With more than 400 sites dedicated to winter sports, France offers a broad range of destinations for the merriest of holidays. Now’s the time to escape and enjoy fun in the snow and the warmth of family – in France’s great resorts!
The Alps, the kingdom of Skiing
Everyone loves the Rhone-Alps area for its tourist attractions and its beautiful diversity of landscapes. European snow capital thanks to its 216 winter sports resorts, the area is also prized for its hydrotherapy spas and its splendid natural sites. Between Courchevel, Méribel, Megève and Val of Isere lie the most beautiful ski areas Europe, Les Trois Vallées, Espace Killy, Portes du Soleil. Killy for example, offers 300 km of trails, 90 ski lifts, 2 glaciers, 2 snow parks and a variety of exposures and altitudes which makes it possible to always find good quality snow—a veritable skiers’ paradise!
Cultivating a long-standing first-class image with their mix of luxury, sport and tradition, the charming ski stations of the Alps are the favorites of wealthy jet setters.
To enjoy the high life without the high price, just stay in the small neighboring villages: Sainte-Foy Tarentaise, convenient for skiing Val d’Isere, Oz en Oisans, very close to Alpe d’ Huez, or Combloux, not far from Megève.
At night, gaily lit-up hotels and shops festoon the mountain. Shows and entertainment mark the evenings all through the holidays. It’s also the perfect time to sample the fine dining and local fare in one of the many restaurants and to share warm and pleasant moments with friends and family over a good glass of hot mulled wine.
The Pyrennes, Authentic and Convivial
The Pyrenean stations have all the ingredients for a perfect winter vacation: great snow, sunshine, a friendly welcome and lots of fun après-ski activities. The ski areas are family-oriented and down-to-earth without being any less dynamic and well equipped. Each one has its own unique character: Luz Ardidenis youthful and vibrant, while in Saint-Lary visitors enjoy the easy pace of mountain village life among the charming old buildings; Peyragudes has its breathtaking panoramic views and spas, while the excitement of international competitions and pro sports sets the tone at the largest ski area of the Pyrenees, Bagnères Mongie.
The pleasures of winter sports and spectacular mountain views make for a uniquely satisfying family vacation. Whether your tastes run to downhill skiing, cross-country, hiking in snowshoes through the spectacular decor of peaks and fir trees, snowboarding or truly extreme sports, there’s something for everyone. The human touch, local architecture and charming character are all well preserved in these mountain villages, making for wonderfully authentic good times. The many tourist attractions are designed to enhance anything from a weekend getaway to a longer stay.
Massif Central, Nature Activities & Family Fun
If you want to get off the beaten path and to spend your winter holidays in unspoiled landscapes, the Massif Central is just the ticket. This gentle environment lends itself to many activities: long walks, ski touring, hikes in snowshoes, dog sledding and snowmobiling. The plateaus of Aubrac, in Aveyron and Margeride, in Lozere, are particular favorites with hikers and cross-country skiers with their many kilometers of trails.
What a way for the whole family to take advantage of excellent snow conditions and to experience the fabulous panoramas afforded by the round peaks of the area. Lovers of downhill skiing are not left out, since several ski areas cater to them all winter long. The Station of Lioran, for example, has particularly powerful equipment. It stretches over 150 hectares through majestic fir trees, with a range of 1250 to 1850 meters in altitude and offers more than 40 trails with special zones equipped for freeride, a snow park and night skiing.
Nestled on one of the slopes of Sancy, Super Besse is also a fantastically well-equipped ski resort. On the other face of Puy de Sancy, the Mont Doré boasts soaring slopes and has everything you could ask for in a family holiday.
Spending Christmas holidays in the Massif Central means a truly unique sporting discovery for families in the great outdoors. The fabulous ski areas France boasts make it possible everyone to find a resort to match his or her desire: chills, thrills and new sensations, Scandinavian sites or cross-country skiing, family strolls and activities in nature—something for every taste and every budget.
So, happy holiday to all — and happy New Year!