20 charming Alpine towns you must see

Features of family holidays in ski resorts in the Alps

When you come back from a mountain hike, they ask you: "Well, how did you get it there?" Or you come from an alpine camp, and people are surprised to hear about what the shower is like and how much food costs. Well, and quite a classic, which has become a memorial, case when they say to you: “Where are you climbing in Moscow? We don't have mountains! "

The article is intended for beginners who have never tried either one or the other, or the third, or who have tried one thing. Let's just start with the tourists :) Tourists are those guys who move from point A to point B and find a thrill in this movement. They have many ways of such movement: their legs, skis, bicycles, horses, cars, kayaks, catamarans, sailboats, etc. ... Among them there are those who see the greatest thrill in walking in the mountains with a backpack. Here they are -

Mountain tourists

They go, as I said, from A to B. It looks like this: For example, a group arrives in a village at the foot of the mountains with some unusual name for a plain man, for example "Terskol", gets under backpacks and after a week or two he comes to a village, for example, Tyrnyauz. On the way, they cross mountain ranges through passes. Their backpacks are huge and heavy - you need to carry food with you all the way, because until the end of the hike, mountain tourists will not see any settlement where they can buy it. Equipment with them also carry a lot of different things - you never know what to meet on the way. There is nowhere to wash either. Well, except in the streams flowing from the glaciers :). Even though you are in the mountains, it is beautiful, but the backpack is heavy, it is far from barbecues and forfeits with a sprite in civilization, and to climb the mountain higher in order to look from there like from the roof of the world to our sinful land somehow does not work - there is not so much time to climb every mountain. With a large backpack, at least climb the pass in order to pass the path, where is it to the top ...


The technique of movement among mountain tourists and climbers is 95% similar. Outwardly, they can only be distinguished by the size of the backpack - it is smaller for climbers.

The equipment you need to get started mountaineering or mountaineering is described here.


Mountain hikers and climbers look quite normal most of the time - they walk on two legs, with a backpack behind them. (Tourists look like this longer than climbers. The latter get to the place where they already need to work with the equipment faster.) Sometimes it gets dumb to go - then they take a rope, all sorts of other pribluda and organize insurance. Insurance is exactly insurance, not a shelf or ladder that helps you move on. In the event of your breakdown (stumbled, stumbled, knocked down a stone, could not resist) she will save your life. Sometimes you have to climb - this is when you have to work not only with your feet, but also with your hands, fingers and grab onto a rock. At the beginner level of mountaineering/mountains. there is almost no urism, and then it becomes more and more. Of course, there is also insurance. But there were some climbers who generally sent these hobbies with backpacks to a famous mother. They were pinned precisely to climb. They hung a rope on the rocky wall closest to the alpine camp and climbed there. Then they smoothly moved to climbing walls, which can be built anywhere. Rock climbing is both an element of mountain tourism/mountaineering and an independent sport. In principle, a person with sporting achievements in rock climbing may not know at all how to set up a tent and never sleep in a sleeping bag, he trained at the climbing wall all the time. An article for those who want to start practicing at the climbing wall: . u/faq-rock-climbing/

Since all three schools developed separately, they are interested in different things, then their route classification system is different, although the designations are similar and newcomers are often confused without knowing in which case what it is about. mountain tourists are classified passes, because they are the main difficulty of the route (in addition to kilometers). The passes are classified into 6 semi-categories, from simple to difficult: 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b. The simplest passes, unworthy of classification, are called non-categorical and are designated "n/k". mountain climbers are interested in peaks. Their routes are marked very similarly: 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b. There are no "n/cs", ​​as well as for some reason "la". In order not to confuse the designations of passes and routes to the peaks, “alps” are usually added to the alphanumeric designation of climbing routes in the letter. The kilometers traveled are not included in the classification at all .. except that only kilometers of altitude :)

