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USA family - Easter 2023 Alps Ski Resort

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hi all, I'm new to SnowHeads, live in New York City area, and have never skied in Europe. I'm hoping that this amazing community can guide me in the right direction for my family's first ski holiday in Europe.

We are planning a multi family ski trip for the first week of April (Easter 2023). We are a group of 2 families: one adult advanced intermediate, one beginner adult (will need lessons), four children (7, 8, 9, 12 y/o) that will need ski school, and two first-time adults (wives are willing to try skiing on this trip!). Flight prices/flight duration from NYC are limiting us to ski resorts with transfers from Geneva.

Priorities
1. Predictably good/snow-sure ski conditions in early April (understand weather is a fickle being)
2. Good ski school for the kids
3. Stuff to do for the days when the wives and/or children want an off day from skiing
4. Reasonable transfer time from Geneva airport (3.5 hrs max transfer)
5. Family friendly resort town/village

Avoriaz looks like it ticks all the boxes except for my #1 priority, predictably good (snow-sure) ski conditions in early April. I'm willing to sacrifice a short transfer time to be more snow-sure, but I don't want to sacrifice everything for good snow.

In addition to resort suggestions, it would be helpful to get lodging recommendations as well. We typically travel together in the USA and stay together in airbnb/VRBO houses. We do not have any experience traveling together in Europe, so I would welcome any and all suggestions as it relates to where to stay, how to book it (travel agency vs VRBO), catered vs self-catered, etc. Fairly flexible on budget, moderate to healthy.

Thank you, greatly appreciate any and all advice to make this an enjoyable and memorable trip across the pond for all!
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Welcome to snowheads!

Avoriaz will be great the first week in April.

Can you not fly to.... Milan, Zurich or Munich as this will open up your options considerably? I ask because these are international airport as opposed to ski tourism airports.

3.5 hours from Geneva covers 90% of the French alps and a lot of Switzerland, plus the Aosta Valley in Italy. This includes Cervina to ski under the Matterhorn.

Regarding accommodation. As a general rule of thumb......

France.... self catering and catered chalet
Austria..... Bed n breakfast and hotel.... dont do CC
Italy..... Bed n breakfast and hotel..... dont do CC
Switzerland..... all of the above.... but not really CC
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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?
Although I've not skied in Avoriaz, I wouldn't hesitate to ski there at Easter (I usually ski nearby in Flaine). But we drive down which costs buttons compared to a bunch of transatlantic flights, and are prepared to write off a bad snow year.

In your case I would look at snow-sure resorts like Tignes, Val d'Isere, or Val Thorens. Arc 1950 would also be an excellent choice, though it might feel more north American than French.
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To add..... if this is a one of trip and you have a healthy budget..... Zermatt is a must on the bucket list.
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
I suspect the OP is tempted by the excellent USD/EUR exchange rates, rather than pricey Switzerland...

However I did a Vrbo in Zermatt last Easter and it was surprisingly affordable, though we did book nearly a year in advance.
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Switzerland isn't necessarily pricey. Can we ditch the cliché? Don't write off an entire country because some of the resorts are rich watering-holes. That's like writing of the entire USA because Vail is expensive. So take a look at Verbier. You can get there without even having to hire a car. Verbier is a premium resort but even within it, you don't necessarily have to stay at the W or rent Branson's chalet - there's cheaper hotel and apartment accommodation to be had.

Verbier Website
SBB Swiss Railways Timetable Portal (see also the Verbier Express) From Genève-Aéroport to Verbier (télécabine)
MySwitzerland.com Winter Destinations pages
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
LaForet wrote:
Switzerland isn't necessarily pricey. Can we ditch the cliché? Don't write off an entire country because some of the resorts are rich watering-holes.


No! Because it is considerably more expensive. It might not be more expensive than the most expensive French resorts but that doesn't mean its not expensive. Some of the French resorts have your pants down too. Compare Swiss resort to Italy, just over the boarder or Austia. ..... yes, its expensive!
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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!
What I'm getting at is that you can't write off an entire country because you have a set of holiday criteria that make it expensive for you. I've just come back from three weeks in Switzerland and it was cheaper than being at home in the UK. But that doesn't make Switzerland a cheap destination either. All I'm saying is that it's worth the OP taking a look and costing it out using their own holiday criteria and they may find it's in scope.

