The annual school skiing trip is a great way for students to bond, travel, expand their horizons and have fun away from the classroom. Action-packed, inspirational and a great learning experience, school ski trips are adored by students and teachers alike.
But before packing your bags and booking a flight, there’s a big question that needs to be answered. Where to go? With the two most popular destinations being France and Italy, we’ll examine the most popular resorts in each country and see where you should go on your school skiing trip.
For many students, a school ski trip may well be the first time they’ll be travelling abroad without their parents. For teachers, being in the guardianship of a large group of students is an important responsibility. The travel arrangements must be executed seamlessly – and to all budgetary constraints.
Alpe d’Huez – France
A mountain pasture in the Central French Alps, Alpe d’Huez has excellent transport links to and from French and Swiss airports. Flying into Lyon or Geneva airport, a coach to the resort takes between one and two and a half hours.
Bormio – Italy
Both Milan and Bergamo airports have routine connecting flights to Bormio. If you opt for coach travel, Bormio is approximately 16 hours from Calais, depending on traffic.
"Fortunately, both France and Italy offer affordable group accommodation, ideal for schools."
After having arrived safely, it’s important that students and teachers have somewhere nice and warm to retire to. Fortunately, both France and Italy offer affordable group accommodation, ideal for schools.
Les Arcs – France
With a great mixture of accommodation, Les Arcs offers all the shelter from the snowy nights that students need. Set in the heart of Les Arcs, the Arc 1800 ski resort features contemporary apartment blocks surrounded by local amenities, such as shops and restaurants.
Milky Way – Italy
The Milky Way features accommodation tailor-made for groups and students. Guests in the resort of Sestriere can choose to stay in apartments that were purpose-built to house guests during the 2006 Winter Olympics. With plenty of local amenities, including authentic Italian restaurants, Sestriere is also very good value.
Choosing the right time of year for any school ski trips is paramount. If you elect to travel to France or Italy at the height of the spring you may find some resorts lacking fresh snowfall or many après ski activities. For your students to fully immerse themselves in the experience you’ll need to choose the season carefully.
Val Thorens – France
As the highest skiing village in Europe, Val Thorens enjoys snowfall all year round. The most popular resort, Rond Point des Pistes lies in breathtakingly natural beauty and accommodates schools from across the UK and beyond, giving children a great opportunity to make friends on the piste, no matter the time of year.
Folgaria – Italy
Located in the Trentino Dolomites, Folgaria is a peaceful village location, ideal for large groups. The resort isn’t quite high enough for year-round snowfall, but it creates an exquisite atmosphere with artificial snow-making facilities that provide snow cover for more the 50 kms of runs. No matter the season, you’re sure to be greeting with excellent skiing conditions.
"Described as a hidden gem, Serre Chevalier is one of the most-frequented ski resorts in France, despite welcoming skiers for just two decades."
Both France and Italy are rich with ski resorts with runs to cater to novice and experienced school ski trips participants. However, for your students to appreciate all the time and effort that’s gone into the trip, it’s important that they feel safe, confident and enthused when on the slopes.
Serre Chevalier – France
Described as a hidden gem, Serre Chevalier is one of the most-frequented ski resorts in France, despite welcoming skiers for just two decades. With its wide flat spaces, Villeneuve, located within Serre Chevalier, is the ideal place to head with first-time skiing enthusiasts. As students gain confidence, they can graduate to the Aravet – which is renowned for being one of the most enjoyable beginner runs on the Alps!
Tignes – France
As a resort comprised of five separate villages, Tignes rises to an altitude of well over 3000 metres above sea level. This means that deep, powdery snow await all that visit the resort. Tignes is ideal for school ski trips for those with years of experience gliding down the mountainside.
Passo Tonale – Italy
Nestled between Lombardy and Trentino, Passo Tonale caters well to novices. ‘The Kindergarten’, a completely fenced-off area, allows students to practice, learn at their own pace, and grow in confidence.
Aprica – Italy
This small, quiet resort is idea for schools. With around 50kms of runs, the longest being over 6kms, Aprica benefits from a consistent snowfall all year round. The resort has 7 blue runs, so seasoned skiers will surely get the most from their trip.
With both France and Italy offering incredible school ski trips across a range of resorts, it’s hard to pick a winner. It really boils down to budget and priorities. But, rest assured, no matter where you choose, the students are bound to have an experience they’ll never forget!
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