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YES, YOU CAN STILL JOIN, and since we still have some spots we decided to keep the early bird until Thursday evening! For questions, don’t hesitate to contact us by chat (right lower corner), mail (info@expatclub.org) or phone (0495-345144). We’re happy to help you with any question you may have about this trip. Great for single travellers since we offer room sharing. Great for families (already 3 on board). Great for couples since we offer nice double rooms.

All prices will become clear once you start the booking process by clicking on the Book now button.

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

Our group is becoming bigger, tickets going fast. But what do you expect with such nice weather and snow forecasts? 🙂  Come on, lets ski next weekend! Everyone welcome, including families (already 3 on board!!). We extended the early bird offer until Thursday evening.

Don’t forget to register as a member first to get 2% member discount and a €10 welcome bonus. It’s not required to join this trip though!

 

Expat Club found a superb solution for your skiing / snowboarding addiction! Indeed, we are going to hit the slopes for a weekend and found the best destination North of the Alps. You can ski on Saturday and Sunday.

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Skiing is Les Vosges is a great experience, with almost 50km of prepared slopes, from green and blue to black! | © Laurie Hego / Ville de Gérardmer

We will be travelling to Épinal, a nice regional town on the edge of the Vosges mountains of Eastern France, where we will stay in the 4* Mercure hotel. From there we travel towards La Bresse – Hohneck on Saturday morning. This is the largest resort in the Vosges mountains. The advantage to Gérardmer, another ski area in the Vosges mountains, is that there are more chairlifts available (7 instead of 2) and therefore you encounter much less waiting time. The area is on average also a little higher, which is beneficial for the snow quality.

Domaine alpin de la Mauselaine

© Laurie Hego / Ville de Gérardmer

What if you can’t ski? No problem, because we’ll organise a private skiing class for absolute beginners. For just €35 you can join a 2-hour private Expat Club class in which you learn the basic techniques. We eventually also organisers a beginners class for people with some experience. And for both we could offer it again on Sunday.

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Hiking trips & Nordic Skiing
There are tons of hiking / walking / Nordic Skiing opportunities in the area. If you are interested, please let us know so we can hook you up with other people with the same interest! The surroundings are very beautiful. You can even decide to take a lift up and walk on the top of the mountains!

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Tons of snow at the Hohneck, the highest point in the Vosges Mountains | by Adomisic (own work), via Wikipedia France

Where?
The Vosges Mountains lie directly West of Colmar and Moulhouse, and about 90km Southwest of Strasbourg and 70km Southeast of Nancy. The highest top is over 1400 meters, so quite high for a region outside the Alps and snow is therefore common. The views from the tops are great, with nice villages and lakes in the valleys. The Vosges mountains are a wildlife refuge for mountain goats, the lynx even the grey wolf! No worries, you won’t bump into them while on the slopes 🙂

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Large parts of the Gérardmer and La Bresse – Hohneck resorts are prepared with artificial snow by hundreds of “snow canons”. This snow forms a perfect ground layer on which you can ski very well, and on which fresh powder sticks perfectly. Since they activate the canons overnight, you are always sure to have a new fresh layer of powder.

Transportation & trip
We will be travelling with a modern 4* luxury bus. It has spacious reclining seats with footrests. The bus is air-conditioned and has an on-board toilet, DVD-system with several screens. It is possible to take your own skis or snowboard with you of course. During the trip we provide you with some drinks and snacks. The trip to Épinal will take about 5,5-6 hours, including a 45 minutes stop in Luxembourg for dinner. Our arrival time on Friday evening will be around midnight.

Vosges Epinal © Vincent Ricci WC

Épinal in the summer | by Vincent Ricci (own work), via Wikimedia Commons

Épinal: Hotel location & ski shuttle
For this trip we will be staying in Épinal, a larger regional city and administrative capital of the Vosges region. It is located just outside the Vosges mountains at about 40 kilometers from Gérardmer. It has a nice Old Town center with several bars and restaurants. Just the perfect base for this skiing trip, especially because Gérardmer is often fully booked and considerably more expensive.

