OK, here we go
First, as an introduction, I DO NOT TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR ANYTHING I AM POSTING HERE, everything I write is based on our past experience, we’ve flown many times and visited “THE ALPS”, as it’s called, with kids and without, and gained some experience, and I’m more than happy to share with others, but am not to be held responsible for any outcomes.
In our crowds, Switzerland is viewed as the most compelling and attractive country to visit, I think it’s not so true, and it depends on what kind of experience you’re seeking to enjoy, I’ve only been to Switzerland, Austria & Italy, so I only know what’s happening there.
Each place is different, ane each region offers different experiences, some are more child Friendly, like Serfaus-Fiss-Ladis, some are higher locations with extraordinary views like the SaasTal, Zermatt, some are large big cities like Davos & Klosters, ZellAm Sea, Kaprun, some don’t have much to do in the villages but more around, like Flachau, some have more local activities like Solden, and so on, each place is unique and each location has their perks and is suited for different types of vacations, some have thousands of Yiddishe families, and some barley have 10 - 20, some have big lakes and some have 10-15 cable cars locally, some have more thrilling adventures, some have shooping mals, some places are greener and some are rocky, and so on.
First thing first - planning your stay.
There are many decisions you will need to decide,
- Should I join an organized tour/group, or should I fly on my own?
- Should I order food or Schlep along?
- Should I rent a car or rely on Public Transportation?
- And of course the biggest subject is where should I travel.
I’ll try going through some of the details, and hopefully, this will be of help.
I have only twice stayed in hotels because I like being my own boss and having the freedom to plan my days, especially when you want to go on day trips and not be bound to the timings of your hotel’s meals.
Some people would rather enjoy a nice luxurious hotel without any hassle and taking everything in without any extra work.
If you go for a hotel, there isn’t much to write about choices of places and other Kosher amenities because you are limited to what they provide anyways.
In normal years there are many options spreading all over, (naming a few: Davos, Arosa, St. Moritz, Crans Montanna, Hinterglemm, Serfaus, Saas-Fee) this year due to Covid-19 a lot isn’t open, Google for “Kosher hotels Europe 2021” you’ll find the info, there are also the regulars who operate hotels, Lev, TourOlam, etc. so check their websites too.
If you wanna travel yourself, wherever there are Kosher hotels - Yidden take apartments in the neighborhood so there is Minyan where you can Daven.
There are also many popular places where for years people are going and there is organized Minyanim & Kosher Bread and Milky items to be gotten locally, just ask around, or try searching for them online,
Just a few helpful sites
https://sites.google.com/view/austria2021/startseite - This is a site by the Vienne weekly newsletter Lehodia, where you can find info on organized Minyaninm in Austria.
https://koshertirol.com/en/local-information/#message-board - here you can also find some info on Minyanim & Kosher bread, Yogurts, etc. - they sell them in the local M-Preis supermarkets and even have Ice-cream in some locations, (on top of the mountain, Yummy…)
https://www.alloj.com/fr/voyages-cacher-ete.html - I find this site to have the most up-to-date info on hotels in France.
Food in Switzerland & Austria you buy most food items in the local supermarkets and you use “The List” those are lists of food items that are approved by the local Hashgachos, can be found here,
Usually, in the local Swiss & Austrian papers, there is also a lot of info on more places where there are Minyanim,
But as you can see from the above sites you should already have a list of
a good 20+ places with Minyan, I heard of quite a few that are not listed there, so if you have a question on a specific place, I can try to find out.
Finding Apartments the easiest and cheapest and the most reliable is finding through the villages own site, most places have their own tourist offices (that are always super helpful) and have their accommodation booking system, you can also search on Booking and Airbnb, and compare prices.
Renting a car or not, really depends on the place you’re going to and what you’re planning on doing there, If you are just going to Saalbach-Hinterglemm and just planning on staying locally then the bus system is more than excellent, you also have to figure out you’re getting there from the airport, sometimes it’s a big hassle with 3 trains switches and then a bus and after that a Taxi, it’s also worth to compare different pricing options, with A day pass or family/half card.
I hope this helps, if you have questions I hope to stick around…