White Christmas Guaranteed: Festive Season Skiing Breaks

Santa on Skis

Rachel Dixon and Gemma Bowes, The Guardian, October 7, 2015

CHRISTMAS

In swanky Val d’Isere, France, Christmas means live music, parades, carol concerts and festive menus, plus a visit from Father Christmas. Prices at Chalet La Vieille Maison, a three-star catered chalet, have been reduced by £400pp. So a stay from 19-26 December is now £645pp with chalet board (breakfast, afternoon tea and dinner) based on 12 sharing, including flights from Gatwick, with igluski.com. There’s also free ski guiding or coaching for all guests, and lift pass and ski hire for one. The chalet is a converted farmhouse, with beams and exposed stone.

There’s 15% off a week’s self-catering from 19-26 December, at Résidence Cami Real in Saint-Lary Soulan (ernalow.co.uk) in the French Pyrenees. It now costs £118pp based on six sharing the apartment. Take the train via Paris to Lannemezan (from £167pp, an hour from St-Lary by coach) or fly to Toulouse with easyJet (from £245pp). The apartments are in the centre of the village, with use of an indoor pool. A new gondola takes skiers to the slopes in eight minutes.

 

St Lary Cami Real

Résidence Cami Real, Saint-Lary Soulan, France

Spot skiing santas and take in Christmas mass at the church in La Plagne, France, part of the vast Paradiski area. There is £150 off a week in Chalet La Forêt, a three-star catered chalet in La Plagne 1800, £674pp chalet board based on two sharing from 19-26 December, including return flights from Gatwick with igluski.com. Lift passes have been reduced to £1, saving a further £178.

With good après, a skiable glacier and links to gnarly La Grave and pretty Venosc, Les Deux Alpes, in France, isn’t a bad bet. Chalet Les Rouses, a four-star catered chalet, has £204pp off, so a week costs £735pp chalet board, based on two sharing from 19-26 December, including flights from Gatwick, with skisolutions.com.

 

Hotel Terrasse, Engelberg

Hotel Terrasse, Engelberg

Underrated Swiss powder heaven Engelberg has a new gondola, the Titlis Express, that speeds access to the 2,428-metre Stand area. Stay at Hotel Terrasse from 19-26 December for £957pp half-board, based on two sharing, including lift passes and flights from Luton with crystalski.co.uk.

Action Outdoors has a bargain week in Chamonix with UCPA, a non-profit French organisation that runs outdoor sports holidays for under-40s. It costs £405pp full board for 19-26 December, including ski pass, ski hire and evening entertainment, but another £62pp for a twin room rather than a four- to six-person dorm, and another £165 for return coach travel from London.

 

Action Outdoors week in Chamonix.

Action Outdoors week in Chamonix. Photograph: Paul Villecourt

Beautiful scenery and great food combine in Monterosa, Italy. Chalet Hotel de Champoluc has £300pp off a week’s stay, so it’s £649pp chalet board for 19-26 December, including flights from Gatwick, with inghams.co.uk. Inghams also has a two-for-one lift pass offer over Christmas.

With great nightlife and snow parks, Mayrhofen in Austria is a fun resort. Chalet Tirol has £150pp off a week’s stay, taking it to £658pp chalet board for 19-26 December, including flights from Gatwick, inghams.co.uk.

Named after the lotion you might rub on your bruises, Chalet Arnica in family-favourite La Rosière, France, has a special family offer (two adults and two children aged two to 11) of £2,479 for chalet board for 20-27 December, including flights from Gatwick and transfers, espritski.com.

You can’t beat Austria’s St Anton for off-piste plus lairy après. Chalet Elfie has £230pp off a week, so it’s £658pp chalet board based on two sharing for 20-27 December, including flights from Gatwick, skitotal.com.

NEW YEAR

 

Les Hauts de Peyragudes, in the French Pyrenees

Les Hauts de Peyragudes, in the French Pyrenees

Street party, clubbing or full-throttle après for your Austrian New Year? Three-star Hotel Elizabeth Rose in Mayrhofen, Austria, has £200 off a week’s stay. The £849pp deal with igluski.com for 26 December to 2 January includes dinner and flights from Gatwick.

For a more chilled celebration, Les Hauts de Peyragudes in Peyragudes in the French Pyrenees, offers great value, from £98pp self-catering from 26 December-2 January, based on six sharing with ernalow.co.uk. Eating out here is much cheaper than in the Alps, and the resort has a Vallée Blanche off-piste itinerary and is rarely crowded, even at New Year. Fly to Toulouse or take the train, as before.

 

Ski lift station, Bansko, Bulgaria

Ski lift station, Bansko, Bulgaria. Photograph: Alamy

In Argentière, near Chamonix, UCPA has a cross-country skiing trip for £488pp full-board from 26 December-2 January, including equipment hire, instruction and evening entertainment. You have to sleep in a dorm though; the twin rooms are sold out. Return coach travel from London is another £150. Bars and clubs in Chamonix will go wild on New Year’s Eve.

In Bansko, Bulgaria, a pint costs less than a bag of crisps would in the Alps. Four-star Hotel Strazhite has a New Year stay (26 December-2 January) for £616pp half board, including flights from Gatwick with balkanholidays.co.uk

This article originally appeared on guardian.co.uk

 

This article was written by Rachel Dixon and Gemma Bowes from The Guardian and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.