Great european skiing destinations


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Great european skiing destinations

  1. 1. Great European Skiing Destinations Brought to you by SKI WORLDAll opinions are those of the author of this licensed work. Ski World makes no representation as to the accuracy of the descriptions. Please seek corroboration before relying on this information.
  2. 2. When it comes to skiing and winter sports, Europe has more than its fair share of amazingresorts. From the greatly priced, to the more than reasonable, Europe has it all, and has somuch to offer any skier. If you’ve never been to Europe on a skiing holiday, or if you’re lookingto expand your experience, you’ll find something that catches your eye without too muchresearch, and you might just end up joining the legions of skiing fans that wouldn’t goanywhere else in the world for their vacation.On mainland Europe, you have such a varied selection. From the world famous French skiingresorts to Austria, Switzerland and the tiny principality of Andorra, you’ve got such a widerange of skiing to choose from. France is known the world over as the true home of skiing,and the French really know how to do a quality vacation. With naturally amazing resources,and scenery that can take your breath away, France is an ideal location for a skiing trip. Whynot try the Courchevel resort, which has four different ski resorts within one, providing theperfect blend of quality and affordability in a skiing trip. From the grossly overpriced 1850resort, the playground of Europe’s film stars and playboys, to the seemingly remote 1350 atthe bottom of the hill, you have so much to choose from in Europe’s finest skiing country.With the kids or with your friends, France is truly a destination that will make for a memorableskiing vacation.Or how about exploring some of the Italian resorts? Italy, famous for being the cheaper wayto ski, also benefits from a diverse range of resorts, like the tiny Alba resort, as well as somelarger, more sizeable areas to ski. Famous for passion and a depth of culture, Italy is the idealplace to take a skiing break in Europe, and the weather’s good too! Or how about Italy’sneighbor, Croatia? Within this rising European nation, you’ll find a Croatian holidayoutrageously good value for the money, not to mention top quality. From the internationalstandard ski resorts to their world class restaurants, Croatia is certainly a country on the up,and its skiing facilities can only improve as more and more tourists flock to their slopes eachyear. Additionally, Bulgaria is an excellent skiing destination to take the kids. You will bewelcomed with open arms by the Bulgarian people, who are more than eager to tell you abouttheir rich and deep past, and welcome you as part of their future. In these expanding anddeveloping European nations, you will come to appreciate the value of tourism, and thequality of treatment and service they are prepared to offer for your investment.How about Austria for your skiing trip? When we think of skiing, we often imagine the Alpineideal, with breathtaking scenery and fresh, clean air. Well, it simply doesn’t come much betterthan Austria, and if you’re looking for a skiing destination that has it all, why not try Austria forthat touch of class with your skiing. Or why not pop over to Switzerland for their Alpsexperience? While skiing the Alps in the home of chocolate and cuckoo clocks, you will beamazed at how picturesque this modern nation has managed to be, while still becoming aworld leader in financial industry.
  3. 3. Skiing in Europe is the ideal way to spend your vacation. If you love skiing, you are guaranteedto find a great resort somewhere, within your budget that meets your needs, and caters foryour ability. With most resorts also boasting strong training academies, you can also work toimprove your skills while you are there; ensuring that your skiing trip is both useful andmemorable. Whatever you are looking for, choose Europe as your number one skiingdestination, for that perfect blend of quality, tradition and culture, and for a holiday that istruly breathtaking.
  4. 4. Courchevel 1850 ResortThe Courchevel 1850 resort in France is one of the best ski resorts in the world if you happento be a beginner. Yes, we were all beginners once, and no one knows better than theCourchevel 1850 resort that if you get the beginners right, the intermediates and advancedwill follow. With over 50% of all runs dedicated specifically to beginners, it is a haven forthose learning to ski, or looking to refine their skills and expertise while on vacation.Rumored to be the most expensive resort on the French Alps, this isn’t strictly the truth. Youcan find really good deals if you know where to look, and there are really good discounts forgroup bookings, although you get what you pay for, so don’t expect a cheap vacation.Courchevel is part of the Three Valleys resorts, and itself is divided into four distinct areasfrom the bottom to the top: 1300, 1550, 1650, and 1850. In general, the further up you go,the more expensive your trip is likely to be, so it is wise to consider going slightly furtherdown, where you can still find some amazing skiing, both off piste and cross country, as well assome great downhill runs. With an astonishing 65 ski lifts across the resort, the Courchevel isan enormous skiing resort, and attracts a wide variety of tourists from across Europe, andindeed the world.The Courchevel 1300 is located right at the very bottom of the resort, and is truly beautiful inan unspoiled, picturesque sense. It is a fantastic challenge for beginners, and is ideal for thoselooking for some relaxation out of their skiing vacation. Alternatively, moving up, there is the1550, which is seen as the playground of the locals. Here you can benefit from some amazingself catering deals, while still managing to find great skiing, so this is perhaps a goodconsideration for those with families. Again, moving up there is the 1650, home of the famousski school, and a number of top quality restaurants. With largely chalet accommodation, thisis also a great resort to choose for your French skiing vacation. Finally we have the 1850. The1850 is home to the rich and the famous, and you’re looking at an arm and a leg if you want toski there. Although the skiing isn’t that much better (unless you’re looking for off-piste), thereare heftier queues, and the resort isn’t overly child friendly or family oriented.Of the four resorts on the Courchevel, you are guaranteed to have a great skiing vacationwhichever you choose. Each has the benefit of world class skiing, although the facilities maydiffer between each. It is important to decide what it is you are looking for, and then to baseyour choice around this, so you can make the most of your skiing vacation. Why not considertaking a few lessons in the world famous Courchevel ski school? Or how about sampling someof the extensive night life these resorts have to offer? Whether you are a dedicated skier, orhave never been on a pair of skis in your life, you are sure to find exactly what you are lookingfor on the Courchevel, and you are guaranteed a vacation to remember.
