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Old 22.11.2014, 19:28
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Recommendations for beginner ski schools/regions in Austria/Italy

Hi all,
[I originally posted this as a reply to this thread about skiing but I think it wasn't the right place. Re-posting here.]

I'd like to start learning Skiing. I've been told multiple times that taking a week off in the Austrian or Italian slopes would be much more cost effective than learning in Switzerland. I'm looking for places where I can go for a week to learn skiing in a good English ski school. I've heard about St Anton, Montafon (Austria) and some slopes near the Dolomites (Italy) being good options.

I'd like to go this winter, around late December or early January and sign up for a group course. I hope one can rent apartments in the region for a reasonable price. I'll also be renting equipments.

Would be great to to read EFers' recommendations and experiences. What place do you suggest- anything else to keep in mind? How to find out more? If others are also planning to learn this winter, we could form a group !

Thanks !
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Old 24.11.2014, 23:44
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Re: Recommendations for beginner ski schools/regions in Austria/Italy

[bumping]
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Old 24.11.2014, 23:48
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Re: Recommendations for beginner ski schools/regions in Austria/Italy

Well, as per previous years, I'm happy to help any EFers form into groups to come with us and learn in Engelberg .

Lots of details can be found in this thread Adult ski lessons in English
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Old 25.11.2014, 01:48
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Re: Recommendations for beginner ski schools/regions in Austria/Italy

Having talked to the ski school at Hoch-YBrig they reckon that 90% of their private lessons are in English, and whilst I've never had a lesson up there I have talked to some of their instructors and their English is pretty good.

It also has the added advantage of being easily reachable from Zurich, although accessible by public transport it's probably easier by car.

Last edited by Markarina; 25.11.2014 at 01:50. Reason: added travel info
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Old 25.11.2014, 08:12
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Re: Recommendations for beginner ski schools/regions in Austria/Italy

If you want a longer holiday, in Austria, there are plenty of ski schools only in Sölden for instance (or other places in Ötztal region of Tyrol)

http://www.soelden.com/ski-snowboard-schools


We prefer Austria for skiing.
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Old 25.11.2014, 08:16
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Re: Recommendations for beginner ski schools/regions in Austria/Italy

Certainly cheaper.
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Old 25.11.2014, 08:20
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Re: Recommendations for beginner ski schools/regions in Austria/Italy

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Certainly cheaper.
Not only cheaper....O.K. I might be a little biased.
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Old 25.11.2014, 09:04
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Re: Recommendations for beginner ski schools/regions in Austria/Italy

Hi all,
Thanks for the replies. I'd prefer somewhere with train connectivity. I'm not sure if Sölden is connected from Zurich (I looked up sbb and found no connection)?

I also found San Cassiano, Alta Badia (in Dolomites) but I think its also not connected by train? Does it leave St. Anton (Austria) as the only viable option?

Thanks!
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Old 25.11.2014, 13:26
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Re: Recommendations for beginner ski schools/regions in Austria/Italy

Hi Bip,

You are correct in that Solden is not on a train line. I've done the journey from Zurich and it involved a change of train followed by a bus journey "up the valley" from Otztal. I've also done the journey to Mayrhofen (Zillertal ski area), which also involved changes trains (twice) - but this at least did have a train station in the resort. There are also multiple 'mini resorts' around Mayrhofen for varied skiing - although I wouldn't necessarily say it's for beginners.

If I was a beginner and I was travelling by car I'd be looking at somewhere like Obergurgl (further up the valley road from Solden). I went there on a days excursion from Solden and it was really empty but looked ideal for a beginner/low intermediate - with all the accomodation on (or very near the slopes).

Austria is definitely the place for a lively ski holiday and reasonably priced when compared to France or Switzerland!

Time to get my skis serviced I think.....
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Old 25.11.2014, 16:26
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Re: Recommendations for beginner ski schools/regions in Austria/Italy

Dolomites are great, masses of skiing, cheap, great food and beautiful. Haven't stayed at San Cassiano or Alta Badia but have stayed at all the other resorts on the Sella Rhonda.

Or further afield in Austria like Westendorf/kitzbuhle they are connected to Zurich by train and offer lots of skiing and plenty of English instructors.

or closer to home Lech/Zurs are under 3 hours by train and bus from Zurich
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Old 25.11.2014, 22:48
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Re: Recommendations for beginner ski schools/regions in Austria/Italy

Thanks for the very useful replies.

I checked the ÖBB website later and found that one could actually reach Sölden on public transport (with some changes). Changing trains/buses is not a problem as long as there's some transport operating during the winter when I'll probably be needing them.

Do you know if the Italian slopes mentioned above (Sella Rhonda, Alta Badia, San Cassiano, etc.) are reachable by public transport during winter?

Since I've never stayed near ski locations before, another quick question: when I look for accommodation (e.g. on booking.com), I'm usually presented with hotels about 20-30 km from the ski lifts (that the ski schools mention as "meeting point"). Is this normal? If I want to learn skiing and stay in a nearby hotel (to enjoy the views, do some snow hiking, relax around, etc), how do I go about finding accommodation? I don't have a car- so this all looks a bit confusing to me. Would appreciate any help.
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Old 26.11.2014, 10:04
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Re: Recommendations for beginner ski schools/regions in Austria/Italy

20-30km away from a ski resort is NOT normal! What you have to remember is that a number of hotels in the resorts and other accommodation is 'block booked' out to tour operators. Your best bet (if you want to do it independently) is maybe to go via the resort website which normally has accommodation links. Here's the link for Solden: -

http://www.oetztal.at/en/home.html

You should be looking for accommodation no further than 200m from either of the two main ski lifts (at either end of the resort) or close to a resort bus stop. If you've never walked in ski boots while carrying skis it is sometimes a challenge - especially if it's icy! Although there are ski shops close to the lifts that will store your skis and boots overnight - which is well worth the expense!

One point about the journey. Sometimes the route around St Anton is blocked due to heavy snow falls. I had to change trains at Feldkirch onto a bus, through the Aarlberg tunnel and then catch a different train - which messed all the other connections up. So it's worth noting all train/bus times of the different connections!

Have fun!
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Old 26.11.2014, 11:03
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Re: Recommendations for beginner ski schools/regions in Austria/Italy

http://www.iscz.org/ski-and-snowboard-school-1

They do good courses with reputable school and English instructors. easy acceess with snow and rail from Zürich.
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Old 26.11.2014, 11:24
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Re: Recommendations for beginner ski schools/regions in Austria/Italy

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http://www.iscz.org/ski-and-snowboard-school-1

They do good courses with reputable school and English instructors. easy acceess with snow and rail from Zürich.
I think the course is already fully booked- usually it sells out very quickly. Honestly I don't think if one could plan around it because of the uncertainty. Could be useful for others looking at this discussion in the coming years.
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Old 26.11.2014, 11:32
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Re: Recommendations for beginner ski schools/regions in Austria/Italy

Link say's you can register for cancellation places, or you could approach the school directly, last 2 seasons they still offered the same deal.
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