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Favourite skiing areas in Europe

Discussion in 'Europe' started by KL., Jun 21, 2018.

  1. KL.

    KL. One of Us

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    Would love to hear what your favourite skiing areas in Europe are, why you liked those ski areas, and how easy they are to get to.
     
  2. CarveMan

    CarveMan Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    I think Val d'Isere is the best ski resort in the world.

    It's very easy to get to, short bus from a TGV station that takes you all the way to Paris or even London, or a 4 hour bus from Geneva.

    I personally prefer Chamonix as it has higher strong points but also plenty of weak points. It's super super easy to get to from Geneva. Bit harder from Paris.

    Verbier is also amazing, it's ****ing expensive and very easy to get to from Geneva.
     
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  3. KL.

    KL. One of Us

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  4. rdk

    rdk Hard Yards

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    I loved the vibe of Val D'Isere, and great skiing, but for the skiing alone I think the 3Vallees is ahead, and has some more budget-friendly options than Val D'Isere. Val is closer to that whole alpine village feel that helps make skiing in Europe special, though.
     
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  5. skinavy

    skinavy One of Us

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    Tough question.... My answers would be:

    Chamonix for the vibe of being in big mountains with some classic off piste routes in the Valle Blanche. Short transfer from GVA

    St Anton as the birth place of modern alpine skiing technique, great skiing and easy to get to by train from Zurich.

    Saalbach-Hinterglemm, great apres combined with great skiing.

    Tignes/Val d'Isere, altitude means normally good snow although the atmosphere of Tignes Val Claret is a bit dire in terms of the buildings (must have been the same guy who designed prisons did most of the buildings there)

    Meribel, good terrain, relatively easy to get to. Accomodation not too expensive, good apres at Folie Douce and got to love a town where you can by Veuve Cliqout at a Butchers (the one just near Rond Pont)
     
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  6. Boodwah

    Boodwah One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Cant beat 3V, and for me Courchevel is almost home so I’m biased. Its very beautiful though, pricey but you get what you pay for. Serre Chevalier valley probably second, mostly bc of La Grave up the road.
    I love Cham, but it’s a little dysfunctional, especially after a storm. And not a family resort.
     
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  7. Boodwah

    Boodwah One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Also Dolomites for the spectacle if you can strike them with good snow. Amazing mountains, awesome food!
     
  8. LDJ

    LDJ One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    I’m a massive advocate. I have spent a whole season there and probably skied 30+ weeks there during last 12yrs. It’s not a party resort but very French, awesome intermediate ski runs with epic accessible BC both lift and within the local national parks. La grave is 30min away. It’s off the main radar but genuinely good. I agree Val D/Tignes is awesome but can b crazily busy & expensive. Best resort if always hard depends on you. I frequently recommend different resorts to different people depending what they want
     
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  9. KL.

    KL. One of Us

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    30+ weeks with lifted epic accessible BC, sounds great. what would you say are the main differences between serre chevalier and Val D/Tignes. does the lift ticket let you ski serre chevalier and la grave? are the awesome intermediate ski runs essentially really long runs?
     
  10. Kletterer

    Kletterer Thredbo Doughnut Tragic Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Last 10 years has been Saalbach, but if i had to choose 1 without taking crowds into account it would be Zurs- Lech- St Anton. In particular the Schindler West flank chutes zone. Chute number 2 ( just right of the top station) is the yardstick.
     
  11. KL.

    KL. One of Us

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    you have certainly skied some nice places. the chutes look like the motatapu chutes at TC
     
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  12. Kletterer

    Kletterer Thredbo Doughnut Tragic Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    No schnapps at the bottom of Motatapu ;)
     
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  13. KL.

    KL. One of Us

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    definitely not, just a long uphill walk out. a lift from the bottom of motatpu would be great and also a lift to the top of the summit would be great (that would create some nice long runs through gunbarrel and the powder basin to the 6).

    actually, a lift to the top of the summit would create some nice long runs through hollywood into the motatapu chutes. probably the best lift from the bottom of motatapu, would be a lift from over the creek to the top of the other ridge and then ski from the top of that ridge down to the saddle lift or ski back down (nice black directly down) to this lift.

    a summit lift might even let you ski over to Thompsons (i think) ridge which would let you ski down the other side of motatpu

    add those 2 lifts to TC and TC would be much bigger and much more enjoyable and maybe even justify their very high lift ticket prices.
     
