Ski Club 2.0 Home
Snow Reports
FAQFAQ

Mail for help.Help!!

Log in to snowHeads to make it MUCH better! Registration's totally free, of course, and makes snowHeads easier to use and to understand, gives better searching, filtering etc. as well as access to 'members only' forums, discounts and deals that U don't even know exist as a 'guest' user. (btw. 50,000+ snowHeads already know all this, making snowHeads the biggest, most active community of snow-heads in the UK, so you'll be in good company)..... When you register, you get our free weekly(-ish) snow report by email. It's rather good and not made up by tourist offices (or people that love the tourist office and want to marry it either)... We don't share your email address with anyone and we never send out any of those cheesy 'message from our partners' emails either. Anyway, snowHeads really is MUCH better when you're logged in - not least because you get to post your own messages complaining about things that annoy you like perhaps this banner which, incidentally, disappears when you log in :-)
Username:-
 Password:
Remember me:
durr, I forgot...
Or: Register
(to be a proper snow-head, all official-like!)

Summer alps family trip on budget?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hello, having booked our first family ski trip scheduled for next feb we had accepted me may have to give a summer holiday a miss in order to pay off the ski trip.

However now the summers here and the kids are off we would like to squeeze in a summer holiday, of course leaving it late doesn't help when school hols are concerned and the usual beach holiday packages seem to be going up not down as we approach our preferred dates.

I've just priced up flights and accom for 5 days in les gets and was surprised it came out less than a comparable beach holiday to say mainland spain or balearics. The multipass offering various activities looks pretty good value, although I do wonder if our children ( aged 1, 5 and 6) are a bit young to get the most out of it.

I just wondered if anyone could offer advice on:

Resorts near Geneva offering good value and lots of fun for a young family, ideally with reasonable in resort food/drink prices?

Whether the 5 and 6 year olds are at a suitable age to fill 5 days of varied activities, ( just about cycle on the flat so no chance in the mountains)?

Are the lakes really warm enough to swim in? Take the occasional dip in windermere so how do they compare?

Cheapest possible transfer to resort? Dont fancy the hassle of driving so public transport wherever possible?



Many thanks in advance
snow report
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
We have been to Les Gets in summer and our children (teens) loved swimming in the lake there. It has an inflatable assault cause which is also fun. If you went without a car you would be able to do that and take chairlifts up the mountain for walks. However we had a car and used it to go to activities in Morzine and Chatel so I would find it a bit restrictive going there without a car.

I would suggest also looking at La Clusaz as whilst I haven't been there in summer it is a lovely village and have heard it is good in summer. You would also be able to do a day trip to Annecy by bus.

Our other summer favourites are Samoens (although possibly better there with older children) and Saint Gervais. We once had a very good and cheap holiday in Hotel Montebianco, Saint Gervais which was all inclusive. If you look up prices for the last week of the summer holidays there are usually good deals there. It had a children's club which our kids enjoyed on a couple of days (very french but my two liked it). There is the Mont Blanc tramway in the village which is a wonderful experience. There was also a good multipass deal for all the chairlifts in St Gervais/Megeve/Les contamines and it also included other activities such as the lovely outdoor pool in St Gervais.

We went to most of the above with Peak Retreats and would recommend having a look at their summer website. Works out best for self drive as price includes ferry but if you want to book your own flights they offer a discount for accommodation only.
ski holidays
 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?
We've stayed at various ski resorts in the summer.
Les Contamines may suit you. It isn't too far from Geneva up the valley from St Gervais.
The village itself is pretty and not too busy. Some accommodation is by the ski lifts which are away from the village centre.
There is a Leisure Park with a couple of warm swimming lakes and a Go Ape sort of thing a couple of km from the village.
The gondola is open in the summer, so you can get up high easily enough.

Its not too far to Chamonix which is worth going to. Annecy and Geneva are close enough for day trips.

