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What's the best place to ski at the cheapest price, Europe?

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What's the best place to ski at the cheapest price, Europe?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hi there,

I've searched the internet for a while now trying to get some decent facts but everything is so Sales oriented. So I though I'd post the question where some experts can help me out

I'm looking for the best ski resport in Europe at the most budget price. We're from Australia and this is the first time skiing in Europe so we really have no idea where to start. We'll be going in the middle of march so someplace that'll have lots of snow then is prefered

I was leaning towards Bulgaria because of the obvious budget factor, but I'm still open to other places. Premium runs and snow probably isn't a must since we're both fairly new at skiing, we'd be happy sliding over ice cubes we he had to. But obviously I'd like the best place on a budget


Also what's it usually like skiing in the middle of march, it's not peak season is it? Any advice at all will be very helpful.

Thank you Smile
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
mattyb, welcome to snowHeads. In France, the school holidays end the weekend of 10 March, and skiing after that will be much better, with few lift queues. Mid March can be an ideal time to ski - it's impossible to forecast snow cover but, in principle, there will be snow everywhere! Cover in mid March is generally infinitely better than mid January, when such a lot of people go. The days are longer, lifts open longer, really good choice!

I don't know Bulgaria but you'll get a lot of feedback from people who do, and a range of views, no doubt. If snow cover is better by then (and it is almost certain to be better than now) you might like to look at Andorra, particularly if you want lessons; you'll find lots of Aussies and New Zealanders teaching there, standards of tuition excellent and I believe the beers can be pretty reasonable, too. If you are looking for a package, and there aren't too many of you, you'll find some good last minute bargains. If you stay in a catered chalet you'll have very few "extras" to find but they're not everybody's cup of tea. If you self cater you can drink beer at supermarket prices and make yourself a sandwich for lunchtime; it is the drinking in bars and eating in mountain restaurants - pleasant as it is - which can drastically push up the price of a holiday. In general, smaller resorts will give you better value because you don't need a big area and the expensive lift passes which go with them. Have fun.
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
For Aussies, I'd have thought the best and cheapest skiing (outside Oz) was in USA, which is strictly speaking not part of Europe. I assume that you want to come to Europe for non skiing reasons.

In Europe, Andorra has a reputation for good value and good apres, and should be spot on for beginners, although I've never skied there so I can't really say.
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mattyb, welcometo snowheads snowHead

richmond, I'm guessing by his location that Europe is already the destination!!
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
mattyb, If you do go for Bulgaria, and as someone who did last year i'd advise you don't, then avoid Pamporovo. It is low, has poor snow and very few slopes.

If you want cheap, then avoid France and arguabley Austria, they are not cheap. Italy can work out quite cheap, as can Andorra if they get some snow.
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stevec wrote:
mattyb, If you do go for Bulgaria, and as someone who did last year i'd advise you don't, then avoid Pamporovo. It is low, has poor snow and very few slopes.

If you want cheap, then avoid France and arguabley Austria, they are not cheap. Italy can work out quite cheap, as can Andorra if they get some snow.


My first skiing was in Borovets (Bulgaria) about 6 years ago, first week in March and virtually no snow Shocked
As beginners it wasn't too bad and otherwise it is a very cheap holiday.

Italy is very good too, been to Livigno (long transfer) and Sauze d'Oulx. Generally cheaper than France, including the lift pass and lessons, and if you like Italian food you can eat very well for not much money.
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wow so many great replies so quickly. I feel very welcome thankyou Smile

I'm in london at the moment and we have time off over that period, definately Europe is what we're thinking as the best place to ski.

But I have to admit I hadn't given a 2nd thought about Andora. Will look into it

thank you very much for the response


Any other tips you can recommend. We're hoping to stay for a full week and hoping to hire all our gear there.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Welcome to snowheads

[quote="mattyb"]

Quote:
Any other tips you can recommend. We're hoping to stay for a full week and hoping to hire all our gear there.


Make sure the resort has snow Laughing Some very good deals about but with very little chance of skiing Laughing
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Yeah, the best bet for a good deal and good snow if you don't have anywhere specific in mind is to wait and book something about a week before you go.
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you should be able to get good catered chalet deals for that week! They always flog them off cheap as unlike hotel rooms they have to provide them whether or not they have the clients- so the staff are always in place. Look for places with good snow a week before and with cheaper lift passes

Lucy
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Good advice!

