Winter activities in the Alps

Posted on 02 Mar 2020 in Lifestyle
Winter activities in the Alps

1 – Outdoor activities: Our favorite ski places!

France undoubtedly has some of the best ski resorts in the world. It has a total of more than 200 stations, mainly located in the Alps and the Pyrenees. The Winter Olympic Games have also taken place several times in France: in 1992 in Albertville, in 1968 in Grenoble and, for the very first time, in 1924 in Chamonix.

We find in the French Alps the largest ski areas in the world! There are also the best summer ski resorts in Europe.

The ski resorts are extremely different. These range from integrated resorts such as Flaine, to charming mountain villages such as Megève or Châtel. Large resorts generally offer a high level of comfort; it is not uncommon for example to be able to ski to the doors of your hotel.

Here are our four favorites:

Les Arcs:

  • Max altitude: 3226m 
  • 425Km of slopes
  • Opening: 14/12/2019 -> 25/04/2020
  • Ski pass: from 44€ to 69€ per day

Val d’Isère:

  • Max altitude: 3482m
  • 300Km of slopes
  • Opening: 30/11/2019 -> 03/05/2020
  • Ski pass: from 37€ to 61€ per day

Courchevel ( Three Valleys)

  • Max altitude: 3230m
  • 150Km of slopes
  • Opening: 07/12/2019 -> 26/04/2020
  • Ski pass: from 63€ per day

Chatel

  • Max altitude: 2200m 
  • 84Km (Courchevel) and 600km (3 Vallées) of slopes
  • Opening: 14/12/2019 -> 26/04/2020
  • Ski pass: from 33€ to 44€ per day

A few numbers about International clientele:

For the winter season 2018-2019, about 1 out of 10 French went skiing, but what are the numbers for international tourists?

Regarding a study based on Insee statistics made by Savoie Mont Blanc Tourism, 32% of rented accommodations have been  booked by foreigners. Non-residents also represent 21.8% of investors in the French Alps.

The most present nationalities:

  • British (42%)
  • Swiss (11%)
  • Belgian (7%)
  • Russian (6%)
  • Swedish and Norwegian (5% each)
  • Dutch (4%)
  • German (4%)
  • Italian (3%)
  • Danemark (1%)
  • Other (17%)

2 – Apart from skiing: Other activities we enjoyed!

Chatel – Tandem Paragliding:

  • Altitude: 1600 to 2000m
  • 10 to 45 minutes flight 
  • From 70€ to 120€ per flight

For your first flight, the Discovery Flight is the ideal formula for discovering the mountains seen from the sky. With a slightly longer flight time, the Grand Vol offers a nice ride over the Abundance Valley. Finally, The Thermal Flight provides you with a superb air cruise thanks to the exploitation of updrafts.! Breathtaking views guaranteed.

Val d’Isere – BMW Ice driving:

  • From karting to BMW car driving on ice.
  • Pilot school, seminars, driving simulator and riding

The Val d’Isère Ice Driving school is located at an altitude of 1,850 m. It benefits from an exceptional exhibition allowing an opening from December to March. The site is situated in a modern complex located on a 3 hectare site at the entry of the resort. 

Megève – Hot air balloon:

  • 45 minutes to 1h25 flight
  • Champagne when landing
  • From 240€ per person.

Praz-sur-Arly is well known for its balloon flights. Flights are offered all year round from the village. The spectacle is superb and the view from the basket is magical when the balloon rises above the peaks of the entire Mont Blanc Massif, the Aravis range, the Beaufortain, and part of the Swiss and Italian Alps. Thanks to the exceptional aerology of this “Corner of the Alps”, the Praz sur Arly has had a set up for decades.

Various – Dog Sledding:

  • Les Contamines – Northern Alps (Haute Savoie, close from Chamonix)
  • Les 2 Alpes – Northern Alps (Isère, Close from Grenoble)
  • Southern Alps – (Les Orres, Puy Saint Vincent)

Ski resorts often offer several formulas: learn more about dogs (breed behaviour, etc …),, take the reins of the pack of dogs or just relax in the back and enjoy the view .And often the expedition also includes a meal, to finish with a touch of local food. .

Chamonix – Snowshoeing:

  • Do not forget to book a guide for the day!

You do not want to ski or surf the slopes of Chamonix? Do you dream of exploring nature differently? Then snowshoeing is for you. You will discover the flora and fauna of the forests of the Chamonix valley by snowshoe.

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