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  14. LDJ

    LDJ One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Massively different. Val D/Tignes way better resort base, more modern, bigger ski area, more luxury, better apres, more fashionable, higher elevation, glacier skiing, more advanced runs, epic off piste options but way more expensive, crowded, POW gets skied out quickly, need guide for a lot of best off piste.

    Serre che way more French, chilled out, valley is like one big terrain park with lots of rollers, trees, free-ride terrain, quiet (apart from feb). Long fast reds and blacks but not much challenging onpiste terrain. Lots of accessible offpiste either via lifts or hiking and a lot less people skiing it than Val D. Can’t remember if you can do 1 day in la grave on a week ticket. Can definitely do monganeuve/claviere and maybe alpend’huez, L2A

    They are so different is hard to compare all depends on the individual
     
  15. KL.

    KL. One of Us

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    oh, have you stayed at Tignes and what are your thoughts about Tignes village?
     
  16. skinavy

    skinavy One of Us

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    Stayed in Tignes Val Claret (the highest village) twice. It is pretty dire. The village, if you could call it that, consists mainly of concrete apartment buildings. It is definetly the least attractive "resort" I've ever stayed in. That being said the bars and resturants are pretty good and skiing has always been good when I've been there.
     
  17. Rabid K9

    Rabid K9 One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Something will schnapp if you fall in the Motatapu's though.
     
  18. Rabid K9

    Rabid K9 One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yes, is a phenomenal area. Throw in Warth & the endless ski touring routes, always something new to get into there. I despise crowds & keep going back. Prefer to stay Lech side, slightly different demographic, & work to avoid the crowds. Very quick to get to from Zurich, not much longer from Milan.

    Innsbruck is always a great Alps base, but I'm getting less tolerant of the food with each visit. You can literally starve on Sunday in that city if your not aware that nothing is open.

    Few places astound me, but the Dolomites do, with the food bonus & being somewhat cheaper. Amazed at the amount of Germanics down there doing business, with cheaper costs & enjoying the mountains to boot. Next trip, snow permitting, will probably spend much of it the Dolomites. Can touch down in Milan in morning & be up there by the afternoon, in theory. But Italian immigration & baggage handlers have other ideas. Next time I've vowed to land somewhere north of the divide.

    Have spent a little time in some of the 'big' Swiss areas, to be honest couldn't get back across the border to Austria or Italy fast enough. But I'd happily ride around on their train network for weeks.
     
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  19. Red_switch

    Red_switch Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: 30 Day

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    Hemsedal.
     
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  20. piolet

    piolet Better make it three Ski Pass: Gold

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    Heh
    My wife spent her childhood skiing there
    Sounds quite nice for the fam

    Chamonix isnt a resort and isn't good at it
    Verbier is and is (I bloody love it)
    Haven't heard bad things about val 'd nor st Anton apart from crowds
     
  21. Apresski

    Apresski Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    1. Zermatt
    2. Val d'Isere
    3. St Anton
     
  22. Red_switch

    Red_switch Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: 30 Day

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    At Hemsedal?

    It's a beaut spot, if a little cold and dark in December.
     
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  23. piolet

    piolet Better make it three Ski Pass: Gold

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    Ja

    I've only been through in summer though. Totally agree!
     
  24. Genghis Khan

    Genghis Khan Hard Yards

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    Zermatt - for skiing quality, scenery, food
    Chamonix - for skiing quality, ease of getting to and the fact that I always seem to get fresh snow when i go!
    Val D'Isere - because whilst it isn't the best at anything, it is very good at everything
    La Plagne - because that's where my eldest daughter learnt to ski
    Dolomites - in spring for the scenery, the weather, the food and just generally enjoying that italian good life

    When living in Europe I explored around a lot but after a few seasons kept finding myself back at Chamonix more often than anywhere else. It suited how we most like to ski (off piste with a guide) and is just so convenient.

