Skiing in France; Culture, Cuisine and Powder
France has long attracted skiers to its slopes and even hosted the first Winter Olympic Games in Chamonix in 1924. The skiers, and now the ‘boarders, are still coming. Whether they’re looking for glamour and upscale accommodations or a more down to earth setting, the resorts of France don’t disappoint. And there’s more than skiing that makes a winter vacation in France a special event. Visitors can take side trips to Paris or Lyon, visit museums and art galleries, and of course, enjoy fantastic French cuisine.
Take a look at a few of the great resorts of France:
The scenic Chamonix valley is among some of the highest mountain peaks in the Alps, including the famous Mont Blanc massif (4,810 meters/15,632 feet). The valley is in the crossroads of three countries. It’s just a 25-minute trip to Italy through the Mont Blanc tunnel and about the same amount of time from Chamonix to Switzerland traveling over the Col des Montets.
There are 145 trails weaving throughout the area adding up to 140 kilometers (87.5 miles). The favorite runs in the area are Le Brevent, Vallée-Blanche, and the Grands Montets. Chamonix is known for its fantastic off-trail skiing and snowboarding opportunities, as well. Including the off-trail slopes, the area offers up to 30,000 acres of skiable terrain.
Skiing Chamonix, France from $1,660 per person
Vacation Trip includes; Seven nights accommodation Croix Blanche (3-star), Buffet breakfast at the hotel, Round-trip air via Lufthansa Airlines, local taxes Europe and airline fuel surcharges.
Ski Trip Deal: Chamonix, France SuperSki Vacation
Beautiful Courchevel is part of the giant Trois Vallées Ski Area. There are four levels to the resort. Courchevel 1300 offers the lowest prices and the most traditional Savoyard village. Courchevel 1850, the highest of the four, is the upscale resort. Restaurants, clubs, and shopping, 1850 attracts the rich and famous from across the world.
Beginning skiers enjoy the Courchevel Valley’s 100 miles of trails designated for them. Gentle, well-groomed beginner runs are found near the Jardin Alpin lifts. Great cruising runs popular with intermediates are near the Courchevel 1850 gondola. There are more slopes to lure the advanced skier than there is time to ski them. Experts choose from runs with names such as the Ugly Sisters, Sous Pylons, Emile Allais, and Téléphérique, just to name a few.
Skiing Courchevel, France. Ski Vacations from $2,498 per person
Vacation Trip includes; Seven nights accommodation the Au Rond Point Des Pistes (3-Star), Buffet breakfast at the hotel, Round-trip air via Lufthansa Airlines, Round-trip transfer via shuttle bus, local taxes Europe and airline fuel surcharges.
Ski Trip Deal: Courchevel, France Ski Week
Méribel, a popular purpose-built resort, is filled with slate-roofed, wooden chalet-style buildings and raised walkways. The resort is also located in Les Trois Vallées ski area, and welcomes skiers to a winter playground like no other. With access to the vast ski area’s 200 lifts and more than 600 kilometers of trails, Méribel is an attractive base for skiers and snowboarders. And the partiers love it, too!
While Méribel is often called an “intermediate’s paradise” there’s plenty for beginners, as well. France’s famous ski school, L’Ecole Du Ski Français, is an excellent place for those beginners to upgrade their skills. The resort offers great trails for experts as well as some awesome off-trail areas. Other winter sports abound including cross-country skiing, some of the best ice hiking in the Alps, dog sledding, tobogganing, and even bobsledding on an Olympic run.
This resort succeeds at combining spine-tingling skiing and vivacious après-ski for the maximum effect. Skiers and snowboarders have the run of the vast L’Espace Killy, named for the famous French skier, Jean Claude Killy. As the venue for 1992 Winter Olympic ski events, Val d’Isère has seen some of the best skiers in the world.
Beginners have plenty of space to practice their skills with 30% of trails suited for them. Forty-seven percent of Val d’Isère’s trails are devoted to intermediates and provide lots of altitude. Experts enjoy on and off-trail skiing at the resort including the Bellevarde Face considered one of the most difficult men’s downhill courses in the world.
(Note: This is a classic reprint from the SkiEurope Report)