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Switzerland or France at half term

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Have just seen cheap midweek half-term flights to Basel or Geneva so thinking of booking Winter holiday no.2 already...

Are there any ski resorts in Switzerland that are not super expensive or shall I just concentrate on finding one in France near Geneva ?

Our kids are 8yrs, 6yrs and 5yrs and have all been on 2 previous ski holidays so are improving rapidly and need somewhere with plenty of blue and red runs to
practice on. They are not so keen on a big hike across town though so a compact resort would suit better. Previously they have been to Westendorf & Zell Am Ziller
and we are big fans of Austria but the flights dictate we might have to go elsewhere this time.

Any ideas or recommendations appreciated!

Thanks
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@pablito69, French resorts likely to be better value overall than Swiss I think. Resorts not too far from Geneva that might suit include La Clusaz, Flaine, Les Gets, maybe St Gervais.
The biggest challenge might be finding well located accommodation that's available for midweek bookings at half term.
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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?
Nendaz is only a short transfer from GVA, and is not super expensive compared to Verbier. The times I have skied in that area, it was very child friendly and was quite distict from Verbier although sharing the 4 vallees ski area. You could also get the train from GVA to Sion and then a taxi (or the post bus 362 is fairly regular to the telecabine in Nendaz which takes 40-50 minutes). You could get the Swiss pass if it is cheaper to do so, as you are flying in from abroad.

From Verbier the only way to get to Nendaz is via the yellow ski routes (unpisted). So beginners are not going to be skiing near Verbier, and most Verbier skiers will probably not stray over to Nendaz much.
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I would definitely choose Switzerland. French resorts will be crowded by comparison.

Nendez would be a good choice and there is some ski in ski out accommodation. Not going to be cheap. Still who knows you may find a deal.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
If you end up with the Basel flights you can get a direct train to Interlaken in the Jungfrau region. Take your pick from Wengen / Grindelwald / Mürren.
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Powdair are flying direct to Sion this winter  http://verbier.com/en/news/2017-05/more-flights-to-sion-airport/ Ideal for Verbier, Nendaz etc
Transfer to Verbier are only 50chf, Nedaz etc is similar.

Nendaz accommodation will be a bit cheaper than Verbier but no matter where you go at half term etc this price will go up.

Verbier and Nendaz have miles and miles of pistes (it's actually joined under the same ski pass) Getting from Nendaz to Verbier (and the other way round) is a day out traversing across the 4 vallies, it's not particularly hard, and the only tough bit you miss by jumping in the cabin. Well worth the trip.
Put the kids in a group ski lesson for a few days and check with the instructor that they are ok.

In the same area but smaller and still joined to the Verbier area you could stay in La Tzoumaz and still ski Verbier and Nendaz.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@pablito69, there's some good info about ski resorts near Basel here.
http://www.swisswintersports.co.uk/basel.php
and similarly for Geneva here:
http://www.swisswintersports.co.uk/geneva.php

Swiss resorts will be lovely and quiet in comparison to France at half-term. There are plenty of smaller resorts that great for families with good value simple on mountain food and picnic rooms. It depends what you are after.

From Basel I would look at Adelboden/Lenk, Meiringen-Hasliberg (stay up in Hasliberg), Aletsch Arena.

If you can get flights to Zürich also look at Flims/Laax, Arosa/Lenzerheide, and Flumserberg.
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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!
For 4 Vallees try Thyon, Les Collons for ski in/ski out. Theres not much In Nendaz.
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I'm a Francophile with an apartment in a French ski resort. But I'd always avoid half term!
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Wow thanks for all the amazing info. Hate crowds so will look around for a deal at one of the Swiss resorts.

Thanks again everyone!!!! Very Happy
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We have an apartment in the Verbier satellite of La Tzoumaz, which along with Nendaz, Les Collons and Veysonnaz is in the 4 Valleys Domain. If you are happy to self-cater, then it might be worth looking at some of the places available for rent. Our agency is http://www.carron-immobilier.ch/en/ and when specifying no.rooms, the Swiss use +1 the number of bedrooms i.e. 3 bedrooms would be 4 rooms (not a sales pitch, as our place is only 2 bedrooms). Or contact the Tourist Office, who have places on their books not rented out through agencies http://www.latzoumaz.ch/en/index.htm?val_33=200785&hide_data=33;200785&tri=1026&Tri=1026

For UK press articles on staying in satellites, with La Tzoumaz as an example, see The Guardian https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2014/dec/06/satellite-ski-resorts-verbier-four-valleys-switzerland and the Daily Mail[url] http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/article-2296527/How-Verbier-cheap--stay-little-sister-La-Tzoumaz.html[/url]. To be fair, the Guardian article lists similar satellites in France as well.

