I'm going to Europe but I don't know where

alfrescodining

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Hi everyone

I'm planning a 4 week skiing trip to Europe in January or February. So far I'm planning on going to Switzerland and maybe Austria too.

I have no idea about it though. Is there anything I should know about skiing in Europe? I've been skiing 5 times, and I'm comfortable with all runs, and small terrain parks. Will I need "powder skis"? (I have no idea what they are)

What are the best resorts in Switzerland and Austria? And what are the biggest? I've heard of somewhere with a 28km run - does anyone know where that is?

What should I expect to pay for accomodation and lift tickets?


Cheers!
 

main street

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Surely this has to be a piss take.

Skiied 5 times & you're comfortable everywhere (including black runs one must assume),..... & yet you have no clue as to what powder ski's are ?

Happy to be proved wrong here, but there's something not quite right about this....
 

sara777

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Might be wrong, as the OP also posted in equipment re: skiing boots and that all went well. However he mentioned in that thread he skied 3x , and already skied some black runs and terrain park?
confused.gif


Dude, if you skied only 5x, work on your skills on blue runs, get lessons and don't worry about the blacks yet. You don't need powder skis if you are just beginning, you need the technical side first, and you won't learn it on fat skis. You can always hire fat skis in Europe when you feel you progressed enough to go off piste.

Anywhere in Europe is good, depends what your budget is, if you have family etc. Google european ski destination, look what they have to suit your needs - family friendly?, mostly intermediate?, do you want night life? etc.... Switzerland and Austria are good to start with.
 
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LMB

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You call always consider one of these European resorts...
aerial.jpg


4290_5_lg.jpg


inspiring-snowsport-centre%20(1).jpg
 
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alfrescodining

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ok some weird responses there but thanks to those who replied.

I'm after resorts in Switzerland/Austria with a large amount of runs (big resorts). Hopefully 3 or 4. I want to spend 4-5 days at each, and in between, visit some cities.

Can anyone recommend any specific places to go?
 
H

Hacski

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alfrescodining said:
...Can anyone recommend any specific places to go? ...
Might want to rephrase that question.
 
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LMB

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sorry alfrescodining - we are just teasing.

I am in Zermatt Switzerland in January for two weeks, and touring for one week, as yet unconfirmed as to location.
I have only been to Zermatt/Cervinia (Italy) in Europe, but you wont be disappointed with those if you chose to add them into your destination.

I found the access brilliant with train stations right into the heart of resorts
Accommodation and Lift prices will vary dramatically depending on where you go and what standard of accommodation you require, but you can rest assured that it will be cheaper than comparable quality in Australia. The cost will also vary dependent on the exchange rate.
We certainly did not require powder anything in Zermatt in Jan 3 years ago, the piste was pretty hardpacked, and except for one day the off piste was too solid to be inviting for me, but I only a couple of years under my belt at the time.
As for a long run
Wiki said:
In 2008, Zermatt hosted an 'Infinity Downhill Race'. The race took place on the 13 and 14 December and comprised a course descending from the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise (3,800 m (12,500 ft)) and finished in Zermatt itself (1,600 m (5,200 ft)). The course was 20 km long and featured a 2,200 m descent
Trust me - there is a leg burn and a half going top to bottom in Zermatt.
 
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LMB

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found this while checking stuff out for my trip...
Zermatt Website said:
Facts Matterhorn ski paradise
Slopes Zermatt 200 km slopes of all difficulty levels – 21 km slopes in summer
Slopes Cervinia/Valtournenche 150 km slopes of all difficulty levels
Slopes Matterhorn ski paradise 350 km slopes of all difficulty levels
Longest slope 22 km (Matterhorn glacier paradise - Zermatt)
 
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LMB

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There are some things I would recommend if you do book.

Lunch at the restaurant at Fluhalp (Rothorn Paradise) on the deck on a fine day.
Hot Chocolate and Rum just before the final descent home at the cafe at Tuftern (Rothorn Paradise)
Heading up and over into Cervinia/Valtourneche for the day. Start early, and don't forget to take Euro!!
Having a crack at the Toboggan - it was seriously good fun, FAST, and mixed it up when you needed a break from skiing. It is quite bizarre that your lift back up is a train!
 
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'H' Jones

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Mamabear said:
There are some things I would recommend if you do book.

Lunch at the restaurant at Fluhalp (Rothorn Paradise) on the deck on a fine day.
Hot Chocolate and Rum just before the final descent home at the cafe at Tuftern (Rothorn Paradise)
Heading up and over into Cervinia/Valtourneche for the day. Start early, and don't forget to take Euro!!
Having a crack at the Toboggan - it was seriously good fun, FAST, and mixed it up when you needed a break from skiing. It is quite bizarre that your lift back up is a train!

you forget lunch at Chez Vrony and Franz and Heidi, 2 of the best lunch spots in the world's best ski resorts,
 
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Heinz

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check out this site for Austria & Switzerland http://www.bergfex.com
.
Don't know about a 28km. The Valle Blanche is 3800 vertical metres. There are also runs from Davos Parsenn to the valley which are 12-15km long - you then catch the train back to town.
 
