu cost but I was a bit worried about food/drink costs and if they will outweigh the savings on flights & accommodation. Do you have any feedback on lift-passes/ski-hire costs?
I am also very tempted by Are if I can find some reasonable flights but I have read there are a lot of drag lifts there...?
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Having done a SC trip to Trysil for a family of 4 I didnt find it much more expensive than to other ski holidays we have done. That is if you properly SC rather than say you will then sneakily think you will eat out as eating out was ridiculous. There are several supermarkets in Trysil. Accommodation was reasonable but small (not the Radisson as there is plenty more than that and small as it was virtually ski in for that reasonable price). Lift passes and lessons were fine. All pricing can be easily seen on Skistar website. Resort was excellent for families.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
We've stayed self catering in Tignes with appartatignes before and found nice apartments which were reasonably priced. All spoke good English so I would give them a ring even if your French isn't phone standard (!!) If you want to book this early
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@jostar, We ski when the schools break up in Spring every year. It's not a busy time and you will find reasonably priced accommodation no problem.

I presume you have chosen Tignes and Val T because they are high but in my opinion you don't need to stay high. As long as you have access to the high level skiing staying low is more comfortable and easier to drive into/park. And actually given the remit "We are not very experienced skiers so don't need much" I'm not sure you'd need to head to such large ski areas. If you go to places Le Sept Laux, Les Contamines, La Norma it would be far cheaper but with the risk that conditions might not be great.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@jostar, the Are drags shouldn't be a problem. There are a lot more than your average resort but they didn't really bother me when I was there and since then (and since most of the reviews will have been written) they have replaced a few of the drags that really dragged (sorry) with chairs.

For Are look at flights to Trondheim as well as Ostersund, as you'll be able to get cheap Norweigian airlines ones.

For Norway, you can check all the costs (flights, accom, car, ski pass, ski hire) reliably online, ski pass was surprisingly the same as an alpine one (£40 a day), ski hire a bit expensive (£20 a day) but not as bad as, say, St. Anton. For SC, you're obviously best budgeting for your own tastes, I would add about 50% to UK supermarket prices. There are big supermarkets in resort, open 7-11. Norway has some odd food rules and an aggressive tax system so you need to watch prices...for example a punnet of cherry tomatoes was £1, but the same amount on-the-vine were £5. Likewise blueberries were about the same price as pearls. Apparently a big sugar tax as well. Eating out wasn't quite as bad as I feared - on mountain lunches ranged from about £12 (me, tight, getting a sandwich and chips and drinking the free water) to £25 (my companions, ordering whatever they fancied, plus a side dish, drink, pudding and coffee), for the evening there were a good few options in the £15-20 range though you can go well beyond that. I think we did a pizza place on the high street (only £12 but pretty ropey), pizza in the Radisson (about £20, equivalent to say a £12 UK pizza express job), and a burger and chips in a microbrewery on the high street (£17, lovely, bit small, bought pudding from the supermarket) My only real worry with a family, well *my* family, is that my kids are used to just demanding drinks and snacks on tap when we're out and about, and that might need a bit firmer parenting to avoid leaking money!
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Ischgl could be a good option, expensive but not quite in the Norway league. For cheaper places to stay check either Kappl or See both lower down in the Paznauntal. Possibly better though a bit of a longer drive (should be no more than 30 mins and practically no chance of snow issues in April) would be Landeck. It is a town rather than a village, has a train station (direct trains to both Innsbruck and Zürich) I would say flights to Zürich would be most practical, about 2.5 hours in a car, though Munich is about the same. St Anton is 30 mins or less drive and plans to open until the end of April next year. Serfaus / Fiss is also very near to Landeck (nearer than both Ischgl & St Anton), again should be open well past Easter, they push the "family friendly" thing though plenty of more challenging stuff too. You should be to get buses from Landeck to all of these places too.

Obergurgl more difficult, Sölden is not far away and on the same lift ticket but I would guess accommodation might already be scare as it has glacier skiing too.

Another high Austrian resort would be Obertauern, though not the biggest place.
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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?
I've been to Obergurgl, VT & Cervinia over the last few years at Easter, I've generally booked SC in the summer and not had too much problem. Obergurgl you could stay in Solden, which has plenty of apartments, plus the lift pass now gives you a day or two in Solden. Cervinia doesn't have loads of options, we stayed in a grim 60s above the resort. It's not too far to drive to the resort from Valtournence though. As @munich_irish, says, consider staying in Kappl for Ischgl.
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TQA wrote:
Avoriaz would be worth a look. Lots of s/c ski in ski out accommodation. https://www.pierreetvacances.com/gb-en/ski-holidays-france_ms I skied there a lot in the 80s and loved the place.

Easy drive and you do not need to hassle your way up the Tarentaise valley.

At 1800m it is snowsure for Easter. PDS is a huge area.

If you are really pinching the pennies accommodation down in the valley around Morzine will be cheaper and you can drive to a free park at Ardent with a shuttle to Prodains. At least I think it is free.


Sorry but the lifts barely take you higher than 2400 metres which is not enough especially if you take into account that it is usually sunnier in France then e.g. Austria. The ski area is big, but it will be quite slushy around easter (comparable to Saalbach or Kitzbühel in Austria). Don't worry about the roads in April. If you are willing to take a drive I think Landeck or Imst would be good options. You could drive to Pitztal Glacier or Sölden from Imst quite easily (both resorts are elevated more than 3300 meters) and from Landeck it is ok too. Easier from Landeck are Ischgl (which is not a Glacier resort, however 90% of the slopesare above 2000m so in a normal winter only the valley runs will be slushy) Serfaus (which is very sunny so if it is cold you can go there) and St Anton (if it is cold enough as most parts of the huge arlberg resort are not very high elevated)

Very warm -> glaciers accessible
decent winter -> Ischgl, Sölden
cold winter -> jackpot, I would suggest to go to St Anton, Ischgl and Serfaus if it doesnt matter to you to buy several lift tickets
accomodation in Imst and landeck is cheap, if you want to focus on one resort you should go to Ischgl. I would suggest you to search in Kappl, See, Mathon and Galtür (whole Paznaunvalley) for accomodation.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
grumpygargoyle wrote:
Obergurgl you could stay in Solden, which has plenty of apartments, plus the lift pass now gives you a day or two in Solden.


They have introduced the "Powdercard" which means that every ski pass longer than 3 days is valid in both resorts.
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@jostar, I think more accommodation will have become available in Åre since your initial post (the deadline for owners to declare available weeks to skistar is end April). The week 7-14 April (week 15) is better as week 16 is the only Easter week the schools are off. Changeover day is Sunday. If you are looking to keep costs down, I’d stay up in the Björnen area - it’s connected to the main ski area, but ski-in-ski-out. I’d advise having a hire car though from the airport so you can get down to the village and the supermarkets. Happy to provide advice if you PM me - we know Åre well.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
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We have booked that week going to Kvitfjell in Norway. Easy drive up the E6 from Oslo or the train direct from airport. Change over is Sun but Sun flights already expensive so we are going Sat to Monday and hotel one night each end of holiday. Another snowsure Easter place is ruka, Finland. Now have flights to Kuusamo, which is 10mins by bus to Ruka, with Lufthansa via Frankfurt. Finnair timings a bit more of a pain. We are going to Ruka at Christmas and know the resort well. Feel free to PM any questions about it.
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