Every ski season there are so many choices to be made. Where to go for the best snow, the best aprés ski; should you go self-catering or all inclusive? So to help you decide travelbite.co.uk has here rounded up the best tips and recommendations to ensure you have the best ski holiday in 2009/2010.
Ski holidays: Where to go?
The Canadian city of Vancouver is hosting the Winter Olympics in February 2010, making the perfect excuse to take a ski holiday outside Europe during the 2009/2010 ski season. The snowfall record of British Columbia is the envy of the skiing world, with champagne powder, immaculately groomed pistes and snow-covered woods to ski though.
The games will run from February 12th to 28th with the Paralympic Winter games the following month, March 12th to 21st. All the outdoor events will be held in the iconic Whistler Blackcomb resort but there are many outstanding Canadian ski resorts ready to deliver the perfect ski holiday.
Big White is one of the largest and has Canada’s longest six-passenger express chair lift to zip you to the top in just six minutes. It’s well-known for its excellent family facilities.
Or why not try skiing in Norway this winter, rather than the usual French ski resorts? Voss is a truly wonderful ski holiday destination offering an unspoilt family-friendly resort with guaranteed snow and long ski seasons right up until May. The slopes are a lot quieter than other European ski destinations, the powder is fresher and there is much more room to explore.
Voss has over 50 km of alpine runs for all levels of experience and 16 ski lifts. The small town of Voss is the regional centre and offers a wide variety of shopping opportunities and restaurants.
Ski holidays: When to go?
Every ski season it’s the usual debate: whether to save money and avoid the crowds, or avoid the cold by taking your ski holiday later in the season.
The Christmas/New Year period is always busy, although there can be some good deals about, but the snow conditions may not yet be at their best.
The cheapest ski holiday bargains are to be had in January and the snow should be good but the temperatures are low so wrap up warm.
In the last two weeks of February the ski resorts of Europe are very congested as the school holidays are in full swing. These holidays tend to be staggered across regions in France for this very reason.
Easter is right at the beginning of April in 2010 and depending on snowfall, could be another good opportunity to squeeze in a ski break – and with the warmest temperatures. But again you have to watch out for the school holiday crowds. The Easter school holidays run from Monday March 29th to Friday April 9th in 2010.
And remember that French school children get a two-week spring holiday in April as well as the February/March holidays.
Save with self-catering Ski holidays
In the current turbulent economic climate putting together your own ski package is often a cost effective way to take a ski holiday, with self-catering accommodation, low cost flights and transfers or car hire.
Holiday home website Holidaylettings has a selection of chalets and apartments at ski resorts around the world that offer the privacy, flexibility and extra communal space of a private holiday home and the freedom to ski, eat and relax within your own timetable, rather than that of a hotel or chambermaid.
Directski will put a package together for you and already have some great deals for the 2009/2010 ski season with self-catering ski holidays in Meribel, including return flights and transfers, on offer.
Crystal Ski’s 2009/10 ski holidays offering has prices from Â£479 per person in the resorts of Les Arcs and La Plagne in the Paradiski, and to Flaine. Ski holiday packages include flights, transfers, local lift pass, ski/board hire or ski carriage, a week self-catering or half board, and in-resort service.
Ski holidays: Family friendly
Family-friendly ski holiday facilities improve year after year and the 2009/2010 ski season is no exception. If you’re skiing with small children, finding a resort that delivers in-chalet childcare, easy access to the slopes and plenty of on and off-piste entertainment for the parents can prove challenging.
Ski holiday operator Chilly Powder has luxury catered chalets, on-site nannies and a spectacular ‘ski to the door’ location in Morzine, in the heart of France’s famous Portes du Soleil ski area.
Run by British couple Francesca and Paul Eyre, Chilly Powder has four fully-qualified nannies in a creche equipped with all the baby essentials – from toys, bibs and buggies to potties and bottle sterilising equipment.
For older children finding their ski legs but not up to staying on the slopes all day, staff will collect them from the nursery slopes and entertain them at its afternoon kid’s club. Children can play in the sheltered snow garden, go tobogganing or retreat indoors to the playroom for a game of pool, table football or Playstation.
