Thursday, May 30, 2019

Indoor Fun to Beat the Desert Heat

Indoor Fun to Beat the Desert Heat

Vegas has become so famous for its casinos and its nightlife that we often forget that there is a thriving city full of people who call this city home. There are businessmen and women, doctors, lawyers, and average Joe citizens who live in this city and have little or nothing to do with the casinos at all. There are entertainers and artists that live far beyond the world of the famous Strip that Vegas more often than not brings to mind.

Vegas is a city that has a cultural center, a religious community, families, and family activities. It is a city in the desert that sees more than its share of sunshine while being particularly vulnerable to rain. It's a city that is famous for it's neon brightness while there are corners of this city that are far removed from that world that is almost as foreign to its citizens as it is to its visitors.

Don't overlook the cultural treasure trove that can be found in Vegas by limiting your experience to the Vegas Strip and the offerings of the many casinos. So there is much more to this wonderful city to see and do and enjoy.

If you are looking for some great ideas to enjoy during your stay, perhaps you will find some here or at least find inspiration for your own ideas. One thing to remember about Vegas is that you are in the desert and it is sunny most of year. Even if it isn't necessarily warm outside it's a good idea to avoid being outdoors whenever possible or to be sure you are liberally applying sunscreen and using other means to protect your skin from the ravages of a desert sun.

Here are some of things you can experience during your time in Vegas if you are willing to seek them out: King Tut's Tomb, the car collection at the Imperial Palace, Chaos at Circus Circus, Gameworks by Steven Spielberg, The Imax theatre at the Luxor, In Search of the Obelisk at the Luxor, Las Vegas Sportspark, Lied Discover Children's Museum, Madame Tussauds Las Vegas, Merlin's Magic Motion Machines, Pioneer Saloon, Pirates 4D, Star Trek the Experience, and the Sunset Stampede just to name a few. The best news of all however is that there are constantly more and more activities and adventures being added to the offerings. This means that there is never a shortage of things to see and do while visiting Las Vegas so there's never a valid reason not to come back.

This list is a short list of only indoor activities; you can find a much larger list of things to enjoy if you consider the many things that can be experienced outside under the desert sun. There are other attractions that will also keep you indoors as well. There are actually quite a few museums in Las Vegas; there is M&Ms World, The Lion Habitat at MGM and the White Tiger Habitat at the Mirage. There's also the canal at the Venetian, which is also home to "Streetmosphere," where live actors delight and entertain you with songs and other revelry.

You will find many rides and adventure parks indoors in Las Vegas as well. People find that the desert heat can be a real joy killer for a day out in the sun and indoor adventure parks fair much better while delivering entertainment that is far superior to many of its outdoor counterparts.
If you're looking for a great way to spend a day indoors, there's no shortage of wonderful things to do and see in Vegas so there's really no excuse. In addition to all the things I've mentioned above, Vegas is home to some of the most splendid shopping in America so be sure to pack your two best friends Visa and Master Card and bring them along for the ride. Also keep in mind that there is plenty to do in the great big world outside these walls and consider the great fun you can have exploring the desert climate of Nevada.



Las Vegas Hilton Luxury at its Finest

The Las Vegas Hilton is one of the more luxurious offerings on the Vegas Strip. This hotel has a lot to offer its guests by way of luxury and amenities including several packages that are amazingly generous by comparison to most other hotels along the strip. If you aren't seeing a package that is appealing to you be sure to call and see if you might be able to negotiate a more suitable package. 

In addition to world class accommodations and a fully functional casino the Las Vegas Hilton also has some of the best shows running along the strip. Current acts include the likes of Barry Manilow and Menopause the Musical. Future acts include big names such as Johnny Mathis and the Asian Fusion concert series. 

Perhaps the most famous attraction at the Las Vegas Hilton however is the Star Trek Experience. The experience is completely out of this world and will have you flying through space in a completely immersive experience that even those who weren't serious fans of the show can appreciate. This is like nothing you've ever experienced before or are likely to enjoy again. There is also a museum that is home to many items from the television series as well as the movies. This is a great addition to your vacation experience even at the rather hefty price tag it commands ($34.99 for adults and $31.99 for children as of this writing and subject to change). If you're going to splurge on one thing during your stay at the Las Vegas Hilton I highly recommend that this be that one thing. There is also the Nemesis Package, which will allow for a reduced rate when purchasing tickets for the Star Trek Experience along with a two-night hotel stay. 

Keep in mind if you're actually coming to Las Vegas for the gambling and not to go Trekking through the galaxy, the casino offers tournaments rather regularly and you should really check to be sure there isn't a tournament that interests you during your stay or around the times you are considering your stay. 

It is fairly safe to say that while there are many fun things to do in Vegas these hotels and casinos would really appreciate your business in the casino seats rather than watching the shows, riding the rides, and playing the games. 

The Las Vegas Hilton also has a full service spa and offers some attractive spa packages to its guests. You'd be doing your body a favor to check out the many packages that are available and combining them in order to get the maximum value for your spa dollar along with your spa visit. You might also consider trying to work a spa comp into your package when booking your room. You'll never know unless you ask. 

There is all manner of shopping at the Las Vegas Hilton and you should be able to find nice gifts for others as well as a few nice gifts for yourself. If you don't find what you're looking for here you are close enough to other shopping opportunities, if you drag yourself away from the spa that is that it's no serious problem to go out and find those perfect gifts, trinkets, and tokens of your good time while visiting Las Vegas. Of course, you simply must visit the Barry Manilow store while you're here and have fun playing with all the nifty toys inside. You also never know when you'll find that perfect gift for friends and family and this store may be the ideal place to look. 

