When travelling long distance to anywhere normally takes careful planning but this is especially true when planning a ski holiday in Europe when travelling from South Africa - especially if it's your first time hitting the ski slopes.
Our guide below should help put your mind at ease but feel free to contact us with any queries
Unpacking a typical Livigno Ski & Snowboard holiday! (Excuse the pun…!)
So, you’re exploring the options for your first snow holiday, and you may be feeling a little overwhelmed by all the jargon and different services on offer. We’ve compiled this guide to assist you with your planning.
As a general rule, most resorts work on 7-night Saturday to Saturday or Sunday to Sunday programmes, i.e. guests arrive on a Saturday or Sunday and depart on the corresponding day a week later.
(There are also 10 and 14-night packages available, but for the purposes of this guide we’re focusing on 7-night options.)
Livigno works on a Saturday to Saturday programme and a typical 7-night ski/snow holiday ‘package’ should include the following elements:
* We don’t offer flight booking as it’s easier and cheaper for guests to book their own flights online. We like using booking sites like Skyscanner.com, TravelStart.co.za and others to search for and compare fares before making bookings.
** Similarly, we don’t offer travel insurance as it’s a specialist service and best purchased directly from one of the many travel insurance companies.
# A note for guests coming from further afield:
Your outbound flights will probably depart on the Friday (to arrive on Saturday morning) and the homeward flights will land on the Sunday. This gives you a total itinerary of 9 nights. Please ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all these travel days.
These should be booked to arrive on Saturday morning and depart the following Saturday morning, afternoon or evening.
When exploring flight and airfare options, please remember to select flights that arrive at least 2 hours before your transfer departure time. This will allow sufficient time for any minor flight delays, customs & immigration, luggage collection and to locate your transfer departure point.
To ensure that the arrival & departure times of your proposed flight are synchronised with available group transfer options, please discuss these elements with your Livigno Ski Holidays travel advisor before booking your flights. Of course, private transfers can be booked to match any flight arrival & departure times
There are several ‘gateway’ airports to consider when travelling to Livigno:
Milan Malpensa (MXP)
Milan Linate (LIN)
Bergamo Airport (BGY) (also known as Orio al Serio International Airport)
Zurich Airport (Switzerland)
Innsbruck Airport (Austria) – Not ideal due to limited transfer options, and the airfares into Innsbruck are generally more expensive!
There are regular SIC coach transfers between the two Milan and Bergamo airports and Livigno every day.
Milan Malpensa is our recommended airport for guests arriving on long-haul flights, e.g. from South Africa, as there are numerous daily coach and shuttle bus options available.
Milan Linate is also a good choice of airport, particularly if you’re connecting from the UK, as it has many scheduled flights each day.
Bergamo Airport is a good option for guests arriving from the UK and elsewhere in Europe. A number of low-cost airlines use Bergamo too!
Zurich Airport is not ideal as there are no SIC coach transfers and the train is comparatively expensive. The train also entails two or three changes en route, which is tricky to navigate with luggage and children.
Innsbruck Airport is also not ideal due to limited transfer options, and the airfares are generally more expensive
Milan Bergamo (BGY)
3 hours 45 min
Milan Linate (LIN)
3 hours 45 min
Milan Malpensa (MXP)
3 hours 30 min
2 hours 45 min
The coach companies have designated meeting points at the airport. These details will be included in your transfer confirmation information.
There will be one or two ‘nature breaks’ and opportunities to stretch your legs en route.
For more information on our transfer options: www.livignoskiholidays.com/livignotransfers
Where to stay?
The accommodation options in Livigno are numerous and varied!
The cost is to some extent determined by the type of establishment you choose and their proximity to the slopes, ski lift stations, ski school, etc.
Hotels tend to be a little more formal and often more expensive than the other categories. One can typically book on a bed & breakfast basis or a half board option (breakfast & evening meals)
Guesthouses are often more characterful and generally owner managed. Guesthouses typically cater for breakfasts only.
What about lunches? Remember that most of your day will be spent on the slopes so you will find that most lunches and snacks will be taken at one of the many restaurants on the slopes
Chalets/Apartments are, as the term implies, self-contained units that include open plan sitting, dining and kitchen areas and bedroom/s + bathroom/s. They are available in varying sizes; one room + bathroom units to 3- or 4-bedroom establishments. They are all self-catering units, which is a great choice in Livigno as there are hundreds of restaurants to choose from for every meal of the day.
A Ski Pass, also known as a Lift Ticket or Lift Pass, is a skier’s ‘passport to ride’!
A seven night ski package will generally include a six day ski pass valid from the first Sunday to the following Friday. Remember, Saturdays are travel days and the opportunities to ski are limited, particularly if one is arriving late and/or departing early.
