Read exciting travel reports live from the resorts, news and tips for preparing ski holidays and special weather and snow reports in the Snowplaza ski blog. The Snowplaza team reports regularly from the mountains and keeps you informed about the latest trends in skiing and snowboarding. In addition, you will find tips and news about interesting new products; skis, snowboards, gadgets, clothing and equipment as well as advice and ideas for your next ski holidays.
How much do you pay for a tasty snack up on the slopes on your ski holidays in Austria? The answer lies in the Snowplaza Germknödel index. Snowplaza launched this index last year to compare overall prices in ski areas in Austria in an amusing manner. The Germknödel is one of the most popular snacks in Austrian ski resorts and its price is a good way of judging prices in general in ski resorts. The prices of these delicious dumplings with custard were compared in the highest mountain restaurant i... Read more ›
Half board is one of the most popular accommodation options for ski holidays in Les Gets in the Portes du Soleil in France. In recent years, a high level of comfort and facilities, worthy of the best urban hotels, such as mountain spas and gourmet restaurants, has been added to the natural charm of existing charming accommodation in Les Gets. We’ve taken a closer look at 2 chalet hotels in Les Gets, La Marmotte and La Tapiaz, which on top of providing their guests with exceptional comfort and ho... Read more ›
If you're passionate about off-piste skiing, only the number of descents outside the marked pistes count when choosing a ski holiday. Reserved mainly for skiers and snowboarders with a high level of technical skills and good physical condition, off-piste skiing offers the chance to discover the mountain differently: the deep mountain countryside, away from crowds and noisy ski lifts. However, not all ski resorts have a ski area that lends itself to off-piste skiing. Therefore, we selected 5 Fren... Read more ›
This winter everyone is worried about snow conditions in the Alps so many people are looking at ski resorts in Canada as an alternative. Ski resorts in the Rockies in Canada offer, among many other things, guaranteed snow. Snowplaza has now expanded its offer to cover, for the moment, the main ski resorts in Canada, namely, Banff, Lake Louise and Whistler. Admittedly, it takes a long time to get there but once you arrive in a Canadian ski resort, you quickly forget your long journey! Most people... Read more ›
We need your help! We'd like to know which is the best ski resort for 2015. Each winter Snowplaza goes in search of the best ski resorts in Austria, France, Switzerland, Italy and Germany. We’re asking skiers and snowboarders to vote for the best ski resort for 2015. Participants will automatically be entered in a prize draw and Snowplaza will buy a 6-day ski passes for 5 winners! Each winner receives a ski pass for the ski resort they voted for and chooses their desired dates! What are you wait... Read more ›
If you’re looking for an original wedding idea, why not getting married in the Alps? Imagine a real white wedding with snowflakes floating around you, fur coats (fake of course), beautiful snow-laden pine trees and wooden chalets with open fire places… If you and your future other half are mad about skiing or snowboarding, then what could be more perfect? You could even get married on the slopes so you don’t have to lose any skiing time! Now is the time to start looking, if you’re tempted by a w... Read more ›
To bide the time before the beginning of the next ski season, I decided to do some serious research into funny ski run names! When skiing in French, Austrian, Italian and Swiss ski resorts, we very often find it hard to pronounce the names of the ski lifts and ski runs but these names rarely make us chuckle. For a bit of light hearted, sometimes tongue in cheek fun, you have to cross the Big Pond and venture to ski resorts in North America and Canada. I’ve made a selection of funny and unusual s... Read more ›
In France, heli-skiing has been prohibited since 1985, by French "Mountain Law": "Dans les zones de montagne, les déposes de passagers à des fins de loisirs, par aéronef sont interdites sauf sur les aérodromes dont la liste est fixée par l'autorité administrative » - in mountain areas, it is prohibited for aircraft to drop off passengers for recreational purposes except at listed aerodromes determined by the administrative authority. In Europe, heli-skiing is banned in Germany, permitted in Swit... Read more ›
These super-sized ski areas are generally born when several ski resorts decide to link their ski areas together by cable car or ski lift and the new ski area can accessed with a single ski pass. What characterizes these super-sized ski areas in the first place is, of course, their XXL size in terms of ski slopes, altitude differences and number of lifts but also in terms of level of services, facilities and accommodation options. They usually include several charming smaller ski resorts, often o... Read more ›
