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Any DIY skier in 2004 Christmas/New year

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
The wife and I have been arranging our own skiing holiday by driving a car and book accommodation ourselves. This arrangement allows us to visit more resorts in the same trip. Depending on location hotels, B&B and self-catering slightly off the resort can be reasonable.

We are wondering if any snowhead doing similar thing in the two weeks between 2004 Christmas and New year in the Alpes. We haven't been to French Briancon area (Serre Chevalier/Montgenvre/Sestriere/Sauze Oulx I think genrally known as the Milky Way) and the Italian Selva Ronda around the Dolomites, so we are starting looking at the accommodations there now.

If we haven't done Tarentaise before then Boug St. Maurice would have been ideal for us for 1 or 2 week stay because we could cover Val D, Tignes, Rosiere, La Thulie, Les Arc, La Plagne, 3 Valee and Valmorel. All are within a 20-mile drive.

For driving it has to be a two week trip because at least 2 to 3 days have to be wasted on travelling. We probably will do it in 4 or more days in a 16-day outing (2 weeks with 3 weekends).

We are not looking passengers in the car (although we are open minded) but just to see if possible to meet up or team up with some snowheads at the resorts or during travelling. Our normal route is to cross the North Sea by ferry from Newcastle to Amsterdam. In the past 6 years we always drove one day to the French, Swiss or Austrain Alpes but took two days when returning because the relative early departure ferry time 18:00 at Amsterdam.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
saikee, yup we are there in Sauze (I think "Ski Bunny" is as well??) over New Year. I went there this year "pre-season" 5th December 2003. Conditions were fantastic and only 5 other people on any piste. So I'm sure it will be a little bit more crowded.

I've never driven and good luck as i think from talking to a family we met it took them about 11 hours once they got to France. If you looking to fly, then go to Turin. The best flights (in my opinion) are Ryan Air, as they are late in the evening flying out and come back late so all the time you have out there is skiing time. These have all sold out now for X-mas & New Year. You can fly BA for £120 return again the flights time are very good for getting max skiing time. The journey from Turin to Sauze is only 1 hour. Hire cars are pretty cheap from Holiday Autos. EasyJet fly to Milan, which is 2 hours from Sauze, but there are also plenty of areas north of Milan but I don't know that area. EasyJets flights are not released yet so if you keep and eye on those you could grab yourself a real bargin!!!

La Plagne, Val D'Isere etc are not too far from Sauze either. I think it's about 2 hours by car?

For a list of hotels etc in Sauze here is the tourist info web site: http://www.comune.sauzedoulx.to.it/e_piste.htm I can't remember if there is a list of hotels on the site or whether I e-mailed them. For some other website about the Milky Way (Vialletta area) use these links..........

+ http://www.cmavs.it/accogl/e_saouhot.asp (list of hotels)
+ http://www.montagnedoc.it/new/estero/index_eng.php
+ http://www.comune.sauzedoulx.to.it/e_piste.htm
+ http://www.vialattea.it/en/index.html

I'm sure Matteo will be along in a bit to swing your choice the Italian way, at least for a few days Wink

If you choose to drive then good luck with the drive and hope the flights info is useful to someone.

If you are in Sauze then let us know and come for a day sliding with the darkside!! snowHead
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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?
Dan,

Thanks for the info. It is a good start for me and save me from search from the dark at the beginning. Went as far as Deux Aples/L'APles D'Huez last time by staying in Grenoble.

I am not sure if one can drive from Milan or Turin to Val D in 2 hours because top end of Val D doesn't seem to open and the Petit St Bernard pass after La Thulie is closed every winter. One may have to do a big loop round Modane, St Jean, Abertville in order to get into Terantaise. It is likely that I shall charge down the Rhine artery as before and through Geneva and Annecy to avoid the motorway toll charges.

Our previous journeys to Chamonix was about 11 hours drive including 2 pit stops for fuel and food for us. The ferry arrives at Amsterdam at 10:30am and we can have a fresh morning start after overnight sleep. The 100% motorway journey isn't bad especially the bulk of it is through German Autobahns. Even in Christmas only the last 70-100 miles is driving in darkness. We may have to consider an overnight stop because of the extra distance, especially travelling at night from Grenoble to Sauze on country roads. Logistically It would be better for us to choose a resort nearer, say staying at St Anton for a week and then use the rest day to travel to Sauze to ski the second week.
ski holidays
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saikee, we stayed in Champagny en Vanoise at New Year, DIY through Logis de France, and flights with BMI baby to Geneva. LInked to La Plagne, but a long way to do Paradiski link, however, Courchevel is just across the valley if you have a car. Have also DIY'ed to Serre CHe and stayed at Hotel Alliey in MOnetiers les BAins. Drove down to STansted and cheap Ryanair flight to Turin. Car Hire means you can also ski Milky Way, Deux Alpes, and Puy St vincent.
ski holidays
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
saikee, oh god no can you make it from Milan or Turin to Val D'Isere in 2 hours - unless you were driving one of the cars they had on Top Gear just now.........top top show, very funny..........anyway, yeah

