Europe 2010 - 2011 Trip Plans/Thoughts/Reviews Thread

skiflat

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Interesting question, that's exactly when I am looking at leaving
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Looking like it will be three weeks skiing, as the leased vehicle needs to be at least 3 weeks, as they will not lease for 2 weeks!
 
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Heinz

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markopolo said:
Experts ! What is the last week of January, first week of February like for crowds ? 3V or Pyrenees ?

Just look up when the French school holidays are and avoid them (think they are later Feb?), otherwise that should be fine.
 
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skiflat

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I have a rough plan so far!!!

Few nights in Paris
Few nights around Loire Valley
Drive to 3V or similar
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- 7 nights
Drive to Lech - 7 nights
Few nights in Venice
Few nights in Milan
Few nights around London or similar

How to keep all this from the +1 for the next 9 months!

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skiflat

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Another newbie question!

I assume it's silly to think that I'll be able to get any cheap ski gear in Europe ?
 

hpsauce

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Not silly at all.
It depends what you are after. Like brands that is.
I have got a Peak Performance jacket cheap in Courmayer.
And some cheap gear in Livingo.
I suppose they have the same market forces there.....based on volumes and competition etc

What I have noticed there is the gems you occasionally come across. Like new old stock in some back-of-the-blocks village shop.

Also, the UK big shops sometmes have excellent change of season specials (e.g. Ellis Brigham and SnowandRock)
 

Zeroz

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markopolo said:
What is the last week of January, first week of February like for crowds ? 3V or Pyrenees ?

Best indication of low demand is the last two weeks of January always have the cheapest accom prices - often 1/2 off the peak price, sometimes more for last minute deals.

Starts to pick up again in Feb, but still way off the mid-Feb (UK and French school holidays) or Xmas/NY rush.
 
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Heinz

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skiflat

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As for school holidays! As Heinz mentioned!

http://about-france.com/school-holidays.htm

Winter holidays
Zone A - Brittany, lower Normandy, Pays de la Loire, Lorraine, Rhône Alpes, Auvergne, Languedoc, Midi-Pyrenees
Saturday 26th February 2011 to Sunday 13th March 2011

Zone B - North east France (Picardy, Nord-Pas de Calais, Champagne), Alsace, Franche-Comté and Burgundy, the Centre region, Limousin and Poitou Charentes, Upper Normandy (the Rouen area) and Provence, the southern Alps & the Riviera
Saturday 19th February 2011 to Sunday 6th March 2011

Zone C - Greater Paris, Aquitaine
Saturday 12th February 2011 to Sunday 27th February 2011




So 12th Feb to 27th Feb would be the time to avoid if possible???
 
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skiflat

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Zeroz: Thank you
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markopolo: Yep out before the 12th of Feb!

Slight change to my plans now !
 
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skiflat

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http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/breakin...o-1225850760744

The dollar reached 69.34 euro cents during yesterday's offshore session, its highest level since the introduction of the eurozone currency on January 1, 1999.

Best time in 11 years to travel then
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Time to find some pre-paid accommodation
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But fark me hotels are $$ here....
 
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skiflat

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'H' Jones said:
skidown said:
Thanks - Sounds likes Lech & 3V are great for the first Europe trip!

biggrin.gif

I have been to Lech, Zurs and ST Anton as well as Zermatt, remind me on my return and will be happy to give some detailed thoughts. (Too hard to type long replies on my phone !)

Welcome Home
wink.gif
 
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Mr_Ed

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Hey guys, myself and my +1 have started planning next years trip and at the moment it goes as follows but having never skied or travelled in Europe before, any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated!

Jan 10 - Fly Melb to Paris for 6 days
Jan 16 - Train to Chamonix for 5 days
Jan 21 - Train to Zermatt for 5 days
Jan 26 - Train to Innsbruck for 5 days (ski somewhere, St Anton/Lech? )
Feb 1 - Train to Vienna for 3 days
Feb 5 - Fly out of Vienna to Melb

We are planning on getting a Eurail pass and taking skis and we can currently get the stated flights for AUD$1980 each with Qatar Airlines.

Cheers guys!
 

CarveMan

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Wow - cheap flights.

Chamonix is unreal but will be a baptism of fire as a warmup. I had a pretty amazing week there in January:

https://www.ski.com.au/xf/posts/859909
https://www.ski.com.au/xf/posts/862024
https://www.ski.com.au/xf/posts/868008

Otherwise you've picked some of the best places in the world to ski, and will have timed it before the School Hols.

For that kind of itinerary, pack light as you will get sick of lugging your stuff!!!! Fortunately Qatar has a 20kg limit so that kind of mandates it.
 
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Heinz

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Mr Ed, that is a good fare.

That is a good itinerary for a first up Europe trip. What sort of skiers are you and what sort of skiing are you after?