If you're looking for a completely luxurious experience for you stay in Las Vegas there are few places that will suit you better than the Las Vegas Hilton. The good news is that you can arrange for your luxurious treatment to be had at a fraction of the price it would cost elsewhere if you pay careful attention to the specials that are available and book accordingly. 

More Fantastic Vegas Freebies

More Fantastic Vegas Freebies

If you're looking for some great free things to do in Vegas, there are some amazing treats for you and the family awaiting. Many casinos in an effort to bring in more and more business are offering elaborate shows free for the family in an effort to bring more warm bodies into their casinos and out of their competitors. This is a win win situation for tourists and locals alike who are seeking entertainment that will leave a little money in their pockets to spend at the casinos (which is exactly what the casinos were hoping for).

One of the great shows that is available free to families is the Fall of Atlantis Show at Caesar's Palace. This particular show is a laser, water, and light show that features wonderful animatronics action. Also notice that the show's platform is actually a salt-water aquarium. You can see divers feed the fish each day at 1:15 and 5:15 while another staff member is on hand to answer any questions you may have and explain a little about the facility. You can actually take a tour of the facility at 3:15 each day. Enjoy watching the gods as they entertain you rather than us entertaining them.

The Cambridge Community Center offers a free movie and popcorn each Saturday at 1:00. Each week a different movie will be shown and children under 12 must bring an adult to keep them company. You can check out which movie will be playing by checking out the posting on Friday.

Another great Vegas freebie is daily performances of the Hawaiian Marketplace Island Performers. These performances take place throughout the day from 11:00 am until 10:30 pm and feature wonderful dances that will remind you of the island. See hula dancers, fire and knife dancers, musicians, lei makers, and animatronic birds. The performances are free and take place at the Hawaiian Marketplace.

For the Elvis fan in all of us you can see Pete Vallee perform as Big Elvis from Monday to Thursday with shows that take place at 3:00 and 5:00 pm at the Barbary Coast Casino. The admission for this show is free and he brings in quite a crowd with his vocal talent and heartfelt renditions of Elvis' ballads.

M & M World should need no introduction. It is a wonderful and yummy place to visit. More importantly it is a free place to visit. This museum is open Sunday through Thursday from 9 am until 11 pm and Friday and Saturday from 9 am until midnight. This really is a neat attraction to visit and is much more than initially meets the eye. Take a stroll, look around and make sure you see all there is to see or you just might miss something fantastic.

For another sweet freebie, you really must make plans to visit Ethel M's Chocolate Factory. The admission for this self-guided tour is free as is the first sample, but who can eat just one chocolate? Be sure not to leave this tour empty handed, as you'll be kicking yourself once you get back to the room and have a craving for something sinfully sweet. In addition to the chocolate factor is the Botanical Cactus Garden that is open from 8:30 until 7:00 daily. Another great thing to see on this particular tour is the Living Machine, which as waste-consuming ecologies that turns 32,000 gallons wastewater each day into water that is clean enough to use for irrigation purposes.

The Marjorie Barrick Museum of History, which is located on the University of Nevada Las Vegas Campus, is another place to go and learn while being entertained. Admission is Monday through Friday from 8:00 until 4:45 and on Saturday from 10:00 until 2:00. Admission is free and the museum is closed on all state and federal holidays. This museum offers a great display of Western culture and the history of ancient Mexico.

No matter what your specific interests are there are plenty of wonderful things to see and do in Las Vegas that do not put a strain on the pocketbook at all.



See the World in Vegas

Las Vegas today is offering many of the wonders of the world on a much smaller scale to its visitors. There is really nowhere else on earth you can go and see all the sights and witness the thrill of the experience that is Las Vegas. With so much to do and see it's a wonder that anyone ever gets sleep in this great town. Look below for some of the many places to go and sights to see in Vegas that will quite literally have the world at your feet.

Paris Hotel and Casino Las Vegas presents the Eiffel Tower Experience. Quite literally this is a replica of the famed Eiffel Tower of Paris built at 1/2 scale. You can ride to the top of the tower and enjoy a view of the city from 460 feet above ground while pinpointing other landmarks that you may wish to try next. 

Rio Suite Hotel offers the Masquerade Village Show in the Sky. This show is designed to bring the thrill of Rio's Carnival to Las Vegas visitors. This is a great show to witness or in which to participate. Enjoy the sights, sounds, and revelry that are unmistakably Carnival. This show is free to watch and costs $12.95 to participate. 

Luxur Hotel and Casino takes you In Search of the Obelisk. This adventure takes you on archaeological digs searching for Pharaohs. This is a great adventure and takes you not halfway around the world. There are height restrictions for this ride so small children might not be best suited for this particular experience. 

You can experience the thrills, chills, and spills of the Grand Prix at the Las Vegas Mini grand prix. This park is a fun day for the entire family and even features an Adult Grand Prix with Sprint Kart tracks that have high banks and a more authentic experience. This is a great way to have fun and invite a little friendly competition among family members.

If you'd like to experience Venice without traveling halfway around the world then you should really experience the Venetian Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. The highlight of your Vegas Venice experience should be one of the Gondola rides that you can take. You can book a private 2-person gondola for a romantic excursion while being serenaded by your gondolier. 

