UCPA is a unique not-for-profit sports holiday company, originally set up more than 50 years ago by the French government to make adventure sports and quality coaching more affordable for young people. Today, more than 250,000 people travel with UCPA every year. The not-for-profit status means the prices are amongst the lowest on the market, which is why UCPA is the number one provider of school and college ski trips in France.
Always included in our holidays
Skis, boots & poles
Instruction or guiding
Friendly & social atmosphere
UCPA's accommodation are purpose-built activity centres that are designed to be both practical and functional, but provide a social environment where your group, both students and teachers, can relax after a day of skiing. The centres tend to be centrally located with easy access to both the lifts and to the town centre and some centres are ski in, ski out.
Students are accommodated in shared dormitory style rooms, which are generally 4-bed, with toilets and showers usually located in the corridor. The specific layout varies from centre to centre, and we have 16 across the alps.
Individuals are required to strip their beds and clean the rooms at the end of their stay.
If staff require single-sex dormitories or twin rooms, this can be organised (depending on availability) at contract stage.
If you’d like access to a meeting room, then let us know as these can sometimes be reserved in advance, or if not, on arrival with reception.
All meals are freshly prepared by the chefs on the premises and are served as a buffet in large, sociable dining areas.
Breakfast tends to be cereal, bread and jams with plenty of hot chocolate and coffee. Lunch can either be packed or served hot back at the centre (pasta and rice dishes followed by desserts and cheese). The evening meal includes starters of soup and salad, the main course will be a wide range of pasta and rice dishes, sausages, fish, steaks etc. depending on the theme of the night with cheese and cakes or ice cream for dessert.
The tables do need to be cleared and wiped down after use. This is all part of the UCPA ethos and great for student responsibility and independence, as well as keeping the price down.
UCPA can not cater for all dietary requirements. It may be necessary for those with food intolerances to take alternative foods with them. The teaching staff can speak with the chefs on arrival to find out which foods are suitable. For anyone with severe food allergies, please contact us before booking.
Located in the heart of the Vanoise National park, this quaint and smaller ski area with a recently refurbished UCPA centre is perfect for beginners looking to start out on their skiing adventures.
A huge centre which is typically good for very large groups. A popular resort with school groups, it has ski in/ski out and a huge number of pistes to access.
Avoid the queues and crowds at this off-the-radar resort. Lots of great terrain for all levels, and always at an excellent price. A relatively short distance from Geneva Airport.
La Plagne 1800
Snow sure from early to late season and a great piste network from the ski in/ski out centre.
A sunny resort with a great range of pistes for all abilities, across an excellent network. Accessible from either Turin or Grenoble airport.
Access the expansive Grand Massif piste network straight from the door of the recently renovated UCPA centre.
A little known gem at the foot of the Col du Telegraphe. With a recently renovated UCPA centre and plenty of green and blue pistes it is the perfect place to learn to ski.
UCPA staff deliver some evening entertainment throughout the week. This may include; board games, table tennis, snow and avalanche topology, stretching, slackline, karaoke, dance party, dance challenge, circus skills, team-building activities, a freestyle demo, to name a few.
There are usually 3 educational activities during the week from 17:00 - 19:00 and 2 later evening activities. The activities allow UK school students to integrate with students from French schools (as well as other international schools), gain an understanding of French culture and differences and maybe even put some French language skills into practice.
The equipment is provided according to the individual’s standard, rather than the group budget, with the ski shop hosting a huge range of equipment and boots to suit everyone. As the equipment hire is all on site and the equipment room is open daily, it is really easy to change boots that are too small/too big etc. All equipment is professionally maintained and is typically two years old at the maximum.
What makes the UCPA even more unique is that they have their own instructors and guides; all fully qualified through the French system, generally considered the most advanced and difficult system to qualify through. The instruction provided is first class, each individual will be allocated a place in ability groups (we’ll request information about rough ability levels in advance), so everyone will learn and progress at the right level for them.
Base prices are for Sunday evening arrival (18:00 or before) to Friday afternoon departure.
If you need a longer trip and a more relaxed departure, we can add an extra night at the end of the trip for a Saturday departure.
We can also add extra ski lessons (in addition to the 20 hours which are already included in the price). Or, you may prefer to start your stay on the Monday morning (particularly if you are travelling from within mainland Europe) and take advantage of further reduced costs.
We don’t tie you into any travel, but we can help you with some arrangements. We can arrange coach travel for your group direct from your school to resort with our partner company Snow Express, either with individual seats on the scheduled coach service that leaves from London, or with a private hire coach that picks you up from your barracks/university.
Alternatively, you can take advantage of group rates with low cost airlines and book direct for your group and we can then organise your transfers from the airport to resort.
Or, you may prefer to arrange your own transport and take your own vehicles. Some centres have their own car parks (sometimes with a small charge), or there is usually a public car park a short distance from the centre.
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