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Serfaus/Fiss/Ladis

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hi

We've booked to go to Serfaus in Feb half term, have any Snowheads been there? Doesn't seem to get much coverage - I know it's not on the radar of UK charter operators. Are there any alternatives to the main ski school for the kids?

Thanks
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I have been a couple of times though not in the past few years (I tend to go to the Arlberg these days). It is a very good area, not sure why it gets so few UK visitors as it is one of the most popular resorts in the alps. No idea about the ski school though I do know it has a good reputation both for instruction and also for being family friendly. Not so good for stereotypical "Austrian" style apres but guess that is not something you will be concerned about.
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I was there last year, I thought it was very good, as Munich Irish said the apre ski is not like other Austrain resorts, but they still have a bar or two with people dancing and having a good time. The area was varied and had something for everyone, I can't give details on ski school. I would return again. We were there in early January and we had a lot of snow, with white out conditions higher up. I am told though that on average this area always has great snow coverage.
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munich_irish wrote:
I have been a couple of times though not in the past few years (I tend to go to the Arlberg these days). It is a very good area, not sure why it gets so few UK visitors as it is one of the most popular resorts in the alps. No idea about the ski school though I do know it has a good reputation both for instruction and also for being family friendly. Not so good for stereotypical "Austrian" style apres but guess that is not something you will be concerned about.


Correct! I go to Ischgl or St Anton with the lads for the apres-ski (and skiing of course), Serfaus looked like it had great skiing without the apres-ski which we don't need on a family holiday!
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@MontyP, great place with very varied skiing for all levels. I actually like it almost as much as the Arlberg. Probably on a par with places like Kitzbühel or Saalbach. As has been said it's not the best place for wild apres, which suits me fine. Not sure about the ski school alternatives. We have not been for a few years, but just put our kids into the main ski school which turned out to be very good.
A great feature of Serfaus itself is the underground railway that runs the length of the village. No cars in Serfaus!
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@MontyP,

You have chosen wisely

Brilliant ski area and the villages are classy and pretty and peaceful. Personally I prefer Fiss to Serfaus but you can't go wrong in the whole 'Dimension' area
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@MontyP, I went for the first time last year at the suggestion of two people who've posted above already, and liked it well enough that I am returning this coming March. It is true, there are few Brits and no Yanks, but plenty of English spoken where it matters. I know nothing about the ski school, but you've already seen that kids are a primary focus for the resort. I'll admit I like the subway too; pretty slick way to get to the lift in the morning. I would say the dining component was not fantastic but good enough, and I see you are doing half board so you'll be fine. For me, SFL is tied with Kronplatz for the best ski areas no one in the US has ever heard of!
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They get a lot less snow than the Arlberg. Terrain is pretty good actually, just not that much natural snow. It's relatively high, so if there is precip it is usually snow and will hold that snow relatively well, but they get a lot less than the Arlberg if you like pow. If ur an on-piste skier than I would almost say it's better than St. Anton. I'm not so won't return after 2 or 3 trips. Just personal preference though, not that it's bad. My kids enjoyed the ski school. For the real little ones I would say Serfaus is better than St. Anton since the slopes are up at mid-mountain with a good area that set off from the rest of the mountain.
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@MontyP, We have been to SFL for four recent Feb half terms in succession with young kids. We stayed three times in Serfaus and once in Fiss. Agree with all the positives stated above - it’s a vast ski area with good varied skiing. The themed Kinder-land ski school at Serfaus is excellent and positioned on a plateau at mid mountain and they speak English. I understand the school is generally regarded as one of the best in Europe and we were comfortable starring both our girls at the age of 3 and they were very happy to stay after the normal initial tears. They progressed greatly in their system. We have since bought in France but we miss this place.

