You’re Under Our Wing

Monarch Airlines

We are proud to say that your holiday with Skiworld is ABTA and ATOL protected. However, many holidaymakers may not know exactly what this means, or just why it is so important.

 

Monday 2nd October’s high profile failure of Monarch has caused many holiday makers to look again at the issue of financial protection for package holidays.

The figures are big: Monarch is the UK’s fifth biggest airline and the country’s largest ever to collapse. It employed around 2,100 people and there are an estimated 110,000 holiday makers currently overseas.

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has called the situation ‘unprecedented’ and the regulator is effectively having to create one of the UK’s largest airlines from scratch in order to repatriate all those affected. It is an enormous undertaking, the largest repatriation in peacetime according to Chris Grayling the transport secretary. Those on a package holiday with Monarch however will not be paying anything extra for their flights home. This is covered by the ATOL scheme.

Monarch also has 750,000 future bookings for a combination of flights and package holidays which have also been cancelled amounting to a large amount of disappointment and upset, not to mention the possible financial losses for those not covered by the ATOL scheme.

In many respects the UK package travel industry is unique in that bonded travel companies offer protection for package holidays in the event of a company failing.

It simply falls to us, the travelling public, to make a few small checks to ensure the company we are travelling with is indeed protected.

 

Do you know what to look out for, so you never get caught out?

ATOL

www.caa.co.uk/atol-protection

ATOL stands for Air Travel Organisers License which is a UK government scheme run by the CAA. It covers flight-based package holidays and protects around 20 million holidaymakers a year.

If companies with an ATOL go under and you have booked a package holiday with them, you are protected. This means that if you are on holiday when this happens ATOL makes sure you finish your break and get home as planned. If you have not travelled, ATOL will make sure you get a full refund and in some cases you may be able to continue with the holiday you had booked.

Companies that are ATOL protected will issue you with an ATOL certificate immediately after you have paid which you need to keep safe, just in case. This is the proof that the holiday or flight that you have booked is protected. If you buy a land or sea based package (travelling via rail or when hiring a car) ATOL will not cover you financially so you need to check that the travel company you purchase through is a member of ABTA.

 

ABTA

www.abta.com

ABTA, the Association of British Travel Agents, is the UK’s largest travel association and members consist of both tour operators and travel agents. Members abide by a code of conduct which helps ensure high standards and also provides recourse should your holiday arrangements go wrong.

Importantly, if an ABTA company fails you are entitled to a refund if you are yet to travel and hotel and transport costs if you are abroad when it happens.

So bear in mind, you may find package holiday prices cheaper with a non-bonded company, but there is a good reason for that; your money may be at risk. And when you book fights on their own – check what protection you do have.

 

When travelling with Skiworld you have the peace of mind of knowing your money and your package holiday are protected. If you are on holiday and anything happens, we guarantee you will be able to finish your holiday and come home.

The only risk you take is that you may not actually want to come back…

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INSIDER’S GUIDE: Why We’re Crazy for Banff

A ski holiday to Banff is hard to beat. With its vast ski area, record-breaking snowfall and UNESCO status, set in the breathtaking Canadian Rockies, Banff is the stuff of legends.  With ski trips to Banff starting from under £1000 this season with Skiworld, there’s never been a better excuse to try out the slopes across the pond. In case you need a little more persuading, here are our top reasons to head to Banff this winter.

 

3 Ski Areas, 1 Pass

The Romans once said, ‘everything that comes in threes is perfect’ (omne trium perfectum). Well, whether or not they’d heard of Banff, the rule certainly applies. Banff offers up three spectacular mountains; Mt. Norquay, Banff Sunshine and Lake Louise. And the best part?

Your lift pass grants you access to all three ski areas, with a free shuttle bus to run you between them.

That’s an incredible 7748 acres of varied ski terrain to explore and 274 runs.

In fact, with so much on offer between the three mountains, there’s plenty to keep everyone and their uncle busy. Whether you’re happy on the friendly groomers or prefer a steep chute, you’ll be skiing new runs every day. Advanced skiers should check out the world-famous freeride zone, ‘Delirium Dive’, in Banff Sunshine and the Back Bowls of Lake Louise for some serious powder.

 

Ski in a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Banff & Lake Louise were awarded UNESCO world heritage status in 1984, on the basis of their exceptional natural beauty, rare species and impressive natural landforms. At the heart of the Canadian Rockies, the park boasts a cornucopia of picture-perfect mountains, that range from 45 million to a staggering 120 million years old. This really is an area to behold. A day at the resort can easily feel like a day in the backcountry, as you float through untouched powder, set against sweeping vistas. The park is home to 53 species of animal, so keep your eyes peeled on the chairlift, you never know what you might spot! Perhaps an elk, or even a crazy moose…

 

Après Adventures

Calling all adrenaline seekers! Banff has a plethora of activities to keep you busy off the slopes, so whether you’re a non-skier in search of your own adventure or you’re looking for something a bit different at après, check out what this beautiful national park has to offer.

  • Lace up with some ice skates and practice your pirouettes on one of Banff’s majestic frozen lakes.
  • Strap on some snowshoes and explore the national park on foot.
  • Climb into a sleigh and glide through the landscapes after a team of dogs.
  • Check out the world-class, cross-country skiing on track-set ski trails set amongst mountain lakes and lofty peaks.
  • For some extreme thrills, try out ice-climbing in the Canadian Rockies; there’s nothing quite like the unique experience of climbing a frozen waterfall.
  • Shred the mountain under floodlights with night skiing at Mt. Norquay.
  • One for the kids…grab a donut and go tubing down the slopes on a glorified toboggan.
  • If you’d prefer to relax Banff style, visit the hot springs and soak in the rejuvenating sulphur pools.
  • Hopefully you’ve worked up an appetite by now? With over 130 bars and restaurants to choose between, Banff is a lively town. Make sure you sample the locally brewer craft beer at Banff Ave Brewing Co.