Milian ---> Turin = 1 hour
Turin ----> Sauze = 1hour

I meant it would take about 2hours to do the journey from Val D'Isere & La Pagne to Sauze.

I don't think Sauze would make sense to drive in one day, possibly stop somewhere on the way for a couple of days, spend chrimbo somewhere, Argentiere? then do a loop down through italy going anti clockwise possibly (through Mount Blanc tunnel) to Courmayeur then to Sauze, then to places in the north above Milan? My geography of ski resorts in europe is pants - does anyone know a good map on the net that shows them in relative position to each other?

Well if you do make it, drop in to Sauze/Milkyway for a bombadino and slide with us. In the MilkyWay I would base yourself in Sauze just because it's a bit more lively than Sestirere etc.........but I always reckon that depends on the people your with rather than the bars/pubs............so if you meet up with us then it will definately be lively!!!! Wink
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You'll need to Register first of course.
Dan

Thanks for the hospitality. Always a pleasure to meet up with a snowhead. Sure will drop in if I manage the trip.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Dan wrote:
saikee, yup we are there in Sauze (I think "Ski Bunny" is as well??) over New Year.


We're there over Christmas - 19th to 26th or something like that snowHead
ski holidays
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Dan wrote:
saikee, snip

I'm sure Matteo will be along in a bit to swing your choice the Italian way, at least for a few days Wink


Wink Your advice is well thought Dan, so no, I will not, ehe.
Basically North of Milan means Madesimo, or St.Mortiz which are in the
2-2,5 hrs drive from the Airport (it depends which one, beware of landing at Malpensa, then the time increases for resort north of Milan but decreases for Valle D'Aosta or Sauze) .
Again North of Milan is full of small areas like Foppolo, where I was really surprised to see a lot of Brits having an holyday. But those are very small areas, and I used to go there for days trip. Also, ther are no links between the areas.
But, you want to travel from West to East? I mean do you really plan to ski first in Piedmont/France and then to move to the Sella Ronda which is
on the opposite side of Northern Italy? I wouldn't have the energy!
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Matteo,

My purpose of the tour is really sampling as much of the resorts as possible. Between the two weeks I will have a rest day for moving one camp to another. I have thought of of hiring a car but feel a lot safer using own 4x4 with snow tyres and chains so that I can go into and come out of any resort as long as the access road is open to the traffic.

Since I shall start from Amsterdam the logical arrangement is to pick somewhere nearer so that I use just one day for travelling. Thus I may have to spend Christmas elsewhere and miss Ski Bunny. On return I always need two days to suit the ferry then Sauze is as good as any resort. Distance wise I have only managed Courmayeur and La Thulie in Italy and so wish to try the major ones first. Hotels in Italy do not seem to be as easy to book or widely available as in France, Switzerland, Austria or Germany. No doubt with a bit of inside information from you guys I shall be able to see more of the Italian resorts.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
I've driven from London and its OK as long as there are several people to share the driving.
I think we took about 8 hours from Calais:
We drove from North London to the tunnel and caught an early train, then arrived in Meribel in time for tea, about 5.00pmGoing home we skied till about 4.30pm, then drove to Beaune, capital of Bugundy, for a fantastic meal. Spent the night in a Formule1 (basic but astonishing value and it doesn't matter when you turn up: it's all done on computers in response to your credit card).
Less taxing final journey the next day.
ski holidays
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
I stayed in Abertville's Formula 1 in one year to ski the 3-Valee and Etap the next year. To ski in Deux ALpes and L'Alpes D-Heuz we stayed in Grenoble's Premier. These hotels are only 25 to 35 Euro per room to sleep 3.

Business class hotels are about 50 Euro in most big German cities. If we choose to stay close to the resort we are expected to pay 60 to 80 Euro for a room.

For reason I cant really explain I find German Autobahns are less tiring than the French motorway, as I used to start from Calais before. The wife refuses to drive on the European roads and I always do all the driving. I pull into a service whenever I feel sleepy for half an hour doze and every 650miles journey has been done that way.
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