For the next 10 days, I will be skiing in the Paradiski area in France so will be writing a few blog posts about the experience. From snow conditions, to favourite runs, ski hire to apres ski in the resorts – this series of posts should give an insight into where to visit and what to do in the Paradiski Ski Area.
Paradiski is a large ski area in the Tarentaise Valley in France. All areas are linked and consist of La Plagne, Les Arcs, Peisey- Vallandry and other smaller villages such as Les Coches and Montchavin.
There are a huge range of runs from beginner to super advanced, and early season snow makes it a perfect destination. Wide Blue runs with amazing views or scary steep drops – so much so that they have the infamous Redbull linecatcher off piste backcountry competition here this week (more on that later in the week).
There are also plenty of places to stop and eat drink en route, and plenty to do if you happen to be a non ski/board type.
There are so many options for lift passes in this area that it can get confusing, you can get 4 hour passes, half day passes, by from day to day, or book your 6/7/8 day pass. On top of this you have the whole Paradiski area to choose from, local access to La Plagne or Les Arcs resorts.
Up to date ski pass costs can be found on local sites but are approximately:
If you are lucky enough to be going skiing for more than 21 days, it is cheaper to get a season pass (6 Days €959 / €719.50). Also – your hotel or chalet may be able to get discount prices for bulk purchase.
Note: Most insurance companies only insure you for 17 days skiing per year – check your policy before you book any multi-trips.
I recently discovered the ski a la carte card for pay-as-you-go-skiing in 8 main ski areas in France (Les Arcs, Paradiski, Peisey-Vallandry, La Plagne, Tignes, Val D’isere, Grand Massif and Serre Chevalier).
The pass gives you an automatic 15% discount on day tickets and if you ski for more than 8 days you get a season bonus of skiing for €1 every 4th day.
There is no need to queue, you can visit any of the above resorts. The pass automatically records where and when you have skied and charges accordingly. If you have a day off due to fatigue or injury, you don’t pay. The added bonus is that you don’t get invoiced until the following month – handy for spreading holiday costs.
I only discovered the a la carte pass 4 days before I was due to travel, so I had the pass delivered to the chalet I was staying in and purchased an afternoon pass when I arrived. Alternatively, you can pick up your pass from a local office, but this may not be as local as you’d like, so book at least 10 days in advance to make sure you get yours, or have it delivered to your hotel/chalet.
€29 for the year (plus ski pass costs), with optional €19 for a year’s Carre Neige Insurance if you want to be fully covered (Carre Neige accident on the slope cover is approx. €2.80 a day and is offered with your usual ski pass)
If you think you are going to be going a lot, it may be worth thinking about buying your own gear as otherwise ski/snowboard hire costs can be expensive.
I own skis thanks to an end of season ex-rental sale on Grouse Mountain in Vancouver a few years back, and I did purchase my own boots for a good fit as in the past I always found ski hire boots to be uncomfortable.
Hiring for a week in Paradiski is not as expensive as some areas I have been to and for 6 days it costs approx:
Optional extra insurance for €13 covering breakage and theft.
You can hire your own gear from the UK before you arrive to pick up at the resort from providers like Ski Set or you can hire in the UK and bring it with you. Bearing in mind that cheap flight providers charge you per bag, stuff as many pairs of socks and t-shirts as you can into your ski bag – not only does it protect your stuff, it leaves room for the gifts in your normal luggage that you want to bring back!
If you are a regular you will probably have your own ski clothing, if you are a first timer, it’s all about comfort and warmth. As soon as you get here you will realise that no one really cares what they look like. I have had my gear for about 4 years, and I only replace it when it rips or stops keeping me warm!
So now you’ve got all the gear – it’s slope time…
All images and information for this guide were contributed by Jackie Hole, please contact her to seek permission for image re-use.
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