  5. 5. Geilo in NorwayGeilo in Norway stands 800 meters high, and has one of the highest ski lifts in the world,stretching 3,887 feet. Geilo is positioned three and a half hours from the capital city, whilehaving good road and rail links to the village. Set amidst amazing scenery just off the banks ofFjord, Geilo is at the heart of Norway’s “Winter Wonderland”. Maintaining its reputation as anexcellent family resort, Geilo has seen visitors from Europe and beyond since early 1900s.Geilo remains unspoiled, with true Norwegian character firmly intact.With more than just skiing facilities Geilo is home to the 4 star Highland Hotel, as well asnumerous lodging houses, and the famous Holms Ski Bar. Although primarily a ski resort Geiloalso offers sleigh rides, wildlife adventure tours, ski orienteering, tobogganing, snow shoewalking, dog-sledging, kite-skiing, night-skiing, snowboarding, freestyle snowboarding andmuch more.Geilo’s reputation as one the world’s top skiing resorts lies mainly in its ability to cater tofamily vacations. With over 10,000 families visiting the slopes each year, Geilo also offersexcellent tuition in packages it refers to as the “Family Starter Pack”. This involves tuition foryour entire family for the equivalent of $200 a day. This means, that not only can your wholefamily learn together, but is also means that families with no skiing experience, can go alongand after the first day, they will be able to ski on their own.Geilo has also increased its reputation amongst snowboarders in recent years--beating offLillehammer, Voss and Hemsedal in its bid to host the Norwegian SnowboardingChampionship. With four sides of mountain each dedicated to snowboarding and skiing, Geilois now able to call itself Norway’s first skiing location to offer 5 runs dedicated tosnowboarding. With 110 runs in total, Geilo has 14% expert runs, allowing experienced skiersto enjoy themselves on the slopes, while maintaining the rest of its facilities for intermediatesand beginners that account for a larger number of their yearly visitors.Geilo also offers exceptional value for money with weekly family packages starting from $1000including accommodation, bed and breakfast. The element that stands out the most aboutGeilo is the way it caters to families, with crèches, family diners, and especially their Christmasbonanza which includes Santa visiting the slopes with his reindeer on Christmas day, and thetime leading up to Christmas. Geilo never fails to be fully booked for Christmas, with so manyfamilies choosing to bring their children along to experience Christmas within this winterwonderland.Although Geilo offers amazing family packages, it would be unfair to say that Geilo is limitedto family vacations. Geilo has hosted very serious world sporting events, as well as being thetraining ground of the national snowboarding and skiing teams. Geilo is available fromAugust/September all the way through to late March and is also considering investing in“Avalanche Technology” which generates snow from water to provide 24/365 skiing. If you
  6. 6. have never been to Geilo then I would recommend that you give it a go, although the familyimage may put certain people off visiting the slope I would suggest that checking it out is thebest thing to do. From their website it is clear to see that consistent snowfall and a goodvariation in the difficulty of runs makes Geilo a facility that can genuinely cater to everyonefrom beginner to professional.It has many great options for accommodation, and with good travel links as well there really isno excuse for not hoping on a plane and going to Geilo today. With thousands of people onthe slopes, from different countries and different backgrounds Geilo is suitable for familiesand teenagers alike. With individual price plans starting from $350 a week, and well-knownDJs playing at local club venues Geilo is also becoming very popular amongst those teenagerswho would have previously seen Ibiza as the only place to be seen on holiday.
  7. 7. Kopaonik in SerbiaSkiing in Kopaonik, Serbia is becoming a growing trend for skiers looking to move away fromthe commercial skiing facilities of Central and Northern Europe in search of more naturallyoccurring skiing trails. With a snow range of 1770-2017 meters and a village positioned 5,000feet above sea level Kopeonik in Serbia is seen as the answer to many skiers’ dreams. With athree hour journey from the nearest airport Kopaonik is surely worth the effort, having cross-country skiing, night skiing, skydiving, sleigh rides, ice-skating, indoor tennis and many otheractivities for the winter sports enthusiast to enjoy.The mountain climbs 35,000 feet into the cold Serbian sky, while ski lifts only climb to 6,617feet. The skiing facility has yet to host a major skiing event, despite being home to severalinternational snowboarding competitions and cross-country skiing as well. The living quartersare apt for pricing that would delight the weariest of tourists. Skiers can experience nationalcuisine such as Burek (pastry, cheese, spinach) and Pljeskavica (grilled mince) for well under$10 a meal. The old favorites such as burger, chips and pizza are still on the menu, and theprice of $1.50 a beer might delight some holiday makers looking to do slightly more than justski! The living area can handle over 5,000 tourists at the same time, while the bars and clubsaround the area make the holiday destination more suited to the younger holiday-maker.Another issue that is quite prominent is the mistake that many make in travelling to Kopaonikto celebrate Christmas – the celebrations are of slight comparison to western culture, despiteits labeling as a winter heaven.With different piste types Kopaonik caters to beginners, intermediates and experts with thefollowing ratio. 15 beginner 8 intermediate 6 expertHaving 21 lifts and an uphill capacity of 15,000 (an hour) Kopaonik is more than capable ofcatering to its millions of visitors each year. With slopes facing N, N/E and N/W you can besure to experience the densely populated villages that surround the region. Thriving from thetourism the mountain provides, Kopaonik recently became home to a 4 star luxury hotelproviding entertainment and accommodation to skiers and executives alike.With the longest run covering 3.5 KM and expert tuition on hand, Kopaonik has recentlybenefited from its appointment of English speaking instructors across skiing andsnowboarding disciplines. The advanced runs down the Kopaonik mountain-face are a primaryincentive for many skiers to choose Kopaonik as their skiing holiday destination. The 6 runsthat fit into this category must be epitomized by the Konaci – after which a local holidayvillage was recently named.
  8. 8. The Konaci has an angle of 79 degrees at a certain point, of which it is said that if you go tooslowly, and fail to position yourself correctly, it would be perfectly feasible to fall forwardsmerely travelling in a straight line. The Konaci sees skiers travelling at speeds of over 50 MPHand jumps that allow airtime of over 8 seconds. The Konaci is praised and feared by the topskiers from Europe and further afield. Despite this, it was the run featured in the 2005snowboarding event that took place in the Kopaonik Mountains.With snow falling on the slopes between August/September all the way through to earlyMarch, skiers should plan their trip with that in mind. The slopes of Serbia and the warmgenerous nation make Kopaonik an ideal holiday destination for any traveler looking to have agood time on a set of skis. The package deals start from around $400 a week, while amazingsavings can be made through booking online.The destination expects 10,000 visitors a week by 2009, and with its intention to developfurther runs across every piste you can be sure that Kopaonik, Serbia will be a skiing locationthat will stay firmly on the map.
