/ Skiing - Destination for family trip at Easter?

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Sam W - on 28 Dec 2016

Hi,

Hoping the UKC hive mind can offer some suggestions as to where we head for skiing this Easter. We're a family of 4, wife and I have skiied a lot (we actually met doing a season in Cham), kids are 4 and 6, happy but not proficient on skis. Criteria are:
- Must have snow at Easter
- Don't need a massive selection of lifts
- Easily accessible short touring options (adults only)
- Budget(ish). I know we're skiing and it's all relative, but warm, dry, basic self catering accommodation preferred to fully catered chalet.

I'm wondering about Scandinavia, free lift passes for kids would keep price down, but everything else might be expensive. Any other suggestions?
Post edited at 13:32
Trangia on 28 Dec 2016
In reply to Sam W:

I did a week in Yllas in Finland a few years ago. It ticks most of your boxes. So far as expense goes, you can keep the cost down by doing an all inclusive hotel/self catering chalet. Where the costs will build up is doing "extra" excursions which the reps will try and sell to you, and buying alcohol, but if you are middle aged and read this morning's papers you will no doubt be happy to cut that down if you drink Supermarkets are expensive.

The days are short and there is floodlit piste and x-country skiing. Lift passes are comparable to the Alps. X-country trails are free.

It can be VERY cold!
TobyA on 28 Dec 2016
In reply to Trangia:

At Easter the days can be rather long and the temperature rather nice in Ylläs or elsewhere in Finnish Lapland.
Trangia on 28 Dec 2016
In reply to TobyA:

Oh thanks. I was there in January when the days were very short and it was very cold. Good to know its not so bad at Easter.
TobyA on 28 Dec 2016
In reply to Trangia:

If I understand it right, spring equinox (March 21st) is when everywhere in the world has equal amounts of daylight/night as you are halfway from midwinter to midsummer. After that anywhere north of you (we're talking northern hemisphere) has a longer day than you, anywhere south, a shorter day. Easter obviously moves a bit, but I've been in Ylläs at Easter and remember it being long days (so maybe April), and have been further north than that in Lyngen at Easter and it really not getting dark until really quite late.

I'm sure they can still have really cold nights (in the south of Finland you could easily get -20 nights still in March, although by April much less likely), but the classic ski pictures from Easter up there are people sunbathing on terraces, but still full cover for snow. The year I was there we tried snow shoeing into a potential ice climb but were wallowing in deep snow even with massive snow shoes and basically ran out of water it was so hard and we were sweating so much! Would have done better on ski I reckon but anyway, should be lots of snow but pretty pleasant long days with shorter but still cold nights.
HeMa on 28 Dec 2016
In reply to Sam W:

While Levi, Ylläs and Pyhä are certainly more than good for lift served skiing, the touring is not that stellar (Pyhä being the best, Ylläs also has some good stuff and no real idea of Levi).

Swedish and Norwegian Resorts often offer better stuff for both.

Most Scandinavian resorts offer small chalets, where its all self catered. But hotels and alike are also available.

If skiing (touring, and lift served) is the main thing, perhaps you might wish to consider Riksgränsen in Swedish-Norwegian border. To reach Riksgränsen, you can either catch a flight to Kiruna (via Stockholm me thinks) and then hop on a train. Or Narvik-Eveness (via Oslo), then bus to Narvik and the train. Great off piste skiing from the lifts (and ok pistes), stellar touring as well, but not much else... Stellar skiing though, in fact often skied there around 1st of May.
Sam W - on 29 Dec 2016
In reply to Sam W:

Thanks for the suggestions, will check them all out. Good to hear that Easter should offer lots of light and possibly some warmth, not sure how the kids would cope if it was still -20C
TobyA on 29 Dec 2016
In reply to Sam W:

> Good to hear that Easter should offer lots of light and possibly some warmth, not sure how the kids would cope if it was still -20C