One tip is to leave your equipment at the top of the the main gondola, adjacent to the ski school, where there are lockers so that you don’t have to lug skiis through town. You can rent from the large shop at the bottom under the gondola stations when you arrive on Saturday and they will transfer your gear to the top so they are available on the first day. It’s better to download at the end of the day as the home run can get busy. If you do decide to ski to the bottom the rental shops will transfer your gear back to the top for the next day. On a few of the days we would sledge down from the top to along a dedicated track. Hope you enjoy it.
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Useful insights, thanks all! Sounds like we have chosen well for a family holiday. We were looking at Saalbach but Serfaus is much better value for accommodation - possibly due to the lack of Brits ....

One question on cars / driving - we have a hire car to get us from the airport, is it possible to drive into Serfaus Village to drop luggage when we arrive? Or is it car-free like Zermatt?
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Great place. Lot's for kids of all ages to do.

Quiet on the Apres front and a few restaurants. You need to book, especially on arrival day

MontyP wrote:


One question on cars / driving - we have a hire car to get us from the airport, is it possible to drive into Serfaus Village to drop luggage when we arrive? Or is it car-free like Zermatt?


The village is not truly car free. Non resident vehicles cannot enter during the day, but as you are staying you are a resident. After 6pm IIRC traffic is permitted.
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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.
I thought the resort looked good on paper, I visited for a day after skiing St Anton, I was surprised how little snow there was in comparison. I found the scenery and skiiing underwhelming. I wouldn't visit again.
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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
Probably the best Family Resort in Austria (and also one of the most expensives)
nop, they dont have so much snow , so ususally off piste get a big XXX if you know what i mean
But is someone like piste skiing is super
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@MontyP, you can drive in to unload no problem. There's a multi-storey at the start of the village where day-trippers park along with anyone who's accommodation doesn't have parking. After the carpark there's a manned barrier to stop traffic. As long as you've got something on paper to show you've got accommodation in the village they'll let you in at any time of day. Great resort, excellent kid's ski school areas. There's one steepish section near the bottom of the blue home run that can be tough for early intermediates at the end of the day when it's busy and chopped up. Downloading in the gondola might be sensible after ski school, although it's a lovely long run from mid-station to village so well worth doing earlier in the day.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@turms1, On the occasions I have been there we have always had good snow, and I have done plenty of off piste. I don't really buy this claim that they don't have much snow. It's only a few Km from the Arlberg after all, and there have been discussions about connecting Serfaus to Ischgl...
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
It is true that both Ischgl and Serfaus do not get the amount of snow that the Arlberg gets. Basically most snow (though not always as in the past week) comes from the north and north west. The first place the weather hits when it reaches the mountains is the Arlberg and the area around. Thus more snow falls there than further to the south and east, generally St Anton gets more than Ischgl. However that only really affects the total snow depths there is still plenty of snow to go round by the time the weather gets a bit further into the mountains. There has never been any lack of snow when I have been in Serfaus and I have been skiing in Ischgl when it has been the only non glacial area open in the alps. Some numbers from last season, St Anton had a total snowfall of 7.2m on 35 days, Serfaus 5.88m on 30 days, Ischgl 3.5m on 27 days more than enough to go around.
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biddpyat wrote:
I was there last year, I thought it was very good, as Munich Irish said the apre ski is not like other Austrain resorts, but they still have a bar or two with people dancing and having a good time. The area was varied and had something for everyone, I can't give details on ski school. I would return again. We were there in early January and we had a lot of snow, with white out conditions higher up. I am told though that on average this area always has great snow coverage.


Just joining this thread as off to SFS for the first time in Boxing Day. Whilst me and OH are not massively bothered about Wild Apres every night we do enjoy one or two forays into Austrian bars. What are the bars you mention above called? Thanks
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munich_irish wrote:
It is true that both Ischgl and Serfaus do not get the amount of snow that the Arlberg gets. Basically most snow (though not always as in the past week) comes from the north and north west. The first place the weather hits when it reaches the mountains is the Arlberg and the area around. Thus more snow falls there than further to the south and east, generally St Anton gets more than Ischgl. However that only really affects the total snow depths there is still plenty of snow to go round by the time the weather gets a bit further into the mountains. There has never been any lack of snow when I have been in Serfaus and I have been skiing in Ischgl when it has been the only non glacial area open in the alps. Some numbers from last season, St Anton had a total snowfall of 7.2m on 35 days, Serfaus 5.88m on 30 days, Ischgl 3.5m on 27 days more than enough to go around.


