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Stag trip - long weekend

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Morning all,

So I'm getting hitched in 2021. Which means a stag. I know the groom doesn't normally get much of a say in his stag however my friends are the most lovable bunch of disorganised blokes you've ever seen. So I have said I'll help plan the important parts of the trip and they can fine tune it. Otherwise we'd end up skiing down the local dry ski slope in silly costumes. Not cool.

I'm here looking for suggestions on where to aim for. A few different thoughts I'm having which I'll detail below however the basics are, we are a group (probably 6-10) of decent skiers (one snowboarder...... rolling eyes). All early 30s. We like a drink but more into bars than night clubs. A good selection of places in town and on the mountain would be ideal. We also like good grub.
Probably looking at a long weekend. Thursday - Monday or similar.

So as the wedding is in June, the timing of the stag isn't that important. So it doesn't need to be really late season. However we'd want to avoid Easter which is early April in 2021. Whilst we are there to have a bit of a party, we'd also like some decent conditions so some good skiing could be done.

I'm thinking mid March. Probably somewhere in Austria or Andorra perhaps for the food and drink prices rather than France. The higher the better really to increase the chances of some good snow still. Doesn't need to be a huge resort as we only have 3 days there but would like a bit of challenge. I'm not ruling out France, however a 10 euro note goes a lot further in Saalbach for example than the 3V.
A short transfer would be preferred (Andorra would be about 2-3 hours I believe?). We'd probably book a transfer or even consider a train if it's doable. Would probably look at an apartment or an Air BnB for accommodation.

I've considered snowbombing but it's probably not really our kinda thing (and obviously we don't know where it'll be in 2021).

Fire some thoughts at me!

Cheers
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Morning, flights to Zurich then efficient train transfers to a, Andermatt b, Engleberg.
Probably wouldn't be your first thoughts but both would work for a long weekend.
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Snowbombing is always in Mayrhofen but is very much clubbing focused rather than skiing - it does mean the slopes are VERY quiet from 9am-12ish when people finally start to crawl out of bed (and typically head out to the on-mountain parties rather than to do any serious milage. The atmosphere is great - if you are in to that sort of thing.

Saalbach you mentioned would be a good spot and nice short transfers from Salzburg. Ischgl should also be considered - the extra height might be useful for mid-late March. St Anton just for the apres should also be considered.

Went to Pas de la Casa a few years back - cheap booze and the ski area works well for a short trip but the transfer is close to 3hrs from either Toulouse or Barca.

Obertauren might be another shout - got the height and has good apres ski - limited 'late night/early morning' partying but plenty of trashy europop playing well in to the evening. Ski area is good but with a lot of short runs.

The 'PisteBash' festival will be in Meribel again in 2020 - @ mid-march and has a mix of live music, DJ's and stand-up comedy nights - might make a ski trip a bit more of a stag do?
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@Fridge03, Flachau. 45mins from Salzburg. Lots of bars and very good restaurants
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
I would have thought St Anton would be ideal. Very easy to get to (fly into Zürich then train, the station is in the middle of the village). Mid March is usually excellent conditions and hopefully sunny too. Huge variety of both skiing and drinking available, both on and off piste.....
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RobJsy wrote:
Snowbombing is always in Mayrhofen but is very much clubbing focused rather than skiing - it does mean the slopes are VERY quiet from 9am-12ish when people finally start to crawl out of bed (and typically head out to the on-mountain parties rather than to do any serious milage. The atmosphere is great - if you are in to that sort of thing.

Saalbach you mentioned would be a good spot and nice short transfers from Salzburg. Ischgl should also be considered - the extra height might be useful for mid-late March. St Anton just for the apres should also be considered.

Went to Pas de la Casa a few years back - cheap booze and the ski area works well for a short trip but the transfer is close to 3hrs from either Toulouse or Barca.

Obertauren might be another shout - got the height and has good apres ski - limited 'late night/early morning' partying but plenty of trashy europop playing well in to the evening. Ski area is good but with a lot of short runs.

The 'PisteBash' festival will be in Meribel again in 2020 - @ mid-march and has a mix of live music, DJ's and stand-up comedy nights - might make a ski trip a bit more of a stag do?