 

Record-Breaking Snow Conditions

Banff benefits from a fantastic snowfall record. In fact, Banff Sunshine has one of the snowiest records in Canada, thanks to its elevation and location on the Continental Divide, so don’t be fooled by the name! The mountain sees up to 30ft of our favourite white stuff annually and thanks to its elevation, the snow stays light and dry, making for perfect conditions. Banff Sunshine has the longest non-glacial ski-season in Canada, stretching an impressive seven months from early November and lasting long into May.

 

Value for Money

Winter is low season in Banff so accommodation is incredibly affordable. Pair this with excellent value flight options and a favourable exchange rate and you’ll find this is consistently one of the cheapest resorts to visit in North America.

Find out more about our incredible deals to Banff; prices start from under £1000 for flights, transfers and a week accommodation, with fantastic deals available throughout the season. Book early for the best prices; currently we have savings of up to 25% available, with offers expiring on 30th November.

Don’t forget, we also run a price promise guarantee, so if you find the same holiday package somewhere else for less, we promise to match the price.

Check out our latest deals on our Banff resort page or give us a ring on 0330 102 8004.

 

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Skiworld Scoop: Top 5 2017/18 Updates for You

 

To mark our 35th year in the mountains (traditionally known as a ‘coral’ or ‘jade’ anniversary) Skiworld are making many changes, including having a coral and jade make-over ourselves. You may notice this in the new look which we are giving our website, which is coming soon. We are redesigning our online home to make it easier for you to use – in turn making it easier for you to find your perfect 2017/18 holiday.

 

Those who received our new-look 2017/18 brochure (if you haven’t, click here) may already have noticed our new colours being introduced. You may have also seen our renewed logo, which calls to mind a star emerging from behind a planet – a sun rising on many new beginnings for Skiworld.

 

So What’s New for 2017/18?

 

1. New Chalets

 

We have added 6 new chalets across top snow-sure European resorts for winter 2017/18, so even if you are a Skiworld regular you can find somewhere new to enjoy this season.

 

 

2. New Hotels and Self-Catered Apartments

 

Nearly 20, in fact! See which new self-catered apartments and new hotels we have added to your favourite resorts this season.

And remember – with our Price Promise, if you find any of our new hotel or apartment packages for less elsewhere, we will match or beat the price!

 

 

3. New menu

 

This season we have put the ‘fresh’ in ‘refresh’ with our new chalet menus. We have heard feedback both from our guests, and from our chalet hosts (who know chalet catering inside out), and updated our menus accordingly, bringing in fresh flavours with a renewed emphasis on honest and healthy food.

 

 

4. Skiing North America Made Easier

 

Our selection of USA and Canada ski holidays has now been crafted to make skiing in North America more easily accessible than ever before. We have refined the number of resorts we offer to better focus on those we believe to be the best for you – the easiest flights from the UK, with the best value accommodation and the best ski areas. We also have live prices on our website for North America holidays for the first time, including resorts such as Mammoth Mountain and Jackson Hole, so you can compare as easily as you can for European holidays. See all our best USA and Canada deals.

 

 

5. Ski Weekends – Minimum Hassle, Maximum Ski Time

 

Our website now also shows live prices for Ski Weekends to Chamonix, Morzine, Les Gets and Courmayeur. Thinking of a 3 night short break to any of these top destinations? You can now easily compare your options by selecting resorts on our Ski Weekends pages.

 

 

We hope you like all the improvements we have made for our 35th year. We look forward to welcoming you over the 2017/18 season, and maybe helping you to experience a new side of the mountains this winter!

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Our Guide To Booking Ski-All-In Holidays

Guide to booking Ski-All-In Holidays

We have recently launched our biggest ever savings on all-inclusive holidays. These incredible deals are available to book right now – this handy guide tells you how to take advantage.

 

What is Ski-All-In?

 

 

At Skiworld, we like to take care of everything you need for a great week in the mountains – that’s why we offer all-inclusive ski holidays, which we call our Ski-All-In deals. These packages include all of the following:

  • Return flights & transfers to resort
  • Chalet accommodation
  • Breakfast, afternoon tea and 3 or 4 course evening meal on 6 nights
  • Unlimited wine with dinner (until coffee is served)
  • Lift pass (Local or full area – you can choose)
  • Ski/board and boot hire to suit you (If you own skis/snowboard and boots, you can take ski carriage as an alternative)

 

All you need to do is book these components at the same time, and you receive a Ski-All-In discount of as much as £450 per person OFF. It’s that simple.

 

The amount of the discount can vary depending on the resort, property and departure date. You can see Guide Price Cheat Sheets of all applicable properties and dates by visiting our dedicated Ski-All-in page and clicking on the resort names in the Easy to Compare section.

 

You can also see the best discounts in each resort on all available dates below, with the best deals in green:

 

 

 

How to Book a Ski-All-In Deal

 

1.     Use our Ski-All-In Guide Price Cheat Sheets to get an idea of when and where you want to go (based on when the best deals are of course), used in conjunction with our chalet pages on our website to find the right accommodation for your group.

2.     Use the Ski Essentials price grids at the bottom of the homepage of the resort you are interested in to see what levels of hire and lift pass types are available.

3.     Call our Ski Specialists. Ski-All-In is only bookable over the phone, so call us on 0330 102 8004, and we can build your perfect holiday package for you. We can give advice if you need ideas, and can book you the best value holiday possible.

 

 

How have our all-inclusive ski holidays changed for winter 2017/18?

 

 

Ski-All-In was our most popular deal last season – this year the savings are even bigger, AND all Ski-All-In deals are now FULLY CUSTOMISABLE.

 

Guide prices on the Cheat Sheets are based on booking Silver level ski and boot hire, the cheapest adult 6 day lift pass available, the cheapest room in the chalet, and flying on the cheapest flight.

 

However, not everyone will want this type of ski hire or lift pass. You can now:

  • Take any ski hire from Bronze to Platinum level ski or board (or you can book ski carriage instead)
  • Swap to a full area lift pass if available
  • Upgrade to other flights and room types if available

 

Book any chalet and departure date featured on the deal with any lift pass and any ski hire or carriage, and you will receive a discount for your holiday package.