Thanks @munich_irish, good to see you on this thread! Been to Ischgl a few times and never had any problems with snow cover. If Serfaus gets more than that then it will be fine - piste cover shouldn't be an issue in Feb (I rarely venture off-piste and definitely not when with the kids anyway).
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@MontyP, there is plenty of snow at SFL. Serfaus has some very good north facing sections with good accessible off piste. Fiss is more exposed to the sun especially on the home run but both have great snowmaking facilities which was needed around in IIRC the poor 2014-15 and 15/16 seasons. They also have extensive snow making. This is a huge well run resort focussed around families and I believe in the top 10 most frequented resorts in the world - but not big on the British radar.
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@MontyP, as others above have said it's a great resort. It's the one my kids are most keen to go back to and we may well go back there again this March.

I think there is only the one ski school, we have used it and the kids loved it. They gained lots of confidence and loved the messing around elements going through bumps in the trees just off piste etc.

Great fun to be had as well in the kids climbing wall near the main lift station, the sledging, the rodelbahn (sledge on metal rails thingummy bob) and the (rather pricey) piste bully ride.

All in all great skiing for piste skiers (can't personally comment on off piste), there has been plenty of snow when we've visited even end March / beginning of April and brilliant for the family. You'll love it I'm sure!
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Hi, it's almost half term and we're off to Serfaus next week. We're driving from Germany - are snow chains needed? If so, is there anywhere on the autoroute between Ulm and Bregenz to buy them?
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Loved Serfaus, been twice and planning to return there the next time I'm in Europe.

Not sure why snow depths has featured in conversation. It might not get as much as St Anton (I'm guessing most don't) but it gets plenty enough and the vast majority of skiing is 2000m plus so unless you get a really warm patch it will be in great condition.

Not sure about the legalities but the road up from the valley is very steep and windy in parts so if there is any snow/ice and you haven't got winter tyres you'll struggle. I expect all the service stops on the southern German Autobahns will sell them. Might be easier to buy in UK.

My favourite runs were in the Masner area which is the far left as you look at the ski area. As it's on the edge of the resort there's tonnes of room and stunning views. I wasn't disappointed by any of the runs off the higher lifts in the entire area. Don't make the mistake I made once of getting caught too late in the Fiss/Ladis area and needing a taxi back to Serfaus. The run home is good earlier in the day but can get choppy and very busy at a pinch point just before the village.

From the end of the village u-bahn there are three gondolas, one of which heads more to the middle of the ski area (Fiss) and the other two which head toward the centre of the Serfaus slopes. The Komperdell tended to be busier and we preferred to head up the Alpkopfbahn which has a nice little blue run which you can use to get to the ski school meeting points. This run has a huge bear's head you can ski through and some other carvings to the side further down.

My kids liked the instructors who were lovely and spoke good English. But they weren't in the same class and were the only English speakers in their groups. You might have more luck if you go during Feb half term. They have a great reputation - we were surprised to chat to some Swiss who drove past quite a few resorts specifically for their kids to learn in SFL.

Other tips:
1. There is a tiny nursery slope in the middle of the village with a free to use conveyor belt lift. If you have any nervous not quite beginners in your group it might be a good spot to go to depending on what time you arrive on the first day. Otherwise it's good for a little sledging fun after skiing.

2. The night skiing and show is great but if you do ski keep an eye up hill for idiots. My daughter was a metre away from being smashed by a flat out drunk burley Russian who took his sledge down the ski slope rather than the completely separate sledging route.

