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The other 1/2 term: 17-24 Feb, advice please

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I thought I had a plan for 1/2 term but, no so I'm after some advice, please.

The children will be 7 & 6. Them and Mrs have been skiing 3-4 weeks now and can all manage blues fairly confidently. Managed successfully to persuade Mrs last yr that she could do easy reds and that went very well. I do have to make sure to introduce little challenges very slowly to her to make sure her confidence remains ok.

Last years trip was the most successful so far. We went to Ruka, Finland (I did a TR). It was our first trip in 1/2 term and my priority was quiet runs which was definitely met. It was so good we were going to go again. Everyone loved the other activities (huskies, snow mobiles), the resort and snow quality was excellent. Unfortunately, Crystal aren't going there that week, no other TO offers it and Ruka (indeed all Finnish resorts) are a PITA to get to DIY (expensive flights and either overnight in Helsinki or long train ride then long bus).

The priorities really are plenty of blues that give a bit of a sense of travel, availability of good lessons in English and quiet pistes. The other places we've been to are Radstadt (stayed with flangesax), Hinterglemm (in a Kinderhotel), and La Tania.

Positives from these were the great flangesax hospitality and the awesome toboggan run there, the awesome swimming pool at the kinderhotel and the great instructor at La Tania. Negatives are: not going to 3Vs at 1/2 term - too many reports too busy, both Austrian resorts had a vital run that was red/blue and Mrs struggled (toys, pram, throw Shocked ).

If flangesax was advertising this week I'd go back but he has the week before available. Also Salzburg flights are now expensive. I know I could fly to MUC but that's a much longer drive. Also Flachau was busy when I skied there, Flachauwinkel was great and Rad/Alt was surprisingly good. I feel like there is unfinished business, lots of other areas to ski there but maybe not this holiday.

There are reasonable flights to GVA (of course), Turin (esp on the sundays), and Toulouse. I'd much prefer to fly from MAN as it's 10 mins away. I've a bit of a hankering for Italy, simply because I haven't been there to ski.

Options I've looked at are: from Turin- Pila (too many reds?), Passo Tonale (where to stay, too bleak in feb?), Bardonecchia (Seems to usually need a bus?, difficult drags?), La Thuile (resort runs too hard? Busy?)

From GVA: Laax (map looks good, which village, expensive as in CH?)

From Toulouse: Tourmalet (with mountainbug, resort looks v good but long transfer and bus to slopes each am, St Lary - looks like you stay in valley and get cable car up, Bagneres???)

Summing up, I'm keen to get some more advice so all ideas gratefully received.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
San Cassiano?

Not actually been there so don't take my word for it, but I had very similar considerations for the same week and it was what I came up with. Then the parameters changed and I booked somewhere else. I sort of wish I hadn't now.
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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?
Don't discount CH, it's cheaper than the big French resorts, and you can avoid the worry of huge crowds if you choose carefully.
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@what...snow, apologies if I have misinterpreted what you’re saying, but have you want to return to flangesax’s place, have you contacted them to see exactly what they have for your dates ? Or is it flights that it is the issue? I mitigated some of the expense of flights by taking indirect flights to SZG via Frankfurt for the week before and it pretty much halved the price for the sake of an extra 3 hours travelling????
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
+1 for San cassiano, even on a very busy week (carnival) the slopes weren't too busy for the most part. Plus lots of nice easy stuff and iconic pistes like hidden valley or Santa Croce as a reward for tackling something harder.

Also a couple of years ago I did a DIY trip to yllas in Finland. First flight to Helsinki then a connection onto a flight to the northern airport near the resort. Once there, there was a local bus that met the flight and took us out to resort. The flights themselves weren't the cheapest, but the transfer was very easy and I think (from memory) very cheap. Slopes up there were really quiet, really gave me confidence.
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You'll need to Register first of course.
La Thuile the home runs when we were there some years ago were not easy. Reddish blacks or crowded red seemed to be the options. High winds can also close the upper lifts which is where the easier runs were.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
eurowings are showing flights from manchester to salzburg
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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!
Penry wrote:
San Cassiano?

Not actually been there so don't take my word for it, but I had very similar considerations for the same week and it was what I came up with. Then the parameters changed and I booked somewhere else. I sort of wish I hadn't now.


Good shout, but would be a long way from Turin.

Dolomites are best accessed from Verona, Venice, Treviso or Innsbruck to the north. Trieste, Bergamo & Milan Linate are further options, but not sure which of these are available from MAN.
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 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
So just checked Skyscanner, Ryanair do MAN to Milan-Bergamo on Saturday for £82pp return, Flybe want £150 for Malpensa.

Sunday is even cheaper at £57 to Bergamo if you can find accommodation to match.

