Over the Winter I not only suffered from holiday blues but ski holiday blues. Looking at all the celebrities and people I know grabbing their ski’s and their salopettes and heading to the mountain. Now, ski holiday’s aren’t cheap, especially when you don’t own your own equipment. This is the main reason why I didn’t look to go skiing this season – BUT, crystal ski deals hooked me and my boyfriend and we were determined to go.
Crystal Ski is the ultimate place to go if you want a ski package deal you get the flights, hotel, equipment, lift passes all together in one place with some amazing deals! Now, Alex and I decided very late in the season to go and kept an eye out for deals within a week of when we wanted to go, so we booked extremely late, yet still, everything was sorted no problem and we had no issues at any stage of our holiday. We went to Bardonecchia in Italy which is 1300m at the lowest peak and goes as high as 2800m. As it was the end of the season pretty much, as we went on the 12th March, the 1300m was a little worse for wear, but still skiable. Alex has his own equipment so we paid extra on the plane for ski carriage and we hired full equipment for me including helmet, ski’s, poles and boots and both of us brought a full weeks area lift pass.
The hire place was extremely busy when I went to acquire my equipment so the staff weren’t all that helpful and just shoved stuff at me to try and hope for the best. They didn’t measure my feet, head or height and everything was rather unorganized. Despite this, the equipment I got was in very good condition and worked well over the week. Every year I go skiing, I always have the same problem with ski boots. I have extraordinarily narrow heels and feet and I am a size 7 so you can imagine what they look like. So bog standard hire boots are pretty much my feets worst nightmare and I never learn my lesson. BUT, I WILL buy new boots before next season to save multiple breakdowns and tears.
So, Bardonecchia itself is a great area of Italy to Ski and great for beginners and intermediates however I would steer clear if you are intermediate or higher as there are only a few blacks and most of the reds are documented as reds, but I would consider them tough blues. Within the area, it has three different parts: Colomion, Melezet and Jafferau. Our favourite was Melezet because it had the nicest runs and was the area around the snowpark – another activity we LOVE doing whilst skiing. Jafferau is a different mountain to Colomion and Melezet and it is accessible via a free bus service if your hotel is in the Campo Smith area. We were incredibly lucky that the Bardonecchia area at the time of year we went was absolutely dead, very often we were the only ones on the run and on the ski lifts so we managed to do every run of Jafferau in one day and did every single run of the whole area over the week.
We didn’t ski every day, we spent one day off due to Alex being violently ill after consuming an out of date energy gel… (I told him not to eat it) and another we spent exploring the town and relaxing on our balcony. As you can see from the pictures above and the ones to come, we have amazing weather! Every year we ski at the end of the season and still, we bring thermals but NEVER use them. I was (TMI) sweating during this holiday and simply had a thin t-shirt and my ski jacket on top! Luckily, we were all inclusive in our hotel so were very lucky to be given a packed lunch every day so we sat in a picturesque place every day and ate our sandwiches. This saved us sooo much money because if you are an avid skier, you will understand mountain food and drink prices! So we skied from around 9-3 which was plenty of time to get some serious ski miles in and we pretty much did the whole Campo Smith area mountain every day. Then we would go back to our hotel freshen up, head down to dinner and sometimes head back to Campo Smith for Crystal activities (Such as a quiz, that we won) or just some quiet drinks. Alex and I are serious about skiing and don’t particularly believe in Apres-Ski so we never went clubbing or anything so cannot comment on that part of the experience.
The hotel we stayed at was Hotel La Betulla, as I said we went all inclusive. It was an old style hotel that does need a bit of renovation but it was very homely feeling and in a perfect location. Outside the hotel was a bus stop that took you one way to Campo Smith and the other way to Jafferau with the train station right next door that you can catch a train to Turin and it was right next to the town that had a supermarket and tourist shops. In terms of the food, we couldn’t fault it! It was a buffet style breakfast with some homemade Italian dishes, continental pastries and cakes, bread, a huge amount of spreads and dips, fruit juices and a coffee machine – I always ate my weight in croissants! Lunch, as I said, was a packed lunch if you were opting to eat on the mountain instead of coming all the way back for food. This consisted of TWO huge baguettes one ham and one cheese, a bottle of mineral water and some biscuits. This was plenty enough because the sandwiches were so huge and of such nice quality. Dinner was the impressive part, it was a FOUR course fully prepared meal. At breakfast, you received the menu and you made your choices for the second and third meal. there was always a fish option, vegetable option, and a meat option. The first course was a buffet, serve yourself, that was full of again, homemade dishes, and the fourth course was dessert. Some of the most delicious pasta dishes I have ever had was from there.
So overall, we had an amazing time and cannot wait for next season!
Here are some photos for you to enjoy..
See you next time!