The OP has already said they're flexible and will look at self-catering. So they are happy to eschew an expensive hotel, which will considerably widen their candidate resorts and put Switzerland at least in the frame, even if it doesn't come out as their final choice.

Two families with a total of six adults and four children is probably two smaller apartments, one large apartment, or a chalet. The choice is than either a main resort or a satellite, with the satellite accommodation costing 50-60% of the cost of a major hub. So to narrow it down for the OP, I'd suggest self-catering in the 4 Valleys, which is an area of around 400kms (310 miles) of pistes with Verbier as the Hub and La Tzoumaz as a satellite. Verbier is relatively near to Geneva and accessible by public transport (train and then gondola) with the latter actually preferable to hiring a car unless the timings mean a late arrival in Geneva, or car hire comes out cheaper than rail fares for the 10 people. The cheaper alternative might also be to stay in the gondola base in the valley, in Le Chable (whih is where you get off the train from Geneva and transfer to the gondola up to Verbier).

I'm only suggesting Verbier/La Tzoumaz/Le Chable because I'm familiar with it and the OP needs to narrow down the choices or the research effort will be too much. I'm not saying other options are inferior, but I'll leave them to other SnowHeads. Certainly, they might look at the Aosta Valley but by road, that means actually driving right past Verbier and on for another 1h45m over the St. Bernard Pass, but it might be worth it. Obviously, the French resorts close to Geneva will also be candidates.

For the non-skiers, there are some day excursions that would be feasible: Martigny is just a short train hop away and has an international art centre at the Gianadda Foundation, plus a Roman amphitheatre. While the university city of Lausanne, about an hour away by train, might be worth a visit. Or get off the train to Lausanne and visit the iconic Château Chillon on the shore of Lake Geneva, which is also a stopping-off point for the Belle Epoch paddle steamers run by CGN that ply Lake Geneva.

Just to get started, I'd suggest that the OP contacts the Verbier 4 Vallées Tourism Office with a similar summary to the initial post and ask for some guideline recommendations for accommodation and rough idea of costs, which will principally be around the 2x apartments vs 1x apartment vs chalet self-catering options, plus the cost of the ski passes and typical equipment hire rates for adults/children. I'd suggest they also say that they'd consider a satellite like La Tzoumaz or the gondola base of Le Chable, and ask for a guideline on roughly how much cheaper they'd be for the accommodation. If what comes back if out of scope price-wise then they'd not expended too much effort for no return.

Just as a guideline for the OP, I looked completely randomly for a chalet in La Tzoumaz for Easter 2023 and this one with 4 Valleys 4 Seasons, the Chalet la Chance with five bedrooms, is around €5,000 (~USD $5,000) for a week (I have no association with the owners, we just share the same rental agency). DOwnside would be that you'd need a car to get to it and it's not central to the village - you'd need the car to get to the shops and gondola. An alternative might be the T-Resort complex in the middle of the village, right opposite the main gondola. This was built by the lift company, Téléverbier, and a 3-bed apartment in this block looks like it's around the CHF 1,600 mark ($1,700). The downside of this is that it's more utilitarian than the chalet, but obviously cheaper and as central to the village as it gets. In both cases, the satellite is more difficult to get to than Verbier because the public transport links aren't as good, so you'd need a couple of cars or a minibus or a transfer bus.

Again, this is just to help the OP to get started with some specifics, even if they don't eventually opt for Switzerland.


Last edited by After all it is free Go on u know u want to! on Sat 27-08-22 22:19; edited 17 times in total
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@purplhays, May I suggest Tignes, particulalry le Lac. There is tots of suitable skiing for beginners and lots to do if you fancy a day of not skiing: skido driving, ice climbing, scuba diving under the ice, indoor climbing wall, swimming pool and in April even the potential for via ferrata. Try Chalet Montana Planton for accommodation.
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@purplhays,
Are you willing to rent a car? If so Aosta would be a great base. I personally have no objection to driving to skiing each day. That would open up the possibility of days to Cervinia/Zermatt (as already mentioned), iconic Chamonix in France (good for non skiers too) , Pila for the days that you don’t want to drive, Courmayeur etc. For non skiers the town itself and nearby attractions are lovely. There’s also a day trip to Turin. Milan is also close by.
If you don’t want to hire a car Val D’Isere/Tignes, Les Arcs, Val Thorens all work although there is less to do for the non ski days.
We use Airbnb or VBRO for France and Italy and it works well and ends up being great value.
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@purplhays,
Val D'Isere, Tignes, Zermatt.
If VD or Tignes get Steve Angus to sort out your ski instruction.
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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.
All of these responses are exactly what I was hoping for from this community, thank you! Please keep the information, suggestions, and perspectives coming; the more, the merrier IMO.