Being a huge fan of snow, ice and the ephemeral beauty of the mountains, I’ve always dreamt of sleeping in an igloo. So why haven’t I done it yet I hear you ask! Well, I need sleep, lots of it and the good stuff – not that camping kind of sleep when you wake up every half an hour with stiff hips and shoulders! I also worry that the reality is not as romantic as the idea! So I thought I’d do some research into the options as there seems to be an igloo fever that's catching… Either book accommoda... Read more ›
So what does a snowmaker do? Well, he/she is charge of making artificial snow in ski resorts. With the effects of global warming and increasingly demanding skiers and snowboarders who expect excellent snow conditions regardless of the weather and time of the year. Artificial snow has now become more of a necessity than a luxury for all ski resorts, regardless of altitude or their exposure. Let’s take a look behind the scenes of this little-known profession. ... Read more ›
European meteorological agencies agree that this winter could be the coldest we’ve had for the last 100 years! Keep up with the trends and more importantly, keep warm on the slopes this winter season and try your luck to win a woolly ski hat to wear on this year's ski holiday.... Read more ›
Every winter, millions of people flock to the European Alps on a ski holiday in search of the thrills and feeling of freedom they get up on the slopes. Winter sports are considered to be a relaxing but at the same time, exhilarating activity and a pure pleasure to be enjoyed with family and friends. When we think of winter sports, we often neglect cross-country skiing and put it aside as being too placid and not exciting enough! However, this seemingly low-key sport is a bit of a dark horse! Re... Read more ›
After the recent fresh snowfalls across the European Alps, I was inspired to share some insights about this magical, ephemeral substance which brings so much joy to so many people each winter season! However, if you’re unlucky enough to get the wrong type of snow, it can really put a dampener on your ski holiday. It’s a complicated business - snow isn’t simply frozen water. Snow is actually ice crystals in the shape of hexagonal prisms that form when water freezes in the air that then join toget... Read more ›
After a seemingly perfect winter season last year, it is hard to imagine that global warming is having an effect on the ski industry. The winter season 2012/13 started with a warm autumn attracting hikers and climbers in thousands to the Alps. This was followed by early, heavy snowfalls in November (even at low altitudes), that were then regularly topped up throughout the season to the delight of skiers, snowboarders and local businesses. However, scientists who daily observe and monitor the eff... Read more ›
The Snowplaza UK website just didn’t feel right without including the outstanding ski resorts in Colorado and Utah in North America ! Although relatively few British skiers venture as far as North America for their ski holiday, those who do, come back raving! Huge snowfalls, meaning excellent off-piste skiing, quiet ski slopes with efficient ski lift systems and high quality accommodation with standards of service that you rarely find in European ski resorts is what’s on offer on the other side ... Read more ›
You might think that everyone who works in the ski industry spends the summer lounging around waiting for the first snowfalls! Well, that might be the case for some, but here at Snowplaza, we make the most of the spring and summer months to keep busy collecting and checking data so that we can be proud to publish this information on our websites. We have also been working on improvements and this winter you will notice quite a few changes on the UK website including the addition of many new ski ... Read more ›
Golf lovers are forever searching for the ultimate golf course. For an unforgettable round of golf, it would be hard to beat teeing off on a pristine green with the majestic snow-capped Alps or the impressive rocky Dolomites as a backdrop. If you’re bored of your local golf courses and fancy a change of scenery while breathing in clean, fresh mountain air and taking in the spectacular scenery, then read on to find out where the best spots are for a round of golf in the European mountains this s... Read more ›
If you’re a snowboarding fanatic who just cannot wait for the first snowfalls, then there is a solution other than snowboarding on expensive glaciers. Mountainboarding, also commonly known as All-Terrain Boarding (ATB), Dirtboarding or Offroad Boarding, is a little-known sport, which offers a very similar sensation to snowboarding. A mountainboard is made up of similar components to those of a snowboard but also has four wheels with pneumatic tires, and two steering mechanisms known as trucks. R... Read more ›
