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France in early March

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hi all

Looking for a bit of advice here. Trying to book a week long holiday for a group of 13 or so for the first week of March. Ability ranges from a couple of advanced skiers who enjoy hard red and blacks to beginners that are more comfortable on blues.

Last march we went to Saalbach, skiing was great so was the all round atmosphere, after a couple of years going to Austria i think a change of scenery would be great, I'm currently looking for somewhere in France (or anywhere else if people have suggestions) with good apres, close to the slopes(preferably being able to ski back into town) and most importantly not too expensive!

Anyone got any ideas?

Cheers
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
That week is still French half-term for one-third of the country, including Paris. The following week would be quieter.
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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?
@Screechmeister, The Paris school holidays don't finish till 10 March so most resorts will be pretty crowded in that week
and the prices will be high. Could you go the following week, if you want to go that week and not go back to Austria what about Italy?
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@Screechmeister, what do you mean by "good apres". You'll not really find Austrian apres in France but if you go somewhere like Val D'Isere or Alpe D'Huez you will find a wide range of skiing and a lively evening bar scene.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
go a week later if possible.
Chalet we booked dropped by €2000 by going a week later!
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We don't go that week. The week after is much better.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Looks like the week after would be better, Any recommendations on where to go? I was looking at val thorens if anyone has any been there before?
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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!
@Screechmeister,
2nd week of March virtually everywhere should have decent skiing and it really is a matter of personal taste as much as anything . Val Thorens is very popular with a lot of folk here and has excellent skiing for all levels and you will be able to ski back to it. The three valleys is one of Frances most expensive ski areas but within that VT is reasonably priced.
Personally it is not my favourite I prefer a few trees around but it suits a lot of people very well.
Val D'Isere /Tignes and Les Arcs / La Plagne offer similar options to the three valleys La Plagne Les Arcs has a little more wooded skiing if you like that alternative .
Non purpose built alternatives would include Serre Chevalier and many parts of the Portes de Soleil.
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
@Screechmeister, Val Thorens has some lovely skiing, great links into 3V's, and door to door snow. However, you may just be disappointed with French "station de ski" service, prices, and limited but pricey choice of apres, restaurants, bars, whatever.


Had you thought of one of the Arlberg resorts? Less expensive than a good number of French resorts, and got much more to do than most of them.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
@skimastaaah, ha depends on your perspective....not sure such sweeping generalisations are true.

In my limited experience, comparing PdS with St Anton, I know which one I'd rather ski in every week. I was probably unlucky with the conditions in St Anton Jan 17, it was rock hard, with zero off piste as it hadn't snowed for a few weeks. To make matters worse, they play the worst music in the world. Full stop. It should be illegal. Then you have the smoking bars (even as an occassionnal smoker, it was unbearable), the huge crowds of hammered punters, and over priced restaurants. We ate in one place on the main st (several floors), and had to order 'lady steaks' at 45 eur each, which was a tiny little fillet with some boiled veg on the side. The lift pass was also more expensive...55 eur a day. Accomodation was also surprisingly expensive...and the guest house we were in insisted we pay in cash.

Whereas the K2 restaurant in Les Gets does outstanding reblochon cheese burgers for 8 eur. The Kariboo does 3 course creole curry food for 12 eur, and great value pizzas and savoyard food at Le Tyrol etc etc. Beer is standard 6-7 eur a pint. Wine can be super cheap.....I like the 50cl carafe of Merlot at the QG bar for 8 eur.

Obviously local knowledge helps and I'm not comparing like for like restaurants.....but my point is, I didn't enjoy St Anton, thought it was overpriced and over crowded. But I wouldn't assume every resort in Austria is in the same bucket. I'll go back some day for sure, somewhere quieter.
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
@Screechmeister,
If there is a book group, see what airports you can fly from & who fly to where you may be interested.

While BA gives us no perks when we book, this year we flying with Flybe & they are giving us all free checked baggage allowance.

I am happy to confirm I have reserved xx seats at the price of £ per adult, and £ per child under the age of 16, with the total of £ for x adults and x child. This price includes all the taxes, and each passenger receives free of charge hold luggage of 23kg.
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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.
skimastaaah wrote:
@Screechmeister, Val Thorens has some lovely skiing, great links into 3V's, and door to door snow. However, you may just be disappointed with French "station de ski" service, prices, and limited but pricey choice of apres, restaurants, bars, whatever.


And if the weather closes in it's one of the nastiest places to be. Personally I'm a fan of La Plagne and Avoriaz for skiing...but not found any lively apres in either (although can't say I've searched too hard)
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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
@polo, The PdS is very different to 3V's (apart from Avoriaz). Chatel and Morzine are rather pleasant ski villages as opposed to "station de ski". However the PdS is notorious for dodgy snow cover, dodgy links, and worse of all with poor snow places like said Avoriaz ring-fence their accommodations for lift passes.


Sounds like your experiences in St Anton are very much "ski punter"! Shame really, if you had explored the Arlberg you may just have found Rud Alpe, Balmalp, Berghofstuble, or even the "gold-mine" in Warth. AND I do agree that while St Anton can be over-crowded I've never had the queues like 3V's/EK/PdS/Arcs/LaP.

See topic http://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?p=3157362 for Val d'Isere lift queues!
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@skimastaaah, nortious for dodgy snow cover in early March? Pull the other one.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Quote:

Avoriaz ring-fence their accommodations for lift passes


@skimastaaah, I've only seen that happen on very, very rare occasions.

@Screechmeister, thought of Italy?
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
skimastaaah wrote:
See topic http://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?p=3157362 for Val d'Isere lift queues!


I've been going to Val d'Isere for 10+ years and only experienced lift queues longer than 15 mins when there has been a breakdown. Queues on the roads, that's another story.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Champoluc may be a good alternative. Great quiet slopes. The apres ski is not pumping music but nice friendly bars where they bring out pizza, olives, tasties to you.
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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?
@Mr.Egg, BA give 'group discounts' for 10+ : we got very favourable terms last year LHR to ZUR - £124 pp when internet price was £150+ AND personalised booking person /phone number. Very sueful when one of the party had to take an extra leg to Toulouse before coming home, the price was even reduced further for him (another fiver off IIRC), even though it was a 'post booking' change. Don't rule them out...
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Even the April family bash had bad weather and closed lifts in Val Thorens this year. we had beautiful weather the following week and amazing skiing.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
If asked to name the one optimum week of the year to book a ski holiday in France I'd say that first week after the end of the 4 week French school holidays.
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Meribel.
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