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A Christmas Ski Holiday for Young Travellers

By: Sarah Manners, Mon Jan 30th, 2006

Have you always dreamt of a white Christmas but thought skiing in Europe was only for investment bankers, movie stars and royalty? Many youth travel specialists offer great skiing package that will allow independent travellers to join the jet set and experience the magic of Christmas in the Austrian Alps.

White Christmas

The 7 night Ski Hopfgarten Xmas package, which departs from London on the 23 December, costs R3 280 per person on a B&B basis. In addition you need to add on your ski pass (R1 350) and equipment hire (from R375). If you are a beginner, then ski or snowboarding lessons are strongly recommended, and these cost from R750. Anybody purchasing a ski package will also receive the following discount options from Snowscape: 10% discount on shop purchases, 15% on clothing hire, first lesson free and 20% on extra lessons booked. Add in your flights to London from R3825 (ex Jhb, student and youth fare excl airport taxes) and you are looking at around R9000 for your most memorable Xmas ever!

On the Slopes

The idyllic Austrian village of Hopfgarten lies at the foot of the Hohe Salve Mountain, which rises to a peak of 1829m. It is everything you'd expect a ski resort in the heart of the Austrian Tyrol to be: traditional fairy-tale wooden chalets cluster around a twin-turreted church, snow-laden fir trees nestle beneath the impressive Austrian Alps.

Youth travel specialists have been taking skiers to Hopfgarten for over 20 years and now with a large investment by the Ski Welt region, Hopfgarten and its neighbouring villages are part of one of the largest network of artificial snow making machines in Europe - ensuring the best possible snow conditions over all 250km of piste.

Hopfgarten is great for all levels of skiers and snowboarders and the friendly and informal atmosphere of the village makes it the perfect destination for young travellers. In addition, if racing down a mountain is not enough to get your adrenaline pumping then you can try some of the optional excursions on offer which include tobogganing, sleigh rides, tandem paragliding or ice skating on a frozen alpine lake. And after an energetic day on the slopes the fun really starts with the town's infamous nightlife offerings.

About the author: STA Travel is the world's largest travel company catering specifically to the needs of students and young people. STA and Contiki Holidays are offering a 7 night ski package to South African travellers this Christmas.




Trip Advisor Reviews

-- Traveler Reviews & Opinions

(Click to see review that you are interested in..)


Review of Hotel Baren,

Wilderswil, Switzerland

 Great traditional swiss hotel
... it and returned for a winter holiday with ... may prefer the high moutain resorts with runs back to the resorts although all the major ski resorts are easlily accessed via a short ...


Review of Town and Country Motor Inn,

Shelburne, New Hampshire

 Not too bad, good value.
... many attractions both summer and winter with ski resorts, golf hiking ... stay here for 10 days, ski a different ... The wait times here make ski lines or Disney World lines look like ...


Review of Antons on the Lake Country Inn,

Warwick, New York

 Antons is quality with a capital Q
... will be back during the winter to take advantage of the close location to the ski resorts in the area. My favorite part of the getaway was the bonfire that Matt the ...


Review of Grand Summit Resort Hotel at Mount Snow,

Mount Snow, Vermont

 NOT the best of Vermont
... spent lots of time at ski resorts, winter and summer. ... restaurants. Mid and Northern Vermont resorts present a much more European feel. You may pay a bit more, but you will be ...


Review of Falls Creek Ski Lifts,

Falls Creek, Victoria, Australia

 Some good, some bad
... Creek is apparently a favorite ski spot for Australians, but it does not nearly compare with big resorts I've visited ... courses). Staff working at the ski lifts are not helpful, so beginners ...


Review of Oasis Beach Hotel,

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

 excellent value
... at one of the entrances, Ski Dubai is ... frankly I have stayed in lesser 5 star resorts. I would go back but perhaps during our winter when the weather is less oppressive.


Review of Golden Arrow Hotel,

Lake Placid, New York

 The Best place to stay
... some small town motels and resorts, but of ... Adirondacks shines, than in the winter when it transforms into the winter sports capital of the NorthEast with Skiing/Snowboarding, snowmobiling, skating, bobsledding, ski ...


Review of Point Au Roche Lodge,

Plattsburgh, New York

 Wonderful B&B
... away from Montreal and local ski resorts and very ... been too busy to start. I can't wait to return in the winter for some skiing and a chance to use the fireplace


Review of Oak n' Spruce Resort,

South Lee, Massachusetts

 Great Place For Children
... this resort frequently during the winter months for skiing as it is close to may ski resorts. What people people aren't saying in thier reviews of the ownership is that you also ...


Review of Le Telfair Golf & Spa Resort,

Bel Ombre, Mauritius

Simply fabulous
... the guy that cant water ski, but never ... cloudy) days, but its there winter and even ... to see how many other resorts managers respond to peoples comments on tripadvisor! We look forward ...


Review of Ridge Top Village at Shawnee,

Shawnee on Delaware, Pennsylvania

 Love the Shawnee Village
... in many of the Poconos resorts and this ... enjoys. We spend the last winter snowboarding at the Shawnee Mountains. We love the Shawnee Ski area since it is very family oriented and ...


