Fun Weekend Getaway With Just A Backpack And Your Ski Gear

November 25, 2016

You imagine grabbing your skis, putting on those slick sunglasses, and making your way up a snow-filled slope. It is steep and towering over the surrounding areas. The view is both spectacular and intense, and the adrenalin starts pumping through your veins. You slowly approach the edge of the slope and gradually tilt your body forwards. You make your way down at swift a speed, feeling the snow grind beneath you. Why imagine? You think, as you get the urge to make that last minute decision and get to the nearest ski resort as soon as possible.

The French Alps have always been a favored choice for ski enthusiasts. This article will provide you with an overview of ten of the most famous and popular French ski resorts in the wondrous Alps.

Charmonix

At the foot of Mont Blanc in the French Alps. You will find the acclaimed Chamonix. Credited with hosting the first Winter Olympic Games in 1924, this illustrious resort is one of the oldest in France. The mountainous landscape provides for some of the most exciting skiing trips available.

What makes it awesome?

  • Sports four large skiing areas
  • Ideal for downhill and slalom skiers
  • Alpine lakes and panoramic view of Mont Blanc
  • Ice-climbing and hiking activities
  • Hosts an amazing speed-jumping experience
  • Variety of restaurants, bars and clubs for after-skiing fun
  • Free and unlimited access to the Funivie Monte-Bianco cable car

La Plagne

At 6000 feet into the French Alps, be prepared for a breathtaking view unlike any other. Get ready to ski down the renowned Chalet De La Grande Rochette. You will immediately understand why this resort is regarded as one of the places you must see before you die.

What makes it awesome? 

  • Steep skiing slopes over 1000 meters high
  • 1500 meter Olympic bobsleigh run
  • The challenging decent of the giant Bellecôte
  • Six mesmerizing valleys to trek and explore
  • A fine mix of rural and urban areas to discover
  • Energetic nightlife spots offering live music, DJ’s, and bars

Tignes

Situated in the heart of Tignes and Val d’Isère and surrounded by beautiful mountains lies the Tignes Ski Resort. It is the ideal place for skiing enthusiasts who seek an adrenalin-filled adventure mixed with a peaceful and tranquil atmosphere.

What makes it awesome?

  • Perfect skiing conditions all-year round
  • Caters for all styles of skiing and snowboarding
  • Perfect for first-time skiers and novices
  • Two terrain parks of unparalleled natural grace
  • Relaxing and serene environment perfect for family ski trips
  • Large quantity of lively bars and restaurants

Les Arcs

If exquisite scenery plays a big part in deciding where to spend your skiing weekend, not many places come close to what Les Arcs has to offer. Apart from immense slopes and fast-paced skiing, the long stretch of glaciers and valleys provide for a wondrous contrast of scenic beauty.

What makes it awesome?

  • Four interconnected sites high up in the mountains
  • Home to one of Europe’s longest slopes, L’Aiguille Rouge
  • Directly linked to the high speed train, allowing you to arrive in no time at all
  • Natural scenery coupled with modern-day architecture
  • Offers a colossal 300km of skiing runs

Meribel Antares

This marvelous resorts lies at an altitude of 5575 feet and is constantly covered with glorious white sheets of snow. It grants visitors with all the elation of top-notch skiing and a variety of additional activities to indulge in after a day of surfing the mountains. You can always find last minute ski deals for Meribel.

What makes it awesome?

  • Best choice for groups of friends travelling together
  • 2000 snow cannons and a beautiful snow park
  • Snow show walks and Nordic walking
  • Inexpensive accommodation, restaurants and bars
  • Access to the slopes of the three valleys ski area, a wondrous spot in the Alps

Alpe d’Huez

Lying in the Southern French Alps and world famous as one of the settings of the Tour de France, is the remarkable Alpe d’Huez Ski Resort. It is also one of the biggest and highest ski resorts in Europe. The soaring mountains provide for terrific skiing and are noted as being snow-filled all year round.

What makes it awesome?

  • Offers the steepest slopes in the world
  • Organized excursions on the off-piste and glacier
  • The top station provides an amazing view of France
  • Skiing features for both professionals and newbies
  • More than thirty bars and restaurants

Serre-Chevalier

A perfect blend of greenery and white snow is what makes the Serr-Chevalier unique and an excellent choice for a weekend trip. Apart from exceptional skiing opportunities, you can also grab your backpack and hike up the mountains, rewarding yourself with spectacular views along the way.

What makes it awesome?

  • Runs cut through lush forests, as well as snow-filled slopes, offering you the best of both worlds
  • Has the second largest ski area in the world
  • Has thirteen villages in the region, all unique and diverse
  • Includes both bowl and valley descents
  • The ski bus provides easy travel between villages and ski access points
  • Unmarked trails allow for a variety of choices on how to approach your descent

Val Thorens

The Val Thorens provides trails that merge across the llustrios Méribel and Courchevel valleys. Towering over the snowcapped hills at 7500 feet, the panoramic view of the surrounding landscape is an experience all on its own. It is ideal for ski fanatics looking for thrilling challenge.

What makes it awesome? 

  • Highest altitude resort in Europe
  • Three large and fully accessible ski areas
  • Scenic natural setting and surrounded by six glaciers
  • Massive mountains make it ideal for backpacking and hiking
  • Witness exquisite views
  • Sunny skiing experience with sunshine throughout the majority of the year
  • Relatively easy to reach from anywhere in Europe

Val d’Isère

If you are a pro skier, then this is no doubt the place for you to head for. It offers an array of slopes of different shapes and sizes, all perfectly tailored for top-notch skiing. You can be rest assured that you will always be challenged.

What makes it awesome? 

  • Hosts the Bellevarde downhill, which was designed for the 1992 Olympics
  • Amazing snow park with unique falls and vertical slopes
  • Equipped with large areas for inexperienced skiers
  • The Vanoise National Park is a backpackers dream with lavish green fields and landlocked water
  • Adrenalin-pumping night ski races, paragliding and speed-riding
  • A variety of accommodation options

Les Menuires

If you fancy technical or freestyle skiing, then make your way to Les Menuires. This resort is rigged with a wide range of features for different types of skiing styles. It distinguishes itself from other spots due to the 160km prim runs that provide an almost infinite scope of available area for all types of snow sports.

What makes it awesome? 

  • The topography of the area guarantees snow throughout the winter
  • Modern architecture with very spacious accommodation
  • Accommodation usually includes private spas and swimming pools
  • Single skier option if you want to go solo and venture into a diverse atmosphere alone
  • Offers an all-year round tour circuit through the village of Saint Martin

Far less complicated than you were thinking, right? Now that you have all the information, it is time to get your bags packed and your skis polished today. Tomorrow you will be on top of a snow-capped mountain, breathing in the fresh air, and taking in the view before descending on an adrenalin-filled ski run in glamorous France. Have a blast and do not “snow” down until you reach the bottom!

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Andi Perullo de Ledesma

I am Andi Perullo de Ledesma, a Chinese Medicine Doctor and Travel Photojournalist in Charlotte, NC. I am also wife to Lucas and mother to Joaquín. Follow us as we explore life and the world one beautiful adventure at a time.

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