5 Reasons For A Ski Trip To Europe!

The glitz, glamour and après ski of the Alps is calling. And some of the great ski destinations of the world are calling – Austria, Switzerland, Italy, France, and more.Rossütte mit Blick auf Seefeld- copyright Olympiaregion SeefeldOlympiaregion Seefeld

A European Ski Vacation is as much about experiencing culture, history and alpine scenery as it is about skiing. The full European alpine experience is hard to beat – après ski thermal baths to soothe sore muscles; Italian cappuccino in Italy (after skiing in from Switzerland); drinking beer in Munich after a day of skiing on nearby mountains. A European ski vacation offers a unique experience on another continent with different cultures —and world class skiing!

Here’s 5 points to ponder if you are thinking it’s time for a ski trip to Europe:

  1. Why Europe?

Why not? If you haven’t been to Europe, you have to go (ski season or any season). Almost everything is different – language, cuisine, money, electrical outlets, time zone. And now add the ski specific differences in Europe – over 4,000 ski areas; huge terrain; great snow; incredible lift systems and super long top-to-bottom runs.

SkiEurope- St. Moritz- engadin-1068784_960_720

  1. When To Go?

Generally speaking, most mountains in Europe open at the end of November and close mid to late April, with a few exceptions.

January tends to hold the best deals for European ski resorts and is less busy than peak holiday times. Most resorts are quiet and more peaceful. Fewer skiers on the slopes means that there are of course shorter lift lines! Prices can be almost double at peak times such as Christmas and New Year, and during the school holidays of Christmas, Easter, and particularly February Reading Week.

If you are going on your skiing holiday during late March-April (with longer and sunnier days), you’ll greatly reduce the risk of poor skiing conditions by skiing at a resort with a higher altitude. Val Thorens, France; Zermatt, Switzerland; Livigno, Italy all fit the bill. As a glacier, Zugspitze is skiable from early autumn until late spring, the highest (2,100m) and most snow-sure mountain in Bavaria, and just 90km from Munich.

SkiEurope- val-disere_main

  1. Where To Stay?

Choices for accommodation range from traditional Alpine chalets and guestrooms in charming historic hotels to fully equipped apartments. Deluxe and moderate accommodations are available at most ski resorts in Europe. Austria and Italy are known in particular for their great value. If you’re after luxury, there’s no shortage of first-class transportation, five-star boutique hotels and world-class experiences! A few top Europe luxury ski resorts include Courchevel, France; St. Moritz, Switzerland and Cortina,Italy.

Modern ski resorts, (purpose-built ski resorts) are of course perfect for skiers and boarders. Purpose-built ski resorts are situated at higher elevations and have consistent snow conditions. They offer ski in, ski out and true slope side lodging. Think Val D’isère, and Les Trois Vallées, France.

Historic Alpine villages provide both true alpine ambiance and the quintessential Europe experience with skiing. Walk cobblestone streets; eat traditional local cuisine and stay in centuries old chalets. The nearby slopes are typically a short shuttle, train or cable-car ride away. Think Zermatt, Switzerland; Chamonix, France; and St. Anton, Austria.

  1. What To Do? (When You Are Not Skiing)

Many European resorts offer spas, boutiques, bars, restaurants and other off-mountain activities. Resorts near major cities offer city shopping, dining and sightseeing—perfect for a day away from the slopes. For example, skiers in Seefeld, Austria can take a quick 20 minute train ride down the mountain to Innsbruck. Or do it in reverse- stay in the city and travel to the slopes. Munich can be a perfect springboard to the nearby mountains of Garmisch-Partenkirchen. Nearby Wallberg or Alpspitze are great options too. You can ride all day, and then enjoy the city of Munich by night.

SkiEurope- munich2

  1. Ski Terrain, Passes and Guides

Europe is home to thousands of miles of groomed and off-piste terrain, and several resorts are interconnected by lifts and trails. A multi-resort ski pass like the Dolomiti Superski Pass offers 700 miles of Italian Alpine terrain spread over a dozen resorts. The world’s largest ski area, Les Trois Vallees in France, includes Meribel, Courchevel, Val Thorens and 5 more resorts. The Milky Way Ski Area straddles France and Italy and offers the opportunity to ski across actual country borders (and have a croissant in France or espresso in Italy).

A local ski guide is also worth your consideration. An experienced local can take you through little known ski terrain and has the inside scoop on lunch spots for locals and après parties. A ski guide in Europe packs a ton of value and can go for as little as 250 euros per day.

And at the end of your European ski holiday, you can still have more Europe! Add on a trip extension to an iconic city like Paris, Berlin and Rome, rich in history and culture. Europe anyone?

