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Ski in Europe for a month where would you base yourself?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Thinking of going for a month in Europe. Would like to be near or in a decent size town. Is it best to ski lots of different small resorts or go for a month in one place?
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ruthie, this season or just some time in the future? How much can you spend? Will you be on your own or with friends?
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I guess it depends what transport options you have. If you have a car then Innsbruck is a good option. Within an hour you probably have more than 100 ski resorts including St Anton, Ischgl, Saalbach, Obergurgl, Hintertux, Kitzbuhel and many, many more.

It's pretty much impossible to answer your question without more information on what you are looking for, level of skiing etc but if it was me I'd probably pick 4 great resorts and spend a week or so in each.
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ok well just a thought at the moment for next year but it would be my husband and myself. Intermediate skiers, we like leisurely skiing rather than challenging. We would have a car. No budget set at the moment but was thinking of renting an apartment for the month. Was just thinking that a month in one place, say Val d'Isere, might be a bit limiting.

downhillalltheway, Like the sound of Innsbruck as it would give us a city to explore as well as skiing opportunites

I was just wondering where other people who do if they had the opportunity. Pros and cons etc.
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Worth looking at St Gervais. A real town, and quite an attractive one, with a huge range of skiing possibilities within easy reach. Not hyper-expensive.
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Stay in Grenoble or Annecy in France, and drive to different resorts for the days skiing.

Or do the same in Innsbruck in Austria.

Best to avoid Switzerland at the moment due to the currency problem.

rolling eyes
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If it were me and I wasn't after the steeps of Chamonix or La Grave I'd get the the Tyrol Snowcard

http://www.snowcard.tirol.at/

Base yourself in some quaint Austrian village/resort and you won't be returning at the end of the month
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i agree with the quiant village - if i ever had the chance for a month i would hate having to do the drive every day

I think the nice option would be to stay in a resort where you could ski every day very quickly, where you could get to teh mega resorts very quickly, and then branch out and drive to the big towns when you want.

Sainte Foy sounds good to me - you can ski a good smallish beautiful resort that is always quiet, then head for VdI, Tignes, les Arcs, La PLagne, la Rosiere etc etc , with Bourt St Mourice just down the road for the hypermarkets.

3 Valleys an hour or so away, and Valloire and teh Maurienne valley a bit further
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Quote:

VdI, Tignes, les Arcs, La PLagne, la Rosiere etc etc , with Bourt St Mourice just down the road for the hypermarkets.

but that's a lot of lift passes. If you base yourself somewhere with a big lift pass region - there are several in Austria, and in France St Gervais is in the Mont Blanc Evasion area, you could get a cheap season lift pass (arrangements vary but often cheaper if bought well before the season starts) and save yourself a great deal of money.
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pam w, Yes that would be the disadvantage of doing different resorts - it would work out very expensive.
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another vote for tirol, somewhere off the E45 / E60 for easy of travel, maybe Jenbach so you can ski the Zillertal resorts and innsbruck resorts pretty easily.
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A month is a long time but not really that long. I'd be inclined to pick one of the mega-resorts (Paradiski ?) and just stick with that and get to know it well. If you base yourself in the valley with a car then you can start at a different place each day.
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ruthie, the Mont Blanc Evasion pass covers Megeve, St Gervais, Les Contamines, St Nicholas de Veroce, Comblouz, La Giettaz. Quite a range, and more than enough for a month's holiday. It's very near Chamonix and several other places if you wanted the odd day trip elsewhere. Even through the tunnel for a day in Italy. Bought in advance, for this season, the pass was 516 euros.
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You know it makes sense.
^ bought after the 5th of January, it was 460 ish (you also get free day passes for various other areas in the region).
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Do 1 week in Val Thorens, Serre Chevalier, Val d'Isere and Argentiere, all in France.

In that order.

Enjoy.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Quote:

Val Thorens, Serre Chevalier, Val d'Isere and Argentiere......In that order.


