European School Holiday Planner 2020/21

View the European School Holiday Calendar

Scheduling a family ski holiday can feel like a logistical feat.  To ensure a successful winter experience, a range of factors need to be taken into account during the planning phase.  One of the first and most important factors to consider is the date you choose to take your holiday.

Why Your Choice of Ski Holiday Dates Matters

During every ski season there are peak periods, when demand is high, and off-peak periods, when demand is low.  Season dates vary from resort to resort in accordance with demand.

Holidaying during a peak period can mean paying higher prices for accommodation, lift passes, ski lessons, ski hire, transport, meals and even supermarket products in ski resort towns.  Prices inflate when demand is high, and inversely, during off-peak periods many services can be offered at heavily reduced rates as providers fight for your business.

During busy periods, ski resorts are inundated with holidaymakers, which means everything takes a bit longer.  You’ll spend more time finding parking, queueing for ski hire and lift passes, queueing for ski lifts and so on.  If you’re planning a meal out, or intending to take part in ski lessons, you’ll also need to book ahead of time in order to avoid missing out.

During off-peak periods, you’ll have the freedom of making last minute plans, without the need for so much advance planning.  Lift lines are short, often with no waiting time at all.  The ski slopes are blissfully empty, which is ideal for nervous or new skiers.  Restaurants and ski schools will be happy to receive you at the last minute.

Holidaying during a quiet time of the season will guarantee your ski experience is vastly more relaxed. Moreover, in the wake of COVID, off-peak ski holidays have become vastly more attractive, with fewer people around lowering the risk of viral spread.

Fluctuating Demand in Ski Resorts

One of the most important influences on demand within ski school holiday dates.  Local, national and international dates can all affect the flux of skiers in any given resort.

Here in France, resorts experience drastically increased demand during French school holiday periods.  This demand varies from region to region, as France is divided into three zones (A, B and C) in order to disperse holidaymakers over several weeks.

  • French Zone C – Créteil, Montpellier, Paris, Toulouse, Versailles
  • French Zone B – Aix-Marseille, Amiens, Caen, Lille, Nancy-Metz, Nantes, Nice, Orléans-Tours, Reims, Rennes, Rouen, Strasbourg
  • French Zone A – Besançon, Bordeaux, Clermont-Ferrand, Dijon, Grenoble, Limoges, Lyon, Poitiers

International visitors also play a major role in the frequentation of European ski resorts, so it is important to take into account the school holiday periods of those countries who tend to holiday in the resort you’re hoping to visit.

Here in the Grand Massif, the major flux of skiers traditionally comes from :

  1. French Zone C (Paris)
  2. United Kingdom
  3. Geneva canton of Switzerland
  4. The Netherlands
  5. Belgium

Choosing When to Take Your Ski Holiday

Click on this link to view the European School Holiday Calendar for winter 2020/21.  This calendar highlights the school holiday periods for a range of European countries.

You’ll be able to see which weeks are likely to be busy with Dutch skiers, for example, by looking at the Dutch school holiday dates.

Cross-check this calendar with the list of nationalities above to estimate high and low season periods here in the Grand Massif during the upcoming winter season.  You’ll soon see there are certain weeks when every country in Europe is on holiday, and other periods when no school holidays are scheduled at all.

Booking with Truemanalp

Here at Truemanalp, over 60% of our bookings are from returning guests.  Many of our guests have already discovered the benefits of skiing outside of peak holiday periods, so our availability tends to be fairly well spread throughout the season.

Get in touch with Debbie to discuss which dates might suit you best – she is full of great advice and very honest about the pros and cons you might expect when visiting during different periods throughout the season.

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