While at the Venetian you can also check out the Guggenheim Hermitage Museum, which will have some of the best offerings from around the world in order to enhance your experience. You should also take the time to enjoy the beautiful Venetian inspired architecture of the hotel and casino while you're visiting in order to prolong the experience.

The Mirage offers a volcano for guests to experience. While this isn't quite taking your around the world, most of us do not get to experience the sight of a volcano morphing from peaceful waterfalls into streams of molten lava. This is definitely a must see show in Vegas and is free to the public. You can see this show from dusk until midnight every 15 minutes.

If you want an experience that will take you even further away you should try the Star Trek Experience at The Las Vegas Hilton Hotel and Casino. This will not take you to another country per se, but it will definitely take you into another world. Enjoy this encounter with alien creatures and an introduction to the future. Then take a stroll through the museum, which is home to some wonderful memorabilia from the television show and the movies.

Just remember that you are on vacation to get away from it all. Isn't it truly neat that you can literally do that and so much more in this unique and intriguing city? You can travel to different countries, experience different cultures, and literally go out of this world without ever leaving the city limits of Las Vegas. Who could ask for more in a vacation experience?

LAAX in Switzerland

LAAX in Switzerland

LAAX in Switzerland stands over 30 000 feet high, with skiing and snowboarding facilities that suit everyone’s needs – from beginners to world champions. LAAX has hosted all the big events in snowboarding and skiing, welcoming thousands of tourists from around the globe each week. LAAX was one of the first major skiing locations to get on the map, when in the 70s skiing holidays started to rise in popularity for western travelers - LAAX was right their, waiting to ride the wave. Millions of visitors later, LAAX are renowned for their 3rd slalom known only as “Death Mountain” by some. With glaring views down the steep, tangling mountain-side it is no wonder “Death Mountain” scares even the most resilient of skier.

With excellent facilities for everyone LAAX recently hosted the snowboarding world open, in which over 10,000 people took part from 60 countries around the world. An interesting element of this was that over 100 entries came from south Asia and Africa showing the rise of the sport, and the exposure of the location on a global scale. LAAX was voted number 1 skiing location around the world, by “Ski Press Magazine” that also notes LAAX as having the third best Snowboarding facilities and, as being the best new comer to Freestyle snowboarding. The popularity of LAAX, has also lead to continued investment from the company operating the slope, building an amazing ski lift that can handle weights of over 80 tonnes as it climbs 30 000 feet up the mountain face. The ski lift’s unique attribute is its balancing technology that allows the ski lift to carry massive amounts of weight disproportionately whilst keeping a balanced angle and speed.

The popularity of LAAX is not just shared by avid skiers and snowboarders. Top music names and DJs also come to LAAX to experience the amazing events first hand. With the rise of snowboarding many of these musicians feel they can appeal to a certain audience out on the slopes, especially under the cover of darkness, with only flood lights keeping the mountains alive. The DJs provide entertainment as the crowd snowboard and ski into the morning sunlight. The views and the experience are utterly amazing, and are a sure way to ensure top class entertainment for the young travelers who visit LAAX.

However it is not only the night-time DJ sets and fireworks that sparkle for the young skiers; there are also plenty of locations tailored to their needs off the slopes as well. With local pubs, clubs and even swimming pools the young ones are sure to enjoy themselves off the snowy mountains of LAAX. Despite being an amazing location for younger skiers the location also appeals to those who have never been skiing before. They have multi-lingual training facilities and indoor centres where they train first-time skiers up before taking them to the slopes. They also have amazing training facilities for advanced skiers, facilities that would undoubtedly be used by the world’s top skiers and snowboarders at the world events that are held at the slope almost every year.

 The local hotels and accommodation are amazing because unlike most skiing locations, they don’t limit the skiers and snowboarders to a single choice. There are youth hostels that are perfect for those looking to ski on the cheap; there are 5 star hotels for those looking to live the lap-of-luxury and there are many options in between. LAAX is home to more than just pubs, clubs and swimming pools, with banks and supermarkets also at realistic walking distance. LAAX is said to be at its peak during August, however this is said to be true for most of Europe’s top, skiing locations. That is why it is advisable to find a quieter time to visit, preferably a short time following the busy spell. The great thing about coming after the peak is that you are able to come for around half the price of another time of the year.



Skiing in Andorra

The Pyrenees Mountains are located across the border between France and Spain.  Also on this border is the tiny principality of Andorra, as small country that’s skiing crazy!  With two prominent world class ski resorts, Andorra is an excellent place to escape it all; a relaxing, picturesque, quaint place, with mountain views to take your breath away.  And because it is so near France, you can always make a stop off in Andorra for a day or two on another European ski break.

Andorra is situated itself across the Pyrenees, and has a long and protracted dalliance with snow sports.  Since the installation of their first ski lift in 1956, Andorra has been a great ski resort, and a great vacation for the hundreds of thousands of ski tourists who have wisely chosen to visit. For minimal fee, you can experience the wonder of skiing in Andorra, and enjoy the surprising depth of culture Andorra holds so dear.

