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a week in Interlaken for skiers and non-skiers

Philadelphia...
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a week in Interlaken for skiers and non-skiers

So I'm organizing a group ski trip to Europe and narrowed down my choices of destinations (based on a US tour company that I want to use) to Innsbruck, Interlaken, Madonna di Campiglio and Val Di Fassa. The price for flights, 7 nights in a hotel and lift tickets are all relatively similar.

The big question is...is there enough to do, besides skiing/boarding, to keep people entertained for a whole week, especially those that are not skiing. And those that are not skiing are also probably not going to be doing snow-shoeing or similar activities.

And how's the nightlife? At least over a weekend? Good bars and (maybe) clubs to go to?

Is it "happening"? fun?

oh and if you want to comment on the skiing for 4 out of 7 days, that would be helpful too. Do you get bored by the 4th day?

Thanks!

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15 replies to this topic
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1. Re: a week in Interlaken for skiers and non-skiers

I don't think skiers would be at all happy with either of the Italian places for more than a couple of days and both are somewhat "remote" small villages. Interlaken is a tourist trap and a long way from any skiing...the skiers will have to "commute" at least an hour each way but the skiing at the "end" of the commute is really good. Frankly, it's so easy to organize your own tour for Switzerland....

What is the ability of the skiers? What sorts of things do the non-skiers want to do? Maybe you should think about locating close to good skiing and let the non-skiers "commute."

Most ski areas have nightclubs etc so that really isn't an issue...."happening" depends on way too many factors...for example, happening in Davos is very different than happening in Interlaken.

Almost everyone on here has organized years of their own trips to Switzerland to ski or sightsee and we can help you to get it all sorted out....you really don't need a tour company.

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Interlaken
Interlaken
Bernese Oberland, Switzerland
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2. Re: a week in Interlaken for skiers and non-skiers

A tour company is actually shortlisting those places as ski destnations? Run! They have no idea what they are doing.

Look at www.skiclub.co.uk which reviews all European resorts on a like for like basis in English. It will help you choose.

Edited: May 13, 2018, 4:12 pm
paris london
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3. Re: a week in Interlaken for skiers and non-skiers

Interlaken is not a bad choice for your needs, as long as you are happy that both skiers and non-skiers will be travelling an hour or more (in opposite directions) each day to get to their respective destinations, and that this travel will not be cheap.

Innsbruck would be a better choice, as there is more choice of ski areas and non-ski destinations within easy reach, and travel is cheaper than in Switzerland.

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Interlaken
Interlaken
Bernese Oberland, Switzerland
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4. Re: a week in Interlaken for skiers and non-skiers

I am confused about why you aren't just going to one of the larger resorts which has plenty for non-skiers to do. Zermatt and St Moritz in Switzerland for example. 000s of non-skiers have a great time in ski resorts every year. Why would Interlaken be an interesting place for a non-skier to spend a week in winter? Or is the idea that the non-skiers will make long day trips to interesting places from this 'base' (like Bern?). I think you are seriously compromising the ski trip to accommodate non-skiers if that's the case. By the time you all meet for dinner, you will just be exhausted from travelling. If you are flying all the way over to Europe, and spending a week skiing, pick a decent resort.

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Martigny...
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5. Re: a week in Interlaken for skiers and non-skiers

Totally agree - Interlaken is not a ski resort. It is a dreadful town but if fast food places, souvenir shops etc are your thing - then you will love it. And in winter here you need to be UP in the mountains to get above the low fog that shrouds the plateau and is around many of the lakes. In the mountains you are in the sunshine. Not down in Interlaken.

South of Interlaken is the Jungfrau region with 3 main resorts: Grindelwald, Wengen and Mürren. All have reasonable skiing. Grindelwald is the largest of the three and has motor traffic. The other two are a lot smaller and have no cars (no roads to get there...) However people will spend 40-45 mins to get from any of the three to the rail hub at Interlaken Ost. Not ideal for the non skiers.

Much as I don't really like the place, Engelberg near Luzern would be a far better idea. Only 45 mins to Luzern and then an hour to any of Bern, Basel and Zürich. The non skiers can see and do a lot in a day's travel from there and the skiers will have reasonable skiing.

