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Old 24.10.2007, 12:25
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Ski holiday recommendations in Switzerland

Me and some of my friends are looking to spend a week around Christmas in some ski resort in Switzerland. None of us know much of skiing and we are hopeful that we might progress in a week of uninterrupted practice and hopefully have some fun. Now we don't know where exactly should we go? Which region? Basically we are looking at a region which offers ample beginners to medium level slopes, must be accessible by public transport, has available accommodation, is not very expensive..we might rent a house/hut for a week if we could work it out..I would be delighted if some of you could provide me with ideas for a venues..as for me it all kind of looks the same..
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Old 24.10.2007, 12:32
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Re: Ski holiday recommendations in Switzerland

Just a tip which will help you get around cost and availability; every year our family and our friends from the UK book our holiday through a British tour operator (not always the same but we have used Peak Ski, Inghams and Snoman.co.uk).

It's cheaper, you get half board, two students to cook and clean for you and you can usually get a really great chalet close to the lifts.

You can even make the booking from Switzerland (it usually falls to us anyway because we are the most organised ) and you just get the company to knock off however many flights and transfers you don't need.

In the past we tried to set everything up ourselves (find an available chalet, set up flights for the others, do enough shopping for a week, arrange ski passes) and it's just a big overpriced pain. Now the holiday company does it all for us and we just turn up on the Saturday afternoon to a nice clean, warm chalet and usually tea and sticky buns.

Verbier is great, by the way.
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Old 24.10.2007, 12:35
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Re: Ski holiday recommendations in Switzerland

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Verbier is great, by the way.
Is Verbier great for beginners? I haven't been but have always been told that it wasn't.
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Old 24.10.2007, 12:40
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Re: Ski holiday recommendations in Switzerland

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Is Verbier great for beginners? I haven't been but have always been told that it wasn't.
Don't know. We had a few beginners in our party (and I'm not so hot on skis myself) but there was enough in the way of blue runs to keep us entertained for a week while the wildboys of the group went barrelling down all sorts of black runs.

Two of our ladies had lessons with a complete ski god so this probably fuelled our return to Verbier the next year.
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Old 24.10.2007, 12:49
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Re: Ski holiday recommendations in Switzerland

If you are thinking of renting an appt I would suggest www.interhome.ch as they have loads of appts and chalets to rent. WE have used them for years and they cover most ski resorts and are not too expensive even moreso if you wait a week before booking
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Old 24.10.2007, 20:59
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Re: Ski holiday recommendations in Switzerland

Thanks for your tips..keep them coming
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Old 24.10.2007, 21:15
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Re: Ski holiday recommendations in Switzerland

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Just a tip which will help you get around cost and availability; every year our family and our friends from the UK book our holiday through a British tour operator (not always the same but we have used Peak Ski, Inghams and Snoman.co.uk).

It's cheaper, you get half board, two students to cook and clean for you and you can usually get a really great chalet close to the lifts.

You can even make the booking from Switzerland (it usually falls to us anyway because we are the most organised ) and you just get the company to knock off however many flights and transfers you don't need.

In the past we tried to set everything up ourselves (find an available chalet, set up flights for the others, do enough shopping for a week, arrange ski passes) and it's just a big overpriced pain. Now the holiday company does it all for us and we just turn up on the Saturday afternoon to a nice clean, warm chalet and usually tea and sticky buns.

Verbier is great, by the way.
Got to say it was the opposite for me - but then we did use a crap operator. Taking the family for a week was over 5K GBP and the staff were crap - more interested in the apres ski than in providing any sort of service - New Years Eve for example, no service at all. Did it on my own for half that.

I'd recommend one of the smaller venues like Braunwald where everything is a bit cheaper and the slopes are great for beginners to experts.
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Old 24.10.2007, 22:19
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Re: Ski holiday recommendations in Switzerland

I really wouldn't recommend Verbier if you are looking for lots of Blue and gentle Red runs, but for the rest it depends what kind of nighlife you want and what part of Switzerland. Also, remember round Xmas the snow could be limited, so high resorts may be better.

Saas Fee or Zermatt have plenty of high runs and quite a few gentle ones. Villar is quite good in Vaud, but not so high, but you can go to the Glacier in Diabloret on the same ticket if there isn't much snow. Crans Montana had so many gentle runs that I found it really boring, but perfect for fast cruising. Closer to Zurich there is Engelberg, but not many easy runs there, and loads of small resorts. I can recommend St Luc in Val d'Annivers as a small resort with good and high slopes.

Anyway, some ideas.

Have fun,
Richard
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Old 24.10.2007, 22:31
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Re: Ski holiday recommendations in Switzerland

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I really wouldn't recommend Verbier if you are looking for lots of Blue and gentle Red runs, but for the rest it depends what kind of nighlife you want and what part of Switzerland. Also, remember round Xmas the snow could be limited, so high resorts may be better.

Saas Fee or Zermatt have plenty of high runs and quite a few gentle ones. Villar is quite good in Vaud, but not so high, but you can go to the Glacier in Diabloret on the same ticket if there isn't much snow. Crans Montana had so many gentle runs that I found it really boring, but perfect for fast cruising. Closer to Zurich there is Engelberg, but not many easy runs there, and loads of small resorts. I can recommend St Luc in Val d'Annivers as a small resort with good and high slopes.

