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Euro ski road trip - advice needed.

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hi all. Please excuse what will be a long post.
We are a family of 4 Aussies (kids are 10 and 12) and have never been to Europe. We plan on doing a skiing road trip in January 2018 (we're committed to skiing Snowbasin, Jackson Hole, Telluride and Mammoth in the States this winter). We are wanting a true European experience but don't want to stay at one resort for an extended period. We enjoy a road trip that involves skiing for a few days then doing another activity like touring a city before moving onto another ski area for a few days and so on. I understand this is likely to be less economical than staying put.
We will only have about 3 weeks for our trip. In that time we would definitely like to visit Munich (Dachau) and Venice. On the ski resort front the Dolomites is high on the wish list - the scenery looks amazing. We would also like to do a classic French resort. We would welcome a suggested itinerary. I'm thinking something like fly into Munich before doing a few days skiing in Austria, maybe a day or two in Innsbruck and then ski the Sella Ronda then tour Venice before heading to Chamonix. I have no idea of details about particular regions or resorts. I understand generally speaking Europe receives less snowfall than what we're used to. Locations that are fairly snow sure would be best considering we're thinking early season.
Some background for your consideration -
We have never had lessons but I would think we're strong intermediate skiers. We have skied extensively in North America and can ski most parts of the mountain at places like Alta, Snowmass, Whistler, Lake Louise, Sun Valley, Snowbird etc. We don't seek out really steep terrain but will do it if needed. Whilst we love skiing powder but we consider it a bonus and not a necessity. We're happy carving groomers and skiing bumps.
I am ok with hiring a car but we love train travel - particularly if it's scenic.
We are happy with hotel type accommodation that includes breakfast. We eat out at a restaurant/pub each night. We like a few beers at the end of the day but don't need nightlife. We need accommodation within walking distance to restaurants (to allow for said beers). I'm ok driving to the ski hill if needed.
There is no budget as such - I understand holidaying and skiing is expensive. I do have the 'tight' gene though so I don't like to pay more than I have to. The idea of paying $15 for a beer in Zermatt when you can get one for half that over the hill is crazy in my view.
When on the ski hill we don't need terrain parks and other entertainment although sledging does sound fun.

I understand our trip is some time down the track but I like to have some ideas planned a long way in advance. Research is half the fun.
Thanks in advance.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
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@sbooker, Hi, I think a 3 week trip for European skiing should be a lot of fun for you! Very Happy I also understand why as it's your first trip you also want to take in a few non-skiing activities. If you aim to visit Venice then you definitely want to take in the Dolomites - the scenery is amazing as you say, the mountain restaurants offer great food (and drinks - their hot chocolate is the best! Laughing ) at very reasonable prices, and the on piste skiing is excellent even if there should be a lack of natural snow when you are there, as they have invested heavily in snow making and the pisteurs are masters at grooming and maintaining the pistes.

As regards your flights, are you looking to get open-jaw tickets i.e flying into one airport like Munich and flying back from another one like Geneva, or are you obliged to use the same airport? If you use the same airport then in theory you could hire a car for the full 3 weeks as you'd be returning the car there, but that could prove very expensive, there'd be times when you're in a ski resort when you don't actually need a car, and you'd have to ensure that the car rental company let you take the vehicle into all the other countries you wanted to visit. My preference would be only to hire a car in one country if and when you need it, and rely on public transport/trains for other situations.

If you fly into Munich then imv you won't need a rental car for your time there, as it has a superb public transport system (busses, trams and the S-Bahn (light urban railway) and you can also get a coach trip from Munich to Dachau, several companies seem to offer this e.g city discovery

Once you've spent your time in Munich then you can easily take the train from Munich for a few days skiing in Austria. There's several places you could visit, but I'll confine myself to two. You could go to Innsbruck and stay there, as it has nearby skiing. Alternatively, and my preference for a more typical Austrian ski resort experience, would be to take the train from Munich towards Innsbruck but get off at the main line station called Jenbach some distance before you reach Innsbruck. This is at the foot of the Zillertal valley, and from Jenbach station you just cross platforms and take the narrow gauge Zillertalbahn railway which goes all the way up the valley to Mayrhofen. As well as skiing at Mayrhofen itself, there is also extensive skiing at two other ski areas in the valley, at Zell am Ziller (Arena ski area) and Kaltenbach/Hochfugen ( Hochzillertal ski area). Getting from Mayrhofen to these other two resorts down the valley is very easy as there are skibusses and the Zillertalbahn trains run every half hour in each direction, and travel on these is included on the Zillertal Superskipass.

