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Resorts for long weekend trip with daughter

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Looking to do a long weekend trip (4-5 days) with my 20 year old daughter at the end of Jan 2021. Looking for a resort for intermediates (fine on reds and easier blacks) with some decent apres, and preferably can fly from Bristol. Daughter fancies Austria. Any suggestions gratefully received.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
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Obertaue.rn or Flachau both are close to salzburg airport, so easy flights and transfers, excellent season long snow records.
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Key with long weekends from a travel perspective is:

1) good selection of flights both in and out; and
2) easy and relatively quick access.

Anything over 2 hours is out IMO as you will end up losing a day there and back out of the your 3/4 day weekend. Last year a group of us skied in Cervinia - 2 hours from Turn. We landed at 9am and were skiing by 1pm. We left the resort at 5pm for our 9pm flight. Both were long days, but we really maximised out skiing. The resort itself is perfect for intermediates.

A couple of years ago we did a weekend in Megeve - into and out of Geneva. Transfer time was 1 hour 15mins, so we left the resort at half 4 for our 8pm flights.
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If Salzburg airport works then Ski Amade and Saalbach Hinterglemm are both short transfers and would fit your descriptions of the sort of resort you are looking for. Innsbruck is even better but not so many flights, if it works then the Zillertal resorts would be good, Ischgl possible too. Munich much better from a flight perspective but longer transfers. If you are happy with that then pretty much anywhere in the Tirol, Kitzbühel, Zillertal, Saalbach Hinterglemm etc.
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@FrediKanoute, I think it is the timing of the flights that is important rather than the transfer time to either the UK airport or to the resort. I would start by looking for evening flights to Geneva, Milan, Turin, Munich and Austrian airports from any airport you can get to easily from home. I usually start by looking at Birmingham, East Midlands, Luton and Bristol. Giving 20 possible routes. Multiply that by the carriers and start searching

Usually we use the Luton-Geneva flights and had good trips to Les Arcs and Les 7 Laux. The last flight out on a Friday got us to Les Arcs (or a hotel at Aime) before midnight and the 21:30 return flight allowed for a full day's skiing on the Sunday. The journey to Luton may actually be quicker than the Geneva-Les Arcs drive, but with the risk of major traffic disruption on the M1 we actually allowed more time for it meaning leaving work early on the Friday.

I'm not sure what the situation is with flights to Austria but we usually change at Frankfurt when going to Austria which makes it a weekend a bit tricky.

@dobby, it will depend a lot where you are flying from and what flights are available but a couple years ago we had an excellent weekend trip to Zakopane in Poland purely because we found a really cheep direct flight to Krackow. Do not rule out really odd ideas such as Bratislava and the Tatra mountains
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If Salzburg airport works then Ski Amade and Saalbach Hinterglemm are both short transfers and would fit your descriptions of the sort of resort you are looking for. Innsbruck is even better but not so many flights, if it works then the Zillertal resorts would be good, Ischgl possible too. Munich much better from a flight perspective but longer transfers. If you are happy with that then pretty much anywhere in the Tirol, Kitzbühel, Zillertal, Saalbach Hinterglemm etc.

Quite how the apres will be by then is anyone's guess.
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@dobby, as the folks above are saying it's all about the logistics. For a weekender you want it to be slick.

So you want the flight destinations and schedules out of Bristol - get some flights sorted and work from there.
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johnE wrote:
@FrediKanoute, I think it is the timing of the flights that is important rather than the transfer time to either the UK airport or to the resort. I would start by looking for evening flights to Geneva, Milan, Turin, Munich and Austrian airports from any airport you can get to easily from home. I usually start by looking at Birmingham, East Midlands, Luton and Bristol. Giving 20 possible routes. Multiply that by the carriers and start searching

Usually we use the Luton-Geneva flights and had good trips to Les Arcs and Les 7 Laux. The last flight out on a Friday got us to Les Arcs (or a hotel at Aime) before midnight and the 21:30 return flight allowed for a full day's skiing on the Sunday. The journey to Luton may actually be quicker than the Geneva-Les Arcs drive, but with the risk of major traffic disruption on the M1 we actually allowed more time for it meaning leaving work early on the Friday.

