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Best venue for a Christmas trip

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Not sure we can wait for next Easter, so looking to go at Christmas (possibly as well as Easter, not instead of...)

As the dates fall could go from 23rd onwards, pretty flexible other than need to be back in UK no later than 3rd Jan.

I understand it will probably be more expensive (not an issue within reasonable parameters) and busier (same caveat)

Where would you suggest as a location?

Able to drive, equally happy to fly (although short transfer time would be preferred in that case)

Ideally looking for self catering or B&B accommodation, on or close to lifts, as much guarantee of snow as is possible at that time, and lots of blue runs for early intermediates.

Thanks in advance
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Rusitsu, Niseko...long flight but ticks all the other boxes....Probably no more expensive either (than the usual suspects)...otherwise La Thuile
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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?
Les Arcs 1800.
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Below are the 3 trip reports I wrote for Xmas hols in the Alps. We have done lots of others, times past in the caravan with the children when they were young, and of late a couple of trips(self booked s/c apartments and half catered) since my last report. For the best chance of snow around the accommodation I`d head high, Arc 2000 was best in that respect, there is plenty of easy skiing from there too.

https://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?p=2684915&highlight=christmas#2684915

https://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?p=2435740&highlight=christmas#2435740

https://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?p=2185279&highlight=christmas#2185279
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Soldeu in Andorra has good snow by Christmas, with s/c apartments close to the lift.
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Although we are firm advocates of self-catering, for me, Christmas and New Year are perhaps the one time when we'd go for hotel full board. We did this for New Year in Verbier, and although it was pricey ('though not as pricey per head as self-catering in Vail), at least it was all-in with no meals to prepare and the children enjoyed the activities laid on by the hotel.

As ever, an alternative is to stay somewhere in a valley with various resorts around, rather than risking a particular mountain location. That way, although you have to drive, you can at least choose where you go on the basis of conditions at the time. Just a thought.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@LaForet so somewhere like Bourg St Maurice, with access to Les Arcs, Val Thorens, La Plagne, La Rosiere, Sainte Foy, Tignes etc for example?
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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!
We're looking at an xmas ski trip and are finding that most places appear to be restricting rentals to the entire week (same as at New Year). We're going high altitude to maximise decent snow conditions. Enjoy
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
It's our first trip so finding some decent snow is a big priority.

Looking at Andorra following the recommendation from Orange200 above, also Les Arcs seems to have a decent chance of snow.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
@suffolkski, yes you could stay in BSM. Up to Les Arcs via the funiculaire (but I think you have to pay for parking at the base now, there used to be a free navette around BSM and maybe still is). SteFoy, VDI, Tignes, La Ros are all a very doable drive (bus) in reasonable driving conditions, but again you need to consider parking if driving.
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
@suffolkski, In your position I would look for decent snow but not too crowded. I would suggest considering Montgenevre and La Rosiere. If you are early intermediates I think you would be better off staying in one resort than driving to different places. It also costs more to buy daily lift passes than a six day one. Whilst it is easy to get to les Arcs on the funicular would you want to drive to other resorts in the snow and have to faff around with snow chains, parking and carrying skis?
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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.
Thanks again foe all your comments, very helpful as always.

A bit off-tangent, but what are your thoughts on Bansko in Bulgaria? Anyone been here at or around Christmas?

Good for beginners, guaranteed snow (albeit via cannons if no real snow), a quick search indicates that flights and accommodation are fairly reasonable?
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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
No such thing as guaranteed snow. Cannons are useless if weather is warm.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
No such thing as guaranteed snow. Cannons are useless if weather is warm.

If snow is your key criterion, wait till MUCH nearer the time.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
suffolkski wrote:
Thanks again foe all your comments, very helpful as always.

A bit off-tangent, but what are your thoughts on Bansko in Bulgaria? Anyone been here at or around Christmas?

Good for beginners, guaranteed snow (albeit via cannons if no real snow), a quick search indicates that flights and accommodation are fairly reasonable?


https://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?p=3537992#3537992
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
We took a chance with Ste-Foy this Christmas and the snow was epic. The only problem was people being bussed in from Val D'Isere and Tignes and "stealing our snow" because little or nothing was open up there due to high winds.

In other words: if you insist on a 'snow sure' resort at Christmas, just be careful what you wish for!
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Bansko seems to be budget for good reason.

Soldeu and Grandvalira use cannons to open by 1 Dec IIRC so should be reasonable by Christmas. I’ve never been to Pal/Arinsal, wonder if it would be quiet at Christmas.
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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?
We went to Montgenevre over New Year. Short transfer from Turin. Apart from first thing after ski school drop off, lifts not busy. Plenty of nice blues and reds. We had an air bnb apartment 50m from the slopes.
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OK, further research has rendered Bansko off the list.....

Off to look at Montgenevre......
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@suffolkski, there are never complete guarantees but... somewhere like Saas Fee is as nigh on guaranteed as you'll get. High very traditional and pretty village at 1800m which would have a lovely Christmassy feel. Glacier skiing (assuming you're able to progress to some of the higher up blues).

Potential downsides are it's Switzerland so not exactly cheap, though relatively easy to self cater, and it is high and surrounded on all sides by high mountains so you won't see much sun in the village at that time of year... and it could be bitterly cold!

It's a lovely place though and we've done apartments there easily arranging ourselves. Train transfer from Geneva and postbus up the last stretch.

Lots of other, less guaranteed places like Saalbach, Serfaus, Kitzbuhel and many more in Austria which would also be good at Christmas but less guaranteed although with a good chance of a snowy village even so.


Last edited by Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do. on Sun 1-03-20 16:45; edited 1 time in total
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Lots of good, though pricey, restaurants to choose from in Saas Fee for a special Christmas / New Year's meal.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Les Menuires. 3V is a massive ski area. Thousands of reasonably priced SC apartments available through their central reservations site (most either directly beside a piste or very close). High enough to be as snow sure as you can reasonably hope for that early in the season (good snow making too) and easy access into Val Thorens. Have stayed there the past 6 Christmas periods and never had a problem.
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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!
Orange200 wrote:
Bansko seems to be budget for good reason.

Soldeu and Grandvalira use cannons to open by 1 Dec IIRC so should be reasonable by Christmas. I’ve never been to Pal/Arinsal, wonder if it would be quiet at Christmas.


It gets busy over Xmas, but not ridiculous busy. I remember 26th being pretty decent this year. If you go to Arinsal you can have your traditional English Xmas lunch at El Moli right across from the gondola.
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