And although it is generally a purpose built resort, you will
find it like a fairytale atmosphere with the ski chalets that blend into the scenery,
however, it does have quite a lively nightlife and can get very busy in the peak season as
it is such a popular destination.
Courchevel is an outstanding place to ski or snowboard, but can be a little on the
expensive side, although the extensive slopes of the resort will offer extensive and
varied skiing. It is made up of four villages known by their altitudes and they vary
immensely from their access through to facilities etc. But some places you can get
to ski right out of the door of the hotel!
Font Romeu is one of the oldest ski resorts in Europe and also has the biggest snow making
operation in the Pyrenees and with well over 2500 hours of sunshine each year, this makes
it another very popular resort for weekend breaks and longer holidays alike.
Chamonix is a town in a valley and there are five very good resorts, but these are not
near to the slopes and you would need transport to get to them. But this place has
everything from great shops to a wonderful atmosphere, yet because of how well known it
is, the whole area can seen very crowded compared to some other skiing towns, especially
around the ski lifts.
Alpe d'Huez is one of Europe's largest and highest ski resorts and is currently one of
only around twenty in the world that offers a lift-served vertical of over 2000
metres. Plus it has the largest slope in the world where you can ski for well over
an hour without taking any ski lift, although these are definitely not for the beginner or
Yet even though many think of skiing as a winter sport, there are a few places in France
where you can still get to ski on the glaciers in the summer months, such as Tignes or Val
And there are very few great skiing areas in the world that can excite the imagination
more than the Val d'Isère and L'Espace Killy is considered to be one of the best ski
areas in the world. Plus an amazing variety of different skiing can be achieved through
ski lifts and ski buses that link the area of Val d'Isère to the neighbouring Tignes,
But if you have never been skiing then it is advisable to book you holiday through a tour
operator, as they will know exactly what resorts are going to be suitable. But it is
also an idea to have some lessons on dry slopes prior to going, so that you can make the
best of your holiday, rather that spending the first few days just learning to stop
falling over on the snow!
Of course, booking your skiing holiday
independently can save you quite a lot of money, but there can be downsides as well,
especially if you have never been to the resort before. For instance, you may not
realise how far it is to get from your accommodation to the slopes, or even how far it
would be to get to the ski hire places. And lets face it, you do not want to be
spending a whole day just getting set up rather than on the slopes doing what you went
there to do. Also do bear in mind that even if you do not have your own skis or
skiing boots, you will still need to purchase other items of equipment before you go such
as proper skiing gloves and sallopettes to keep you warm and the snow out.
There is a wide range of ski accommodation in France and you can choose from purpose built
private ski chalets, chalet apartments or hotels. French skiing accommodation meets
the needs of all skiers, with self-catering cabins to fully serviced luxury apartments and
hotels, ideal for the skier on every budget.
But the choice of accommodation can be quite mind-boggling and you have to consider all
the people in your party, especially if you have young children where childcare facilities
or entertainment may be an important issue. Or if you are a more experienced skier,
you may wish to look at chalets nearer to the more difficult runs rather than the nursery
slopes or perhaps opt for a little more luxury in a hotel
with gourmet meals by evening in peace and tranquillity.
Speaking to people that have already been to a resort, or even going on to forums can help
a great deal, especially if you wish to know what places are the best for good value
restaurants when you are on a self-catering holiday, or maybe even avoiding a resort with
a lively night life if you have little ones that need their sleep!
Of course, you will also need to look into what other activities are available in your
chosen resort. That is of course you still feel up to it after the skiing! But
seriously, there are always things for all of the family to enjoy, such as shows, archery,
concerts, squash, tennis, ice skating, golf, swimming, dancing, saunas and spas, plus
many, many more.