Inexpensive Skiing in Switzerland

Although skiing in Switzerland may seem like an outrageously expensive idea for tourists traveling to Europe on a budget, it can be done inexpensively. Jugi Tours, travel agent for the Swiss Youth Hostel Assn., takes youths between 16 and 30 for seven nights, with breakfasts and dinners included, to the beautiful mountain village of Grindelwald. Along with the price of about $412 comes a six-day lift ticket and a tour guide.

Jugi Tours actually is offering three types of inexpensive packages for international travelers this winter: Alpine ski camps for 16- to 30-year-olds; cross-country ski camps for 16- to 35-year-olds, and "do-it-yourself" Alpine skiing packages for everyone. Participants, however, must be members of the International Youth Hostel Federation.

The Alpine and cross-country ski camps usually get travelers from a variety of countries. Although the guides and the official language is German, most of the leaders and majority of the participants are fluent in English.

Cross-country skiing is the least-expensive program. Seven-day packages in Davos, which has 47 miles of ski trails, costs about $204 per person and includes a guide, accommodations, breakfasts and dinners. Weekly rentals for skis, boots and poles are about $109 per person. However, the only week available is Dec. 26.

The Maloja area for cross-country skiing, which is less than 13 miles southwest of St. Moritz, is where the approximately 10,000 participants in the annual Engadine Marathon start this famous event. There are 93 miles of trails in the area. Cross-country camps begin Dec. 26, Feb. 2 and March 16.

Seven-day Alpine ski camps for 16- to 30-year-olds also include guides and accommodations in multi-bedded rooms, plus breakfast, dinner and ski-lift passes.

Alpine ski camps in Saanen, with six-day lift passes, begin Dec. 28 and Feb. 1 and cost about $405 per person.

Grindelwald Alpine packages, with seven-day lift passes, start Dec. 28 and Feb. 15 and cost about $412 per person. Klosters Alpine packages include six-day lift passes, begin Dec. 26 and Feb. 15, and cost about $375 per person. The Braunwald Alpine ski camps provide three meals a day and six-day lift passes, and start on Dec. 26 and Feb. 8. Cost is about $397 per person.

Also available are seven- and 14-day do-it-yourself packages for travelers of any age. Accommodations, breakfasts, dinners, lift passes for six or 13 days, general information and, ifrequested, ski lessons are included.

Do-it-yourself holidays in Arosa, a mountain village near Davos, start each Sunday from Dec. 22 to April 4. One week costs about $324 per person, and two weeks about $587. With five, half-day ski lessons, one week costs about $369 person, two-weeks with 10 half-day lessons is $755.

Grindelwald holidays include seven- or 14-day lift passes, and are available to start any Sunday between Dec. 22 and April 12. A one-week package is about $361 per person; two weeks is about $645. With ski lessons, one-week packages cost about $492 per person, two-week packages about $908.

Do-it-yourself packages are also available for the St. Moritz area, where there are 236 miles of ski slopes. Lift passes are available for six or 13 days. Ski lessons are for six or 12half-days. Packages begin on Saturdays between Jan. 4 and April 11. One week costs about $375 per person, two weeks about $682. With lessons, a one-week package costs about $500 per person, and a two-week package is about $930.

For more information, contact Jugi Tours, Neufeldstrasse 9, CH-3012 Berne, Switzerland, telephone 031-23-26-21, fax 031-23-66-71, or the Swiss National Tourist Office, 222 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Suite 1570, El Segundo 90245, (213) 335-5980.

Travelers who participate in the popular sport of mountain biking can find out about a wide variety of trips in a new 10-page brochure, "Get Ready to Go Mountain Biking," published by Bikecentennial, America's largest recreational cycling association.

The brochure provides information on many topics, including where to meet up with other enthusiasts, and lists festivities in many states.

Readers will also find details on winter ski resorts that cater to mountain cyclists during the summer, routes through national forests, mountain bike clubs and associations, plus a listing of guidebooks and maintenance manuals.

For a copy of "Get Ready to Go Mountain Biking," send $2 to Bikecentennial, P.O. Box 8308-P, Missoula, Mont. 59807.

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