Apologies, I thought Snowbombing moved about. Is that the same for Snowboxx? Always in Avoriaz?

I wouldn't rule either of them out. Certainly would allow us to perhaps relive our youth a little bit!

I really enjoyed Saalbach when we went in March this year. So it is certainly on my radar as it ticks a lot of boxes. The only negative being the slush in the afternoon, but being a stag trip that isn't as much as a concern for us. I've heard that Pas would be a good option, it's just that transfer. Ideally we'd like to fly out early on the Thursday, short transfer and maybe get the afternoon on the piste but even if that didn't happen, we'd still have 3 days on the piste so not the end of the world. What are the conditions usually like in the Grandvalira at that time of year?
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munich_irish wrote:
I would have thought St Anton would be ideal. Very easy to get to (fly into Zürich then train, the station is in the middle of the village). Mid March is usually excellent conditions and hopefully sunny too. Huge variety of both skiing and drinking available, both on and off piste.....


Isn't St Anton on the more expensive side? I know of it's party reputation and very good skiing!
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Ishgl is popular for party goers I believe.
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@Fridge03, I suppose it depends on what you mean by expensive, skiing anywhere is not the cheapest of hobbies.

If you choose to stay in one of the 5 star hotels then yes it would be best not to be concerned about budget. However it is still perfectly possible to find accommodation, food and drink at reasonable prices. I tend to look to stay in Pettneu now, no 5 star glitz but plenty of accommodation options (even a caravan park), some bars and restaurants plus easy access to St Anton itself. Similar options exist in St Anton though do take a bit more finding and often no nearer to the lifts.

As to drinking, if you are going to spend hours in the Moose or KK then you will get through a lot of cash but its generally not sensible to have more than a couple of beers before skiing back and there are plenty of more reasonably priced options in the valley. For example the Thai restaurant next to the station does decent spicy food (best book at weekends)

Other places eg Kitzbühel and Ischgl were more expensive for lift passes last year.

Ski hire is reputed to be more expensive, not sure it really is.

You should have a great time wherever you go (every Austrian ski resort I know has no shortage of places to go drinking!). However in this case given that this is probably a one off "holiday" (you are not after a quiet family trip) I would suggest St Anton ticks all the boxes better than most (if not all) other places.
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Ischgl would be my tip. Great skiing in concluding a bit of Switzerland. On the mountain food and beer reasonable. Loads of bars in town from the lively trad Austrian apres to the more sedate quieter bars with "classic rock" and Britpop sounds and in between there is Schatzi.
Problem with Austria is weekend accommodation (and flights if not flying from london).
You could try sauze d'oulx (cheaper) or verbier (dearer) but great for weekends.
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3 years ago I arranged a long weekend trip to Arinsal, Andorra at the end of Feb which was primarily driven by cost and the availability of accommodation for a long weekend. I also had to factor in flights as one of my mates was flying from Prague. We flew into Barcelona, picked up a hire car and spent 4 nights at the Hotel Comapedrosa. I think this cost about £200 per person excluding lift passes.

Arinsal is quite small but its linked to Pal plus if you have a couple of cars you can Ski Pal which was great. There was plenty of snow when we were there.

There were enough busy bars to keep us occupied and enough places to eat. The Argentinian Steak house was good and reasonably priced.

The Comapedrosa was next to the main gondola and we were paying about 2 euros for a pint of Estrella in Arinsal. Although it took about 2.5 hours to drive from Barcelona it was easy enough so wasnt too much of a pain.

One other thing...dont let anyone bring any absinthe Laughing
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My vote would be st anton, no question. Break up into two groups for digs and try and book some of the cheaper places on the/very close to the pedestrian zone.
I have had some very nice food from tapas to thai (beside the train station).
Ideally fly to innsbruck but it's not the cheapest place so look at zurich and a group as big as that you would prob be better/cheaper with private transfers than train.
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Definitely Ischgl for a stag do. Excellent skiing, it's high and the apres is off the charts.
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You know it makes sense.
Depending on availability of flights, perhaps Les Deux Alpes? I know it's not Austria or Andorra, but generally a bit cheaper than say 3 valleys or Espace Killy.