Anyway, some ideas.

Have fun,
Richard
Zermatt & Saas Fee are my favourite places to ski but I don't think they are great for beginners. Saas Fee has the slopes but with all the drag lifts it makes life really hard if you are just starting out. In Zermatt the blue slopes are quite a trek from the village, brilliant place but a bit epensive too.
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Old 24.10.2007, 22:36
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Re: Ski holiday recommendations in Switzerland

A good place for beginners is Loetschental the resort is smallish so the experienced tend to go somewhere else therefore is not so crowded and the queues at the lifts are not so long. The blue slopes are long enough and even the red ones are not so steep.
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Old 25.10.2007, 01:37
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Re: Ski holiday recommendations in Switzerland

verbier is ace, i started my snowboarding there and i found its a nice area to practice. zermatt is nice too, but i have been there in my 3rd season, cant say if its good for beginners. i liked st.moritz a lot and laax too. i will go for laax next year for snowboard holidays. around zürich i like flumserberg.id recommend to start the season/your practice there and id say you should take some lessons if you want and if you can make the blue slopes on your own, go for verbier for holidays.
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Old 31.10.2007, 16:00
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Re: Ski holiday recommendations in Switzerland

My 6 year old daughter learned to ski in Arosa last year it was perfect for her, if you are all absolute beginners I would recommend at least 1 day intensive tuition in the Pratchli area.

http://www.arosa.ch/en/welcome.cfm

Hope you have a great time wherever you choose.
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Old 27.08.2008, 16:42
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Re: Ski holiday recommendations in Switzerland

Having skied in several resorts I'd recommend checking out the latest edition of the 'Where to Ski & SnowBoard Guide .(it comes out each year and is unbiased) Not only does it give good objective info on the resorts but you can get a clearer idea of costs and of specific facilities -ie lively nightlife or quiet and picturesque.It also gives details and ratings of the Ski schools and the relative costs of ski passes .For example while Zermatt is a brilliant resort -I would suggest for those who can at least ski red runs -its not cheap and has the most expensive ski pass in Europe I'm told!
The Guide has a web site and last year's copy -which should be dead cheap to pick up on Amazon-will give you a good idea.
Have a great trip .
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Old 15.11.2012, 21:06
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Re: Ski holiday recommendations in Switzerland

You might find this site useful for choosing where to ski and stay in Switzerland: http://www.swisswintersports.co.uk - I have to declare an interest, it is my site, but I like to think it is pretty comprehensive and even-handed (although I'm always open to being corrected). And I would argue it is more detailed about Switzerland than the Ski and Snowboard Guide, good though it is, better oriented towards independent travellers and it is free!

I'd pretty much endorse everything that has said here, especially the locations. I think Verbier is OK for beginners, but there are cheaper options. It does have good, but pricey, nightlife though. I love Löschental, but it might be too quiet for a week even assuming you can get accommodation in Lauchernalp. Arosa is delightful, and both Saas-Fee and Zermatt are amongst the best resorts in the world - Saas perhaps better for beginners. St Moritz needn't be expensive and has the best youth hostel in the world, IMHO.

Interhomes is a good choice for accommodation, but I swear by the Swiss Youth Hostels for inexpensive, convenient and often lively places to stay. You can normallg find a dorm your party can use exclusively.

Places I would add that I don't think got mentioned which might push all your buttons include Grindelwald and Davos.

Last edited by outrage; 15.11.2012 at 21:42.
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Old 15.11.2012, 21:38
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Re: Ski holiday recommendations in Switzerland

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Me and some of my friends are looking to spend a week around Christmas in some ski resort in Switzerland. [...] Basically we are looking at a region which [...] is not very expensive.
What you're looking for does not exist as these two things are mutually exclusive. On few occasions I've found some pretty good deals from Lenzerheide. The mountain restaurants for example give a 50 percent discount to SBB halbtax owners (or at least used to) although this doesn't necessary mean that it will not be expensive.
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Old 15.11.2012, 21:49
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Re: Ski holiday recommendations in Switzerland

Try Portes du Soleil, most of it is in France, and is a bit cheaper. It is enormous! 650 Km of pistes, 197 ski lifts.....

http://en.ski-france.com/ski-area-portes-du-soleil/

http://www.holidaycheck.ch/destination-Reiseinformationen_Skigebiet+Champ%C3%A9ry+Portes+ du+Soleil-did_733.html

For Christmas, you must book up right away!
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Old 15.11.2012, 21:51
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Re: Ski holiday recommendations in Switzerland

www.skicompany.net
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Old 15.11.2012, 22:08
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Re: Ski holiday recommendations in Switzerland

Rahul, keep in mind that a resort can have poor snow cover around Christmas. I wouldn't book anything under 1,500 m.a.s.l.

Arosa and Crans-Montana are good recommendations for your skill level, but keep in mind that Crans is south-facing, so it can have a lot of bare or icy spots. Arosa is nice, but it's very family-oriented, so a group of young guys might find it exceedingly dull. Very few areas will "have it all," so it's best to narrow down your selection criteria in order to find something that suits you.

Once you've done so, do a search using skiclub.co.uk. Click on "ski resorts," the choose "advanced search." Play around with the variables a bit, and the results should be helpful.
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