We bought a place in CH precisely because we came to hate France in school holidays, after staying in Switzerland a couple of times, including the New Year. When we got to the point of being lucky enough to be able to finance a small apartment, it was a no-brainer to chose CH because of the reduced crowding and better level of English instruction. Yes, I'd admit that you do have to be careful about where you eat etc. but self-catering helps a lot here, plus you get the space to relax that isn't on offer in a hotel. But I appreciate that it's not everyone's cup of tea.

I can also recommend the thermal resort in the valley, about half an hour away, as a nice family day out (although La Tzoumaz has a small swimming pool in the télécabine building). This is one of the more family-oriented resorts (different to the mega-luxury places like Leukerbad): https://www.bainsdesaillon.ch/en/ If you're not after a massive ski area like the 4 Valleys, you might consider one of the small, less well-known ski+thermal resorts like Ovronnaz.

As mentioned, Powdair are now doing flights to nearby Sion airport, along with Swiss airlines. You may still find easyJet and BA to Geneva are cheaper, however - not sure about how school holiday periods are priced. When we did our last family holiday to Verbier, we piggy-backed on a tour operator's charter flight to Sion from Gatwick.
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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.
Also it's worth seeing if the Switzerland Travel Centre (STC) in London or the Official Swiss Tourist website (MySwitzerland) has any relevant offers:

STC: https://switzerlandtravelcentre.co.uk/

MySwitzerland: https://www.myswitzerland.com/en-gb/home.html

If nothing else, you can get them to send you some nice brochures to sit on the coffee table and get you all excited about the holiday .... And if you opt to drive down rather than fly-drive then you can also get your Swiss road vignette from the STC in advance.
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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
Wow, many thanks for all the great recommendations!! We've booked to stay near Les Diablerets in Switzerland, hopefully we can avoid the crowds there.... Smile Smile Smile

Wishing everyone a great season, Winter is Coming!
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Hate to break it to you, but Basel, Geneva, Fribourg, Jura, Valais & Zurich, pretty much all of Switzerland, have school hols that week.

The local canton of Vaud are the following week, so at least half of Lausanne won't be up on the glacier with you!!
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Cheers for the heads up, am just glad to be getting away again (will be our 2nd trip of the season by then) 😀😀
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
We have a place in the next village - Villars - and ski there all the time. It won't be that busy and Les Diablerets is beautiful. Easy train trip from Geneva. If you need to know anything send me a message.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Thank you! The train would have been good but we fly in quite late so we've hired a car.. We're staying in the village of Vers L'eglise which looks lovely and I believe has its own chair lift too. Looking forward to a great week, as are the kids.
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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?
Vers-l'Eglise is very pretty and a favourite hot chocolate spot for us. There is one auberge, a church and small road - little more. No chair - but an "interesting" rather long poma - there will definitely not be crowds there. Then a dog leg ski and another long poma to the top. Down to Vers-l'Eglise is idyllic and an
easy run down - although can get very icy, depending on how much snow there is. You can get the little train into Les Diablerets where there is a chair. It's lovely.
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hors et en piste wrote:
Vers-l'Eglise is very pretty and a favourite hot chocolate spot for us. There is one auberge, a church and small road - little more. No chair - but an "interesting" rather long poma - there will definitely not be crowds there. Then a dog leg ski and another long poma to the top. Down to Vers-l'Eglise is idyllic and an
easy run down - although can get very icy, depending on how much snow there is. You can get the little train into Les Diablerets where there is a chair. It's lovely.


Oh, so it's a poma lift rather than a chair from vers L'Eglise ? Our children are reasonably good skiers but still young (4,6,Cool so there is always the chance that they get distracted and fall off! That hasn't put me off but I just heard that one of the cable cars at Isenau has been decommissioned until they can build a new one. Do you know how many of the pistes this will affect?
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Yes - a poma - that can lift you especially if you are small. I would suggest it would be quite tricky for a four year-old unless you put them between your knees. Once you have finished that you then ski along a path until the piste - go down a bit and get another very long poma. You are right Isenau is out this winter - it was the beginners area but over the other side of Les Diablerets. They are replacing the old cable cars, so it basically means a whole beginners sector is out.That leaves you with Meillerets (which you can access from Ver L'Eglise) which links with Villars where there are a lot of blues suitable for little kids. Depends how fast your kids ski - I think I first did it when my daughter was five or possibly six. There could be some interesting path bits as you scoop round but once over it would be fine.
Alternatively - you could take the small train straight from Vers L'Eglise to Les Diablerets and walk to the chair which will take you up to Les Mazots in the middle of Meillerets. It might be easier. You can then take a nice meandering path through the trees back down again.
The other option is the glacier, a short post bus ride away. It is pancake flat at the top - lots of pomas though. But if you kids can make i, it does have an amazing run down. Aeriel views. We were ski-ing there last weekend.
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Thanks for all the info, some interesting routes there. It's a shame the Isenau sector is closed but, weather permitting, we will definitely visit the glacier so plenty to keep us all entertained.

Me and my wife both snowboard and the kids ski (for now..) so the path sounds fun!

Looking forward to our visit we have heard nothing but good things about the area.
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