Today’s post is a travel piece, focusing on European resorts in Voss, Norway, Val Thorens, France and Via Lattea, Italy. Many thanks to Thomsen, a U.K. based travel company, for preparing the information.
Yes, summer is almost here. But that doesn’t mean you can’t keep dreaming about (and planning for) winter!
Skiing in Europe is all about laid back mornings, long gourmet lunches and après ski with loved ones. It also has other perks.
European mountains like the Alps have greater vertical drops and are bigger than resorts in many other countries. Many new European ski resorts also have wide groomed cruisers and high quality skiing schools to help beginners take up the sport. Intermediate and advanced skiers can benefit from tour guides to show them the best spots to explore.
And then, there’s the lodging. It took me a while to figure this out (especially because I’ve never skied in Europe), but many ski hotels in Europe have their own rental shops, ski schools and ski trails that connect into the larger area ski circuits.
If you’re thinking of a European ski holiday for 2013-2014, now is the time make plans. And with some planning, you’ll find that European ski hotels are offering plenty of cheap holidays in 2013.
The Myrkdalen Hotel in Voss, Norway
Whether you come to Voss to ski, or enjoy live music in the summer, the Myrkdalen Hotel is an excellent choice for lodging. The Hotel has 122 rooms that vary from earthy tones in designer suites with fur pillows to family friendly rooms with pull out sofas and bunk beds.
First and foremost a ski lodge, guests enjoy the black and white photos recalling skiing’s glamorous early days. The hotel is located close to Voss’ 15 slopes. The hotel also has a ski school and a number of cross-country trails. The UNESCO recognized fjords of Naeroyfjord and Sognefjord are found nearby and are a perfect place to visit when you take a breather from the slopes.
Skiing in Voss, Norway is fun. Crowds are few and there is extensive terrain for beginner through advanced skiers. With 55 kilometers of slopes and a large number of cross-country ski trails, both Alpine and Nordic skiers will be happy.
Annual cultural events include the annual Vossa Jazz event and an Extreme Jazz concert held one week before Easter.
In June, you’ll find Ekstremportveko. This is the biggest music and extreme sports festival of its kind. Then there is the Balkan Party at Voss, offering lots of Balkan music and cultural activities over a weekend.
The Altapura: Val Thorens, France
The Altapura resort in Val Thorens, France, is the highest five-star resort in Europe. Located at 7,545 feet above sea level, the resort centers around a warm indoor-outdoor pool, which is a favorite spot for après-ski. Located adjacent to the massive Les Trois Vallees resort, the Altapura looks out onto some of the more than 372 miles of ski trail across six glaciers in the French Alps.
Inside the hotel, Scandinavian style interiors are accented by huge snowflake cutouts and interiors of white faux fur and light colored woods. The rooms are spacious and feel even more so with the incredible views.
Val Thorens is set in a huge ski bowl that runs out in all directions as long as there are good snow conditions. Skiers can enjoy the massive three valleys circuit and ski down the gorge into the beautiful La Masse area and Les Menuires. These trails also provide access to nearby Meribel and Courchevel.
Rooms at The Altapura start at $300 and visitors can prebook ski rentals. As for cultural activities, one of the most popular is cooking lessons with Jean Sulpice, a talented young chef. Cuisine Gastronomique is held every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. while the Buffet Brunch Supper is held every Wednesday from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
As for culture, every Thursday at 8:30 p.m. the hotel hosts piano recitals, orchestral music or jazz ensembles. Visitors who want to explore local history should take the Chemins du Baroque tour with Savoyard Baroque Heritage. Guided visits to the Saint Martin village church and the Notre Dame de la Vie Sanctuary are offered every Wednesday.
Pragelato Vialattea: Via Lattea, Italy
Located in the Piedmont region in Italy, Pragelato Vialettea is a new Club Med Resort at an altitude of 5,250 feet. Built in the chalet-style, this resort will give you a warm and friendly welcome amidst the genuine Italian Dolce Vita surroundings. Accommodations available include club rooms, deluxe rooms and suites.
Via Lattea is the second largest ski circuit in Europe. The Via Lattea area has almost 250 miles of ski slopes for all levels. Skiers will enjoy this resort for its combination of alpine and nordic trails and connections to the larger ski circuit. Pragelato Vialettea also has a ski school and guide service.
Activities at this ski resort include snowboarding, cross-country skiing, nordic walking and snowshoe hiking. For non-skiers, there are activities such as snow scooting, ice skating, dog sledding, horse riding and mountain paragliding.
Many thanks to Thomsen, a travel company in the U.K. for providing extensive information and photos for this post.
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