Explorers Connect

Powering the Adventure Revolution

EC Ski & Snowboarding Week:
Saturday 3rd – Saturday 10th February 2018

This trip is now sold out. If you'd like to be put on the waiting list, please enter your email below.

We’ve got another legendary EC ski and snowboarding week lined up for you in 2018 for a great value price.

This time we’ll be heading to the beautiful and traditional village of St Martin de Belleville, close to the immense Three Valleys ski area containing the resorts of Les Menuires, Val Thorens, Meribel, Courchevel and La Tania, with 600km of pisted runs, around 600km off-piste terrain and 200 ski lifts. Experience the delights of staying in our own chalet away from the crowds in a traditional Savoyard village combined with skiing on some of the best high-altitude slopes in the Alps.

At 1,450 metres up, St Martin has one of the most picturesque locations in the valley, set among quiet, lightly wooded slopes with a 16th-century church at its centre. It is often described as ‘the hidden gem’ of the Three Valleys. With a selection of traditional and modern shops, bars and cafes, the village is also home to one of the best restaurants in the French Alps, the 3 Michelin starred La Bouitte.

We’ll be staying in our own detached original Savoyard farmhouse, fully refurbished with two lounges, a games room, open log-fireplace and a converted ecurie dining room with gorgeous vaulted ceilings. We’ll be staying in single beds (double options available) in shared spacious bedrooms which all have ensuite bathrooms. The chalet also has a stunning terrace with a sunken hot tub and mountain views, and downstairs there is also a separate area for storing skis / boards and a heated boot room. The chalet has a resident Labrador dog, who is very friendly and enjoys meeting new people, but he can also be kept out of the guest areas if desired!

ITINERARY

On Saturday we’ll arrive at Geneva airport in the morning as a group where we’ll be greeted by the EC host and then take a private minibus transfer to the chalet direct (approximately 2.5 hours). In the afternoon we’ll collect and sort our ski or snowboard equipment from a local shop in the village, have dinner and get ourselves ready to get up early and explore!

Each day we’ll start with a hearty continental breakfast of fresh French bread, butter and preserves, cereals, yoghurts, porridge, soft boiled eggs, juice, tea and freshly brewed coffee. Then we’ll be transferred by minibus directly to the bottom of the gondola in St Martin so we won’t have to clump about in our boots! 

After each full, exciting day exploring the endless possibilities of the world’s largest ski and snowboard area we can all meet up again at one of the village bars for a drink, then either get an early lift back to the chalet for freshly brewed tea or coffee and homemade cakes, or we can stay out for a bit longer in town before getting a later lift back in time for the evening meal – the choice is ours.

At dinner we’ll all sit round the table together enjoying a seasonal and fresh three-course meal with unlimited red, white & rose wine during dinner with coffee served afterwards. The chef has one night off during the week so we’ll also have the chance to sample some local cuisine in town. If we still have energy left after dinner we can head back to the local bars in St Martin or even the nightclubs in Les Menuires…

On our final day we'll check out of the chalet together, either going back to the airport directly or spending another half or even full day on the slopes if we like! 

SKIING & SNOWBOARDING

The fast gondola lift from the village provides a direct link up to the slopes of Meribel and Les Menuires and for the return journey we have a choice of a gently rolling blue run or the more challenging Jerusalum red run. Whether you ski or board, are completely new to skiing or like to go in search of fresh powder, the Three Valleys has something for everyone. Beginner skiers are well catered for with a convenient nursery area, complete with a new magic carpet and, as you progress, the St Martin gondola can take you to a number of gentle slopes overlooking the Belleville Valley. Intermediates are spoilt for choice; with the biggest linked ski area in the world at your disposal, your biggest daily challenge will be deciding where to go!  It takes under an hour to ski to Courchevel or Val Thorens and less to Meribel. The exciting black runs and extreme off-piste terrain will keep even the most advanced skiers and boarders happy...!

We’ll get advice on the best runs, coffee stops, lunch venues and watering holes to ensure we get the most out of this magnificent area throughout the week.

WHO'S COMING?

If you've never come on an EC Adventure before, they're informal, friendly and great fun. We generally have singles, couples and small sets of friends coming along, from outdoor enthusiasts to adventure professionals - what we all share is a love for adventure. Ages tend to range between mid 20s and mid 40s but anyone over 18 years old is welcome. This is a ski and snowboarding trip open to all, you don't have to have any previous experience and if you'd like lessons we can help you arrange this too!

