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Is anyone else interested in European ski safari next season?

mustski

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#1
Bob and I are planning a ski trip to Europe next season. I have started to get interested in a possible ski safari from Refugio to Refugio with a guide who is also an instructor. The prices for the Dolomites seem pretty reasonable to me as I look into it. Here are a couple of links in case anybody else feels like dreaming a bit! I have just started to research.

This one has different levels of "luxury" but it does include breakfast and dinner and they transfer all your luggage for you. I plan on carrying a backpack, but I don't want to have to load it down.
https://arabbaholidays.it/en/ski-safari/comfort-ski-safari6-giorni-7-notti

This one does speak to the need for a backpack, but they provide one which is interesting. It also seems to have some options for customizing trips which sounds good to me.
https://inspireditaly.com/dolomites-ski-safaris/
 

Lmk92

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#4
I just rode the gondola with a woman who urged us to ski Europe. She said it was the best in the world!
 
#7
@santacruz skier Did you use a tour company or just plan your own trips?
Almost always planned my own trips.... did go on a couple trips with the Texas Ski Club as I had a friend who belonged. Even in those cases, it was just for the package deal (accommodations ) as usually did a pre/and or post trip. A week skiing in Europe is not enough time (IMO). This year I went to London first for 2 nights, then flew to Zurich and took train to St Moritz spending 7 nights there, more trains to Davos/Klosters and spent 4 nights there, then train back to Zurich. Then back to London and spent 3 nights there! My friend and I planned this trip on our own... Quite easy!
 

mustski

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#8
We are excited! I have only been skiing in Europe once - Davos/Klosters- when I was in high school! So it's been awhile! I just took a look at Club Med for the fun of it. 7 nights in Cervinia is $3900 for 2 and that includes accommodations, all your meals, alcohol, lift tickets, lessons, childcare if needed, and gratuities. It is walk to shuttle. Val Thorens in France is a little more at $4200 and it is slope side or ski in - ski out and doesn't have childcare. I'm just thinking out loud here to see if anyone else is interested. Obviously, I no longer need childcare but @socalgal would. Those are this season's prices so I would expect a bit of an increase.
 

SnowSeeker

Certified Ski Diva
#9
@santacruz skier Did you use a tour company or just plan your own trips?
I’ll jump on this question as well. We lived in the E.U. for the past three years (moved back to the US last summer). We planned our own ski trips every year and it’s usually cheaper to do that. It’s pretty easy to plan it yourself. Italy is wonderful for skiing - friendly, great food and very affordable. We skied the Italian Alps but never made it to the Dolomites - a Refugio to Refugio trip is on my bucket list along with skiing the Sela Ronda in both directions. I would love to do this trip. The one thing that would tip me towards using a tour company is that Italian websites/tourist info is often not in English. Also a tour company can easily handle any problems or emergencies when they arise, rather than disrupting the whole group (and I assume they speak Italian, which is very handy.)
 
#10
We are excited! I have only been skiing in Europe once - Davos/Klosters- when I was in high school! So it's been awhile! I just took a look at Club Med for the fun of it. 7 nights in Cervinia is $3900 for 2 and that includes accommodations, all your meals, alcohol, lift tickets, lessons, childcare if needed, and gratuities. It is walk to shuttle. Val Thorens in France is a little more at $4200 and it is slope side or ski in - ski out and doesn't have childcare. I'm just thinking out loud here to see if anyone else is interested. Obviously, I no longer need childcare but @socalgal would. Those are this season's prices so I would expect a bit of an increase.
So you probably saw that Cervinia is on the other side of Zermatt. I've skied there a few times. Price seems good as includes lift tickets (probably not for the Zermatt side which is incredible, but maybe).... Club Meds are still all over Europe and quite popular and a good deal. Also, both in 2013 and 2014 I stayed in chalets in Chamonix and those are a really good deal as include meals, etc. Check out valley fever chalets in Chamonix for an idea. Great town too but very spread out (like many european resorts).
 

SnowSeeker

Certified Ski Diva
#11
We are excited! I have only been skiing in Europe once - Davos/Klosters- when I was in high school! So it's been awhile! I just took a look at Club Med for the fun of it. 7 nights in Cervinia is $3900 for 2 and that includes accommodations, all your meals, alcohol, lift tickets, lessons, childcare if needed, and gratuities. It is walk to shuttle. Val Thorens in France is a little more at $4200 and it is slope side or ski in - ski out and doesn't have childcare. I'm just thinking out loud here to see if anyone else is interested. Obviously, I no longer need childcare but @socalgal would. Those are this season's prices so I would expect a bit of an increase.
In Cervinia, check out Hotel Baita Cretaz. It’s a small, stone hotel on the piste (which is very rare there). You take a snowmobile up to the inn. The food is amazing - it’s @8-10 rooms plus a cute bar and restaurant. A few years ago it was run by an Italian couple and their chalet dog. It’s a unique “only in Europe” experience. Whatever you do avoid skiing during school breaks. Many E.U. countries take a February break (different countries are off on different weeks) and it can get crowded especially if it’s a week when U.K. schools are off. Having said that, Cervinia isn’t nearly as busy as a place like Val Thorens (3 Valleys area). We skied there on a super “busy” ski week and it was not busy at all by US standards.
 

alison wong

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#12
@mustski
My ski instructor has a to-do list of "following" the World Cup events after she retires, event sites including many places in Europe. It will be a ~5 months trip (starts in K'ton, VT in late Nov?).

