With such world-class ski resorts, you’d be forgiven for thinking skiing and snowboarding were the only winter activities on the menu in Alberta. But this beautiful Canadian province is packed with opportunity.
Whet your appetite with a sneak peek at our choice of the best winter activities away from the slopes:
Alberta boasts some of the largest dark sky preserves in the world. Protected from artificial light pollution, Jasper’s vast national park is the perfect place to gaze at the constellations. During the winter months, there’s also a good chance you may witness one of the most breath-taking phenomena in the world: the Northern Lights.
The Jasper Dark Sky Festival is held every autumn. It’s a fantastic celebration of stargazing, hosting informative workshops and events for all ages. Read the rest of this entry »
Our latest blog post comes from a long-standing Ski Independence client and veritable food, drink and skiing connoisseur. John shared his Jackson Hole ski resort review with us after he recently returned there many years after his first visit.
“I’m goin’ to Jackson, I’m gonna mess around,
Yeah, I’m goin’ to Jackson,
Look out Jackson town.”
Jackson Hole is a town-sized dude ranch. That’s not a criticism, it is a proper western town, but one can’t help noticing that the day of the cowboy and the wild west is more legend than present day reality. Still, I love the place.
From packing eco-friendly kit to the choices we make when in resort, there are so many ways to limit your footprint when heading off on holiday. Here at Ski Independence we’ve come up with some of our favouite eco-friendly travel tips to help you pack – and travel – more sustainably.
Named number one eco-friendly nation in the 2018 Environmental Performance Index, measuring a wide array of factors including climate & energy, air quality, water & sanitation, biodiversity & habitat, Switzerland boasts amazing air quality and champions environmental best-practice. Benefit from the extensive (and highly efficient) Swiss Rail network and car-free environments in resorts such as Saas-Fee and Zermatt – keep an eye out for the silent electric taxis though! Read the rest of this entry »
Merry Christmas & Happy New Year from the whole team at Ski Independence. If you need to contact us please call 0131 243 8097 and below you’ll find details of our festive opening hours.
Festive Opening Hours 2018/19
- Monday 24th December, Christmas Eve: 9am – 1pm
- Tuesday 25th December, Christmas Day: Closed
- Wednesday 26th December, Boxing Day: Closed
- Thursday 27th December: 9am – 5.30pm
- Friday 28th December: 9am – 5.30pm
- Saturday 29th December: 9am – 4.00pm
- Sunday 30th December: Closed
- Monday 31st December: 9am – 1pm
- Tuesday 1st January, New Year’s Day: Closed
- Wednesday 2nd January: 9am – 5.30pm
- We then revert to normal winter hours: Monday – Thursday: 09:00 – 18:30 | Friday: 09:00 – 17:30 | Saturday: 09:00 – 16:00 | Sunday: Closed
Best Ski Holidays in 2019
The 2018/19 winter season is upon us, so what better time to let us plan your 2019 ski holiday?
As the UK’s leading tailor-made ski specialist, our experienced team will take the time to fine-tune every element of your ski holiday, from flights and accommodation to ski schools and restaurant reservations. Choose from hand-picked ski destinations around the world and make 2019 your best year on the slopes yet. We’ve carefully chosen an outstanding mix of world-class ski resorts to appeal to British skiers in:
- France: home to some of the most extensive ski areas in the world, it’s no surprise that France is Europe’s number one ski destination.
- Canada: superb skiing, an enviable snow record, staggering scenery and ski resorts with something for everyone.
- The USA: uncrowded slopes, amazing powder snow, first-class lodging and unparalleled customer service, wherever you ski.
- Switzerland: Switzerland exudes charm and our clients love the laid-back yet refined atmosphere of our featured resorts.
- Austria: excellent hospitality, a warm and friendly welcome, lively après-ski and luxurious spa centres.
- Italy: extensive terrain, good snow records, fabulous food & drink and some of the most stunning scenery in Europe
- Japan: Japan’s outstanding success as a ski destination can be summed up in one simple word – snow. You really have to ski it to believe it!
“The booking of our ski holiday for 2019 was handled very efficiently by the Ski Independence staff and we look forward to our winter break. The staff were very friendly, welcoming and obviously knew their ski centres!” Steven, November 2018.
Featured Ski Destinations for 2019
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 »