When you leave Jenbach or Innsbruck you can then take a train from Innsbruck over the Brenner Pass into Italy. Dependant on whether you want to do Dolomite skiing first and then Venice , or the other way round, you can either get off at Chiusa/Klausen or Ponte Gardena/Waidbruck stations for a short bus or taxi transfer to one of the Val Gardena resorts (Ortisei/St Ulrich, St. Christina or Selva/Wolkenstein) or carry on to Venice. Val Gardena has some excellent skiing of its own, including the SassLong Men's Word Cup Downhill course with its famous "camel bumps", and from the Seceda plateau above St Christina there is a lovely 10.5km long red run La Longia down to Ortisei, but at Selva it links directly into the Sella Ronda circuit which you'll definitely want to do. If you go to Venice first then there are coach transfers available from Venice to some of the Dolomite ski resorts with services from Cortina Express (who not only offer travel to Cortina d'Ampezzo but also offer service to the Alta Badia resorts via Cortina), Dolomitistars and Arabba Fodom (this last one is only for people with booked accommodation in Arabba). The Alta Badia resorts of Corvara and Colfosco (both of which are directly on the Sella Ronda circuit), La Villa and San Cassiano have extensive intermediate skiing, and if you ski to Armentarola (near to San Cassiano) there is a frequent shuttle bus/taxi (6 Euros) which takes you to Passo Falzarego for the Lagazuoi cable car which has superb views at the top (also scene of bitter fighting in WW1) and is the start of the lovely Hidden Valley run (see this thread for more info)

Well there's some suggestions for the Munich/Austria/Dolomites/Venice leg of your trip, I'll leave others to make suggestions for France (and possibly Switzerland en route).

Hope this helps. snowHead
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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?
Get a campervan for 3 weeks from Berlin (or pick it up in Venice where there is a pick up point)

www.wickedcampers.co.uk would do this for 4 quite cheaply from Berlin to Malaga (for example about £2,000 for 3 weeks)

www.motorhomeski.com would give some indication of which resorts to stay at and campgrounds with electricity.

This would allow you to have a few days skiing, and then move to a city for a break.

A route I have done similar to your proposed route was Solden, St Anton, Davos, St Moritz, Verbier, Crans Montana, Saas Fe, Zermatt, Val d'Isere, Tignes. It took slightly longer than 3 weeks and I only booked accomodation in Zermatt in advance (cars are not allowed in Zermatt or Saas Fe so there is nowhere to camp in resort)

With this route there may be weather related problems on the high pass between St Anton and Davos. I drove via Zurich to get to Verbier after St Moritz due to weather related problems in the high pass.

There is a train between St Moritz and Zermatt, but you would have to dump the camper for that.

Some links regarding the van trips I did in Europe (well out of date now)...

www.snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?p=1793636&highlight=timeout+2005#1793636
www.snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?p=1793776&highlight=timeout+2005#1793776
www.snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?p=1794123&highlight=timeout+2005#1794123
www.snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?p=1794161&highlight=timeout+2005#1794161


Last edited by Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see? on Mon 26-06-17 13:19; edited 1 time in total
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Echo comments about skiing the Dolomites, though I've yet to manage it.
It's a fair old drive from Venice towards the French end of the Alps. Chamonix is a classic resort, but it's unlike most french ski resorts and can be a bit "marmite":you either love it or hate it as it's a town at the bottom of the valley and the ski areas are pretty disjointed.