I ask this in particular with regards to Chamonix. It is a fantastic place for doing the sort of stuff that Carveman did, but perhaps not the best place for intermediate skiers after cruisy terrain. Some of the ski areas are ok for this but they are not inter linked like in other French areas. Whoever you are though if you do go there a trip up the Aiguille du Midi is an essential experience even if you don't ski the Valle Blanche.

Zermatt is definately worthwhile with the iconic Matterhorn and the skiing caters for everyone.

Around Innsbruck there are plenty of options. You can stay in Innsbruck itself and do day trips, a couple of areas overlook the town, or you could go to somewhere like Lech, Ischgl Sölden etc nearby.

Paris & Vienna - plenty to see there.

You should be able to get a 4 day flexi train pass covering thoese 3 countries. 2nd class will be fine for those.
 

rangerider

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Yep sounds like a good plan Mr Ed. Trains are awesome in Europe, especially in France and the German speaking countries. You'll see some awesome scenery training it between the places you've mentioned.

Plenty of options around Innsbruck. Make sure you go to the tourist office and get your Innsbruck card. (allows you to get free bus shuttles from Innsbruck to about 10 different resorts). I love Innsbruck.

Vienna is a nice place and well worth checking out but it's got nothing on Paris IMO. If you're not into the arts so much I'd spend maybe an extra day or two skiing. Or even give Vienna a miss and hit Prague. Prague is great.
 

Mr_Ed

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thanks a lot guys!

I'm a pretty confident skier but my girlfriend is only an intermediate skier so i might have to think some more about Chamonix. Although i dont think she's planning on doing as much skiing as me anyway and after looking at those threads Carveman, I think Chamonix is a must!! Just out of curiosity, whats the ballpark figure for a guide for a day?
Yeah i'm a bit loathed to take ski's as I did Hakuba and then toured Japan with ski's this year and that was a bit frustrating at times. But it's a fair save in the budget and hiring ski's in three places might be just as annoying in the end I think.

Thanks for the tip Rangerider!

Yeah I was pretty stoked with the fare so I think i'd better jump on it while I can!
 

Heinz

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Other than the guided skiing, the best of the resorts for advanced skiers in the Chamonix region is at the Grand Montets out of Argentiere which is pretty amazing in itself esp if you haven't done any European skiing. Some of the other resorts are worth checking as well.
 

'H' Jones

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skidown said:
'H' Jones said:
skidown said:
Thanks - Sounds likes Lech & 3V are great for the first Europe trip!

biggrin.gif

I have been to Lech, Zurs and ST Anton as well as Zermatt, remind me on my return and will be happy to give some detailed thoughts. (Too hard to type long replies on my phone !)

Welcome Home
wink.gif

sorry mate. On returning home I have been in Perth for work unexpectedly. Still here as well.

basically, with either Lech or Zermatt you can't go wrong. From memory you like similar skiing to me, ie Blacks, off piste but not backcountry or extreme ?

Lech is beautiful, a very plush skiing experience, the runs can be long and varied and traditionally snowfall is good. The food is excellent and you will get used to the magic carpet that transports you on a lift only to find the chairlift is heated
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You can ski Zurs by taking the gondola in town, I really enjoyed Zurs also and skiing to the other small local villages. It seemed every little, off the beaten track, building you stopped at sold excellent local food with a glass of something nice.

It is fun to pop into Strolz, think Larry Adler on steroids if you know that shop ?

The bus to St Anton is easy and we enjoyed the shops over there. There is great skiing in St Anton as well, however we never really got bored with Lech/zurs so only had a day at St Anton. We stayed at the haldenhof, good loco, ski in, walk out and half board was great food with a lovely bar.

Zermatt is my favourite ever ski place. Massively long runs, many cruisy or tougher blacks, whichever you fancy. The most stunning place you can imagine, lunch at Fluhap or Chez Vrony will stay with you forever, the views and food are sensational.

Mountain food is indeed better than anywhere else I know. The skiing is awesome as well, a massive area with good snow suredness due to altitude, the run from Klein Matterhorn down to Cervinia is a wonderfully long 'motorway' type run. The skiing in Italy is slightly easier I found and great for a couple of days, don't miss the last chair lift back though !

The village is awesome, heaps of shops and restaurants to keep you and your +1 happy. Nightlife is a lot of fun, drinking in ski boots till 10pm is encouraged even if you struggle the next day !

We have been 4 times, we stay in Hotel Beau Rivage, run by Max and Karin, Max won GS gold in '84 I think it was. They are utterly charming and have become good friends.

The various skiing areas are all a little different, just note some areas off Gornergrat don't open till late in the season. The last time we went there was a new gondola linking a couple of the areas allowing a great day of touring from area to area.

All in all Zermatt is a place to where we will keep returning. Not as expensive as many think, the skiing is expansive and the snow usually is plenty.

We are off again next Jan, I can't wait !!

Any more specifics you want, let me know
smile.gif
 
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skiflat

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Thank you!!!!!!!

Yes I do like the same terrain as you, blacks, off-piste but not choc/CarveMan extreme style skiing
smile.gif


I was settle on Lech and the 3 Vallees, may change to Zermatt and the 3 Vallees

Need to get things booked ASAP as the flights I need only have limited availability!