Quote:

Can you not fly to.... Milan, Zurich or Munich as this will open up your options considerably?

Honestly, I did not consider airports other than Geneva until you asked. I ran the numbers and all four airports (Milan = $700, Geneva/Zurich/Munich = $800-850) are within budget.

Quote:

To add..... if this is a one of trip and you have a healthy budget..... Zermatt is a must on the bucket list.

I'm hoping it's not a one off trip and that this trip is the first of many Easter break ski trips to Europe! The husbands and the kids are all hooked on skiing. I'm hoping to sell the wives on skiing and/or the alluring charm of European ski villages.

Quote:

I suspect the OP is tempted by the excellent USD/EUR exchange rates, rather than pricey Switzerland...


Exchange rate aside, a ski trip to Europe is quite comparable (if not cheaper) to a ski trip to Colorado/Utah/Tahoe/Oregon for Americans living on the east coast. With that said, the current exchange rate is icing on the cake.

Quote:

Are you willing to rent a car?

I am willing to rent a car if it facilitates a ski trip that meets all of my needs. I typically drive to skiing in the US, but trying to navigate a foreign country and herd children + non-skiing adults could become overwhelming from a logistic/planning perspective.
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Fly into Milan and head to Aosta. Easy.
Great resort skiing. Great food and hospitality. The chance to visit France and Switzerland very easily. Cheap too.
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You know it makes sense.
@sbooker, +1
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@sbooker, +2
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
sbooker wrote:
Fly into Milan and head to Aosta.

Presumably for skiing in Pila? It sounds like there is only one experienced skier likely to enjoy trips to other Aosta valley resorts. What is the snow like there in April?
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@purplhays,
Re 'Selling the wives' (is that still legal in the US?) Laughing Zermatt. Fly to Geneva & train from the airport, one change on the route. Car free village. Options to ski into Italy for lunches. Guaranteed skiing with the glacier. Oh, and the Matterhorn.
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purplhays wrote:
... have never skied in Europe ... Easter 2023 ... adult advanced intermediate [->] beginner
...ski resorts with transfers from Geneva.
GVA is a reasonable airport, well connected by car or train, so a decent choice. Zurich airport is much more civilized if you can get it.

purplhays wrote:
...Avoriaz looks like it ticks all the boxes except for my #1 priority, predictably good (snow-sure) ski conditions in early April. I'm willing to sacrifice a short transfer time to be more snow-sure, but I don't want to sacrifice everything for good snow.
It's not a "traditional village", although the architecture isn't bad, and the "Portes de Soleil" is a bit linear and flat. I've not been in bad snow years, but they happen.

Zermat is also a big area, allows skiing into Italy, has a glacier, is a real town, is a funky real town, and can easily be accessed from GVA on the train even if you've got jet lag. Very popular with US people, possibly for those reasons.

My own US mates insisted on Les Arcs (because it has off piste, because the "hard core" types go to other places; plus Chamonix, which is actually hard core and not for non-experts. Les Arcs also has interesting [modern] architecture and accommodation is easily arranged through the resort. Any of the modern French places would do the job, but they're all modern with slightly "Disney" architecture. Like Whistler only with 200 lifts instead of 20, which is why you don't need the off piste (which isn't patrolled or controlled).

Austria has a late season - I usually go there seasons end, early May. And they've got real villages and all that... but a fairly heavy drinking/ smoking culture which isn't to everyone's taste.

If you can, I'd get the flights nailed, then try to put off making specific destination commitments until you know how the season's progressing. If you have to commit ahead of time then pick somewhere with a glacier which has runs of the grades you need for your party and book that.