It would definitely be time to get a car if you come towards France from Italy and the south. You could opt to stop at Courmayeur (on the Italian side of Mont Blanc) and then try and time it to do the Vallee Blanche off piste route from there down to Chamonix. For that it is absolutely essential to book a guide (glacier skiing, route planning etc-its 22km top to bottom I think) who will arrange everything, including the return to Courmayeur at the end. It's a full day trip, whether you get to go or not is weather dependent, and the kids would have to be up for it. Most people do the VB from Cham but there is a hair raising arete to walk down with skis and boots on at the start (google some pics to see what I mean). We used a great guide called Gianni Carbone. Courmayeur is a lovely town and the ski area is pretty, though relatively small, so it's nice for a couple of days even if you don't do the VB. Fab on mountain food too!


On the french side-classic french resorts. Hmmmm. I ski mostly in France. The big plus of many is the humongous size of the ski areas and ski in ski out accommodation. I'd go for quite a few days in the Trois Vallees/ Three Valleys just to experience the sheer vastness and variety. All lift linked. It is impossible to ski the whole area in a week, or even two weeks. The "main" resorts to look at within the 3V-Meribel, Courchevel, Val Thorens. In Jan I'd be tempted to avoid a resort with accommodation above the tree line (1800-1900m-so not Val Thorens) as things can get bleak and very cold in Jan. My own fave in the 3V which is pretty and has a nice vibe as it's a proper old farming village, is St Martin de Belleville. Courchevel 1850 is a lovely base for the skiing (but rather swanky and full of rich russians). Meribel is pretty and in the middle valley, with lots of trees. Not my particular fave as the last runs to the bottom can be a bit icy, but from the second week of Jan it's low season and so you would probably not encounter the crowds funnelling down to the bottom.
Val D'Isere/Tignes would also be on the list-some prefer the ski area to the 3V, others prefer the 3V. In Jan I'd stay in Val D'Isere. There is probably less below tree line skiing in the Val D/Tignes area if the weather closes in.

Other classic resorts-Zermatt if you can. My stepson and his girlfriend will be instructing there again this winter I think. The Matterhorn has to be seen as does the town itself. Not cheap. (Or stay in Cervinia on the Italian side and ski over-it's cheaper-but Cervinia itself is no oil painting).
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Did I miss it? What part of the season are we talking?

I presume not Christmas/New Year... though that time of the year as it's attractions..?

January would be good from a price/busyness perspective but days are shorter can be a bit bleak. Obviously the temps mean if there is a lot of snow the skiing would be good. I wouldn't campervan at that time of the year personally even though it's perfectly doable. I just think it's a lot to contend with on top of everything else.

Avoid the European school holidays.

When they end in early March would probably be the optimum. Not quite as low season as January but still pretty clear and the days a bit longer, should get a bit of sunshine, etc.

Late season April still good but open to a deteriorating pattern so going to be a bit and miss.
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French resort wise... for me Paradiski is the best of the mega-resorts for skiers like yourselves.

If you fancy something smaller Les Contamines would be a good shout IMO/IME.
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First of all - cool trip, enjoy!

If you were two adults I'd say leave it all to the last moment and decide based on where the snow is good, but with kids aged 10 and 12 (or even 12 and 14 by then), that may be more difficult.

