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Valley towns close to resorts?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hi all,
I'm vaguely planning a self drive to the alps before Xmas. I'm intending to spend about 10 days in total. Rather than staying in resort, I was thinking about staying in a valley town hotel, and using it as a base to visit other resorts within 45 mins drive.
Any suggestions for suitable towns? To me the obvious one is Moutiers or BSM, I'd like suggestions for Switzerland and Austria.
The main reasons for this are to cut costs, and also to add some versatility. Could people point out any downsides to this approach.
Any accomodation suggestions - cheap hotels, hostels, or bunk houses (do they exist in the Alps?
Thank you for any advice
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Innsbruck?

I guess Sion or Sierre might work for CH but not sure cheap exists there.
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
For France:
Chamonix?
St Gervais?
Briancon?
Modane?

Out of those Modane or St Jean de Maurienne at the best bets.
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Canazei, Wolkenstein or Cortina
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lift passes will cost a bit more as you;ll be on daily passes rather than a week or longer. Bit of extra time each day to get up to resort
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Aosta city is a very good base. There are loads of resorts within 30 mins drive and pila on the doorstep. If on a budget Italy is hard to beat. Aosta valley is full up with snow already.
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In this part of Austria, the valley towns have ski areas. I hesitate to call them 'resorts' because they are mostly real towns that do not exist purely for the purpose of tourism. If you base yourself somewhere central in the Ski Amadé region, like Radstadt, Altenmarkt, Eben, Flachau, then the whole area on one lift pass is easily reached by car. You ski a different area each day, park at the lift. Job done. Most access roads are not winding mountain climbs, some are a matter of a few metres from the motorway exit.

There are youth hostels (Jugendhotel or Jugendherberge) but I don't know what the qualifying criteria are. There are also plentiful budget B&Bs.
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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!
Also France
Cluses for Les Gets and Morzine
Cluses for Les Carroz and the Grand Massif
Sallanches for Megeve
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nbt wrote:
lift passes will cost a bit more as you;ll be on daily passes rather than a week or longer.

No necessarily – in Austria the area passes in e.g. Innsbruck and Ski Amade cover a lot of separate resorts within about an hour's drive.
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Queenie, that would seem to be exactly what I'm looking for
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@AndyB64, well I live here. And I do know a friendly family of snowheads nearby who have a lovely B&B, but it depends how low your budget is. Obviously these guys have to earn a living from their lovely property.
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@AndyB64, also a lot depends on your dates. The month of February is peak season, Austrian, German and Dutch school holidays, so cheaper accommodation might be hard to find. January or March will have a lot more possibilities.
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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
Quote:

Sallanches for Megeve

But check opening dates - Megeve and other nearby resorts won't be fully open until quite close to Christmas.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Ooops, just noticed the before Christmas bit. Here the larger ski areas are already partially open, with more opening this weekend, so that shouldn't be an issue. The lift pass is cheaper before Christmas too. Fill yer boots.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Bourg d'Oisans. 25 minutes up the 21 bends to Alpe D'huez or similar time to Les Deux Alpes direct or by driving to Venosc and taking the gondola up.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Quote:

But check opening dates - Megeve and other nearby resorts won't be fully open until quite close to Christmas.

I also missed the Christmas bit
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Claude B wrote:
Bourg d'Oisans. 25 minutes up the 21 bends to Alpe D'huez or similar time to Les Deux Alpes direct or by driving to Venosc and taking the gondola up.


I was about to suggest that but got beaten to it! Laughing
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Thank you for the replies,
There are some great suggestions in there, I particularly like the Ski Amade idea.
In terms of dates, I'm flexible, I'm not fixed on before Xmas, I'm just impatient. If not then, then will be January with my son before he goes back to uni.
In terms of budget, I'm trying to keep the cost down in order to be able to justify the trip to my wife, who won't be joining me.
All in all, I'm not going to commit to anything yet, I'm just looking into ideas, as said before there are some great suggestions that I'd not thought of.
Thank you
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Modane.

6 day lift pass will cost you 196 euro

https://www.destination-haute-maurienne.com/en/winter-advantages/val-cenis-en/ski-passes-val-cenis-en.html

And allows 1 day each in the following..

Val Cenis
Valfrejus
La Norma
Aussois
Bessans
Bonneval sur Arc

All within 45 mins drive of Modane. Some much closer.
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Great thread. It seems to this largely uninformed foreigner that Tyrol has some valley towns and villages that offer value lodging with access to good skiing.
Landeck, Imst, Galtur etc would be decent bets early season due to their proximity to hills with a bit more elevation than average - think Ischgl, Arlberg and Serfaus.
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I particularly like the suggestions of towns where 1 pass covers several resorts.
Does such a pass exist for the Tarentaise? (This is out of interest, personally I'm more interested in going somewhere I've not been before)
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If the plan is to go low season particularly pre xmas I would not be at all surprised if accommodation was cheaper in many resorts than in the valley towns.
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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!
Martigny in CH? Great resorts nearby and good train connections
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Ozboy wrote:
Martigny in CH? Great resorts nearby and good train connections


Second vote for Martigny - good for Verbierm, Crans Montana and even Porte du Soleil (park at Champery Les Crosets)
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@AndyB64, the ski a la carte pass covers Les Arcs, La Plagne, Tignes, Val d'I, Serre Chevalier, Grand Massif ( I think?) and you get a discount on Rossiere / La Thuille

Edit - I forgot les 2 Alpes


Last edited by Ski the Net with snowHeads on Mon 2-12-19 22:34; edited 1 time in total
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frejul wrote:
Ozboy wrote:
Martigny in CH? Great resorts nearby and good train connections