Enjoy!
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
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@MontyP, I assume you know that winter tyres are compulsory. I doubt very much indeed you will need snow chains, the OEAMTC travel site shows the current situation https://www.oeamtc.at/verkehrsservice/#. They are only needed occasionally in very heavy snow conditions not something that seems to be on the agenda at the moment (unfortunately). The roads are normally cleared very quickly. If you really want to buy a set the best thing to do is find an Obi, Bauhaus or similar large DIY place, easy to find (in Austria too), often on estates very near to motorway junctions.
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MontyP wrote:
Hi, it's almost half term and we're off to Serfaus next week. We're driving from Germany - are snow chains needed? If so, is there anywhere on the autoroute between Ulm and Bregenz to buy them?


Depending on which route you take down there are a couple of Forstingers around (similar type shop to halfords). Google maps is saying go via Imst rather than Bregenz but there's only 15 mins diff from Ulm. Your rental car should come with winter tyres. The rental places normally offer snowchains at an additional cost (normally overinflated)

Forstinger
1) Herrenau 6, 6706 Bürs
2) Industriezone 33a, 6460 Gemeinde Imst


other places you could try

ÖAMTC
1) Seestraße 2, 6912 Gemeinde Hörbranz
2) Untere Roßmähder 2, 6850 Dornbirn
3) Langgasse 87, 6460 Gemeinde Imst
4) Langgasse 120, 6830 Rankweil


Although Serfaus might not get as much snow as St Anton the offpiste in Serfaus doesn't get tracked out anywhere near as fast as St Anton.
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Thanks for all the tips, looking forward to it.

Any opinions on whether going via Bregenz or Fernpass is better? We're driving from Stuttgart (cheap flight!) around 11am Saturday.
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assuming you will use the Arlberg Tunnel (8 Euro? or maybe more...) i will definitely go from Bregenz...i live near Stuttgart Airport and i usually avoid the Fernpass...
IF you have winter tyres the snow chains are not necessary...how ever sometimes you maybe need them.
If you want to have snow chains, better to buy them from something like OBI or something like this in Austria or Germany.
Probably you will pay less than hiring from the rental company. And maybe if you will not use them you can give tha back and get your money back....(sometimes get, sometimes not)
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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.
Steilhang wrote:
@turms1, On the occasions I have been there we have always had good snow, and I have done plenty of off piste. I don't really buy this claim that they don't have much snow. It's only a few Km from the Arlberg after all, and there have been discussions about connecting Serfaus to Ischgl...


of course...sometimes SFL had enough snow for off piste. But you cannot compare SFL with St.Anton or Lech Warth etc
personally i dont get so oft off piste...so , i prefer SFL from Lech or St.Anton or maybe Ischgl
SFL gives you an idea that is very wide spreaded and you need more time to get from one side to other
SFL is famous for the artificial snow and the piste grooming...and the black slopes...
Also for Kinder friendly enviroment etc and for the prices.... Toofy Grin
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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 access road from the valley is steep as noted but is kept clear as a priority (there was a landslide a few years ago and they built a new temporary road in about 3 days... its how they get the schillings after all) if its is snowed in you can park at the bottom and get the bus up.
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@MontyP, I would avoid the Fernpass. It is nominally quicker however it gets quickly blocked with traffic as it is single carriageway almost all the way and it does occasionally get snowbound. In which case chaos ensues as there are very few places for trucks or coaches to pull over to let the snow ploughs through and the road ends up getting blocked. The Arlberg route is generally a much easier drive. Normally the only point for jams is at Bludenz where the autobahn ends and the road goes down to a single lane on the approach to the Arlberg tunnel and this really only on busy Saturday mornings. The only advantage of the Fernpass route is that it is possible to avoid having to pay any tolls, use the Landstrasse from Imst to Landeck and then go through Landeck rather than using the tunnel. Whether this is really worth doing after a longish journey especially with a couple of kids in the car is dubious.
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munich_irish wrote:
@MontyP, I would avoid the Fernpass. It is nominally quicker however it gets quickly blocked with traffic as it is single carriageway almost all the way and it does occasionally get snowbound. In which case chaos ensues as there are very few places for trucks or coaches to pull over to let the snow ploughs through and the road ends up getting blocked. The Arlberg route is generally a much easier drive. Normally the only point for jams is at Bludenz where the autobahn ends and the road goes down to a single lane on the approach to the Arlberg tunnel and this really only on busy Saturday mornings. The only advantage of the Fernpass route is that it is possible to avoid having to pay any tolls, use the Landstrasse from Imst to Landeck and then go through Landeck rather than using the tunnel. Whether this is really worth doing after a longish journey especially with a couple of kids in the car is dubious.


