Half term is undoubtedly the busiest time of year for the school ski calendar. With the benefit of snow being reliable, and no need to take students out of their usual learning week, it’s a first choice period of travel for the majority of teachers.
But slopes can get rather busy and the queues longer, so if you are looking to organise a school ski trip for the half term dates, it’s a good idea to look to resorts that are smaller and less well-known. This helps to avoid long waits for the lifts and enables a better quality experience overall, alongside getting more value for your student’s money.
Here are some suggestions of resorts known to be quieter for skiers during half term, to help you on your way...
Bad Kleinkirchheim, Austria
Bad Kleinkirchheim, also known as BKK, has an altitude of 2310m and offers 100 km of piste. The slopes are well-prepared and there is some excellent skiing on offer with many intermediate runs, along with wide slopes for beginners by the village. The resort is a great choice for schools with novice and return skiers. There are three main access points to the slopes, which means queues are rare. As one of your après-ski options there is also a lovely outside heated pool.
San Simone, Italy
San Simone is part of the Bremboski ski area including San Simone, Foppolo and Carona. Skiing is to an altitude of 2100 metres with a respectable 50km of piste on offer. The skiing here is great for a range of abilities - there is some excellent terrain for beginners at San Simone and also plenty to challenge the more experienced skier throughout the area as well as a terrain park for snowboarders. There is a good amount of après-ski on offer to keep your group entertained in the evenings, including Foppolo’s open-air ice rink.
Châtel / Portes du Soleil, France
Châtel is a pretty resort, located on the border with Switzerland. Skiing is to an altitude of 2200m. There are two main areas, Super Châtel and Pré la Joux offering a range of skiing with great slopes for beginners and some challenging intermediate and advanced slopes. The Châtel lift pass covers 83km of pistes and 43 lifts but if you are looking for access to a wider area for your trip, Châtel is also part of the huge Portes du Soleil ski area, with over 600km of skiing.
North American Resorts – USA and Canada
If your budget allows, then North America is a real alternative to some of the high altitude popular busy European resorts at half term, with prices comparing very favourably. Both USA and Canada offer some spectacular scenery, frequent reliable snowfall, excellent skiing, extremely modern facilities, state of the art snow-making, and fantastic customer service.