What I would consider:
- overall January is low season, if you come in after the end of the New Year week. You should have a good pick of accommodations
- go to an area that has higher likelihood of good snow in the early part of the trip. Leave the Dolomites for last...doesn't guarantee good snow but you have a better chance of the mountains looking white (as someone said above, they have great snowmaking, but it looks better if there's snow AROUND the pistes too). As for where's (nearly) snow-sure: in Austria I would go to Mayrhofen (which has Hintertux glacier on the same pass, a bus / car ride away), or Sölden (linked to a glacier). In France, as mentioned above, Trois Vallees or Espace Killy (Val d'Isere / Tignes). All of these have high-altitude skiing but also areas (linked or not) below the treeline, in case the weather turns bad
- For a once-in-a-long-while trip, to me it makes sense to maximize the "European skiing experience" and go to a large area rather than to several small resorts. The French and Italian areas I mentioned above qualify for this. Mayrhofen isn't linked but the three areas are available in the same valley. Sölden is nowhere on the scale of the big French areas or Dolomites, but it does provide reasonably varied skiing on two mountains + a glacier).
-Large areas that I personally love but I would not necessarily recommend for this trip are: St Anton (not really that much fun if the snow doesn't arrive, and best for offpiste and touring anyway), Verbier (expensive), Chamonix (not sure as high-level intermediates you will get the best of the area, although of course the mountains are amazing), Serre Chevalier and Via Lattea (I just love the skiing there but they have lower likelihood of good snow...then again, last Christmas the best snow in Europe was in Via Lattea). You're already going to the Dolomites, where, unless you're lucky, snow will be poor. Any of these would however be great if you're willing to take a gamble on booking accommodation after you see what the snow is like
- Zermatt is expensive but scores high on snowsureness and of course on beauty. Staying over the hill in Cervinia: very different experience, could be worth it, but if the wind's high you may not be able to access the skiing in Zermatt
- re daytrip to Dachau: while it could sound a bit sombre, I applaud the idea of taking kids there on an educational trip. Besides Venice, other places to see not far from skiing areas would include Salzburg, Interlaken, Lucerne...
- re train / car: with 4 people and gear, doing the whole trip by trains may be tiring, and not that much cheaper if any? Depends a lot on your willingness to drive in Europe and of course on how many destinations you go for. Maybe a combination of the two? If you do end up in Verbier / Chamonix, the train between Le Chable / Martigny and Chamonix is definitely worth taking, superb scenery.
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Does Eurorail pass still exist?

That may change the equation on drive vs train.
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Layne wrote:
Did I miss it? What part of the season are we talking?


I think you did miss it. Laughing The OP said at the start of their post that they were planning in doing the trip in Jan 2018.
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You are going to have a great time.

You will almost certainly finish up hiring a car for the three weeks on a cost basis. EG Zurich airport to St Anton by train will cost at least 57 euros per person Renting a car like a Peugot 308 SW estate for three weeks will coat about 1000 euros or 50 euros a day. NB there are several 'gotchas' on the car hire front so do a search on Snowheads for the threads on this. You will do better with proper snow tyres and make sure you can take the car to all the different countries. Not all companies do one way rentals esp. to a different country.

Having a car will make it possible to cut your accommodation costs by staying down in the valley in most places. Although January is usually regarded as low season.

Get your train fix by skiing at Wengen and taking the Jungfraubahn train up to the ski area. super scenic.

Cham is great for hairy chested off piste stuff but there are much better French resorts for intermediates. However if snow conditions and weather are both good the Vallee Blanche is an unforgettable day trip [you NEED a guide ]. You could stay in Les Contamines which is a charming old village style ski resort with great intermediate skiing and hit the Vallee Blanche if conditions are good.

Where would I ski well
Selva in the Dolomites would be a start, magnificent scenery.
Then Cervinia, take the extension on your pass and ski over to Zermatt.
Sample the 3 Valley delights [ make sure you ski over to Courcheval and have lunch at the Bel Air ]
Wengen for a traditional Swiss resort.
If you have days left St Anton would be a fine finish [ just make sure you stop off at the Krazy Kanguruh for an apres ski beer, you will feel right at home ]
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My 2p. Car rental will just end up more flexible if not cheaper - not worth missing a day's skiing or sightseeing just to travel. Won't necessarily be cheaper by the time you've paid carparking and tolls but will give you the gift of time plus the thrill of wondering whether you'll make it in a snowstorm.

Travelling Jan outside main NY period you'll probably be able to busk accomodation a fair bit but even so don't expect many hotels to offer up short stay capacity too far in advance. You will have greater choice in particular booking in advance if you are preared to commit to a standard holiday week in one or more locations.

Where you go doesn't really matter so don't agonise too much over the "must ski" places. Certainly not worth leaving good snow to find good snow in general.
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Quote:
Won't necessarily be cheaper by the time you've paid carparking and tolls but will give you the gift of time plus the thrill of wondering whether you'll make it in a snowstorm.

Laughing
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Since you love train travel, I think there are enough European resorts within easy reach of a station to make a train-only trip possible. And once you are in the resort you can generally walk / get a bus to the slopes - you don't have to drive. See www.eurail.com for international rail passes - currently you can get a 2+2 family ticket for say 5 days travel within a month across Europe for €932 (that's for all of you, not per person).