Review of Alyeska Prince Hotel,

Girdwood, Alaska

 Great Stay
... It reminded me of most ski resorts in New Hampshire or Maine - a great resort in the winter and an ... sit and take off their ski boots and the dark paneling does ...


Review of Black Bear Cottages,

Big Bear Lake, California

 Back Again for the 2nd Time and Even Better Than the First
... and Palm Springs in the winter. We love to ski, so we ... are very convenient to both ski resorts and in fact they are just down the road from one of the ...


Review of L'Auberge Saint-Pierre,

Quebec City, Quebec, Canada

 Outstanding service
... behind at one of the ski resorts, and researching ... take, and particular precautions for winter driving - appreciated ... on our return from the ski slopes or from walking around town. We were particularly ...


Review of Lake Salem Inn Bed and Breakfast,

Derby, Vermont

 Beautiful home, wonderful hosts
... It's also close to several ski resorts and although I wasn't there in the winter I can imagine it would be heavenly! This is my idea of a 5 star accomodation. I ...


Review of L'Hotel du Vieux Quebec,

Quebec City, Quebec, Canada

 Terrific Hotel at a terrific price
... my son during his school winter break. We ... stayed at one of the ski resorts but I wanted my son and I to get a taste of the Quebec culture and there ...


Review of Park City, Utah

 Becoming a tourist trap
... the success of its three ski resorts, and things ... cases treble their prices in winter. Everyone seems ... the prices. Each season the ski resorts import more and more people from Mexico and ...


Review of Hotel Cavalieri,

Sestriere, Piedmont, Italy

 best ski school
we booked this easter ski break at the ... to visit where the 2006 winter olympics had ... rent the lockers at the ski hire shop...well ... pay out, the hotel's free ski bus did ...


Review of Falkensteiner Hotel Lido Ehrenburgerhof,

Trentino-Alto Adige, Italy

 Relaxing break in stunning suroundings
... and 2pm to 9pm in winter. The club ... by the play area. In winter you can hire ski equipment and the hotel is very close to some excellent ski resorts. In summer ...


Review of Royal West Indies Resort,

Providenciales, Turks and Caicos, Caribbean

 RWI: Low Key Resort
... was like in the other resorts. Beaches was ... only to get away from winter for a ... we were buckling up our ski boots to get back on the mountain in our hometown.


Review of Alta Ski Area,

Alta, Utah

 Not for famlilies
... way to get to the ski school/day care for the kids was to walk a half mile. We waited for the restriction to be lifted a few more hours. The ski ...


Review of Hotel Perun,

Bansko, Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria

 A great value holiday.
... for the Skiing season. The ski area was ... I've seen in other european resorts, they're really ... there!! (Quite odd for a winter hol - not ... again, this was our first winter holiday with ...


Review of Trapp Family Lodge,

Stowe, Vermont

 Trapps give a tranquil getaway
... get, granted, particularly in summer. Winter ski enthusiasts, especially cross country as opposed to down hill skiers get miles of ski trails well .."non-existent, well, like most resorts, availability depends on..


Review of Ritz Carlton Bachelor Gulch,

Avon, Colorado

 Spring skiing at Bachelor Gulch
... are nice, even in the winter, due to heated water. Probably the most useful service is the ski valet. The gentlemen who man the ski valet make this hotel truly ski in ...


Review of Great Divide Ski Area,

Helena, Montana

 Best Skiing Found Anywhere
... the local Community Great Divide Ski Area offering ... beginner. Advanced Expert skiers can ski with novice ... Divide is a family owned ski area. Owners ... was found at the old ski club run ...


Review of Steele Hill Resorts,

Sanbornton, New Hampshire

 My family and I had an amazing weekend
... is typical New England. It's winter Frost Heaves ... a comedy show in the resorts restaurant. It ... better the resort sells discounted ski tickets. I liked this place so much I made reservations ...


Review of Tahoe Seasons Resort,

Lake Tahoe, California

 You'll love Tahoe
... slopes and no way to ski back down ... used to but was fantastic! Ski's and all ... car and see the other resorts around Lake Tahoe! In the winter, you must have a ...


Review of Cortina Inn & Resort,

Killington, Vermont

 Quaint throwback, nice for families
... we normally head west to ski; I had forgotten the local ski areas that don't have big base resorts and villages ... before had been a mid winter break week; packed hotel, and ...


Review of Meadow Lake Resort,

Columbia Falls, Montana

 Nice Resort
... We have visited many timeshare resorts over the ... every day if you don't ski. We took ... go back sometime to golf and drive thru Glacier as it is closed during the winter.


Review of Golden Tulip Bucuti Beach Resort,

Oranjestad, Aruba, Caribbean

 About as good as it gets
... it's open to the tireless winter trade winds ... keep the resulting throngs of ski jets, banana ... balconies. Too, the proliferation of ski jets, banana ... absolutely one of the best resorts around for ...


