Hints and tips on choosing this years ski destination wisely
In a year of unrelenting shocks and surprises, not much is 100% certain, but with thoughtful planning and careful consideration there are plenty of ways we can reduce risk and improve our chances of still getting our ski fix.
You may prefer a self-drive option rather than flying. Interestingly, the highest risk with flying seems to be the time spent in a busy airport and queuing for boarding rather than the flight itself, but driving and using the tunnel could help cut out some risk.
Resorts/areas particularly good for self-drive include Megeve, Portes de Soleil, Espace Diamant and Valmorel in France. In Italy Courmayeur, La Thuile and Pila are all accessible through the Mont Blanc Tunnel (although watch out for toll costs) or drive via France to Bardonecchia or Claviere . Austria is often overlooked for self-drive but resorts like Ellmau in the Ski Welt and Galtur have a drive time of around 10-11 hours from Calais.
Shared catered chalets and very large hotels may be an extra risk you could rule out for this season, with self-catering or small bed and breakfast/guest houses being a much safer option. Italian apartments are often much larger and better equipped than French apartments for those who would rather not do French self-catering. Booking.com currently have lots of accommodation with an option to cancel at no charge until close to the departure date.
Packed cable cars, heaving apres and long lift queues are off the menu this season. The mid sized resorts with chairlifts are suddenly back in favour and there are some real gems if you know where to look. Here are are a few recommends:
Notre -Dame -de -Bellecome – Perfect for families, this quiet resort offers 185 kms to ski. A small pretty village resort centre with everything you need. Fly to Geneva or drive time 8 hours from Calais.
Also look at Valloire, Vars, Montgenevre, Valmorel, ComblouxÂ
Alleghe – If spectacular scenery is your thing, the lake and dolomite peaks won’t disappoint. A part of the Civetta ski area with 80kms of quiet runs and a nearby glacier for the more experienced. Fly to Venice or drive time 13 hours from Calais.
Also look at Folgaria, Folgarida, Pila, Champoluc, Kronplatz
Nassfeld – A great option for progressing to intermediate skiers with 110kms of varied runs to explore. Fly to Klagenfurt or Ljubljana or drive time 12 hours from Calais.
Also look at Ellmau, Katschberg, Bad Kleinkircheim