Climbers are confused. If we owe the existence of a clear classification among climbers and tourists to the Soviet past, in which someone came up with the idea of ​​calling all this a sport and systematized, then climbing this Soviet past in general killed and we now use the French system (and in general there are about a dozen of these systems). By the way, yes, for the first time climbing competitions were held in the USSR. At the climbing wall, the easiest route will be 4, and then numbers with letters will go: 5a, 5b, 5c, 6a, 6b, 6c, etc. up to 9s. Of course, there is also track 15c - This is specially for Chuck Noriss :)

The difference between mountain tourism, mountaineering and rock climbing; For Dummies

The question of where to spend the winter holidays and the New Year with children has long been resolved for someone, but until the very last moment someone does not know what to choose: go with the whole family to a beach resort in a warm country or on an excursion tour across Europe, go to visit Santa Claus in Veliky Ustyug or celebrate the holidays in a cozy home environment. Another option is to go skiing and snowboarding, for example, to Krasnaya Polyana, to Andorra, or to one of the Alpine ski resorts, which will be discussed today.

How to choose a ski resort for family holidays

The alpine ski resorts can be equally comfortable for experienced and novice skiers, lovers of relaxed recreation and active winter entertainment. But, before going on vacation to the mountains, it is necessary to resolve several important issues: where and how to accommodate a large family; what to do if the children want to have fun, dad likes difficult trails, and mom dreams of spa treatments and shopping; how to arrange everything so that the children are not bored, so that they are under reliable supervision if parents want to relax and have fun. Therefore, if you want your vacation to be a joy for both adults and children, experts advise you to take into account several factors.

Comfortable accommodation

One of the best options for living with children is a multi-room apartment with a kitchen. Yes, you will have to spend some time preparing food, but you can feed the child with the usual food. This is especially true if it is not very convenient to go to restaurants with children for lunch and dinner every day.

Not all alpine resorts offer a large selection of this type of accommodation. For example, in Italy, Austria and Switzerland, guesthouses and hotels are more common. And some tourists reject the apartments because they do not want to stand at the stove on vacation. You can replace an apartment with a kitchen with a hotel with half board or breakfast.

If you are planning an active pastime on the slopes of the mountains, it is important to take into account the proximity of the hotel to the ski lifts, as well as the presence of restaurants, cafes, shops nearby where you can eat and buy food. It is desirable that the resort is close to major cities so that you can go for a walk, excursion, shopping without any problems.

It is also important to consider the cost of living: when placing a large family, the high price can be ruinous for the family budget, however, too cheap housing with appropriate conditions can ruin the whole vacation.

Transport accessibility

For tourists with children, especially small ones, it is important to get to the vacation spot conveniently, including airport transfers. If the transfer is a group transfer, you need to find out in advance what it will be: with a transfer or direct - this determines the travel time from the airport to the resort.

It should be borne in mind that many ski resorts, especially in France, are located high in the mountains. Even in good weather, it can take 4-5 hours to get from the airport. And in case of heavy snowfalls, the resorts may be closed for transport, so the transfer can take long hours, and when leaving the hotel to the airport, it is even possible to be late for the flight.

One of the most convenient options to get to your holiday destination from the airport is to rent a car. However, at the same time, you need to be ready to drive on high-mountain winter roads, observe parking rules, speed limits. Child seats are required. There are quite high fines for violations.

On the difference in the meanings of these concepts in modern Russian. To avoid confusion in communicating with tourists and climbers, I recommend reading the article.

Remember the saying - get your sleigh ready in summer? I would also add - and skis. And snowboards. And money to pay for your favorite vacation.

And those tourists who were going to ski as usual during the winter holidays are faced with a difficult choice: pay impressive sums for holidays in European ski resorts or go skiing in ours. And also pay a lot of money.

Yes, some domestic resorts are already catching up with Europe at the cost of the same ski passes. And many people have a reasonable question - is it possible to somehow save some money?

In this article, I compare prices for ski tours in Russia and the Alps. And you see what suits you best.

Where skiing is cheaper

My tourists, who faced the same dilemma and about whom I wrote in >> this article

- Where they wanted to go is expensive (but they wanted, let me remind you, to Austria), I don't want to stand in queues for an hour at Krasnaya Polyana either. And in general, we decided that it would be better to upgrade our cars with this money. It is a pity, but we will miss this year, it seems, - they commented on their refusal to travel.

