When you’re planning your annual family holiday, do you usually think sun, sea and sand?
If you live in a chilly Northern Hemisphere nation, it’s no wonder that you want a break from the dire weather and the chance to soak up some rays, top up your vitamin D, splash around in the sea and dine outdoors.
But perhaps you should consider a skiing holiday instead?
Sure, it’s chilly ̶ but skiing holidays can also be sunny, the scenery is stunning, skiing and snowboarding are great exercise, plus most ski resorts have plenty of exciting entertainment for adults and children off the slopes.
And if you choose a resort that’s part of a lift-linked ski area, you can conveniently explore a massive range of slopes for all abilities and sample the apres-ski in different locations.
Sounds cool? Take a look at these three awesome Alpine ski areas.
Now often called Tignes-Val d’Isère after its two terrific sister resorts, Espace Killy is named after French skiing legend and triple Olympic champion Jean-Claude Killy.
There’s a vast, snow-sure, high-altitude skiing area of some 300km here which has 158 pistes to suit every style and ability of skier. Val d’Isère sits at an impressive 1850m, has slopes right up to 3400m and legendary apres-ski, while Tignes comprises five villages at 1550m to 2100m and the runs down from the Grande Motte Glacier are legendary ̶ the famous Corniche blue piste is a particular favourite.
Located in the skiing heartland of the Tarentaise Valley, Paradiski has a mind-boggling skiable area of 425km, with skiing available right up to altitudes of 325om and 264 well-groomed pistes. The area includes Les Arcs, La Plagne and Peisey-Vallandry, all of which are conveniently linked by the excellent Vanoise Express lift.
There are child-friendly, car-free resorts across Paradiski with terrific ski package holidays available from select providers ̶ for instance, Arc 1800 ski holidays from Erna Low include accommodation, ski hire and more. Meanwhile, children’s facilities in Paradiski is varied and exciting, ranging from the thrilling Colorado Luge in Plagne Centre to the excellent Nursery Tom Pouce at Peisey-Vallandry.
Located in the Northern Alps close to Mont Blanc and in striking distance of both Chamonix and Geneva, the Grand Massif ski area includes the five diverse yet delightful resorts of Sixt, Les Carroz, Morillon, Flaine and Samoëns. This isn’t the best-known ski domain, but it’s a hidden gem with a 265km skiable area, slopes to suit skiers of all stripes and an excellent standard of accommodation.
All of these resorts have their distinct charms, but if you’re travelling with kids in tow, Les Carroz is a good pick because although there’s accessible skiing up to 2480m, the resort’s low-level, westerly location at 1140m is more pleasant for young kids finding their feet. The apres-ski in Grand Massif is varied and vibrant, but sampling international beers at Le White Pub in Flaine is a favourite pastime for many pleasure-seekers!
Choose any of these three top-rated French Alps ski areas for the holiday of your life ̶ happy skiing!