The French Alps may be a popular location for those looking to book a winter skiing holiday in Europe. The Alps (being a mountainous region) usually receive at least a dusting of snow during the winter months. Before Christmas, weather reports showed little snow in the area despite it being the start of the skiing season. However, more recent snow reports show January has seen an increase of snow so far, aiming to transform the mountains into a winter playground and providing powder conditions on and off the piste. This recent snowfall may bring joy to those who are due to travel or are pondering travelling to the French Alps soon.
Most of the resorts in the Alps aim to be focused on accommodating tourists visiting to ski or snowboard. However, there may be more to do in many of the French resorts than solely winter sports or snow-related activities. Many of the French resorts feature luxurious chalets or lodges with indoor swimming pools and spas for those who may simply need to relax. Many resorts have a lively nightlife scene off the mountain for those who enjoy staying up late and mingling with new people. Usually, these resorts have chair lifts or cable cars which aim to offer panoramic views of the Alps; come rain or shine.
In the popular French resort Val d’Isere, there is an array of shops, restaurants, chalets, hotels and apartments within the village which offer beautiful views of the surrounding mountains. Val d’Isere has unique heritage which may still be viewed today in the town. The village church is one of the most ancient buildings in the area and may be one of the few churches which were left intact during the Revolutionary wars in France. On the contrary, Val d’Isere aims to offer a bustling nightlife scene from cosy pubs to nightclubs, suggesting there may be something for everyone. Days off of the mountain may be spent browsing the designer and boutique shops in the village or taking a bus to a different area.
Further North of the Alps is Chamonix Resort, also known as Chamonix-Mont-Blanc. There are many sightseeing activities on offer here, for example the official Chamonix website suggests visitors take cable cars up the mountains in order to view the scenery in its full glory. There may be the opportunity to organise a helicopter tour which flies over Mont Blanc mountain range for even more impressive views of the alpine village and surrounding landscape. Similar to Val d’Isere, there are a variety of shops, restaurants, pubs and bars to keep everyone entertained.
Alternatively, Tigne resort is situated near a lake and offers tourists the choice to relax or join in on the action at the resort. It has a natural ice rink where visitors may play ice hockey, and also an indoor pool area with Jacuzzis, saunas and waterslides to keep all ages happy. As well as this, there is a gym, a sports centre and a climbing wall area should visitors wish to stay inside yet stay active. There are many events set to take place in Tignes this winter season, including Red Bull sponsored ski and freestyle competitions as well as a cultural season of concerts, one-man shows, theatre and dance.
There may be many resorts to choose from when considering the French Alps for a holiday, and each one has its own differentiating aspects. The variety of things to do besides winter sports proves there may be something for all of the family to enjoy come rain or shine.
What other countries in Europe may experience high tourism figures during winter?