Since we have our own bus we’ll be shuttling between Épinal and the La Bresse – Hohneck ski resort. If you want, we can also drop you in Gérardmer centre from where you can take a ski bus to the Gérardmer ski resort or take a taxi to the Nordic skiing area (get your rental equipment on the spot, and we’ll pick you up in the late afternoon). It’s also a perfect place for a relaxing spa visit (e.g. in The Grand Hotel, from about €80 including one treatment).

Our hotel
We will be staying in a good 4* hotel in Épinal. This hotel is at walking distance from the city centre, where you can find a few bars and restaurants.

Mercure Epinal collage

The Mercure Épinal Centre is a 4* hotel located next to the Moselle River and at just 5 minutes walking from the city centre. You will have access to a heated swimming pool as well as a sauna and hammam (unfortunately the hotel charges €15 entrance fee per person). The rooms are air-conditioned and spacious. All rooms feature a flat-screen TV with satellite channels and a private bathroom. Free WiFi is available throughout the hotel. In the mornings you can enjoy a nice buffet breakfast for an extra fee of €15 per day.

Rooms
During the checkout process you can see which rooms are still available in the hotel. You can choose between 4 types of rooms:

  • singles, for a single travellers (with supplement)
  • doubles (1 large bed), for couples (no supplement)
  • twins (2 single beds, or 1 large bed and a single sofa bed), for 2 single travellers (friends who travel together + singles who want to share a room)
  • triples / quadruples for families or 3 friends who want to share (no surcharge, but contact us beforehand)

Are you travelling alone?
We got a perfect solution! For solo travellers who would like to share a room to avoid the single room supplement Expat Club offers a service to pair you up with a room mate. You do not pay a supplement and we will find you a room partner. We do not assign you one, but you can choose who you would like to share the room with during the outbound journey to France. This solution worked very well during our last trips. Note that there all room types are limited, so the earlier you book, the better we can help you get the room you want. Also pay attention to the fact that the person who booked the earliest has the first choice of bed (since some rooms have 1 large bed and a sofa bed (which is also approved for a 4* hotel btw).

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Ski area
We will be skiing in the resort of La Bresse – Hohneck. With 220 hectares and 50 kilometers of slopes, this is the largest area in the Vosges mountains. Some other data:

  • 7 chairlifts, including 3 modern detachable high-speed lifts
  • 17 draglifts
  • 300 snow canons !!!
  • Slopes: 8 green, 20 blue, 13 reds, 1 black
  • Various restaurants
  • A fun on-track rodel course

Due to the current temperatures and snow levels (Thursday 11 January), we expect good skiing possibilities for our foreseen trip. There may may over 50cm of fresh snow on top of the old layer from December and early January. The temperatures also look favourable for good snow quality.

Screen Shot 2017-02-07 at 23.51.46

Click on the picture to download the big map.

Basic trip fee
The regular basic fee of this trip is €319, with an early bird fee of €299. This includes:

  • Transportation with a 4* luxury coach.
  • On board snacks- and drinks on outbound journey (juice, water, bananas, waffles, chocolate bars…)
  • Accommodation in a 4* hotel, based on 2 people sharing a room
  • Ski shuttle on Saturday morning & late afternoon, Sunday morning & afternoon
  • Very nice breakfast buffet two mornings (optional €15 per person per day)

vosges-ski-lift

Optional extras – Ski rental, passes, lessons
For your convenience Expat Club offers to book everything in advance: ski passes, ski equipment rental and skiing lessons. Weekends are always busy here. Not only may they sell out, but the waiting lines can be VERY long for individuals. Since we arrive as one group we will be helped much faster. Make sure to let us know during checkout exactly what you need and we’ll make sure that everything is ready for you upon arrival. Prices are indicated on the page after you click the “Book now” button. If anything is missing, or you have specific requests, please let us know (info@expatclub.org). Note that we only offer packages for 2 days, otherwise it will be too complicated. So if you only want to join for skiing on 1 day or have your own boots but not your skis (or vice versa), please just contact us and we make sure you get what you need.