 

The overall package price will change to reflect the price of the ski extras you have chosen. Below is an example of the same basic holiday with different ski extra requirements but still offering an amazing saving!

 

Chalet 2100A on the 6th Jan 2018 Chalet 2100A on the 6th Jan 2018
Flights, Transfer and Accommodation – £709pp Flights, Transfer and Accommodation – £709pp
6 Day Full Area Lift Pass – £186pp 6 Day Full Area Lift Pass – £186pp
6 Day Silver Skis and Boots – £112pp Ski Carriage – £45pp
Ski All In Saving – £-250pp Ski All In Saving – £-250pp
Total Ski All In Price – £757pp Total Ski All In Price – £690pp

 

The deal can now be combined with CHILD DISCOUNTS too – not only will a child (2-12yrs) get their usual 5% or 10% off the adult chalet price, but they will also be able to book a child lift pass and ski hire, and be entitled to the same Ski-All-In saving.

 

 

 

FAQ

 

Is Ski-All-In valid for self-catering apartments, hotels and North American chalets?

No, Ski-All-In is only valid on European chalet holidays.

 

What will happen to the price if I book a ski carriage instead of silver skis and boots?

It will decrease. The total price is calculated based on the ski extras you choose.

 

Will I get a Whole Chalet Discount or Group Discount if I book a Ski-All-In deal?

No, they are not combinable. You can either book a Ski-All-In deal with all the extras, or book your holiday without lift pass and ski hire and qualify for either one of our Whole Chalet Discounts or Group Discounts.

 

Will you get a ski saver discount as well as the Ski-All-In discount?

No, you cannot combine them. Our Ski-All-In deals include lift pass and ski hire so you do not need to add a ski saver pack.

 

Can I work out the prices myself?

Yes, if you know the prices of the elements in the package (all available on our website) and the current Ski-All-In saving you can work out the price. However we do advise you call our sales team to get an accurate quote.

 

Can Ski-All-In be booked online?

No, currently Ski-All-In bookings can only be made over the phone with our sales team, please call 0330 102 8004 to book. Please be aware, if you book the separate elements of a Ski-All-In deal online, the Ski-All-In discount will not be applied.

 

Can Ski-All-In be combined with family lift passes?

No, you can either book one or the other.

 

 

To see ours terms and conditions click here

 

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Why we love La Plagne

This post was first published on October 17, 2016. We’ve updated it to tell you more about how the Mountain Flower chalets have been received.

 

A Piece of Peace on Piste

 

At the heart of the exquisite Tarentaise Valley, La Plagne’s 225 km of masterfully maintained slopes connect three of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region’s most picturesque districts (Aime-La Plagne, La Plagne-Tarentaise and Champagny-en-Vanoise). ‘Most picturesque’, you may be thinking, is a fairly packed statement, but breathtaking uninterrupted views of the Mont Blanc massif from the delicately crafted village of Montchavin aside, we’re confident you won’t find any reason to disagree with our appraisal.

 

There’s a number of reasons the resort’s popularity has steadily increased since its opening in 1961; world class skiing, jaw dropping setting, high altitude, majority ski-in ski-out accommodation, snow-sure, luxurious yet characteristically charming villages and residences, not to mention the erection of the Vanoise Express (one of the fastest double decker cable cars of its kind, travelling at over 40km/h), linking it with Les Arcs resort in just four minutes. Why should that excite you? Well, La Plagne and Les Arcs are part of the Paradiski group’s ski-connected resorts. They have a number of ski pass offers with Les Arcs access options, and that’s another 200 km of archetypal descents to be explored. Bonus.

 

 

For the thrill seeking among you it may also be of interested to know that La Plagne boasts 37 black runs and a mammoth off-piste area, including one of the Alps’ most famous descents, Bellecôte’s legendary North Face. It’s also home to its very own Olympic (Albertville, 1992) Bobsleigh run, now a popular tourist attraction offering a number of thrilling bobsleigh experiences, one being the chance to ride with Olympic bronze medalist and World Champion Bruno Mingeon! Fast is a matter of subjectivity, but if the thought of speeds of up to 130km/h makes your feet and hands tingle, this may be the activity for you.

 

Skiing holidays aren’t all about fast paced downhill activities… ok, they basically are, but there’s certainly a number of other factors that contribute to a good one. La Plagne is renowned for being the quintessential family resort, which means it maintains a certain level of peace and tranquility that many resorts simply can’t offer. A combination of that and the overwhelmingly beautiful nature on display here has been known to cause serious side effects in the past; these can/may include; joy, bliss, contentedness, wonderment, serenity and awe. Whilst 86% of pistes are blue and red (great for exploring the mountains and another factor which adds to the attractiveness of the resort as a family destination), stronger skiers need not despair; there’s plenty of challenging skiing including the super speedy Carina Run and epically bumpy Vega. Oh, and don’t forget Les Arcs and all that off-piste mentioned earlier. Anyway, back to the point, skiing holidays aren’t all about skiing…

 

We’ve always loved La Plagne here at Skiworld and last season we were thrilled to introduce seven brand new Superior (4+ and 5*) chalets to our already extensive collection, dubbed the ‘Mountain Flower’ chalets. In keeping with tradition, each was created in stunning Savoyard style, utilising stone and wood to blend respectfully in with the natural surroundings. The design brief for all seven stressed a combination of both luxury and practicality, ensuring style didn’t compromise comfort, something we truly believe has been successfully achieved following your feedback throughout the season. Among numerous other features; every chalet is within striking distance of the piste and under floor heating works tirelessly to provide daily welcome home parties for your feet and toes. As with all Superior chalet bookings, top of the range food and drink make the après portion of your skiing holiday all the more delicious. Sit back and unwind with a large glass of premium quality plonk, next to the warmth and crackle of a tremendous wood fire. It’s no wonder the majority of holidaymakers, particularly those on family trips, have no qualms swapping nights out for nights in here.

