Bristol Business News Travel: Fabulous last-minute deals on – and off – the slopes

January 30, 2020

Snow has been falling in France and Italy this week – good news for spring skiing! But with European and UK half-term holidays clashing throughout much of February, plan your trip carefully to avoid over-crowded slopes. March is always a great time to go – or if grey skies are getting you down, look further afield for a taste of winter sun now. Bristol Business News travel editor Anne Gorringe uncovers some last-minute offers . . . 

Les Arcs, France. From £594 per person (more than 40% off) 

Ski Total is offering a seven-night ski holiday on a catered basis (including buffet breakfasts, afternoon tea and cake, and evening meals with complimentary wine on six nights) at the Chalet Petit Ours, Les Arcs, from £594 per person. The price represents a saving of £420 per person and includes return flights from a range of airports including Gatwick and Birmingham to Geneva – plus all airport transfers. Package valid for a February 9 departure. To book, call 01483 938485

Discover picturesque Lech, Austria. From £1,349 pp (a third off)

Lech offers a traditional village setting and Ski Total has a seven-night catered holiday (including buffet breakfasts, afternoon tea and cake, and evening meals with complimentary wine on six nights’) at the Chalet Hotel Montfort, Lech,  from £1,349 pp – saving £679 each on a package that includes return flights from Gatwick to Friedrichshafen and airport transfers. Price valid for travel departing on February 22. 01483 938485

Ski-in, ski-out at La Plagne, French Alps. Save £1,000 on seven people sharing

Bag 30% off on a self-catered trip staying at Les Chalets des Alpages, La Plagne, with Ski France. Step out of the accommodation straight onto the slopes (also positioned near the central square, home to shops, bars and restaurants). All chalets feature a wood burner, fully-equipped kitchens, parking on site and free wi-fi in reception. La Plagne has 225km of pistes and guests can jump on the Vanoise Express Cable Car to Les Arcs for a further 200km. A week’s stay from February 29 costs from £275 each for seven people sharing a three-bedroom chalet (that’s £1,928 total – down from £2,929). But remember, this does not include the cost of return flights, transfers, lift pass and all meals. 0203 475 4756 Les Chalets des Alpages

Follow Harry and Megan, head for Canada and save 25%:

Stay at the 3*-plus Aava Whistler Hotel in Whistler with Ski Safari. Just a five-minute walk from the ski lifts, the hotel is even closer to the town centre. It offers modern accommodation with rooms inspired by sleek Scandinavian design with clean lines and tasteful furnishings. After a day exploring North America’s largest ski area, which hosted the 2010 Winter Olympics, guests can relax in the hotel’s pool, sauna and hot tub. Alternatively, explore the spirited town of Whistler, which has more than 90 restaurants and some of the best après ski in North America. Seven nights on select departures between now and March costs from £1,150 pp (saving up to 25%) based on two adults sharing a deluxe room. The price includes return flights and shared transfers. Book by February 28. 01273 224060

Or fly on your own ‘private jet’ to Switzerland

The tourist boards in Laax and Davos have come up with a very special seven-night trip in March – beginning with a ‘private jet’ from London City Airport. The twin-centre trip offers what they’re calling ‘affordable luxury’ and includes travel on a British Airways charter flight, three nights in Laax followed by four in Davos, luxury apart-hotel accommodation, luxury taxi transfers and all ski passes. They’ve called it The Ski Getaway Reinvented and boast it offers 500km-plus of pistes across the two resorts, pictured right, with no waiting times at airports or lengthy transfers – from London to the slopes in just under 2.5 hours. They also say it’s suitable for passionate skiers and novices. The package starts at £1,500 per person including the flight to Alterhein on a 32-seater jet and 23kg of luggage plus additional ski bag.

Don’t like skiing? Head to a beach resort in Malaysia

If you’re looking for winter sun rather than snow, Kenwood Travel has a late-availability, seven-night stay in Penang at the 4* Golden Sands Resort by Shangri-La. The price includes return flights with Qatar Airways from London Heathrow on February 19 with accommodation on a bed-and-breakfast basis for £815pp (based on two sharing). 0207 749 9220 LINK

Or enjoy a five-star spring city break in Rome

Culture vultures can stay three nights for the price of two right in the heart of Rome on weekends until March 31. The 5* Grand Hotel De La Minerve overlooks the 2,000-year-old Pantheon. The stay, including flights from Gatwick, private car transfers, B&B, tickets to the Vatican Museum & Sistine Chapel or Villa Borghese tickets, costs £598pp with Kirker Holidays. It also includes Kirker Guide Notes & Concierge Service. 0207 593 2283

Meet Mickey Mouse on a trip to the USA

Looking to take the family away? Explore Florida from £549pp (based on a family of four) and meet Mickey on this seven-night holiday staying at the 3* Universal’s Endless Summer – Surfside Inn & Suites. The price includes return flights with Virgin Atlantic from Gatwick from on February. Accommodation is on a room-only basis. 0207 749 9220 LINK

Discover nature, wildlife and island life in Greece

Greek naturalist David Koutsogiannopoulos will help you discover the delights of the lesser-known island of Kythnos in March. Enjoy a birdwatching and seal-spotting boat trip, find rare orchids, visit traditional villages, countless chapels, historical sites and beautiful sandy beaches. The trip costs £948 pp (based on two sharing) and includes B&B at the Messaria Hotel. The price includes flights from Gatwick, all transfers/ferry tickets and five full-day guided tours with dinner. Depart March 30. 0208 758 4758

Stay closer to home, take to the canals and visit great country pubs

Book before the end of February to bag a four-day barge trip along The Kennet & Avon Canal. The journey between Bristol and Hungerford has some of the best canal-side pubs in the UK, including the 16th century The Cross Guns at Avoncliffe with its views of the nearby aqueduct, and the Barge Inn at Pewsey, known for championing French wine and an English menu. Save £110pp on a four-day short break from Black Prince’s Bradford on Avon base. The price is from £989pp, based on two sharing for four nights from June 16. 01527 575115

Don’t like flying? Princess Cruises promises their ‘best-ever’ sale

Discover the Norwegian fjords in summer, sailing from Southampton. The seven-night trip from August 15 on the Crown Princess calls at Stavanger, Olden, Skjolden/Sognefjord and Bergen. The price of £729pp (based on two sharing an inside room) includes all main meals and on-board entertainment. Added extras range from a special package which includes full wi-fi, premium drinks, plus all tips on board for an extra £35 a day (a current 50% saving on this package). The offer runs to March 2 and discounts on all future cruises to April 2022. The 3,080-guest Crown Princess sails from Southampton to destinations in the Mediterranean, Canary Islands and northern Europe between May and November. Details from local travel agents or call Princes Cruises on 0344 338 8663.


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