One note of caution, we've found staying in the Alps in the summer is still a fairly expensive business as a lot of the activities there cost!
Lying on a beach is free (usually).
snow report
 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
Just back from Les Gets. Multipass gives you access to Lac, floats are 6 euros and great fun though, small course for very little ones. Ropes course at Nyon good as well , 10 euro. Swimming pool in Morzine covered by Multipass as well. Ride the lifts, have an ice cream. If you have a car do a shop in Taninges or before en route. Have fun.
snow report
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@Brooky, we are in Morillon, so also close to Geneva. Morillon has a lake with an artificial sandy beach, complete with life guards. It was 18 degrees a couple of weeks ago, so too cold for me, but hundreds of children disagreed! Like many resorts in the area, there is a Go Ape style course, suitable for children your age, a bouncy castle park with water slide, flat off-road places to cycle, including the new, free pump track, loads of walking in the valley - I could go on!

I would suggest that you choose a village or town rather a ski station as they tend to have more summer activities, but wherever you choose, I'm sure that you'll find many activities to keep the family occupied. A lot of winter resorts are putting a lot of effort into attracting summer business so there is a lot going on.
snow conditions
 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
Have a look at Austria....beautiful in the summer and the winter (and a bit cheaper than France in my opinion).

The area around the Achensee is stunning...you can swim in the lake (there are a few man made beaches), there are steam boats on the lake itself, lots of things to do (both indoor and outdoor) etc. About an hour and a half from Munich Airport or 30 mins from Innsbruck.
ski holidays
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
I would echo Hurdy & look at Austria - Austria public transport is probably easier & more extensive than getting around the alps.
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!
Many thanks for all the info and advice.

Lots to consider, will definitely look at Austria though i suspect flights will be more expensive.

@rachelharrisonsmith, is that 18 deg an average summer day or can you expect it warmer/cooler? My wife likes it hot, and cautiously agreed to a ski holiday instead of our ususal winter sun, (I am the skier she has been once with me before the children and though enjoyed it hasn't caught the bug as yet) so I need to consider her preferences as well as my own.
ski holidays
 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
@Brooky, We've been to Austria in summer when its 30C and sunny in the mountains, and then 3-4 days later huge storms, heavy rain in town at 1400m and it's snowed 30-40cm at 2000m, then sunny again and hot, all in a week......that's why there's wide rivers and lakes and its very green, they get a lot of rain, but frequently it's very pleasant and the air is very fresh, we love it just as much in summer as in winter - we are in Lech in a months time for hiking and biking. There's plenty for kids to do, we don't have any but if I did they'd be in the mountains rather than water parks or Disney.

Look at scheduled flights to Munich (Lufthansa) or Zurich (Swiss) or perhaps Easyjet (GVA/ MUC) maybe consider the train.
snow report
 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
@Brooky, I would echo the comments on Austria. Flights to Salzburg from London for Fri 16 Aug- Fri 23 Aug are slightly more expensive than the equivalent to Geneva (140 vs 182), but almost identical if you fly to Munich (146).

From Munich you can get a Bavarian Family Rail ticket with German Railways, "Up to 2 adults can bring any number of their own children or grandchildren free of charge" for 25 Euros, https://www.bahn.com/en/view/offers/regional/regional-day-ticket-for-bavaria.shtml , which is valid in Austria and down to Salzburgland. I know from bitter experience how expensive transfers are from Geneva.

Two other options to consider, the Salzburg Card: https://www.salzburg.info/en/hotels-offers/salzburg-card and if you come down to Flachau for all your mountain activities then you may wish to look at the Tourist website:https://www.flachau.com/en/holiday.html , specifically their Sommer Card.