See above for resort suggestions in Austria accessible by train. For France, as well as Trois Vallees (bus/taxi from Moutiers-Salins station) and Tignes/Val d'Isere (bus/taxi from Bourg St Maurice station), consider Les Arcs / La Plagne - as the former resort is accessible by funicular from Bourg St Maurice station.

For Dachau, you don't need an organised coach trip; you can just get the S-bahn to Dachau station and a bus to the KZ-Gedenkstatten from immediately outside the station. Note that Munich is cold in January - typical maximum daytime temperature is +2C.
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You know it makes sense.
Ummm - Venice in January? My understanding is that a lot of it may be closed-up. And it can flood. How about Rome instead? Personally, I think you could be in danger of trying to put too much into the mix for a relatively short space of time. And Munich in January? How about Paris instead? here's an alternative:
Fly into Paris. Do Paris (3d). Take TGV Paris-> Geneva->Martigny then train & Gondola to Verbier (1d). ski 4 Valleys (4d). Train to Zermatt (1d). Ski Zermatt (4d). Train to Rome (1d). Do Rome (3d). Fly Rome-> London (1d). Do London (3d)
There are loads of variants - you should get lots of suggestions from the Forum. The above doesn't involve a car but obviously, you'll be hauling luggage on and off various trains. If you do hire a car, I'd try and use it for the transfers it's most suited to e.g. relatively local to the Alps. You might drop the London part and spend more time skiing. Lots of options ....
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@sbooker, in terms of transfers between different areas I would do the following:

A) for the first leg fly into Milan or Venice and ski Dolomites. Plenty of areas to choose from.
B) second leg - transfer from Italy over to Austria/Germany. Train is possible. Ski Austria, plenty of options.
C) third leg - train and ski for a couple of days in CH. Say Verbier/Nnedaz is a good place and is close to France.
D) fourth leg, stroll over to France. Verbier is close to Chamonix but clasic FR resaurt I would say Avoriaz instead. Chamonix is cool, but not very convenient. Full of good skiers and many more of oretend to be good skiers... Avoriaz is close to Geneva, so return flight could start from there too.

This would maximise enjoyment and you would ski in 4 countries, minimising on transfers, but still being able to see a lot. Resourt choice is abundant for each leg. Please note when you ask for a typical FR resort on this forum you will get many answers on where brita usualy go in France, not neceseraliy a typical FR resort Smile
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 Poster: A snowHead
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LaForet wrote:
Ummm - Venice in January? My understanding is that a lot of it may be closed-up. And it can flood.

I did Venice in early February, in conjunction with a week in the Dolomite.

I certainly don't recall seeing any closed signs around. And my "list" of places to visit (which I can't remember how I constructed it) were all open.

The major thing that's missing was the crowds. I had no problem finding seats in restaurants and lodging was reasonably easy to find to.
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Wow. Thanks for all the detailed replies.
My head is now spinning. Plenty of research to do!
It feels fitting in too many locations may not be ideal. If we were to choose 2 countries to ski in to get two different European skiing experiences which would the be? Something is making me lean toward the Dolomites as one but the towns in Austria also look appealing. Of course there could be a sameness about those two?
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
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Let's see, 3 weeks is about 20-22 days, depending how one counts.

So let's say you ski 4-5 days at each resort, you have time to visit say 3 resorts. The rest of the time will be city days and transit days, the latter hopefully will also be partial city days.

Make that 3 resorts in 3 countries?
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Quote:

Let's see, 3 weeks is about 20-22 days, depending how one counts.

So let's say you ski 4-5 days at each resort, you have time to visit say 3 resorts. The rest of the time will be city days and transit days, the latter hopefully will also be partial city days.

Make that 3 resorts in 3 countries?

Tue 27 Jun, 17
03:28     



Four skiing days at 3 resorts would be perfect out of about 21 days. Preferably in blocks of 4 days separated by other tourist days in between.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@sbooker, Obviously you've got a lot of decision making to do, but a couple of points:

1. Have you established yet whether you will be able to fly into and out of different European airports, or whether you have to use the same one? Different airports makes it easier for you visit several countries with no need to backtrack to your arrival airport.