  • Ski passes (for Saturday or Sunday, or for the whole weekend)
  • Skis & shoes & sticks rental
  • High-end skis & shoes & sticks rental
  • Snowboard & shoes rental
  • Safety helmet rental
  • Ski clothes rental
  • Ski lessons absolute beginners, 2 hours Saturday morning (max 12 per group): €35,00

During checkout you can indicate your preferences. Also no-rental is an option of course if you take your own equipment or don’t want to go skiing. But if you do want to rent then you must give the measurements of all travellers on your booking (age, height, weight, shoe size and level of skiing). This is very important as the ski rental agency needs to know beforehand. If you travel with a friend and you don’t know his/her data, just book what you personally need and send all data of your friend(s) or family members asap afterwards.**

 

Clothing
For many Expat Club members this may the first time to go into such winterly conditions. During our visit you have to expect temperatures of around -5 to -1  degrees Celsius (perfect). With some wind it may become a bit more chilly. It is therefore important to dress up appropriately. For skiing you must have special ski clothes. If you don’t have this, we suggest to borrow this from someone. If you would like to buy it, simply go to Decathlon and you might buy everything you need for about €100. Just get/buy the following (the sport shops can help you):

  • Skiing / snowboarding pants and jacket (from €60 to €1600). Jeans are NOT appropriate! We suggest to just get something cheap and decent.
  • Eventually a winter jacket, unless your regular jacket is warm enough and can be used for skiing.
  • It may also be advisable to buy “ski underwear”. These are highly elastic garments that cover your entire body and keep you considerably warmer than without. This costs about €10 in Decathlon.
  • On top of that you need one or two pairs of “ski socks”, which are very thick long socks that reach almost to your knees. You need them to stay comfortably warm in the shoes.
  • You also need good sports sunglasses (from €5 to €25 in Decathlon) that cover a larger area over your eyes than the smaller shades that you would use in the summer + under snowy conditions some snow glasses.

Insurance
You are advised to get a good travel insurance. If you travel regularly you are probably already well insured for winter activities. Most European-wide insurances from Belgium cover theft and healthcare expenses in the unfortunate case something happens (e.g. if you get into an accident on the slopes… knock on wood). However, we advise you to check this with your insurance company, especially for rescue operations on the slopes. A family of four can already be insured for about €65-70 per year, and daily insurances are already available for a few euro. At the same time we recommend you to check whether you have a cancellation insurance, just in case you fall ill or something else happens that prevents you from going.

** All above prices include a service fee. Ski passes need to be returned afterwards, otherwise a fee of €2 will be levied.

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Expat Club is open to anyone who wishes to join interesting, fun and informative local events, and who likes to travel from Brussels to tourist hotspots, historic destinations, and the most scenic regions in Belgium and surrounding countries. We welcome expats and international-minded Belgians of all ages and professional backgrounds, including singles, couples, families with children, retirees and small groups of colleagues and friends. It’s almost impossible you would not fit into our diverse, open-minded and friendly community.

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6 Comments

  1. We are travelling as a family of 3.

    Reply
    • We’ve put your name on the list Shankar. More information follows on Thursday.

      Reply
  2. Dear all,
    your offer and programme sounds really interesting. I would like to participate. However, how much is the supplement for a single room? I have been doing Nordic skiing for the last 10 years. I have the special shoes, but would need to rent the cross country skis. Do you have more info on the Nordic ski tracks ?
    Thank you in advance,
    Anneli

    Reply
    • We sent you a PM. There are various tracks to choose from of different lengths. No problem to hire skis on the spot, it’s all rather cheap too, certainly compared to skiing.

      Reply
  3. Sounds fun. Could you please pm details for single supplement and lift passes? thank you.

    Reply
    • Thanks for your interest in the ski trip. It would be easiest to simply visit the ticketing page (after clicking the Book now button), where you can see all the prices and supplements: https://expatclub.org/product/2018-01-19-vosges/. The single room supplement is €70 in total and the skis depend on what formula you want. If you have any other questions, just mail or call us and we’ll do our best to help you. Needless to say it will be a great trip. We have many nice people joining us (all between about 30 and 55, with some families as well), including newcomers and some who return often.

      Reply

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