But it’s not all about the kids: after a day on the slopes, parents can come back to a sauna and massage before drinks in the bar or the outdoor Jacuzzi and then enjoy a delicious four-course dinner complete with canapés, coffee and chocolate.
Ski holidays: best apres ski
The best aprés ski is often about location and attitude. Rudechalets have hip new town centre chalets in Morzine-Avoriaz kitted out with XBOX 360s in all bedrooms, hot tub, sauna, table football, walkie talkies, free wi-fi, media centres, guest laptops and funky snow-art.
And all this just 200m from the pistes, the ski lifts and the nightlife of Morzine-Avoriaz. These boutique style ski chalets are run by a dynamic ski and snowboard company who provide uber-fun and super stylish chalet and apartment ski holidays.
They have even commissioned a new guide to “Rudeville” to introduce ski and snowboard lovers to rudechalets and their home town of Morzine-Avoriaz.
Rudegirls snowboard weeks include everything from yoga to shopping, aprés ski, movies and an end of week party. This is a great opportunity for girls to try snowboarding or improve their skills and confidence away from the macho snowboard scene.
Ski holidays on a budget
Eastern Europe is a popular budget ski holiday option, with Slovenia consistently ranked among Europe’s most affordable skiing destinations.
The ski season in Slovenia begins as early as November and in resorts such as Mount Kanin – the highest in the country – where the snow remains well into the spring.
About 40 per cent of Slovenia is mountainous so skiing is a national sport. From the award-winning Krvavec to the charming little resort of Cerkno, Slovenia is becoming renowned for its beautiful alpine settings and its skilled ski instructors.
Just a two-hour flight from London, Slovenia is one of the cheapest skiing destinations in Europe. Its ski resorts are world class but include plenty of gentler slopes suitable for beginners.
The World Ski Lift Ticket Price Report (2009) reported that last season, Brits paid an average of €168.98 for a six-day lift pass across all destinations, with prices in Europe reaching an average of €245 in Andorra.
By comparison, the price of a six-day pass at Slovenia’s top resorts Kranjska Gora and Maribor was €147 (approximately £128). Slovenia’s ski resorts offer good quality accommodation and service at eastern European prices.
Ski holidays: Luxury all the way
Whether you’re looking for Michelin-starred restaurants or helicopter transfers, Crystal Finest has the luxury ski holiday for you in 2009/2010. There are luxury and boutique hotels and apartments with first class facilities in North America and Europe, from the Little Nell in Aspen to the Mont Cervin Palace in Zermatt.
They also guarantee the most direct routes to your ski resort at convenient times. There are a few new routes for the 2009/2010 ski season, most notably the new flight from Belfast to Grenoble, doubled the number of flights from Stansted to Chambery and an added third flight from Gatwick to Chambery.
All chalets are beautifully equipped with Molton Brown toiletries, hairdryers, board games, TV, DVD player, wireless internet and iPod cradle speakers all on hand.
To ensure you have the best ski holiday ever Crystal Finest also offer free airport lounges and wireless internet in all chalets. Other benefits at selected chalets include massage and sports therapist services, saunas, childcare and flexible or custom-made travel arrangements.
More than just a ski holiday
A ski holiday can be much more than just hours spent on the piste. Take advantage of your time in the mountains to enjoy a range of aprés ski activities offered in many ski resorts. There’s tobogganing, horsedrawn sleigh rides, dog sledding, snow shoe hikes, outdoor ice skating and much more.
If you’re heading to North America for your ski holiday why not combine it with a multi-resort road trip?.
Take the Banff to Jasper route on a Rocky Mountain fly drive holiday, cruising past the sublime Lake Louise; or take a big powder tour checking out advanced ski mountains such as Telluride, Crested Butte, Kicking Horse and Revelstoke.
Alternatively, take the more unusual path to Oregon – truly undiscovered by the British market (until now). Finally, tick those vital ski resorts off the list in one easy trip – Beckenridge, Aspen and Vail.