Thanks @munich_irish, I'll stick to the autobahn and Arlberg tunnel which I know well from trips to St Anton and Ischgl from Zurich. In the great scope of a family ski hol, the toll and vignette are not a big cost!
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 Poster: A snowHead
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The Fernpass can have you held up for hours, when we went last year they were having a huge dump of snow, ( remember the news last january with Austria being buried?) we were 10 hours driving from memmingen to serfaus and that was because of a hold up on the fernpass, stuck in stopped traffic for hours. On saying that we had some fantastic skiing for the following week.
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Does the road from Bludenz to St Anton also often get blocked or shut though?
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@DB, extremely rare, was open all through the snowmageddon episode last year. There are some shorter tunnels before you get to the main one. Access to Zuers and Lech a bit different.
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@turms1,
Quote:
sometimes SFL had enough snow for off piste. But you cannot compare SFL with St.Anton or Lech Warth etc
Every time I've been there I have had a ton of snow and a ton of off piste to enjoy myself in. It doesn't get skied out as quick as St.Anton, so what's not to like?
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Steilhang wrote:
@turms1,
Quote:
sometimes SFL had enough snow for off piste. But you cannot compare SFL with St.Anton or Lech Warth etc
Every time I've been there I have had a ton of snow and a ton of off piste to enjoy myself in. It doesn't get skied out as quick as St.Anton, so what's not to like?


honestly nothing...i prefer SFL from St.Anton.... Blush
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I was looking at S/F/L as part of a 2-week hol for this season, spending the other week in Ischgl, but was stumped by the lack of chalet board available, which is our preference. I did find a Dutch company (Wens) who did chalet board there but they had a policy of trying to get the whole chalet booked by one group before releasing rooms individually. This meant that by the time we would be able to book a room flights would either be unavailable or really dear. We are OK with booking flights/tranfers/accom separately but don't want to drive. Ischgl has a Ski Total chalet (Arbendrot?) but is dear as it's gained a big Russian following. Does anyone know of any chalet/chalet hotel accomodation in these 2 resorts other than as aforementioned, please?
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@Eat Sleep Ski, S F L is not on the British tour operator circuit so think you're very unlikely to find a chalet. It's hotels, apart hotels and apartments all round. It's a great place so hopefully a half board hotel would do the job, note its not the cheapest of resorts though.

Re. Ischgl I thought there might be a few chalets/chalet hotels there as it has a larger British following. In fact a very quick Google shows up at least one chalet hotel:
https://www.skisolutions.com/accommodations/abendrot?price_id=1155184

Suspect there are others too!
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@Eat Sleep Ski, the typical brit chalets are not so common in Austria, St Anton has a number, maybe a few in Ischgl, Mayrhofen and Kitzbühel. Practically every hotel does half board which is pretty much the standard thing (many if not most would probably fit your description of a "chalet hotel"), if you look around you should be able to find somewhere for less than €600 for 6 nights per person. Ischgl is expensive full stop, not just because it is popular with Russians. If you want to keep costs down you are probably best looking for an apartment (check tourist office website).
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what is a typical brit chalet???
As long as i know, chalet in Austria is usually a complett home...small Villa or something like that...
maybe for 8 untill sometimes 12 people but you have to rent it complett....eg. two or three families...self catering....no meals, no breakfast etc
are you talking for something similar?
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Has anyone done SFL at Easter? I'm considering it for next year. Thanks
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