Top locations for 2013 season

When it comes to picking your holiday, it can be a little tough to decide where to go. Do you want to go to some of the world’s most challenging slopes of France, to the family friendly slopes of Austria, or the scenic slopes of Andorra ? My family, myself, my wife and our 2 10 year old twins, have been skiing for the past 5 years, and we’ve tried a whole host of different types of locations. At this stage we are fairly competent in booking things ourselves, one tip I would give you is book things as early as possible, i.e. NOW !

Note: If you are reading this as first time skier, I would generally let a company organise everything for you, just to take the stress away from your winter holiday seeing as everything will be pretty new to you. You want to make sure you enjoy your holiday, and if it costs 10-20% extra for this comfort at the start, I would suggest paying for it !

Approach to booking your ski holiday

My general strategy for picking where to go on holiday starts like this, we pick airport, then resort, then hotel. Going through these steps will help you to pick places where to go

  1. What airport can we fly in to at a reasonable price ? Check and for potentially new routes. Also it’s good to check other carriers that fly out of Ireland like Scandinavian Airlines  who fly to Norway for example.
  2. What resorts are within a two hour car or train ride ? Germany, Switzerland, France and Austria are particularly accessible for trains, if you want to avoid the cost of a rental car. But if you have small kids it’s best to pick up a car for the week or look at getting a transfer.
  3. What resorts are big enough to keep us occupied for the week ? We pick a small to medium size resort, or a resort that has easy bus transfers for the odd day trip.
  4. Hotel or chalet checkIn France and Italy chalets are more popular, if you want to do self catering accommodation. And in Germany, Austria and Switzerland they lean more towards B&B’s, so-called Pensions. So you will need to see where you can get accommodation, be it in a hotel or a chalet. We generally tend towards accommodation that’s closer to, or on, the slope  as it just allows you to maximise your time on the slope if you want.

Once you’ve done those 4 steps you can relax for a few weeks, and then start to think a little bit more about skiing insurance, clothes & equipment hire and all the other fun aspects that go with planning !

Locations to look at in 2013

Here is a run down of 8 resorts you may have passed over, and are great for skiers at all levels :

  • Le Gets in France, fly into Geneva.
  • La Thuile/ La Rosiere in France / Italy, fly into Geneva.
  • Carosello 3000, Livigno, Italy fly into Milan or Geneva
  • Mayrhofen, Austria, fly into Innsbruck or Salzburg or Munich
  • Davos, Switzerland, fly into Zurich.
  • Garmisch Classic, Germany, fly into Munich
  • Hafjell or Trysil, Norway, fly into Oslo
  • Pas de la Casa, Andorra, fly into Barcelona, Spain or Toulouse or Perpigan in France

All of these resorts are high enough to have pretty good snow through out the season, and are relatively easy to get to. They all have enough slopes to keep you busy, or have sister slopes very close.

I’d love to hear of your favourite places to ski, if you have any please do let me know in the comments.