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Driving to Switzerland from the UK via France and back - what to think about in Covid times

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Gazzza wrote:
Thanks @LaForet, so the sworn statement needed both ways then. So return journey requirements now :

Outbound:
Entering France from UK - Negative test under 24 hours prior to departure. Completion of sworn statement.
Entering CH from FR - provided the adults are vaccinated, adults and accompanying children don't need anything (no test nor PLF).

On return:
Entering FR from CH - Negative test 24 hours before entry for any unvaxxed over 12s. Vaxed or =<11 : no test requirement. Completion of sworn statement.
Entering UK from FR - No departure test. Pre book day 2 test for over 5's. complete PLF.
Day 2 UK - for everyone over 5.


Thanks, yes this seems to be the current situation, but I've heard there are talks about scrapping the day 2 tests before Feb half term, so we won't be booking these tests until the last minute.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
maggieleonard wrote:
just a small thing but you need to have UK sticker on your car not GB
if you regularly drive through France consider getting an emojis tag which means you don't have to get tickets out of the French toll booths. Costs £5 per month that you use it to get it and a bit to get it in the first place (deals available via Eurotunnel etc)


Thanks, yes this is another thing to remember. Adding it to my list....
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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?
[quote="maggieleonard"]
Gazzza wrote:
Well I've just pulled the trigger and booked an appartment in Lauterbrunnen for Feb HT with a view to driving down. After Austria got cancelled at NY hope to make this one. Should be good never skied Switzerland before, and the Jungfrau area looks stunning.


Beware queues Feb half term for the tunnel. it can be a lot quicker and cheaper to get the ferry! we have been caught in horrible queue both ways Feb half term and always go by boat now.
Luxembourg is much cheaper for filling up fuel so you can go Belguim Luxembourg then Germany and avoid French Tolls

Jungfrau area is stunning but the indoor picnic rooms are all sadly closed (my husband is there at the moment)


Thanks, didn't realise the Eurotunnel can be so busy around Feb half term, will bear that in mind.
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LaForet wrote:
@Gazza FYI if your are stopped at CH customs inbound they are mainly interested in (a) pointing out that you need a vignette (b) limits on foodstuff imports and (c) checking for furniture imports (on which there's 7% VAT) and imports of hi-tech items like cameras. This might cause some misunderstanding - you'll be focusing on the Covid stuff while they're asking you about your shiny new DSLR camera equipment. On the principle that it's never a good idea to have a confused conversation with any customs official, just be prepared to say that you're aware of the import rules and you don't have anything other than holiday items.

There's a new app from Swiss Customs called 'QuickZoll' which has all the details of the latest customs allowances for entering Switzerland. The key thing is that the value of all the new goods imported over CHF 300 is liable for 7% VAT, and the limits are up to 5 litres of wine and 1 litre spirits per person, and meat 1Kg per person. Of course, they're mainly interested in people who are regularly crossing the border and trying to evade VAT and higher prices in CH by shifting loads of stuff across illegally. But they might be suspicious of a UK car if they think you're an apartment/chalet owner who is trying to import stuff for their property.

Oh, and talking of apps, I find the best weather app for Switzerland is their equivalent of the Met Office - 'MeteoSwiss'. The rain/snow 'Animations' is good for giving you a +72h animation of any incoming snow. You can easily add where you're staying in as a special location for weather alerts and a 5-day forecast.

Finally, before anyone says it, the odds are low that you'll even be stopped at the F:CH border. In the last seventy or so crossings since 2003 I think we've been stopped three times and only once been asked to open the car up and show what was in the boot. When we crossed last September, no one was interested, in either direction. But of course, the one time you don't have all the necessary official documentation, you're bound to get asked for it .....