 

Find out more about each of the Mountain Flower chalets by clicking the links below:

 

Those that are looking for nightlife, again, don’t despair! Although a much quieter resort than many others, La Plagne has a number of well established bars to keep you both lubricated and entertained on your trip. Belle Plagne offers the highest concentration of well trodden night spots, including; La Tete Inn – always a warm a jovial atmosphere, and, Saloon – providing the floorfillers for those looking to boogie their way into the early hours. Cosy Bar and Showtime Cafe in Bellecôte also come highly recommended. A free bus service and late night pedestrian chairlifts ferry visitors between the resorts, and interconnected tunnels and walkways between chalets and resort buildings mean the bitter evening chill is thankfully kept at bay.

 

 

We also know ‘going out’ doesn’t necessarily involve bars and nightclubs – so here we welcome La Plagne’s incredible restaurants. Not only does the high altitude of the resort’s villages mean stunning views are basically a given, but the fact that most are ski in/ski out lends itself perfectly to on-mountain dining without the on-mountain price tag. Le Refuge (La Plagne’s oldest restaurant) serves up exemplary French cuisine in Plagne Centre, whilst Le Chaudron and Le Metairie have your favourite French fromage classics down to a T. For those looking for something truly special, La Mine in Plagne 1800 is known for its ‘serious’ food and elegant decor, whilst a jaunt to Le Forperet, a ‘charmingly rustic’ old refuge above Montalbert, is an absolute must (book in advance!).

 

It’s hopefully becoming clear why so many are not only choosing but returning to La Plagne each year. It’s one of our favourite resorts in France and one that offers something for all the family, both on and off the slopes. Fantastically designed for both group excursions and individual exploration alike, what really sets it apart from the rest is the sheer sense of calm it imbues, a reflection of the powerful silence observed in the formidable surroundings. Need we say more?

 

If you’re interested in a La Plagne ski holiday, click here to see our latest deals!

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Diaries of a Snow-Camp Apprentice

Snow-camp trip to Tignes 2017

 

Written by Aimee Hudgell,

Skiworld’s apprentice from the charity Snow-Camp, who recently spent a week in Tignes working at the Delancy British Ski and Snowboard Championships.

 

Monday 27th– On arrival after a long day of travelling, I was tired with excitement. I haven’t been on many holidays abroad, especially away from my family. The chalet was beautiful and had everything to fulfill our needs. The living area was placed towards the back of the chalet with a balcony, which displayed an amazing view of the mountains and racing track for the skiers. I was a little nervous as I had no idea what kind of day to expect in the morning. I just knew it was going to be exhilarating.

 

 

Tuesday 28th– On the first day we rose early at 6:30am to be ready on the slope for 08:00 after collecting our ski equipment, all of the Delancey team were super friendly and welcoming. I normally feel really anxious when I’m around people I haven’t met before. Instantly I was relaxed and enthusiastic about the day ahead of me.

 

Me and Lewis (Fellow Snow-Camp apprentice) were asked to go to the top of the race track to help out at the top, on the way up, again I began to feel really nervous but soon came to realize what an experience this week will be for me. James explained I was going to be helping the team put flags out, check the racers were in the correct order, had the correct numbered bibs, and also mark them off the list as they went down.

 

What a fab day it had ended up being? When we had all finished work, we got on a train to the top of the mountain, and then a Gondola to the top of the Grande Motte (which btw is 3032m high)!! It was out of this world up there, I was scared to ski down as the slopes were so steep and bumpy, but I persevered and had a blast conquering what is now my lifetime favorite run. By this time I was feeling mind blown, Italy and Austria had nothing on Tignes especially because I was with the team! Can I live here forever please?

 

Snow-Camp trip to Tignes Group Photos

 

Wednesday 29th– It is swap over day, which means myself and Hamza (Fellow Snow-Camp Apprentice) will be at the bottom of the slope today helping to post the finishing times for all to see. At first this was a little daunting as the speaker was difficult to hear above all the noise from the chatty crowd. I soon adapted and was careful not to write any of the times down incorrectly.

 

The day was incredibly busy but I experienced firsthand how excited and nervous the racers are before their race, how supportive they are towards each other even though they are in competition and how lucky I am to have experienced this. I mean it’s not every day you get an opportunity to work in Tignes (France) with the Delancey British Ski and Snowboard Championships.

 

During the evening we dined at the La Pignatta restaurant with the Delancey team, Sir John Ritblat and Lady Ritblat were also attending. I’m not quite sure what the main course was, Pork with vegetables in a pot with what looked like cheese and mash as a side. I can tell you for sure it definitely wasn’t potato mash, or cheese, but it wasn’t for me and so I won’t be having it again. However, the pork and vegetables were delicious.

 

Snow-Camp Trip to Tignes Racing Photos

 

Thursday 30th– Day 4, I cannot believe it’s Thursday (one of the busiest days of the week).

Honestly, I have no idea where the days have gone! It feels like I only arrived yesterday and yet I’ll sadly be leaving in two days. I have had my first interview with the BBC today, well my first interview on camera in fact. I have always been so held back and reserved; I’ve never liked being center of attention and try to avoid it at all costs. It just makes me feel uncomfortable, but after the week I’ve had I was more than happy to speak to Mike (BBC Interviewer). As everyone does, when the interview had finished I had thought of many more things that could have been said but I’m still happy with how it went and was just thankful that I didn’t swallow my tongue.

 

After another day on the mountain, I am getting ready to go to the Delancey Cocktail party held at the Les Suites Du Nevada Hotel and Spa. Gavin (Snow-Camp Program Manager) and Dan (Snow-Camp Founder/Director) told us there will be a massive Saint Bernard called Igloo! I adore dogs, they are such loving, loyal animals and they don’t receive enough in return from us Humans. Word has it; Prince Edward will be there too! How exciting?