Quote:
alluring charm of European ski villages.
You need somewhere with a real village, not a synthetic resort, then. Zermatt or the like.
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@philwig, "linear"? what's that then?
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Graph theory is not my thing, but linear as in casual usage - "like a line". (And before anyone asks: "flat", as in not steep enough to be amusing; more like a cat road than a piste.)

In order to make use of what most people would think as most of the connected PDS area, you have to repeat the same linear route. Some other big connected areas are more like networks, offering more alternatives for getting from one place to another. You're always going to get some constrictions, but (and please don't make me do the maths on this...) my feeling from the PDS was that it's more linear than most places I know.
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philwig wrote:

Graph theory is not my thing, but linear as in casual usage - "like a line". (And before anyone asks: "flat", as in not steep enough to be amusing; more like a cat road than a piste.)
...
In order to make use of what most people would think as most of the connected PDS area, you have to repeat the same linear route.

Nope. There are many alternatives for most of the circuit in both directions, with only a couple of places where you really have to follow a specific piste/lift route. Taking groups of guests over to the French side from Morgins has really forced me to find all the variations, both for more interesting skiing and for queue avoidance at busy times (if I'm not actually teaching and able to use the ski school line). Get back from Fornet/Prodains without using any of the Avoriaz village lifts? Yessir! Back over to Chalet Neuf without any of the Super Chatel drag lifts? No problemmo sir.

As far as I can think it all through, there are only perhaps two or three truly unavoidable connections that would need to be repeated if you were to do the circuit twice in the same direction.

Oh, and as for 'flat', no, really, seriously no. Again, there are choices, so if you're feeling forced to use cat-tracks it's just because you haven't properly thought through your route planning.
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There will be trade-offs, some of which have been mentioned already. First, traditional (genuinely, not like Val D'Isere, which isn't) ski villages are not up at the altitude which is snow sure in early April. So you will either have easy access to the skiing, or be near lots of other non-skiing attractions. Hard to get both, and somebody wanting a day off from skiing is unlikely to want to go climbing up, or diving under, ice. If you have to get four kids to (and equally importantly from) ski lessons for 6 days, you either need an adult dedicated to doing little else and with substantial patience and ski-carrying capacity, or accommodation which is easily accessible to the ski school meeting place. Easter is not super busy, but places with good snow could be in very short supply by that late in the season, and you can't assume you will be able to park a car nearby. Personally, I'd prioritise the skiers needs, especially as you'll be hoping the kids will all love it and get the bug. The quality of ski instruction is variable - the suggestion to contact Steve Angus for advice is excellent, and both Tignes and the linked Val d'Isere will have plenty of snowy slopes available (provided, in the latter case, that less confident skiers are OK with taking a gondola down).

I wouldn't leave it very late to book accommodation. You presumably want one big living space, ideally, and those are not too easy to find. You shouldn't leave it too long to book ski school, and in big resorts they won't all meet in the same place. For a couple, booking late for early April would make sense, but not for your group.
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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!
Aosta has lots to commend it but by early April it is likely to be totally devoid of snow and really rather warm. It won't feel like a ski resort.
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purplhays wrote:
All of these responses are exactly what I was hoping for from this community, thank you! Please keep the information, suggestions, and perspectives coming; the more, the merrier IMO.

Quote:

Can you not fly to.... Milan, Zurich or Munich as this will open up your options considerably?

Honestly, I did not consider airports other than Geneva until you asked. I ran the numbers and all four airports (Milan = $700, Geneva/Zurich/Munich = $800-850) are within budget.

Quote:

To add..... if this is a one of trip and you have a healthy budget..... Zermatt is a must on the bucket list.

I'm hoping it's not a one off trip and that this trip is the first of many Easter break ski trips to Europe! The husbands and the kids are all hooked on skiing. I'm hoping to sell the wives on skiing and/or the alluring charm of European ski villages.

Quote:

I suspect the OP is tempted by the excellent USD/EUR exchange rates, rather than pricey Switzerland...


Exchange rate aside, a ski trip to Europe is quite comparable (if not cheaper) to a ski trip to Colorado/Utah/Tahoe/Oregon for Americans living on the east coast. With that said, the current exchange rate is icing on the cake.

Quote:

Are you willing to rent a car?

I am willing to rent a car if it facilitates a ski trip that meets all of my needs. I typically drive to skiing in the US, but trying to navigate a foreign country and herd children + non-skiing adults could become overwhelming from a logistic/planning perspective.


