Euro School Holiday Calendar for Upcoming Season

Tony Crocker

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Staff member
I appreciate that link. I tried a month or so ago to find a 2016 version of the other one, with no success.
jamesdeluxe":a0v9whyu said:
I notice that they don't include Austria, maybe because its nine regions stagger their school holidays.
Austria's population is small. German holidays are likely what matter in Austria. The German holidays vary by region. My link from last year showed which regions had which weeks, but the new link does not. 8 of the 10 weeks between Jan. 30 and April 16 have someone off in Germany. I read somewhere that Bavaria and a few other places in Europe have Mardi Gras week (Feb. 6-13 next year) off and that in general that's one to avoid, especially if it coincides with the British or French holidays.

Much of my destination trip calendar for 2016 is fairly set already. The only chance to go to Europe would be late March/early April, and in that time frame Val d'Isere (which is at the top of my not-yet-skied list anyway) would seem the obvious choice. It certainly would have worked well this year: http://www.epicski.com/t/134457/a-12-ye ... rench-alps
 

Tony Crocker

Administrator
Staff member
Here's the new detail calendar for 2015-16 from Val Thorens Tours:
http://image-store.slidesharecdn.com/36 ... large.jpeg

36168fad-be07-45aa-b851-2fdea6fbaa0d-large.jpeg


Comparing last year and this year, Belgium and 25% of Germany are the places that get Mardi Gras week. Last year that week was the same as Britain and 2/3 of France. This year it's a week earlier.
 

Tony Crocker

Administrator
Staff member
jamesdeluxe":udynbk3j said:
Just like last year, Jan 30 - Feb 6 is my target week.
15% of Germany plus a few Poles and Czechs should not be a big deal that week. Really, the 3rd week of February with the Brits and 2/3 of French is the only one that probably approaches the madness of Christmas. Our Zermatt trip in 2014 was 2nd week of February and we did not have any crowd issues.

In terms of crowds, there are probably certain resorts that draw certain nationalities. I'm sure James knows more about that than I do. If you're truly crowd-phobic James and I have working on the Google Earth map in the Alps for close to a month and the list of under-the-radar places seems endless.
 

Staley

Member
Thanks for adding this year's calendar, Tony. I have a hotel booked in Verbier for March 5-10, which looks like it should be pretty ideal crowd-wise. Only potential issue I see is non-North faces being in the awkward transition to spring snow--do you know how much of the best terrain faces north in Verbier?
 

Tony Crocker

Administrator
Staff member
The best terrain off Mont Fort and Mont Gele is both high and north facing. The runs down to the resort face west; you can expect spring conditions down there from altitude,exposure and traffic. I only had one ski day there, barely scratched the surface. You will want a guide some of the time, as I've heard there's a lot of off-piste routes ranging far beyond resort boundaries.

You may also have heard that the first half of November has been spectacularly snowy across the northern Alps. I think Verbier opened early. There's also a good base at our January destination in Lech.
 

jamesdeluxe

Administrator
For those who haven't been watching, the recent storm in the western Alps dropped an insane amount of snow at altitude, which was confirmed on the Weather to Ski site. From two meters in France's Maurienne region to as much as three meters (ten feet) across the border in Italy's Piedmont.
 

Tony Crocker

Administrator
Staff member
Random housekeeping today. I found these calendars for the past and upcoming season.
Euro_Holidays_19-20.jpg

Mardi Gras was Feb. 25 and Easter Apr. 12

Euro_Holidays_20-21.jpg

Mardi Gras is Feb. 16 and Easter Apr. 4

I was looking to when my likely reschedule to Val Thorens might be. 2022 will be good year for early spring in the Alps with Easter being Apr. 17. Britain and Germany have schoiol holidays during the two weeks bracketing Easter. Our first day in Val d'Isere in 2018 was the last Friday of those two weeks and it was fairly obvious.
 

HarrisNichols

New member
Scaaltey":3kf6mx8r said:
Thanks for adding this year's calendar, Tony. I have a hotel booked in Verbier for March 5-10, which looks like it should be pretty ideal crowd-wise. Only potential issue I see is non-North faces being in the awkward transition to spring snow--do you know how much of the best terrain faces north in Verbier?
The length of the summer holidays varies a lot across Europe

In Europe, the school year generally ends between the end of May and the second half of July. Mid-June is the time when the summer break begins in most countries.
 

Tony Crocker

Administrator
Staff member
I had downloaded but did not post the 2021-22 euro holiday calendar. This format from the Dutch ski federation is a predication of overall holiday skier visits by week.
Alps2021-22ExpectedVisits.png


Here's the same chart for 2022-23:
Alps_holidays_2022-23.png


The big week in prime season is generally the one containing MardiGras which a lot of German schools (yellow) get off. That week is especially bad in 2023 because it coincides with peak British and French weeks.

In April you also see a slight bump for the two weeks surrounding Easter. It might not look like that much on the chart, but I've seen substantial crowds in the French Tarantaise during one of those weeks in both 2018 and 2022.

As we've discussed in other threads, certain resorts attract the holiday visitors from certain countries. And some of the high profile Swiss resorts (Verbier, Zermatt, St. Moritz) don't get all that much in the way of school holiday surges.

In terms of past history, it's not a good idea to post links to these calendars regardless of source because those get changed or broken. By 2019 I realized I should download a .jpg file, then upload it here.
 
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ChrisC

Well-known member
Do the Italian resorts escape the February crush since it appears their schools do not appear to have mid-winter half terms?
 

Tony Crocker

Administrator
Staff member
Do the Italian resorts escape the February crush since it appears their schools do not appear to have mid-winter half terms?
If you look at the Italian color, Mardi Gras week is next highest to the two at Christmas. There's also an Easter holiday. When we were in the Cinque Terre a week before Easter, we were told that Easter weekend itself would be crazy busy there.

I have read anecdotally that in general Italian ski areas are slammed on the weekends and fairly quiet midweek. The Dolomites get more ski week business because most of their visitors are German. Google Maps says the drive to Val Gardena is only 3 hours 15 minutes from Munich vs. 3 hours 38 minutes from Milan.

But I think ChrisC's point is well taken. If you have to ski the Alps during the February crush, you're probably best to focus on Switzerland and Italy and to avoid France and Austria, at least among the high visibility places.
 
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