There is more to a ski resort than just the skiing!

For many years the main purpose of going on a ski holiday was to ski as many runs as possible followed by some apres every day and return back to the office with a glorious goggle tan and a few unwanted pounds around the middle (no amount of skiing could ever burn off a Raclette feast!).  Could this be about to change? According to recent ski travel trend reports, more travellers are looking to broaden their experiences while on holiday, with a growing percentage of people heading to the mountains in winter to enjoy alternative activities other than skiing. This could well be the reason why more and more ski resorts are offering a broader range of activities suitable for skiers and non skiers alike. Here is a round up of some of the alternative activities that can be enjoyed as part of your ski/winter holiday…

Ice Driving/Ice Karting

Top of the activities list is ice driving, which has seen an increase in participation over the past few years. Skid and slide on the ice and learn how to drive in extreme conditions. A perfect choice for those seeking a new kind of adrenaline rush. If you want to have some fun with a groups of friends then definitely try snow karting. The karts are specially designed for the snow with lots of safety features which make it a suitable activity for older children.

Available in: Courchevel  Val Thorens  Val d’Isere

ice driving_karting
Ice karting and driving popular ski resort activities

‘Fat’ Snow Biking 

A fairly recent craze from the US, Fat (named fat due to the very wide tyres) biking has become a popular snow activity. In many resorts you can hire fat bikes quite easily to take out for a play around or you can join organised tours with a guide who can teach you the more technical aspects of Fat biking.

Available in: most main ski resorts

Fat Biking in the snow
Fat biking with a view

Zip Wire

The most famous is the La Tyrolienne in Val Thorens. Starting at Orelle (3,230) and finishing at Col de Thorens (3,000), this zip wire is the highest in the world. The journey is 1,300m,  and we have  no doubt you will feel like an Eagle in full flight. The ultimate choice for the true adrenaline junkie!

Ice Diving 

Although this is not a speed junkie kind of sport, ice diving is more a wild adventure with plenty of adrenaline. Discover a whole new winter world under the water with the help of professional instructors, there is no need to have been diving before.

Available in: Tignes  Morzine

Spa/Wellness/Fitness

It seems that ski holidays are becoming less about indulging on raclette and hot chocolate and more about fitness and wellbeing! According to findings by Club Med’s  2016/17 Ski Report,  there is an increasing demand for ski holidays to be all encompassing, providing action and excitement alongside wellness, relaxation and health. Many ski resorts and hotels offer wellness centres. Le Chabichou Courchevel 1850 a rustic-chic alpine retreat in the heart of Courchevel is renown for its wellness centre.

The Chabichou Hote Spa in Courchevel
The Chabichou Hote Spa in Courchevel

Activity Complexes/Water Parks

Families, particularly those with young children, know the on-going challenge of keeping children entertained on a family ski holiday. Unlike adults, children do not always take to skiing all day and everyday, so many families search for resorts that provide long periods of entertainment. If you are looking for something more state of the art then the Aquamotion in Corchevel, the largest European Water Park in the mountains! An area  of 10 000 m2 indoor – 5 000 m2 outdoor  consisting  of an Aquafun area, Aquarelax area, Aquawellness area and a Aqua Sports Activities. You will find that many resorts offer sports/activity complexes specifically built for families in mind.

Aquariaz in Avoriaz
Aquariaz in Avoriaz

 Snow Shoeing

What better way to explore beautiful remote parts of the mountain and take in the unspoilt scenery, whilst keeping fit than with a brisk walk on a pair of snow-shoes. Great fun and exercise for all ages!

Available in: most ski resorts

Snow-shoeing - a great way to see the stunning landscape.
Snow-shoeing – a great way to enjoy the stunning landscape.

Husky dog sledding

Enjoy the mountain landscape with with a team of dogs pulling you along on a sled. It’s a great family activity.

Available in: many ski resorts

dog-sledding in verbier
Dog-sledding in Verbier

 

We have only listed a few resort activities, just because we couldn’t list them all – there are so many! Should you require a full list of activities, you can find comprehensive list and details of all activities for your chosen resort by visiting the relevant tourist board website. Go-on try something new on your next ski holiday…

Need help finding your perfect ski holiday?

To save you a lot of time and trouble trying to find yourself the perfect ski holiday, call our Ski Experts on 020 7801 1080. We can happily tailor make you ski holiday to your requirements and book flights and transfers where required.