I'm not sure what the situation is with flights to Austria but we usually change at Frankfurt when going to Austria which makes it a weekend a bit tricky.

@dobby, it will depend a lot where you are flying from and what flights are available but a couple years ago we had an excellent weekend trip to Zakopane in Poland purely because we found a really cheep direct flight to Krackow. Do not rule out really odd ideas such as Bratislava and the Tatra mountains


I agree, but the transfer time has to play a part. The problem we faced with Austria in previous years was Munich is a stretch too far by transfer, but it has a good number of late evening flights and Salzburg is great in terms of time to the alps, but the flight times home tended to be inconvenient (is last flight at 7pm on Sunday). We found Turin was great and Geneva as well in terms of the number of flights in and out.
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Lech, if you are posh.

St Anton, or Saalbach, if you are not posh.
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Easyjet BRS to Innsbruck, out on the Sunday & back on the Friday.
You could base yourself in Innsbruck itself & get the ski bus to various resorts. Stubai Glacier takes about an hour. Apres is a bit poo-poo though, unless students in coffee shops eating strudel is your idea of fun.

Otherwise, you could get to Mayhofren, Kitz, St Anton within 90mins

Wednesday flights to Inns dont start until 2nd week of Feb. so you could do out on Fri 5th Feb & back Wed 10th (early evening flight, so could squeeze a morning session in)

Salz is only on Saturdays


Last edited by Ski the Net with snowHeads on Mon 22-06-20 16:24; edited 1 time in total
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As a few have said the best bet is a late flight to chosen destination outbound, ideally one which has a return to the UK with the same plane. That way you have a full ski on the last day and then down to the airport to catch the return of the plane you came out on (a few days before). Not sure if this works from Bristol.
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If you're looking at Bristol, Easyjet to Geneva is your best bet. I've done this in the past, Flight 5.50pm Thursday night, back Monday Night c.9pm, that way you get 4 full days skiing for 2 days annual leave. From there you're then looking at easy transfers.

That then gives you places like Portes du Soleil, Chamonix/ Chamonix Valley, Grand Massif, La Clusaz/Le Grand Bornand. Or you can go down the Switzerland route of somewhere like Verbier. That's just a few examples, obviously there's tonnes of choices on resorts.

Austria Flights out of Bristol aren't so good, Easyjet ---> Innsbruck is a Friday morning flight, return Sunday morning, so at best you'd get 1.5 days skiing. Salzburg is Saturday and Sunday, so again, you'd do well to even get more than 1/2 a days skiing.

Venice with Ryanair from Bristol might be an option, that then gives you Italy, and probably somewhere like the Dolomites. Sticking to Ryanair, you've also got Milan (Bergamo) and again that would give you a few options too.
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Rauris, very small but ideal for a short break. Perfect opportunity to visit a place which you wouldn't normally entertain.
There are a couple of really nice hotels.
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Mr.Egg wrote:
Easyjet BRS to Innsbruck, out on the Sunday & back on the Friday.
You could base yourself in Innsbruck itself & get the ski bus to various resorts. Stubai Glacier takes about an hour. Apres is a bit poo-poo though, unless students in coffee shops eating strudel is your idea of fun.

Otherwise, you could get to Mayhofren, Kitz, St Anton within 90mins...……...



There's your answer Toofy Grin . That sounds ideal for me too if only I lived near Bristol Very Happy
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Mr.Egg wrote:
Easyjet BRS to Innsbruck, out on the Sunday & back on the Friday.


But dobby wants to do a long weekend - not a week. May as well do a week away, rather than Sunday to Friday...
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Austria sadly rarely works for a short break now unless it's Ryanair out if Stansted.
GVA is usually the airport with the most flights.
This us a problem if you want a short transfer and Apres
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From Bristol or Cardiff your best bet in Austria is a flight to Munich on Thursday evening with a stopover on the airport or somewhere between the airport and the bottom of the ring road, and then head into the Skiwelt first thing in the morning.

Late flight back on Monday allows a full day on the slopes and then a drive back to the airport instead of apres.

