Once skiing becomes a part of your life, it soon feels like your annual or twice-yearly ski holiday simply isn’t enough. But the good news is that if you want a quick fix of on- and off-piste action, it’s easy to arrange a weekend or short ski break with Erna Low.
With gateway airports bringing you closer than ever to gorgeous resorts and private transfers available to ferry you straight to your accommodation, you’ll arrives stylishly, safely and securely, while self-drive can also be an option if it’s practical to slot driving time into your itinerary.
Whether you’re travelling as a couple or a family, want to stay in a chalet, apartment or hotel, or Apres-ski is as important as on-slope suitability, we’ll create a customised ski holiday that satisfies your needs. By arranging accommodation with doorstep skiing and pre-booking your ski equipment hire and ski passes, you can minimise waiting time and maximise your enjoyment on the slopes.
Le weekend is always legendary in the Alps and arranging a short but sweet ski break has never been easier.
Why you’ll love wonderful French ski weekends
There are several reasons that lots of our customers think that short ski breaks in France are the bees knees. Here are just a few reasons you’ll love them:
With long-established connections in every ski resort from Alpe d’Huez to Val Thorens (and everywhere in between) we can pinpoint the perfect ski villages, accommodation options and passes for your group and advise on the most convenient travel routes ̶ thereby helping you squeeze every ounce of fun out of your flying visit.
Taking a brief but brilliant three- or four-night break is a popular way to sample some mountain magic without taking a full week off work if you’re running short of annual leave or simply fancy a spontaneous break to recharge your batteries. And our ski resort partners are happy to accommodate flexible bookings outwith the typical Saturday to Saturday arrangement.
Midweek ski breaks can often be more economical, so if you start your sojourn from a Sunday, flights and hotels are often slightly cheaper. Furthermore, if you can take your holiday early or late in the season (around January or April) the slopes are empty, the lift queues are short and the resorts themselves are quiet, which means more time having fun and less time waiting. Furthermore, if you do want to venture out for a meal, it’s reassuring to know that no venue will feel too crowded.
A ski break later in the season means you can take advantage of longer days, which means more time spent carving up fresh powder on the pistes. Plus the weather tends to be warmer, which is important for families with very young children as they can find the sub-zero temperatures at the peak of the season unpleasant. Choose your resort wisely and you might find that it enjoys some of its heaviest snowfall in spring and, if it’s part of a lift-linked ski area, you’ve got the option of skiing elsewhere in the network in order to find the most snow sure slopes and vary your action.
As you can see, a bijou break in the French Alps has many brilliant benefits ̶ if you’re tempted, give us a buzz on 020 7584 2841 for more information.
Top tips for a fab French ski weekend
We’ve arranged thousands of short ski breaks in the French Alps for our customers over the years and picked up a few fab insider tips along the way. Here are a few hacks that can make your holiday even more hassle-free: If you’re staying for four or five nights, driving can be an option if you want to avoid air travel at the moment and it means you’ll get all the way to your resort and back in your own social bubble. Car hire car also be more economical too, which means you’ll save cash to spend on something more fun when you get there.
Choosing less popular resorts means you can give queues a body swerve and grab more flexible deals ̶ plus, many quieter resorts are hidden gems with superb skiing, charming accommodation options, as well as authentic Alpine ambience.
It’s best to avoid booking for dates around the school holidays if you can because the slopes are busy, and accommodation can be pricier. Time is of the essence during a brief break, therefore it’s better to travel when everything is quieter.
If you decide to fly, taking an early flight out to your destination and a late flight home means you effectively gain a half day on the slopes, which is very valuable during a short duration holiday. Furthermore, if you choose resorts with short airport transport times, you won’t be cooped up in a vehicle for too long before hitting the pistes.
Save cash and time by travelling light ̶ several airlines offer cheap flights if you forego hold luggage, pack proficiently and get all your gear in one carry-on bag. Remember, if you’re driving to the airport, book your parking ahead of time for an early-bird bargain.