Good as it is, wouldn't Argentiere/Chamonix then feel a bit limited after 3 previous weeks in megasized ski areas Puzzled
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Quote:

Do 1 week in Val Thorens, Serre Chevalier, Val d'Isere and Argentiere, all in Fran

Lots of great skiing, but that would be an expensive option but more important, for me, it would also mean not getting "beneath the surface" of any of them. It depends what you enjoy, but personally I'd much rather have a base somewhere like St Gervais (though there are lots of other options, that's just an example because it's a good size town) and get to know it. Get to know the woman in the boulangerie, have a favourite coffee stop on the mountain, work out which butchers has the best meat, ski the same area in a range of weather and snow conditions, make it feel a bit like "home". I'd also enjoy settling into an apartment knowing it was for a month, so worth taking stuff to make it feel like home - books, music, etc. Packing up and moving every week would be a faff and would also mean you'd spend Saturdays in traffic jams instead of out on the quiet "transfer day" pistes.
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pam w, +1
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Bourg st Maurice
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johnE wrote:
Bourg st Maurice


+1

I spent a summer there a few years ago, mountain biking. Furnicular to Paradiski, and an easy drive to Killy, La Ros, Ste Foy, Three valleys etc.

Similarly, what about Briancon for Serre Che, Milky Way, La Grave, L2A, AdH, Puy etc.?

Although I'd probably look at Austria if it were me, but I don't know it well enough to make any recommendations.
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Funnily enough I'm 50 next year and have just this week been considering doing a month as my 'present' to myself.

St Gervais is a good option but having the leaseback in Nendaz kind of ties me there. A month in the 4V, couple of trips to Chamomix, maybe Zermatt and Crans, I reckon it would be bearable.

Switzerland is getting slightly cheaper again - almost 1.5 - with lots of sales and discounts on the go it wasn't as bad as I was imagining at New Year.
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Fifespud wrote:
Funnily enough I'm 50 next year and have just this week been considering doing a month as my 'present' to myself.

St Gervais is a good option but having the leaseback in Nendaz kind of ties me there. A month in the 4V, couple of trips to Chamomix, maybe Zermatt and Crans, I reckon it would be bearable.

Switzerland is getting slightly cheaper again - almost 1.5 - with lots of sales and discounts on the go it wasn't as bad as I was imagining at New Year.


fifers aren't known for their spending ability. you lot have a cheap night where ever you go and still think you've been done Smile
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
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I love Innsbruck, lots of great skiing close by, but I don't think it'd be the best choice for you really.

I get the impression this may be a sort of 'once in a lifetime' long trip for you? If that's teh case, I think you'd be better off sticking to one resort, and really getting to know it (although a month still isn't really long enough to get to know most decent size resorts fully). Enjoy the luxury of rolling out of bed at whatever time 'cos there's no stress, and a only a 5 minute walk to the lifts, knowing where the most fun runs are, the best food/beer is, etc. Pretty much what pam w said.

If it was me, the Arlberg would be top of the list. I think for you somewhere like Kitzbuehel, Saalbach, SkiWelt (Westendorf) would be good in Austria, big enough to not get bored but small enough to get to know the place/people well. Ischgl would be good but more expensive. Maybe Ski Amade or Mayrhofen too, but I don't know them.
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Actually if you based yourself in Kitz or the SkiWelt, and got the Tirol Snow Card season pass, you could get both the 'get to know the place' experience, and still have 80-odd other resorts nearby on the same pass for day trips if you fancy a change.
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Another vote for briançon
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ruthie, you've skied Paradiski, so unless you wanted to get to know the place much better maybe you could get an apartment somewhere around the Sella Ronda? Huge piste network with dozens of villages to visit on skis, lots of cruisy runs, great scenery, close enough to get to Venice, Verona, Innsbruck, Trieste, etc if you fancied a couple of days away from skiing.
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rob@rar, Yes we have indeed however never made it over to the La Plagne side as the daughter hates cable cars! Going to Canazei this Saturday however unlikely again that we would do it justice at our speed so that may be a very attractive possibility. Love the possibility of visiting Venice.

clarky999, Yes we have had a pipe dream (like many) about doing a season out in the alps but circumstances at the moment mean we couldn't commit to that long. We could manage a month so a sort of a half-pipe dream Laughing

clarky999, Never been to Austria and the SkiWelt looks a big enough option.