As an Aussie visiting Europe, I would hate you to go home thinking Andorra or Bulgaria was what Europe is like! A bit like judging Sidney by having only seen Kings Cross!

Hang on and keep checking the good TOs sites (in my book Neilsen and Inghams, - I am sure there are others) and also keep an eye on Igluski. You may well end up getting a bargain in a chalet somewhere really nice for the same sort of money as you would pay for one of the down-market resorts. (and boy is Bulgaria down-market!)

You may not be in this quaint little back-water called Europe very often. I, fo one, would like you to see somewhere nice, and it needn't be expensive.

snowHead
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Quote:

I, fo one, would like you to see somewhere nice, and it needn't be expensive.

Yes, I agree, there are some pretty, atmospheric, places in all the main Alpine ski countries. By the way, when you say "hire all gear", you can obviously hire boots and skis but you won't be able to hire clothing (unlike, for example, New Zealand, where you can). No need to spend a fortune on gear, though, plenty of advice here on getting kitted up cheaply. I agree with gryphea that a last minute catered chalet deal would be good for you even if the only other people you meet would be Brit rather than local!
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pam w, Phew! Thanks for agreeing. I was half expecting to get flamed for that. I don't do controversial!


snowHead
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
I always laugh at the Andorra cheap brigade ? How is it cheap ? I'm paying £750 for a four star hotel in Feb. In march I'm off to a four star hotel in Wengen - £500 inc lift pass ! I put it to you that its all b0ll0ck$
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Smokin Joe, Value for money there is no contest even if the prices were reversed. A Swiss 4* is equivalent to an Andorran 7*. The nightlife is great in Andorra but the food is Sh-one-t.

The holidays will both be memorable but quality of service will be "different". It should be cheaper but,,,

Have fun in both venues.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
strong sentinments indeed,no wonder they call you smoking joe ,both guns blazing Id say.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Elizabeth B wrote:
richmond, I'm guessing by his location that Europe is already the destination!!

I wondered who'd spot that. Well done! You probably thought that I hadn't noticed that s/he was already in Europe.

Alternatively, I assumed that it was London NSW.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
richmond, there isn't one so far as I'm aware, though there's certainly a Liverpool and a Newcastle.
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what about the town below Tignes (Breviers or something), seems to have a good hostel type place and a good chair up to Le Lac
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
mattyb, middle of March should be ideal. If this is a one off trip to the Alps then I would go somewhere that shows off the best of the amazing scenery. This needn't cost the earth, Zermatt and Chamonix both have hostel accomodation for instance.

Switzerland is suprisingly cheap compared to its reputation, cheaper than the big French resorts now I'd say. How about this in Zermatt ? £45 a night for a room for 2.

http://www.hotelbahnhof.com/Product/Description.asp?TrackNbr=117
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I like Montgenevre for cheapness amogst other reasons, such as damm good off-piste verging on lift-served backcountry just a rope duck away, lots of snow, big area, super-close to Turin Airport and quiet outside French holidays

There's a letting agency called Dyon who used to do special lift pass and accomodation deals outside peak holiday times, sort of £200 a week for two, that sort of thing.
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shorty, true fact tall bloke !
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
shannyla wrote:
I like Montgenevre for cheapness amogst other reasons, such as damm good off-piste verging on lift-served backcountry just a rope duck away, lots of snow, big area, super-close to Turin Airport and quiet outside French holidays


shannyla We're off to Montgenevre on 29 Jan. Got any advice, bars to head for, Pistes to avoid, The best way to do the Milky Way in a day., Also we're thinking of getting a lesson so any Instructors to avoid or request..

TIA
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WayneC wrote:
shannyla wrote:
I like Montgenevre for cheapness amogst other reasons, such as damm good off-piste verging on lift-served backcountry just a rope duck away, lots of snow, big area, super-close to Turin Airport and quiet outside French holidays


shannyla We're off to Montgenevre on 29 Jan. Got any advice, bars to head for, Pistes to avoid, The best way to do the Milky Way in a day., Also we're thinking of getting a lesson so any Instructors to avoid or request..

TIA


Don't know any of the instructors there I'm afraid, I worked there as an MBO fifteen years ago so anyone I knew I've either forgotten their names or they'll have moved on. Last time I was there a couple of years ago some guys had set up another ski school and people were saying it was better than the ESF, called something like Actiontime or somesuch, they could be worth a try.