2. You said that the Dolomites was high on your wish list, and being a great fan of the area I strongly agree, so would suggest that you definitely include the Dolomites and Venice as part of your itinerary. Incidentally I agree with abc's comment that there is no problem in visiting Venice in winter, indeed it has some benefits as the crowds are much smaller and you'll find that with the cooler temperatures the canals do not have the "subtle fragrance" that they may sometimes have in the heat of summer. Toofy Grin
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Make it an east-alpine tour:

🛬Munich-Dolomites-Venice-(Lake Garda)-(Innsbruck)-St.Anton/Lech-Zermatt-Zürich🛫
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Re Venice in January - here it is this January this year:



but read the whole report http://www.gillianslists.com/2016/01/winter-in-venice.html and the narrator is positive that as long as you're prepared for it to be wet and possibly some flooding, then yes, lack of crowds and canal smells etc are a great bonus and you can have a great time. I'm sure that many people have gone to Venice in January and done justthat. All I was wanting to point out was that for someone making what might be a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Europe with a huge choice of destinations, then they'd need to be prepared for floods in Venice. I've nothing against the place and having visited twice in the summer, I appreciate that lack of crowds is a big bonus plus odds are that the weather will be fine, even great. But for me it'd still be a toss-up between there and, say Rome, especially if they can fly directly into/out of Rome.

And back to the key question of whether you can fly into one location and out form another (or not). As mentioned, this really dictates your travel pattern.
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@sbooker, check your messages have pm'd you
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@Alastair Pink's first post is pretty bang on what I'd have suggested as far as Venice.
As you say you like trains, I'll stick with a plan that negates any need for car hire.
GERMANY Arrive :: Munich
AUSTRIA => Train to Innsbruck: Another ski option would be St Anton which isn't far by train.
=> Train over the Brenner to Waidbruck/Ponte Gardena
ITALY => Ski the Sella Ronda out of Selva
=> Train to Venice
=> Train up to Aosta (Visit the city + ski Pila for a day)
=> Bus up the top half of the Aosta Valley to Courmayeur (it's about an hour)
FRANCE => Bus through the MontBlanc tunnel to Chamonix (FRANCE)
Chamonix contends with Innsbruck in claiming to be 'Capital of the Alpes'. It's a very big town on the ski resort scale though nowhere near as big as Innsbruck. Surrounded by epic terrain and gnarly skers. We found the locals to be some of the rudest we've met in France so, in that respect, your getting a real authentic taste of French 'customer service' to compare against the other countries you've tasted. There are, however, always lots of snowHeads based/hanging out there and they tend to be among the friendliest people you'll meet in ski resorts.
=> Taxi? To Megeve. If you'd like to check out a more ski-resorty place, Megeve isn't far away. It's at the posher end so demonstrates the 'Fench chic' thing rather well. It's only 40mins by road from Cham and there is a bus but the bus takes 3 times as long so you're probably best splashing out on a private transfer/taxi.
=> Genva Airport: Is not far from Megeve/Chamonix and is very well served by international flights.

I reckon this is all easily doable in 3 weeks snowHead
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Thanks again for the replies. I expext we'll be able to fly into one airport and out of another. If not I'm happy to get another internal flight if needed.
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Ok, my two penneth. I'd fly in and out of Zurich to make life easy (Emirates or Etihad or Qantas from Aus, a one stopper). I'd hire an SUV (I love trains, I love my family, I love all my ski luggage but I don't love all three in any combination). I would do Venice if I were travelling all that far - St Marks Sq was flooded in August last time I was there and there were a gazillion people - no crowds in January and you might get lucky with the weather.

From Zurich I'd head West and start with Interlaken from where I'd do Wengen, Murren for a few days. Then I'd do the drive via Bern to Geneva and on to Annecy and find St Martin or Brides Les Bains as a base to sample The Three Valleys for a few days. Head to Grenoble and along to somewhere like Vaujany or Serre Chevalier then over into Italy to maybe Sestrieres - there's a whole string of resorts to chose from. Go via Turin up to Gressoney or maybe Cervinia to do Zermatt and the Matterhorn from the other side. Long drive through to Venice for a day (that is all you need) before heading north for the Dolomites - Corvara, Arabba, but they're all good. Several days there before driving north over the Brenner to Innsbruck from where you can hit many resorts. Head for Munich - maybe do Kitzbuhel for a day on the way if time. Dachau on the way back to Zurich.