Fifespud, Yes that age - never skied Switzerland either maybe we could rent your apartment and with the proceeds you could have your month elsewhere wink
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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
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ruthie, a month isn't that long in the grand scheme of things. Driving somewhere every day, or more specifically HAVING to drive somewhere every day would become old quite quickly.

If you get bored of Val d'Isere in an entire season I'd be shocked, never mind for a month.

clarky999, wot you said.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Having done something similar, I found that I did not want to ski every day for a month. More likely 2 or 3 days a week maximum was enough for me. The weather also made me ski less than every day for a month. So picking the good days in a month, and not skiing every day in a week, you would probably only do about 12 days skiing in a month.

If you buy day passes, or afternoon passes when you ski, you will save money compared to a monthly pass. Also you will tend to only ski on blue sky days, when the snow is best.

Given that you would only do 12 days skiing, it becomes more important that there is plenty to do when you are not skiing.

I spent a lot of time wandering around places like Annecy, Grenoble, the markets, supermarkets, out of town shopping centres, rather than having a cake and coffee in a resort for 19 days in the month.

Accommodation in places like Grenoble can be picked up really cheap in places like Etap or Formula 1. You can get quite cheap accommodation in Albertville in Formula 1 (cheapest) or Etap. (if you need a bath) Usually there is no need to reserve a room for the night, so you can often just turn up.

You will burn a lot of fuel if you keep moving around a lot. So have an economical car! Diesel is cheaper in Europe than petrol, which is the other way round in the UK. I do not know why this is!

Shocked
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Aosta and the Aosta valley wouldn't be a bad bet. Lot's of skiing in the Valley with links into Switzerland and France for a chance. Cheep coffee too wink
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harrisontherabbit wrote:
johnE wrote:
Bourg st Maurice


+1

I spent a summer there a few years ago, mountain biking. Furnicular to Paradiski, and an easy drive to Killy, La Ros, Ste Foy, Three valleys etc.

Similarly, what about Briancon for Serre Che, Milky Way, La Grave, L2A, AdH, Puy etc.?

Although I'd probably look at Austria if it were me, but I don't know it well enough to make any recommendations.


Although I think I would probably go for Austria/Swiss, if you are hankering after Val, then I second harrisontherabbit and johnE

I took an apartment in Bourg some years ago with my son and daughter, we travelled by car to most of the resorts mentioned above but of course on days we didn't fancy driving we could walk 100m to the funicular and ski Les Arcs/La Plagne. You could even drop the car and use the shuttle if you had a mind for it to St Foy, Tignes and Val.

This not only turned out to be a very enjoyable couple of weeks but surprisingly inexpensive as accom in Bourg is very cheap compared to the main resorts. In fact with it being so cheap you could possibly extend to slightly further afield with an overnight stop somewhere for odd nights - must get planning my next multi resort trip!
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Bigtipper wrote:
you would probably only do about 12 days skiing in a month.


Speak for yourself matey. If you're going to go sightseeing in pretty towns then do it in the summer, ffs. You're seriously suggesting an alternative day out to skiing is walking around a supermarket or out of town shopping centre? Jesus, hire a cottage for a month next to Bluewater if that's what your after.
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mountainaddict wrote:
Quote:

Val Thorens, Serre Chevalier, Val d'Isere and Argentiere......In that order.