Click here to search all our chalets

How ski resorts celebrate Christmas and New Year

There is nothing like spending Christmas and New Year in a ski resort, particularly as many ski resorts put on some fantastic festive events for all tastes and ages. Ski resorts tend to celebrate in their own way and you’ll find plenty of festive activities going on between Christmas and New Year.

Not all resorts are good at advertising all their events, as there are usually quite a few, so they generally advertise the main ones. More than likely you will stumble across a festive activity as you walk around the resort. Whatever, you can be sure of lots of family fun and a visit from Santa somewhere along the way. In the more traditional resorts, you can experience festive local events such as choir singing and Christmas markets. Most resorts organise torchlight descents, which are usually followed by spectacular firework displays. Go to the bigger resorts and you can expect a festival style knees up to see in the New Year with a raucous bang!

Here’s a brief list of events in a few top ski resorts in Europe

Val d’Isere – France

Father Christmas on the slopes 23rd December
Discover Santa Claus on skis at the lifts on Solaise. Join in some fun and games with Santa.
Santa Claus is Coming to Town!! 24th December
Get ready to welcome Father Christmas, along with his magical Christmas assistants. This year Father Christmas will be arriving on his sleigh with his fairytale helpers.
Torchlight Descent & Fireworks 29Dec
Val d’Isère’s ski instructors present their brand new show including  Torchlight descent,  Firework display.

Val d'Isere Events
Val d’Isere Events

St Anton – Austria

Advent Magic in the Park – throughout December
St. Anton am Arlberg is hosting Advent Magic in the Park for the fourth time this year – the polar opposite to busy crowds, market stalls and rush to buy presents, this is traditional markets, wooden toys, gluwein…you get the picture!
Wiltener Boys Choir Concert 28th December 2016
Skishow “Schneetreiben” with Fireworks  30th December

St Anton Festivities

Tignes – France

Christmas Parade 22th December : let’s celebrate Christmas
Christmas’ parade will take place in Tignes Val Claret and Le Lac.
Santa Claus Tour 24th December
Pop – Rock New Year’s Eve and Fireworks 31st Dec
Grab your down jacket and Moonboots and get ready to dance to the greatest POP-ROCK bootlegs on the highest dance floor in Europe!

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Tignes

Morzine – France

Street Theatre “Legrand bazar de balthazar”– 24th December
Illumination of a giant tree of fire decorated with a hundred candles  24th December
Arrival of Father Christmas surrounded by his “light’in riders” followed by fireworks. 24th December
Town Illuminations 31st December
Light and street theatre show with “Les Cyborgs” 31st December
Light’in riders torchlight descent followed by fireworks 31st December

Morzine
Morzine

Selva – Italy

Mountain Christmas: Music entertainment with the Alpine Horns 23rd December
The hills are alive with the sound of…horns! Traditional horn playing by the famous local band.
Christmas Carols by Music Band Selva 24th December
Explore snow covered forest paths with snowshoes 25th December
Grab some fresh air before Prepare yourself for your Christmas
New Year in Selva 31st December
A torchlight descent in Ortisei followed by New Year Party with music entertainment by the band “Urtijëi Brass” this is followed by New Year Pary in Selva where you can bop into the early hours!

Selva
Selva

La Plagne

Torchlight ski descent and meet Santa before he starts the rounds 24th December
Celebrate a White Christmas in La Plagne – 25th  December
Various of festive activities and events throughout the day
Red Pompom NYE party  31st December
Dancing extravaganza to see in the New year. See the video footage below…

We have only listed a few resorts and events, if your resort is not up there, it’s just because we couldn’t list them all, so don’t worry, you can be sure of plenty of festive fun and frollicks, whichever ski resort you are planning on visiting for Christmas or New Year!

Need help finding your perfect ski holiday?

To save you a lot of time and trouble trying to find yourself the perfect ski holiday, call our Ski Experts on 020 7801 1080. We can happily tailor make you ski holiday to your requirements and book flights and transfers where required.

Click here to search all our chalets

Current snow forecast and where to find the best of the snow…

The phones at Alpine Answers have been busy with calls and the two main questions that our customers are asking are, where the snow is and what is the snow forecast. In light of this, we thought it would be a good idea to pull together our own brief report on the current snow conditions.