    Everywhere except Cham had the same hassle getting to - fly to a major hub, mostly geneva then deal with a bus for 2-3 hours or a train in the case of Zermatt.
     
  25. Hyst

    Hyst Enjoyer Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yes, if you do not have to worry about £££££££ - then you are right !! LOL
     
  26. Shoey

    Shoey Hard Yards

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    Hi all, new member here. I'm Shoey & I've just returned to Oz after living the past 11yrs in the UK & skiing the Alps for the past 7yrs.

    I think my personal favourite is still Zermatt - yes purely just for the scenery but it's just imprinted into my head - especially the run down Gornergrat after taking the cog railway up. We stayed at the Cervinia side and ended up going to Zermatt for 3~4 of the 6 days. The Italian side is amazing for food & value.

    Otherwise Three Valleys is our go-to favourite. Can't go wrong with 3V - there are always good deals (from London, at least) to go there and because of its size even going there again there will be new areas to explore. We typically stay at La Tania which is the budget option and a lift away from Courchevel.

    In terms of access, from London they were all nearly the same, as we go thru an operator. Fly in to Chambery and the operator have reps & coaches to distribute the hordes of British skiiers to their respective resorts.

    One of the more out-of-left-field places we went to recently was Levi in Finland. It's a tiny resort, low altitude but given its proximity to the Arctic it's not an issue. It won't be a place for 6d of full on skiing though due to its small size, but it does have other distractions like husky, northern lights, and Nordic skiing so it was a novel experience.

    Of the least enjoyable Chamonix was a bit of a letdown. It is a series of disconnected ski fields and having to take the bus everywhere is just a hassle...
     
  27. Budgiesmuggler

    Budgiesmuggler A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    I like st Anton - great skiing and worlds best apres.

    Also chamonix but would be a pain with a family.
     
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  28. Kletterer

    Kletterer Thredbo Doughnut Tragic Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    My new favourite is Gerlos/Zell/Konigsleiten aka Zillertal Arena. Ask @DidSurfNowSki how good it was. He booked accom a little later than me but i got a large room **** 50 metres from the main Gondola for 900 bucks a week with brecky. Huge area.
     
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  29. CarveMan

    CarveMan Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    I think I'm going to find this out the hard way in February.
     
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  30. Tanuki

    Tanuki A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    We went there with our daughter when she was six months old, no problems.
     
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  31. Tanuki

    Tanuki A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Edit: for a visit, not a season.
     
  32. CarveMan

    CarveMan Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Perfect - ours will be 9 months.

    We'll go for quite a while with low ski expectations.
     
  33. Budgiesmuggler

    Budgiesmuggler A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    We took our 11mo to Canada, we found a seasonaire to babysit before we arrived and worked out really well. Last year we took our other kid at 10m to Japan, she was in childcare and hated it. Advantage of Canada was the girl came to our apartment every day and would hand out, and then take him to the library etc.

    Actually in some ways being in Japan with a car made life easier in Japan, I imagine you’re having a car in Cham?
     
  34. CarveMan

    CarveMan Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yeah I'm pretty sure we will have a car.
     
  35. Sbooker

    Sbooker One of Us

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    I will be in just around the corner in Kaltenbach in about 130 days time. We've got the Hintertux glacier as a back up just in case the snow is not playing the game. I will be sure to get a day in at Gerlos if conditions are right.
    You could say I'm a little excited!
     
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  36. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Make sure you check out Hochfugen also.
     
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  37. Budgiesmuggler

    Budgiesmuggler A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Cool can load it with baby gear and then you’re set!
     
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  38. Sbooker

    Sbooker One of Us

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    I expect we will as it's just over the hill from where we're staying. We only have 4 days skiing there before we move on. So many options if there has been snow. Being early season I expect off piste will not be a realistic expectation. For a family of advanced intermediates which hills in the area would be the best fit?
    It appears Hochfugen, Zell, Mayrhofen and Gerlos would be closest. Hintertux is a bit further on the train/bus so we'll only look at that option if we must.
     