  9. 9. LAAX in SwitzerlandLAAX in Switzerland stands over 30,000 feet high, with skiing and snowboarding facilities thatsuit everyone’s needs – from beginners to world champions. LAAX has hosted all the bigevents in snowboarding and skiing, welcoming thousands of tourists from around the globeeach week. LAAX was one of the first major skiing locations to get on the map, when in the 70sskiing holidays started to rise in popularity for western travelers - LAAX was right there,waiting to ride the wave. Millions of visitors later, LAAX are renowned for their 3rd slalomknown only as “Death Mountain” by some. With glaring views down the steep, tanglingmountain-side it is no wonder “Death Mountain” scares even the most resilient of skier.With excellent facilities for everyone LAAX recently hosted the snowboarding world open, inwhich over 10,000 people took part from 60 countries around the world. An interestingelement of this was that over 100 entries came from south Asia and Africa showing the rise ofthe sport, and the exposure of the location on a global scale. LAAX was voted number 1 skiinglocation around the world, by “Ski Press Magazine” that also notes LAAX as having the thirdbest Snowboarding facilities and as being the best newcomer to Freestyle snowboarding. Thepopularity of LAAX, has also led to continued investment from the company operating theslope, building an amazing ski lift that can handle weights of over 80 tons as it climbs 30,000feet up the mountain face. The ski lift’s unique attribute is its balancing technology that allowsthe ski lift to carry massive amounts of weight disproportionately while keeping a balancedangle and speed.The popularity of LAAX is not just shared by avid skiers and snowboarders. Top music namesand DJs also come to LAAX to experience the amazing events first hand. With the rise ofsnowboarding many of these musicians feel they can appeal to a certain audience out on theslopes, especially under the cover of darkness, with only flood lights keeping the mountainsalive. The DJs provide entertainment as the crowd snowboard and ski into the morningsunlight. The views and the experience are utterly amazing, and are a sure way to ensure topclass entertainment for the young travelers who visit LAAX.However it is not only the night-time DJ sets and fireworks that sparkle for the young skiers;there are also plenty of locations tailored to their needs off the slopes as well. With local pubs,clubs and even swimming pools the young ones are sure to enjoy themselves off the snowymountains of LAAX. Despite being an amazing location for younger skiers the location alsoappeals to those who have never been skiing before. They have multi-lingual training facilitiesand indoor centers where they train first-time skiers before taking them to the slopes. Theyalso have amazing training facilities for advanced skiers, facilities that would undoubtedly beused by the world’s top skiers and snowboarders at the world events that are held at the slopealmost every year.The local hotels and accommodation are amazing because unlike most skiing locations, theydon’t limit the skiers and snowboarders to a single choice. There are youth hostels that are
  10. 10. perfect for those looking to ski on the cheap; there are 5 star hotels for those looking to livethe lap-of-luxury and there are many options in between. LAAX is home to more than justpubs, clubs and swimming pools, with banks and supermarkets also at realistic walkingdistances. LAAX is said to be at its peak during August, however this is said to be true for mostof Europe’s top skiing locations. That is why it is advisable to find a quieter time to visit,preferably a short time following the busy spell. The great thing about coming after the peak isthat you are able to come for around half the price of another time of the year.
  11. 11. Skiing in AndorraThe Pyrenees Mountains are located across the border between France and Spain. Also onthis border is the tiny principality of Andorra, a small country that’s skiing crazy! With twoprominent world class ski resorts, Andorra is an excellent place to escape it all; a relaxing,picturesque, quaint place, with mountain views to take your breath away. And because it is sonear France, you can always make a stop off in Andorra for a day or two on another Europeanski break.Andorra is situated itself across the Pyrenees, and has a long and protracted dalliance withsnow sports. Since the installation of their first ski lift in 1956, Andorra has been a great skiresort, and a great vacation for the hundreds of thousands of ski tourists who have wiselychosen to visit. For minimal fee, you can experience the wonder of skiing in Andorra, andenjoy the surprising depth of culture Andorra holds so dear.The Grandvalira resort is situated high in the Pyrenees mountain range, and benefits fromastonishing snow coverage. It is the product of a commercial merger between two ofAndorra’s premium ski resorts, and is now of a size and scale to compete with the big resortsnorth of the border in France. Grandvalira boasts an impressive 193 ski runs, with 66mechanized ski lifts, making it a resort to be reckoned with on a truly European scale.Additionally, it boasts an impressive training school, over seven separate centers with 450 ofEurope’s top skiing and snowboarding instructors. With a wealth of experience, theGrandvalira skiing school has an international reputation, and has achieved a high degree ofsuccess on an international level. Additionally, Grandvalira benefits from an adventureactivity centre and a variety of world class restaurant and bar areas, making it a truly amazingresort, and a great place to spend a vacation with your family or with your friends. With sucha friendly atmosphere, you will feel right at home in the heart of Andorra and the Pyrenees,yet still feel out of the way of the hustle and bustle of everyday life.Another of Andorra’s most famous resorts is the Vallnord resort. Ideally catering for all agesand abilities, the Vallnord resort offers a challenge for expert skiers, while still enablingbeginners to have a great time. Additionally, the Vallnord is more than well equipped for afamily holiday, with something to keep everyone entertained and happy. A slightly smallerresort, it benefits from 30 mechanized ski lifts handling around seventeen thousand skiersevery hour, and over 50 different slopes. It also offers a diverse range of complimentaryactivities, including other snow sports and even helicopter rides! Along with this, you’ve gottwo training schools with over two hundred staff working hard to help hone your skills. Withthis much talent and effort, you’re sure to really benefit, and guaranteed to have a greatvacation.An excellent way to save money on a trip to Andorra is to consider a coach trip. Coach tripsthrough Europe are excellent ways to see a different continent, and to experience firsthandthe amazing scenery these countries are blessed with, as well as saving a great deal of money
  12. 12. while you’re at it. In addition to that, you can find some great package deals that stop off atvarious skiing locations around central Europe, giving you a chance to experience a variety anddepth of skiing conditions on your break. Whatever coach tour you choose, it is worthremembering that you’re going to have to travel for a good number of hours, although onceyou get there, everything is fairly proximate, allowing you to experience different cultures andpeoples without too much hassle.Whatever your needs for a skiing vacation, Andorra is certainly a great location to choose.With such variety crammed into such a small geographic area, you can really experience worldclass skiing without having to pay through the nose.
