The French apply a certain insouciant je ne sais quoi to everything they do – be it couture, cuisine or even looking effortlessly suave and sophisticated while popping to the shops to collect groceries.
In areas like the Cote d’Azur, they’ve transformed leisure into an art form (albeit aided by Americans like F. Scott Fitzgerald), while capital Paris is probably still the most stylish city on Earth.
However, it’s not just Le Croisette in Cannes and Passy in Paris that oozes elegance, sophistication, style and a sense of fun – you can also chill out with the beautiful people in amazing French Alps ski areas like Les 3 Vallees, Les Portes du Soleil and Val d’Isere / Tignes.
So if you fancy spending your days conquering some of the best ski and snowboard runs on the planet and your evenings enjoying legendary apres-ski entertainments, heading to the Alps could be a savvy choice.
With that in mind, let’s get the lowdown on France’s three coolest snowsports resorts.
- Val Thorens
The snow quality is superb in Val Thorens, but there are endless ways to relax and unwind too.
For instance, you can work up a purifying sweat in the sauna or steam room at the Sports Centre – or for something a little more energetic, strap yourself into one of the resort’s two zip lines and enjoy stunning snowscape views at speeds of up to 105km/h!
And when it comes to apres-ski, open-air nightclub La Folie Douce is where the party’s at – it’s the highest open-air club in Europe and the toffee vodka is to die for.
- Les Arcs
Premium Les Arcs pistes include brilliant blue runs like Mont Blanc and Vallee de l’Arc, but there are also plenty of outstanding off-piste activities to keep you amused in case you need a brief hiatus from fresh powder action.
Heli Mountain offers helicopter tours where you’ll enjoy a bird’s eye view of the entire complex and there’s a bowling alley and cinema for days when the weather is a bit too wild. When it comes to slaking your thirst and shaking your stuff, you won’t be stuck either – Jungle Cafe in Arc 1800 is the place to be.
Finally, ski package providers like Erna Low can arrange plush accommodation like Arc 1950 Le Village ski apartments in the Prince de Cimes building, which have private indoor pools and are perfectly maintained.
- Les Gets
As well as skiing and snowboarding, visitors to gorgeous Les Gets can enjoy alternative activities like sledging, paragliding and hiking
Meanwhile, trendy Tapas bar L’Anka is always a pleasure to dine in, and the igloo bar is the best place for foam parties, theme nights and cracking cocktails.
And for a day to remember, how about a day dog sledging or a spot of cani-rando (where you’re harnessed to a husky but are pulled along whilst walking or running?
Finally, the Musee de la Musique Mechanique is a fascinating family attraction suffused with old-world charm.
That’s our list! But have we missed your favourite French snowsports resort? Let us know in the comments section.