Along with the partying, eating copious amounts of food and celebrating in the streets, one of the most integral elements of a New Year ski holiday is snow. The start of the year is generally a great time to ski in Europe, however snow cover in late December and early January can vary from resort to resort, so why not pick our brains for information on the most snow-sure destinations?
Our knowledgeable reservations team will be more than happy to talk through your requirements and point you in the right direction. So whether you’re looking for wild après, the ultimate in-resort dining or high altitude slopes, we’ll do our best to make sure you bring in 2019 in style.
Here are just a few of our picks for high-altitude early-season skiing in Europe:
The highest slopes sit at 3,300m, ensuring snowy mountains throughout the season.
Great piste-grooming and high altitude make Tignes a dependable New Year resort!
The village sits at 2,300m, making it the highest resort in the Alps and a snow-sure destination.
Our Top Tips
1. Once you’ve decided where to go, make the most of the mountain by letting us organise your instructor. Whether its group or private lessons, we can help!
2. Book your lift pass before you travel. With the majority of our French resorts, we can send your hands-free cards out with your travel documentation to ensure you’re not waiting to get on the slopes. Read the rest of this entry »
Zermatt offers snow-sure, unique skiing in the shadow of the famous Matterhorn. Surrounded by mighty summits, on offer is over 350km of pistes, with easy connections between Zermatt and the neighbouring Italian resort of Cervinia. As well as awesome skiing, the car-free village of Zermatt has a lively après-ski scene with plenty of restaurants serving everything from traditional Swiss cuisine to Italian pizza and several bars to enjoy live sports or dance until the early hours. Add in a handful of four and five-star luxury hotels, and Zermatt has all the ingredients for a great getaway.
So what’s new in Zermatt in 2018/19? While the resort offers the same quality experience year after year, we’ve put together a list of some of the exciting new additions for the upcoming season.
Lifts & Access
The world’s highest 3S (three cable) Cableway, the Matterhorn Glacier Ride, will start operating in Zermatt in December and will transport passengers from Zermatt up to the Matterhorn glacier paradise. Enjoy the glorious panoramic views of the surrounding mountain range as you travel in luxury cable cars – a handful of which have been encrusted with Swarovski crystals and even feature a floor that becomes translucent three minutes into the journey!
The growing impact of climate change has potential consequences for winter snowsports. But rather than dwell too long on the unthinkable prospect of a snow-free future, we think it’s important to act today.
The Ski Independence team are proud supporters of Protect Our Winters UK, partnering with them to help mobilise the snowsports world in the fight against climate change. After all, it takes a whole community of passionate climate heroes to meet a global challenge of this scale.
We can all take positive action to protect our winters. And supporting ski hotels and resorts that show a commitment to sustainable tourism and eco-friendly practices is a great place to start.
Take a look at some of the eco-friendly resorts and hotels leading the way when it comes to positive climate action:
Vail Resorts’ portfolio of world-class resorts include Vail, Breckenridge & Beaver Creek in Colorado, as well as Canadian big hitter Whistler, have publicly committed to an ambitious set of sustainability goals, otherwise known as their EpicPromise.
The EpicPromise sets its sights on achieving a zero footprint. That means zero net emissions, zero waste to landfill and zero net operating impact to forests and habitat – all by 2030. They’re working towards their goal through a wide range of actions from sponsored employee volunteering to investment in carbon offset programmes, 100% renewable energy and environmental stewardships. Read the rest of this entry »
It takes a special blend of ingredients to create an unforgettable luxury ski escape. Beautiful surroundings, luxurious facilities, first-class service and outstanding food – to name but a few.
That said, there’s no ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to luxury ski holidays. Whether you’re looking for a peaceful getaway in an alpine village or an action-packed break in a lively resort, it’s all about finding the perfect 5-star ski holiday for you.
Why not take a look at our pick of the best luxury ski escapes this winter for a little inspiration?
Hotel W, Verbier
Best for: urban decor and stylish après ski.
Our top 9 recommendations for 2018/19
A family ski holiday is one of life’s great pleasures. There’s nothing quite like being together in the fresh air of the mountains, watching your children grow in confidence and ability. Ski Independence have been a family ski holiday specialist for 25 years and we know from experience that the bet family ski holidays take a lot of careful planning and a good dose of detailed knowledge – so why not leave it to us? We’ve highlighted some of our recommendations for the best family ski holidays for next winter, and if you don’t see what you fancy below we’re happy to recommend a huge range of alternative destinations, accommodation & activities to suit your family. So, in no particular order…
1. Les Gets, France
A short transfer from Geneva and a traditional pretty village are often two sought-after points on a family holiday wish list and Les Gets more than ticks these boxes. The centre of the village is lined with shops and restaurants serving a selection of Savoyard specialities along with a couple of lively bars offering laid back après-ski. Read the rest of this entry »
Find out all about what’s new for 2018/19!