Only really dodgy piste in the area is the one that links Montgenevre to Claviere from the top of the Rocher d'Aigle, or Eagles Rock chair, and then only when it hasn't snowed for a while. Its the piste that takes you back to Italy and the Milky Way, and can also be dreadful late Sunday afternoon when the Italian weekenders are heading back over, for an alpine nation they can be the worst skiers...

Bars wise, well there aren't too many of them and they're mainly along the main drag from the Hotel Rois Mages towards Italy for about 750 metres or so. There is also the bar of the Hotel Grange, more commonly known as the Grunge thereabouts, which is run by a small English company, which can be good value and closes when the last customer staggers out. Dreadful nightclub called the Blue Post or somesuch.

Doing the Milky Way in a day can be a bit of a mission as Montgenevre is right out on a limb. It can be done but is hugely dependent on snow low down, which may or may not be there this year. Personally I'd take an early taxi over to Sestriere and ski the day over there.

If you like off-piste duck the rope skiers left on the cat-track between Montgenvre and Claviere off Eagles Rock chair, a whole undeveloped bowl and valley, or high traverse skiers left at the end of the cat track before it drops onto the piste I mentioned above, and ski the face above the Claviere ski area.

Good board shop next the Rois Mages run by a guy called Jerome, good pizza deli on the main drag in Claviere.

Don't know what else to say really, cool little resort, usually better snow than anywhere else and quiet on the slopes when it isn't french holidays.
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Thanks shannyla, sounds good. seems as if we have made a good choice..
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Don't right off Bulgaria. I skied in Pomparovo 2 years ago as a novice. The snow cover was superb and the tuition was excellent. I was really pleased how much i improved by the end of the week. The resort is ideal for beginners and intermediates. Went to Bansko last year. Bigger resort with huge investment in lifts etc. Again the snow was superb, the tuition was not so good and not as well suited to beginners. The people were friendly and the prices in bars and restaurants would be hard to beat. I would go to either of the resorts again. However, my only reservation would be that if there is little snow as there is now then I cannot think of anything much else there to keep you occupied
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
WayneC, Personally I'd also have a look at the Italian side of the Milky Way as well, before booking Montgenevre... Sauze is very reasonable price wise and lots of skiing and decent quite lively Apres. Depends whether you want a package or are travelling independently. If the latter cheap flights to Turin and a hire car are a good option. You can book accommodation off their website.
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My brother won a free ski holiday to Bulgaria for two, he offered me the chance to go with him but I'm not so sure. The 'resort' (not sure is it a resort) is called Vitosha I think and is beside Sofia. It doesn't look great especially as I'm just back from St Anton and it doesn't have any snow at the moment! Has anyone been to Sofia, is it an interesting place. Puzzled
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
SnowGod, Thanks we booked for Montgenevre in Nov and got a great price, but were looking for info on itineraries, and advice on ski instructors.
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I learned to ski in Arinsal in Andora last year, my son went into the creche which was VERY well organised from babies, right up to 10yr olds. We had such an amazing time I took my parents & brother & his mate there again in January of this year. Although they had no proper snow, they have lots of snow cannons & the piests were perfectly acceptable for the beginners. IMO the tuition you get from the Vallnord ski schools is excellent for both adults & kids
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 Poster: A snowHead
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Nellie, Absolutely agree 100%. The Instructors are FANTASTIC out there. We were lucky and had good snow. Been to Arinsal twice before - both times good snow in early =- mid march !
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mattyb, Off to Andorra in the half term and I would recommend it especially for beginners. Learnt to ski there about 5 years ago aand caught the bug!)I managed to get a half board deal for £280 each, lift pass is around £100 which i'll get when i'm there and my gear is approx £50 from Pic Negre,just by the gondala, which is great as you can get all your kit sorted out on the Sunday evening before the mad rush Monday morning. web site http://rentasport.sport2000.fr/uk/ - 15% online discount. Just praying like mad that there'll be some more snow. Very friendly place, nightlife good but as always you get what you pay for so just go with an open mind re accomodation etc.
BTW anyone got any idea what it's looking like over there for half term - know it's still a couple of weeks away but starting to panic!!
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Sally, being nosey, where did you get that deal (what company) & what hotel are you staying at?
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Nellie, Hi Nellie - i booked through Inghams last week online. Staying at the Solana (not sure if that's a good thing or not!!) I've read various reviews about it from the dreadful to the great but like i said you get what you pay for and i'm going to ski not live in the hotel (snow permitting). As long as it's warm got hot water and the food is edible i'm not bothered. Usually so knackered from being out all day i'll sleep anywhere. At least it's near the gondala.
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
mattyb wrote:
I'm looking for the best ski resport in Europe at the most budget price. We're from Australia and this is the first time skiing in Europe so we really have no idea where to start. We'll be going in the middle of march so someplace that'll have lots of snow then is prefered



As a rule, you get what you pay for.