  13. 13. Skiing in AustriaThe world famous home of skiing, Austria, is an ideal resort for anyone who enjoys skiing. Thefresh alpine slopes combined with picture-postcard scenery and a grand culture of centuriesold make Austria an ideal holiday destination, whether or not you simply adore skiing like me!Austria is home to a wide variety of ski resorts, catering for all abilities and tastes. From thelavishly expensive to the bargain basement (yet still of a consistently high quality), Austria hasit all, from the highest peaks, to the snowiest landscapes, and with a bit of research you canfind some really great deals.When in Austria, you’d be mad not to ski the Alps. The dream of many skiers, the Alps spansseveral European countries, and is a must-ski for an enthusiast. Spend a good few days inAustria, and dedicate at least one of them to skiing the Alps. You won’t regret it, I can promiseyou that!If you put in the research work before you leave, you will generally be able to find some topquality accommodation at low prices. Whether you are booking within a ski resort, or nearby,you should consult the internet to find last minute deals which might help you save money. Agood tip to bear in mind is that the star rating given to accommodation does not indicatequality. You might be better off in a one star than a three star for example, given that the staronly represents the level of facilities. Additionally, lower star ratings are usually cheaper, soyou can benefit from quality, reduced price accommodation if you know where to look.Whatever type of accommodation you opt for, if you are flexible enough to leave for yourvacation instantly you will benefit from good deals. Hotels often cut their prices at the lastminute, on the basis that some money for a room is better than no money, and so if you’reprepared to get away as soon as possible, you will find it can be really cheap, and you can stillhave a great time all the same.On top of that, the internet is home to a variety of low cost airlines which run ‘no frills’, noticket services. In my personal experience, I have found these airlines to be as good as theirmore expensive competitors, and just as efficient and comfortable. One word of cautionabout any airline: make sure they are equipped to handle skiing equipment. Some companieswill charge a surplus for your skis, so it is important to ask before you book as to arrangementsfor bulky or large and fragile goods.Another highly recommended purchase is insurance for both your equipment and yourself.Things do go wrong, on holiday as well as at home. It is important, therefore to make sure youare covered. Particularly when you are placing your equipment in an airplane hold, or whenyou are indulging in a dangerous sport like skiing, insurance is important for ensuring youdon’t end up high and dry. You can find good deals if you shop around, and it really is worththe few bucks to get that piece of mind, and actual backup in case things go wrong. In a word,it is essential. Don’t leave home without it!
  14. 14. Solden In AustriaSolden is a world-renowned skiing facility that is often referred to as the home of skiing inAustria. With views that are simply breath-taking, the countered rocky mountains are alsohome to tourists from around the world that visit each week to experience the slopes that arenot only challenging, yet also custom-built in the case of certain slaloms. Solden is also a greatplace to learn skiing with expert teaching facilities, and a team of 20+ on hand to help newskiers learn, and experienced skiers improve.The resort is located around 50 miles out with Innsbruck and 20 miles west of Otztal. As youcan imagine the area is dedicated to Skiing, with hotels and guest houses attempting toleverage skiing upon their brand, to attract a loyal customer-base from the slopes. This issomething that has worked, and with 6,500 snowboarders also choosing to hit the Soldenslopes each week Austria’s skiing capital is showing no signs of regression.With the increased popularity of skiing activities in Solden, the company operating the slopeshas more than 20 instructors working at one time, putting wind behind their suggestion thatover 1000 new skiers start on their slopes each week. With the rise of snowboarding attractinga teenage audience, Solden has attempted to accommodate, through offering drinkingfacilities and clubs nearby, where the teenagers on vacation can chill at night, after a hard dayon the slopes. The fun and entertainment does not stop at clubs, or 5 star hotels for thatmatter, Solden is also home to the Solden Firework Display, providing 2 hours of fireworksevery second evening. The look of the fireworks, as the light flashes off the snow is simplyamazing and this is one of many reasons why Solden is famed for character and personality,over and above its Austrian counterparts.So what other features set Solden apart from the rest? Offering night time activities under thefireworks, it is possible to ski and snowboard under floodlights. This is something that has notonly attracted skiers from around the world, but also internationally renowned DJs andmusicians that feel the cool and hip Solden slopes is a perfect place to hang out.Skiing at night may appear to be a very dangerous activity; however I have been assured thatonly basic slaloms are allowed and that the night is primarily aimed at snowboarders, thatdon’t cover as much distance on a board. Austria’s Solden slope has hosted many events to aglobal and European audience, and just as would be expected, the crowd and the competitorsboth enjoyed the event, with the winner being a native Austrian himself at the last StellaArtios Cup, that seen over 500 competitors from nearly 40 countries taking part.With the rise of snowboarding, great skiing locations such as Solden are doing everyone proudin maintaining skiing as well. Through welcoming the snowboarding community with openarms, we are able to see a unity between the sports at the Solden peeks, and we are alsoseeing younger children being exposed to Skiing, through choosing to go snowboarding andseeing it there.
  15. 15. Whether you are a young child, or an adult, whether you have skied or snowboarded before,Solden is the best location in Europe and throughout the world for skiing activities on arecreational and competitive level. With deep snow, and a firm texture I would recommendSolden to absolutely anyone.The ski lift is newly fitted making it a very smooth and comfortable ride. The lift covers over 20miles and was voted the third-best ski lift in the entire world. With excellent accommodationand among the best snowboarding and skiing facilities in the world, I would recommendSolden to anyone looking to experience skiing for the first time, or someone looking to taketheir skiing to the next level through riding a challenging slalom.