Thanks, I hope we don't get stopped at the F:CH border. We won't be doing a covid test when going back from CH to F, even if I'm still not 100 % sure whether we need to or not as Brits.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
MofT - I have been driving for 20 years to our family home in the Valais opposite 4Vallee and for us the best route is:

Reims
Dijon
Besancon
Supermarket shop at HyperU in Pontalier or in Jougne
Buy vignette in Joker cafe in Jougne
Cross at border just beyond Jougne
Take signs to Simplon
Then you turn right in the Valais and we turn left

With short breaks 9-10 hours Calais to mid-Valais.

RAC route planner will take you via Poligny. This is much slower than via Pontarlier and climbs much more steeply over the Jura. Have done both routes many times and Pontarlier far better.

Note: we always have winter tyres and 4WD. The Jura can be fickle and is a micro-climate...very cold. If snowfall threatens and you are on summer tyres with chains, abort and stay on the Autoroute and go via Geneva.
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valais2 wrote:
MofT - I have been driving for 20 years to our family home in the Valais opposite 4Vallee and for us the best route is:

Reims
Dijon
Besancon
Supermarket shop at HyperU in Pontalier or in Jougne
Buy vignette in Joker cafe in Jougne
Cross at border just beyond Jougne
Take signs to Simplon
Then you turn right in the Valais and we turn left

With short breaks 9-10 hours Calais to mid-Valais.

RAC route planner will take you via Poligny. This is much slower than via Pontarlier and climbs much more steeply over the Jura. Have done both routes many times and Pontarlier far better.

Note: we always have winter tyres and 4WD. The Jura can be fickle and is a micro-climate...very cold. If snowfall threatens and you are on summer tyres with chains, abort and stay on the Autoroute and go via Geneva.


Thanks, that's useful to know. We were going to go via Poligny as that's the route Google Maps is showing, but will look into going via Besancon - Pontarlier instead. Do you know what the supermarket prices are like in the big supermarkets in Martigny, CH, in comparison with HyperU in Pontarlier?
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
I would definitely go via Pontarlier. All the route guidance systems show the Poligny way, but it's way slower and very difficult to get past any traffic.
As I mention, I know both routes like the back of my hand (we drive to the Valais 3 or 4 times a year - so I've now driven there at least 60 times).
Yes...Martigny has Swiss prices, Pontarlier HyperU has lowest French prices - big differences - for a big shop maybe 50-75 gbp difference.
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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!
Motherofthree wrote:


We are also planning to do the big supermarket shop in France, rather than Switzerland. Not sure if there is a big difference in price, but I've heard wine is cheaper in France. We re-booked for Switzerland after our holiday to France got cancelled at NY.


Don't do this. It is illegal to bring in more than one (two on a saturday) days groceries from another country becuse of the price difference. And yes they are checking becuae they catch lots of people everyday. Used to watch them pull people over at Fernie Voltaire when I drove transfers at GVA. In a French registered car specificaly 74 or 01 you are good to , but otherwise no.
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Yes it’s important to abide by the Law. And we ensure that we do by referencing this:

https://en.comparis.ch/preisvergleich/info/recht-gesetz/freigrenzen-zoll-einfuhr-

Note per person you are restricted to 1kg meat per person. And you can’t bring it from UK, now that we are not in the EU..

Note the limitation on wine per adult.

There are few things which are very expensive in CH for no obvious reason - olive oil, ground coffee - so we buy a couple of litres and a few bags. But we don’t go crazy since it’s important to support the local economy.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
valais2 wrote:
Note: we always have winter tyres and 4WD. The Jura can be fickle and is a micro-climate...very cold. If snowfall threatens and you are on summer tyres with chains, abort and stay on the Autoroute and go via Geneva.

+1 - Any sign of snow on the Jura and if you're on summers it's best to keep on the autoroute to Bourg en Bresse and then go east to Geneva (as mentioned in the guide to routes to La Tzoumaz). Here's a video of us on the lower reaches of the road from Pontarlier to Creux:

http://youtube.com/v/uq6LQkRgjrU
Although our car is RWD and 300 BHP it has full winter tyres and an LSD (limited slip differential), so it coped fine with this. But this is where all-seasons or winters come into their own. Although you'll see I had to move over into the banked snow on the right to avoid being scraped by the oncoming snow plough!

