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Help with trip planning please - France.

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Good morning from Australia.
I've received a lot of advice from these fora over the years. It has helped greatly. Thanks.
I usually love the planning stages of a trip but the next one has become a challenge of sorts. The challenge comes in the form of at least one but perhaps two extra teenagers - a friend each for my son and daughter. So the group is 5 or 6. (Challenge number 1). The kids are 15 and 17. Our family can ski but the ring ins can't. (Challenge number 2).
When it was just the family the plan was to fly into Paris just after new year 2023. We'll do a couple of days tourist stuff there before taking the train to the mountains for the week commencing the 7th of January. We'll have 3 weeks before we fly back to Oz so my lad can start school. My daughter finishes year twelve this year and has immensely enjoyed her French studies over the past 6 years. (As has the friend she is bringing). So France it is. Myself and my wife have just returned from a two week trip to Les Arcs/Tignes and we did the train thing from Paris that time too. It was a pleasure. So that part of the trip is set. Also set is at least a week or two in Les Arcs. We loved the mountain and the accessibility to the train station and valley.
The beginner skiers will likely be beginner snowboarders. They are both extremely sporty and I expect will pick it up easily. So a week of lessons in Les Arcs will be on the cards. That should sort challenge number 2.

Our concern is that one or both of the ring ins won't be right into skiing/boarding like our family. Being close to Bourg will allow for a day on the train to Chambery for example to break up the mountain time. The original idea was 3 full weeks in Les Arcs. Now we're thinking of a stay in Les Arcs and a stay in another area that is close to a train station but also close to a large town/city so the kids can take a break. So I'm looking for suggestions please. I'm thinking -
Montgenevre (via Oulx) - Is there a bus from Montgenevre to Briancon for a day out? Even a day trip to Turin might be possible?
Serre Chevalier (via Briancon) - This would give easy access to the town of Briancon.
Chamonix - A day trip to Annecy would be possible? Geneva?

Any other suggestions? I don't have any realistic ideas on logistics for the above areas. Is there any ski area that has a train station nearby that would allow for a day out in Lyon?
Thanks in advance.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@sbooker, I like the idea that you are bringing another couple of teenagers. And that 2 young people want to learn snowboarding. It will help remove my sterotype of a snowboarder as a 30 or 40 year old male.

Your idea of getting away from the Les Arcs area for cultural visits sounds nice. You can get the train from Bourg st Maurice to Lyon or Aix le Bains. My cultural knowledge of Chambery is very limited; limited to what is perhaps the largest DIY store in Europe, but there is a lot in Lyon.

It may be a hassle but there is a bus from the bottom of the funicular to the bottom lift of La Rossiere from where you can get across to La Thuile in Italy. This may be asking a lot of a couple beginner showboarders, however.

I know it's Italy but staying in Aosta and skiing a few days in Pila might increase the cultural experience. Once again easily doable. You can get the train from Bourg to Aosta (change at Chambery and Turin, but it take a long time and is not cheep. Mind you can can enthral your pasengers by pointing out that this route incorporates the worst rail disaster ever, anywhere.
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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?
@sbooker,
Going on a first skiing/boarding holiday & finding you don't like it? - an expensive error.
Can the two in question not give boarding a try out during your winter in Oz or NZ?
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@johnE,
Thanks. We intend to do a day trip to La Thuille and possibly Sainte Foy once the beginners are up to speed. We've stayed in Aosta on a previous trip and loved it but I think it may be too much of a trek from Bourg. Will check out Chambery.

@Kenzie,
I'm sure they'll at least like it and most likely love it. I'm just trying to cover the 'just in case'. Regardless a day trip or two while in Europe would be a nice thing to do.
On the skiing in Oz thing. It's difficult for older kids as their school holiday dates are end of June (very early season that is often no snow) and end of September (late season that can be very sketchy). Ruapehu on NZ's north island is the perfect place for the end of September however the girls doing year twelve will have heavy study commitments those holidays.
Oh. And you mention expensive. Australian skiing is eye wateringly expensive. Day tickets in Tignes/Les Arcs are about $85 aud while day tickets in Oz are double that. Accommodation in Oz is about 5 times the price of France (no exaggeration).
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
You're pretty much as well connected as you can be with the train in BSM so I wouldn't sweat it too much. Provided both of the +1s understand it's a ski trip and not an entertain them/ whirlwind tour of Europe then any fallout is on them not you. Chamonix would however allow you a different take on the Alps which I'd save for the last week.
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@Dave of the Marmottes,
Last week January in Chamonix would open up the possibility of doing Vallee Blanche. A bucket list thing for me. An easy transport from there to a nearby town city?