Pick a top resort in a major country.

One that has good runs, good snow and good nightlife.

Splash some cash.

That limits the choice to Switzerland, France or perhaps Austria.

Zermatt (Switzerland), Verbier (Switzerland), St Moritz (Switzerland), Courchevel 1850 (France), Val d'Isere (France) and St Anton (Austria) should be top of your ticklist.

Good luck.
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Ryanair to Krakow, bus to Zakopane, cheap.
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I got back from Serbia on Sunday and had a great time in fantastic snow conditions.

Its also, only a £1 a pint!!

When we were at Nis Airport on the way back, we bumped into some incoming people who said that they had got a last minute deal to the four star Grand Hotel for £150 half board for the week.

A lift pass is only £55
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Hya Sally.

Personally I like the solana. Its warm, food is plentiful & edible & out of the 14 nights we've stayed there, we've only had one night without hot water...mind you, we were back VERY late that night. Rooms are compact but clean & well organised.

I'd suggest that you ask that you not be given 1st floor rooms, especiallly with room numbers bigger than 110 as they are above the bar & if you want an earlyish night, you'll be kept awake by the disco. rooms in the old wing or rooms on the 2nd floor & up are quiet enough.

The sledging & torchlight descent by the instructors IMO was a complete waste of money & I'd not recommend it

Have a wonderful time Laughing YOu can keep an eye on the slopes on the vallnord website
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Nellie, Thanks for that Nellie. Good tip about the room numbers as i like my sleep! Can't wait to go back but obessed with the snow reports now!
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Many thanks for the tips shannyla, we had a great time!

shannyla wrote:
WayneC wrote:
shannyla wrote:
I like Montgenevre for cheapness amogst other reasons, such as damm good off-piste verging on lift-served backcountry just a rope duck away, lots of snow, big area, super-close to Turin Airport and quiet outside French holidays



shannyla We're off to Montgenevre on 29 Jan. Got any advice, bars to head for, Pistes to avoid, The best way to do the Milky Way in a day., Also we're thinking of getting a lesson so any Instructors to avoid or request..

TIA

Only really dodgy piste in the area is the one that links Montgenevre to Claviere from the top of the Rocher d'Aigle, or Eagles Rock chair, and then only when it hasn't snowed for a while. Its the piste that takes you back to Italy and the Milky Way, and can also be dreadful late Sunday afternoon when the Italian weekenders are heading back over, for an alpine nation they can be the worst skiers...

Bars wise, well there aren't too many of them and they're mainly along the main drag from the Hotel Rois Mages towards Italy for about 750 metres or so. There is also the bar of the Hotel Grange, more commonly known as the Grunge thereabouts, which is run by a small English company, which can be good value and closes when the last customer staggers out. Dreadful nightclub called the Blue Post or somesuch.

Doing the Milky Way in a day can be a bit of a mission as Montgenevre is right out on a limb. It can be done but is hugely dependent on snow low down, which may or may not be there this year. Personally I'd take an early taxi over to Sestriere and ski the day over there.

Don't know what else to say really, cool little resort, usually better snow than anywhere else and quiet on the slopes when it isn't french holidays.



Just back from a great week in Montegenevre. Most of the runs and lifts open although starting to suffer on the south facing slopes.

Great days out to Clavier, Sestriere, and Sauze D'Oulx. The Colletto Verde, one that links Montgenevre to Claviere from the top of the Rocher d'Aigle, or Eagles Rock chair, was a bit patchy and icy, so went by bus to Sestriere !!

Really enjoyed it and would recommend it. Stayed in the Rois Mages, which was a bit basic, but adequate, warm, and loads of hot water, with a good happy hour. Food was quite good but small portions. Great for the slopes as straight opposite the Prarial 4 man chair. Found a great French bar just behind the church with a crazy French pianist. Fantastic bar staff didn't speak a word of english so we had a great night practicing our french.

Found a good restaurant behind and slightly left of the Rois Mages..
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