Welcome to Snowheads!

"trying to navigate a foreign country... could become overwhelming."

At least you will be driving on the correct side of the road! Imagine how overwhelming it must be for us Brits driving anywhere in Europe or the USA Shocked

I think you will find it very straightforward.

Another vote here for Zermatt Very Happy . You could take the train there from Geneva airport. It's a beautiful journey and Zermatt is a lovely place for non skiers.
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Val Thorens or Tignes.

Anything will seem like Euro charm compared to NYC and the important thing with beginners/ kids is ski convenience over all that chocolate box stuff. The rec centre makeover at VT should be complete and there are plenty of sunny terraces to chill on either place.
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Quote:

the important thing with beginners/ kids is ski convenience over all that chocolate box stuff

That's what I was on about - but less succinctly!!
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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.
Not sure if you can fly to Munich direct or via Frankfurt but I'd still recommend a good look at the Ski Amade area in Austria, 2 1/2 hours from Munich or 45 mins from Salzburg. Loads of Apres, much better ambiance than Avoriaz and on the Mountain Prices about 20% cheaper than France. Loads of stuff to do as well as great Skiing. Plan on a night in Salzburg if you can too. https://www.skiamade.com/en
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purplhays wrote:

Quote:

Are you willing to rent a car?

I am willing to rent a car if it facilitates a ski trip that meets all of my needs. I typically drive to skiing in the US, but trying to navigate a foreign country and herd children + non-skiing adults could become overwhelming from a logistic/planning perspective.

With the size of the group, it’s easier to just book private transfers rather than renting 2 cars. Moreover, do you want to be dealing with chains and such on a holiday?
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abc wrote:
purplhays wrote:

Quote:

Are you willing to rent a car?

I am willing to rent a car if it facilitates a ski trip that meets all of my needs. I typically drive to skiing in the US, but trying to navigate a foreign country and herd children + non-skiing adults could become overwhelming from a logistic/planning perspective.

With the size of the group, it’s easier to just book private transfers ratenting 2 cars. Moreover, do you want to be dealing with chains and such on a holiday?


Don't bother with hire car, the costs are mental right now. Book a private transfer and have them meet you with a sign at the airport.

For accommodation in France like Tignes, have a look at one of the CGH Residences. Reasonably up-market self catering, usually with residents' pool. E.g. Le Télémark in Tignes Le Lac.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
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It's not realistic advising against car rental unless the group are going to be right in-resort and pretty well ski in/out. How to get to the resort is a third-order question, compared with where to go, and what accommodation to book!! A car would also facilitate non-skiers doing their own thing.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Zermatt for beginners is not the smartest choice - most accomodation needs bus/walk and then 30 min to get up top. Tiges and Val D’Isere better options imo.
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@purplhays, you have probably got more advice than you can process easily! But you now have some names to fire questions to.

On the face of it, your first thought is good: Avoriaz. It is high enough (1800m) that it will have snow if anywhere does, most accommodation has easy access to the slopes, and it has a shortish transfer which you are likely to appreciate after a trans-atlantic flight.

You have to accept that the trade-off is that it - like anywhere reliable for snow in April - is a purpose built resort without the "European charm" of an established historic village. But it is easy to walk around if that is what you mean by child-friendly. Non-skiing activities are a bit limited in any such resort, but it is easy for someone to get down to Morzine for the day (cable car and bus, no need for a car) which is more of a town but lower altitude and therefore almost certainly lacking snow on the ground.

There are plenty of ski schools, and wherever you decide on you will find there is someone on this forum with inside knowledge to help you book a good one.

Other French high-altitude resorts are further from Geneva without any particular advantages for your mixed group.

I can't think of as good an option from Zurich, much as I would like to recommend a Swiss resort. Sestriere might work from Milan. I have more limited knowledge of Austrian resorts, but relatively few are actually high altitude with many needing long cable car trips up from valley accommodation which makes getting children to ski school that little bit more complicated.
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as a family we ski for 2 weeks at Easter usually in Tignes. It's great for every type of skier, not an alpine beauty of a village but lift access convenience, off piste skiing is immense, Pistes are varied and interesting.
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I would have thought the Espace Killy has advantages over Avoriaz, without an unacceptable penalty in transfer time. There is far more high altitude skiing than there is in the PdS - if the snow elsewhere is poor Avoriaz could be very crowded.
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j b wrote:
@purplhays, you have probably got more advice than you can process easily! But you now have some names to fire questions to.

