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
NOVEMBER SKIING IN VAL THORENS
In Europe’s highest resort, Val Thorens, the winter season starts on the 17 November. For a seven-night stay from the 23 to 30 November, Pierre & Vacances are charging £480.38pp for a studio apartment in Residence Les Temples du Soleil. The price is based on 4 people sharing.
FIRST WEEK OF DECEMBER IN VAL D’ISÈRE
Val d’Isère opens the doors of its ski area on 25 November and if it’s anything like last season, it’s going to be brilliantly powdery. VIP SKI have chalet accommodation available from 2 December, with the Bellevarde Lodge Muscat being priced from £689pp including Gatwick-Geneva flights, transfers and chalet catering.
PRE-CHRISTMAS TRIP TO TIGNES
Snow sure enough to be skiable in the summer months, Tignes is another of the first resorts to open and starts its winter season in November. Ski Solutions have the Chalet Valerie available for £445pp, on a catered basis with flights and transfers included. Guests can enjoy a ski in/out location and come home to a hot tub, steam room and sauna.
COURCHEVEL CHALET STAY
One of the world’s most luxurious resorts in the world’s biggest ski area, December in Courchevel features Michelin-acclaimed festive feasting, designer boutiques for Christmas shopping and most importantly, 600km of pistes to ski. Departing on December 16, SNO have seven nights at the Chalet Le Bonheur priced at £599pp. Catering, Gatwick-Chambéry flights and transfers are included.
SEASON OPENING IN ALPE D’HUEZ
If you want to make the first tracks of the winter in Alpe d’Huez, Ski France has discounted a seven-night stay in Les Chalets de L’Altiport for the first week of the ski season (December 1-8) by 20%.
HALF PRICE LIFT PASSES IN LES DEUX ALPES
Helping you save hundreds of euros, packages to Neilson’s Hotel Aalborg come with an offer for half price lift passes on the week beginning December 15th. Prices start at £749pp including half board, London Gatwick – Grenoble flights and transfers. The build up to Christmas is usually very festive in Les Deux Alpes, with decorations and special menus in the restaurants. Thanks to the glacier, the ski area should be in excellent condition.
FESTIVE FINNISH LAPLAND
If you’re heading off on a holiday with young children or non-skiers, the Lappish ski resorts are excellent. They have compact but top-quality ski areas, all sorts of winter wonderland activities (husky and reindeer sleigh rides, snowmobiles and many more) and also give you a good chance of seeing the Northern Lights. Inghams have seven-night self-catered packages to the Villa Armas Vabins in Yllas from £679pp, based on 6 sharing on the week beginning December 2 and including Gatwick to Kittilä flights and transfers.
EARLY SEASON ST ANTON
Crystal has early season chalet holidays in the legendary Austrian resort of St Anton am Arlberg, which is known the world over for its freeride terrain and wild après-ski. Seven nights at Chalet Tirolerhaus costs from £819pp departing 15 December. The price includes flights from London Stansted to Innsbruck, transfers and chalet catering. As well as a high chance of great snow, you might be able to catch one of the resort’s Christmas concerts over the week.