My choice would be Söll for apres, but Brixen, Scheffau and Ellmau are all options
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Thanks, all. Re dates we have to go last weekend Jan. because that's the only time my daughter has free.
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ousekjarr wrote:
From Bristol or Cardiff your best bet in Austria is a flight to Munich on Thursday evening with a stopover on the airport or somewhere between the airport and the bottom of the ring road, and then head into the Skiwelt first thing in the morning.

Late flight back on Monday allows a full day on the slopes and then a drive back to the airport instead of apres.

My choice would be Söll for apres, but Brixen, Scheffau and Ellmau are all options


Söll worked well for us on a short trip flying into Munich too. It took us about 1.5 hours and a late flight back on departure day made it easy for a day's skiing that day too.

I've had more short trips flying into Geneva (as there seem to be more flight options for this) and going to resorts closer to there, but if Austria is your preference, then don't rule out using Munich as a means of doing this.
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Last edited by Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do. on Wed 24-06-20 4:54; edited 2 times in total
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ousekjarr wrote:
From Bristol or Cardiff your best bet in Austria is a flight to Munich on Thursday

rolling eyes Laughing
no direct flights to munich from BRS or CWL
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where did the OP ask for direct flights? Change in Amsterdam, simple enough that even you could manage it.

A quick Skyscanner search is simple
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ousekjarr wrote:
where did the OP ask for direct flights? Change in Amsterdam, simple enough that even you could manage it.

For a weekend trip?
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Quote:

ousekjarr wrote:
where did the OP ask for direct flights? Change in Amsterdam, simple enough that even you could manage it.

For a weekend trip?

The need to change planes is one of the reasons I've never done a short break to Austria.

Actually that is not quite true. The last time (Autumn 2019) I did it we missed our connection in Frankfurt and in the end spent 30 hours in Austria.
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It really is no big issue getting to and from Munich airport for many of the Tirolean resorts, so no problem for short trips. No doubt Salzburg and Innsbruck are both "in" the mountains but Munich is not far away. Many places are within an easy 2 hour drive (whether hire car or transfer), Ski Welt / Kitzbühel and Zillertal for example. I would avoid Saturday mornings southbound and Sunday evenings northbound but doubt either are relevant here and January generally not so much anyway.

Geneva is a bit closer to say Porte du Soleil or Chamonix but a good deal further to the Tarantaise or 3V .
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Zurich is also good for accessing western Austria.
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Look, the OP asked for ideas for a weekend in Austria with flights from Bristol. The available options are to change in Amsterdam, or to go somewhere else. The flight out is immaterial as it is on Thursday night, so you're not losing skiing time, and you're probably also not taking a day off work to get to the airport. On the way back, you could be skiing until 2:30 or even 3:00 if you're feeling brave on the Monday, and the flight time on the way back is perfectly acceptable when the alternative is to not go at all.

Yes, you could have delays and miss the connection. You could also have a direct flight and have it cancelled, so any travel has its risks. Without knowing the risk appetite of the OP, all we can do is offer some choices and leave them to it.

Alternatively, drive to Heathrow and there are outbound flights at 1640, 1645, 1750, 1915, 1950 and 2015 all of which are cheaper, faster and direct. But the OP asked about Bristol, and that means that Heathrow is probably at least 3 hours away, and the additional costs of parking plus driving back after a late flight might not be that attractive.

If you want a weekend trip, you have to be flexible and make the best of what's available. I have Luton within 70 minutes and Stansted within 45 minutes, but others have to adjust to their options.

@Sitter, Zurich may be a good option for western Austria, but not so much from Bristol - those flights also involve a change in Amsterdam, and it is still a 2 hour drive through Switzerland at 120kph and not a single kph more or you'll need to donate a kidney to pay the fine.
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@ousekjarr, chill. I just can't imagine doing a 2-flight hop for a weekend trip.

Maybe it's what people from around Bristol have to do. I just assumed they must have some direct flights that would work.
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@Layne, it is the back of beyond, so options will be limited - and there’s also the ongoing doubt of whether flights will be drastically cut.