  16. 16. St Anton in AustriaSt Anton in Austria is a world renowned skiing facility, positioned in the belt that is known asAustria’s skiing capital. Only 100 miles from Solden and with Innsbruck and Otztal close by,visiting Austria on a skiing vacation could not get any easier, or more action-packed. Theterrain is varied, and offers excellent opportunities for new skiers, experienced skiers andeven snowboarding - that is on-the-up in this region. With 2 mountains, and a top of the rangeski lift, skiers have no problems getting from A to B on the 30 000 feet slope. With viewslooking over the snowy hills and farmland, it is no wonder the area is a thriving hub fortourists, from around the world.The terrain is varied, as well as the gradients that offer great opportunities for high speed,high octane acceleration, and lesser gradients that assist the new skiers in homing in theirskills, 30 000 feet high in the St Anton mountains. St Anton does not have the tradition oracclaim that its neighbor Solden has managed to gain, however many from around the worldstill choose St Anton as their preference for an international skiing vacation. The reasons forthis are simple – its appeals to a different skiing niche. While Solden has hosted many worldrenowned skiing occasions, it has became too commercialized for some skiers who claim thefacility has become too simple, and almost too forgiving on certain slopes.With 8 runs and rising, St Anton has failed to give into pressure from around the world, forman-made slaloms, and safety alterations on runs. When you are skiing on certain sloped in StAnton, you have to have your wits about you, or something dangerous could easily happen.The facility has also gained much acclaim from adrenaline junkies in the snowboarding field,who rank St Anton as being one of the best facilities in the world. St Anton’s rise insnowboarding also came as it followed the new trend of offering night-time, freestylesnowboarding under flood lights and fireworks. This is becoming the new trend insnowboarding, and what better place to do it, than at St Anton.During my trip to St Anton to check-it-out I found that the hotels around the area werebrilliant, making it no problem for English speaking holiday makers to enjoy themselves. Istayed at a luxury 5 star hotel that had an indoor heated swimming pool. The swimming poolpeaked out onto the top of a snowy mountain as you bathed in 40 degrees water.I would have to say that the general feeling around the area is amazing, as you sense thegenuine desire for skiing shared by everyone who goes along and takes part. Before I went Ihad never been skiing before, and I found the tuition excellent. They had multi-lingual skiinginstructors on hand to try and aid any new skiers visiting the slopes. I was also taken to aspecific slope that was built for new-starts, which also has an easy access point to a lift -perfect for picking that up as well.The area is amazing to look at, and also offers great entertainment for the non-skier, or skieron a night-off! With clubs, pubs and shops all available to service the slopes, it is no wonder
  17. 17. that the skiing facility has three 5 star hotels positioned next to the slopes. With all nightentertainment within the hotels and all-night snowboarding it really is impossible to get aminutes rest in St Anton. Should you visit it is said that the conditions are best around August,however that’s in the peak of the skiing season, making it impossible to get moving around theslopes. In order to benefit from the best conditions, while the slopes are quieter I would sayNovember is the best time. You are also more likely to get discounts from your travel agent atthis time.
  18. 18. Skiing In BulgariaOk, so I know Bulgaria isn’t likely to be the first place that springs to mind when you thinkabout a skiing vacation. However, you’d be surprised to learn that Bulgaria is becoming anincreasingly popular destination of choice for holiday makers across Europe, and the world. Anew breed of European country, Bulgaria is beginning to build towards becoming anindustrialized, metropolitan nation. The eastern European nation has a surprising depth ofhistory and culture, and is truly an excellent place to discover. With this national growthcomes the development of its inherent passion for skiing, and this is evident across thecountry, with various ski resorts springing up all over the place.Bulgaria’s most recognized ski resort is Bansko. As a result of massive investment in Bulgaria,particularly in the development of the tourism industries, Bansko is undergoing extensiverefurbishment and modernization, to create a facility that can compete on a world scale. Aswell as time and money spent on developing hotels, luxurious apartments, ski lifts and otherfacilities, there is also a great deal being ploughed into refining the actual slopes themselves,to ensure a high quality, internationally acceptable skiing conditions. With impressive snowcoverage from late November through to spring, Bansko is an ideal location for a ski resort,and this is reflected by its increasing popularity. The beautiful village itself is rich in historyand tradition, and you’ll find the people very warm and welcoming; eager to please, andensure you have a good time.Another of Bulgaria’s major ski resorts is Pamporovo, situated on the Rhodopi Mountain. Athoroughly modernized resort, Pamporovo boasts an extensive training academy and wellmaintained ski runs for all abilities. The most southern resort in Europe, Pamporovo benefitsfrom a particularly sunny climate, with around four months of sunshine, and plenty of snow.That means you’ll never be skiing in too unpleasant conditions! Pamporovo is also more thanadequately equipped to deal with holiday makers in terms of auxiliary services, and hasrecently unveiled plans for a state of the art ski lift. With so much time and investment beingspent on these slopes, it really is an ideal time to visit Bulgaria.Of course the beauty of Bulgaria as a great skiing location is that it is relatively untouched andundiscovered. This means that you can benefit from the excellent facilities without having tocontend with too many tourists. Thus, Bulgaria provides an excellent opportunity to enjoyskiing in peace and quiet, in idyllic settings. Additionally, for a trip in Bulgaria, you’re going tobe paying significantly less than other European countries for the same amazing weather andfantastic skiing. Bulgaria really is a win/win location for any skiing holiday.With such extensive investment in the nation, Bulgaria is an up and coming holidaydestination as it pushes towards European integration. By nursing an ever strengtheningtourism industry, the nation is growing continually, and this is great news for skiing
  19. 19. enthusiasts who can benefit from its excellent natural resources and ski resort facilities.Additionally, with such a quality-orientated approach, Bulgaria is challenging the moreindustrialized European nations in terms of service and produce. For a low cost, high qualityskiing vacation, Bulgaria has to be a consideration, so why not book your vacation, anddiscover Europe’s best kept skiing secret for yourself?