Good as it is, wouldn't Argentiere/Chamonix then feel a bit limited after 3 previous weeks in megasized ski areas Puzzled




Val Thorens will ease them in with ski-in-ski-out.

Serre Chevalier will give them a less commercial, local vibe.

Val d'Isere will offer better trails.

And Argentiere-Chamonix will step it up another gear to test their improved skills on tougher terrain.

Alternatively, they could replace Argentiere with Verbier, Switzerland.

Staying in one single resort for a whole month is mindnumbingly tedious once everything is skied out after a week or so.
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Dr John wrote:
Bigtipper wrote:
you would probably only do about 12 days skiing in a month.


Speak for yourself matey. If you're going to go sightseeing in pretty towns then do it in the summer, ffs. You're seriously suggesting an alternative day out to skiing is walking around a supermarket or out of town shopping centre? Jesus, hire a cottage for a month next to Bluewater if that's what your after.


+1
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Bigtipper wrote:
I spent a lot of time wandering around ...... supermarkets, out of town shopping centres...


On a skiing holiday? Shocked

Not that I've spent a month in the snow, but before some fool introduced me to the idea of sliding around, my default summer holiday was a month in the alps, downhill mountain biking, which ain't too dissimilar. One day off a week is plenty if you're reasonably fit; you tend to get into the swing of things by the middle of the second week.

The more I think about it, the more I prefer my suggestion of Briancon though. Fascinating historic town (world heritage site) with easy access to some of the best skiing in the Western Alps. Nowt wrong with Bourg though.


Last edited by Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do. on Tue 17-01-12 13:44; edited 1 time in total
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we did two months in whistler and hadn't done it all, so i very much doubt you would get bored of a big resort. Not driving for a month but having a 'ski commute' is a great thing - you have a run that becomes your 'wake-up ski' and a run that is your grand finale, every day. and because you do it a lot, you get better at it.
You can repeat runs so that you get better at the bits you are unsure of. book regular lessons (maybe 1-2 a week if you can afford it) so you can push yourselves.
I say pick somewhere big and ski all over it.(or somewhere where you only need to buy 1 pass and can drive quickly if you like that idea).

also, do try and ski every day, even if it is just for an hour. there's always something to do, and it is easy to fall into the trap of waiting for 'the perfect conditions'. The perfect conditions are when you are enjoying the skiing, regardless of the weather or the snow or the crowds.

(and north america might be an idea because the long flight won't eat up so much of your holiday, but i know you said europe).
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Dr John wrote:
Bigtipper wrote:
you would probably only do about 12 days skiing in a month.


Speak for yourself matey. If you're going to go sightseeing in pretty towns then do it in the summer, ffs. You're seriously suggesting an alternative day out to skiing is walking around a supermarket or out of town shopping centre? Jesus, hire a cottage for a month next to Bluewater if that's what your after.


haha - too true!
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Dr John wrote:
Speak for yourself matey. If you're going to go sightseeing in pretty towns then do it in the summer, ffs. You're seriously suggesting an alternative day out to skiing is walking around a supermarket or out of town shopping centre? Jesus, hire a cottage for a month next to Bluewater if that's what your after.
I get a bit of cabin fever if I'm in resort for a long time, and crave to get a bit of normality every now and again. Having somewhere nice within driving distance for a day trip or maybe one night away is a civilised option, although I'd not put Bluewater near the top of my list.
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I'd probably go to America or Japan worldwide. Restricting it to Europe I'd probably go somewhere in France but that's mainly because I live in the Austrian Alps.

If I was restricted to Austria without a car it would either be St Anton (Austria's largest offpiste resort) or Landeck (because it has very good public transport connections). With a car I'd just book cheap flights early and follow the snow nearer the time.
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rob@rar, indeed sir. But I might suggest (indeed have done) that if the intention is to go skiing for a month you base yourself in a ski resort and visit a town as an occasional alternative, not the other way round.
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