One thing to sort out before you go is what the traction settings are on your car for snow. On my BMW, the manual is quite confusing, but it comes down to pressing a particular button when I move onto snow (counterintuitively labelled 'OFF' as you can see):

until TRACTION comes up on the instrument panel, then repeat-press when I move back onto tarmac, so the TRACTION message disappears (it's actually the same for sand or gravel, or if I've fitted chains). In the BMW, this is reset when I turn the engine off, so I have to remember to press the button again if I'm starting-off on snow. On my previous Audi, there was a button to press and an inbuilt LED came on. On some cars, there's an explicit setting and/or button for snow: it varies a lot, so it's important to have all this sorted before you need to use it - give it a go on a quiet piece of road at home, just so you know exactly what to do. Most systems nowadays you can do it while the vehicle is moving - you don't have to stop the car.


Last edited by Ski the Net with snowHeads on Sun 23-01-22 16:00; edited 14 times in total
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Quote:

Any sign of snow on the Jura and if you're on summer's it's best to keep on the autoroute to Bourg en Bresse and then go east to Geneva.

Good advice regardless of your tyres. I lost a bit of time on one trip, when I'd not paid enough attention to the forecast, because of other vehicles, including an HGV, in trouble, and cluttering up the road. And having to keep speed down. Nothing awful - nobody hurt, but I realised I'd made a silly decision.
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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 @Rogerdodger & @LaForet, I may actually just stop at an Aldi between Bern and Interlaken I see theres one just off the motorway. All I really want is some beer/wine, milk, butter, breakfast cereals, charcuterie and cheeses, plus fruit and snacks. We'll eat breakfast in the appartment, good lunch out on the mountains and cheese/wine/charctuerie fresh bread in the eves. Might heat a fondue, or grab takeaway pizza some nights or boil some pasta for the kids, or pop out to a restaurant, but there'll be no "proper" cooking going on.

Number plate UK sticker affixed over ​the old GB one, and the new Mango doofer installed. So good to go. Still have to book tunnel or ferry.
Family commitment on HT Saturday so can't get to Folkestone/Dover until around 6pm +- on Saturday night so I'm hoping the worst of the traffic will have already left on the Fri night/Sat morning. The tunnel is down to 1 train an hour after 5.20 which I guess is an indication that demand is dropping off by then. I've only ever done Half term drive down by using Flexiplus and going on a Friday afternoon evening. So will see how it pans out. Will overnight in Reims around midnight I hope, then it's only 6 hours or so to resort on Sunday.

For return the plan is to ski on the last Saturday, leave around 5pm, drive to Troyes, hopefully by 11pm ish, overnight and back to the tunnel or ferry by midday Sunday for a circa 1pm ish crossing. I know the tunnel will be busy Sunday lunch/afternoon/eve so debating ferry instead. Again I've only ever done Fleixplus, but I'm just offended by the price increase to £750 return.
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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
29 Dec 2020 GB car searched by CH Douane at Basel.
5 Jan 2022 UK car sailed past CH Douane at Basel at 10 kph.
Denner supermarket Interlaken, as one leaves autoroute for Lauterbrunnen, 24 x 50cl Budvar Budwesier CHF18, on offer. 3ltr Primitivo box CHF13.50.
Jungfrau is stunning!
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Just a reminder to other UK»F»CH then CH»F»UK voyageurs - remember that you need the UK-specific version of the French Déclaration outbound, but on the return leg you need the Green Déclaration (because you're entering from a Green country, Switzerland). How much anyone is going to bother if you try and use the UK version when entering from Switzerland, or the Amber version when entering from the UK I'm not sure, probably no one will care, but thought it worth mentioning.