  20. 20. Skiing In CroatiaCroatia, one of the new emerging European nations, has seen an amazing turnaround infortunes over the last decade. Since it has become more involved with the European Union,and European integration, it has become distinctly more tourist friendly, and is a great placeto vacation with your family on a budget. With a number of well positioned mountain resorts,Croatia is ideally suited for skiers of all abilities and ages, making it a great all-round holidaydestination.If you’re looking for a skiing holiday which combines excellent snow with a warm, friendlyclimate, Croatia is simply ideal for you. With numerous strategically located ski resorts,Croatia is a nation of ski lovers, and this is reflected in their amazing facilities. When inCroatia, you’d be mad to miss the Bjelolasica. The Bjelolasica is the training centre for theOlympic skiing team, located in the Zagreb region. It boasts amazing facilities, and is simply agreat place to go skiing. As you might expect, the standard of training there is simply worldclass, and this accounts for why the Croatian national team are so prolific. On top of this, thehotel facilities are exceptional value for money, and you’ll find that with any Croatian holiday,you will be spending less than you may imagine. As a growing nation, Croatia is becoming anincreasingly popular skiing destination, for enthusiasts of all age and ability.Another very popular Croatian skiing resort is Platak, located nearer the Adriatic. A little moreexpensive, and somewhat more remote than Bjelolasica, Platak is still a very popular resort,and is frequently rated the best place to ski in Croatia. The whole resort built around thenaturally ideal ski centre is of a top quality, and it is easy to see why tourists come back yearon year for their skiing vacations. A resort very much on the grow, there are plans tointroduce several new ski lifts, and a dozen additional snow cannons by 2010. Platak looks tobe a promising resort for the future, and is certainly great for a skiing vacation with a family.Additionally, Platak’s skiing and snowboarding instruction centre is well practiced at givingexceptional quality training, across multiple languages, making for substantial improvement toyour skills, regardless of your nationality. Additionally, with its high tech features, Platak couldeasily fit in with any European resort, and for such a low price, it is great value for money.When in Croatia, does as the Croatians’ do, and visit Zagreb. The bustling city of Zagreb has somuch to offer by way of Croatian culture and history, and is an excellent chance to break awayfrom the slopes for a few days. It is truly a cultural hotbed, and the hustle and bustle willbetray the long and arduous past. Looming above Zagreb is Mount Medvednica, and theSljeme resort. With both daytime skiing, and the option of hitting the flood-lit slopes at night.Alongside highly technical snow cannons, Zagreb benefits from excellent snow coverage at thisaltitude, and is a fantastic city for a ski resort. Additionally, there is so much by way ofadditional, complimentary facilities which make skiing at Sljeme an ideal prospect.Many people are surprised to think that Croatia actually borders Italy. However, the culture isso different from the Italian culture. With an entirely different history and culture, the
  21. 21. Croatians certainly place heavy emphasis on their food, and this is reflected in the top qualitygourmet restaurants available. Additionally, you’ll note exactly how cheap the entire countryis, with your average pint of ale coming in at less than a dollar. In Croatia, your spendingmoney will go a lot further, and so will your holiday, which is why so many families choose itas an ideal destination for their skiing break. So why not choose Croatia, and benefit fromworld class skiing, at a fraction of the price.
  22. 22. Skiing In FranceIf you enjoy skiing, there is nothing more exhilarating than the prospect of skiing throughFrance. Whether taking advantage of some of the world’s best downhill runs, or heading crosscountry, France is a skier’s paradise, and somewhere definitely not to be missed for any wintersports enthusiast. Amidst some of the world’s most breathtaking scenery, the fresh alpine airand magically contoured runs are truly a once in a lifetime experience. It really is no wonderthat France is highly regarded as one of the best skiing nations in the world.When skiing in France, you’d be mad not to go to the Alps. Famous the world over for theirexcellent ski slopes, the Alps also border on Switzerland, so you might also like to pop overand visit while you’re in town. And don’t worry if you don’t have your equipment - there aresimply thousands of dedicated ski shops to serve the tourists, and some stock some prettygood bargains!France is also home to the world famous Val d’Isere resort. A huge scenic expanse, the resortwas made famous by top French skier Jean Claude Killy, and is a magnet for tourists all yearround, with a near guarantee of absolutely perfect conditions. Additionally, the resort catersfor all levels of experience and ability, and so you’re sure to find a challenge somewhere! Totop it all, the resort boasts amazing facilities, from its ski lifts to its hotels and refreshmentareas. The Val d’Isere really is a skier’s heaven.France is fortunate enough to benefit from great wine, great food, great culture…as well asgreat skiing! If you decide to opt for France for your next skiing trip, don’t spend all your timeon the slopes - get out there and experience a different style of living. Sample the delicacies,and experience the delights of this highly metropolitan European nation.Why not look online for great French skiing deals? Thanks to the internet, holiday prices havereally come down over the last few years, and you can find some real bargains with a bit ofresearch. Additionally, there is no need to consider booking each individual elementseparately, given the sheer number of top quality package deals, which will come includedwith your skiing, accommodation, flights and lift pass. You might even be lucky enough to finda deal that includes some exotic French food to fill you up after a hard day on the slopes!Alternatively, you could just pop in to your local travel agents to see what they have on offer.Although the travel agent will usually inflate the price to cover their commission, you can stillfind some real bargains that aren’t available elsewhere. And what’s more, the travel agentcan recommend where to go and what to see, and there is nothing quite like that personalrecommendation. Additionally, he can help allay any fears or worries you may have aboutyour holiday, and can answer any questions you might have. Again, it is important to shoparound for the best deal, and this will also help you get a better idea of what your chosenresort is like as a whole.
  23. 23. Before leaving for France it is important to make sure you have a valid passport, with over sixmonths before expiry. This will be absolutely critical for passing through French customs. Ifyou need a new passport, you should allow around eight to ten weeks before leaving, giventhe lengthy application process. Make sure you plan well in advance - the passport is vital ifyou’re to set foot out of the country. Without it, you won’t get to experience the magic ofFrench skiing, and additionally, you will lose the money you paid for your holiday, so this reallyis a vital consideration.So why not consider France for your next skiing trip? The real home of skiing, France iswaiting, and it doesn’t have to be as expensive as you might think!
