6 Easter ski deals for 2018
Great snow cover and the early Easter weekend means we’re set for a truly superb spring on the slopes. Too late to book that big trip without busting the budget (or settling for a second-rate resort)? Families dreaming of a last-minute dash to the pistes shouldn’t despair: there’s still a good selection of bargain Easter ski deals to be had. And if you make a break for the higher altitude resorts, you’re guaranteed good snow and some really great runs in the sun.
Late-season skiing is a win for families. There are usually good deals at this time of year, compared to the eye-watering costs of a holiday in the February half-term. And you can desperately frigid temperatures, too — come late March/April, things have well and truly warmed up, so there’s no need to mummify your small fry in layers of expensive kit. The only thing you’ll need layers of, however, is sunscreen.
- Les Arcs
- Val d’Isère
- Serre Chevalier
Smack in the middle of the vast ski-linked Three Valleys area, the pretty, low-key, historic resort of Méribel has access to an immense amount of piste. Experienced skiers won’t want for challenging runs in these resorts, while newbies and kids can test Méribel’s slopes, which host some of the best ski schools in the Alps. Dedicated family/beginner’s areas include the lovely tree-lined Altiport green run, and Yeti Park at Mottaret. The Méribel also does an impressive line in affordable places to eat, and great-value, high-end catered chalets, where families can make themselves right at home.
THE DEAL: Departing 9 April, seven nights from £924pp, staying at the ski in/ski out Refuge Boua, complete with a hot tub and five bedrooms, including chalet board, return flights from Gatwick and transfers. Kit fitting and hire can be arranged in-chalet. vip-chalets.com
Set at 5,900ft on a slope high above the town of Morzine, this car-free resort in the Portes du Soleil area of France has long been a big hit with families who come for its ski-in/ski-out accommodation, a varied choice of snow-sure slopes, and some 400 miles of pistes on the doorstep. There isn’t an abundance of hotels and restaurants; catered and self-catering lodgings reign here, which is boon to bargain-seeking families. A horse-drawn sleigh ride is a must, at least once, to get around town.
THE DEAL: Departing 7 April, a seven-night, self-catered stay at Residence Atria-Crozats, which sleeps up to five people, costs a total of £742, apartment-only. One of three ski-in ski-out residences, the apartment has access to a sauna and kids’ clubs. pierreetvacances.co.uk
Few would argue that Les Arcs has both great skiing and great snow. Whether or not it’s one of the Alps’ best sites depends on which part of this multi-level resort you choose to base yourself in. The lower runs with their predominantly west-facing slopes can suffer from slush in warmer weather. Les Arcs 1950, meanwhile, is set in a sheltered bowl with more north-facing runs making it one of the most reliable snow areas in the French Alps. Get up to Arc 2000 and you’re on a par with neighbouring Tignes, one of the highest resorts in the Alps. Family-friendly apartments abound here, often ski-in/out, and car-free Arcs 1950 has slope access to the vast Paradiski area, several ski schools, kids’ clubs and chalets with swimming pools.
THE DEAL: Departing 1 April, seven nights costs £3,049 for a family of six (two adults and four children) includes chalet-board, return flights from Birmingham, Bristol, Manchester, Stansted, East Midlands or Edinburgh to Geneva or Chambéry, and transfers. espritski.com
Easter skiing in low altitude Eastern Europe? Jasná Nízke Tatry in Slovakia is considered one of Eastern Europe’s most reliable late season ski resorts, thanks to the good amount of snow usually accumulating in the Tatras Mountains. The resort’s main runs have snowmaking facilities from peak to base, and significant recent investment in the lift system makes Jasná a breeze to get around. Set northeast of the Alps, winters here are long with fresh snow not unusual right up until the end of April. Jasná’s pretty, tree-lined slopes are ideal for beginners and intermediates, and its nursery slopes remain open at night.
THE DEAL: Departing up to 31 March, one week costs £498pp, including B&B accommodation in a family room (sleeps four) at the new Dragon’s Lair chalet, lift passes, ski hire, daily lift transfers (eight minutes), airport transfers (to Poprad–Tatry Airport, 40 minutes’ drive away), and an Easter egg hunt for the kids. jasnaadventures.co.uk
This is a firm French favourite and for good reason. Val d’Isère has access to nearly 200 miles of pistes including a much-loved beginner’s area. Thanks to north-facing slopes, and heights of more than 11,000ft at La Grande Motte glacier, this is spot to enjoy a lovely long season. Lifts up to the newly revamped Solaise area come with heated seats and wi-fi, where families can find refined shelter at the new American-style day lodge and picnic zone. There are ‘ski tranquille’ areas for beginners/intermediates, too, making this the place for families who don’t want to have a face-off with the notorious La Face black run.
THE DEAL: Departing 7 April, a week’s stay at the four-star Alpina Lodge in the centre of town (just over 1,600ft from the slopes), costs from £141pp including accommodation in a one-bedroom apartment (sleeping four). skifrance.co.uk
This southern French resort isn’t the most obvious contender for a late-season Easter ski deal. But this year (at the time of writing), with 110cms of snow on the lower slopes and 370cms on the upper, with more forecast, this lovely family-friendly resort is seeing superb conditions. And Serre Chevalier is one of only three French resorts served by Action Outdoors, whose superb-value Family Ski Weeks are based at slope-side youth hostels where bed, board, ski lessons for all abilities, kit and pass is all included.
THE DEAL: Departing 7 April, a week costs £537pp, including full-board accommodation in the UCPA Centre (family room), a six-day ski pass, equipment hire, 12 hours of ski instruction, and evening entertainment. The Serre Chevalier hostel has ski-in-ski-out facilities and, if the weather is warm enough, an outdoor pool. Affordable coach transport from the UK can be arranged; the nearest airports are Grenoble and Turin.
NB – School holidays are assumed as being 24 March – 15 April. Prices quoted are accurate at time of publication (27 March 2018). “Chalet board” usually refers to a cooked breakfast, afternoon tea, and a three-course evening meal on six nights, sometimes with select beer/wine included.