Have Erna Low include your ski equipment hire and ski passes in your package to save time when you get there ̶ this means no queuing, which is a real bonus when you’ve got young kids with you.
Follow these tips and you’re sure to have a fab French ski holiday from start to finish ̶ you can thank us later!
Luxury French ski weekends
A luxury French ski weekend can be the perfect birthday or anniversary present, or simply a random surprise for someone special who deserves to be spoiled.
You can rely on us to make sure every detail of a high-end trip is designed to satisfy. From salubrious accommodation with feather-soft furnishings and beautiful boudoirs to cathartic spa and beauty sessions and haute cuisine to romantic sleighrides, you’ll return home positively glowing from the inside out. Here are a couple of ski resorts where you’ll feel pampered at every turn:
Courchevel is regarded by many as France’s most glamorous ski resort and celebrities, royals and various other wealthy patrons are attracted to its spectacular slopes and high-end amenities like bees to honey. If you’ve got refined tastebuds you’ll be in your element here, because there are no less than seven Michelin-starred restaurants, with several other excellent eateries snapping at their heels and a clutch of six and five-star hotels to boot. Every type of accommodation here has a touch of opulence, whether you’re booked in a chalet, hotel or apartment, and if haute couture is your bag, chic boutiques carry luxe labels like Chanel, Moncler, Hermes, Gucci, Prada, Fendi Ski, Dior Ski and Louis Vuitton. If you’re flagging after a marathon retail therapy session there are several sublime spas where you can revive yourself, including the Cheval Blanc Spa featuring Guerlain and the Clarins Spa at Le Lana Hotel. Don’t forget the skiing though ̶ as part of the impressive Three Valleys ski area, you’ve got 300km of slopes that satisfy all styles and abilities to choose from.
Méribel might be the Rolls-Royce to neighbouring Courchevel’s Ferrari ̶ just as glam and gorgeous but slightly more understated, discerning members of the jet-set love this resort for its intimate, subtle and sophisticated brand of luxury and convenience. Efficiency and elegance are found everywhere from the cutting-edge lift system and challenging slopes to chalets and apartments with panoramic mountain views and salubrious spas with heated pools, sensory showers, holistic hammams and more beauty and wellness treatments than you can shake a designer ski stick at. The range of exclusive boutiques rivals any resort in the Alps and there are several world-class restaurants here too where you can sample anything from traditional Savoyard food prepared with the freshest local ingredients to international fusion cuisine with flavours from all over the world. There’s a wonderfully well-appointed sports centre built for the 1992 Albertville Winter Olympics, themed ski areas for children and a range of well-groomed pistes to satisfy adults, including the cruisy tree-lined Lapin blue run, the steep red Combe de Vallon and the iconic black La Face, which featured in the aforementioned Olympiad. As you can see, when you want a luxe weekend with a certain je ne sais quoi, few places in the world are more alluring than the French Alps. When you want to splash out for a special occasion and feel like an A-lister for a few days, this stunning area is always sprinkled with stardust.
Family French ski weekends
When you’re booking a short break in the Alps with your family, it’s essential that you feel confident that your chosen resort has all the facilities and amenities to keep kids safe, secure and entertained.
The easiest way to find a family-friendly French Alps resort is to look for the Famille Plus accreditation awarded by the national organisation France Montagnes, which rates resorts serving families with children from age 18 months plus on no less than 110 specific requirements related to six broad commitments ̶ a personalised welcome for families, suitable entertainment for all ages, prices to suit all ages and budgets, activities different age groups can enjoy together and separately, easily accessible services and businesses, and the highest possible calibre of professional childcare.
