(Pictured above, Santa Day at Sunday River in Maine)
Christmas ski holidays have proved problematic the past two seasons with warm autumns meaning limited snow cover, but thankfully 2016 is looking very different with huge snowfalls in November meaning things are looking good for skiing this Christmas. In better news still, the pound is back up 7% so far against the Euro since the start of November.
The only real complication is that Christmas Day is a Sunday, which means on the traditional Saturday change over day you’ll need to travel out on Christmas Eve and back on New Years Eve BUT many tour operators have switched things around so if you don’t like the sound of that, you can depart on say, Tuesday December 20th and return on the 27th so you get the full Christmas build-up and the post-Christmas few days of prolonged celebrations then winding down before the flight home. Departures on most other days of the pre-Christmas-weekend week are also available.
There are some spectacular deals too including some 50% off offers bringing prices down from around a grand to nearer £500 for a fully catered Christmas week in high quality accommodation in a top resort. “Ho ho ho” indeed.
Most tour operators and specialist ski travel agents have Christmas specials on offer now, it’s certainly not too late to book today.
The deals are ever changing and subject to availability but here’s a list of some of the best we’ve heard of:
VIP SKI’s Festive Offers
VIP SKI’s packages include return flights from London Gatwick, transfers to and from the resort, seven night’s chalet board accommodation and VIP SKI’s dedicated chalet service.
“During the festive season, VIP SKI’s guests can enjoy all their favourite indulgences: home-made mince pies, mulled wine and a delicious Christmas dinner with all the trimmings. Families can visit Santa and rejoice in a carol service while guests who just want to kick back and relax in front of the fire will be left in peace,” said a company spokesperson.
For example stay at Chalet La Chapelle, one of five VIP SKI’s chalets in Alpe d’Huez, located next to the resort centre and the main ski lifts. Each of the seven bedrooms in La Chapelle is larger than the customary Alpine offering and every bedroom has a balcony, with some actually spilling straight on to the piste. Guests can also pamper themselves in the chalet’s wet suite with hot tub and sauna.
Holidays are priced from £999 pp (down from £1,169 saving £170) for a seven-night stay arriving Monday, 19th December.
Christmas in Val d’Isère Saving up to £610pp
Ski Solutions (www.skisolutions.com) offers seven nights chalet board accommodation over Christmas at the four-star Chalet Bellevarde from just £595 per person, saving £610 per person, when booked before 16th December. This cosy wooden chalet the ideal choice for a festive holiday with feature including open log fireplaces, a hot tub and an outdoor terrace for enjoying the views of the snow capped mountains. The price includes return flights from London Gatwick to Chambery departing on the Tuesday 20th December and transfers.
Extra Christmas Flight from Stansted And Lower Prices with Ski Total
Due to popular demand, they say, Ski Total have added an extra flight from Stansted to Chambéry departing on Friday 23rd December. Stay in the highest resort in Europe, Val Thorens, located in the world famous ‘Three Valleys’ ski area where Ski Total is offering the Chalet Le Sommet from £799pp (was £1029pp).
“This cosy chalet has an open fireplace and is positioned in a beautiful spot with fantastic views, and also offers use of a swimming pool. This price is based on 2 adults sharing and includes return flights, transfers, free wifi and seven nights catered accommodation including buffet breakfast, afternoon tea and a 4 course evening meal with complimentary wine, including a full Christmas dinner with all the trimmings,” a company spokesperson said.
30% off Christmas Skiing in the Maurienne Valley with Peak Retreats
Stay 7 nights in Termignon over Christmas for £165pp (was £236pp) at the 3* Les Balcons de la Vanoise resides on the foot of the ski slopes and is a short walk to the centre of the resort, perfect for après-ski and non-skiers. The mountain-style apartments are in a quiet area, offering magnificent views of the Vanoise National Park. The price is based on 5 people sharing a 1 bedroom alcove self-catered apartment (sleeps 6) on week commencing 24/12/16; includes Eurotunnel crossing with free FlexiPlus upgrade.
Over 50% Off On Christmas Chalets and Half Price Rentals
Sno.co.uk has an ever changing list of Christmas deals and even has a page dedicated to just this, as well as pages devoted to Christmas holidays in the main ski nations: Austria, France, Italy and Switzerland.
In terms of Christmas deals the Chalet Lapin de Neige, Courchevel is now down £459pp (was £974) for 7 nights chalet catering – departing Tuesday 20th December from Gatwick.
With some holidays you can also get your ski or snowboard and boots rentals at up to half price. La Tania’s Chalet James is available with this deal and over £450 off the original price. A seven night stay costs £547pp (was £1038) including Stansted flights, transfers and 7 nights chalet catering – departing Friday 23rd December 2016
“If you want to open presents on Christmas day, buy on Amazon and have it wrapped and delivered to your chalet the week before… buy people lux food and drink or even ski clothes/gear, so they can have a week of indulgence and celebration, and you don’t have to fly extra baggage out” says Sno.co.uk boss Richard Sinclair.
Save Over 50%pp on Christmas in St Anton
Those looking to spend Christmas week in a lively yet picturesque mountain resort can look no further than the popular Austrian ski resort of St Anton. Inghams is offering seven nights on a chalet board basis at four and a half star Chalet Kapall in St Anton, Austria from £569 per person, a saving of £640! Price includes return flights from Edinburgh to Innsbruck and transfers, departing on Friday 23rd December 2016.