If you’re off on a mountain biking holiday in Europe this summer and are travelling by plane, then you might be surprised to know that you can actually take your bike on holiday with you ! There are plenty of different types of soft bike bags and hard bike cases or boxes on the market and it’s important to choose a good one or the first day of your holiday could be spent repairing rather than just rebuilding your bike! We’ve put together some advice to help you select the right one for you so th... Read more ›
On Sunday the 18th of August, the tiny French ski resort of Orelle, which is part of the famous Three Valleys ski area, the largest in the world, will open its gondola lift all day from 9am to 5pm. What’s so special about that I hear you ask! Well, the particularity of Orelle’s 3 Vallées Express gondola is that it is not only the longest in Europe, but it takes you up to 2300 meters of altitude in just 15 minutes! I can tell you from experience, that climbing 1500 meters in such a short time, ma... Read more ›
From a one-hour pony trek to introduce your children to the joys of horse riding to a one-week luxury horse trekking holiday for more experienced horse riders, this wonderful sport is open to almost anyone regardless of age and ability! The unique relationship you have with your horse or pony, added to the pleasure of being high up in the mountains with exceptional scenery spread out around you, makes this activity truly unforgettable. Read on to find out more about the different options availab... Read more ›
From Thursday, the 1st of August, the fourth edition of the “Jazz au Frontiers” (Jazz at the Borders) festival will be held in the French ski resort of Montgenevre which lies just on the border with Italy. The 2013 edition will take place over three days, with a theme of a jazz trip around the world... Just picture yourself soaking up some warm mountain sunshine, sipping a cool drink and listening to some outstanding international jazz! If you're tempted, then read on to find out more...... Read more ›
So you’re already a big fan of summer holidays in the mountains and fancy taking the experience to the next level ! How about discovering the mountains from a different angle – from above! From skydiving to hot air ballooning, there are various different ways of enjoying the stunning mountain landscapes and famous snow-capped peaks which spread out below you like a tapestry of colours and unusual shapes - it’s simply up to you to decide how fast you want your heart to beat! Read on to find out m... Read more ›
In recent years, increased attention has been made to preserving the environment and encouraging the general public’s responsible actions and approach to the mountain environment. "Respect the Mountains' is an organization dedicated to keeping the mountains clean which organizes the Envirotrek event each year, in five different countries, during June and July. This event aims at raising awareness about sustainable tourism, in particular among the younger population, in the form of a competition ... Read more ›
The European Alps stretch across 8 countries dominating central Europe, from Slovenia to the south of France, covering an area of approximately 250,000 km²! With the highest peaks above 4000 meters, the huge climatic differences between the lowest and highest points, along with the dramatic seasonal temperature changes, the Alps are home to a large number of natural habitats where about 30,000 animal species and 13,000 plant species can be found. This incredibly rich biodiversity creates a simpl... Read more ›
The French Alps are already famous for being home to some of the best skiing and snowboarding in the winter months and hiking, trekking and rock climbing in the summer. Add to this, the excellent food, exceptional wines, cultural and historical events and sites to see and visit and you couldn’t ask for much more to make the perfect winter or summer holiday. If water sports are your thing, but you want to to get away from the crowded beaches this summer, or you just want to try something new, the... Read more ›
The last weekend in June will, from now on, be remembered as "the weekend when you absolutely must go to the French mountains. From the Pyrenees to the northern Alps, there is something happening in nearly every village, every French ski resort, in every region – from free activities and accommodation for only 1€, to sporting and cultural events, everyone has come together to make this an unforgettable weekend. Large companies, local businesses and associations have all got involved to offer a p... Read more ›
