Bristol Business News travel: Fresh snow and direct flights offer great deals for spring ski breaks

January 13, 2023

Welcome snowfall across the Alps has topped-up the previously below-average depths, and with a new service between Bristol Airport and Zurich plus up to five flights a day to Geneva this season, now is the time to plan your next ski trip. There are plenty of last-minute offers available as well, writes Bristol Business News Travel Editor Anne Gorringe.

The demand from skiers and snowboarders itching to get back on the slopes post-pandemic is higher than ever this season, according to travel operators. But where should they head for the best conditions this season? 

Fraser Wilkin, an authority on Alpine meteorology whose website Weathertoski monitors snow conditions, says there was no doubt that until this week the lack of snow had been a concern for anyone due to jet off to some of the lower resorts, particularly those in the north-western Alps.

But, with three months of the season still ahead of us – and snow machines in action on many slopes to top-up the pistes – there’s no need to worry.

Even better, according to Fraser, more snow is expected this weekend and next week.

“It will be mild at first on Saturday, with the risk of rain to 1,800-2,000m in the north-western Alps, before turning colder everywhere with a chance of significant snow for much of the Alps from Sunday onwards,” he said.

“Indeed, some weather models are predicting huge amounts of snow next week almost everywhere – although the detail is still hard to pin down at this stage.

“In the meantime, snow conditions are much improved across much of the Alps following the storm earlier this week.

“That said, it wasn’t enough to get many of the lowest areas in the north-western Alps open again, including lower parts of the Portes du Soleil and Grand Massif.” 

Meanwhile, Bristol Airport’s direct flights to Zurich by airline Swiss, which start on February 4, open up a new and convenient gateway to the Swiss Alps, thanks to good train links, while easyJet has promised to increase its Geneva service.

Here’s a selection of what’s available:

Andorra – from £595pp direct from Bristol Airport with Crystal Ski Holidays, the UK’s largest ski tour operator. Book seven nights at the Hotel Xalet Besoli, pictured above, in the lively resort Arinsal on a half-board basis from £595 per person. The price includes transfers – based on two adults sharing a twin room – with flights on 26 February. More details: or 020 8610 3123.

Or go in March for under £500. Perfect for beginners and intermediates, Arinsal and nearby Pal give advanced skiers plenty to do. Departing London Heathrow on March 19, this week from Iglu Ski is a bargain at £446pp and includes transfers and half board based on two sharing at the three-star Hotel St Gothard. Snow depth: 40cm. Snow forecast: 10cm Andorra Deal under £500 

Enjoy Austria. Skiers looking to take advantage of last-minute deals can snap up savings of over 30% on deals with Iglu Ski. That offers the chance to ski the Tirolean Arlberg in Austria and take advantage of the fresh snow. Seven nights at the modern four-star Chalet Kapall in St Anton on a catered basis is from £1,089 per person – down from £1,619 – based on two sharing, departing London Gatwick on February 4, and including transfers. Current Snow depth: 91cm. Snow forecast: 40cm Ski the Arlberg

Snowy France. Tignes village sits at 2,100m and therefore offers good snow, which is spread over a wide area of varied terrain. So no snow issues here. Iglu Ski is offering direct flights from Bristol on March 17 with seven nights half board from £1,086 per person, based on two sharing, at the three-star Hotel Tignes 2100, pictured above, in Tignes Le Lac. Price includes transfers. Snow depth: 168cm Snow forecast: 20cm Snow in Tignes

Ski Switzerland direct from Bristol. Stay for under £650, including flights and transfers. The family-run, two-star hotel Bernerhof in Wengen offers simple accommodation but in a prime spot in the village, overlooking the nursery slopes. Iglu Ski has seven nights bed and breakfast from £619 per person, based on two sharing, departing Bristol on February 25 and including transfers from Geneva, flying with easyJet. Snow depth: 30cm Snow forecast: 31cm Low Price Switzerland 

Explore Italy. Crystal Ski Holidays is offering seven nights in Passo Tonale, staying at the Hotel Grand Paradiso, pictured right, on a half-board basis. Prices from £730pp – a saving of £252 each. Price based on two adults sharing a double room, with flights from Bristol Airport on 4 March, including transfers. See or 020 8610 3123.

First-time skiers? You are catered for by Crystal Ski Holidays, which has introduced a special week for beginners in France in March with everything included – from daily ski lessons to half-board accommodation and ski hire. This ‘first slopes starters’ holiday package costs £995. See or 020 8610 3123.

Or to go further afield. How about a trip to Japan? This may not come cheap, but it’s certainly exciting! The resort of Niseko boasts an average 15m snowfall each season, which runs until 2 April. Experts can try volcano crater skiing while beginners can take it easy on the well-groomed tree-lined runs lower down the mountain. Ski-in/ski-out on a green run and at the end of the day relax in a Japanese hot spring. Crystal Ski Holidays is offering seven nights self-catering from 5 February, flying from London Heathrow. Prices from £2,918 with Crystal, one of its new trips for this year.

For the latest weather and ski reports, visit


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