But if you still have an ardent desire to ski on the upcoming New Year holidays, then now is the best time to buy a tour: literally in recent days, tour operators began to appear quite good SPOs (special offers) for holidays arrivals. Because they realized that it would simply not be possible to sell the redeemed rooms at the previously announced prices. And they began to lower these prices. Moreover, the deadlines for submitting documents for Schengen visas are just the last days.

The only thing left to do is to decide where the pokatushki will be cheaper for the New Year: in Russia or in the Alps? Now let's try to figure it out by comparing Russian and Alpine ski resorts - where is it cheaper?

Riding in Russia

First, let's ask the price of the resorts of Russia. And let's start with Krasnaya Polyana.

Here's what I found on my ONLINE TOURS website

Austria has thousands of well-marked hiking trails, from short, easy walks in scenic city environs to multi-day mountain hikes. Pine forests, transparent lakes, mountain pastures, rocky ridges emitting healing aromas - all this is mountain tourism in Austria.

Unlike mountaineering, mountain tourism is not aimed at conquering peaks, but the very process of hiking. Trekking refers to hikes across rough terrain (including the transitions of climbers to the base camp), and hiking is movement along specially marked and organized hiking trails, usually for recreational purposes.


One of the most famous routes in Austria runs through Tyrol - this is the Adlerweg (Eagle Way), named after the form in which it is represented on the map. The total length of the route is 413 km, or 33 stages. The main track starts at St. Johann and leads to St. Anton am Arlberg. Part of the route from the Wilder Kaiser mountain to the idyllic Achensee lake is considered to be especially picturesque.

The Adlerweg trekking route, reminiscent of the wings of an imperial eagle, leads through almost all of Austria

Of course, if a tourist cannot afford a multi-day mountain hike, he can only go through a few stages of the route - there are both simple sections suitable for families with children and difficult sections for experienced hikers leading steep mountain slopes with unique views.

When choosing a route for trekking in Austria, you should pay attention to the recommended age and level of training of tourists - some trails are not suitable for children, the elderly or travelers without long hiking experience.

The equally picturesque Almenweg ("Pasture Road") route runs through the land of Salzburg, which leads through flowering meadows, valleys and rolling hills, where herds of semi-wild horses graze. Short walks with picnics and multi-day hikes are possible along the route (total length 350 km).

The Almenweg trekking route leads through flowering meadows, valleys and hills

For those who prefer romantic countryside and traditional villages, the 180 km Wachau Welterbesteig route is the best choice. Most of the path, as the name suggests, runs along the Danube Valley, a World Natural Heritage Site, and offers views of the river as well as excellent local wines.

If you have not been to the charming cities of the Alpine belt, you have lost a lot. These cozy places are the best you can think of in order to hide from the daily hustle and bustle and relax in stunning natural conditions. It is possible that you have not even heard of these cities, because they are very small. But we will try to rectify the situation. From the picturesque valleys of the Rocky Mountains to the snow-capped peaks of the Swiss Alps, there are places you probably didn't know about. Alpine cities are not only in Europe!

Shirakawa-go, Japan

Photo: By Karl Baron from Malmö, Sweden (Shirakawa-go) [CC BY 2. (.)] via Wikimedia Commons

This unique thatched city at the foot of Mount Hakusan is a great place to enjoy the solitude and fresh mountain air.

Aspen, USA

Photo: By Daniel Case (Own work) [GFDL (. nu. rg/copyleft/fdl. tml) or CC BY-SA 3. (.)], via Wikimedia Commons

Aspen is a picturesque mountain village with numerous resorts, restaurants and hotels, located in the Rocky Mountains.

Grindelwald, Switzerland

Photo: By Cristo Vlahos (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3. (.)] via Wikimedia Commons

Waterfalls, ski slopes and glacial lakes have resulted in more and more people visiting this alpine city in recent years.

Artes, Spain

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