From Bergamo you can access a full range of resorts through the Central section of the Italian Alps. From Cervinia & the Monte Rosa in the west to the resorts of Lombardy & Trentino: Madesimo, Chiesa, Bormio, Livigno, Passo Tonale, Madonna di Campiglio, etc. Even resorts in the west of the Dolomites are doable from the A22 Brenner motorway, think the Val Gardena and Val di Fassa resorts.

Check out the resort options here:

https://www.bergfex.com/italien/

Many mid-size Italian resorts are only busy at the weekends with daytrippers and locals, so will mostly be fairly quiet the week after Carnevale on 13th Feb.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
This apartment in Soraga appears to be available for that week...

https://www.booking.com/hotel/it/casa-brunel-773.en-gb.html

Access to various Val di Fassa ski areas at Moena, Pozza, Campitello, Passo San Pellegrino, Latemar, but you would need a car.
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
I thought the Alta Badia website is superb, plenty of availability for that week e.g. https://www.altabadia.org/en/hotel-alps/all-accommodation-alta-badia-dolomites/hotel-accommodation-alta-badia.html?searchType=search&rooms=1&Arrival=17.02.2018&Departure=24.02.2018&RoomStay1Adults=2&RoomStay1Children=2&RoomStay1Age1=6&RoomStay1Age2=7&RoomStay2Adults=1&RoomStay2Children=0&RoomStay3Adults=1&RoomStay3Children=0&Catering=&Type=
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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.
Penry wrote:
I thought the Alta Badia website is superb, plenty of availability for that week e.g. https://www.altabadia.org/en/hotel-alps/all-accommodation-alta-badia-dolomites/hotel-accommodation-alta-badia.html?searchType=search&rooms=1&Arrival=17.02.2018&Departure=24.02.2018&RoomStay1Adults=2&RoomStay1Children=2&RoomStay1Age1=6&RoomStay1Age2=7&RoomStay2Adults=1&RoomStay2Children=0&RoomStay3Adults=1&RoomStay3Children=0&Catering=&Type=


Just watch the stuff tucked away in La Val and on the hillsides above Badia & San Cassiano, those steep roads & tracks may be a bit inaccessible in winter after a snowfall without 4wd or snow tyres/chains.

Also, for Alta Badia, the ideal access airport is Innsbruck. A long schlep from Bergamo.
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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
@luigi, Yes, I assume with two youngsters you'd want to be close to a lift and in a village anyway.

Manchester to Innsbruck for about £100 pp but presumably then hire car needed to get to dolomites?
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Penry wrote:
@luigi, Yes, I assume with two youngsters you'd want to be close to a lift and in a village anyway.

Manchester to Innsbruck for about £100 pp but presumably then hire car needed to get to dolomites?


That would be a good option for an off-peak date, but cheapest MAN-INN flights on the OP's dates that I can find are £367pp return with TUI & £316pp with Thomas Cook/FlyBe on the Sat & Sun respectively. Who are doing the £100 ones??

Hire cars are generally pricier at Innsbruck compared to Italian airports, but they do tend to come with snow tyres, instead of chains in the boot.

Accommodation near lifts nearly always costs more like-for-like....location, location, location definitely applies.

Those Bergamo flights with Ruinair are looking better all the time...even after adding O'Lairy's extortionate baggage charges...but maybe they can make do with one or two hold bags and squeeze the kids stuff into hand luggage.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@luigi, oops, I think I misread the per person price as the total price, so out by a factor of four. You're right about the Bergamo flights then.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I've not been ignoring this, have been looking at accommodation and flights. Thanks for all your input, especially luigi. Think I've found an apartment in San Cassiano which is only a short walk from the lift. A few others 5mins drive from the lift. Have looked at all the village options & I do think this looks really good. It does look a very long way from Bergamo airport though, over 4 hours drive I think. When I first started looking I thought I'd found an ideal resort in Sulden. Then I realised how far it was from any airport! Easyjet fly Liverpool-Venice on saturdays but for £250 each so I'm still deciding as that's 2 1/2hrs drive. Don't even think there is a public transport option.

Had a few bad experiences with Ryanair, the 2 check-in desks for a full 737 at Faro was particularly classic with a toddler. Having made everyone queue for over an hour to check-in they then weighed and measured all the hand luggage at the gate & made loads of people run back to check-in 10 mins before boarding. It was a fine example of making public transport unnecessarily stressful. I have flown to Bergamo (pre-kids) with Ryanair before though (late summer long weekend on Lake Como) which was only slightly stressful with heavy traffic to the airport on the way home. just got on the flight thankfully. Unfortunately Innsbruck flights are rare and very expensive. Flights to Northern Finland seem to leave Helsinki before the flight from MAN arrives so getting there involves overnight on a train, then a long bus ride; overnight in Helsinki or flying from London. Sad
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