It is a small RFID (radio frequency ID) embedded card which gives a skier access to the local ski lift network. They contain information like validity periods (e.g. per day, per week or for the season), child or adult, and which parts of the system a skier has access to. The card is attached to or inserted into the ski jacket and will be scanned (usually automatically) at each lift station.
Ski passes are often included in your holiday package, or you can buy individually if you prefer.
For more information on ski passes: www.livignoskiholidays.com/livignoliftpasses
TIP: Unless you are a regular skier (i.e at least once a year) there is no need to buy this equipment - it's more expensive and they tend to date quickly!. And besides, the rental stock at most resort shops is generally less than a year old and in excellent condition.
Equipment – Refers to your skis and ski boots, snowboard and boots, poles and helmet. Most South Africans rent this equipment as part of their pre-paid holiday package or on arrival in resort.
Depending on your time of arrival in the resort you may be able to complete the fitting and rental on Saturday afternoon/evening. However, it’s more likely this will happen at the prearranged rental shop on Sunday morning before ski school starts.
Clothing – Ski jackets and pants can be very expensive, setting one back several thousand ZAR. Fortunately in Livigno we’re able to offer you a jacket and pants rental option. Chat to your Livigno Ski Holidays travel advisor about the options.
For more information on Ski Rental options: www.livignoskiholidays.com/livignoskirentals
Heated ski storage lockers are located at most of the major lift/gondola stations in the village. They solve the problem of carrying your skis/board and boots to and from your apartment or hotel each day.
We include a ski locker free of charge with our ski packages. Each locker will up hold up to 4 sets of skis & boots.
This facility normally costs approximately 15€ per week per locker.
Whether you’re a novice or an off-piste powder pro, there's a level of instruction available to help you develop and refine your skills. Ski school is also a great way to meet like-minded people at a similar ski level, have fun skiing together and share hints and tips with your classmates.
Group Lessons – Conducted in small groups based on your skill level. They take place from Sunday to Friday for two hours per day from either 09h00 to 11h00, or from 11h00 to 13h00.
Skiers who progress faster than their classmates are able to move up to more advanced classes during the week.
Private Lessons – Private lessons are a popular choice among regular skiers who need to improve the skills and iron out any bad habits that may have crept in on the previous trip. However, you will be getting one-on-one instruction so expect to pay a lot more than group lessons.
If you are travelling with group of friends or family and you all ski at a similar level (beginner, intermediate, advanced), then private group lessons may be what you’re looking for. Again, class sizes will be limited to +/- 6 people. Adults and Children should be separate still. This is because the children learn much faster than adults and so parents can hold the children’s progress back if they want to be in the same group – If you are a parent this is something that you will need to accept quickly that your children will be much better than you very quickly
FunSki Packages for Kids
Created for children between the ages of 4 to 12 years. The package includes 6 days equipment rental, 4 hours of ski school per day plus lunch every day, all for one great price.
This allows parents more time to explore the mountain knowing that the children are having fun and are well taken care of.
For more information on Ski School options: www.livignoskiholidays.com/livignoskischools
Après ski is basically a term used for “events or activities” after skiing has finished for the day. We offer a huge range of activities from Pub Crawls, toboggans, Mountain Meal nights as well as the famous Alegra Apres Ski Party (Imagine a DJ at the bottom of the mountain in a huge tent with everyone dancing on table’s at 5pm in the afternoon and your on the right lines.
Ice skating, Ten pin bowling, ski instructor shows are just some of the many other activities on offer.
All of the events can also be booked once you arrive in resort if you prefer.
The Livigno Ski Holidays resort staff based in Livigno are available 24/7 for any questions, guidance or problems you may experience. Also after you have booked your stay with us – you will have a direct email and contact number (what’s app as well) for the Livigno Resort Manager who you can contact at any point before you arrive with as many questions as you want. You will also receive “Snow Alerts” which will keep you informed of the snow fall in resort before you arrive.
If you book your airport transfer with Livigno Ski Holidays you can expect to meet a rep either on the coach or immediately on arrival in the resort. They will show you to your accommodation, hand out any pre-purchased ski passes, accompany you to the ski rental shop, give you an overview of the week ahead and answer any questions you may have.
There will also be a rep present at the ski school area every morning and for any prearranged après ski activities during the week.
All guests have the option to be involved as much or as little as they would like with any activity or services we offer – after all it’s your holiday – your choice
Insurance is probably the last thing one wants to think about when planning an exciting snow holiday. However, comprehensive travel insurance is essential when travelling abroad, irrespective of the adventure.
A good travel insurance product will cover you in the event of delayed or cancelled flights, cancelled accommodation, lost luggage, any injuries or other medical emergencies, and repatriation if required, etc. As always some policies are better than others and T’s & C’s apply, so check those carefully!
Many short-term insurers offer travel insurance these days, so have a chat with your insurance company. There are also a number of specialist providers to consider too!
We hope you have found this guide useful however should you have any questions you can contact us either
We look forward to welcoming you all in Livigno