Have a look at our Facebook Page: @theredandwhiteskicompany for more info on summer activities in Flachau. I note your comment about cycling, have you considered "E-Bikes"? Flachau has an amazing network to explore. DM me if you need any help with accommodation.
ski holidays
 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
We spend our summer holidays in Les Carroz in the Grand Massif and do all of the mountain activities you listed, Go Ape style ropes, horse riding, hiking (or strolling if you take the chairs/telecabines), cycling, . Big advantage is it gets cool at night if the weather is hot hot hot. As @Markymark29, says you can get huge variations in the weather in the mountains. I love that but if you are only going for say 4/5 days you could be unlucky if a weather front settles in. This is why we always have a car in the summer, you can use transfers in the winter but summer I think you are best served to be able to move about a bit if needs be. We drive down to Annecy for day tips if it is cooler up in the mountains, from Les Gets you can get to Lac Leman for boat trips and swimming beaches.
snow report
 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.
@Brooky, 18 degrees was the lake temperature a couple of weeks ago. The average air temperature is more than that (mid twenties, at a guess), but as others have said, the weather is more changeable than your average beach holiday, though it can get just as hot.
ski holidays
 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
I've spent several summers with the family in the French Alps. Chamonix is great, but too expensive and we moved over to the campsite in Bourg St Maurice. This gives you access to Tignes, Val d'Isere, La Rosiere, Les Arcs - by funicular in the case of Les Arcs. Lifts are free in Val and Tignes so we spent a good amount of time there. If you stay in Tignes, there is a free activity pass, which is brilliant value and includes canoeing, archery, mini golf etc
snow report
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Cortina, Italy.

Scenery, food, and atmosphere are on a whole different level to France and Austria.

Fly to Milan, Turin, Bolzano, Treviso, or Venice.
latest report
 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@Whitegold, I usually fly to Venice and occaisionally Innsbruck for Cortina. Milan and Turin are quite a drive across the North of Italy. Treviso is closer to the Dolomites, but I think there are not many flights. I never even realised that there was an airport at Bozen. The airport's own web site says "At the moment no scheduled flights are available. "

Beautiful as the Dolomites are I would not describe them as "on a budget". I'm off there next week and I suspect the final bill will be roughly twice my normal ski holiday cost.
latest report
 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Thanks to all for suggestions and advice, it seems the options are endless......

Looks like hiring a car is a must!
latest report
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Quote:

Looks like hiring a car is a must!

Or drive all the way from the UK. That way you can carry camping equipment and change locations more or less at a whim.
latest report
 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?
Just been out in Passy (below Chamonix), Chamonix and Morzine. The campsite at Passy is excellent value, lovely lake, lots of activities (although that will train your budget!)
snow report
 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
Thread bump. We are planning a short trip to alps 05/08-10/08 with two teenagers 18&15. It’ll be our first attempt at Alpine summer but hoping for good mix of activities- mountain biking (downhill!), water sports (waterskiing/wakeboarding, canoeing), canyoning, and anything else!
Hoping for place with pool. Any recommendations- chalet, Airbnb,hotel?
Thanks
snow conditions
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@Doccam, add into the list rafting down the Isere (other rivers are available) I think your white water canoeing skills should be pretty good if you fancy trying canoeing in the Alps. Many of the guiding oganisations will take you sport climbing and/or via ferrata. I,m not sure where you are planning to go, but in my summer holiday areas, Les Arcs and the Dolomites, a trip to a bookshop, sport shop or even a newsagent will allow you to purchase a guide book.
latest report
 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
@johnE more thinking of canoeing on a lake! Thanks for the guide book tip wink
snow conditions
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
I guess there must be a lot of kayaks (not canoes) around the Alpine lakes these days, as there is round the shores of the UK. A basic "sit on" plastic kayak (ie with a paddle with two ends, whereas canoes have one) is easy and fairly foolproof /unsinkable - though as a long-term dinghy sailor I would never go out on one without a buoyancy aid, especially if there's more than a very light breeze blowing. There must be plenty to hire around the shores of Lake Annecy, for example. There are also some places where you can rent more technically demanding craft - there's a big place towards the south end of the lake, on the town side. And plenty of motor boats for hire around the town end of the lake - though the ones you can hire "sans permis" are frankly pretty boring. A kayak each much more fun for teenagers. There are big bike hire places on Lake Annecy too. Much of the perimeter of the lake now has dedicated cycle paths, but the section which doesn't can be pretty scary unless you are accustomed to cycling on busy roads and there's one major hill to negotiate.
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!
snowymum wrote:
I would suggest also looking at La Clusaz as whilst I haven't been there in summer it is a lovely village and have heard it is good in summer. You would also be able to do a day trip to Annecy by bus.