Second vote for Martigny - good for Verbierm, Crans Montana and even Porte du Soleil (park at Champery Les Crosets)


Chamonix also less than an hour away - assuming the pass remains open in Winter.
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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.
This seems to be how we arrange most of our ski holidays these days. The trick is finding somewhere with an area pass to save paying lots of day rates. Once was, they offered a Ski Maurienne Sans Frontiers pass which covered all of the Maurienne resorts and we often stayed in St Jean. Its day has passed so now we sometimes use the Eski-mo pass which covers the Haute Maurienne resorts only. We often stay in Termignon which has a connection into the Val Cenis system and is on the road so we can quickly get to other resorts.
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If staying in BSM you can take advantage of cheap day passes in Saint Foy on certain days(Sat,Sun,Wed?!) with vouchers on back of Super U receipts, La Rosiere and Les Arcs do a cheap Saturday pass, and La Plagne Sat and Sunday. There is also option to buy cheaper local area passes in Les Arcs/Montchavin etc if it's horrible weather or you don't want a big ski day.
New hostel in Bourg looks interesting (Mountain Lodge I think it's called)
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@alasdair.graham@hotmail.c, basecamp lodge. Our "Boys week" in March is staying there ( for precisely the reasons you've outlined) @ €33 per night inc. breakfast.

https://www.hotel-basecamplodge.com/en/
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
That's the one!
Make sure you book at table in Le Refuge one evening for raclette
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
+1 for Maurienne if you plan to drive anyway - it will be cheaper than say PdS or Gds Montets (or obviously Switzerland), with access to small and medium to large resorts. Added bonus is you can even ski 3V thru Orelle anyway. Not sure of the après ski scene of La Chambre or Modane though...
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Sallanches, using the Mont Blanc Evasion pass, isn't a bad bet for this kind of trip.
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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?
Ozboy wrote:
frejul wrote:
Ozboy wrote:
Martigny in CH? Great resorts nearby and good train connections


Second vote for Martigny - good for Verbierm, Crans Montana and even Porte du Soleil (park at Champery Les Crosets)


Chamonix also less than an hour away - assuming the pass remains open in Winter.


You can also obtain a Valias ski pass if you choose Martigny as a base giving access to 40 Swiss resorts up and down the valley.

https://www.valais.ch/en/information/landingpage/valais-skicard
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In Austria take a look at Landeck. Up one valley you have See (15min), Kappl (25min), Ischgl (30min), and Galtur (45min). Up another you have Serfaus/Fiss/Ladis (30min). And up another St Anton (25min).

Not sure about Serfaus/etc but See to Galtur are all accessible by bus, and St Anton by train from Landeck, if you fancied a non-driving/drinking day.
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Also Chur in CH for Flims/Laax and Arosa/Lenzerheide by bus or ~20mins drive, and a bit further to Disentis. Also worth stopping off to ski at Flumserberg on the way out or back.

I do something like this quite often, and leave it to the last minute to decide, based on snow conditions. I've most commonly ended up around Innsbruck or Chur early season, and Aosta or Martigny/Sion later in the season, but the sample is probably too small (though I'm trying) to mean much
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+1 for Landeck. There is a post bus available to Serfaus etc which is less than an hour away.
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@Mjit, there is a bus to Serfaus from Landeck. I was going to suggest Landeck too as it is well positioned however I think the Tiroler ski card is only for the complete season and does not include the Arlberg so it would mean buying day tickets.

The Super Ski card could well be worth looking at https://www.superskicard.tirol/en/super-ski-card-ski-pass-tyrol-salzburg-skiing-in-austria.html . Finding a valley base might be more difficult, both Kufstein and Wörgl should offer relatively cheap accommodation (they are both non tourist spots) but are quite a long way from Saalbach though good for Skiwelt, Kitzbühel etc. Wörgl has direct trains to many of the areas. Might also be worth look at Saalfelden.

If you are planning to go to Austria it could well be worth joining the Austrian Alpine Club, being a member offers access to lots of cheap accommodation in various huts etc, not sure how much would be open in the winter or in the valleys.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
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@AndyB64, You might consider the Ski Alpin Card, which covers 408km of piste in Saalbach, Hinterglemm, Leogang & Fieberbrunn (the “Ski Circus”), as well as Zell am See and Kaprun. That would give you a good variety of skiing, spanning Salzburgerland and the Tirol, as well as pretty, forested runs, World Cup freeride terrain, and a major glacier resort.
You could base yourself anywhere - travelling is easy, it’s only 25 minutes by car from Saalbach to the Kitzsteinhorn lift at Kaprun. Zell am See is of course centrally positioned.
If you wanted to massively increase the amount of skiing available to 2,750km, the Superski pass for the Salzburg and Kitzbuehel Alps is really not much more expensive, although you might struggle to justify it in the time available.
This link might help: https://www.saalbach.com/de/winter/skitickets/skitickets-skicircus
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We’ve stayed in St Johann in Tirol before. More of a town than a ski resort, though it has its own small ski area, good for a day.
It’s very conveniently situated. 20 mi drive to Kitz, SkiWelt and Fieberbrunn for the Ski Circus. There’s a couple of other small areas close by too. The Steinplatte is worth a day IMO. Snow conditions there are often good there as it quite high for the area and mostly north facing.
All of this is covered on the Salzburg Super Ski card mentioned above.

Accommodation away from the lifts can be pretty reasonably priced.
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innsbruck would give you lots of options.
Can either take the various ski buses to close resorts or get a train to some larger resorts.
Tons of options within 90mins on public transport. Then the places you need a car to get to...
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