The French Alps are home to some of the most well-known and well-travelled ski resorts in Europe.
Throughout the winter months, France’s more than 100 ski resorts are often filled to near capacity with skiers from around the globe.
The French Alps, Pyrenees Mountains and Vosges offer a wide range of ski possibilities for beginners to advanced skiers. Adrenaline junkies from near and far enjoy the thrill of downhill skiing in the mountains of France.
The most famous ski resort in France is located in the French Alps – Chamonix is the oldest and largest resort in the area.
It was home to the very first Winter Olympic Games in 1924. There, the world’s highest cable car lifts passengers up nearly 12,000 feet to offer amazing views of the almost 16,000 foot peak of Mont Blanc.
Mont Blanc is Europe’s highest peak. In addition to skiing and other winter sports, Chamonix-Mont-Blanc offers great summertime holiday packages. Attractions include folk festivals, a fair, a museum, wooden sculptures, golf, movies, clubs, casinos, bowling, fishing and hunting.
More athletic or adventurous summertime guests can enjoy horseback riding, cycling or mountain bike riding, hiking, river rafting, rock climbing, tennis, swimming and other water sports.
Some of the more ritzy and fashionable resorts include Courchevel, Megeve and Meribel. Courchevel consists of five villages, all at varying altitudes. During the winter ski season it offers snowboarding parks, half-pipe, terrain and cross-country skiing, as well as various downhill skiing options.
All resorts offer great ski instruction for beginners and intermediate skiers looking to improve their skill. During the summer holiday months Courchevel maintains its popularity as a summertime holiday getaway. Some of the more popular summertime activities include golf, rock climbing, mountain biking, hiking and swimming. Part of Courchevel’s summertime allure is the relaxing atmosphere and amazing scenery.
Most ski resorts have closed their ski operations in lieu of summertime activities. Many resorts maintain a near-capacity booking, even during the summer.
Throughout the summer, many families enjoy a relaxing summer holiday at various ski resorts. Even during the summer months, Courchevel, Megeve, Meribel and Chamonix often report yearly increases in summertime guests. Ski resorts are available for more than skiers; they’re often considered to be very posh and relaxing summertime holiday spots.
Summertime Skiing in the Alps
Just because it is summer doesn’t mean ski season is over entirely. Ski options still exist during the summer, only not as abundantly as winter time ski options.
Don’t put your skis away until you’ve examined all available summertime ski options. Glacier skiing in the Alps is very popular among die-hard ski enthusiasts. Glacier skiing is available in Australia, New Zealand, Chile, Argentina and Whistler-Blackcomb near Vancouver, Canada.
Glacier skiing tends to provide less challenging skiing conditions, but is an opportunity every skier should take advantage of at least once. The snow and ice on glaciers tends to be flat and mushy, not exactly perfect conditions for the adrenaline junkie, but good for those who just love to ski.
Chile’s La Parva and Portillo resorts are popular off-season training areas for many ski teams. New Zealand’s Whakapapa resort offers a ski adventure of a lifetime. It is one of the few resorts in the world that offers the ability to ski down the side of an active volcano.