Switzerland or Austria for first Europe visit?

63 messages Options
1234 ... 7
Hoser Hoser
Reply |
Open this post in threaded view
 

Switzerland or Austria for first Europe visit?

Looking at first Europe trip in feb of 2019.  Thoughts on Switzerland or Austria including where to fly to from nys.   Zermott or Milan for example then train or rent car best bet?  

Three of us ski primary Gore and WF.  Two of us 100 percent of boths terrain the third 90 percent comfortably.   Decent sleeping but nothing fancy needed.  Again think Gore WF vs fancy village and condo.  Though not opposed.   There to ski not spa and shop.   Some starting points would be helpful.   Thanks!  
Benny Profane Benny Profane
Reply |
Open this post in threaded view
 

Re: Switzerland or Austria for first Europe visit?

Haven't been following it lately, but, a little while ago, the Swiss franc exchange rate made that country really expensive. I'm guessing that hasn't changed. Austria is a Euro country.
funny like a clown
Jamesdeluxe Jamesdeluxe
Reply |
Open this post in threaded view
 

Re: Switzerland or Austria for first Europe visit?

In reply to this post by Hoser
Questions:
-- When in February are your target dates? If it's the second through fourth weeks (Euro school holidays/peak season), I'll give different suggestions.
-- Are you interested in major/bucket-list resorts or smaller (but bigger than most places in the U.S.) lesser-known ski areas? Related: Do you want to stay at one place the entire week or be somewhat more flexible?
-- From the two countries above, I'm guessing that you prefer a German-speaking region rather than, say, French-speaking Switzerland?
-- Based on your description, I'm assuming that off-piste is important?
Hoser Hoser
Reply |
Open this post in threaded view
 

Re: Switzerland or Austria for first Europe visit?

Yep NYS school break in February.  So Europe has similar breaks?  Sounds like Austria over Switzerland based on $$ currency comment earlier.

Smaller is fine.  Doesn't have to be the Vail or Squaw type.  At least 2000' vertical preferred though.  Probably 2 to 3 places due to smaller in size.   Yes German speaking seems to be preferred though not a deal breaker.

Off-piste is important but again not deal-breaker.   Define off-piste - does this mean in bounds and not needing guide and beacon etc,  or just off the groomers?  

Something like Lake Louise or Kicking Horse or Revelstoke would be good comparison (or even Big Sky) not a Vail, Squaw, Copper type place(s).  Thanks!
JTG4eva! JTG4eva!
Reply |
Open this post in threaded view
 

Re: Switzerland or Austria for first Europe visit?

I can’t comment on Austria but I’d be happy to share what I’ve learned about Switzerland, having planned two relatively  short trips to the Swiss Alps (a quick excursion to Zermatt while visiting our daughter in the Netherlands, and a long weekend jaunt through the Swiss Alps for our daughter’s last travel weekend during her semester abroad).  Only one day of skiing in that planning but I did learn more about skiing options.....and I’d be happy to tell you what I’d do!

Quick questions.  Who’s in the travel party and how old are the kids?  Will you be taking any non-ski days for rest or sight seeing?  Are you all experienced International travelers or is this a new/unique experience?  I’ll probably think of a few more.

A quick note about exchange rates.  The CHF exchange rate has become very favorable as of late....1.05 usd.....versus the euro at 1.24.  So if you can book and lock prices now Switzerland is cheaper from an exchange perspective.

I am nowhere near as adventurous as James, but I do like the idea of immersing yourself in the local customs and culture as much as possible, even when staying more in the mainstream!

It’s neat driving in foreign countries, but it can also be a little stressful.  I managed to get around Amsterdam ok....but I did spend the first day sans car studying the roadways and signage in the city to get my bearings.  It’s very different.  Again, I don’t know about Austria but you can have a perfectly wonderful and convenient Swiss Alps experience without a car.  In fact a number of incredible Swiss alpine towns are car free, and NOT having a car can add a lot to the experience.

The Swiss rail system is extensive, and it can be a little difficult to discern the best ticket options, but once you do there are some great cost effective and efficient options, options which can include some great cultural UNESCO world heritage experiences right in the middle of your ski vacation!
We REALLY need a proper roll eyes emoji!!
Hoser Hoser
Reply |
Open this post in threaded view
 

Re: Switzerland or Austria for first Europe visit?

JTG - Myself and wife are both 51/50 and 21 year old daughter comprise of the group.  One day sightseeing (which is rest).  Daughter is intl travel educated and does very well with foreign experiences due to a semester in South Korea in late 2016.  She'll be the interpreter/guide.    Thanks for sharing recommendations and experiences!  Curious on the UNESCO sites too.
JTG4eva! JTG4eva!
Reply |
Open this post in threaded view
 

Re: Switzerland or Austria for first Europe visit?

Ha!  You guys are just ahead of us.  My wife and I hit the big 50 in a few months, and our 19 yo daughter has become a savvy international traveller during her current semester abroad.

In a nutshell this is the trip I would plan in Switzerland, if I were planning a trip.  I’ll flesh it out with details and even hotel recommendations later!

Fly into Zurich.  Flights to Zurich from within Europe can be dirt cheap.  Must be decent from the US.  Get a Swiss Travel Pass 3 day flex (about $225 us pp) that will cover your transport from Zurich, between mountain towns, and back to Zurich.  Take a Friday night flight to Zurich, arriving Saturday morning.  Use one day of your Swiss Travel Pass to take the 3.5 hour train journey to Zermatt.  You’ll be in Zermatt by mid afternoon.  Use the rest of the day to relax and recover from the trip.  Ski 3 days internationally from the car free village of Zermatt.  Tons of terrain between Zermatt and Cervinia, Italy.  Wednesday (rest day) morning take the Glacier Express from Zermatt to the car free city of Chur.  6 hour UNESCO historic spectacular train ride through the Alps.  A day of your Swiss Travel Pass will cover the fare for the Glacier Express, you just have to pay $35 pp for seat reservations.  Ski 2 or 3 days from Chur, the oldest town in all of Switzerland.  Saturday or Sunday use the last day of your Swiss Travel Pass to take the 1.5 hour train ride back to Zurich for your flight back to the US.
We REALLY need a proper roll eyes emoji!!
Hoser Hoser
Reply |
Open this post in threaded view
 

Re: Switzerland or Austria for first Europe visit?

WOW - Awesome - Thank you!   Will send to my planner (daughter) to work on this!  Really helpful!  Btw the study abroad programs are awesome, a bit scary for the parents at first, but what an experience and the kids mature so quickly from it, certainly more flexible than our age!  What country is she in?  Certainly helps them with the global economy world they will be working in shortly.
JasonWx JasonWx
Reply |
Open this post in threaded view
 

Re: Switzerland or Austria for first Europe visit?

One daughter spent a year in Spain , the other a semester in Australia..It's good to be our kids..
"Peace and Love"
Hoser Hoser
Reply |
Open this post in threaded view
 

Re: Switzerland or Austria for first Europe visit?

No kidding.....what a change from college in the eighties.
Reply
1234 ... 7