The Grandvalira resort is situated high in the Pyrenees mountain range, and benefits from astonishing snow coverage.  It is the product of a commercial merger between two of Andorra’s premium ski resorts, and is now of a size and scale to compete with the big resorts north of the border in France.  Grandvalira boasts an impressive 193 ski runs, with 66 mechanised ski lifts, making it a resort to be reckoned with on a truly European scale.  Additionally, it boasts an impressive training school, over seven separate centres with 450 of Europe’s top skiing and snow boarding instructors.  With a wealth of experience, the Grandvalira skiing school has an international reputation, and has achieved a high degree of success on an international level.  Additionally, Grandvalira benefits from an adventure activity centre, and a variety of world class restaurant and bar areas, making it a truly amazing resort, and a great place to spend a vacation with your family or with your friends.  With such a friendly atmosphere, you will feel right at home in the heart of Andorra and the Pyrenees, yet still feel out of the way of the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Another of Andorra’s most famous resorts is the Vallnord resort.  Ideally catering for all ages and abilities, the Vallnord resort offers a challenge for expert skiers, whilst still enabling beginners to have a great time.  Additionally, the Vallnord is more than well equipped for a family holiday, with something to keep everyone entertained and happy.  A slightly smaller resort, it benefits from 30 mechanised ski lifts handling around seventeen thousand skiers every hour, and over 50 different slopes.  It also offers a diverse range of complimentary activities, including other snow sports and even helicopter rides!  Along side this, you’ve got two training schools with over two hundred staff working hard to help hone your skills.  With this much talent and effort, you’re sure to really benefit, and guaranteed to have a great vacation.

An excellent way to save money on a trip to Andorra is to consider a coach trip.  Coach trips through Europe are excellent ways to see a different continent, and to experience first hand the amazing scenery these countries are blessed with, as well as saving a great deal of money whilst you’re at it.  In addition to that, you can find some great package deals that stop off at various skiing locations around central Europe, giving you a chance to experience a variety and depth of skiing conditions on your break.  Whatever coach tour you choose, it is worth remembering that you’re going to have to travel for a good number of hours, although once you get there, everything is fairly proximate, allowing you to experience different cultures and peoples without too much hassle.

Whatever your needs for a skiing vacation, Andorra is certainly a great location to choose.  With such variety crammed into such a small geographic area, you can really experience world class skiing without having to pay through the nose.

Skiing In Aviemore

Skiing In Aviemore

Aviemore is based in the highlands of Scotland, with impressive mountain views, and surrounded by country-side it stands 26,000 feet above rural farmland. The area is renowned for skiing, having recently had 2 European Level Competitions on its snowy peaks in the last two months. The ski resorts success, with professional skiing has also lead to success with tourists, having 12,000 people hitting the slopes each month. These massive numbers are also attributed to snowboarding, with boarding specific slaloms on one side of the mountains.

Aviemore recently commissioned a $4 Million state of the art ski lift that can travel up to 25 miles per hour, withstand winds in excess of 110 miles per hour, and has a total weight of 450 tonnes. The amazing structure travels over 15 miles and is certainly an amazing sight for any avid skier. Aviemore’s tourist based facilities are also highly impressive with 900 square feet, and a verging patio area that looks down the 26,000 feet mountain face.

Aviemore is an unfortunate to only have snow for 7 months in the year, ruling it out of hosting some of the worlds greatest competitions, and really placing Scotland up their with France, Switzerland and now Bulgaria as one the top skiing destinations around the world. The skiing destination has recently hosted the snowboarding world freestyle championships, where the facility had to compete with many countries where the sport has far greater uptake than in Scotland. Scotland’s success would have came as a result of many factors, however it was said that the accommodation facilities were said to be significantly more robust than other countries that had placed similar bids.

With a thriving economy that survives largely of the tourism industry, Aviemore had the facilities to bed over 10,000 people a night, significantly higher than any other bid. The reasons for this was largely down to its proximity to a local town that was also able to provide bed and breakfast accommodation, which ensured that more tickets could be sold, and exposure maximised. Despite this, only 21% of ticket buyers were Scottish, leaving the rest of the 79% to fly in from around the world.

The success of the tournament has lead to speculation of Aviemore building on its initial success to host more tournaments in the coming years, and with this the value of property has risen and the hotel industry is also becoming savvy to the prospect of high demand in the area. The Aviemore mountains have an average gradient that well exceeds most skiing locations in the west of Europe making Aviemore the place to visit for a European Skiing trip, providing the time of year is correct.

With only 7 months snow, Aviemore is considering a contained facility, where it will continue to provide skiing and snowboarding indoors. The thought of this, also would raise ideas and suggestions as to how they intend to go about this, and on what scale? Would they be looking to compete with the indoor facilities in Berlin, or would they be looking for something basic? The fact is, speculation as to a large scale indoor facility is mounting, and this is certainly something that would benefit the hotel industry in the area that is growing rapidly, however experiences a less-busy spell for 5 months in the year where Aviemore is in no condition to allow snowboarders or skiers to hit the slopes. Despite this freestyle snowboarding still continues, where the snow is artificially maintained in a half-pipe with which the snowboarders can practice and perfect tricks in a similar way to skateboarders.

If you have never been to Aviemore then I recommend you visit, whether or not you are a skier. The fact is, the views are amazing, the fresh clear air is refreshing and the people are fantastic. If you have never skied before, then what better place to learn than Aviemore.



Skiing In Bulgaria

Ok, so I know Bulgaria isn’t likely to be the first place that springs to mind when you think about a skiing vacation.  However, you’d be surprised to learn that Bulgaria is becoming an increasingly popular destination of choice for holiday makers across Europe, and the world.  A new breed of European country, Bulgaria is beginning to build towards becoming an industrialised, metropolitan nation.  The eastern European nation has a surprising depth of history and culture, and is truly an excellent place to discover.  With this national growth comes the development of its inherent passion for skiing, and this is evident across the country, with various ski resorts springing up all over the place.

