Adventures in Val Chisone and around

Adventures, observations,events and comments on life in an alpine valley in Italy from an English family living next door to the largest fortress in Europe. (Fenestrelle)
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Saturday, 20 December 2008

Making your pound go further on a winter holiday

With the pound reaching an all time low against the Euro it is becoming ever more expensive to go on a skiing holiday in Europe, especially in France and Austria. However there are places such as here in Italy that are just as easy to get to and your money will go at least 30% further than in France and a lot more in other resorts.
When you read in the press about places to ski you might as well pick up last years pages (or the year before) as you only read the same old stuff year in year out. The journalists just churn out the same stuff about the same places because it would reqiure far too much work to explore the real alternatives.
Better value for your pound is not the only advantage you get by coming to Italy. You get better food, superior wine and un- crowded ski slopes. Some of you may have been tainted by school trips to Italian resorts when you were younger. However time has moved on and the Italians have invested a lot of money in developing resorts that are more than a match of any other European piste with good lifts, no queues and good service.

Here for example at Sestriere we have over 400km of pistes, up to date ski lifts and world class compettition slopes. After all we did hold the 2006 Winter Olympics, 2008 and 2009 world cup events! The ski instructors are some of the best in Europe and most have a good grasp of English.

If the big resorts are not to your liking then there is always Pragelato with its mountain top pistes with lovely fresh natural snow or if downhill is not your scene then there is the reknowned cross country circuit offering over 30km of unspiolt natural trails whwhich weave through the Troncea Natural Park. Cross sountry has the advantages that it is very easy to learn the basics, costs very little and is not damaging to the environment. In fact it is one of the few ways to get into the mountains and see wildlife in its natural state.

For a weekend or short break Prali is a little gem! A real local resort but with some excellent pistes and some of the best scenery in the Alps.

If you are looking to buy ski gear then it also makes sense to do your shopping here. A great proportion of ski boots are made here in Italy and they will certainly cost less than in the UK. The same goes for designer ski suits and all the other paraphanalia.

All of these sites are only a short flight from the UK and then a short transfer (60 to 90 mins) from Turin or Cuneo airports. (Easyjet, Ryanair, BA and others)
Things may be tight as far as budgets go but you can be sure to make your money go further here than many other places.
This season the smart money is on Italy!

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