I can second that suggestion. I spent a couple of days in La Clusaz last summer, it's a lovely village which has a weekly farmers's market selling local produce, and the many lifts provide easy access to the surrounding mountains for walks etc. It's also a short transfer from Geneva and having a hire car would definitely be useful for visiting local areas including Talloires and Lake Annecy

As others have said, Austria is also a very good option. If you're looking for a good place to stay with your kids then I can recommend fellow snowHead flangesax's place in Radstadt: https://www.austrian-adventures.com/ snowHead
snow report
 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Abondance valley has a lot of what you are looking for. Chatel at the head with mountain biking, good walking/scenery, via ferrata in La Chapelle, Lac Leman not too far away, white water rafting/canoeing down past Vacheresse. Buses up and down the valley if you have no car and about 1.5hr transfer from GVA. Vallee d’Aulps similar with Morzine at the top.
ski holidays
 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
[quote="Alastair Pink"]
snowymum wrote:


As others have said, Austria is also a very good option. If you're looking for a good place to stay with your kids then I can recommend fellow snowHead flangesax's place in Radstadt: https://www.austrian-adventures.com/ snowHead


Thanks for the suggestion - exactly the kind of recommendation I was hoping for. Unfortunately we are enroute back home from pyrennees but will note that for another occasion- and we do love that part of Austria
latest report
 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
@Doccam, I did not mention Austria! I think Alastair Pink did.

I still recommend La Clusaz, St Gervais, Samoens and Les Gets from my post higher up the thread.
snow report
 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.
Not sure where snowymum reference came in from so I will keep it simple and say @pam w Lake Annecy is a definite maybe as it is just about Mrs Doccam’s dream location to retire to! @DJL that looks really interesting- any particular recommendations for hotel/base?
Thanks all
snow report
 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
snowymum wrote:
@Doccam, I did not mention Austria! I think Alastair Pink did.

I still recommend La Clusaz, St Gervais, Samoens and Les Gets from my post higher up the thread.


I know I was trying to quote @AlasatirPink and somehow you became the quote- Serves me right trying to be tech savvy!
I did note your contribution higher up and thanks again for the recommendation. Anywhere in particular to stay?
snow report
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
We’ve done the last two summer holidays in Chatel and loved it. My sister has a lovely appt there that she rents out hey we/they are hoping to be there first week August all being well. The mountain biking is great according to the experts! My boys are younger than yours and had their first taster which they loved. Very easy to get to Evian and Thonon on Lake Geneva which both have amazing outdoor municipal pools right on the lake where you can spend a very cheap day. There’s also a lake halfway down the valley with a zip wire and other activities. https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=bo+immobilier+chatel&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&hl=en-gb&client=safari#sbfbu=1&pi=bo%20immobilier%20chatel Not sure if the link will work but this is the agency that my sister uses in town. I think there are one or two others. They may have apartments in a block with pools. There is a pool in town but the outside section is quite small.
ski holidays
 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@DJL just looked up via ferrata- that looks right up the boys and Mrs Doccams alley. I have had a look at a few websites but can’t find a contact point for any organisation. It reads like you can just rock up and use the routes but obviously that wouldn’t be for us. Do you know of a suitable guide/introduction course? Thanks
ski holidays
 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@LadyDi brilliant thanks Chatel does look good and I’ve emailed the agency- suspect it looks a bit high end though never know!
snow report
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@Doccam, The guide books usually have a section at the start telling you what equipment you need and how to use it. Basically you aquire the equipment either buying sets of safety brake, helmet and climbing harness at about 100 euros each or rent them from a shop in the resort then just pitch up at the base of the ferrata and get on with it. I would not reccomend going for anything harder than D to start with. PDs tend too be too easy and are realy meant for very young children.

You may have climbing harnesses and helmets already if you are planning to go canyoning