Bulgaria’s most recognised ski resort is Bansko.  As a result of massive investment in Bulgaria, particularly in the development of the tourism industries, Bansko is undergoing extensive refurbishment and modernisation, to create a facility that can compete on a world scale.  As well as time and money spent on developing hotels, luxurious apartments, ski lifts and other facilities, there is also a great deal being ploughed into refining the actual slopes themselves, to ensure a high quality, internationally acceptable skiing conditions.  With impressive snow coverage from late November through to spring, Bansko is an ideal location for a ski resort, and this is reflected by its increasing popularity.  The beautiful village itself is rich in history and tradition, and you’ll find the people very warm and welcoming; eager to please, and ensure you have a good time.

Another of Bulgaria’s major ski resorts is Pamporovo, situated on the Rhodopi Mountain.  A thoroughly modernised resort, Pamporovo boasts an extensive training academy and well maintained ski runs for all abilities.  The most southern resort in Europe, Pamporovo benefits from a particularly sunny climate, with around four months of sunshine, and plenty of snow.  That means you’ll never be skiing in too unpleasant conditions!  Pamporovo is also more than adequately equipped to deal with holiday makers in terms of auxiliary services, and has recently unveiled plans for a state of the art ski lift.  With so much time and investment being spent on these slopes, it really is an ideal time to visit Bulgaria.

Of course the beauty of Bulgaria as a great skiing location is that it is relatively untouched and undiscovered.  This means that you can benefit from the excellent facilities without having to contend with too many tourists.  Thus, Bulgaria provides an excellent opportunity to enjoy skiing in eace and quiet, in idyllic settings.  Additionally, for a trip in Bulgaria, you’re going to be paying significantly less than other European countries for the same amazing weather and fantastic skiing.  Bulgaria really is a win/win location for any skiing holiday.

With such extensive investment in the nation, Bulgaria is an up and coming holiday destination as it pushes towards European integration.  By nursing an ever strengthening tourism industry, the nation is growing continually, and this is great news for skiing enthusiasts who can benefit from its excellent natural resources and ski resort facilities.  Additionally, with such a quality-orientated approach, Bulgaria is challenging the more industrialised European nations in terms of service and produce. For a low cost, high quality skiing vacation, Bulgaria has to be a consideration, so why not book your vacation, and discover Europe’s best kept skiing secret for yourself?

Great European Skiing Destinations

Great European Skiing Destinations

When it comes to skiing and winter sports, Europe has more than its fair share of amazing resorts.  From the greatly priced, to the more than reasonable, Europe has it all, and has so much to offer any skier.  If you’ve never been to Europe on a skiing holiday, or if you’re looking to expand your experience, you’ll find something that catches your eye without too much research, and you might just end up joining the legions of skiing fans that wouldn’t go anywhere else in the world for their vacation.

On mainland Europe, you have such a varied selection.  From the world famous French skiing resorts to Austria, Switzerland and the tiny principality of Andorra, you’ve got such a wide range of skiing to choose from.  France is known the world over as the true home of skiing, and the French really know how to do a quality vacation.  With naturally amazing resources, and scenery that can take your breath away, France is an ideal location for a skiing trip.  Why not try the Courchevel resort, which has four different ski resorts within one, providing the perfect blend of quality and affordability in a skiing trip.  From the grossly overpriced 1850 resort, the playground of Europe’s film stars and playboys, to the seemingly remote 1350 at the bottom of the hill, you have so much to choose from in Europe’s finest skiing country.  With the kids or with your friends, France is truly a destination that will make for a memorable skiing vacation.

Or how about some of the Italian resorts?  Italy, famous for being the cheaper way to ski, also benefits from a diverse range of resorts, like the tiny Alba resort, as well as some larger, more sizeable areas to ski.  Famous for passion and a depth of culture, Italy is the ideal place to take a skiing break in Europe, and the weather’s good too!  Or how about Italy’s neighbor, Croatia?  A rising European nation, you’ll find a Croatian holiday outrageously good value for money, not to mention top quality.  From the international standard ski resorts to their world class restaurants, Croatia is certainly a country on the up, and its skiing facilities can only improve as more and more tourists flock to their slopes each year.  Additionally, Bulgaria is an excellent skiing destination to take the kids.  With open arms, you will be welcomed by the Bulgarian people, who are more than eager to tell you about their rich and deep past, and welcome you as part of their future.  In these expanding and developing European nations, you will come to appreciate the value of tourism, and the quality of treatment and service they are prepared to offer for your investment.

How about Austria for your skiing trip?  When we think of skiing, we often imagine the Alpine ideal, with breathtaking scenery and fresh, clean air.  Well, it simply doesn’t come much better than Austria, and if you’re looking for a skiing destination that has it all, why not try Austria for that touch of class with your skiing.  Or why not pop over to Switzerland for their Alps experience?  Skiing the alps in the home of chocolate and cuckoo clocks, you will be amazed at how picturesque this modern nation has managed to be, whilst still becoming a world leader in financial industry.

