Snowboarding in Meribel France 2017
Snowboarding in Meribel
So I thought I would get a quick post out to you guys to tell you all about my recent trip Snowboarding in Meribel France.
Situated in the Three Valleys mountain range in France and regularly quoted to be one of the best snowboarding destinations around I have to admit this was top of the list for me when it came to our annual trip to the snow.
If you want to skip straight to the pics of the slopes they are at the bottom!
We have quite a varied crew one year there will be 5 another 12 people. There are lots of guys and girls and the lever of boarder varies from the beginners to some well-seasoned experienced boarders.
Each year I get involved relatively early and start seeking out deals for the coming January. Preparation starts around the end of October and I try to establish who is going, what the budget is likely to be, where we are hoping to go and then I start searching.
This year we had an idea of the destination so that made things a little easier and usually travel across the same dates.
The prep usually goes something like this…
1. Who is going
3. Who is really going!
Having covered points 1 & 2 it was time to look at point 3.
Who is really going?
It is funny how everybody is up for the trip when the initial discussions take place, enthusiasm and excitement is flowing as are ideas and team spirit.
When it comes to booking and spending some money (not everything has to be paid out right away) to book the essentials such as flights, accommodation etc you find out what you are actually working with so this is the time you find out who is really going!
You can book cheap flights and pay now then pay for luggage later, you can book the chalet with a deposit and pay the balance later, you can book the transfer or just pay deposit and you can pay for lift passes when you get there.
Now you know who is going and you can start booking!
Booking flights for our snowboarding trip to Meribel France
Flights are really important and the fastest ways to get to your ski destination, (although you can often get a ski bus) if you are booking flights for a number of people, you need to book early otherwise you may not all get the same flight or have to pay more to get the number of seats you need.
An added bonus is that if you can book them early you are likely to get the cheaper deals and let’s face it overpaying for flights can really put you off.
I always use skyscanner to search out flights and this year the best option for us was Ryan Air. They are not the ideal company but then the price was really low! Add to that price the luggage and ski carriage and the price bumps up a bit.
There are a few things to consider though as times have changed a little at Ryan Air.
Online check in must be completed up to 2 hours before the flight (to do this at the airport is €45), you can print off the boarding passes for the outgoing flight, (incoming check in can be done before you go at an additional cost), you can pick allocated seats (additional cost), you can pay for priority boarding, not worth it and don’t over pack as this can be costly!
We did not pay for allocated seats and all 6 of us sat together! (the other 3 guys wanted a later flight)
DOWNLOAD the Ryan Air APP!!!
I can’t recommend this enough as it reminds you about the flight, delays etc but it also allows you to check in and to obtain an e-copy of the boarding pass which can be scanned. Saves a lot of effort!
Booking our accommodation for Snowboarding in Meribel
I looked at loads of different options, some chalets are catered some not, some companies provide the total package, flights, transfers, accommodation and some will include lift passes.
Of course you don’t have to book a chalet, if you want to go with the other half and don’t really want to get social with others in a larger chalet you could always book a hotel. I find that people are less likely to chat in a hotel and am not so keen as i like to meet and connect with new people unless I travel with a group of friends.
This is where budget is important, not just your budget but the budget for each member of the group as they will all have different expectations.
It is generally cheaper to book a self-catered option but sometimes when you factor in all the little bits you spend there is not too much in it!
As you would expect there are advantages and disadvantages to to catered and self catered so have a think about these below before you decide.
Cost effective – generally it is expensive to eat out around the mountains
You can cook what you what when you want it
You can eat out and not have to worry about missing a meal
If you happen to end up in the pub there is no rush to get back
You have to cook
You have to clean up
You have to go shopping
You turn up and breakfast / dinner is ready for 6 of 7 nights
No shopping – no time wasted when you could be riding
No washing up
You get to speak to the hosts who have local knowledge and recommendations
You have set times for meals
You have a day in the week you have to fend for yourselves
As food etc is included you feel obliged to turn up
We went for the self-catered chalet and boy did we pick a great one!
Check out the photos below:
If you want to book one of the amazing chalets through much better adventures click here for £25 off.
I will certainly book with them again so go for it..the staff are friendly and helpful and the offer chalets for a decent price
In the past I have used Alpine Elements who I would also recommend if you wish to book the full package, they usually have decent deals if you are looking to book in Europe.
If you are in Australia or New Zealand in the winter time, check out our travel shop as we have deals on gear hire and accommodation etc.
N.B Not all of our products are available through the travel shop as there are so many, get in touch and we will see what other offers we may have for you if you do not find what you are looking for..
Booking our transfers to the chalet – Snowboarding in Meribel
Transfers are one of those things you need to book to get you from the airport to the slopes. Usually airports are 2-3 hours away as I guess the planes do not want to fly into a mountain.
There are so many companies offering transfers, coaches, private vehicles, helicopter, private car hire etc, often you can get a train or local bus if you want to wait, co-ordinate with your flight and wish to carry all your gear.
We always go for a private transfer if we have enough people or coach if it is included in the package.
Private transfers can be expensive and usually take up to 8 people, any more and you are looking at spending a lot.
The main advantage is that they meet you at the airport, take you directly to your accommodation. On return you know when you are getting collected, you don’t have to take all your gear to meet them and they go direct to the airport.
You can be sifting through transfer companies in google for ages, if you are boarding or Skiing in Europe check out the company I used; Alps2Alps they were decent, bottle of water at pick up, flexible if you need to stop and most importantly a really good price for a comfy ride to the chalet!
Snowboarding in Meribel – Lift Passes
Lift Passes are often one of the main expenses for you when you decide to hit the snow (other than the bar bill).
It is rare that you get a decent deal on a lift pass even as a group unless you are a tour operator. Our Chalet hosts once again came up trumps for us and managed to discount our lift passes, its not massive but all helps.
Our Meribel 3 Valleys lift pass came in at €279 which is a €15 discount per person saving the group €135.
(that was our shopping for a couple of days)
A quick bit About the hols..
You know what we had an awesome time, great friends, great chalet, great transfer, great food, great weather!
Hopefully the pics will do something for you..
The snow wasn’t as good as we had hoped for but then that’s down to mother nature!! I snowed a week or some before we went and is due to snow this weekend (nothing for 2 weeks). I am very pleased that I didn’t turn up a week later or we would be pushing it on the snow quality.
You can tell the guys in the 3 valleys know what they are doing, a local told us that the resort in Meribel had spend €2m to generate snow, this was in addition to the snow stores that the piste managers keep stockpiled to improve conditions when snow is fading.
In the most part slopes were very good considering, hard packed and in place icy with conditions changing through out the day.
All things considered you can not lose the romance provided by beautiful mountain ranges covered in snow even if it is a scattering.
If Meribel, Corchavel and Val Thoren was full of snow the options would have been endless in those valleys, there was a great variety of runs with options for all levels, there were parks, there were tree runs and lifts everywhere.
This destination will be added to my list again ready for another visit when the conditions are great. I have no doubt the 3 valleys it will redeem themselves as one of the go to resorts in Europe, let alone France!
Watch this space…
I hope you enjoy the pics.
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