As of today (27.1.22), as far as I can see, the Eurotunnel statement on their Advance Passenger Information pages that you need to complete an Amber Déclaration when transiting from the UK to France is wrong. This may explain why my UK Déclaration was rejected for manual scrutiny when I submitted it today because their AI system is not that 'I'.


Last edited by You know it makes sense. on Thu 27-01-22 18:23; edited 8 times in total
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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 what's on my list. At the moment....
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
How odd @valais2, you flag up ground coffee as expensive in Switzerland!
This is the one commodity that we tell friends is cheap, over here.
1Kg bag of coffee beans 4.5chf, walk through the check-out empty contents of bag into grinder, adjust for preferred grind and hey 1Kg of "ground coffee". Now instant coffee prices that's a different story!!
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
valais2 wrote:
Yes it’s important to abide by the Law. And we ensure that we do by referencing this:

https://en.comparis.ch/preisvergleich/info/recht-gesetz/freigrenzen-zoll-einfuhr-

Note per person you are restricted to 1kg meat per person. And you can’t bring it from UK, now that we are not in the EU..

Note the limitation on wine per adult.

There are few things which are very expensive in CH for no obvious reason - olive oil, ground coffee - so we buy a couple of litres and a few bags. But we don’t go crazy since it’s important to support the local economy.


Thanks for the info. 1 kg meat per person would last a lot longer than 2 days though! Of course we also want to abide by the law and I wasn't aware that you can't bring unlimited food supplies from France into Switzerland. Sounds like we ought to do the big food shop in Switzerland then.
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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?
LaForet wrote:
Just a reminder to other UK»F»CH then CH»F»UK voyageurs - remember that you need the UK-specific version of the French Déclaration outbound, but on the return leg you need the Green Déclaration (because you're entering from a Green country, Switzerland). How much anyone is going to bother if you try and use the UK version when entering from Switzerland, or the Amber version when entering from the UK I'm not sure, probably no one will care, but thought it worth mentioning.

As of today (27.1.22), as far as I can see, the Eurotunnel statement on their Advance Passenger Information pages that you need to complete an Amber Déclaration when transiting from the UK to France is wrong. This may explain why my UK Déclaration was rejected for manual scrutiny when I submitted it today because their AI system is not that 'I'.


Sounds a bit complicated, but thanks for the info, very useful!
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 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
Gazzza wrote:
Thanks @Rogerdodger & @LaForet, I may actually just stop at an Aldi between Bern and Interlaken I see theres one just off the motorway. All I really want is some beer/wine, milk, butter, breakfast cereals, charcuterie and cheeses, plus fruit and snacks. We'll eat breakfast in the appartment, good lunch out on the mountains and cheese/wine/charctuerie fresh bread in the eves. Might heat a fondue, or grab takeaway pizza some nights or boil some pasta for the kids, or pop out to a restaurant, but there'll be no "proper" cooking going on.

Number plate UK sticker affixed over ​the old GB one, and the new Mango doofer installed. So good to go. Still have to book tunnel or ferry.
Family commitment on HT Saturday so can't get to Folkestone/Dover until around 6pm +- on Saturday night so I'm hoping the worst of the traffic will have already left on the Fri night/Sat morning. The tunnel is down to 1 train an hour after 5.20 which I guess is an indication that demand is dropping off by then. I've only ever done Half term drive down by using Flexiplus and going on a Friday afternoon evening. So will see how it pans out. Will overnight in Reims around midnight I hope, then it's only 6 hours or so to resort on Sunday.

For return the plan is to ski on the last Saturday, leave around 5pm, drive to Troyes, hopefully by 11pm ish, overnight and back to the tunnel or ferry by midday Sunday for a circa 1pm ish crossing. I know the tunnel will be busy Sunday lunch/afternoon/eve so debating ferry instead. Again I've only ever done Fleixplus, but I'm just offended by the price increase to £750 return.