Skiing in Europe is the ideal way to spend your vacation.  If you love skiing, you are guaranteed to find a great resort somewhere, within your budget that meets your needs, and caters for your ability.  With most resorts also boasting strong training academies, you can also work to improve your skills while you are there, ensuring that your skiing trip is both useful and memorable.  Whatever you are looking for, choose Europe as your number one skiing destination, for that perfect blend of quality, tradition and culture, and for a holiday that is truly breathtaking.



Kopaonik in Serbia

Skiing in Kopaonik, Serbia is becoming a growing trend for skiers looking to move away from the commercial skiing facilities of Central and Northern Europe in search of more naturally occurring skiing trails. With a snow range of 1770-2017 metres and a village positioned 5,000 feet above sea level Kopeonik in Serbia is seen as the answer to many skiers’ dreams. With a three hour journey from the nearest airport Kopaonik is surely worth the effort, having cross-country skiing, night skiing, skydiving, sleigh rides, ice-skating, indoor tennis and many other activities for the winter sports enthusiast to enjoy. 

The mountain climbs 35,000 feet into the cold Serbian sky, whilst ski lifts only climb to 6,617 feet. The skiing facility is yet to host a major skiing event; despite being home to several international snowboarding competitions and cross-country skiing as well. The living quarters are apt for pricing that would delight the weariest of tourists. Skiers can experience national cuisine such as Burek (pastry, cheese, spinach) and Pljeskavica (grilled mince) for well under $10 a meal. The old favorites such as burger, chips and pizza are still on the menu, and the price of $1.50 a beer might delight some holiday makers looking to do slightly more than just ski! The living area can handle over 5,000 tourists at the same time, whilst the bars and clubs around the area make the holiday destination more suited to the younger holiday-maker. Another issue that is quite prominent is the mistake that many make in travelling to Kopaonik to celebrate Christmas – the celebrations are of slight comparison to western culture, despite its labelling as a winter heaven. 

With different piste types Kopaonik caters for beginners, intermediates and experts with the following ratio.

? 15 beginner
? 8 intermediate
? 6 expert

Having 21 lifts and an uphill capacity of 15,000 (an hour) Kopaonik is more than capable of catering for its millions of visitors each year. With slopes facing N, N/E and N/W you can be sure to experience the densely populated villages that surround the region. Thriving from the tourism the mountain provides, Kopaonik has recently became home to a 4 star luxury hotel providing entertainment and accommodation to skiers and executives alike.   

With the longest run covering 3.5 KM and expert tuition on hand, Kopaonik has recently benefited from its appointment of English speaking instructors across skiing and snowboarding disciplines. The advanced runs down the Kopaonik mountain-face are a primary incentive for many skiers to choose Kopaonik as their skiing holiday destination. The 6 runs that fit into this category must be epitomised by the Konaci - which a local holiday village was recently named after.

 The Konaci has an angle of 79 degrees at a certain point, which it is said that - if you go too slow, and fail to position yourself correctly, it would be perfectly feasible to fall forwards merely travelling in a straight line. The Konaci sees skiers travelling at speeds of over 50 MPH and jumps that allow airtime of over 8 seconds. The Konaci is praised and feared by the top skiers from Europe and further a field. Despite this, the run featured in the 2005 snowboarding event that took place in the Kopaonik mountains. 

With snow falling on the slopes between August/September all the way through to early March, skiers should plan their trip with that in mind. The slopes of Serbia and the warm generous nation make Kopaonik an ideal holiday destination for any traveler looking to have a good time on a set of skis. The package deals start from around $400 a week, whilst amazing savings can be made through booking online.

The destination expects 10, 000 visitors a week by 2009, and with its intention to develop further runs across every piste you can be sure that Kopaonik, Serbia will be a skiing location that will stay firmly on the map. 

Skiing In Croatia

Skiing In Croatia

Croatia, one of the new emerging European nations, has seen an amazing turnaround in fortunes over the last decade.  Since it has become more involved with the European Union, and European integration, it has become distinctly more tourist friendly, and is a great place to vacation with your family on a budget.  With a number of well positioned mountain resorts, Croatia is ideally suited for skiers of all abilities and ages, making it a great all-round holiday destination.

If you’re looking for a skiing holiday which combines excellent snow with a warm, friendly climate, Croatia is simply ideal for you.  With numerous strategically located ski resorts, Croatia is a nation of ski lovers, and this is reflected in their amazing facilities.  When in Croatia, you’d be mad to miss the Bjelolasica.  The Bjelolasica is the training centre for the Olympic skiing team, located in the Zagreb region.  It boasts amazing facilities, and is simply a great place to go skiing.  As you might expect, the standard of training there is simply world class, and this accounts for why the Croatian national team are so prolific.  On top of this, the hotel facilities are exceptional value for money, and you’ll find that with any Croatian holiday, you will be spending less than you may imagine.  As a growing nation, Croatia is becoming an increasingly popular skiing destination, for enthusiasts of all age and ability.

Another very popular Croatian skiing resort is Platak, located nearer the Adriatic.  A little more expensive, and somewhat more remote than Bjelolasica, Platak is still a very popular resort, and is frequently rated the best place to ski in Croatia.  The whole resort built around the naturally ideal ski centre is of a top quality, and it is easy to see why tourists come back year on year for their skiing vacations.  A resort very much on the grow, there are plans to introduce several new ski lifts, and a dozen additional snow cannons by 2010.  Platak looks to be a promising resort for the future, and is certainly great for a skiing vacation with a family.
Additionally, Platak’s skiing and snowboarding instruction centre is well practiced at giving exceptional quality training, across multiple languages, making for substantial improvement to your skills, regardless of your nationality.  Additionally, with its high tech features, Platak could easily fit in with any European resort, and for such a low price, it is great value for money.