So you haven’t yet decided where to spend your summer holiday this year and you fancy a change - well summer skiing could be the answer! You’re a huge ski or snowboard fanatic and you just can’t wait until next winter season - summer skiing IS the answer! Maybe you’re fed up with crowded beaches with no space to relax? Well why not try something new and spend this year’s summers holiday in the mountains! We’ve put together a list of the best ski resorts in the Alps for summer skiing. Why not spe... Read more ›
Excellent, record breaking snow conditions, busy ski resorts, fully-booked accommodation and packed ski slopes - it seems that winter sports have managed to beat the recession this winter! After having a very good impression of this last winter season, I wanted to be sure that it wasn’t just an impression! I was lucky enough to have the opportunity of interviewing Vanessa Perret, the Directrice of the Tourist Office in the small ski resort of Orelle which is part of the Three Valleys, who confi... Read more ›
Having once held the job title of chalet girl, a few years back now, I decided to find out what has changed and what has not since those rather hazy days working for a well-known low cost ski holiday tour operator in Val d’Isère! Apparently not much has changed apart from the size of the skis you use AND the tips you get! Read on to find out more about life as a chalet girl – whether you’re mother of one or would like to be one in the future, you’ll find out everything you wanted (or not) to kno... Read more ›
If you like getting a suntan, hanging out with tall, blond, blue-eyed people – and you fancy getting away for some last minute skiing, then head for Dutchweek in Val Thorens! Each year, thousands of Dutch people come to this world-famous French ski resort in the heart of the Three Valleys ski area (the largest in the world by the way) to celebrate Dutchweek and Koninginnedag (Queen’s Day) – their Queen’s birthday - on the 30th of April! Great snow conditions, warm spring sunshine and clear blue ... Read more ›
So you thought it was all over for this ski season – well not quite yet! It’s snowing again at the moment across the Alps which means conditions will be perfect for the end of the 2012/13 winter season! Some ski areas, in particularly the Three Valleys ski area, are high enough to stay open well into the month of May, so why not make the most of all that wonderful white stuff and some warm spring sunshine and get back up on the slopes for an end of season blast! Val Thorens is holding its Apoth... Read more ›
Snowboard and ski half-pipe, ski jumping, biathlon mixed relay, figure skating and luge team relay and many other Olympic disciplines could soon become a thing of the past. And the cause? I hear you ask… the cause is global warming! Lack of snow could seriously endanger the future of the major winter sports competitions in the coming years! Olympic snowboard and ski medalists have therefore taken the bull by the horns and have sent a letter to the President of the United States about the alarmin... Read more ›
Skiing is one of the only sports that has to be done in public – not like tennis, polo, golf, etc which can all be played in expensive, private clubs far from the madding crowd or even sailing where celebrities can always get away from the crowds in a hidden bay or far out to sea! As far as I am aware, no-one actually owns a private mountain with its own ski slopes and ski lifts – not yet anyway! Not until I win the lottery! The rich and famous, such as the Royal Family, have to rub shoulders wi... Read more ›
Even though it’s snowing across the UK and warm spring days seem far off, many people still think that the ski season in Europe is nearly over and are starting to think about summer holidays. With Easter falling relatively early this year, the 31st of March – this weekend – there are plenty of opportunities to get away for a late ski holiday with the family to enjoy the good weather, quieter slopes and the affordable prices. Plenty of ski resorts across Europe stay open well into spring, so don... Read more ›
When most people think of high altitude sports it’s mainly skiing and snowboarding that spring to mind. Although, there are plenty of other sports that can be practiced on snow, golf wasn’t one that immediately came to mind when asking around recently in a café in Meribel! One young snowboarder actually thought I was joking! Maybe it’s the use of the word “green” that makes it hard to associate golf and snow – funnily enough the “greens” are called “whites” when playing Snow Golf! Whilst you ... Read more ›
When most of us think of the perfect ski resort, we conjure up images of peaceful, picture-postcard, traditional mountain villages surrounded by snow-laden trees and snow-capped peaks. Unfortunately, this is not always the case!