Review of Hotel Yllas Saaga,

Lapland, Finland

 Magical destination - so much to do (expensive but worth it
... lit up by the nearby ski slope. It ... him somewhere in Lapland! Other resorts might be ... course, this only applies to winter holidays!!) Hint - Book direct, not through an agent. We booked ...


Review of Wilder Farm Inn B&B,

Waitsfield, Vermont

 Best place to stay in Vermont, hands down.
... and I have taken one winter trip per year out of the laughable "slopes" of Ohio skiing to go up to New England and ski the big mountains. Every year we try ...


Review of Storm Mountain Lodge & Cabins,

Banff, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada

 Storm Mountain in Winter
... Rockies Hikes) and once this winter. The lodge is beutiful in the winter. With the ... have skied) and the Sunshine Ski are near ... at both of the Fairmount resorts and this easily ...


Review of Zephyr Mountain Lodge,

Winter Park, Colorado

 Could not be better location...
... mountain to every grade of ski trail. Zephyr ... 4.00pm. We did want to ski on the ... we travel home in our ski gear! Great - 10 hours on the plane in ski clothes ...


Review of Grand Summit Resort Hotel,

West Dover, Vermont

 An excellent choice
... the Grand Summit for a ski vacation. We've been there twice in the past (once in winter and once ... surprising, because most east coast ski resorts hire very young staff (as does ...


Review of Hotelli Levitunturi,

Lapland, Finland

 Levitunturi Hotel - pretty good
... from this hotel in Finland's winter sports resort ... in France or at Stateside ski resorts. (Levi has ... not really recommend if apres-ski is a big part of your winter hol). Spa ...


Review of River Street Inn,

Truckee, California

 River Street Inn Truckee Tops
... riding. On one rainy, non-ski day we ... assured of snow at the resorts.) Yippee powder ... usually 8am, the majority of winter guests are ... to access a number of ski resorts. The ...


Review of Starr Crest Resort,

Sevierville, Tennessee

Reviews Incredible Stay
... a cabin at Starr Crest Resorts for our ... projects. If going in the winter definatly check ... snowing and I got to ski. There are also some hidden stores away from the main ...


Review of Winter Park Resort,

Winter Park, Colorado

 ski/snowboard winter park...
... snowboard, but decided to take ski lesson for ... Overall I enjoyed learning to ski here. West ... the shops away from the ski area and ... of the lesson at the ski area. Don't ...


Review of Minerals Hotel,

Vernon, New Jersey

 Great Find
... got stranded at Mountain Creek ski area during an early winter storm. Minerals is a brand new hotel with incredible amenities. The hotel is located right next to the ski resort, you ...


Review of Sundown Mountain,

Dubuque, Iowa

 Great midwest ski resort
I have been to ski resorts all over the world and consider my hometown ski resort of ... nothing compared to Colorado or resorts in California (Squaw) friendly staff make this place a ...


Review of Ski Snowstar Winter Sports Park,

Taylor Ridge, Illinois

 Small, but nothing else around
Small ski resort across the river from the Quad Cities. Okay ski runs and ... compared to other bigger midwest ski resorts. If you ... the Quad Cities in the winter I would suggest ...


Review of Fairmont Chateau Whistler Resort,

Whistler, British Columbia, Canada

 Amazing Trip, Loved the Fairmont
... whistler for the past 10 winter and stayed in many resorts but the Fairmont was far better then them. I was very happy with the Fairmont and its ski in ski out ...


Review of Sleepy Forest Cottages,

Big Bear Lake, California

 Great place to stay near Meadow Park and Ski Resorts
... while staying here. In the winter they are a few minutes drive from the ski areas, winter tubing,and the alpine slides. In the summer you have the lake, and nearby alpine ...


Review of Premier Resorts Sun Valley - Warm Springs,

Ketchum, Idaho

 Showing Its Age
... August 2005. Found the staff very helpful, but the accomodations pretty rundown. Nothing special about it, although it is very close to a ski lift if you're looking for a winter rental.


Review of Mountain Club On Loon,

Lincoln, New Hampshire

 My kids love The Mountain Club and the White Mountains
... of the most family friendly resorts we stayed ... us to use during the winter - we all love to ski and the hotel sits directly at the base of the mountain. Staff was ...


Review of Wolf Creek Ski Resort,

Pagosa Springs, Colorado

 Great weekend ski resort
... know it's no I-70 skiing and we still usually take at least

one trip a year to breck or vail, but if you're just looking to hit the slopes for a ...


Review of Great Divide Lodge,

Breckenridge, Colorado

 Average ski hotel in Breckenridge
... we were just exhausted from skiing! The lobby is really nice and the fireplace warmed you up

 immediately. The walk to town was actually a bit slippery but I'm sure the bus ...


Review of Northstar at Tahoe Ski Area,

Truckee, California

 Northstar ski resort attracts alot of beginners to intermediates
... is beginner to expert skiing or boarding, as well as snowboard park features, Northstar is for you.

 Within minutes of the north shore of Lake Tahoe and Truckee as well, it's convenient.



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