Flights from Bristol are based on demand, and therefore they’re really only to business destinations except for Saturdays
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@ousekjarr, harsh, it's a City of ~450k
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@Layne, @ousekjarr, means Heathrow is the back of beyond
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@ousekjarr, why drive from Zurich, just as easy (not much in it time wise, especially if there is traffic, with Sparscheine tickets way cheaper) to take the train (depending on where you are heading) and enjoy the scenery with a beer...
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I've had a look at flights and it looks like BRS to GVA is the best option. Obviously lots of options from there, but currently looking at Megeve and Flaine, or possibly Morzine if I can blag my sister-in-law's flat (not a given Smile ).
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Depending on your budget, I would recommend Combloux over Megeve. You have access to the same ski areas, especially if you have a car, but it is a lot less expensive and I prefer the atmosphere (more down to earth). It's a great resort for intermediates, both on the Combloux and Megeve/St Gervais sides of the ski area. Decent apres - depends what you are looking for. There are restaurants and a couple of bars but it's not a party town.
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Not a really very long weekend, but I used to take to 6am Friday Bristol flight to Innsbruck and be on the slopes in Khutai by midday, then fly back on Sunday.

or ditch Austria and go to Borovets, lots of flights to Sofia
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Combloux is a good shout. If the Combloux side has decent snow cover (it doesn't always) there's some super skiing and mind-blowing views of Mont Blanc. And if snow is short - just head over to the main skiing on the shady side of the valley. If you rent a car from Gva airport the drive to Combloux is easy (and a bit shorter than Megeve) and you can easily drive to the Princessa gondola. A car will also be very useful to get up to the big (free) car park at the start of the Combloux skiing - don't be fooled by the drag lift going up from the bottom, which is sometimes a kind of mud track.

As in all French resorts, accommodation which spans two weeks won't be easy - but nearer the time you'd find something.

If all else fails a short, motorway, drive to the Ibis budget in Sallanches puts you within very easy day drives to a range of resorts. Flights are probably still cheap - worth booking, then waiting to decide on destination.
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As someone who has rather recently made a commitment to the Evasion Mont Blanc ski area (buying in St Gervais) I would confirm it would be a great long weekend option - especially end of January when snow at lower altitudes will most likely not be an issue.

Combloux is the closest of the resort centres (not there is that much in it) and as @pam w says the ridge at the top running over to La Giettaz has the most amazing vista. Even if you don't want to take the car you can easily take the free bus from the bottom of the Jaillet bubble to either the Mont Arbois or Rochebrune sectors. More than you could explore in a weekend!

I don't know about accommodation. Megeve will certainly be the most expensive (core clientele is Russian and Parisian richesse, fascinating to observe but not mingle with) but either Combloux or St Gervais are more down to earth and "real places" in that they have locals living there all year round. None are party destinations, but because most visitors are French the restaurants are better (value as well as quality) than the purpose built resorts used by most UK tour operators.

Everyone seems to be assuming you will be renting a car, which of course would work well. All these three resorts are served by public transport (BlaBlaBus) from Geneva airport, assuming everything next season functions as normal. That involves a change in Sallanches, so can take 1.5 to 2 hours. St Gervais and Megeve (I think not Combloux though you could check) are served by Alpybus shared minibuses taking not much more than an hour.
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If you fancy Megeve I can recommend https://www.stanfordskiing.co.uk/ski-weekends

OK, I've not been with them for a few years, but they were excellent then
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Thanks, all. @pam w, the Sallanches option is an interesting one. Never knew there were so many resorts nearby. @NatalieG, Combloux does look like a good place to stay.
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Quote:

Everyone seems to be assuming you will be renting a car

I wouldn't hesitate, personally. Combloux isn't tiny. You won't have top choice of accommodation, for a long weekend, and some of it is up too much of a hill from the main road to be trekking up it in ski boots, skis on shoulder, after coming back from one of the other sectors and getting off a bus. There is plenty of free car parking - you could even to a day trip to Praz sur Arly and go up the Cred du Midi fast lift so some super, and very quiet at that time of year, skiing. And a couple of great, not expensive, restaurants, too.
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