SPRING DEALS TO THE FRENCH PYRENEES

SPRING DEALS TO THE FRENCH PYRENEES

Image: Oakley Park c Matthiew Pinaud

The French Pyrenees have received regular fresh snow top-ups over the last two weeks building on an already excellent snow base setting them up for excellent conditions for their final few weeks of the season and spring events.

Below are a selection of ski holiday offers for March and April:

Zenith Holidays in St Lary – Departs 17 March

Zenith Holidays offer 7 nights in the Cami Real apartments from 17 March from £163pp, sleeps 4. Flights available from £50 from London Stanstead. www.zenithholidays.co.uk

These excellent spacious apartments are in the centre of the Pyrenean village of Saint Lary Soulan in the Hautes-Pyrenees. Sensoria, the resorts thermal baths are just a short walk away through the garden of the residence. The main gondola up to the skiing at Pla d’Adet and beyond is a 100m from the Residence. St Lary has a lovely collection of shops and restaurants with plenty of Spanish influence in the local tapas bars lining the streets.

Big Break St Lary – 11-30 March

Book direct with St Lary between 11th and 30th March for any 3 days and get the 4th night for free. Just 175€ for four nights including a lift pass.  www.saintlary.com/hiver/big-break

 

Ski Weekends in Ax les Thermes – Departs 22 March

Spend 4 nights in Ax les Thermes in the 3* Hotel la Grand Cordee B&B including flights and from £382pp (2 sharing). http://bit.ly/2F3l0iG www.skiweekends.com  . For in-resort offers on lift passes from 19 March to the end of the season:  www.ax-ski.com/en/end-of-season-promotions

Ax les Thermes in the Ariege region of the French Pyrenees, just 1.5 hrs from Toulouse is an historic village based around its thermal waters. Guests can visit the Bains du Couloubret spa or soak their feet in the thermal open air foot spa at the base of the gondola. Ski Ax 3 Domaines with its three sectors, Bonascre, Saquet and Campels and skiing from 1400m up to 2400m. Over the closing Easter weekend March 31 and April 1st, a Snow Bike festival closes the season with MTB/Dirt bikes, enduro and races for all ages.

 

Erna Low in Cauterets Save 15% and 20% Departs 31 March

A family of four can stay 7 nights from in the Residence Balneo-Aladin in Cauterets, WAS £408, NOW £327 saving 20% or stay in a 7 person apartment, WAS £652, NOW £522 saving 15%. www.ernalow.co.uk

The Residence Baleno Aladin has a great location in the centre of Cauterets, 100m from the gondola taking skiers straight up to the ski area and 150m from the resort spa centre. Guests have  free access to the Espace Balnéo Aladin spa centre which covers 800m² and includes 5 pools heated to 32° with water jets and hot tubs, steam room and sauna.  Children from 3 to 13 years have a 3-storey play structure, games consoles, a mini cinema and a relaxation area for parents.

 

 

Pierre et Vacances in Grand Tourmalet Save 30% Departs 7 April

Pierre et Vacances offer 7 nights at the Residence Mer et Golf Pic du Midi  rom £357 per apartment that sleeps two people (down from £509, saving 30%) pierreetvacances.co.uk

Grand Tourmalet is made up of the two villages Bareges and La Mongie with the largest ski area in the French Pyrenees. La Mongie is ski in-out with the cable car access to Pic du Midi and Bareges and old French town with tree lined skiing from the Tournaboup area. Both areas have spas using the local thermal waters.

 

Ski France in Peyragudes – Save 10% 17-24 March and Free Children

Ski France offer an apartment sleeping up to 4 people from 31 March from £319 in the Residence Les Adrets de Peyragudes plus children ski for free with every adult ski pass purchased. www.skifrance.co.uk

Peyragudes is a modern ski resort with ski in ski out accommodation perched on the side of the mountain in the Hautes-Pyrenees region of the French Pyrenees. Guests can enjoy an indoor pool at the Les Adrets de Peyragudes residence or take a short drive/transfer down to the village of Loudenvielle where they can enjoy the Balnea spa. The French Snowboard Championships weekend takes place over the closing Easter weekend.

 

Les Angles 30% off Lift passes and reduced Packages

Les Angles is offering 30% off lift passes booked from 17 March to the end of the season.

So a six day adult lift pass  165€ instead of 195€ [child 12 yrs & under 148€  instead of 175€) www.lesangles.com

Les Angles old village Is at the foot of the slopes, and it has managed to retain its authentic character whilst at the same time providing facilities of a modern ski resort. It is the only resort in the Pyrenees where the ski slopes end in the old village itself. The ski area has 55km  with an altitude drop of 800m. With skiing up to 2,400m it  is one of the largest ski areas in the Pyrenees-Orientales.

