There are numerous benefits to skiing in the spring: warmer weather, quieter slopes and discounted prices. However, with so many resorts to choose from in the Isère – approximately 23 – where to begin? Here are three suggestions to start…
Tomorrowland Winter Festival: Alpe d’Huez hosts countless winter-sports enthusiasts throughout the season. From 14 to 21 March 2020, the entire resort of Alpe d’Huez grand domaine ski will be taken over and transformed into the second edition of Tomorrowland Winter Festival, a festival and fantasy wonderland for 30,000 music lovers from around the world. Tomorrowland will be pulling out all the stops to offer guests the ultimate festival experience. There will be a variety of stages around the resort for shows during the day and a mainstage at the foot of the ski slopes for evening performances; non-skiers can access the slopes on elevators using their festival lift passes to watch top music acts such as Brohug, Wilkinson, Mike Williams and Robert Falcon. Accommodation for the festival is available across Alpe d’Huez grand domaine Ski in Auris-en-Oisans, Villard Reculas, Oz-en-Oisans and Vaujany. Festivalgoers staying in one of these surrounding villages can easily reach Alpe d’Huez and the festival with their lift pass. When the lifts close at seven each evening, free shuttle buses will bring them back to their accommodation until the evening shows end at two in the morning. www.alpeduez.com
Price: A week’s stay at the 3* Chalet des Neiges, Oz en Oisans costs from €756 for two sharing on self-catering board. This includes shuttles, ski pass and a regular Tomorrowland Winter festival ticket. To book: www.winterpackages.tomorrowland.com Return direct flights from London Gatwick to Grenoble cost from £64 pp with easyJet. www.bensbus.co.uk transfers from £40 pp? return.
Kids Stay Free: Another internationally renowned resort in Isère is Les 2 Alpes. As a Famille Plus resort there’s always lots going on for little ones including Junior Foliz at Easter, a whole week dedicated to children. There’s reading, crafts, Easter egg hunts, outdoor activities, shows and more. It’s just €8 for a day ticket and €20 for the week. Find out more at www.les2alpes.com Les 2 Alpes is one of the highest resorts in the world with an altitude from 1,600 m to 3,600 m. It boasts an excellent snow record, well above average sunshine conditions and an amazing 223 km of snow-sure ski slopes. Located at the end of the valley, not far from the village centre, the 3* Ibiza Hotel offers stylish décor with a modern twist. The extensive lifts can be reached by a short 15-minute walk or by the hotel’s own free-shuttle bus. The hotel has numerous perks for children too, including a cool games room kitted out with table tennis, pool and arcade machines, plus, for those who enjoy a healthy competition, there are board games a plenty in the hotel lounge; the hardest decision is choosing which one to play.
Price: A week’s stay during the Easter holidays 2020, costs from £513 per parent (£1,026 total) for a duplex suite, sleeping two adults and two children (up to the age of 18) with the Kids Go Free offer. Price includes a buffet breakfast every morning and a five-course dinner every evening. Return flights, transfers, ski hire, lift passes and other meals extra.
For more information: www.skifrance.co.uk
Free Lift Passes Discover Oz-en-Oisans, a traditional pedestrianised village nestled at an altitude of 1350m set amidst a pine forest. With direct gondola access to the Alpe d’Huez Grand Domain ski area, skiers have 250km of terrain to explore that is suited to all abilities with the extended ski area offering copious green, blue and red runs for beginners and intermediates. Advanced skiers seeking a challenge can attempt Le Tunnel run – ranked one of the hardest runs in the world – or the Sarenne, a 16km black run beginning at Pic Blanc, Alpe d’Huez’s highest peak. To enjoy the last turns of spring, Oz-en-Oisans will be offering free lift passes to young skiers between 14 – 19 April 2020. For each adult lift pass bought online, skiers aged between 5 to 22 years old receive the same lift pass for free. E.g 6 days Alpe d’Huez grand domaine skipass , 2 adults + 2 child = 495€ instead of 990€ www.oz-vaujany.com
Affordable Family Skiing in Chamrousse: For a low-key ski holiday, Chamrousse’s ski area has excellent skiing and stunning scenery for a family holiday. The ski resort is made up of two villages Chamrousse Recoin and Chamrousse Roche-Béranger (located at Chamrousse 1,750 m it is more suitable for family skiing). Skiers can pass from one area to another on the slopes. The resort also offers family friendly activities such as night skiing, dog sledding and tubing to name a few. Chamrousse boasts an efficient lift system which means there are rarely any queues and offers access to excellent pistes for beginners and intermediates, with a number of off-piste runs for the more advanced. At La Croix de Chamrousse (2,250 m), enjoy the 360° panorama: a magical view of all surrounding mountain ranges (Oisans, Vercors and Chartreuse) and of Grenoble and its valleys. From there, you can reach all parts of the resort. On Monday 13 April, a free Easter egg hunt will be starting at 10.30 am from the tourist office at Chamrousse 1650 for children aged 3-10 years old. Children ski free when parents buy a lift pass, 4 – 19 April 2020.
Price: A week’s stay at the 3* Les Villages du Bachat self catering apartments at Les Villages du Bachat, located very close to the slopes in Chamrousse 1700, costs from £163 pp for a two-bedroom apartment* including return Eurotunnel crossing with free FlexiPlus upgrade with Peak Retreats. (www.peakretreats.co.uk; 023 9283 9310). *Price based on 5 sharing a 2 bedroom Alcove apartment
Glacier to resort skiing: You can ski in Les 2 Alpes until Saturday 25 April. With milder temperatures, fewer people on the slopes, longer days, entertainment, events, attractive prices (up to 40% cheaper than in February) and sunshine – what is not to like? With great snow conditions, ski between the glacier (3600m) and the resort at 1600m. it is even possible to go mountain biking on the legendary snowy Venosc track from April 18. Prices start from 210 € pp in an apartment for four people and includes a six-day lift pass.www.les2alpes.com