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Skiing with ClubMed

It was an early start, still dark as we left home. The bonus was that there was no traffic on the roads. Gatwick was reached in less than 2 ½ hours. The flights were on time and we were soon landing at Grenoble airport, a short coach ride from The French Alps and our resort Alpe d’Huez.

Set high in the Vallee de L’Oisans, Alpe d’Huez sits at 1860m and rises to 3330m. A perfect resort for all abilities especially intermediate to advanced. The resort boasts 287km of ski runs and the longest black runin Europe “La Sarenne” a full 16km. It goes right from the top of Pic Blanc and ends up in the middle of a gorge, between the main resort and Auris. On a quiet day it feels like it’s just you and the mountain. But with 38 beginners runs though there is plenty of scope for everyone.


Our Hotel was called La Sarenne owned and run by Club Med. The beauty of the Club Med experience is that once you have paid for your holiday there is literally only your ski hire and insurance to pay for. Initially the prices can look expensive but having skied many times I am only too aware of the cost of lift passes, lunch on the mountain and drinks in the evening. I can honestly say that a Club Med ski holiday will ultimately offer better value.

My room was a “Club room” spacious with a south facing balcony overlooking the snow clad mountains. The shower was hot and powerful and the bed very comfortable. To be fair with 20 inches of fresh powder and an all-inclusive bar I wasn’t going to spend a lot of time in it!

The in house ski technicians looked after our ski and board requests upon arrival and were full of advice as to which of the many slopes to head for when the lifts opened in the morning. Alpe d’Huez is lucky to have some one of the most up to date lift systems in the world and consequently queuing for more than a couple of minutes is now a thing of the past.

There is no better feeling if you are a skier than on the first morning when you open the curtains and you are greeted with a cobalt blue sky, the sun creeping above the peaks and the icy white brightness of fresh powder. It seems an age until 9am when the lifts open!


Alpe d’Huez is set in a bowl with views of the mountains in every direction. It is easy to plot a few runs and be back to the hotel for lunch. Every day a feast awaited us, you had to be disciplined or you would fall into the trap of over indulging and wanting an afternoon nap. More leisurely skiing in the afternoon and a visit to The “La Grotto de Glace” a cave hewed out of the ice, with amazing bluey white coloured walls and carved sculptures, it is set high up the mountain near the glacier.

Another bonus with our Club Med hotel was the lovely indoor swimming pool. A relaxing way to warm down after the exertions of the day .     swim

Dinner was always an event in itself. From a huge selection of salad or soup to start with through to pastas, a variety of fresh vegetables and a diversity of stews, fish and roasted meats. There was always a “special” on offer and a smorgasbord of cold meats and cheeses. The choice was outstanding.

It is already snowing in The French Alps! So there is no better time to research your annual return to the mountains.




Top 5 Reasons to consider Club Med for your skiing holiday

• All Inclusive food and drink
• Includes full area lift passes.
• Includes lessons or guiding
• Ski from your door in the morning
• Indoor swimming pool

So whether you are looking for an action packed winter sports experience, a pampering retreat, a special family memory or just chilling out with a group of friends, a Club Med holiday ticks all the boxes.

Skyplane Worldchoice Travel Agency in Hellesdon, have been providing ski and other sports holidays including golf and bowls for over 25 years. For help and advice on when and where to travel and an amazing deal, call their friendly and experienced team on 01603 424010 or email [email protected]

All Skyplane Worldchoice Blogs India


The comments on Facebook ranged from “Arrgh you wouldn’t get me to that place” to “Oh fantastic, you lucky thing!”  I was definitely in the lucky thing camp! India was somewhere I had always wanted to visit & experience.

We arrived in Delhi after a comfortable direct Virgin Atlantic 10 hour flight. Our first impression was to think that every one of the 22 million inhabitants was in their car, in a tut tut, on their motorbike or just wandering in the road! Yes there were beggars and rubbish and dogs and shacks but this was real India.

Through the traffic we at last we found solace in the Oberoi Hotel, absolutely beautiful, rich fixtures and ornate colonial timbers adorned the walls. The air conditioned reception and the greeting of a cold towel and sweet chilled lime juice was most welcome. The striking local staff all had huge smiles and couldn’t do enough for you.

Our first full day was centred around old and new Delhi. We saw the Red Fort, The India Gate ( a little like the Arc de Triomphe) and stopped at the Qutub Minar the tallest Minar in India, originally an ancient Islamic Monument and now a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Next up on our tour was a trip into the foothills of the Himalayas and the resort of Shimla, capital city of the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh and the summer capital of British India.  We travelled up the mountain on the Kalka to Shimla toy railroad, constructed in 1906, it immediately added to Shimla’s accessibility and popularity. The route has more than 806 bridges and 103 tunnels and was touted as an engineering feat and came to be known as the “British Jewel of the Orient and another UNESCO world Heritage site.  Everywhere you look you can see the British aristocracy influence from the former Viceregal Lodge to The Christchurch atop one of the seven surrounding hills and if you like monkeys you’ll love it here!

trainThe following day we started our 5hr drive to Rajasthan and Jaipur, stopping at Fatepur Sikri, a walled town that took 15 years to construct, a series royal palaces, harem courts, a mosque, private quarters and other utility buildings. The rest of the journey flew with something to look at with every turn. There were shops and markets selling fragrant spices and exotic fruits. Elegant multi coloured saris and crisp linened school children. Cattle and goats wandering aimlessly, Dogs and monkeys chasing and playing. We saw bearded holy men meditating on one corner, a urinating local on the next. Beautiful valleys, cascading waterfalls and pastel coloured housed clinging impossibly to the hillside.


Jaipur offers us the fantastic site of The Palace of The Winds. We then climb to the Amber Fort atop local elephants and are entertained by snake charmers. This is the real India.

eleNearing the end of our Indian adventure and we head to Agra and one of the main reasons for our visit. The Taj Mahal. As you walk through the archways of the preceding building you are suddenly mesmerised by the imposing beauty of this amazing monument. Nothing prepares you for it,  you experience the eerie feeling of a tingle down the back of your spine. As Mark Twain once quoted “Twenty Years From Now You Will Be More Disappointed By The Things You Didn’t Do Than By The Ones You Did Do

Gentle people, wonderful food, fascinating sights and opulent hotels. India is a continent that should be on everybody’s wish list.


If you would like more advice on everything from the weather to visas or from inoculations to costing’s please call Mike on 01603 424010 or email mike [email protected]

As an ABTA / ATOL member Skyplane Worldchoice are licenced to organise tailor made trips to suit all budgets and all required standards of accommodation.