One thing that can spoil the atmosphere in a ski resort is a main road running through the center or simply lots of cars coming and going all the time. The answer is to choose a ski resort with a car free center ... Read more ›
Val Thorens is well known for being a ski resort that likes to party! Along with an already pretty lively nightlife, this ski resort is proud to host the only free electro festival in the Alps! For the 6th edition of this electro music festival, there's an exciting and electrifying program, mixing different styles of electro, house, techno, trance, low and much more...
So if you like to mix winter sports and partying, then don’t miss the "FESTI VAL THO 2013" in Val Thorens – it promis... Read more ›
As promised in my recent article “Spas on ski holidays”, I’ve put together a selection of thermal spas where you can lay back and let the natural minerals work wonders on your poor tired body.
The curative affects of thermal spas were discovered in the 17th century by the Romans and then became extremely popular with the aristocratic and “high-society” families in the early 20th century. Since then, the healing properties have been proved to cure all kinds of ailments from skin compl... Read more ›
It’s not only the UK which has been having almost record snowfalls this winter. With just over 5 meters recorded up on the slopes in Andermatt in Switzerland and 4.5 meters in Flaine and Les Carroz in France, lack of snow is certainly not an issue this season.
The 2012/2013 ski season has so far lived up to expectations and promises to do so right to the very end! With Easter falling relatively early this year, the possibilities for getting away for a Spring ski holiday are endless... Read more ›
When you think about it for a moment, skiing and snowboarding are rather intriguing pass times! Millions of people each year pay large sums of money to spend 6 days of their precious annual leave in ski resorts going up the mountain very slowly and coming back down at varying speeds in various fashions. Sitting on the equivalent of an uncomfortable (often wet) outdoor sofa with friends, family and people of mixed nationality you have never met before, takes up rather a large part of these 6 day... Read more ›
If you’re like most British skiers, you probably get away on a ski holiday once or twice a year. Unless you follow my advice given in my article “Getting fit for skiing WITHOUT gym membership”, then you are going to hurt after the first few days! Don’t worry, there is a remedy and it’s a very pleasant one too – almost an argument for NOT getting in shape before your ski holiday! Spa and wellness centres – either in your accommodation or ski resort – will put you back on track and leave you ready... Read more ›
Whether there is snow or ice on the road, being faced with a potentially slippery surface makes any normal driver anxious. Add having to negotiate hairpin bends with no safety barriers and your ski holiday is bound to get off to a bad start! However, it doesn’t have to be this way…
People who drive daily in the mountains have clocked up a lot of experience and knowledge of the real danger which exists when driving in severe winter conditions. We went up the mountains to get some tip... Read more ›
You have an important question to ask someone special? You’re looking for a romantic alternative to packed restaurants, over-priced meals and disappointing weekends away? You’re just an old romantic who can’t help looking for the most original idea to surprise your other half? Well, we’ve put together a list of ideas with something to suit all tastes… Who would fail to be charmed by the cozy, romantic atmosphere in a traditional, picture-postcard ski resort. Add dinner for 2 in a cable car, ... Read more ›
Switzerland, the country of mouth-watering chocolates and Gruyère cheese, has to be one of my all time favourite ski holiday destinations. Although, of course, every European winter sports country has something unique to offer, Switzerland just keeps coming back to the top of the list each year.
Whether it’s because I’m a romantic at heart or I just love the feeling of being transported back in time, Swiss mountains and their ski resorts just seem to have that little extra something th... Read more ›
The most important thing to know before tackling off piste skiing is that even the best on piste skier will feel like a complete beginner again once he or she is up to his or her waist in fresh powder!
When skiing off piste, there is enormous resistance from the quantities of snow all around your skis and therefore steering with your feet and lower leg (as we do when skiing on groomed slopes) is no longer sufficient to make your skis turn! It is important to use your whole leg and t... Read more ›
Each year, ski resorts invest millions to attract skiers and non-skiers to their resort. Each year, new activities emerge for the greatest pleasure of everyone: sports lovers, extreme thrill seekers, nature lovers and anyone simply looking to try something new... You will always find a way to have a great time on your ski holiday with activities just as fun and entertaining as skiing or snowboarding.