Thank heaps again!
 
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'H' Jones

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the village of Zermatt has a lot more going on than Lech. Lech has ST A close, but it is still a bus ride away which isn't so convenient for night time, IMHO.

To be honest, you can't lose with any of your choices
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skiflat

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biggrin.gif
Might toss a coin then..
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Looking forward to a non-USA ski year though!
 
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'H' Jones

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Europe is a completely different experience. Chalk and cheese to the US, some negatives, heaps of benefits and has to be experienced first hand, you are in for a real treat
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Just no discount stores I am afraid
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skiflat

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'H' Jones said:
the village of Zermatt has a lot more going on than Lech. Lech has ST A close, but it is still a bus ride away which isn't so convenient for night time, IMHO.

To be honest, you can't lose with any of your choices
wink.gif

Well my Travel Agent has highly recommended Zermatt and left it up to me do decide between Lech and Zermatt...
laugh.gif


What to do!!!!!!!!!
 
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skiflat

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Heinz said:

Considering it
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But would ideally like 2 weeks skiing, with one week at either Lech/Zermatt and then one week at the 3 Vallees. Not sure I can squeeze in 3 weeks yet...... Doing 2 weeks would leave about 10 days to see other non-ski related stuff!

Doing that will get me out of heading back to Europe in Summer (hopefully) and then allow another 2 weeks skiing in 2012 in Europe somewhere
biggrin.gif
 
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skiflat

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At the moment, have the hotels and either car lease or transfers sorted.

I just need to pull the trigger on what resorts and when!

Will have it all sorted by this time next week as my travel agent is on leave for a few weeks and would like to lock in flights and everything ASAP.
 

robbied

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All I can contribute to this thread is this:

St Anton is awesome and I want to go again.
 

skiflat

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CarveMan said:
I still think you should go to Val d'Isere

I think you were talking to me!?!

I was actually just having another look at that trail map
wink.gif
!!!

My original plan was:
Lech
3 Valleys
Val d'Isere

Then Zermatt was mentioned.


I really have to cut the trip to 2 weeks, plus 10 days non-ski stuff..... so 3 1/2 weeks all up.

So out of those 4 if I had to spend 2 weeks (one at each), what would you pick ?
 
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CarveMan

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Tough call, first out of those 4 i'd cut is 3V as I think Val is similar but better.

Otherwise it's pretty hard to split that 3. Zermatt would be the most unique of them as it's a real alpine experience with glaciers and the Matterhorn etc, so then it's a matter of splitting Lech and Val, and I haven't skied both so I can't really comment there.
 

skiflat

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Thanks
smile.gif


Pricewise, I have been given accommodation that is all roughly the same price! So that doesn't help.

Might narrow it down with what is the easiest to transfer between, as I don't really want to have a car for 2-3 weeks when it's going to be parked for the large majority of the time. Added to that the cost of parking in the city hotels will add up....

Zermatt I think is a keeper due to your and 'H' Jones recomendations

Lech or Val, I'll sort it out
 
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skiflat

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So first you get me to Europe instead of the USA and now you have chosen my resorts!
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Thanks for your help though
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biggrin.gif


Might go find that coin and decide based on that!

As for the language, always wanted to learn something besides Japanese which I haven't used in so many years. Time to learn French then.

Surprise the +1 with a bit of French and a check-in at the Singapore Airlines counter instead of V Australia
woohoo.gif


She is certain we are heading to the USA again next Jan at this stage
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grin.gif
 
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CarveMan

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Hehehehe.

Coin sounds the best way! Seriously - you're choosing between 4 of the finest resorts in the world, so if a couple stand out due to hotels/transfers etc you're still going to have a fantastic time.
 

skiflat

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biggrin.gif
Can't wait! What is going to kill me is not telling the +1, and see her re-action when she says "Why are we in the Singapore Airlines line?" 285 days to go from memory for me...

Also, it's only 6 months til October and you need to arrange your trip
tongue.gif


In the meantime we both have Epic Buller and Epic NZ to sidetrack us.
 
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skiflat

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Probably not, it'll slip out somewhere.....Either that or she'll find my profile on here.......:p

But I really want to make it that far, as she kept saying she wants to go to Europe and while she was very happy about going back to Colorado/California again, I am sure Europe will be better. I have spent hours watching You Tube videos of various European ski resorts and the slopes look amazing! Can't see the I-70 anywhere though......

I have made it 3 weeks so far.... 40 to go....
 

Heinz

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Another option would be to hit Zermatt for just a couple of days on your way through from France to Austria or vv. and ski a week each at the other places. Get to see the Matterhorn, skiing from the Kleine Matterhorn etc, so at least you've seen and know if you want to go back again another time.
 

Born2ski

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Quick skidown I think you should buy some Euros now for your trip, $AU1= .6942 EURO. And the Aussie is nearly at parity with the Swiss franc too, .9946 CHF
 
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