At the beginning of November the skiing world got very excited with the huge snowfalls that spread across many European ski resorts. This snow formed a solid base in some resorts and many resorts opened early. Then came the warmer weather and the snow stopped falling and in some cases began to melt at lower altitude, except for Val Thorens which saw a massive snowfall towards the end of November.

There have been a lot of negative reports that there is a lack of snow in Europe at the moment. While we agree there is little snow to be had at levels below 2,000m, there is still skiing to be had higher up, plus many resorts are fully utilising their snow making facilities at every given opportunity. So, there is skiing to be had, particularly in the major high altitude resorts such as Val Thorens, Val d’Isère and Tignes, and if you are happy to go further afield, there is an abundance of snow in North America and the east of Europe.

Outlook – The high pressure is due to pass in the next 7 days and snow is forecast to arrive again in Europe by mid- December (around 16th) so do not worry if you have booked your ski holiday over the Christmas period, there is still time.

The current snow in Europe in pictures (7th Dec 2016)

Val Thorens – France

Val Thorens
Val Thorens

Val d’Isere – France

Val d'Isere
Val d’Isere

Cervinia – Italy

Cervinia
Cervinia

Meribel – France

Meribel
Meribel

Les Arcs – France

Les Arcs
Les Arcs

Verbier – Swizerland

Verbier
Verbier

Tignes

Tignes
Tignes

Courchevel, France

Courchevel
Courchevel

La Thuile – Italy

La Thuile
La Thuile

For the latest snow forecasts, we suggest you visit wepowder.co.uk


And finally, let’s all do the ‘snow’ dance…!

Need help finding your perfect ski holiday?

To save you a lot of time and trouble trying to find yourself the perfect ski holiday, call our Ski Experts on 020 7801 1080. We can happily tailor make you ski holiday to your requirements and book flights and transfers where required.

Click here to search all our chalets

 

Our pick of the best Christmas presents for skiers and snowboarders

Stuck for the perfect gift to give the skier or boarder in your family this Christmas? Alpine Answers brings you it’s pick of the best presents for skiers and snowboarders. From the handy and fashionable to the fun stocking fillers, we have covered it all!

1. Travel Light

Dutch Hollow™ Hybrid Jacket                         www.columbiasportswear.co.uk
Light-and-warm duck down conspires with an Omni-Heat™ thermal-reflective lining to keep you cozy and comfortable without the bulk on this water-resistant hybrid jacket.(£150)


2. For Ultimate Warm Hands

Scott Ultimate Down Mittens                                                    www.scott-sports.com
The Scott Ultimate Down Mitten is a light, down mitten with a fleece-liner that keeps your hands looking good and feeling warm and comfortable on cold lift rides in the middle of winter. (£60)

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3. These glasses are sweeeet…!

Nectar Sunglasses                                                                                        www.igero.com
These polarized sunglasses from Nectar prevent glare off the snow and ice, and are built to take a beating  They come in a range of super sweet styles. (£100)

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4. Is it a Birdie, is it a plane…

Birdie GoPro Flight System                                                        www.mobilefun.co.uk
Want to do a few drone style shots on piste but no room to pack a drone? Birdie GoPro Flight System may just be the answer! A neat little aerodynamic piece of kit that easily packs down into a small bag for easy transportation. Just pop your GoPro into the cradle and away you go! (£37.99)

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4. Tame the Dragon

 Dragon Goggle X2                                                                  www.dragonalliance.com 
These game changing goggles push functional and versatility to the next dimension. The easy on-off mechanism, make it easier to switch lenses enabling riders to adapt instantly to all kinds of conditions! (£269.99)
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 5. Bring a slice of Devon to the Mountains

Bridd’s Beanies                                                                                      www.bridds.co.uk 
These luxury beanies which are hand-woven in Devon are super warm. They come in a number of different colours that will make you stand out from the (après) crowd! (prices start from £39.95)

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6. Oh lovely, a pair of socks…!