OR go to the upper Engadin. Area around St Moritz. Lots of lovely villages to stay in, high skiing with just about guaranteed good snow and plenty for the non skiers to do including day trips to Italy.

But as JT says - get rid of that travel agent ! S/he "don't know from nuffink".

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Interlaken
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6. Re: a week in Interlaken for skiers and non-skiers

How do so many people think Interlaken is in the alps??? Where does all of that misinformation originate?? But I do agree - whoever your "tour company" is you should run far away. You don't need a tour company ANYWAY to get on a plane, land and train to your ski destination.

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Interlaken
Interlaken
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7. Re: a week in Interlaken for skiers and non-skiers

It’s pretty difficult to get bored as a skier for one week in Val di Fassa as there are just so many links to so many places, but realistically it doesn’t do very well for non skiers who want organised activities.

Philadelphia...
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8. Re: a week in Interlaken for skiers and non-skiers

Thanks for the suggestions. The options were not necessarily recommended by the ski tour company but rather those options were just some of many they offered that I picked out based on price and what I thought would be interesting around there. I want to keep the cost of flights, hotels, transfers and lift tickets to under $2000pp - we're not interested in going in style but just getting the most skiing and partying for the least amount of money. it doesn't reallly matter to me if it's Switzerland, Austria or Italy or France. Plus I will probably have like 20 ppl going so it's not like a small group. I doubt if anyone in my group would actually ski 6 out of 6 days - there may be some, but I know even myself will probably only ski 3 of the 6 days and the other days I will do some sight seeing. Also I've organized big group trips before (to Iceland in March) and I don't feel like dealing with all the organizing it takes which is why I'm going with a tour company this time.

so, with that being said, and after hearing your comments and comments on other posts, I'm thinking Italy, Interlaken and Innsbruck are probably not the best options - mostly due to the time it takes to get to the lifts each day. I'm now thinking St Anton might be our best bet - It's affordable, most hotels are close to the slopes, and there's good nightlife and then it's only about an hour or so from several other towns/cities that we could do day trips to. And Austria is cheaper than Switzerland.

I did get an all inclusive price for Club Med St Moritz for $2300 USD pp, no minimum, (including flights, hotels, lifts, open bar, 7 nights) but I don't think my group is really interested in all inclusives - they're for people that don't like to go out locally - we usually prefer to go out and try different restaurants and bars. Although the skiing options there do sound good.

but thanks JT14 for that link...I'll check that out for some other ideas

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Interlaken
Interlaken
Bernese Oberland, Switzerland
Innsbruck
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Tirol, Austria
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Engadin St. Moritz, Switzerland
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9. Re: a week in Interlaken for skiers and non-skiers

St. Anton is good skiing but, again, not all that close to otherr things to do. Have you thought about going to a good/great place for skiing/apres ski for 3 or 4 days and then going to a good/great place for sightseeing/partying. It's hard to get both in ski areas in Europe because so many are somewhat isolated up in the mountains....it's where it is. Have you looked at Verbier? It has access to quite a large ski area, has great nightlife and some of the surrounding area is much less expensive for hotels etc Here's an ineresting article

https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2014/dec/…

You would fly into Geneva for Verbier and that area. Close to Verbier is Martigny with some good museums etc. and not that much longer journey time away are several nice Swiss towns;/cities. Take a look at a map to see.

While it can be difficult to organize a group trip, don't let what the tour organizers say be your bible so to speak. Keep asking questions on websites such as here.....sometimes the tour folks have never even been to the places their selling and are reading brochures themselves.

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Verbier
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10. Re: a week in Interlaken for skiers and non-skiers

Personally, I think Verbier is great for skiers and non skiers, plus it is reasonably accessible for some day trips via Martigny. But if budget is a consideration, it pains me to say don’t pick Switzerland and definitely don’t pick Verbier. It is one of the most expensive resorts in the world (eg “$25 for burger without fries expensive”). One of your 20 (at least) will get regular sticker shock. Austria and Italy will be noticeably cheaper. Verbier is amazing for advanced skiing, and you can definitely flex for budget by self catering etc. But non skiers aren’t flying across the atlantic to eat packed lunch perhaps?

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