When in Croatia, does as the Croatians’ do, and visit Zagreb.  The bustling city of Zagreb has so much to offer by way of Croatian culture and history, and is an excellent chance to break away from the slopes for a few days.  It is truly a cultural hotbed, and the hustle and bustle will betray the long and arduous past.  Looming above Zagreb is Mount Medvednica, and the Sljeme resort.  With both daytime skiing, and the option of hitting the flood-lit slopes at night. Along side highly technical snow cannons, Zagreb benefits from excellent snow coverage at this altitude, and is a fantastic city for a ski resort.  Additionally, there is so much by way of additional, complimentary facilities which make skiing at Sljeme an ideal prospect.

Many people are surprised to think that Croatia actually borders Italy.  However, the culture is so different from the Italian culture.  With an entirely different history and culture, the Croatians certainly place heavy emphasis on their food, and this is reflected in the top quality gourmet restaurants available.  Additionally, you’ll note exactly how cheap the entire country is, with your average pint of ale coming in at less than a dollar.  In Croatia, your spending money will go a lot further, and so will your holiday, which is why so many families choose it as an ideal destination for their skiing break.  So why not choose Croatia, and benefit from world class skiing, at a fraction of the price.



Geilo in Norway

Geilo in Norway stands 800 metres high, and has one of the highest ski lifts in the world, stretching 3,887 feet. Geilo is positioned three and a half hours from the capital city, whilst having good road and rail links to the village. Set amidst amazing scenery just off the banks of Fjord, Geilo is at the heart of Norway’s “Winter Wonderland”. Maintaining its reputation as an excellent family resort, Geilo has seen visitors from Europe and beyond since early 1900s. Geilo remains unspoilt, with true Norwegian character firmly intact.  

With more than just skiing facilities Geilo is home to the 4 star Highland Hotel, as well as numerous lodging houses, and the famous Holms Ski Bar. Although primarily a ski resort Geilo also offers sleigh rides, wildlife adventure tours, ski orienteering, tobogganing, snow shoe walking, dog-sledging, kite-skiing, night-skiing, snowboarding, freestyle snowboarding and much more. 

Geilo’s reputation as one the worlds top skiing resorts lies mainly in its ability to cater for family vacations. With over 10,000 families visiting the slopes each year, Geilo also offers excellent tuition in packages it refers to as the “Family Starter Pack”. This involves tuition for your entire family for the equivalent of $200 a day. This means, that not only can your whole family learn together, but is also means that families with no skiing experience, can go along and after the first day, they will be able to ski on their own. 

Geilo has also increased its reputation amongst Snowboarders in recent years beating off Lillehammer, Voss and Hemsedal in its bid to host the Norwegian Snowboarding Championship. With four sides of mountain each dedicated to snowboarding and skiing, Geilo is now able to call itself Norway’s first skiing location to offer 5 runs dedicated to snowboarding. With 110 runs in total, Geilo has 14% expert allowing experienced skiers to enjoy themselves on the slopes, whilst maintaining the rest of its facilities for intermediates and beginners that account for a larger number of their yearly visitors. 

Geilo also offers exceptional value for money with weekly family packages starting from $1000 including accommodation, bed and breakfast. The element that stands out the most about Geilo is the way it caters for families, with crèches, family diners, and especially their Christmas bonanza which includes Santa visiting the slopes with his reindeer on Christmas day, and the time leading up to christmas. Geilo never fails to be fully booked for Christmas, with so many families choosing to bring their children along to experience Christmas within this winter wonderland. 

Although Geilo offers amazing family packages, it would be unfair to say that Geilo is limited to family vacations. Geilo has hosted very serious world sporting events, as well as being the training ground of the national snowboarding and skiing teams. Geilo is available from August/September all the way through to late March and is also considering investing in “Avalanche Technology” which generates snow from water to provide 24/365 skiing. If you have never been to Geilo then I would recommend that you give it a go, although the family image may put certain people off visiting the slope I would suggest that checking it out is the best thing to do. From their website it is clear to see that consistent snowfall, and a good variation in the difficulty of runs, Geilo is a facility that can genuinely cater for everyone; from beginner to professional. 

It has many great options for accommodation, and with good travel links as well their really is no excuse for not hoping on a plane and going to Geilo today. With thousands of people on the slopes, from different countries and different backgrounds Geilo is suitable for families and teenagers alike. With individual price plans starting from $350 a week, and well-known DJs playing at local club venues Geilo is also becoming very popular amongst those teenagers who would have previously seen Ibiza as the only place to be seen on holiday. 

Tremblant In Canada

Tremblant In Canada

Tremblant is based in Canada and has over 90 runs servicing millions of skiers each year. With 13 state-of-the-art ski lifts and a selection of choices for both snowboarders and skiers Tremblant attained its reputation through daring, varied runs catering for a selection of abilities and preferences. With its longest run being 6km long, you cannot help but picture Tremblant as the skiing capital of Canada.

Tremblant has also recently had 18 acres of quality, freestyle snowboarding playground custom built. With jumps, rails, ramps and half-pipes those who are familiar with this should be sure to check it out should the visit. With 94 slaloms, the Tremblant management team have been sure to cater for all levels with 31 intermediate slopes, 17 slopes for novices and mountains worth of expert, countered terrain.