On the face of it, your first thought is good: Avoriaz. It is high enough (1800m) that it will have snow if anywhere does, most accommodation has easy access to the slopes, and it has a shortish transfer which you are likely to appreciate after a trans-atlantic flight.

You have to accept that the trade-off is that it - like anywhere reliable for snow in April - is a purpose built resort without the "European charm" of an established historic village. But it is easy to walk around if that is what you mean by child-friendly. Non-skiing activities are a bit limited in any such resort, but it is easy for someone to get down to Morzine for the day (cable car and bus, no need for a car) which is more of a town but lower altitude and therefore almost certainly lacking snow on the ground.

There are plenty of ski schools, and wherever you decide on you will find there is someone on this forum with inside knowledge to help you book a good one.

Other French high-altitude resorts are further from Geneva without any particular advantages for your mixed group.

I can't think of as good an option from Zurich, much as I would like to recommend a Swiss resort. Sestriere might work from Milan. I have more limited knowledge of Austrian resorts, but relatively few are actually high altitude with many needing long cable car trips up from valley accommodation which makes getting children to ski school that little bit more complicated.


This. Staying in Avoriaz would also tick Swiss skiing box to. Just avoid The Swiss Wall Wink
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Why take a chance on easter snow purplhays Puzzled

Avoriaz and Portes du Soleil: Resort height 1800m. Bottom station 1100m, top station 2200m.

Tignes: Resort height 2100m. Bottom station 1500m, top station 3400m.

So you'd be skiing up to 1200m (>4000 ft) higher in Tignes. That and the fact that most of the Espace Killy (ie Tignes and Val D'Isere) ski area is above 2000m.

A no brainer for April in my view.

As others have said, the convenience of staying on the snow at over 2000m (and easy access to the lifts) would be a massive plus for your group.

If not Espace Killy, then the high altitude French areas of Val Thorens, or Les Arcs/La Plagne would also fit the bill. The scale of the mega-size French areas would blow your mind 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...
Looking at the end March / start April equivalent weather threads for PdS vs Val / Tignes I know which one I would choose. Unless skiing in the rain is your thing!
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Dave of the Marmottes wrote:
Val Thorens or Tignes.

Anything will seem like Euro charm compared to NYC and the important thing with beginners/ kids is ski convenience over all that chocolate box stuff. The rec centre makeover at VT should be complete and there are plenty of sunny terraces to chill on either place.


I would agree, plus add Les Arcs. If you have to wrangle that many kids to lessons, I think you want to be in a dedicated resort where everything is within walking distance, and a high-altitude resort where decent if not spectacular conditions are nearly guaranteed. Convenience with that many people and agendas trumps charm.

...on the other hand, if you are prepared to navigate shuttle buses, driving/drop off, every morning, language barriers, then you have more options -- as others noted, Aosta valley, Austria, Switzerland.

Personally -- as an American who has lived in France for a decade -- I would go for Zermatt or Verbier, but I know that Swiss prices can seem daunting. You probably won't go wrong with Val Thorens, and you can always drop down to St. Martin de Belleville if you want more of a village feel.

Edit: Just to add re Avoriaz. In theory, you could have tremendous conditions in early April in the Portes de Soleil. But you could also have slush below 1600 meters. I am not a huge fan of PdS outside of the Jan/Feb time frame. I just think that that scale of Val Thorens, Espace Killy etc will really be impressive, whereas the PdS is more a collection of horizontally linked villages, some of which are quite low. And if you're taking a transfer from Geneva, the extra hour or so to VT will just be a chance to nap...
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Quote:

I would agree, plus add Les Arcs.

If you want to go to Les Arcs I would reccomend Arc2000 for beginners or perhaps EdenArc. However there is less for non skiers to do in Les Arcs than Tignes (I would love to go subba diving under the ice on the lake)
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While I agree there are better places than Avoriaz for April in terms of elevation, remember that 7 out of the party of 8 are beginners or near-beginners. They aren't going to make use of the entire area.
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