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alfrescodining

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Hey Mamabear, just out of curiousity, where do you usually catch the train to Zermatt from - Zurich or Geneva?

What kind of train is it? On a map, it has a dotted line as opposed to a straight line...
 

Heinz

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Where was the dotted line? The section from Brig to Zermatt from memory was a cog railway. Coming from Zürich there is also a long section through a tunnel between Spiez and Goppingen from memory.
 

alfrescodining

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The dotted section goes from Disentis/Muster, through Andermatt, all the way to Brig and then to Zermatt and on to Gornergrat

So it might mean underground section?
 

Apresski

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It's quicker to fly into Geneva and grt the train to Zermatt, although I have done it from Zurich. we didn't go anywhere near Disentis/Muster, the route went from the airport at Zurich to Berne, then dropped down through Thun, Kanderteg, through a tunnel into Brig, where you change to the cog railway up to Zermatt.

You cannot go wrong going to Zermatt, my favourite place in the world. If you want big resorts, I gather Davos fits the bill and incorporates Klosters in the ski ticket. I have never been there, but there is bound to be someone on here who has. Wengen is another possibility, you can ski Murren and Grindelwald from there aswell.
 

alfrescodining

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Thanks Apresski, I think I'll fly to Geneva in that case if it is quicker. Champery seems to be on the way from Geneva to Zermatt so I will ski there for a few days.

How long did your train take from Geneva to Zermatt??? And what about just the cog train part?


Anyone here been to Champery?
 

conradskis

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Actually if you are going from Geneva you can change onto the Zermatt railway at Visp rather than going to Brig. If coming from Zurich, change at Brig.

It's a private cog railway hence the dotted line.

There is another cog railway from Zermatt to Gornergrat but that is a separate line that leaves from a separate station in Zermatt.

The longest run at Zermatt is from the Kleine Matterhorn down into Italy, to Valtournenche - although it involves a bit of traversing and a very short chairlift to get over a pass. It just keeps going and going. Vertical drop is 2274m.

The run from Kleine Matterhorn down to Zermatt is shorter but a similar vertical. Both are well worth doing. If you go to Valtournenche make sure you leave plenty of time to get back to Zermatt; if you're on the wrong side of the ridge when the lift over the pass closes then it's a very long bus trip back.

As for skis - if you are hiring over there get a package where you can swap the skis from day to day depending on the conditions. On some days, powder skis might well be an advantage if you get a heavy fall.
 
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Heinz

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Zermatt is one good option - the Matterhorn view is famous, but really there are plenty of places that would fit the bill.

You mention Champery - this is part of the huge Porties du Soliel region which covers several areas in Switzerland and France and is definately worthwhile. I only stopped briefly in Champery myself, skied over the border from Morzine.

Another place worth stopping at between Geneve and Zermatt is Verbier. You could stay there itslef or access it from Martigny (on the train line) or Le Chable. There you get the huge 4 Vallees region.

Davos mentioned earlier is a bit further east. Has several resorts covering a large area - but not all connected. Parsenn is the one with the long runs to the valley towns.

The Berner Oberland region - Grindlewald, Wengen etc also massive

all of these are easily accessible by the superb Swiss rail system.

Then if you continue further east you have a vast array of resorts in Austria.

posted this link in the other thread http://www.bergfex.com
 
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Heinz

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Language shouldn't be a big factor as many Swiss will speak English, but in case you aren't aware I'll point out the they speak French in the west ie. Geneve, Champery, Verbier and mostly German from Zermatt and east ie Zurich, Berner Oberland, Davos. It roughly follows the extension of the French / German border from Basel.

Also note that their French is not much different from that in France (so I'm told), but 'Schwitzer Dootsch' bears very little resemblance to German. Fortunately they will speak Hoch Deutsch as well.
 

LMB

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Sorry for late reply. I am away from home at the moment.
Last trip we caught the train from Milan to Zermatt. We changed train twice, it was simple despite just a5 minute allowance and 4 kids with suitcases.

This time we are going from Zurich. The cog rail is lovely. Climbing the mountain is beautiful. Just me and Papa bear going this time.....luxury!

We want to see more, so after 1 week we will bail on friends and spend a week going to two or three places by train. Then back for the last week. No hesitation getting the train. None.
 

Heinz

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Apresski said:
Trains in Switzerland run like their clocks, perfectly!

I stayed in a hotel in Engelberg opposite the station and could hear the trains come & go. Could almost set my watch to them. They ran the same time every hour (not through the night fortunately). Would hear one come in - oh must be the 8:12 - checked my watch - spot on. This was the trend for the 3-4 days while I was in.
 
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alfrescodining

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To those of you who have caught trains in Switzerland / Austria, will I need to book tickets in advance, or can I buy tickets while I'm travelling around.... just in case my itinerary changes.... do trains tend to run out of seats?
 