WHAT'S INCLUDED

  • Return private group minibus transfer from Geneva airport (approx. 2.5 hours drive one way)
  • 7 nights’ shared accommodation in our own detached Savoyard farmhouse chalet in St Martin de Belleville village
  • 7 x breakfast
  • 7 x afternoon tea and cake
  • 6 x three-course, freshly prepared dinners (one evening will be the chef’s night off)
  • Transfers to town and back for dinner on the chef’s night off
  • Unlimited red, white and rose wine and coffee with dinner
  • Unlimited tea, coffee and fruit juice at breakfast
  • Two minibus transfers from the chalet to the ski lifts each morning (usually one at 08.45 for the first lift and another at 09.15 / 09.30)
  • Two minibus transfers from the ski lifts back to the chalet each afternoon (one for afternoon tea at around 16:00, one for apres ski at around 18:30). Please note no additional transfers are available during the day unless there is bad weather.
  • Transport of all ski / snowboarding equipment to the chalet and free storage at the chalet or in the vans
  • 4 chalet staff to look after us throughout the week
  • Online discount off lift passes (if booked in advance)**
  • Online discount off ski / snowboard equipment hire (if booked in advance)
  • EC Host for the week

**NOTE ON LIFT PASSES: Les 3 Vallées offer a system whereby you can purchase your lift pass online and they will post it to you at home so you are ready to go on your first day without queuing in the ski pass office. They also allow you to reload the pass (known as P@S) if you visit the Three Valleys again. There are some offers including a ‘duo’ and ‘Tribe’ pass for groups of 2 or more adults and also exclusive web-only prices. The lift pass covers direct access via the lift from St Martin up to the larger Les 3 Vallées ski area and unlimited skiing for Courchevel, La Tania, Méribel, Brides les Bains, Les Menuires, Saint Martin de Belleville, Val Thorens, and Orelle. The week-long pass is valid for 6 full days of skiing. The online links to book your lift pass and equipment hire will all be available in the joining instructions provided to you after you book.

WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED

  • Return flights to Geneva
  • International personal travel insurance
  • Lunches (there will be opportunities for you to buy food from the local supermarket and store it at the chalet if you wish to take lunch with you each day)
  • Dinner on the chef’s night off (but we can provide suggestions on where to go!)
  • Extra soft drinks (there is an honesty bar at the chalet)
  • Personal spending money
  • Personal ski or snowboarding equipment (either bring your own or there is a discount available on hire prices as listed above if booked in advance)
  • Any extra activities or additional nights of accommodation

NOTE ON AIRPORT TRANSFERS: We have booked a return group transfer to the chalet direct, but you will need to book a flight to Geneva that arrives between 8:00 - 11:30am on Saturday 3rd February. If you arrive outside of this time window you will have to arrange your own transport to the chalet. Similarly we will arrange a transfer back to Geneva airport in the afternoon on Saturday 10 February (time TBC but probably around 2:30pm). If you want to leave earlier or later again you will have to arrange your own transport. Please email Alex directly with your flight details once you have booked (alex@explorersconnect.com). 

USEFUL FLIGHT INFORMATION (correct as of 19 July 2017)

EasyJet

Return flights Bristol to Geneva (approx. £87)

Saturday 3 Feb 2018: departs 06:00, arrives at Geneva 08:45

Saturday 10 Feb 2018: departs 19:05, arrives at Bristol 19:50

(please note there are limited flights available from Bristol – we would advise you to book as soon as possible)

Return flights London Gatwick to Geneva (approx £75)

Saturday 3 Feb 2018: departs 06:00, arrives at Geneva 08:45

Saturday 10 Feb 2018: departs 18:45, arrives at London Gatwick 19:15

(more flight options are available from London airports)

PAYMENT

Please note our system will only allow you to make a booking if you are a current EC CLUB member.

  • Discounted earlybird price of £599 if £150 non-refundable deposit is paid by 11 November
  • Standard price of £639 if £150 non-refundable deposit is paid after 11 November (although we are unlikely to have spaces left at this stage)

If you haven't joined EC CLUB yet, then this is a great time to do so.  It’s only £40 per year to access to loads of local events, exclusive trips only open to CLUB members (like this one), great discounts on our weekends – as well as loads of other adventure related discounts. See http://www.explorersconnect.com/club for details.

For all prices the balance is due on 3 December – if you do not pay your balance by this date you’ll forfeit your place and any monies paid.

If you have any questions please email Alex at alex@explorersconnect.com.

Exciting news: We have a new booking system.  It will save you time by remembering all of your important details.  It will also automatically recognise if you are booking during the earlybird discount period and if you are an EC CLUB Member so you'll never miss a discount. 

IMPORTANT: If you purchased EC CLUB Membership on our old system then we have already created an account for you, please sign in using the email address you asked us to contact you on when you bought membership.