Yeah, younger kids aren't so good at the "management" you need to do to enjoy doing any sort of outdoorsy sport when its minus double figures, particular -20 or so. My mate took his kids to Ruka when it was very cold (Jan or Feb I think) and they had a great time but the kids would ski for an hour or so then go to warm up in the cafe, ski a bit more then do other things in the afternoon - there a leisure pool thingy there and that sort of stuff.
Sam W - on 29 Dec 2016
In reply to Sam W:

Do any of you have any experience of Geilo? It would work well for us as flights to Bergen are cheap, and I have a friend there we could stay with for a couple of nights either end of the trip. My major concern is whether the snow will still be good, it's low lying and not that far north.
HeMa on 29 Dec 2016
In reply to Sam W:

AFAIK Geilo is not that stellar for skiing, nor touring (Hurrungane is great, but a long drive for a day trip). Also Easter being a tad late in the season, perhaps not perfect snow. Doable I'm sure though.

Kvittfjell might also be an option, less touring though.
Sam W - on 29 Dec 2016
In reply to HeMa:

Thanks. Realistically we're going to be spending much more time on-piste than touring, and travel costs to the more northerly resorts are going to add several hundred pounds to the holiday, which might make the southern resorts winner for this trip.

If we can manage a week away without the kids sometime then Riksgränsen looks amazing.
David Rose - on 30 Dec 2016
In reply to Sam W:

Tignes. It has everything - including excellent English-speaking ski tuition.
AndrewHuddart - on 30 Dec 2016
In reply to Sam W:

We did Arabba in the Dollies a few years ago with two families: might work well.
Sam W - on 30 Dec 2016
In reply to Sam W:

Lift passes at the big French resorts are a killer, and with our kids we'll only end up using about 5 lifts. Any suggestions on smaller resorts that are high enough to be guaranteed snow at Easter?
AG - on 31 Dec 2016
In reply to Sam W:

Cervinia is good. Kids go free under 8. Snow sure with glacier and links to zermatt. I.ve been every easter for the last 4 years.
Sam W - on 07 Jan 2017
In reply to Sam W:

Thanks for all the suggestions. We've booked a place in Cervinia, would have loved to go to Scandinavia, but it was just going to be too expensive. Having checked out all the Scandi resorts now planning how I can have a trip without kids, the touring looks amazing!
Dave Kerr - on 07 Jan 2017
In reply to Sam W:

Cervinia has amazing OP, good touring and lots of lifts. Provided you get the weather it'll be great.
marsbar - on 08 Jan 2017
In reply to Sam W:

I know you've booked already, but if anyone else is reading this at a later date beginnners lifts are free in Tignes and there are lots of different ones.
johnhowell - on 08 Jan 2017
In reply to Sam W:
We have kids the same age and are going to Hemsedal this Easter (been there for the last 2 years, but that is partially because we are catching up with old friends from when we lived in Norway). Its similar to Geilo but a bit steeper. Either of these places could be ideal for what you want, easy to access, lots of touring potential, good downhill, english speaking ski schools, and a range of cabins from the relatively cheap to the v luxurious. Downsides are 1) Easter in Norway is a huge holiday, more important than Christmas and it can be very busy in the week before the Easter weekend. Secondly the snow can be a bit hit and miss at that time of year, might be great, might be almost all gone and just icy. It's hard to predict. You might also look at Åre, fly to Trondheim and then its just over the boarder in Sweden. There are also smaller resorts near Bergen, such as Myrkedalen which is quite high up and currently has tons of snow, which might be suitable for what you want. You could also look at Beitestolen, Jamie Simpson who is on UKC lives there now and could give you some advice.
Post edited at 09:28
Jim Walton on 08 Jan 2017
In reply to Sam W:

La Rosiere in France is really really Family Friendly. We took our kids there (7 & 3) for their first ski trip last year. Really good, lots and Greens and Blues but with enough Reds to keep parents happy.

We went with a company called Ski Esprit - I couldn't recomend them enough. They were brilliant. Our Chalet was within 20m of the first lift

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