Its a big loop of about 1500 miles. Like popping down the shops in Australia.
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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.
Pruman wrote:


Its a big loop of about 1500 miles. Like popping down the shops in Australia.


Smile
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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
The distance isn't a problem. But I think most people would find 20 days of consecutive "one-night-stand" too much.
Quote:

do Zermatt and the Matterhorn from the other side

Most people who did it "from the other side" reported back it's not the same thing. Not even close. So if I were flying half way around the world to see/ski Zermatt, I'd do it on the "right side".

I'm not a big fan of Wengen either. It's picture perfect alright. But it's not very high. So snow coverage can be an issue. The "trains as part of the lift network", while charming, can be frustrating once the novelty worn off.

I think Innsbruck is lovely. But know nothing about the skiing around there. Others might chime in.

I'd take advantage of flying in one airport and out another, to minimize the moving around. More time to enjoy the destination, less time just getting from one place to the next. I think Munich to Venice (or reverse) would be better.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Thanks again for the replies. The more I read about skiing the Dolomites the more I think we'd love it. What would be a good place to stay that has a village atmosphere and lots of dining options within walking distance?
Also if we stay in one village is driving to the other valley villages easy to do? Parking near the lifts abundant?
There seems so many options we may elect to do Munich then ski in Austria somewhere, then Innsbruck for city time, then Dolomites, on to Venice or Milan and a couple of days at Cervinia/Zermatt at the end. It would mean missing out on a French ski hill though.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@sbooker,
Quote:

What would be a good place to stay that has a village atmosphere and lots of dining options within walking distance?

There are lots of options. For the really upmarket experience San Martino di Castrozza takes some beating, for a largish towns you have Canazei and Cortina, for the tougher skiing then I beleive Arraba is the place to be, for beauty I like Alleghe and I haven't even mentioned the Gröden valley. Personally I would describe all these places as towns rather than villages and IMHO do not have a village atmoshpere. All have lots of restaurants and hotels.

Quote:

Also if we stay in one village is driving to the other valley villages easy to do? Parking near the lifts abundant?

This is common in the Dolomites though the ski busses are frequently used. My experience of the Dolomites is largely summer based and though there is lots of parking near the major lifts they are almost always full when I get there.
Quote:

There seems so many options we may elect to do Munich then ski in Austria somewhere, then Innsbruck for city time, then Dolomites, on to Venice or Milan and a couple of days at Cervinia/Zermatt at the end. It would mean missing out on a French ski hill though.

You cannot do everything in one trip. Relax and enjoy the journey. France will probably still be there in the future
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Quote:

But for me it'd still be a toss-up between there and, say Rome, especially if they can fly directly into/out of Rome.

The airport for Venice is even closer to the city than that for Rome.

Having visited Venice and Rome quite a bit I think Venice is good for a day, but Rome for a week.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Quote:

I'm not a big fan of Wengen either. It's picture perfect alright. But it's not very high. So snow coverage can be an issue. The "trains as part of the lift network", while charming, can be frustrating once the novelty worn off.


No issue with snow coverage ,Wengen has some of the most extensive snow making anywhere thanks to the huge investments by the mega rich Jungfraubahn.One reason we enjoyed superb pistes last Xmas before any of the natural snow arrived in abundance.The Lauberhorn piste from top to bottom(1290m) was open including many other long runs.
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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?
@sbooker, As regards the Dolomites then either of the two areas I mentioned (i.e Val Gardena or Alta Badia) have resorts with plenty of eating out options within walking distance. In terms of actual hotels I've stayed in then in Selva I've stayed at the the Hotel Krone/Corona and the Hotel Armin (both on half board so I don't know if they also offer just B&B, but you could ask) and in Arabba the Hotel Garni Bellavista (this B&B has been used by many snowHeads on the Arabba Birthday Bash which is held each year, those of us on the Bash are on half-board and take our evening meals in the associated Hotel Portavescovo). Driving between the villages of the Sella Ronda is fairly easy to do, and I think there should be enough parking available near to the lifts (with the possible exception of Selva). Within the Val Gardena valley itself there is a frequent bus service linking the thre towns of Ortisei/St Ulrich, St. Christina and Selva/Wolkenstein.