Last edited by You'll need to Register first of course. on Thu 14-04-22 3:51; edited 1 time in total
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
You can take the train over to Martigny or hop a shuttle back to Geneva. Though I was thinking Cham is more of a town itself if teens just want to hang.
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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!
sbooker wrote:
@johnE, And you mention expensive. Australian skiing is eye wateringly expensive. Day tickets in Tignes/Les Arcs are about $85 aud while day tickets in Oz are double that. Accommodation in Oz is about 5 times the price of France (no exaggeration).


Oh, yes 'The lucky country'.
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sbooker wrote:
@Dave of the Marmottes,
Last week January in Chamonix would open up the possibility of doing Vallee Blanche. A bucket list thing for me. An easy transport from there to a nearby town city?


May be too early for the VB - it needs sufficient snow to fill the crevasses before it opens, which of course varies from season to season.
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johnE wrote:
Your idea of getting away from the Les Arcs area for cultural visits sounds nice.


For adults, yes. For 15/17 year-old's though...?

I would say you'll want to plan some non-skiing days across the trip - learning to ski/board is a lot harder work/hurts a lot more than just skiing/boarding so the newbies will be wrecked and need a rest. What you do though needs to be tailored to them/what they as teens want to do rather than what you as a adult would like - though when asked the answer probably will be "I don't know", along with every one of your suggestions being dismissed out of hand Smile
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
If the teenagers are anything like the ones I know then 'cultural stuff' probably means more music, shopping, nightlife, maybe sporting stadia etc than museums, old buildings and art galleries. Can I suggest Grenoble? It's a really vibrant city and quite studenty with lots of fun and young stuff going on. Its pretty accessible by bus from Alpe d'Huez and Les 2 Alpes - both resorts with quite a young, fun, vibe too, but your whole party could stop off in Grenoble for a night or so on the way from Les Arcs. There are closer ski resorts to Grenoble than these, but if you are coming all the way from Oz with teenagers ADH and LDA would be more likely the kind of vibe that will ensure the newbies are totally smitten with boarding and all things apres ski and snow related and both resorts have got quite a lot of other activities in them too which would likely entertain teenagers if they just needed a day or two off the slopes to do other fun mountain stuff too. I hope you have an amazing time, sounds like a fantastic adventure for them!
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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.
Kenzie wrote:
sbooker wrote:
@johnE, And you mention expensive. Australian skiing is eye wateringly expensive. Day tickets in Tignes/Les Arcs are about $85 aud while day tickets in Oz are double that. Accommodation in Oz is about 5 times the price of France (no exaggeration).


Oh, yes 'The lucky country'.


We are lucky in some ways but inexpensive skiing isn’t one of them. It’s a supply issue.
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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
@sbooker, "Any other suggestions? I don't have any realistic ideas on logistics for the above areas. Is there any ski area that has a train station nearby that would allow for a day out in Lyon?
Thanks in advance."

That aspect is competently served with somewhere like Val Cenis, with Modane as railway portal.

Modane is on the main rail network of Europe (French side of Frejus tunnel) with connection anywhere really. Lyon, Grenoble, Turin etc which offers alot of scope. Very good and more french centric ski area too and well worth consideration. Bonneval sur Arc (right at the end of that valley is very worthy of a visit (look at it in search with it changed to images Very Happy ) and usually on the same lift ticket as VC.

Annecy is a great place to visit too, as in your observations.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
frogslegs wrote:
If the teenagers are anything like the ones I know then 'cultural stuff' probably means more music, shopping, nightlife, maybe sporting stadia etc than museums, old buildings and art galleries. Can I suggest Grenoble? It's a really vibrant city and quite studenty with lots of fun and young stuff going on. Its pretty accessible by bus from Alpe d'Huez and Les 2 Alpes - both resorts with quite a young, fun, vibe too, but your whole party could stop off in Grenoble for a night or so on the way from Les Arcs. There are closer ski resorts to Grenoble than these, but if you are coming all the way from Oz with teenagers ADH and LDA would be more likely the kind of vibe that will ensure the newbies are totally smitten with boarding and all things apres ski and snow related and both resorts have got quite a lot of other activities in them too which would likely entertain teenagers if they just needed a day or two off the slopes to do other fun mountain stuff too. I hope you have an amazing time, sounds like a fantastic adventure for them!