  24. 24. TignesTignes in France is a skiing location that is much different from the border-adjacent Alps, andother skiing facilities that have put France firmly on the skiing map. The rise of Tignes initiallycame with the rise of tourism in the area. During the last 10 years the facilities have beenimproved immensely with a new state-of-the-art training facility, and freestyle snowboardingfacilities being built in the area.Over the past 10 years, the area has welcomed over 1 million skiers from around the worldand has hosted events such as the European freestyle snowboarding championship and theFrench Skiing open. The facility has two parallel mountains that are near local townships,making the area an ideal place for holiday makers and serious skiers alike. With a 25 000 feetslope, and on-site mountain safety rescue the area really has pulled out all the stops to placeitself up there, as one of the top skiing destinations around the world. The world renownedtraining facility has multi-lingual instructors and even has 4 classrooms, where skiers are takento watch footage, and get shown the ropes from a less practical perspective. The slopes 1million visitors in the past 10 years have came from all around the world, many of whichlearned how to ski on their first visit to the slopes.With many great deals for holiday makers, and with accessible road routes all over mainlandEurope it is no wonder Tignes is generally considered the first choice for holiday makerslooking to Ski in the region. Tignes has also gone to some effort to promote itself even furtherby a 5 million dollar regeneration project that went on in the region. A new ski slope was built,along with the infrastructure to allow the development of hotels and even a shoppingprecinct. The area has also underwent major changes in order to make it more accessible, formore of the year, with an indoor facility being built and flood lights making it possible to skiand snowboard late into the evening. Snowboarding is also seen as a major plus point ofTignes, with other skiing facilities in the area being far less welcoming to the snowboardingmasses. Tignes is home to expert freestyle snowboarding facilities, and is also home to theundisputed number one snowboarding training camp. With snowboarders from around theworld visiting Tignes the area now sees more than just skiers amongst its busy hotels andpubs.On the down side many skiers criticize Tignes for the lack of difficulty on its slaloms; howeverthis is simply not the case. Tignes is home to around 8 slaloms, all of which have differentdifficult ratings. I can assure anyone who feels unsure of the difficulty level on the last twoslopes, should give them a go before they say anymore. However, they do raise an interestingpoint. Tignes has undergone major regeneration in an attempt to make their facilities safer,and has also altered many runs to accommodate beginners, which may have taken the stingout of certain slaloms.Despite this, the facilities are amazing, and the training is out of this world. I was strapped to amachine in order to measure my heart rate, and also asked to run on a tread mill so they could
  25. 25. record my recovery times. The restaurants let you sample original French cuisine and alsoprovide many opportunities for a lovely night out. For those looking for a more adventurousnight-life the Della 1 pub and club will provide all the fun you will need. Della 1 is only a 10minute walk from the hotels - and a further 15 minute walk for those staying in the log cabinvillage overlooking the mountains. Whether you stay, or whether you are a skier or asnowboarder you should surely go to Tignes and sample the runs. The facility is also perfectfor learning, and those that have never skied before.
  26. 26. Skiing In ItalyItaly has always been a consideration for those interested in experiencing the Alps for less.Having said that, it is still considered one of the top European skiing countries today, and is amagnificent place to take a skiing vacation. There is a certain romance about Italy that makesit the number one choice for so many skiers each year, and it is easy to see the attraction withthe place. From its northern snow-tipped peaks, you can also venture towards the culturalhotbeds of Rome and Turin, and experience Italy as it is intended, as well as its amazing skislopes.One of Italy’s smallest resorts, tucked up high, near Canazei in the North, is Alba. Based on atiny village, the Alba resort is the truest form of skiing escapism, with amazing off piste skiingto be had. For the keen skier, this would make for an excellent day trip or an excellentweekend away while staying at a bigger resort, and although it has only 5 lifts, it is a realItalian treasure, and something not to be missed if you like peaceful surroundings while youski. On top of that, if you enjoy cross country skiing, Alba also offers a number of extensivetrails for you to pursue, ensuring that you are likely to have a great time, whatever you skiingpreferences and ability.If you’re looking for something bigger, why not consider Italy’s highest resort, Passo Tonale.An ideal family resort, Passo Tonale is focused more around beginners and intermediates, andprovides a friendly atmosphere that is just simply lacking from some of the bigger resorts.Passo Tonale is also home to a top class ski school, employing some of the region’s mosttalented skiing instructors. In addition to that, the staff prides themselves on the conditions oftheir slopes, which are groomed frequently. From the peak of Passo Tonale, you are facedwith a wonderful panoramic view of the whole region, which is truly breathtaking, and it hasbeen known for skiers to spend hours simply analyzing the view. Passo Tonale is a great resortif you are looking for a busier, more down to earth ski resort for you and your family.Selva Gardena is one of Italy’s largest resorts, and if you are looking for some great sceneryand excellent, consistent snow coverage, you could do a great deal worse than here. A greatvalue for money resort, Selva Gardena is also child friendly, making it another fantastic resortto take the family.Italy has a diverse range of ski resorts to cater for all different tastes and abilities. In generalyou will find all the resorts welcoming and friendly, not to mention the amazing hospitalityyou will experience in some of their restaurants and bars. If you are looking for a good valuefor money trip, and you enjoy skiing, the North of Italy is ideal for you, and can provide anyskier with an adequate challenge of their abilities. Additionally, with some of the best skiinginstructors in the world, Italy is one of the best places in Europe to enjoy skiing without payingan absolute fortune. Italy truly is a great skiing location for anyone looking to experience theAlps in all their glory, amidst the wealth and depth of culture and history right around thecorner.
  27. 27. Skiing In ScotlandScotland may be the home of golf, but its also a great place for skiing enthusiasts. Withnumerous world class resorts, and such a depth of history and culture, Scotland is a greatplace to visit on your vacation, regardless of your interests and hobbies. When you think ofScotland, you might think of kilts, and rural mountaintops and sheep, but if you actually get toknow the place, youll find it is both beautiful, with its bustling, classy cities, ensuring youregoing to have an enjoyable vacation wherever you go in the country.One of the most famous Scottish ski resorts is Aviemore. A classy, traditional ski resort,Aviemore is located within the Scottish Highlands, and is the ski resort of choice for manyacross the world. Loved for its friendly atmosphere and great skiing, Aviemore is more thanwell equipped to give you a great time. Its bars and restaurants are simply first class, offeringwholesome food and drink to keep you well refreshed. Additionally, its holiday village feelingenhances its friendly, relaxed ambience, and makes you feel a million miles from home whilestill comfortable.Alternatively, there are some more ski resorts in the Scottish Highlands which are particularlygood value for money. It is important to watch out, though, given that some resorts cater forthe top end of the market, and you could end up paying a lot more than you bargained for. Aslong as you do your homework before you leave, you should fin the resort that is perfect tocater for your needs, and your wallet.One thing to watch out for before you arrive in Scotland is to change your currency intoSterling Pounds. Your best option is to go to your local travel agents, or your local currencyconversion centre before setting off. That way, you will be sure of exactly what you aregetting for your money. It is a good idea to be wary of the commission, and the exchange rateyou are being offered, and it can sometimes be quite tricky to get your head around thenumbers. Make sure you work everything out before hand, and shop around so that you dontget ripped off.For excellent deals on Scotland, why not go online? Additionally, there you will find a greatdeal of information on what to do in Scotland, and information on the depth and variety of SkiResorts. If you choose not to go to a ski resort, but rather a city and you want to cram in sometop quality, affordable skiing during your trip, you are also in luck. There are loads of dry skislopes in and around the cities, like at Polmont for example, which is located midway betweenGlasgow and Edinburgh, which is ideal for some quick and cheap skiing. Additionally, thereare several indoor artificial snow ski slopes which you can visit. These innovative inventionsare used to help train national level skiers, and are also open to the public at certain times, sowhy not pop along during your visit?