 

What a pleasure it was too meet Prince Edward, I previously imagined finding it hard to speak to him as we come from different back grounds but it was in fact the complete opposite. There was an easy flow of conversation between us all (proves you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover). Prince Edward was also interested in hearing about Snow-Camp and we managed to give him a leaflet to read and take home detailing the support Snow-Camp provides for young people across London. This gave me a certain joy because if Snow-Camp didn’t exist I wouldn’t have been standing there speaking to him about my recent mountain experiences.

 

 

Friday 31stWell isn’t Tignes just fabulous, the whole atmosphere is magical. I’m sad to know we’ll be on our journey home tomorrow, but I still have one more whole day to make the absolute most of it.

 

For the first few hours of my day will be myself and Laquan (Fellow Snow-Camp apprentice) writing down the timings for our last time, followed with prize giving to the racers. It was wonderful seeing their faces light up when they were given their trophies and medals.

 

We enjoyed the weather by having a well earnt afternoon ski with Jack Gower, one of the racers we became really good friends with. We finished our afternoon by trying our first ski cross track and Jack was really encouraging as I wasn’t feeling confident about doing it, but it was so enjoyable I wanted to do it again. There were six rollers in a row which was my favorite part of the whole track. It has been an amazing day, but time to head back to the chalet and have a nice relaxing evening of pizza and films.

 

Snow-Camp Tignes Trip Hotel

 

Saturday 1stDay 6, time to go home unfortunately, such a shame we can’t all stay for another week. Tignes has by far been my favorite holiday, for more than one reason. I’m proud of myself and the others, to have worked hard over the last year during my apprenticeship with Snow-camp to of earnt this opportunity and also grateful to Jamie Ritblat and Snow-Camp making it happen. My personality, self-esteem and confidence have grown so much during this time and I realised it a lot this week. If I think back to myself, this time last year, I would have been really nervous to speak to the BBC or be at the top of the slope working with people I didn’t know. It was a really eye opening week for me, I met incredible people and I learnt so much more about the snow sports industry. I’m so thankful for the week and was sad to say good bye to the Delancey team and everyone else I spent the week with.

 

 

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How to Ski: Ski Tips for Beginners

 

 

Learning how to ski can seem quite daunting to the beginner, among all the thrills, so we have a few skiing tips for novices to take with you to the slopes, because even the Olympic slalom champ had to start somewhere. It’s worth taking time to read such advice in order to master a wonderful sport that will take you to some of the world’s most beautiful landscapes.

 

Ski tips for beginners

 

  1. Pick a resort that caters for novices.

Look for a place with lots of green (complete beginner) and blue (beginner/intermediate) slopes. La Rosière in France has an excellent reputation for helping those new to skiing, with its many welcoming green and blue runs totaling some 160km in length. Also in France, Val d’Isère attracts thousands of families to its 300km of high-altitude slopes, and Val Thorens offers a snow guarantee, as part of a 600km Three Valleys ski area perfect for novices. Check out St Anton in Austria – and Méribel and La Plagne (with its lovely blue runs and easily reached slopes) in France, too.

 

For our last-minute ski deals and beginners’ resorts:  www.skiworld.co.uk/ski-holidays/beginner

 

  1. Insuring you have a good time

Before you even leave home, you must have the proper travel insurance to cover all your skiing activities (for example, off-piste, heli-skiing or snowboarding). You’ll need the standard package to cover illness, lost luggage and any medical expenses, but extra winter sports cover is essential. Make sure that every day of your trip is covered and that the insurance is tailored to your level of ability. Always carry your insurance documents with an emergency contact number on you.

 

 

  1. Make a checklist of what you’ll need

When packing for the trip, make sure you have your insurance and travel documents, the local currency (enough for the first two days) and your passport. Lip balm with UVA/UVB and sun cream are essential as the reflecting snow intensifies the rays. You’ll also need goggles (you can’t always rent these), sunglasses, a ski jacket, ski pants, sturdy walking boots, thermal underwear, several pairs of ski socks, a hat, gloves and scarf. Think layers. You’ll depend upon a small backpack to bring to the slopes – fill it with a water bottle, spare goggles, tissues, plasters and an energy bar. Hire your ski equipment on your first trip, but if you’re bringing your own gear, find out what the surcharge is from the airline for your wheeled ski bag.

 

  1. Find a good tutor

You’ll no doubt feel a little frustration when on skis for the first time, so it’s best to put your faith in a professional instructor, rather than a loved one. A trained professional will have taught hundreds of beginners like you, so it will be money well spent and you’ll be in very safe hands. Enquire about package deals via MySkiworld, so you can save money on the lessons, the skiwear rentals and the lift pass.

 

 

  1. Pick the right skis

If you are hiring these at the resort, you’ll receive all the help you need, but you may have your own skis or a borrowed pair. Beginners should pick short, wide, flexible versions when learning how to ski. Check the underside has no deep holes and scratches – the tops will get scratched anyway as you’ll cross your skis. It’s preferable, therefore, to hire them on the slopes; ask the staff how you should carry them.

 

 

  1. Every beginner needs good boots

It will take a while to get used to the feel of them, but try not to go for a looser pair immediately; they’ll soon be comfy. Bend your knees and lift each heel off the ground in turn. If there is any slip when you plant your heels and then your toes on the floor, you will need to try on another pair, for your foot controls your ski and can’t be shifting even a few millimeters inside your boot. This will result in soreness at the end of your day of skiing, as your muscles overcompensate for your foot’s sliding. Just be sore from smiling.

 

  1. Stick to the right terrain

Most skiers seek out the powdery snow as it’s thrilling to ski through and soft to fall into, but beginners will find themselves getting stuck in its heavy fluffiness. The novice should stick to terrain with consistent pitch and surface that has been prepared for them to practice their technique on, before enjoying the deep powder.

 

 

  1. Putting your skis on

First of all, find a flat area in the beginners’ area, where you can concentrate on getting ready to enjoy skiing. Set down your skis parallel to one another across the slope. Checking each boot is clear of snow, slip your toe into the front of the binding and then kick your heel backwards into it; there should be a click once secure. Use your ski poles or a friend to help you balance.