Several of our resorts are proud holders of the Famille Plus seal of quality, but here are a just a handful of prime examples:
Morzine is an authentic Alpine town in the popular Portes du Soleil ski area and it’s a haven for family ski breaks. Here you’ll find the Lil Stash kids snowboarding course which is set in a cool location in the heart of the forest and features a number of wonderful eco-friendly obstacles, a snow garden and gentle nursery slopes for smaller kids, and alternative activities like tobogganing, ice skating, and splashing around in the aquatic centre. L’Outa nursery cares capably for children aged 3 months to six years and Club Piou Piou from highly-rated ski school ESF provides skilled instruction for children aged three to 14 years old. There’s plenty to keep parents occupied in Morzine too, with awesome apres-ski in venues like Dixie Bar and L’Opera and superb skiing and snowboarding that’s probably best suited to intermediate and advanced winter sports fans.
La Rosière sits at a lofty altitude of 1850m in the San Bernardo ski area and it’s nicknamed ‘the balcony of the Tarentaise’ because of the spectacular views from its perch on a plateau above Bourg St Maurice. There’s a huge choice of kids activities on the menu here, from snowshoe hikes to ten-pin bowling and ice skating to husky dog sledding. Alternatively, for something a little more thrilling, the x-treme luge toboggan runs on a 700m rail track at speeds of up to 45km/h and snake gliss is fab fun and involves tying several sledges together in a huge ‘snake’ that then winds its way down the piste. There’s a high standard of childcare in La Rosière too, with half-day or full-day care for children from 18 months to 13 years at Les Galopins Kids Club which includes activities like snowman building and nature walks, with healthy hot meals available. Alternatively, Snow Little Child Care has a terrific team of CRB-checked and fully trained British nannies based in Bourg St Maurice who care for children on an hourly, daily, weekly and overnight basis.
Alpe d’Huez sits at the foot of the Pic Blanc at 1860m and has 250km of perfect on- and off-piste skiing that includes some of the longest pistes in the world, some of which extend to a mind-blowing 16km. There’s a massive range of delightful distractions here for kids of all ages, so there’s no way your children could ever be bored. Children over 8 years old can try indoor archery, swimming and football at the plush Palais de Sport, older children enjoy canoeing and kayaking in the Ecrins National Park, there are two cinemas showing English-speaking films, an ice skating rink in the centre of the resort hiring skates and a 400m zip wire at the XFly Centre, which also offers climbing activities and a giant airbag. There are ample nursery slopes and green runs here for novices and three snowparks, with the largest one beside the beginners runs accessible from the DMC 1st station being most suitable for children and beginners thanks to its gentle slopes and obstacles. There are several accredited childcare facilities and services in Alpe d’Huez which cater for kids as young as 6 months old, so you can enjoy a rare date night with your partner with complete peace of mind.
When you want a quick family break with a difference, booking a French ski weekend or short break with your kids is a terrific treat that they’ll never forget, and if the resorts we’ve highlighted don’t quite hit the mark, we have many more family-focused locations in our collection.
French ski weekend accommodation
The right type of ski accommodation for your short break will depend on your personal requirements and preferences. For instance if you’re travelling with kids in tow, accommodation with doorstep skiing is probably preferable, while solo skiers or couples might not mind residing somewhere with a regular shuttlebus connection to the slopes if other aspects of the accommodation are particularly attractive, such as a particularly scenic setting or an outstanding onsite spa and restaurant. Meanwhile, chalet-style accommodation combines iconic Alpine design with cosy interiors that have all the mod cons, ski apartments blend independent living with luxe amenities and a ski hotel is a great choice if having all your essentials under one roof is appealing.
Whatever your preference, Erna Low can help you secure the best deal for your budget. The next time you’re thinking of an alternative weekend break, a French ski weekend is an excellent alternative to a staycation, and we can channel all of our expertise into getting you to your resort of choice safely and securely ̶ while ensuring that you have an amazing time every second of your stay. With a proud heritage in Alpine Hospitality, we want to ensure that all of our customers feel as passionate about the mountains as we do ̶ whether you’re staying for three days or three weeks.