Thanks. I’ll look into Grenoble.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@sbooker, The last time I was in Grenoble we did the Bastille Via Ferrata. It was summer, hot and humid. We got to the top and went into the restaurant/bar very smelly and dirty for a beer before descending. Everyone else there was in evening dresses and dinner jackets. It was a bit sureal but we were accepted and served. Yes, not a bad city to visit. Nearby ski resorts include Les 7 Laux and others in the beautiful Chartreuse.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
So we’ve come up with idea of staying the duration in Les Arcs to save the faff of packing up etc. My wife and the two girls will go for a one or two night trip to Lyon to break up the stay. Win for as I’m more than happy to hang with my lad on the ski hill while they’re having a cultural break.
Thanks all.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
sbooker wrote:
So we’ve come up with idea of staying the duration in Les Arcs to save the faff of packing up etc. My wife and the two girls will go for a one or two night trip to Lyon to break up the stay. Win for as I’m more than happy to hang with my lad on the ski hill while they’re having a cultural break.
Thanks all.


Sounds like a good plan, Lyon is well worth a trip too. The hill of Fourvière which is dominated by the cathedral overlooking the city and is easily reached on foot by a funicular that goes up the hill is also the site of a very well preserved Roman amphitheatre. Elsewhere in Lyon the Parc de la Tête d'oris a nice place to visit. Lyon is also of course a centre of French gastronomy, while visiting there I tried my first Quenelles de brochet, very tasty. Madeye-Smiley
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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?
@Alastair Pink, I've never tasted pike. What does it taste like? Once in Belgrade I had some Danube Zander and was frankly disappointed. It tasted muddy ever since I have a a slight wariness about river fish.

Anyway @sbooker, it sounds a good plan. They could even go down the river to Avingon or even the Pont du Gard.
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The Pont du Gard is stupendous. Closer, if you've not been, Annecy old town is worth a visit.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
johnE wrote:
@Alastair Pink, I've never tasted pike. What does it taste like?


Well, I'd like to tell you but unfortunately I can't....























Toofy Grin

Actually it's hard to remember but it certainly wasn't a strong flavour, I think the sauce dominated the flavour.
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 You'll need to Register first of course.
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Alastair Pink wrote:

Well, I'd like to tell you but unfortunately I can't....

Laughing Laughing
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
maggi wrote:
Alastair Pink wrote:

Well, I'd like to tell you but unfortunately I can't....

Laughing Laughing


Don't tell him. Pike!
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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!
@sbooker, for your second base, does it need to be part of a ski area or just have access (and via car or public transport?) to a ski area(s). That would alter the recommendations.

For example, Grenoble would be a great base for non-skiing activities, and has lots of ski areas within an hour's drive / bus ride. But it doesn't have any "doorstep" skiing.
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Alastair Pink wrote:
sbooker wrote:
So we’ve come up with idea of staying the duration in Les Arcs to save the faff of packing up etc. My wife and the two girls will go for a one or two night trip to Lyon to break up the stay. Win for as I’m more than happy to hang with my lad on the ski hill while they’re having a cultural break.
Thanks all.


Sounds like a good plan, Lyon is well worth a trip too. The hill of Fourvière which is dominated by the cathedral overlooking the city and is easily reached on foot by a funicular that goes up the hill is also the site of a very well preserved Roman amphitheatre. Elsewhere in Lyon the Parc de la Tête d'oris a nice place to visit. Lyon is also of course a centre of French gastronomy, while visiting there I tried my first Quenelles de brochet, very tasty. Madeye-Smiley


Thanks Alastair. You’re continuing the excellent service that Pink’s Euro Tours has been providing for many years.
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denfinella wrote:
@sbooker, for your second base, does it need to be part of a ski area or just have access (and via car or public transport?) to a ski area(s). That would alter the recommendations.

For example, Grenoble would be a great base for non-skiing activities, and has lots of ski areas within an hour's drive / bus ride. But it doesn't have any "doorstep" skiing.


We’ve decided to stay put in Arc 1800 and do some day trips from there.
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
@sbooker, @sbooker, ah sorry, missed that update! Laughing
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