 

  1. Make sure your knees bend and go slowly

With your helmet on, make sure you are leaning forwards as you set off. Your balance will increase if you flex your knees, since it forces you to lean forward and keep control of your skis. Slide them so that your weight is on the one that is gliding forward as if rollerblading or skating. Take it slowly.

 

  1. Look 10ft ahead, not at your feet

When you first put on your skis, the temptation will be to look down at them to ensure they don’t touch, but you must look ahead for any skiers or drop-off ahead of you. If you keep your eyes 10ft in front of the ski tips, you will be able to glimpse your skis as well as your immediate terrain.

 

  1. Practice stopping and turning

These two techniques are vital to your safety when learning how to ski. When you have found a flat surface, plant your skis in a V position (the snow plough), with the tips touching and the backs apart. If you put more weight on one leg when performing the snow plough, you will begin to turn.

 

 

 

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The Best Places to Eat Lunch in the Alps

 

 

With 35 years in the ski industry and having employed thousands of seasonaires over the years, who have spent literally millions of hours on the slopes, we’ve managed to build up some pretty comprehensive knowledge of where is best to eat in the Alps.

 

After much debate we narrowed our favourites into a top five… taking into consideration the food (obviously), ambiance, location/views and even the journey to the restaurant. We’ve included a decent range of culinary destinations from the well-known to darn right obscure.

 

This isn’t in any order of preference… more of a recommendation to add all to your bucket list.

 

 

Floor to ceiling windows in the restaurant

 

Albergo Maison De Neige – La Thuile, Espace San Bernardo

You can find this restaurant in the largely untapped resort of La Thuile, Italy on the other side of the mountain from La Rosiere (both resorts make the Espace San Bernardo area). When you choose to eat at Albergo Maison De Neige you’ll soon discover that your experience starts before you even get there. At the point of booking they’ll arrange a unique pick up service for you… from the piste, they’ll tow you to the restaurant behind a snow mobile or piste basher.

 

Unique tow to the restaturant

 

Once there you’ll immediately appreciate the stunning views on offer (both from the veranda and restaurant which has floor to ceiling windows) both areas look over the Col De Petit Saint Bernard. The kitchen serves fantastic Italian dishes which are complimented by a comprehensive wine list. They pride themselves on fresh seafood dishes and the salmon carpaccio starter and pappardelle (broad pasta) with lobster are two of the best… although it’s not easy to say no to the roasted beef fillet after a tough morning skiing.

This is a wonderfully secluded part of the Alps and a great place to relax. The Albergo Maison De Neige is a small four star hotel so you could stay there overnight and do some snow shoeing on the wild side of Mont Blanc.

 

http://hotelmaisondeneige.it/restaurant_winter.html

 

 

A unique veranda - perfect place to let your food go down

 

Das Bergrestaurant Muttjochle – Sonnenkopf, Arlberg

Our next place is our European Operations Manager’s favourite place in the Alps and is one of those hidden gems that you just wouldn’t naturally stumble across. It is hugely popular with locals and those in the know, nestled in the far corner of Arlberg ski area, in the resort of Sonnenkopf and as such requires a bit of effort to get to. Sonnenkopf is the only resort in the Arlberg region which is still not linked to by the new ski lifts at the beginning of this season. To get to Sonnerkopf you have to either have to drive or ski to Stuben (easily accessible from St. Anton) and get the bus across, the restaurant is at the top of the resort.

The journey is made worthwhile however as the views on offer are second to none and no matter how active you are Instagram, you’ll want to snap a few pictures here. The restaurant overlooks the Austrian National Parks which look incredible, especially covered in a white blanket of snow. You can eat on the restaurant’s veranda or have drinks and chill out in one of the many deck chairs available.

 

 

Something which enhances this restaurant is the quality of skiing in the area. If you like your powder skiing then you have to head over to this part of the Arlberg, it has plenty of ski routes and the powder skiing in-between runs is the best in the area.

 

This place is so under the radar that it doesn’t have a website and the only digital footprint we could find was its location on Google Maps >

 

 

 

La Fruitiere – La Daille (Val d’Isere), Espace Killy

La Fruitiere is an über chic venue located in the Folie Deuce in Val d’Isere. It produces a high class dining experience with a menu which has taken local ingredients and regional classics and raised them to another level.  For sheer indulgence, it takes some beating with classics such as foie gras, duck confit and beef tartare as well as a few foreign invaders like their Iberian bellota ham, squid-ink linguine and posh fish and chips. Equally if you’re just looking for a light lunch then there’s always oysters and champagne.

However it is not just the food coma which will make it hard for you to leave. To say the drinks menu is enticing is simply an understatement; they stock pretty much every big name wine from France, ranging from the big reds of Bordeaux and Burgundy to the fruity Sancerre’s and crisp Poilly Fumés of the Loire valley.

After eating here your skiing for the day is over, and if the food doesn’t get you then the booze will… in this eventuality you can take a bubble lift back to La Daille. That is providing you manage to avoid getting sucked into the entertainment emanating out of The Folie Douce… which may seem less weird after a couple of bottles of Margaux.

 

http://www.lafoliedouce.com/en/folie-douce-spots/val-d-isere-tignes-en.html

 

 

Sunny benches...

 

L’Armailly – Le Brevières (Tignes), Espace Killy

Located at the bottom of one of the best mogul runs in the world (the mighty Sache), L’Armailly offers the perfect place to stop and refuel. It is particularly good for groups as it has a lively atmosphere with long tables on the sunny terraces outside or cosy benches inside.

This is the place that you go to for good food with minimal fuss, there’s nothing too fancy here just hearty food that hits the spot for a group of hungry skiers. On their menu you can find a range of top notch pizzas or for meat lovers they have La Braserade (a grill where you cook thin strips of beef)… a great option for groups and a bit of fun too. They also have Raclette and fondue which fits the same bill. If you’re not up for sharing, they have a range of tasty dishes from popular options like the grilled ribs of Aberdeen Angus beef to the more adventurous, lamb sweetbreads. For those with a sweet tooth they have the classics including tart tatin, crème brulee, tiramisu and French chocolate pud.