Advertisements

Top 3 Routes to Suit Every Biker’s Needs

image 1 (3)

Whether you have recently retired and decided to live out your childhood dream, or you’ve always wanted to go on a longer adventure but never had the time – the biker culture can win the hearts and minds of everyone. However, it’s not enough to simply own a bike – much of your experience as a biker will come from the routes you take and the way you perceive them. But how do you know which ones to take?

image 2

The slow and classic

Some people ride their bikes to clear their mind and think through whatever issues they have at that moment. For those kinds of people, the long Route 66, the mother of all roads, is a perfect choice. The long straight road will leave you plenty of time and space to relax and enjoy the ride. Stop by the local diners and talk to the locals about the place, or take a moment to enjoy the feeling of timelessness and tranquility that comes with this open road. It’s a great road for traveling alone or in good company, just make sure not to rush through it without taking it all in.

image 3 (1)

The scenic
However, if you are looking for something more soothing for the eyes, with a picture-perfect view around every corner, then why not hit the Transalpine road? It’s not as peaceful, since there are plenty of 180-degree turns at every corner, but the sights are breathtaking and you will find yourself lost in its wonders. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to experience the magnificent Stelvio for a bit of a challenge, and enjoy the fresh mountain air. Stretching through the mountains from France to Italy, it’s a great road for riders who want a bit of thrill, while still having enough time to enjoy the beauty of the scenery around them.

image 4

The adrenalin-packed
Lastly, if you are someone who likes to go on paths that pack your body full of adrenaline and get all of your senses involved in every turn, then you might want to check out the German Nordschleife, nicknamed the green hell by the F1 racer Jackie Stewart. It’s known to be one of the trickiest and most demanding race circuits in the world, so if you want an adventure – look no further. It was built around the historic castle of Nurburg. It stretches 12.8 miles and it has over 1000 feet of elevation range. If you start feeling lightheaded, you might want to take a break, because this ride will definitely get you feeling all kinds of dizzy.

Rules for every biker

While on the road, your bike is your lifeline, so you must make sure that everything is in top shape before setting off. Also, make sure you are well stocked on everything else: off road riding gear, water, essential spare parts, and anything else you might need for your trip because you never know when you are going to need it. If you are traveling in a group, you might not have to double up, so make a plan about who should be bringing what. Having a safe bike and all the essential items is crucial to having a safe and memorable journey.

image 5

There truly is nothing like an open road and the feeling of freedom it evokes. There is always something new to see around the corner, and it doesn’t get much better than experiencing it all on your bike. No matter which route (or routes) you choose, there is no ranking and there is no competition. Pick the one that interests you the most and you can be sure that the trip will be forever remembered and the road forever marked by your tires.

 

*** WIN a full one-year membership of the GPSmyCity app with access to ALL the GPSmyCity content – over 6,500 self-guided city walks and travel articles worth over $7,000!!! You are automatically entered yo won this great prize – simply subscribe to Mark’s Travel Journal and you’ll receive all new blog posts AND you may win the GPSmyCity membership!

 

Auto Europe Road Trip Giveaway

Win a 7 Night Italian Road Trip Escape, valued at over $3,200! One lucky winner will receive 7 nights of accommodation at three prestigious Italian resorts, a food tour in one of Italy’s gastronomy capitals, travel accessories as well as expertly written Italian travel guides. Experience the Italian Road Trip Escape of your dreams! Contest ends at 11:59pm on Sat, Aug 6th, 2016.

Click the image below to enter –

Italian-Road-Trip-Escape-Landing[1] (1)

What You’ll Win … Your 7 Night Italian Road Trip Escape Includes:

Auto Europe $250 Towards a Car Rental from Auto Europe

Now is your chance to take the ultimate #EuropeanRoadTrip! Auto Europe is offering $250 toward a car rental in Italy to be used within 12 months. Experience the convenience and flexibility of renting a car while exploring Italy. Renting a car lets you create an experience unique to you. Travel where you want, when you want: with the freedom of a car rental. Learn more about Auto Europe.

Cenobio dei Dogi 3 Night Stay at the Magnificent Hotel Cenobio dei Dogi

Enjoy 3 nights at the stunning Hotel Cenobio dei Dogi overlooking the magnificent Camogli Gulf just south of Genoa. The hotel boasts 3 restaurants, a terrace with panoramic views, access to a private beach, outdoor saltwater pool and much more. View their accommodations.

Eating Italy Food Tours Food Tour for Two in Rome or Florence

Take a break from being a tourist with a guided food tour of Rome or Florence! Each tour stops at several restaurants, cafes and specialty food shop so you can taste the absolute best food that the city has to offer. Learn more about Eating Italy Tours.

Palazzo Manfredi 2 Night Stay at the Stunning Palazzo Manfredi

This stunning 17th century palace is located in the heart of Rome and boasts spectacular views of the Coliseum, the Forum, and the Domus Aurea. The hotel is situated along the magnificent via dei Fori Imperiali, a 10 minute walk to some of the city’s most important monuments & landmarks. View their accommodations.

Rick Steves Italian Escape Package from Rick Steves

Explore Italy like an expert with guide materials from the legendary Rick Steves. One lucky winner will receive signed copies of Rick Steves’ “Best of Italy” & “Italian: Phrase Book & Dictionary” along with a Ravenna Rolling suitcase. Learn more about Rick Steves.

Masseria il Frantoio 2 Night Stay at the Charming Masseria il Frantoio

Since 1500 Masseria il Frantoio has been a country farm. Today it is one of the most charming Ostuni hotels and a working farm immersed in a timeless atmosphere where culture and tradition intertwine and merge with research and modernity. View their accommodations.

VinneBag VinniBags: versatile travel bag for liquids & fragile items

Protect your favorite Italian wine or olive oil on the journey home with a Vinnibag, an eco-friendly travel essential that suspends & immobilizes contents in liquid-tight, air cushion inflation chambers. Learn more about VinniBags.