We’re excited to announce that the brand new Ski Independence brochure has arrived, bookings are rolling in and early booking offers are high in demand.
Now is the best time to book and to give you some inspiration here’s an overview of what’s new for our European & North American programmes.
Great alternatives to your usual après-ski
Dancing in your ski boots, soaking in the outdoor hot tub, indulging in hot chocolate & freshly baked treats, sipping cold beers on a sunny terrace – all highly recommended after a day on the mountain! Après-ski is a ski holiday must, but the range of unique activities and alternative ski experiences on offer is now bigger and better than ever, so whether you’re looking for an alternative to traditional après-ski or for a different way to spend your day on the slopes, check out our pick of the latest and greatest in unique ski experiences.
1. Sample the Dolomites’ finest cuisine on a Gourmet Ski Safari
Alta Badia is the place to be for anyone who loves eating and drinking as much as they love skiing! This is thanks to its Sciare con Gusto programme (roughly translated as “skiing with flavour”) which is a series of events throughout the season combining passion for winter sports with delicious cuisine. With the stunning scenery of the Dolomites and unrivalled local hospitality, this is simply not to be missed.
Ski from one mountain hut to another, sampling a different dish designed by top Michelin-starred chefs in each one, as part of the Gourmet Ski Safari; this year’s theme was childhood favourites so traditional dishes executed to perfection were the order of the day. Book a place on a Sommelier on the Slopes event if you want to taste some of the best local wines in the company of a ski guide and local wine expert. Just remember you need to ski down the mountain at the end of the day! If you like to be first up on the slopes you can also enjoy breakfast on the slopes at the Las Vegas Lodge – take a snow cat up the mountain and sample the best local products from the Alto Adige region. To top it all off, you’ll be on the slopes before the lifts have even opened!
Catherine, Senior Ski Product Support
>> We recommend: the fabulous 5-star Hotel Rosa Alpina in San Cassiano, just a 5 minute drive from the Alta Badia ski area.
2. Get closer to the locals in Jackson Hole
“These last few days in Switzerland have been more relaxing than our honeymoon!” announced my husband of seven months whilst lying in the 38°C water of the ‘warm bath’ in the Chedi Andermatt’s spa. There’s no way I could disagree – we had loved our Canadian road trip right after getting married, but it was not in the same ball park in terms of kicking back and totally de-stressing.
We began our Swiss twin-centre luxury skiing trip by flying in to Geneva and then transferring up to resort in true Swiss fashion… starting with the iconic red trains. The views, the efficiency and the space on-board all make travelling by train a very different experience than in the UK. Our first resort was Saas Fee and this involved changing in Visp and taking the bright yellow Post bus to the resort. We weaved our way up to the entrance of Saas Fee and stood in the sunshine for the hotel’s electric taxi to pick us up. For the uninitiated, a handful of Swiss resorts are car-free (Saas Fee and Zermatt among them) and to get around, the equivalent of a covered golf buggy ferries people, luggage and supplies around the resort making for a peaceful and noticeably cleaner village centre. Read the rest of this entry »
The wonderful Hotel l’Apogée overlooks Courchevel 1850 from its unrivalled ski-in/ski-out position in the Jardin Alpin area of the resort. Part of the growing Oetker Collection group, each property is unique.
Oetker Collection promise guests will “discover a ‘passion for living’, an appreciation for culture, gastronomy and the pleasures of nature”. One of our Ski Specialists, Karen M, had the chance to experience all of this and more on her recent visit to experience the 5-star luxury at Hotel L’Apogée.
Upon arrival at Geneva airport we were met by one of Hotel L’Apogée’s pristine vehicles and headed up to the mountains. At just two and a half hours, the journey to Courchevel is more than do-able for a short break or not too far if travelling with the family for a week. Once at L’Apogée we were greeted by inviting and friendly faces of the hotel staff and led to the Bar de L’Apogée for a tasty lunch. The bar menu is great for lunch or a light dinner with everything from burgers to ‘fish of the day’ dishes. The barmen here were so attentive and talked us through the wine choice of the afternoon while we waited for our order to arrive. After an early start that morning the hearty burgers went down a treat! Read the rest of this entry »
Celebrating Women in Sport
Today we’re celebrating women in winter sports, on the day Britain celebrates 100 years since women first gained the right to vote. Below you’ll find Ski Independence’s pick of women to watch at the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics. Who’s your one to watch, be they a Brit or an international athlete?
“Amanda Lightfoot is the only Biathlete competing for Team GB at Pyeongchang. Cross country skiing is recognised as being the most physically demanding sport, so adding shooting to the mix demands incredible fitness, stamina and recovery. She might not be a nailed-on medal hope, but I’ll be cheering her all the way!” Karen, Senior Ski Specialist
>> When to watch: Saturday 10th Feb 11:15-12:45 7.5km Biathlon; Saturday 17th Feb 11:15-12:10 12.5km Biathlon Read the rest of this entry »