  39. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Hochzillertal and Hochfugen are linked but completely different. Hochzillertal is wide groomers and carving skis, Hochfugen is offpiste and fat skis. Sounds like Hochzillertal will best suit your family, but if there is a bit of fresh snow checkout Hochfugen. Zell/Gerlos is certainly worth a day trip, but it does take a while to traverse the area, so make sure you turn around and head back to Zell before lifts close. Don't worry about Hintertux unless there is a complete lack of snow - it is mainly an early/late season option.
     
  40. person s

    person s Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Zermatt is magic
    I’ve loved everywhere I’ve skied, but this is the one I would most want to do again
     
  41. Budgiesmuggler

    Budgiesmuggler A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    And I love Cham too, nothing makes you reassess your own ski ability like sharing a lift with a bunch of blokes carrying backpacks, ropes, harnesses and ice axes!!
     
  42. XTREMO

    XTREMO Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Serre Chevalier has been on my list for years. Might get to sample it in Dec/Jan. Looking at spending the New Years week visiting friends in Turin and we'll do some riding if the weather plays ball. My friend (the one we're visiting) loves Sestriere and Bardonecchia. He hasn't been to Serre Chevalier. Would be interested to know how they compare....

    @LDJ Have you also been to Sestriere? Bardonecchia?

    I'm booked for Val D'Isere first week of Feb. Winter's shaping up nicely, even though its still t-shirt weather here in Berlin! We've had an incredible summer. Wall to wall sunshine since April.
     
  43. dkasper

    dkasper Addicted

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    I've only been to Saalbach and Zermatt.

    Favourite skiing area? Zermatt. So much better than expected with shallow pitch runs making it accessible for the family. Not that easy to get to, but I generally prefer it that way. I think the easier resorts are to get to, and the closer to big cities usually the busier they are. If I am going on a 35hours plane trip, what's an extra 8 hours. Every day I've skiied at Zermatt was magic:
    [​IMG]
     
  44. LDJ

    LDJ One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Visited Sestriere but not skied. My dad likes it there but did say it was insane at weekends with everyone from Turin. Dad likes Serre Che more overall but I haven’t done both so can’t comment. Also look at Montgenevre/claviere as they are a great ski options on a high snowy pass Inbetween siestiere and Serre che. Mostly intermediate but great for cheeky offpiste as it doesn’t get tracked out quickly like in places like Val D. You can get to claviere from siestiere via Milky Way lifts & ski but I believe it takes a while and there are a few meadows (flat traverses) on the way
     
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  45. cwpski

    cwpski Hard Yards

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    Number 1 for me would have to be Zermatt. Amazing scenery, great vertical, traditional village etc. Throw in the ability to ski into Italy for great food and 1EUR espresso and you can't beat it.

    I also have a soft spot for Wengen / Grindelwald / Murren. The skiing may not be the best in Europe, but the scenery and the old school vibe are amazing.
     
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  46. Untele-whippet

    Untele-whippet beard stroker Ski Pass: Gold

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    Verbier is quite nice as is Cran Montana.
     
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  47. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Love Crans as I can stay there for free. Does suffer from being south facing.
     
  48. Untele-whippet

    Untele-whippet beard stroker Ski Pass: Gold

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    South = Sunny.
    We can stay just up the road at Anzere for free.
    Anzere was built for the sun. Dec - April skiing.
     
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  49. BoofHead

    BoofHead One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    What do people think of Aosta as a place to spend a few weeks?
    MrsBoof and I have never been to Europe and are looking for a place that is not super expensive, lots of ski options and stuff to do ther than ski.
    I have a crack at most things (except jumps) and would ski all day, everyday if I could. MrsBoof aka Tammy 2 runs, is a boarder and generally likes to go in after lunch on extended trips.
    Thanks thread OP.
     
  50. geeoff

    geeoff Hard Yards

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    Never been to Aosta before but have a week planned in late January. Looks to be interesting old centre to town, castles, vineyards and other sights in the valley and some great and varied ski areas within an hour or less drive. Then you have a lift to Pila straight out of town. Hoping all that adds up to a good time!
     
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