Want to squeeze in a cheeky pre-Christmas break? Here’s eight early season ski deals, from family-friendly Finland to freeride heaven in the Arlberg
SEASON OPENING IN VAL D’ISÈRE
High, huge and party-filled Val d’Isère is set to open on 26 November, and with plenty of snow in the forecast it’s set to be powdery from the off. Ski Solutions is offering seven nights self catering at the 4* Residence Les Balcons de Belvedere from £565pp. The price includes BA flights from Heathrow and transfers
EARLY SEASON ST ANTON
Crystal is offering a pre-Christmas ski holiday to St Anton am Arlberg, the Austrian resort best known for its out of this world freeride terrain and intoxicatingly good après-ski, for less than £500. Stay at Chalet Schlosshof for £482pp (saving £385pp) for a week from 17 December. The price includes flights from Gatwick to Innsbruck, transfer, breakfasts, afternoon tea, dinner and wine, based on two sharing.
HIGH AND MIGHTY IN VAL THORENS
Sat at 2300m, Val Thorens is the highest ski resort in Europe, making it the ideal spot for a cheeky early-season trip. Tailor-made tour operator Ski Independence is offering seven nights self-catered accommodation at the Residence Hameau du Kashmir from 10 December for £347. The price is based on four people sharing and includes the Eurotunnel.
FLEXIBLE CHRISTMAS IN ALPE D’HUEZ
VIP SKI has altered its departure days to between 19 Monday and 26 December so that skiers don’t have to travel on Christmas day. Stay at Chalet La Chappelle for doorstep skiing in Alpe d’Huez, a great choice for mixed-ability groups. The Chalet features stunning rooms, a hot tub and sauna and the usual VIP SKI service (think high-quality meals, welcome drinks and complimentary toiletries). Christmas week prices are from £999pp for seven nights, including flights and transfers.
COURCHEVAL ON A BUDGET
Sat in the world’s biggest ski area, Courcheval has 600km of all-ability pistes to get stuck into, as well as a huge array of off-slope activities. Pierre & Vacances has apartments available in the 4* Chalets du Forum, close to the shopping centre in Rue du Commerce, for just £157pp — a saving of 41%. The price includes seven nights from 10 December, based on six people sharing.
SAVE IN FLAINE
Madame Vacances is offering 16% off selected properties throughout December, including the 3* Résidence Les Terrasses de Veret in Flaine, France. Sat next to the Grands Vans Chair lift, Flaine’s 267km are in easy reach. A week’s stay from 10 December 2016 starts at £149 pp (£299 total) based on two people sharing a one-bedroom apartment (use the code ‘DECEMBER’).
FREE LIFT PASSES IN MORZINE
Morzine-based AliKats Mountain Holidays are not only reducing their Christmas packages by €100 per person, they are throwing in a free Portes du Soleil ski pass worth over €250 too. A stay with AliKats is priced from £575 per person (based on two adults sharing a room) arriving Saturday 10th December and includes catered accommodation, hot tub use and free shuttle rides.
CHRISTMAS IN FINLAND
Travelling with non-skiers? Then Ruka, in Finnish Lapland, is the spot to visit. The skiing isn’t hugely extensive (24km) but its off slope activities make up for it, with everything from snowmobile safaris to husky rides on offer. Crystal is offering a week’s self-catered accommodation at the 3* Ruka Log Cabins for £518pp (based on four sharing), departing on 20 Dec 2016. Includes return flights from Gatwick and transfers.