The guiding organisations such as Arc Adventures in Les Arcs take parties via ferrata, canyoning, white water rafting, paraponting etc. I thing most resorts have something similar such as the bureau des guides. As an example see this one for Morzine http://www.guides-morzine.com/telechargements/brochure_morzine_ete13-14.pdf
snow report
 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?
@Doccam, haven’t done it myself but some info here:

http://www.arbracadabra.fr/via-ferrata
snow report
 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
DJL wrote:
@Doccam, haven’t done it myself but some info here:

http://www.arbracadabra.fr/via-ferrata


That looks amazing. Thanks for the lead.
snow report
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@JohnE my french isn’t up to that (o-level U Grade x2 Sad Puzzled ) but piccies brilliant and Mrs Doccam is working through the booklet. Thanks very much.
snow report
 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
@Doccam, Your French is clearly better than mine. Google translate has a facility to scan documents and offer a translation. I use it all the time for guide books written in French, Italian and German (Some of my Dolomite guides are in German). Sometimes the translations are hilarious such as "pass the fat policeman to the south". In those cases it helps to have a dictionary of common climbing terms.
snow report
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Quote:

@DJL just looked up via ferrata- that looks right up the boys and Mrs Doccams alley. I have had a look at a few websites but can’t find a contact point for any organisation. It reads like you can just rock up and use the routes but obviously that wouldn’t be for us. Do you know of a suitable guide/introduction course? Thanks

We've done the Abbondace via ferrata a couple of times. If I remember it's in 3 sections, starts easyish, gets harder, but there are escape routes at the end of each section. There's another via ferrata above Avoriaz as well, which was less exposed. We just hired the kit locally, Intersport in Morzine because that was where we were staying, but we already had harnesses and helmets cos we climb a bit anyway. You would be able to arrange a guide through any of the tourist offices.
There's also a bolted sport climbing area at Bas Thex, just above St Jean D'Aulps, with lots of easy climbs and a very easy short via ferrata circuit for learning how to do it on. Plus a much bigger, scarier one which I haven't done, but my OH and daughter have.
snow report
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
From Chatel, Chateau Chillon and Montreux are definitely worth a visit, also the Gruyere chocolate express.
The beaches at Evian (Maxilly / Neuvecelle / Publier ) are great at the moment, and the lake is already warm enough to swim in.
( I've been going down for a SUP after work the last few evenings).
Chatel bike park is also up and running now.
If you like a climb, as well as the Elephants Bottom (mentioned earlier as Bas Thex) theres some good climbs on the cliffs of Le Corbier above Le Biot.
snow conditions
 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
I'd say +1 for Chateau Chillion - https://www.chillon.ch/en/
And the underground train ride into the old salt mines at Bex - https://www.seldesalpes.ch/en/salt-mines/
And a trip on Lake Geneva's Belle Epoch paddle-steamers - https://www.cgn.ch/en/la-suisse.html
A longer excursion to the Barrage d'Emosson on the Vertic'Alp https://verticalp-emosson.ch/en/decouvrez en route from Martigny to Chamonix.
And if you're going to go through Martigny, then a culture trip to the Giannada Foundation & Sculpture Gardens https://www.gianadda.ch/ Good for a rainy day.
Further along the Rhone Valley, a day at the thermal resort of Bains de Saillon, between Martigny and Sion - https://www.bainsdesaillon.ch/en/

We did a pleasant day trip parking at Evian-les-Bains on the south side of Lake Geneva, and catching the commuter ferry across to Lausanne, which is a nice University town, lunch in the Old Town and then back for dinner in Evian.
snow report
 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Doccam wrote:
@DJL just looked up via ferrata- that looks right up the boys and Mrs Doccams alley. I have had a look at a few websites but can’t find a contact point for any organisation. It reads like you can just rock up and use the routes but obviously that wouldn’t be for us. Do you know of a suitable guide/introduction course? Thanks


A few years ago we were like you. We were in Les Menuires in summer and wanted to try the via ferrata (VF) there, so we went to the tourist office to ask about trying it with a guide. We were advised that it would cost €45 each; but then the very helpful T.O. lady advised us that it was a beginners route and we could, instead, hire the VF kit for €10 from the sports shop next door.

We subsequently hired the kit, gave it a go (without a guide) and loved it! Since then we've bought our own kit (relatively cheaply at Decathlon) and have also done the VF route at Lac de Rosiere in Courchevel (another beginners route), which was also great.

You don't really need a guide if you choose beginners routes and work from there. A guide would only show you the way round - when, in fact, there's only 1 way and you are attached to a cable that you follow for the entire route. Remember to take some sturdy gloves, however, if you do try it. Very Happy
snow conditions



Terms and conditions  Privacy Policy