 

...Cosy long tables inside

 

This restaurant is as well known for its wine cellar as its food and atmosphere. Alternatively you can book a discovery experience which includes wine and accompanying meat and cheese if you are looking for a more refined experience here.

 

http://armailly.com/Restaurant-UK.html

 

 

Unassuming outside - great food inside

 

Chateau Branlant – Courmayeur, Aosta Valley

Our guys in Chamonix heard of this restaurant’s reputation and made the journey across to Courmayeur with a mountain guide. It’s a world famous off piste route from the top of the Aguj de Midi (France) down into Italy.

This one is one for the foodies, with a completely unassuming exterior you could easily mistake this restaurant for a rundown alpine bar… but as every foodie knows, it’s what comes out of the kitchen that counts and this place really delivers. The reports from our staff is that this is the place to get the best Italian pasta. Being Italian they are incredibly passionate about food they produce and wish to ensure that you have the most enjoyable experience possible. They offer a series of set menus options, currently there are 10 different options… so you’ll hardly be stifled for variety. Aside from some great pasta dishes (such as pappardelle with game or speck ragu, leeks and soft cheese or ravioli with cheese fondue, butter and marjoram to name but two) there are a number of risotto dishes as well as meat and fish options (the fillet steak with chanterelles, potatoes and rosemary is worth singling out).

 

http://www.chateaubranlant.com/welcome.html

 

 

Without a shadow of a doubt we have over looked some great restaurants… if we’ve missed out your favourite place to eat, let us know why it should be in our list and we’ll look to add it.

 

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Where To Ski In April: Our Top Ten

Easter Ski Holidays

 

A couple of months into the working year, the skier’s thoughts turn to where to ski in April. The best late-season skiing results in fewer people on the runs or waiting for the lifts, warmer temperatures for young families, who want to avoid the cold, and less expense involved, with great ski deals as the resorts compete for your custom. You’ll also enjoy more time on the slopes or doing other daytime activities as the days are longer in April.

However, the decline in snow quality means that, when picking where to ski in Easter, you should choose a high-altitude spot (it’s colder the higher you go, meaning the snow lasts longer). The best Easter ski resorts will guarantee lots of the white stuff.

 

With more likelihood of warmer temperatures and clear blue sky’s it adds another element to the ski holiday; lounging on a deck chair, surrounded by stunning mountain views, sipping on a Gluvine – bliss.

 

Easter Ski Holidays

 

We have drawn up a list to guide you through the very best of late-season ski resorts. Remember always to check the snowfall records and the weather nearer the time.

Where to Ski in April?

 

  1. Zermatt, Switzerland.

This famous name always comes near the top of the best ski resorts at Easter, especially in late April, when snow is almost certainly guaranteed. There is also all-year-round skiing on the glaciers, Triftji is revered for its moguls, and the Snowmaker is of the highest quality. Only Val d’Isère/Tignes rival Zermatt for the sheer amount of Alpine high-altitude skiing on offer, but the southern Swiss resort boasts Europe’s highest ski-lifts. Best suited to intermediate/advanced skiers.

Height: 1,600-3,900m (Klein Matterhorn)

Average April temp: 2 deg C

 

  1. St Anton, Austria.

Among the very best late-season resorts, the “cradle of alpine skiing” boasts an excellent snow record, thanks to an abundance of north-facing slopes and the use of more than 50 snow machines on the south-facing runs. There are reduced prices on lift tickets during Snow Crystal Week in early and late season, and the resort is (in)famous for superb après-ski.

Height: 1,300-2,810m

Average April temp: 6 deg C

 

  1. Verbier, Switzerland.

This lauded resort has a fine record for late-season snow, although its slopes face south. The key is a strong commitment to innovative snowmaking, especially on the lower runs. There is always the Mt Fort glacier for excellent late-season snow. Split into four ski areas, – Medran, Les Savoleyres, Mont Fort and Bruson – it is one of the world’s best off-piste resorts.

Height: 1,500-3,300m

Average April temp: 7 deg C

 

Easter Ski Holidays

 

  1. Méribel, France.

This resort forms the central part of the Three Valleys, which is handy for access to good snow in April. It hosted the 1992 Winter Olympics. Méribel has 76 well-groomed runs, with the Altiport and Yeti Park perfect for beginners. The Rond Point is a hugely popular après-ski spot, perhaps the finest in the Three Valleys, with the Méribel Folie Deuce as entertaining back-up.

Height: 1,500-2,950m

Average April temp: 11 deg C

 

  1. Lech, Austria.

This stalwart ski village boasts the finest conditions in the Arlberg region in late season; it is common for at least 7m to have fallen by late March. The north-facing runs at Warth mean this accumulation of snow sticks around into late April. For adults, the Eisbar has a peerless reputation for open-air parties in the evening sun, while the kids can expect free treats from the Easter bunny.

Height: 1,400-2,800m

Average April temp: 10 deg C

 

  1. La Plagne/Les Arcs, France.

These are two of the very best late-season ski resorts. The slopes in the Paradiski area reach up to 3,200m and cover some 425km in total, so you can ski with your heads literally in the clouds. Skiers have a huge choice, from Alpine sorties among the trees to glacier runs at high altitude. The villages near the top of each resort are the best if you want to guarantee snow.

Height: 2,000m

Average April temp: 11 deg C

 

 

  1. La Rosière, France.

This resort enjoys good snow in late season, although it is smaller than its neighbor Val d’Isère, with 150km of runs. However, l’Espace San Bernardo (which includes a long lift to La Thuile in Aosta Valley in Italy) covers all abilities, so this, and its quietness, makes it very family-friendly. In April, try skiing on the top towards Italy because snow holds for a bit longer on the predominantly north-facing slopes.

Height: 1,850-2,650m

Average April temp: 3 deg C

 

  1. Val d’Isère/Tignes, France.

Both areas in L’Espace Killy possess huge strengths: Val d’Isère has many north-facing slopes, and Tignes’ 3,400m Grande Motte glacier is open for nine months a year. There are 300km of runs in total, providing something for everyone, and good snowfall in late season is guaranteed.