We are planning to eat most dinners in the apartment and have packed lunches most days, but we also want to try the local Swiss cuisine as well. The apartment we are staying in has a very old looking kitchen though, so we might not be able to use it as much as we would like.

We are taking the Eurotunnel early on Friday morning, drive to an Airbnb somewhere near Dole/Besancon, stay there overnight and continue early the following morning, so we get to the resort midday on Saturday. Then driving back early the following Sat morning and staying in an Airbnb in Dijon on the way back. We also want to have a quick look around Lausanne and Dijon if there is time. Then planning to stock up on wine before coming back home on Sun evening. I hope the Eurotunnel won't be too busy... We booked the standard tickets a while ago using Tesco clubcard vouchers, so they were very affordable (we were originally going to France for NY and changed them for half term).


Last edited by You need to Login to know who's really who. on Thu 27-01-22 22:32; edited 2 times in total
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Motherofthree wrote:
LaForet wrote:
As of today (27.1.22), as far as I can see, the Eurotunnel statement on their Advance Passenger Information pages that you need to complete an Amber Déclaration when transiting from the UK to France is wrong. This may explain why my UK Déclaration was rejected for manual scrutiny when I submitted it today because their AI system is not that 'I'.
Sounds a bit complicated, but thanks for the info, very useful!

Actually, to be fair to Eurotunnel, on reflection, it may have got rejected because the date is more than 48h before the time of travel. The Déclaration talks about 'in the previous 48 hours' so the AI may actually be clever enough to have worked out that I can't be declaring I'm asymptomatic earlier than the 48h. It's just that I had time today but am busy tomorrow and thought I'd upload the form early. On reflection, I might as well do it at the same time I upload the (hopefully) negative PCR test the evening before. Eurotunnel doesn't say anything about the Déclaration in its FAQs, however, so who knows?
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 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
Only driven to Switzerland once. It only made sense to me to go through Germany Puzzled
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
For western Switzerland (Valais etc) it's quicker via France, but tolls all the way to Besançon.
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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!
An update: Having had my original Déclaration sur l'honneur rejected by Eurotunnel and put in a queue for manual checking, I deleted it and started again. Downloaded the

UK-specific version of the French Déclaration outbound UK»France

again and just printed it off and entered the details by hand (previously I'd typed in the details in Word, then printed it for signature), then scanned and uploaded it. This time, the Eurotunnel website verified it as OK. So perhaps just completing it by hand is the most reliable approach. I also printed off the

Green Déclaration return Switzerland»France

for the transit from CH to France, but this isn't needed for the Eurotunnel home. For that, by the date we return, all we'll need is the UK Passenger Locator Form and Covid Vaccination Certificate, but no UK LFT booked for Day#2.

And as mentioned, driving to the Swiss Valais takes 2-3 hours longer going via Germany, according to ViaMichelin.com - although I can see it may be an option for the N/E Swiss resorts.
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 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.
LaForet wrote:


UK-specific version of the French Déclaration outbound UK»France



For some reason this has an odd layout which makes it go over two pages - did you scan two pages, or adjust it to one?
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
@caughtanedge I did the logical (to me) thing and reduced it down to one page. That was the version that didn't pass the check. I then just printed out the 2-page version, hand wrote the answers, and scanned that - and it did pass the check. I can believe that the 'AI' system isn't that 'I' and needs everything to be in exactly the right location before it can do the character recognition, but of course, I can't be sure.
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
31.1.22 Transited from France>CH today at Creux (between Pontarlier and Vallorbe): no checks at all either leaving France or entering Switzerland.