Fly in to Grenoble or Lyon, and it's not too far away, pretty high and snow sure, and a decent bit of apres there.

Alternativel, you talk about snowbombing as a festival, but what about looking at Mayrhofen generally, haven't been, but it has a reputation for good apres and skiing.
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Couldn't think of worse place for a stag do- St Anton. All those crowded narrow pistes with a massive hangover?

obertaurn is a good shout also think about Innsbruck?
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I've been on and organised quite a few stag ski weekends to Austria. Here's what I have learned:

(1) the stags tend to be living all over the place so a big airport that everyone can fly into from where they live is a must. In this case Munich would be the gateway.
(2) Forget ideas of going to St Anton or Ischgl over a weekend. They don't want or need your booking when they can fill whole weeks easily.
(3) Train transfer from Munich is quick, efficient and fairly cheap. Train transfer also means that some can arrive early/late and go home early/late - there is always one.
(4) Nearest fun resorts I'd suggest would be Kirchberg (several ermmm 'Gentlemen's bars' there), Soll or, a bit further, Mayrhofen (March would miss Snowbombing), or maybe even Fieberbrunn (quite quiet) for the Saalbach Hinterglemm area.
(5) Don't worry about snow in Austria in March rolling eyes - if you really are bothered go to Mayrhofen and have the security of Hintertux up the road.
(6) someone will lose their wallet/passport/skis.
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@Pruman, Not sure your comments re Munich airport are correct. Train connections are not the best as you have to take the s bahn into town to connect to regional trains, even then connections to actual resorts are fairly slow. You would have to assume at least 1.5 to 2 hours after scheduled landing time to catch a train leaving the Haupt(or Ost)bahnhof. Certainly for short trips you are better off either hiring a car or paying for transfers. Zürich is much easier for western Austria with easy relatively fast train connections.

Whilst I agree with you that getting accommodation in Ischgl for short breaks can be problematic I have found no more difficulty finding weekend accommodation in St Anton than in Kitzbühel / Kirchberg / Brixen though maybe sorting places for a large group might be more problematic. March should be easier than February.

I have seen the ads for the tacky bars in Kirchberg but I have always found the village to be pretty quiet. For resorts in easy driving distance of Munich, Brixen, Söll, Saalbach Hinterglemm (agree Fieberbrunn too quiet) and Mayrhofen would be better from a drinking perspective (all should have decent skiing early March).
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@Fridge03,
Alpe d'Huez will have the Tomorrowland festival again in 2021. You mentioned not into clubs but the atmosphere is tremendous and it will de full of people similar age.
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Pruman wrote:

(2) Forget ideas of going to St Anton or Ischgl over a weekend. They don't want or need your booking when they can fill whole weeks easily.


Not true. My brother went on a four-day break to Ischgl as a lads' weekend (they were in their late 40s!) and they had no problem finding accommodation.

I honestly think it's tailor-made for a stag do, more than anywhere.
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Chamonix. Stay at Pointe Isabelle hotel for weekend booking - cheap and cheerful. Varied skiing options for 3 days. Plenty of decent bars and restaurants
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For a slightly different take. Ljubljana in Slovenia has a ski hill about 45min drive away. You can organise a day trip there. The city has lots to keep stag-dos entertained and everything is cheap. That aside Ljubljana is actually very pretty.
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munich_irish wrote:
@Pruman, Not sure your comments re Munich airport are correct. Train connections are not the best as you have to take the s bahn into town to connect to regional trains, even then connections to actual resorts are fairly slow. You would have to assume at least 1.5 to 2 hours after scheduled landing time to catch a train leaving the Haupt(or Ost)bahnhof. Certainly for short trips you are better off either hiring a car or paying for transfers. Zürich is much easier for western Austria with easy relatively fast train connections.


Well I do it fairly regularly to Kufstein or Worgl and it's fast, and if there is a wait I do that wait in the Airbrau. Only later in the evening do you have to make more connections. Via road is just less reliable if you hit big traffic and, let's face it, that is likely. Plus some poor bug has to drive.