  28. 28. Why not consider Scotland? With so many excellent deals on skiing package tours at themoment, youll definitely be glad you did, and you are guaranteed to have an enjoyable, funholiday in this picturesque, ski-enthusiasts heaven.
  29. 29. Skiing In AviemoreAviemore is based in the highlands of Scotland, with impressive mountain views, andsurrounded by country-side it stands 26,000 feet above rural farmland. The area is renownedfor skiing, having recently had 2 European Level Competitions on its snowy peaks in the lasttwo months. The ski resorts success, with professional skiing has also lead to success withtourists, having 12,000 people hitting the slopes each month. These massive numbers are alsoattributed to snowboarding, with boarding specific slaloms on one side of the mountains.Aviemore recently commissioned a $4 Million state of the art ski lift that can travel up to 25miles per hour, withstand winds in excess of 110 miles per hour, and has a total weight of 450tons. The amazing structure travels over 15 miles and is certainly an amazing sight for any avidskier. Aviemore’s tourist based facilities are also highly impressive with 900 square feet, and averging patio area that looks down the 26,000 feet mountain face.Aviemore is an unfortunate to only have snow for 7 months in the year, ruling it out of hostingsome of the world’s greatest competitions, and really placing Scotland up there with France,Switzerland and now Bulgaria as one the top skiing destinations around the world. The skiingdestination has recently hosted the snowboarding world freestyle championships, where thefacility had to compete with many countries where the sport has far greater uptake than inScotland. Scotland’s success would have came as a result of many factors, however it was saidthat the accommodation facilities were said to be significantly more robust than othercountries that had placed similar bids.With a thriving economy that survives largely of the tourism industry, Aviemore had thefacilities to bed over 10,000 people a night, significantly higher than any other bid. Thereasons for this was largely down to its proximity to a local town that was also able to providebed and breakfast accommodation, which ensured that more tickets could be sold, andexposure maximized. Despite this, only 21% of ticket buyers were Scottish, leaving the rest ofthe 79% to fly in from around the world.The success of the tournament has lead to speculation of Aviemore building on its initialsuccess to host more tournaments in the coming years, and with this the value of property hasrisen and the hotel industry is also becoming savvy to the prospect of high demand in thearea. The Aviemore Mountains have an average gradient that well exceeds most skiinglocations in the west of Europe making Aviemore the place to visit for a European Skiing trip,providing the time of year is correct.With only 7 months snow, Aviemore is considering a contained facility, where it will continueto provide skiing and snowboarding indoors. The thought of this, also would raise ideas andsuggestions as to how they intend to go about this, and on what scale? Would they be lookingto compete with the indoor facilities in Berlin, or would they be looking for something basic?The fact is, speculation as to a large scale indoor facility is mounting, and this is certainly
  30. 30. something that would benefit the hotel industry in the area that is growing rapidly, howeverexperiences a less-busy spell for 5 months in the year where Aviemore is in no condition toallow snowboarders or skiers to hit the slopes. Despite this freestyle snowboarding stillcontinues, where the snow is artificially maintained in a half-pipe with which thesnowboarders can practice and perfect tricks in a similar way to skateboarders.If you have never been to Aviemore then I recommend you visit, whether or not you are askier. The fact is, the views are amazing, the fresh clear air is refreshing and the people arefantastic. If you have never skied before, then what better place to learn than Aviemore.
  31. 31. SKIING OFF PISTE IN LA GRAVE?Clear blue sky, crispy crystal snow, fresh air and lots of fun, all these make skiing a highlyenjoyable and appreciated sport that attracts thousands of tourists on the mountain slopesevery year. Yet, some of them are looking not just for fun, but for adventure. These are thepeople who choose off-piste skiing, who challenge the mountain in a race full of adrenaline,running the risk of provoking an avalanche for the sake of enjoying a descent on an untouchedslope. These are the risk takers that throw caution to the wind in favor of a good time, andmany of them choose the infamous La Grave skiing area, situated in the Alps.If you want to go skiing in La Grave, you’d better think twice for the sake of your own safetyand wellbeing. You could be there all alone, with nothing but your skies and backpack, in themiddle of a white ocean, and your life depends on all your skiing knowledge and experience,which in some cases, can be less than you think. The highest risk to produce an avalanche iswhen there are several layers of snow, some older than the others, with different levels ofdensity. In such a case, if you change direction suddenly, you may cut the most recent layer ofsnow with your skis, and thus dislocate it. Consequently, never cross a slope from one side tothe other, because you may dislocate disaster. Or when skiing at high speed on slopes withfresh snow, you can raise a powder snow avalanche that makes air unbreathable because ofthe fine snow crystals that fill the atmosphere. Sometimes a few simple precautions like thesecan save your life.To feel safer on your off-piste skiing expedition, there are a few things that you need to know.Always check on the snow conditions beforehand. Go online, and make sure you look at areport for La Grave, which should be easy enough to find. Has it recently snowed? What is therisk of avalanche in the area? What was the local weather like in the last days? Getinformation on how warm the weather can get at noon for instance. Make sure there haven’tbeen strong winds that might have affected the snow stability on the slope where you want togo skiing. Open your eyes for cornices and cracks and listen to possible sounds of the snowmass while you’re out there. If you remain alert, youll stand a better chance of avoidingdisaster.Avoid noise in areas with high avalanche risk. When trying to communicate with othermembers of your group, never shout if you’re far from them, because sound vibrations cancause inner breaks in the snow mass if already unstable. Make sure your transceivers are fullycharged so that you may ask for help if in need. And last, but not least, wear colorful skiingclothes; avoid white, silver or gray equipment, that make you almost invisible by lack ofcontrast. Reds, or Oranges are probably the best colors to opt for, to give that contrast thatcould be life saving. Thus you’ll be more easily detectable on the slope, and in case you’re inan emergency situation, rescue teams can find you more quickly. You’ll be a speck of color inthe silver vastness of snow, identifiable from miles away to aid your rescue, and potentiallysave your life.