Heinz

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No just buy at the station. You can buy tickets either from a vending machine or go to a counter. Just get there say 1/2 hr before departure to get the ticket, find the platform and if the train is starting from that station you can grab a good seat.
 

cin

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We always try to book the tickets a day or two before, especially if travelling between resorts. Alot of the time you are changing quite a few trains and you will have a couple of different times you can leave, but sometimes one departure time will mean your connections time better and your not waiting between trains as much where at other times you may have lots longer waiting between trains. It can make the difference between a 3 hour and 5 hour trip for the same destination. The ticket booking people are usually great, really helpful at showing you all your options.
 

Heinz

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That's where the internet comes in. In the old days travelling Europe I would carry a Thomas Cook rail timetable.

Now though use one of these :
http://www.oebb.at/en/index.jsp (Austrian)
http://www.sbb.ch/en/home.html (Swiss)
http://www.bahn.de/i/view/overseas/en/index.shtml (German)
each though work for all destinations so you can pick the one that suits you the best.


Check out various passes here
http://www.railplus.com.au/europe-by-rail/

I also find it usefull to check the timetables at the train station itself say when you arrive to confirm what the internet says. There will be nearly always be paper departure (yellow) and arrival (white) timetables for that local station. These will also give you the platform number. Then nearer arrival there will be the digital displays.

You can if you want get your tickets a day in advance if you are in the area to avoid rush the next day but it usually isn't necessary.
 
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Heinz

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Sounds like a reasonable plan. You can fly into Geneve and out from Vienna. Schladming would be a good base for the Amade region.
 

Jafal

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If you want what was a nice Austrian ski village, try Obertauern http://www.obertauern.at/englisch/ , I went there many years ago and found it a really nice village with great snow and friendly people, and not too many American tourists. Then went to Innsbruck and it was realy culture shock as everyone everywhere spoke English and it was full of Americans ...

Now things may have changed considerably in the 25 years sicne I was there, but from all reports I ahve seen on here Obertauern is still a great place to ski.
 
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Heinz

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Obertauern does have some very good terrain and it is reasonably high on a pass so good snow reliability. It has a good ski circuit and is definately worth checking out. I wouldn't say it was a real town that you can walk around though. It is more a collection of hotels & pensions strung along the road. Schladming is a real town in the valley that is nice to wander around in. Also has direct access from the main rail network. Obertauren you have to catch a bus from Radstadt.
 

Heinz

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Champery - don't know, more of a village I think
Zermatt - plenty there
St Anton - full on - party central - on the slopes and in town
Amade is a region with towns of varying sizes - Schladming though has plenty of bars - including a huge one - Tenne at the base of the Planai
 

TOFF

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I went to StAnton by myself in March this year. It is where you want to go for great skiing and great nightlife.
For accom, I had a similar problem but by looking hard and sending lots of emails, Iwas ablt to get what I wanted. I have posted a link to a place below who are in position A, quite cheap and will be very helpful.

http://www.arlbergurlaub.at/startseite.htm

Good luck
 
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alfrescodining

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Thanks TOFF


Hey Heinz. About this Amade place... so its a region right, not a resort. But do all the runs connect or are the resorts all separate?
 

Heinz

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alfrescodining said:
Thanks TOFF


Hey Heinz. About this Amade place... so its a region right, not a resort. But do all the runs connect or are the resorts all separate?

Yeah a large region spread over 3 provinces comprising of smaller regions. These comprise of several resorts each, some connected by ski lift others by shuttle buses.

http://www.skiamade.com/en/winter

panorama
http://www.skiamade.com/en/winter/skiresorts/slopespanorama

Austria in general
http://www.bergfex.com/oesterreich/
 
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Heinz

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You could easily just stay in Schladming and just ski the resorts in the Schladming/Dachstein region in the Ennstal and have easily enough for a week. The resorts there are mostly connected except for the Dachstein.
 

Budgiesmuggler

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+1 for st Anton. How long you planning on spending there?

I think you'd want to be in town, its expensive to get around.

Search for st Anton pensions. There should be a few reasonable priced places around.
 

Budgiesmuggler

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St Anton nigtlife: mooserwirt, krazy kangaru. Best après ski in the world, hands down.
 

alfrescodining

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Heinz said:
You could easily just stay in Schladming and just ski the resorts in the Schladming/Dachstein region in the Ennstal and have easily enough for a week. The resorts there are mostly connected except for the Dachstein.

thanks Heinz, i'm looking into Shlamding right now.

If I stay at Shclamding and get a lift ticket there, will I be able to ski to Slazburger Sportwelt, Grobarltal, hochkonig and gastein all with the same lift pass? and then ski back in the afternoon to my room at schlamding?

sorry for the constant questions. you guys are legends!
 
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Heinz

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alfrescodining said:
If I stay at Shclamding and get a lift ticket there, will I be able to ski to Slazburger Sportwelt, Grobarltal, hochkonig and gastein all with the same lift pass? and then ski back in the afternoon to my room at schlamding?

I think in theory you could, but you would need a car. The shuttle buses are good within each valley but not so good beyond. If you are staying in Schladming best concentrate on the Ennstal resorts. There is enough there for a week. If you wanted to check out some of the others like Gasteinertal it would be best to base there for a few days or have a car.
 
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Heinz

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and you probably need to do a bit of work on your spelling / typing.
 
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