Ski season starts early

Snow is falling all over the Alps. Almost half a metre has fallen in the last few days, and it hasn’t stopped yet. Some resorts are opening early, and others are coming under pressure to follow suit. Your Christmas or New Year ski trip might only be a few weeks away, but it seems a shame not to go and make the most of what looks like the best early season snow we have seen for years. Next weekend sees the official opening of two of the finest resorts Europe has to offer:

Val d’Isere

Regarded by many as the greatest ski resort in the world, Val d’Isere blends traditional Savoyarde architecture with an awe-inspiring setting. The vast expanse of L’Espace Killy, comprising Val d’Isere and neighbouring Tignes, is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful ski domains in the world. Most of the skiing is at 2,300m and above, and the resort enjoys an unrivalled snow record.

Val d’Isere

Apres ski begins before you have even made it off the mountain, with live music at the Folie Douce. If fine dining is your thing, Val d’Isere is full of gastronomic delights. In town there are bars, pubs and clubs which stay open until the early hours. Luxury spas and luxury retail opportunities are in abundance for those who prefer more genteel activities.

The resort will open next weekend, and the celebration of a new winter season will begin. The resort enjoys a long season and will remain open until 4th May 2014. The annual ski and snowboard equipment tests will be taking place, giving you an ideal opportunity to try out some new gear. With the snow looking so good, it could be the perfect time to book a guide and explore the Espace Killy while it is still relatively quiet. Whatever you choose to do, you are sure to find a unique party atmosphere as everyone shares the joy of their first tracks of the season.

Ischgl

The Tirolean resort of Ischgl was one of the first to introduce concerts and music festivals. The now legendary Top Of The Mountain season opening concert, will take place on Saturday 30th November 2013 in the village centre, and this year features Canadian rock band Nickelback. There is a happy, positive vibe in Ischgl, and watching bands play live in an intimate outdoor arena, with the stars twinkling and the snow falling, is a unique experience which cannot fail to please.

Ischgl

Ischgl has a reputation for being a party town, but the 230km of skiing is incredible too. With it’s five-month long ski season of guaranteed snow, due to its ideal location high in the Silvretta mountains, Ischgl will be open from 28th November 2013 to 4th May 2014. Don’t miss the magnificent run through endless miles of beautiful snow, into the duty free Swiss resort of Samnaun.

The already ultra fast and efficient lift system in Ischgl has been further enhanced this season by the addition of a new £15.6m cable car, which will open up an endless area of free ride skiing, in virtually untouched deep snow. In the past these powder fields were accessed only by the most dedicated skiers and boarders who were towed up by snowcat.

There are numerous luxury hotels in Ischgl, and a multitude of apres ski bars and clubs where Austrian-style fun is very much the order of the day.

Apres ski in both Val d’Isere and Ischgl is taken very seriously, and is certainly not for the faint hearted, but don’t worry because if you visit next weekend, you will still have plenty of time to recover before Christmas.

Ceri Tinley is the Co-Founder and MD of Consensio Holidays.

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