I elected to go with UCPA via Action Outdoors as it was the most convenient option for me and I didn't mind paying a little bit more for the convenience of having only to organise my flights to and from Geneva.
UCPA is a French organisation intended to encourage young people to participate in outdoor sports, and they own hostels/resorts throughout France. They offer package deals for long weekends as well as full weeks, including gear hire and tuition for all levels. Action Outdoors is their official UK partner and basically has set up packages that make it slightly easier for people coming from the UK, with airport transfers able to be organised with them and most packages including Saturday night accommodation rather than starting on Sunday. They also make it super easy if you don't have a group of people to travel with, as they will sometimes organise weekends specifically for single travellers and offer extra discounts.
I finally made it to Flaine, in late January - this cost £448.93 including half-time tuition and airport transfers, with flights around £80 return via Luton airport.
I called Action Outdoors for a recommendation to start with as I hadn't been skiing for quite some time and wanted to go somewhere suitable for an (improving) intermediate skier, and Flaine was one of the options they gave - and what an awesome recommendation! Although people rib on the architecture (it's a polarising concrete jungle) the UCPA resort there is 50m away from the pistes, you can return for a cooked lunch or choose to take a picnic, and all the rooms are twin share so you only have to share space with one other person. The hostel itself is not the newest, but the facilities are clean and well maintained including the all-important central heating - in fact it was almost too hot some nights!
|This is honestly what the weather was like the entire time!|
I'm looking forward to exploring more of the ski areas in Europe, maybe once December rolls around...as much as I like mountains, I vastly prefer them with ski lifts and groomed pistes as opposed to walking up them!