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Recommendations for easy slopes for a budget short break with a child?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I want to take my 12 year old on a short skiing break. It would be 4 nights either straight after Christmas or in the February school holidays.

We are beginners. We've had lessons at our local ski slope and done half a days skiing in Lapland. We're looking for a range of easy slopes, a supermarket, a restaurant or two and clean, basic accommodation. Any suggestions?

There is so much choice I don't know where to start. I have a budget of £1,000 for everything except spending money so Andorra has popped up as a good budget option, either Soldeu or Arinsal?

Or can someone recommend somewhere different? We'd be flying from London, pref Luton or Stansted.

TIA.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Well you can forget Half-Term, flights are all ready running at £500 a shot. You're also suggesting 4 days at the other two prime weeks for Christmas and New Year so most providers will be fully booked with 7 day customers. Now the positive:

If you can do the week after New Year, say Thu 02 Jan 20 to Mon 06 Jan 20, you could get Ryan Air flights Stanstead to Memmingen for 72 Euros, then head to the Allgau (1 Hr transfer) in Bavaria. Great skiing on the Fellhorn and Nebelhorn for beginners and lift passes are a fraction of the cost of larger resorts. Try talking to my friends at http://www.nordicblowfish.com/ Ex Military guy called Kieth Jenns runs the show and he is likely to have flexible accommodation deals available. He just might be able to do New Year week too.
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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?
Thanks. I'll take a look now. I've found flights into Barcelona for £180 for us both in half term and £108 just after Christmas which is why I was thinking Andorra might be a good bet.
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I really like Arinsal for beginners and there’s a good range of accommodation there. You might find it hard to get a less than 7 day booking during peak weeks- also harder with things like group ski lessons as they tend to start Sunday and Monday and run for 6 days.

Good luck- hope you find something!
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
You could go to Austria. Some of the smaller resorts aren't too busy during the English half-term, I had a good long weekend in Nauders a couple of years back and it was fine. Small resorts that don't feature heavily in UK travel agent's brochures tend to be quieter. Austria is mostly hotel based but for only two people one room in a hotel half-board is probably better value than trying to find self-catering.
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@panaga52, Utter nonsense about flights. I booked today for next half term for less than £200/person (6 tickets). What routes/airlines did you look at?

@JW2019, You may be better off with somewhere smaller in Austria or Italy, where midweek flights will be cheap and there are valley towns where you are more likely to find accomodation
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@zikomo, Well done you, but today, Easy Jet London to Geneva 15-22 Jan 19 is £288pp with a bag for the worst timed flights on those days. But that wasn't really my point. Sourcing accommodation for less than a week will be a bigger challenge.
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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!
Worth considering HI hostels for a short break. Unusually, I would suggest looking at Switzerland where youth hostels are commonplace in ski resorts. When prices skyrocket over Xmas, HI hostels prices tend to remain the same. When I went for 5 nights over Xmas in Zermatt the hostel was not full, and it is probably ideal for those with one child. (a 12 year old would be fine in the HI hostel on his/her own if their parent was in a different dorm). Over Xmas the dorm I was in had mostly adults, but there was one under 16 who was with his father. (his older brother arrived after Xmas day)

Getting the flight + return train ticket deal (Swiss Transfer tickets are no longer offered:see link) to a ski resort in Switzerland really reduces the cost and complexity (provided you go to a resort with a train station which many in Switzerland do)

https://switzerlandtravelcentre.co.uk/swiss-rail-tickets/swiss-travel-passes-switzerland/

Flights to Basel can be considered for Eastern resorts. Geneva obviously is useful for the resorts at the west/southern end.

When you price it all up in a DIY trip it can be very cheap. Certainly could be under £1,000 for 2 people when one of them is considered a child and gets further discounts.