Height: 1.850m/2,100m

Average April temp: 3 deg C

 

  1. Andermatt, Switzerland.

This resort comes into its own in spring, with a microclimate that is perfect for snow and an assortment of lofty north-facing pistes hidden from the fiercer sun. Even advanced skiers will find the Gemsstock a challenge, but there’s the friendly Nätschen area anyway, and both offer excellent off-piste options.

Height: 1,450-2,950m

Average April temp: 6 deg C

 

  1. Val Thorens, France.

This is the highest major resort in Europe and offers a snow guarantee, since most of its runs are above 2,000m. It is a part of the Three Valleys ski resorts stretching out across 600km, but only Val Thorens is open into May. The nursery slopes are very easy to reach and to navigate.

Height: 2,300-3,200m

Average April temp: 8 deb C

 

Easter ski holidays

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What To Take Skiing: Our Packing Checklist | Skiworld

What to take skiing

Here at Skiworld we are really passionate about skiing and over the years, as a collective, we’ve picked up a few useful tricks for life on the mountain.

 

 

Mobile Phones

The use of mobile phones on the mountain has shot up in recent years and we’ve learnt a few top tips that will help keep yours working. Whether you’re looking to capture that perfect Instagram moment or just using it to keep in contact with your group, make sure you’re not left with a dud phone at the top of the mountain.

 

The battery: Cold weather is a nightmare for smartphones. It hammers the battery on your phone and also makes them prone to crashing. To combat this, keep your phone in an inside pocket and as warm as possible. For the diminished battery life you could also use a USB battery booster.

 

Waterproofing: Sandwich bags are a simple and effective solution for keeping your electronics dry… and it’s pretty affordable compared to specially designed covers. You can also use the bags to store piste maps, first aid items etc.

 

Using touchscreen phones: Touchscreens really struggle in cold weather or when there is moisture on your fingers and/or the phone itself. To get around this you can now buy touchscreen inner gloves which can be worn under your ski gloves.

Alternatively you can buy Salomon ski gloves which come with touchscreen capability, so you’ll never have to take off your gloves. They are available from £85 a pair. They use Gore-Tex technology; it is breathable material which also ensures hands stay dry… and therefore warm.

 

 

What to Wear

The vast leaps in sports technology and performance have translated into the progression in ski clothing. For example, something like Gore-Tex is now standard piece of clothing technology for alpine (and even urban!) life.

 

Multiple, thin layers: The key to maintain a good body temperature is well chosen clothing. Despite what you might naturally think picking out big, heavy items won’t be the best for you. Instead wear multiple, thin layers ensuring that it is breathable material. This way as you get hot you can strip individual layers as opposed to one big layer which would see your core temperature drop dramatically and merely result in you needing to put the layer back on during the lift back to the top. This breathable clothing applies all the way to your ski jacket and picking one that will allow you to subtly control your body temperature will be invaluable. Keep your eyes peeled for ventilation sections of the jacket.

 

Rucksack: Alongside needing somewhere to put additional layers it is imperative that you take a few essentials with you on the mountain. Skiing is highly active and you will need additional water and sustenance in between stops. A rucksack with a few highly nutritious snacks and a bottle of water will have you skiing for longer.

 

Multipurpose clothing: Something like a buff can be extremely handy whilst on the mountain, especially as the temperatures can change dramatically during your day – from resort to the top of the mountain, time of day or just natural changes. A buff is a stretchable circular tube. It can be worn in 13 different ways from a scarf to a balaclava, a beanie to an ear-warming head band.

 

 

Saving You Money

Ski holidays are not renowned for being cheapest type of holiday and even if you got the best ski deal, you wouldn’t want to add additional expense to it or incur unnecessary charges. There are a couple of pieces of sage advice we’ve learnt to make sure you don’t get caught out in resort.

 

Lost lift pass: As soon as you receive your lift pass, take a photo of it. Most resorts will replace a lost lift pass for a minimal charge if you have the serial number for the card, if you don’t you may have to pay full price for a new one. An easy way of keeping this number is simply to take a photo of your pass as soon as you get it.

 

Disappearing skis: We’ve all been there, or know someone that was, whether it was a couple of demi-peches over lunch and a “they look like my skis” or a simple same-model issue. Whether the culprit or victim, it’s an easy one to avoid. If you don’t have a ski lock, simply swap one of your skis with a friend to avoid them being taken. Lock the two mixed skis together as normal and for added security; place the set away from each other.

 

 

Making Life Easier

A holiday on the slopes is an amazing experience; however all it takes is a few things to go wrong for it to turn into frustration. Cold hands, fogged up goggles and blistering skin could easily sour a day’s skiing. So to make sure everything is working in your favour, here are a few more ski hacks to tip things your way and to make sure you have a great time.

 

Avoid cold hands: If you suffer from cold hands there are a few hacks you can use to beat the

cold. Sit on your gloves during breakfast (or lunch), this’ll warm them up so when you head outside your gloves will be nice a toasty. If they are really bad, unzip your jacket take off your gloves and warm them in your armpits, this is one of the warmest parts of your body and they will warm up quickly.

Another trick is when waiting in a lift queue you can circulate your arms like a helicopter, this action pushes blood to your fingertips and will help them warm up… it is best to be aware of children and other skiers before you engage in this activity and always remove your ski poles, otherwise its pandemonium.

 

Fogged up goggles: If your goggles are fogging up, fold up a paper towel and place it into the top section of the goggles (where the goggles meet the face, above the bridge of your nose so as to not cover your eyes).

 

Cracked or dry skin: When on the mountain, the extreme conditions will dry out exposed skin. Before this happens it’s worth using Vaseline, a Chap Stick or equivalent on your lips and face. This will create a barrier from the dry cold weather.

 

 

If you have any top tips from your experience which you think we should include… please get in contact and we’ll look at adding it into this blog so others can benefit too!

 

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