And there's a bar on the Ostbahnhof to Innsbruck train - last time I hired a car it didn't have a bar.
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Thanks for all the suggestions everyone. Certainly plenty of options to consider.

I'll look into St Anton and Ischgl as I know they have the reputation for apres! Sauze d'oulx I had forgot about. Keen to go back to the Milky Way as last time we were there we didn't make it out of Monty. And it's not a bad transfer from Turin.

L2A I've been keen to go back to as it was my first ever ski trip so I didn't get to experience the whole of what it had to offer and the pano bar was pretty epic! ADH also is a place I'd like to try. Mayrhofen is certainly on my radar also.

What would Innsbruck be like as a base? Stay in the city and then head out to the ski areas? Does it take long via bus to reach the pistes?
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@Fridge03, you don’t need to leave the city confines to be able to ski!
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Fridge03 wrote:
Stay in the city and then head out to the ski areas? Does it take long via bus to reach the pistes?


around an hour to Stubai Glacier which is one of the furthest.
You wont get much of a party in innsbruck. seems the locals prefer a coffee & pastry to a pint & a kebab.

Ditch the skiing & go somewhere like Berlin & hire a Beer Bike
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Mr.Egg wrote:
Ditch the skiing & go somewhere like Berlin & hire a Beer Bike


Yeah, I wonder how many weddings have been semi-ruined by having the Groom and/or Best Man on crutches.

The other issue is cost. The last few stag dos and weddings I have been invited to have cost me £000s. Most blokes feel like they can't duck out of the stag do even if they really can't afford it. Holding it abroad and especially in a ski resort, might be unfair on a few of your mates.
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Last stag I was on had the evening in Chamonix and it was all very fine (everyone else lives in Morzine). Easy transfer. Easy to find near-piste accommodation.
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@Pruman, I couldn’t agree with you more. I know I’m out of sync with the current view of stag / hen parties but even for my best mates I never wanted to spend a shed load of cash and a chunk of my precious holiday allowance going away for several days on a holiday without women and being forced to get passed whether I actually happened to feel like it that day or not. I’d love to run a secret ballot before these stag and hen parties and find out if this is what the participants really want to do or whether they’d rather go out for an amazing party near home and spend the cash/holiday time on a trip with their GF or wife or whatever.

Anyway, many congrats to you Fridge03 and apologies for the bah-humbug intrusion into this thread.
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It's ok. Horses for courses! Life would be boring if we were all the same.

Fortunately, my close group of friends who will be coming all ski and we have all been on each others stags (I'm the last to get hitched). We have ranged from a day in London at the Rugby 7's to a 4 day golf trip to the Algarve. We go away quite often with each other but have yet to managed a "boys" ski trip despite talking about it for many years so yes it's my stag but also an excuse to finally get around to it!

And even if the worse happens, the wedding is in June so if we go in March we all have some recovery time!
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@Pruman, spot on.

Lifelong single, I spent a lot of my 30s going to friends' weddings. Which inevitably involved an overnight stay in a hotel without single rooms (i.e. I pay double), travel, gift, etc. I said no to most of the hen weekends on the grounds of cost. I then spent a lot of my 40s going to divorce parties, which were generally more enjoyable and cheaper.

Single people get shat on in many aspects of life, but weddings really are the pits.
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@queenie pretty please,
Quote:

Single people get shat on in many aspects of life, but weddings really are the pits.
I take your point but the upside is that weddings are, without doubt, the best places in the world for 'chirpsing'. Not half as much fun when you are married.
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@foxtrotzulu, dare I ask what 'chirpsing' is?
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queenie pretty please wrote:
@foxtrotzulu, dare I ask what 'chirpsing' is?
a word I’ve just picked up from my teenage children, although I gather its been around for 20 years or more...

“chirpse
Verb
(third-person singular simple present chirpses, present participle chirpsing, simple past and past participle chirpsed)

(slang, Multicultural London English) To flirt with; to chat up.”

Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy
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@foxtrotzulu, ah, not my thing. Hence why lifelong single... Toofy Grin
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