I am not sure if this is something you'd be interested in .... I supposed you can time your European trip to be coincide w/ a World Cup event in Europe? I think it would be a neat experience.
 

KathrynC

Certified Ski Diva
#13
Exciting!

I ski in Europe at least once a week from the UK. Couple of hints and tips:

Switzerland is expensive. France varies - large honeypot areas like Chamonix can be expensive, but it can be cheaper once you get off the beaten track a bit. Italy and Austria are relatively affordable.

Late Feb/early March will give you the best chance for good snow for general skiing, but avoid the UK school holidays. For ski touring, late March or April is better. Higher resorts tend to be less variable so you have a better chance of good snow if you go high too.

Often ski areas are spread out along valleys. In many areas, a valley will have three or four smaller resorts that you can by passes for individually, or you can buy a super pass to give you access to all of them. Often the lift systems are joined up and there are usually free shuttle buses between areas at the base. For example, the Three Valleys pass gives you access to Val Thorens, Meribel, Courchevel and a couple of smaller resorts. You can ski all of these without moving accommodation. So a possibility here would be to stay in one of the smaller resorts in this area like Les Menuires as this would be cheaper but you would still be able to ski the well-known areas.

Buying food in resorts can be very expensive, particularly in higher resorts. This can make self-catered accommodation a false economy. Although it can seem cheaper on paper, I often end up spending so much buying food to cook that it would have been better to just go for catered accommodation. There are lots of nice small family-run chalets around which are usually a good option - it sounds like you are looking at an all-inclusive trip anyway.

Unless you get very lucky, you are unlikely to find mountains of powder. Leave the big fat skis at home, something around 90 underfoot is usually the most appropriate.

I usually arrange my own trips, although that is probably easier for me from the UK.

If I can do anything to help out, give me a shout!
 

mustski

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#14
Here is another one that appeals to me. I am waiting for a trip report from someone who is there right now! I really like the idea of combining gourmet dining with skiing! I also prefer only 3 locations. Bob and I were both wondering if we could even ski bell to bell six days in a row! With staying each place for two nights, there would be an option to knock of early one day and rest up a bit. LOL. It's not that I'm getting old; it's that my daily bump has an 1100 foot vertical drop so I'm used to lots of chair rides - err rests! Also, they handle all the luggage transfers which sounds good to me! Additionally, his wife is an intermediate skier so I'm eager to hear how she likes it.
https://www.dolomitemountains.com/en/winter_spring_trips/ski_safari2652.htm
 
#16
Here is another one that appeals to me. I am waiting for a trip report from someone who is there right now! I really like the idea of combining gourmet dining with skiing! I also prefer only 3 locations. Bob and I were both wondering if we could even ski bell to bell six days in a row! With staying each place for two nights, there would be an option to knock of early one day and rest up a bit. LOL. It's not that I'm getting old; it's that my daily bump has an 1100 foot vertical drop so I'm used to lots of chair rides - err rests! Also, they handle all the luggage transfers which sounds good to me! Additionally, his wife is an intermediate skier so I'm eager to hear how she likes it.
https://www.dolomitemountains.com/en/winter_spring_trips/ski_safari2652.htm
That sounds fun but moving and packing up every two days could be a chore... I have skied many areas in the Alps but not the Dolomites. Have you checked out the Sella Ronda circuit?
 

mustski

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#17
That sounds fun but moving and packing up every two days could be a chore... I have skied many areas in the Alps but not the Dolomites. Have you checked out the Sella Ronda circuit?
I have not check-out the Sella Ronda circuit yet. Right now I am intrigued by the idea of a guided safari where they take care of everything for me. I hadn't considered the downside of packing and unpacking. Hmmm. Something to ponder.
 

SnowSeeker

Certified Ski Diva
#18
I have not check-out the Sella Ronda circuit yet. Right now I am intrigued by the idea of a guided safari where they take care of everything for me. I hadn't considered the downside of packing and unpacking. Hmmm. Something to ponder.
The last Dolomites trip link (dolomitesmountains) must include parts of the Sella Ronda circuit bc Alta Badia is one of the main resorts/access points in the Sella Massif. You may be able to knock out both a Refugio trip and Sella circuit all in one. If the whole Sella Ronda isn’t already included in the pre-set trip, you could add it on yourself bc the Sella circuit only takes one day to ski without need for lodging in between. I’m pretty envious of this itinerary!
 
#20
Resorts I've been to are so huge and you are usually buying a ticket for 4-5 areas ....For instance, Chamonix has 4-5 different areas. There is no way you could ski them all in a week or two... plus Courmayeur Italy is on the other side of the Mont Blanc tunnel...
However @mustski 's links look very fun.. I skied the Aosta Valley in 2011 and skied Pila, Monterosa, La Thuille, Cervinia for a week... then took train to Sorrento and did Pompeii, Capri, and Amalfi Coast.... Heard the Dolomites are gorgeous.....maybe I need to join @mustski on her safari....
 

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