 

SPRING EVENT

“Le Rendez Vous” EVENT 20& 21 April Cauterets

300 amateur and professional freestyle riders descend on Cauterets for the closing weekend. The Oakley snowpark  at the foot of the ski area will be open for photos and video shoots to get the best of the action from the event. DJs are on site and the “Winter Closing” party is held in Cauterets village at the Royalty Café.

Cauterets spring information can be found at http://blog.cauterets.com/ski-de-printemps-a-cauterets/ including ‘Free skiing for children’ between 8 and 21 April (with an adult lift pass).

 

Oakley Park c Matthiew Pinaud

ENDS

For Press Information and images: please contact vanessa@vanessafisher.com +44 7957 618525

 

Snow Depths and Closing Dates:

2 April: Ax-3 Domaines/Peyragudes/St Lary

8 April: Grand Tourmalet – Pic du Midi/Les Angles               22 April: Cauterets

Snow depths: lower/upper

Ax 3 Domaines 160/240cm                                                         Cauterets 270/320cm

Grand Tourmalet -Pic du Midi -130/170cm                                             Les Angles 150/180cm

Peyragudes 110/200cm                                                                 Saint Lary 150/230cm

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Wild Weather and Fun in Ax

Wild Weather and Fun in Ax

The gang of 7 arrived just as a huge storm set in over the French Pyrenees. With strong winds and inclement weather skiing plans needed urgent tweaking for family entertainment.

See Article on PlanetSki Website

Bad weather days often bring unexpected fun.

We arrived in Ax-les-Thermes in the Ariège region of the French Pyrenees the first weekend of the busy half term week, the night before a massive storm set in.

90mph winds closed almost all the lifts at Ax-3-Domaines on our first morning. The closest smaller ski area of Ascou was open but with rumours of 1hr 30 queues for each lift, we decided, after speaking to some locals, on an alternative.

We left Ax and headed for the Col du Chioula to find the cross-country ski area.

Day passes bought and kitted up, we spent a few minutes ‘clipping in’ and getting used to the very thin and lightweight skis.

Soon we were heading up the green route following the narrow tracks which you slide your skis in.

So far so good!

One loop around the easiest green track and a few tumbles along the way and we found ourselves on the long blue climb up towards the refuge at 1600m.

The cross country trails offered stunning views out over the Pyrenees and then we would turn in along beautiful, tree lined tracks through the woods.

Cross country through the woods

Cross country through the woods

Our little gang of seven had so much fun, the children (and me!) were really challenged and we all loved learning this sport.

I had tried it just once in Kimberley BC many years ago.

Cross country in Chioula

If the weather had not been so bad we would never have had this experience and seen the fantastic area at Chioula.

With the storm passing we finally made it up from the town of Ax-les-Thermes, where we were staying, to the start of the ski area at Bonascre at 1400m.

As we rode the fast Lièvre Blanc and Tute six man chairs higher up the resort we could see the fresh snow that the overnight storm (and rain in the valley) had brought.

Fresh tracks in Ax

 

All day we found fresh lines under increasingly blue skies.

In our two days we skied pretty much all the three ski areas – Bonascre, Saquet and Campels – which make up Ax-3-Domaines, and enjoyed lunch stops in our favourite restaurant, Le Louzat, tucked away between the poma lifts in the woods at Saquet.

View from restaurant Le Louzat

 

We loved the skiing ‘Indian’ Ax uses on its logo and branding – “3 areas, 1 territory, 1 tribe’.

“3 Areas, 1 Territory, 1 Tribe”

People who ski Ax –  93% French locals –  are proud of their ‘tribe’.

The town of Ax-les-Thermes, named after the naturally occurring sulphuric water, is full of history – the old hospital, chapel and old foot bath contrasting with the newer foot bath near the gondola and more modern recreational thermal spa.

The influences from its proximity to Spain and Andorra are seen in the mix of tapas restaurants along the main street.

Over the next three years more than 25 million Euros will be invested in new lifts to alleviate the bottle necks in the resort and bring the system up to date.

There are also ongoing discussions to re-build the gondola from the village of Merens-les-Vals where the original lift to the Ax ski area was built.

Ax isn’t huge, its locals love it and I can understand now why they are proud to be called a ‘tribe’.

See you again soon I hope!

Skiweekends.com offers short breaks to Ax-Les-Thermes.

Thanks to Intersport for ski rental.

For information on the Ax ski area visit  Ax-ski.

More information on the 2016 Pyrenees Ski Road Trip when PlanetSKI visited Font Romeu, Les Angles and Ax-3-Domaines.

See here for the main PlanetSKI news page with all the latest stories from the world of snowsports

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