Snowed a bit between Besançon and Creux. Snow settled on the road on the lower-altitude approaches to Pontarlier, rather than on the higher altitude bits afterwards. Then snowed again as we drove up to 1500m to our destination in the 4 Vallées.
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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.
Motherofthree wrote:
Then driving back early ... Saturday ... planning to stock up on wine before coming back home on Sun evening.
Just FYI you'll need to do that on Saturday, as few supermarkets in France are open on a Sunday.
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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
@LaForet, thanks - I'll go back to the original 2-page version.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@motherofthree I'm in La Tzoumaz currently. Worth knowing that the 2-person Etablons chairlift runs weekends and school holidays, along with a direct shuttle bus between the télécabine and Etablons, where the 'Baby-slope' is. The Etablons chair goes up to just above Chez Simon and the 6-man chair up to Savoleyres. This will mean you can by-pass any queues at the main télécabine. We did this today and saved 20-30 minutes of queuing and avoided having to share a closed gondola. It also means that you can ski the reds down to Etablons and get back up, without having to go all the way down.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Hi @LaForet, thanks for the info about some supermarkets being closed in France on a Sunday, and for the info about the lifts in La Tzoumaz. We will be staying about 300 m from the main cable car in La Tzoumaz, on La Tzoumaz Rue Centrale, so not sure if we will be able to walk to any of the lifts carrying the skis, or if we should hire a ski locker by the gondola for the week. The apartment owner says it takes 5 mins to walk to the gondola, but I'm not sure.

I understand the piste from Savoleyres to Verbier is red, but I have seen it on youtube and don't think it looks very steep. Would you say this run is challenging and does it lead to the ski school meeting point in Les Esserts? How long approximately does it take to ski to Carrefour? Can't really work it out from the map. I'm also wondering if there is a ski lift close to the ski school meeting point for Adrenaline ski school in Les Esserts, or if you have to take a bus to the nearest lift? Could you ski all the way there from La Tzoumaz?
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@motherofthree First, good news - the swimming pool is open. And snow is forecast for tonight and tomorrow, which will be a good refresh.

300m from Télécabine: if it is 300m then your host is probably right that it's easier to carry your stuff. You may also find that a navette* stop is near you, so you can hop on that if it's too much of a hassle. And once you have your skipass, the navette will take you up to 203 Etablons where you can get the 2-man chair up, bypassing any queues at the Télécabine. From there you ski 'round to the 6-man chair 205 Le Nord, which goes up to Savoleyres summit. However, this isn't necessarily an option unless you can do a red, as the bit just above 205 Le Nord is going to be a bit of a challenge for a blue run novice.

The Red from Planards to the top of the Esserts nursery slope is a 'medium' red, I'd say, with a couple of steeper sections, but it's all wide, so you can just traverse if it's too much. If you can do the red from Savoleyres to Planards, then you should be able to do the red from Planards to Esserts.

At the moment, the Carrefour part of the Planards-Carrefour run is shut due to avalanche danger, so if you ski down there you have to do the red anyway. See my video and comments in the other Switzerland Options thread. In that it describes all the routes to get to Mayentzet.

I take it that you've enrolled the kids in the ski school in Verbier and not in La Tzoumaz? If that's so, then what time do they start? I ask because it's a fair trek to get to the Esserts learner slope from La Tzoumaz for non-skiers. You'll have to go up the 201 La Tzoumaz»Savoleyres, then down the 200 Savoleyres»Verbier, then get the right bus to Esserts. But I appreciate that if they're there, you'll then be able to ski Verbier and when they're finished, pick them up, then reverse the route: navette to Savoleyres bus stop, then 200 Savoleyres up to the summit, then 201 La Tzoumaz down to the village. On this week's evidence, the 201 Savoleyres lift isn't busy first thing at 08:45, but queues built up after about 09:15-09:30

When you drop them off at Esserts, you cross the road at the bottom of the learner slope (there are two embedded ski tracks with astroturf bases for skiers to go across on skis), and ski into a narrow path that winds its way through houses and suddenly emerges just above the 302 Le Rouge button drag lift. You get 302, turn right, and then grab a rope pulley for the 100m or so to just above 107 Mayentzet 6-man chair up to Ruinettes. Alternatively, you could get the 300 Esserts button drag to the top of the learenr slope, and walk the 50m or so up to the navette stop on the road above, and get the bus to Carrefour, from there it's a short ski to 107 Mayentzet.