Icebreaker Ultra Light Over the Calf                                      www.icebreaker.com    Not just any old pair of socks! These Icebreaker ski socks are ultralight and non-cushioned for maximum breathability and moisture management. Featuring a sculpted, anatomical design, the Ski+ Ultralight socks are made with a stretchy, breathable and odor-resistant blend of merino wool, nylon and Lycra®. Strategic breathe zones improve ventilation, and the seamless toe closure reduces bulk and prevents blisters. (£23)

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  7. Style goes skin deep

Flow Men’s Boxer Shorts                                                  www.waxxunderwear.co.uk  A perfect stocking filler! These boxer shorts are made from a super soft stretchy new generation fabric for extreme comfort with a rather fetching ski design! 94% Polyester, 6% Lycra. Double layered, flat stitched, cotton pouch for extra comfort and shape. Unique ‘No Fade Fabric’ to ensure that new look and feel: no matter how many times you wash. (£20)

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8. Wax on, Wax off…

The Butta Service Tin                                                                www.snowandrock.com 
Includes a block of our regular 200g wax, our new Butta brush, a small scraper, Butta branded towel and now also with 60ml of green stuff cleaner. Full detailed instructions on servicing your board or ski’s. All presented in a retro Butta branded tin (£29.99)

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9. Now where did I put my beer…?

Hanski Beer Mitt                                                                                     www.hanskie.com
Keep your hands warm and your beer cool with the Hanski beer mitt. Handmade from a soft wool blend, it has a built in bottle holder to keep you beer cool! (£20)

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10. Throwback Onsies

 The Retro Mountain Onsie                                                 www.retromountain.com   I’m sure I have one of these stashed away in the attic?!…It’s a winner with the 20- somethings though! Go- on, ride the retro wave…! (£300)

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11. All in one ski helmet for kids

Cebe Fireball Junior Helmet                                                     www.alpinetrek.co.uk
Combining feather weight and comfort, the Fireball Junior was designed with an In-Mold shell to minimize weight while optimizing impact resistance. It is perfect choice if you are always having problems with goggles falling down and cold heads. Available in sizes 49-54cm (£93.95)

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12. The  Monster  Bunch

Barts Monster Beanie                                                                www.ellis-brigham.com
Make the little monster(s) in your family really stand out with this cute and cool Monster beanie. The soft fleece lining  keeps the head and ears all toasty as well as preventing an itchy forehead! (£22.99)

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13. The only way to really put a smile on their face this Christmas…

The Ultimate Ski Holiday                                                    www.alpine answers.co.uk
Treat the skier or boarder in the family to a ski holiday getaway! There are still many deals to be had alpineanswers.co.uk. We can happily tailor make you ski holiday to your requirements and book flights and transfers where required. Call us on 020 7801 1080 and speak to one of our friendly ski experts.

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Black Friday turns WHITE with plenty of snow and ski offers…

black-friday-blog-bannerWell, it seems that what usually is an annual one day of mega discounts, Black Friday has now turned into Black Friday Week! Friday is just not long enough this year and with Brexit and the tumbling pound, this has caused the travel industry to begin discounting days earlier.

Just as a reminder (in case you have been on Mars for the past few weeks!) that the date for this year’s shopping spree is November 25, followed by Cyber Monday on November 28.

We predict that ski operators including Mark Warner and Club Med will be reducing prices even further during this period, plus with the great snowfall this month, there’s no better time to take advantage of the great deals to be had and book your ski holiday.  We are going to have to jump the band wagon and like many ski operators, call it a well – deserved WHITE FRIDAY!

Skiworld White Friday Week

Have already launched their White Week Sale offering huge savings of up to £450pp on over 90 of their chalets in France and Austria for departures in January. Prices include flights/transfers and chalet board. Below are 3 examples of savings with Skiworld;

CHALET STOANERHOF**** – MAYRHOFEN, Austria
Depart 7th Jan 2017 7 nights Was £938PP NOW £476PP SAVE £462pp

CHALET LES ROUSES***, LES DEUX ALPES, France
Depart 21st Jan 2017 7 nights  Was £750 NOW £538 SAVE £212pp

CHALET LAPIN DE NEIGE***, COURCHEVEL, France
Depart 14th Jan 2017 7 nights  Was £776 NOW £564 SAVE £212pp

Alpine Answers very own White Friday Offer

Not forgetting, we shall will be launching our very own exclusive White Friday offer to newsletter subscribers only, so if you want to ensure you do not miss out on this  then go to the top of our homepage and sign up to our newsletter today!

Will you need help finding your perfect ski chalet in the White Friday Sale?

If you are going to wait until Friday to grab yourself a ski holiday deal, please be aware that prices and availability will be changing regularly throughout the day so, to save you a lot of time and trouble trying to find yourself the perfect ski chalet and ensure you get the best White Friday offer, call our Ski Experts first on 020 7801 1080 and we will do the leg work for you.

Click here to view our current ski deals