So if you don’t ski but want to travel with a group of friends or family who do, read ... Read more ›
Even if there is a world-wide recession, hotels and local businesses in ski resorts are determined to encourage people to come back to the mountains for their annual ski holiday.
From high technology on the slopes to new après ski activities such as thrilling water parks, top class restaurants and new nightclubs, everyone has been investing time and money to offer new and exciting reasons to get back up the mountains this winter season. Airlines and rail companies are also offering s... Read more ›
If you’ve had to reconsider whether to go skiing or not this year, then read on and you may reconsider again…
There are tons of ways to save money when booking your ski holiday. By taking into account lots of different criteria such as when and where to go, pre-booking extras online and choice of transport, it’s possible to make large savings on your holiday. There are also plenty of ways of saving a few pounds (or Euros) once to get to your resort. We’ve tried to think of all the po... Read more ›
Many ski resorts make the claim of being the birthplace of modern skiing. Last winter when I was in Lech am Arlberg and Mürren, I heard claims that skiing, as we know it today, began in these ski resorts. I was told the same thing when I was in St. Moritz! So what’s the real story - who thought of inventing bindings and where did they built the first ski lift?... Read more ›
The largest winter event in the world is being held on Sunday the 20th of January 2013 - literally across the world! That’s some claim to fame and it’s being made by The Fédération de Ski Internationale! The 2nd edition of the FIS World Snow Day, an event which aims to bring children, from 4 to 14 years old, to the slopes for a fun-filled day of activities, entertainment and competitions; a chance to discover winter sports such as skiing, snowboarding, cross country skiing and freestyle, snowsho... Read more ›
If perfectly groomed green, blue, red or even black runs are no longer a challenge, and you don’t really enjoy having to avoid the crowds on the slopes, then it’s perhaps time to venture off piste to find out what else the mountain has to offer. For thousands of experienced skiers and snowboarders every year, finding the perfect slope laden with virgin snow is the ultimate high point of their ski holiday.... Read more ›
Have a chance of winning a 6 day ski pass in the resort of your choice simply by reviewing your favorite ski resort(s)*! It’s as simple as it sounds! By leaving a review you take part in our prize draw to win a 6 day ski pass in the resort where you have booked your holiday*. So what are you waiting for - get reviewing!... Read more ›
Are you looking for something different to do this year? Fancy a change of scenery? Why not celebrate the New Year in a ski resort?? Surrounded by snow-covered mountains, in a magical atmosphere, what could be more enchanting? Nothing beats raising a glass to welcome in the New Year around a log fire in a mountain chalet or in a cozy, convivial hotel lounge, enjoying some great food and, of course, great company. Or something more lively if that’s your style…
Here are a few suggestio... Read more ›
The Andros Trophy is the world’s premier ice racing championship and is held in 6 well-known ski resorts across the European mountains. This event attracts famous racing drivers from motorsport’s world such as F1 World Champions Alain Prost and Jacques Villeneuve, and 1996 Monaco GP winner Olivier Panis!... Read more ›
With everything the ski resort of Tignes, France already has enough to offer, the Winter X Games really is the cherry on the cake! Tignes, renowned for being a pioneer in new and alternative winter and summer sports, was the natural choice of venue for the first Winter X Games held in Europe. This ski resort has long been associated with the freestyle and freeriding culture. ... Read more ›
But all good things come to those who wait... Even if there have already been heavy snowfalls in the European mountains, there is a lot of work that needs to take place to prepare the ski slopes, ski lift network and the ski resort itself before most of us get a chance to get up on the slopes!... Read more ›
So what’s Snowplaza all about then? Well, quite simply just about all you need to know about skiing and snowboarding holidays! After the huge success in the Netherlands and Belgium since 1999 and the recently launched flourishing French website, we couldn’t leave out all our British skiing and snowboarding fans! So now, you too can find tons of useful ski info, snowboarding tips, detailed ski maps, webcams and all the latest news on your favorite winter sports and ski resorts.... Read more ›
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