Try flying easyjet to Basel, train to Klosters, and HI hostel in Klosters. (it worked out cheaply for one adult when I checked in previous years without a Swiss Transfer ticket, but you need to work out for yourself if there might be any extra costs)


Easyjet flights to Basel from London Luton return at £113 for 1 adult and 1 child. Leaving 26 DEC, BACK ON 30 DEC (before extras like baggage which could be another £100 depending on how light you travel)

Currently there is availability at HI hostels in Klosters at £40.41 per night per person Bed and Breakfast in a 6 male or female person dorms for 4 nights after Xmas. However, after boxing day there is limited bed left so be quick in making a booking. (there is no charge to make a booking at HI hostels, although you can pay in full in advance: I did that, but I have stayed at many HI hostels around the world)

https://www.hihostels.com/hostels/klosters-youth-hostel#price

Last time I checked the train ticket from Basel to Klosters was about £50 return. Children are cheaper obviously!

https://www.sbb.ch/en

I have tried many times to understand this website, but it generally never makes any sense to me. I think it is a Swiss thing!
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
I would throw caution to the wind & look last minute.
Book flights & sort the rest out later or wait for package holiday.
To early yo see sunweb deals as the big companies who rent rooms like pierre vacancies, madame vacancies, etc.
Valloire has lots of long green slopes & blues.
Can usually get good deals via valloire.com
with discounted lift pass. Transfers could be the issue though.

Bulgaria can be cheap - balkanholiday usually have last minute package deals that can include half board. They usually only week long tjough

Is there anywhere you can fly cheaply to? Can work on destinations from the airport.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Fly to Nice, catch the bus to isola 2000. Nice easy beginners area there plus pierre vacancies accommodation
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Nadenoodlee wrote:
I really like Arinsal for beginners and there’s a good range of accommodation there. You might find it hard to get a less than 7 day booking during peak weeks- also harder with things like group ski lessons as they tend to start Sunday and Monday and run for 6 days.

Good luck- hope you find something!


Thanks it looks like Arinsal is winning at the moment as have priced it up with flights, transfers, an apartment, ski pass and hire and its coming out at around £750 for the two of us in feb half term.
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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.
1. Arinsal, Andorra.
2. La Rosiere, France.
3. Bansko, Bulgaria.

Try to do a whole week. The "cost per day" falls dramatically. Much better value for money. And his skiing will improve faster.

Good luck.
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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
Mr.Egg wrote:
I would throw caution to the wind & look last minute.
Book flights & sort the rest out later or wait for package holiday.
To early yo see sunweb deals as the big companies who rent rooms like pierre vacancies, madame vacancies, etc.
Valloire has lots of long green slopes & blues.
Can usually get good deals via valloire.com
with discounted lift pass. Transfers could be the issue though.

Bulgaria can be cheap - balkanholiday usually have last minute package deals that can include half board. They usually only week long tjough

Is there anywhere you can fly cheaply to? Can work on destinations from the airport.


We'll be flying from London so plenty of cheap flights. just want to make the right decision.
snow report     
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Whitegold wrote:
1. Arinsal, Andorra.
2. La Rosiere, France.
3. Bansko, Bulgaria.

Try to do a whole week. The "cost per day" falls dramatically. Much better value for money. And his skiing will improve faster.

Good luck.


Thanks, I'll look at the others as well. unfortunately 4 nights is as much as we can do due to family commitments
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Look at transfer times when deciding if you have little ones. Toulouse best airport for Andorra but still couple of hours away.
Easyjet holidays do good deals for short breaks to arinsal but often via Barcelona which is 3+ hours transfer
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Have a look at Lufthansa to Munich then either one of the nearby German resorts or one of the resorts just into Austria. Niederau / Alpbach / Skiwelt / St Johan in Tirol would suit. Loads of flights each day and cheap hire car or transfers. You might be able to save some accommodation cost by flying either very early on the way back then skiing that day or the reverse on the way back. Shorter, easier transfer than Andorra.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Already on right track but Arinsal ticks your boxes and normally can find accommodation for odd dates and is good for beginners, exactly where we all learnt
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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?
Thanks all. Going to stick with Andorra I think despite the long transfer. Would it be a mistake to book end of Dec? Or should it be ok snow wise?
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Should be fine for beginners, as the beginner slopes will all be covered with artificial snow if there is limited snow fall by then. It is generally cold enough to fire snow cannons by December.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Andorra make an effort to get basic snow cover for early December (holiday) so you should be OK for the end. A bit crowded possibly for new year.
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@JW2019, not sure how it works from a cost persective but can definitely recommend Soldeu. It was my first trip as a beginner and it was excellent. Lots of gentle blues, great snow (with great snow-making facilities) and fantastic ski school with British instructors.
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