Once the children are competent to do blues, then you have the option to ski blues all the way down from Savoleyres to Etablons. There, you can opt to catch the navette back if you don't fancy the final run down to the télécabine, which can be a bit crowded towards the end of the day. *Bear in mind there's a distinction between the Télécabine«»Etablons shuttle and the bus that continues past the télécabine and runs around the village, past your apartment: the latter has a schedule that you'll see on the stops. There's also a printed village bus timetable available at most shops and the Tourist Office.

The Tourist Office people are very helpful. So if you have questions once you're in the resort, they can be a good source of information.

The usual caveat: I obviously can't gauge you abilities and I'm assuming you're comfortable doing a typical red, if there is such a thing. And we haven't skied in school holidays for more than 25 years, so I've no recent experience of what it's like - some of the advice might not be applicable and you may have to adjust to what you find.

Finally, bad news: I dropped a friend off at Martigny station today and found that I couldn't get onto the autoroute at Riddes, due to roadworks. so I just had to take the local road to Saxon and join it there. not a big deal time-wise, but confusing if you don't know, and then find yourself going in the wrong direction. So on my maps, you do take the local road to Martigny and en route at Saxon, go onto the autoroute there.


Last edited by Poster: A snowHead on Tue 8-02-22 20:10; edited 1 time in total
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Hi @LaForet, thanks very much for your reply. The ski lessons in Verbier that we are looking at run from 1-4pm. We think we wouldn't be able to make it to ski school in Verbier for 9am - is this a correct assumption? The last Savoleyres cabin lift when we will be there is at 16:45. Different ski schools have different meeting points in Verbier - either Les Esserts or Medran. We are now thinking that Medran might be the better location, as it will mean that the rest of us can take the gondola up the mountain straight after drop-off in school. We feel that if we choose the ski school in La Tzoumaz, it will be more difficult to go to Verbier before we have to be back for the last Savoleyres lift before it closes.

I have skied for about four weeks in my life, my husband two weeks and my children for one week. So we are all pretty much beginners, but some of us might be able to ski from Savoleyres to Carrefour.
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@Motherofthree Thanks for the clarification. No, there's no way that the first lift up from La Tzoumaz at 08:45 would get you to a Verbier ski school starting at 09:00.

So the afternoon 13:00 start time is the viable option if you want ski Verbier concurrently with the lessons. You'll get the Médran navette at the bottom of the 200 Savoleyres lift in Verbier for the 1pm drop-off. Note that different buses going in both directions stop in the same place on the roundabout there, so it's important to check the bus display for the one you want.

After the 16:00 pickup at Médran, a small electronic display there shows the next buses and their destinations. Just FYI Savoleyres is pronounced 'savv-oh-lair-uh' so just ask the driver if it's at all uncertain whether it's going to or via there - they're used to it.

So there's always the possibility that you'd miss the last gondola back, for some reason and I'd recommend that you have a contingency for that situation. Which would be to ask at the Médran Tourism Office for a list of taxis that would do the journey and what the price would be - which should be fixed, not metered. In 17 years and multiple trips per year, I've had to do this once and it cost about CHF 220 in current prices. If you're prepared, then it'll be a lot less stressful than if you had to organise it off the cuff at the time. Also better to know in advance how much cash to have on you for the fare.
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Thanks for your reply @LaForet, lots of useful information there.

We still haven’t decided whether to have the ski lessons in La Tzoumaz or Verbier, but the Verbier option is appealing (albeit more expensive). If we go for the 1-4pm Verbier option, hubby will go back to La Tzoumaz before the rest of us, so he can pick us up in the car if need be.

