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French Ski Resorts

The French Alps provide some of the most picturesque examples of mountainous landscapes anywhere in the world. With this in mind it is perhaps not surprising that they are amongst the most popular ski destinations to be found, each year millions of skiers of all abilities descend on a number of towns to enjoy a skiing holiday France style.  For many the most difficult task is deciding which resort is right for them, understandable, when one considers the quasi-mythical reputations some of these Alpine retreats hold today. In order to sort fact from fiction here's the truth about three of France's premier ski resorts.

Val d'Isere:

Up until the 1920s Val d'Isere was much the same as any Alpine village, 1850m above sea level its inhabitants' lives being dominated by the seasons and their effect upon the management of livestock. In the 1920s winter sports became fashionable and the town of Val d'Isere, surrounded by high slopes of snow was ideally placed to take full advantage of this new trend. Today the town boasts over 300 km of slopes and a ski park accessible via the new Bellevarde cable car the "Olympique". Widely regarded as a more upmarket resort, Val d'Isere offers a lively apres-piste scene. The 2009 World Alpine Ski Championships are to be held in Val d'Isere.

French Ski Resorts
French Skiing Holidays

Les Arcs:

Les Arcs is not one, but five separate villages four of which have been created specifically for winter sports tourism, the first of which, Arc 1600, was built in 1968. The artificial villages of Arc 1600, Arc 1800, Arc 1950 and Arc 2000, are on the mountainside above the traditional town of Bourg-Saint-Maurice. The five villages boast 425 km of ski slopes between them, spread over the two glaciers upon which the villages are situated, and 144 ski lifts to ensure an enjoyable skiing holiday. The Les Arcs villages each have their own unique character, Arc 1600 is noted for its simplicity; Arc 1800 for the tranquillity afforded in a car-free village; Arc 1950 supplies up-market elegance for the urbane skier; whilst Arc 2000 offers the extreme skiing experience one would expect from the resort's highest village.

Chamonix:

Chamonix is the oldest Alpine resort, a town nestled in the shadow of Europe's highest mountain, Mont. Blonc. The town is noted for a wonderful concoction of styles from baroque churches to art deco buildings, a mixture reflected in the town's cosmopolitan atmosphere. Chamonix's centre is now pedestrianised and after a day on the slopes there are a range of boutiques offering all the retail therapy one could desire. In terms of skiing Chamonix has a great deal to offer, the  Brévent/Flégère region, offering south-facing slopes and exceptional views of the Mont-Blanc chain, the Grands Montets, high altitude north-facing slopes which dominate the village of Argentière and the Balme area, wide open slopes at the top of the Chamonix valley, bordering on Switzerland. As with the above resorts and in general when skiing a ski chalet France style is an ideal way to create your own ideal holiday and many companies allow you to do exactly that by specifying exactly what you want from your holiday.




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