Standing 870 metres tall, and with snowboarding and skiing facilities on all four faces, it is no wonder the 628 acre facility is considered the home to Skiing in the area. The facility allows for natural snow between November and April however this does not set anyone back for the other months of the year. The revolutionary Avalanche system actually turns water into snow in an instant.

So how does the system work? In Tremblant there are 885 guns, that spray a cooling gassy chemical onto the snow and the coverage is able to not only turn water into snow in minutes, but also maintain organic snow forever. The amazing system ensures that the temperature is just right: not turning the snow to ice. The revolutionary system is also used to alter the temperature of snow for big events, however its main advantage is 365 day snow, for the people of Tremblant.

The Tremblant Lift system can carry over 27,000 snowboarders and skiers per hour, whilst the Gondola and quads also aid the in the massive effort of lifting millions of people up the mountain each day.

For those of you who get hungry there are also great accessible eateries available at the top of the 870 metre mountain. Whilst most holiday makers will experience the Tremblant as experienced skiers, there are also many options available to the beginners and intermediates choosing to visit Tremblant. With over 40 beginner slopes and over 50 multi-lingual skiing instructors you really have to visit Tremblant to understand its sheer scale. Learning to ski in Tremblant is not only a great idea because of the experience of the instructors, but also because your choices are not restricted at all.

During my first visit to Tremblant I was a keen skier but I had never had the opportunity to snowboard before. During my time in Tremblant I was taught how to snowboard in one day, and by the end of the vacation I was able to attempt challenging runs on the intermediate circuits. Although my experience in skiing was helpful, I felt a lot of this came down to the dexterity of the instructors.

The accommodation in Tremblant is amazing, with 6 hotels all with excellent service and offering amazing luxury to their guests. In a hotel, where you see amazing views onto the massive mountain, you also see firework displays that they put on for the tourists each evening. In case that puts you off, I was assured the fireworks do not make any noise, apart from at the weekends. The amazing Tremblant skiing resort has never hosted a large event, and is firmly known for its ability to cater for tourists, however that has not stopped it, in its quest to host the 2009 open. Having placed a bid, we can all wait and see if Tremblant is successful.

Ski Press Weekly voted Tremlant the best skiing facility for tourists in North America and this is hardly a surprise. With accessible pricing, a massive selection of runs and a lift that can carry over 25,000 people an hour it is hardly surprising.



USA - Copper Mountain

Copper Mountain was referred to as the best ski slope in “North America” by the US Forestry Service, for its amazing resources and ability to cater for beginner, intermediate and expert skiers. Based only 120 KM from Denver airport and with 160 metres of pure skiing fun, Copper Mountain is the only place to go skiing in America.  

With a 3 Kilometre base and a summit of nearly 4 kilometres it is no wonder the slope is big enough to handle over 30,000 visitors on a monthly basis. With twenty two lifts the Copper Mountain is renowned for its 6 man high speed lift, 5 doubles, 5 triples, surface chairs, quad lifts, tubing zone and even quad lifts that can travel in excess of 40 kilometres per hour. 

The upper lifts close at 1500 every evening, meaning you get 30 minutes to complete your last run before your days skiing is over. Opening at 9am in the morning Monday to Friday there is no excuse for not getting an early start. At the weekends the lifts open around a half an hour earlier, making it much easier to fit more skiing into your day.

In total Copper Mountain covers two and a half thousand acres, and stands nearly 800 metres tall. With 125 trails in total, 18% cater for expert skiers, 36% for advanced skiers, 21% for beginners and 25% for intermediates.  The snowfall in Cooper Mountain is also something to be reckoned with; the total snowfall in November to April of 2005/2006 was 283.58, with March appearing to be the best month for snow. Although April to November provides the best snow, Copper Mountain also has an avalanche machine keeping the slop active for around 12 months in the year. This machine works by releasing a gas that turns water into snow. The machine provides genuine powdery snow that can even be altered to be icier, or softer to meet the needs of the skiers. 

The Copper Mountain is set to be active for 12 months of the year, as of some point in the next two years, whilst plans are also unveiled for an indoor facility. The massive success of Copper Mountain is said to be partially attributable to hosting world snowboarding events, and also offering other activities such as snow tubing which is becoming increasingly popular, as well as snowshoeing, hiking, biking and snowmobile vehicles.

When I last visited Copper Mountain major regeneration work had just begun. They had started re-building the lift, their were hotel and lodging developments, and they have even started investing in real estate. From what I understand you will be able to buy a property overlooking the amazing slopes in a small amount of time. They had also seen the importance and the market that exists for training skiing. When a facility has the best training facility, new skiers are more likely to come along, learn how to ski at Copper Mountain and then come back year after year. They have built a complex that will house and support their training team, and they intend to offer lessons for a great price to encourage people to learn how to ski at Copper Mountain. 

Copper Mountain is also home to freestyle snowboarding facilities which are becoming increasingly with teenagers looking to get started in winter sports. The snowboarding facilities include ramps, half-pipes, jumps and runs, whilst also being flood light, allowing the facility to operate much later than when the lifts stop functioning. 

If you have never been to Copper Mountain then you will soon realise why it is rated as the best Skiing facility in America. Did you know that many film scenes have been completed on this mountain? It may also surprise you to know that this is usually completed when there is no snow on the mountains, and an avalanche machine generates snow in the absence of a any skiers or tourists.