I presume that the lifts closing at 16:45 means that this is the time when the last lift/gondola departs from the bottom? Or is it the time the whole lift/gondola shuts down?
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@Motherofthree I appreciate that having the lessons in La Tzoumaz greatly limits your opportunities to ski Verbier, but in practical terms, it seems the easiest and least risk option. If you have them in LTZ then you can obviously get there easily for 9am; there's no chance of high winds closing the link and preventing you from getting to Verbier, or worse, getting back; and there's no chance that for some reason, you'll miss the last gondola back up. In addition, as I mentioned, if the children are exhausted or fed up, or not feeling well etc. then they don't have a long trek home. Snow conditions in LTZ also tend to bear up well, because it's north-facing: we see ski schools from Verbier over in the Savoleyres Sector - it'd be ironic if you take them all the way over to Verbier only to have them come over to Savoleyres and then go back to Verbier, and then come back to Savoleyres. Also 16:00+ can be quite dark, on piste - if they're starting to be able to ski blues OK it's not a great time to be out - whereas a 12:00 finish in the LTZ Savoleyres sector means you can have lunch, and if they're up to it, ski the blues.

However, I can appreciate how frustrating it could be to be looking over at the Verbier sector but not being able to try it out thanks to the logistical/family limitations - Unfortunately, it's going to be one of those choices where neither option is ideal.

Re. the 16:45 final lift: Sorry - I've never left it that late, so I'm not sure how strict they are about the closing time, and whether they'd leave you stranded in the event of being, say, just 5 minutes late.

The weather at the moment is lovely BTW. We had a 5cm snowfall Sunday night and the temps are around -2°C/6°C night/day, and clear skies. So the snow on piste is good and we've been having lunch outdoors in the sun, which is nice. This was taken today at the top of the (red) Tournelle run in the Savoleyres Sector:

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@LaForet, thanks again for all your useful information. Sounds like perfect weather and what a lovely photo! Let's hope there will be sunny weather when we are there too in two weeks' time. It's a difficult decision with the ski school. Another option is the afternoon ski school in La Tzoumaz which runs from 1:15-16:15, or skip ski school altogether. Does it happen often that the Savoleyres lift is closed due to bad weather?
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@motherofthree To be fair, the Savoleyres lift is rarely closed due to high winds. I'd say the more likely issues with lessons in Verbier is that you either miss the last gondola over, or the weather isn't that great anyway, and you don't get much fun skiing in Verbier for all the hassle of trekking over and back with the children. Also, Verbier in half term can be extremely busy (like any premier resort, of course) so you might actually be quite happy with being over in quieter LTZ. I'm not sure what advantages afternoon lessons in LTZ give you over 9am ones. I think you could agonise over this indefinitely: the pros and cons are going to come down to personal preference and how you weight easy La Tzoumaz lesson logistics against the opportunity to ski Verbier.

BTW It'd be worth downloading the MeteoSwiss app for accurate weather forecasts for the area: the La Tzoumaz post code is '1918'. This is the equivalent to UK Met Office. MeteoSwiss is currently predicting snowfalls in LTZ most of next monday.

It's also worth bookmarking the Savoleyres and Attelas webcams - it's often the case that the weather in the village is quite different to up the mountain, and seeing the webcams can be useful when planning excursions.

By way of balance, today's (9.2.22) photo' is taken in Verbier - from Attelas (2727m), looking over towards Fontanet.

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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@LaForet, Thanks for recommending the app and webcams - I have downloaded the app and bookmarked the webcams, they are brilliant. Great photo too, can't wait to hopefully ski there! We will think about what to do regarding the ski lessons... Let's hope there will be lots of new snow in the coming days!
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@Motherofthree So, how did you get on? It's always useful to get some feedback or even a Trip Report.
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I was in La Tzoumaz two weeks ago with my youngest. He was in the Swiss ski school in the village starting at 9:00am at the top of the telecabine. I got across to Verbier every morning including up to Attelas and La Chaux for a few runs before heading back to collect at 12:00pm. Had to hurry down the Vallon'd'Arbi though as I forgot how long it was!
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