Isn’t it nice to get travelling again! I don’t know about you, but I have truly missed the ability to hop on a plane and find a new adventure so easily! Last week we managed to join a flight from East Midlands with Jet2 on a flight to Geneva, meaning I could finally strap my skis on and enjoy everything the mountains has to offer. The mountain views, air and activities, I was finally going to be skiing, and even better, my Mum was joining us as we celebrated her 70th birthday!
Flying to a ski resort with Jet2
Finally, a flight out from my local airport, East Midlands which is literally a bus ride away from me. I never normally fly out from EMA because I tend to do long haul flights, (which are often out of your southern airports). Being able to take such a short journey and fly from somewhere so local, to such a big airport, was honestly so wonderful! I’m not sure if I’ve been a bit out of practice with air travel, but I don’t ever recall flying to be so easy! Friendly staff on check in was a good start for us, then over to over sized luggage to drop off my skis, that’s right, you can add your skis with Jet2 with their ski carriage option. Before I knew it we were checked in and at the gate ready to go on a short flight to Geneva.
Geneva is the airport hub to connect you to multiple locations in Europe, so this is a perfect location if you’re wanting to adventure for a ski or snowboard holiday. It is also super easy to fly with Jet2 into Geneva too with a short flight. For this particular ski trip, we’d be going to Chamonix, which would be a cool hour commute. No bad, right?
Chamonix is lower down at 1085m, so the snow was limited and when you get to spring in the mountains, if you only want snow sports and want to guarantee it, you’ll need to go higher up. My suggestions would be Val d’sere or Tignes, which are at 1850m. But do remember the higher you go, the longer the drive from Geneva. For us, we wanted the best of both worlds, and Chamonix delivered that mountain spring time beauty in the town, but up the mountain still had snow. Perfect for our holiday with my Mum!
Why Chamonix for a mountain trip?
Why not Chamonix is more of the question! This French alpine location is quite honestly my favourite place to visit for an active holiday. I’ve been there in the summer and winter and each time, it truly never fails to deliver! With plenty of shops, bars and restaurants you also have multiple things to occupy you post ski.
But I don’t just want to ski?
As many people know I once upon a time, lived in Val d’sere, and if I’m honest, when I went I thought I’d need to ski or snowboard to have a good time… I was wrong! The mountains have so many additional activities you don’t need to worry. In Chamonix, because you’re that bit lower your options seriously open up. If you weren’t a fan of skiing or snowboarding, you could try snow shoeing, or maybe cross-country skiing (which I decided to try out). Chamonix also is home to a fantastic Spa called Terme Spa, with an endless pool that over looks the mountains. Definitely needed after an active day – that’s for sure!
My Mum didn’t want to ski, which I completely understood. The idea of going down a mountain at speed wasn’t for her, so we thought… what about cross-country skiing?! You got an excellent workout, it was flat, you go to explore in the snow and it was a new exciting activity too! Hiring our kit was super cheap from Intersport for only 10 euros, for boots, skis and poles. Then over the road to the purpose built cross-country ski area which had a map for the easy to hard routes, we were all about the easy ones as a first time explore.
It was so much fun, as we made our way on the tracks towards a coffee stop. My Mum was loving it after she’d spent a bit of time getting the hang of it. But what a great way to really see an area? You could soak it all in that bit more and go as slow or as fast as you wished. Bliss!
Spa Time at OC Therme Spa
If you’re after some relaxing I cannot recommend the Chamonix QC Therme Spa. Taking a dip in their Wellness Pool that overlooked the mountains was the perfect way to unwind. If you were feeling stressed before you entered the spa, you definitely wouldn’t feel that way when you left. Not only is the view spectacular in the outdoor heated pool, (which also had massage chairs with micro bubbles to stimulate blood and lymphatic circulation)but indoors you had a variety of sensory rooms, and a sauna complete with Himalayan salts to ‘oxygenate the skin, clear the airways and drain excess fluid.’
It’s safe to say that during an active trip that you can have in the mountain, having a ‘day off’ where you can relax in this incredible environment is an absolute must. To top it off, you can also have treatments here such as massages.
Trail Running in the Mountains
You can do this in the snow or not, and luckily with the time we visited we could do both. I took out my trail trainers for a run in the snow. With bluebird ski and a white sheet of snow, how could you not love that run? I will say that you need trail trainers or snow spikes to be safe, sometimes there might be icy patches, so best to be safe. Honestly, some of the views we got were incredible.
Get the best views
Taking the rack-and-pinion railway, the Montenver Mar-de-Glace train from the town up the mountain is something I highly recommend. We have trail run up here in the summer, but my Mum took the train to go see the famous ice caves. After taking the train ride that provides some beautiful views of the Chamonix area, you’ll get incredible views of the iconic Mer de Glace glacier, the Drus and the Grands Jorasses. Honestly, if you get a chance to do this, do it. It’s about 580 steps to the ice caves, so you’ll also get a good workout!
Let’s go skiing!
If you do want to ski or snowboard, the beauty of Chamonix is that there are multiple areas to ski. Not only are the buses free for visitors, Chamonix is a great location to get to numerous ski spots, so essentially you could ski in a different location everyday by using public transport! The Brevent is in the centre of town this links to the Flagere ski area which is perched above the pretty village of Les Praz. A few miles along the valley (hop on that free bus), takes you to the town of Angentierre, with the grand montete ski area. Then at the head of the valley sharing a boarder with Switzerland, is the sunny bowl ski area of Le Tour. Lots of options!
Eat, Drink and Explore
On this trip we also did a lot of exploring including a day trip out to Annecy for some lunch. As mentioned the beauty of this location, you’re never too far from other locations. But speaking of food and drink, we definitely indulged in the extremely delicious local cuisine whilst on our trip, with one evening sampling a classic cheese fondue, French onion soup, and my personal fave, Tartefliette! The French definitely know what good food is!
The perfect ski celebration trip
It was so nice for us to do a bit of a mixture of activities on our mountain trip. Skiing and snowboarding is only one part of a winter mountain holiday, you actually have a lot more you can do. I think by taking my Mum with us, it actually got me thinking about other things we could do that weren’t skiing. It was a relaxing trip from start to finish, getting a ski flight with Jet2 over from East Midlands, to a short commute to resort, then time spent together celebrating a big birthday.
*Post in collaboration with Jet2