In Austria if you should decide to visit the Zillertal valley and stay in Mayrhofen then again there is a large choice of places to eat out within walking distance. I've stayed several times at the B&B Hotel Garni Obermair, which offers a very good buffet breakfast and it also has a small swimming pool. As I previously said, it's very easy to get to the other skiing areas in the Zillertal valley using the Zillertalbahn railway and ski bus services which are included with the skipass.
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@sbooker,

Here are a load of Snowheads (most in the pub at 3 mins) in the dolomites.


http://youtube.com/v/DV6-SdLyXP0
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
[quote="johnE"]@sbooker,
Quote:

What would be a good place to stay that has a village atmosphere and lots of dining options within walking distance?

There are lots of options. For the really upmarket experience San Martino di Castrozza takes some beating, for a largish towns you have Canazei and Cortina, for the tougher skiing then I beleive Arraba is the place to be, for beauty I like Alleghe and I haven't even mentioned the Gröden valley. Personally I would describe all these places as towns rather than villages and IMHO do not have a village atmoshpere. All have lots of restaurants and hotels.

Are you confusing San Martino with Cortina d'Ampezzo? I don't find San Martino particularly upmarket plus the area isn't that big/advanced - great for freeriding and scenery but not a particularly big or posh resort - Cortina on the otherhand is Courchevel for Italians! All fur coats and G wagons.
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RE: Venice - I lived near there for 4 years, went quite regularly, never saw it flooded (even on a day when there was a flood warning). The flooding is more to do with tides than anything else. Even if it is that adds to the uniqueness of the place, see it before it sinks!
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
sethpistol wrote:
RE: Venice - I lived near there for 4 years, went quite regularly, never saw it flooded (even on a day when there was a flood warning). The flooding is more to do with tides than anything else. Even if it is that adds to the uniqueness of the place, see it before it sinks!


I hope so - spending a couple of days there with the Mrs before the BB!
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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!
Arabba, Corvara (in Alta Badia), Selva (In Val Gardena), Canazei are all right on the Sela Ronda, a route which connects them and a load of other villages together: >350km of connected pistes before you even look at a ski bus.
Unless you really need to save money by staying away from the lifts, I recommend you stay at one of these villages for a full week Sat-Sat or Sun-Sun so you can take advantage of weekly deals.
There is sooooo much epic skiing to be had that even a full week can't do the area justice and any time spent in the car is a waste of good ski time. So stay in a hotel or apartment close to the lifts and give yourselves a chance to do the Dolomites properly snowHead

You're talking 3 weeks, yes?
So come into Munich and you have a week to do Munchen, Innsbruck and some Austrian skiing. (Seefeld may not be the most GNARly of destinations but is a lovely village and directly en-route between MUN and INN.)
A week skiing the Dolomites properly.
A week to do Venice & Cervinia. Maybe, from there, even pop through the Mont Blanc Tunnel into Chamonix too?
If so, leaving from Geneva seems the obvious exit plan.

In the 'Gotta see it' stakes, Venice definitely has it over Milan.
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Quote:

Are you confusing San Martino with Cortina d'Ampezzo?

I'm not. San Martino has the largest collections of 5* hotels I have ever seen. Cortina looks down at heel by comparison. OK the ski area isn't large but then I suspect many of the types that goto San Martino don't actually ski that much.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
I was in Venice late January in 2015, virtually everything was open, there were no crowds, no odor and hotel deals abounded. I would go in or out of Venice spending a couple of days and nights there (all you need to see it). Out of Munich with some skiing in Switzerland and Austria in between. In many countries in Europe, it's a hassle to add Italy to your rental car coverage. Either more expensive or if you miss the fine print and don't disclose, you don't have coverage. So, think about trying to do the italian part without rental car, or pickup and return in Italy for that part of the trip.

Leave France for the next trip.
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