Despite stiff competition from many countries across the globe, France has defied the odds and hung onto its crown as the skiing capital of the world. While we in the UK will understand it; close proximity, no language problems, advocates of all winter sports are travelling thousands of miles to take to the French slopes, and also indulge in the infamous après ski and fabulous gastronomy.
Seriously though, if you have skiing on your doorstep, would you travel to another country just for some nightlife and great food? As far as France is concerned the answer is a resounding yes. There is something very special about France that is hard to put your finger on, there is the Gallic charm of course, and stunning scenery and the world renowned cuisine and fine wines, but there is that immeasurable magic that is purely French.
The population of French are renowned as being chic and stylish, as are their towns and cities. There is nowhere that it is more evident than in their ski resorts. Val d’Isere, Chamonix, Courcheval, Les Menuires, Val Thorens, the list goes on, all as classy and as stylish as the next, and all purveyors of that certain je ne sais quoi that would tell you, even if you had travelled blindfolded, that you were in France.
The fact that their resorts cater for everyone is another huge attraction. Whether you are a child taking their first steps on miniature skis, or an expert, there are slopes to suit as well as numerous other winter sports available such as snowboarding, cross country skiing, hiking or climbing.
The French know what tourists want and deliver it tenfold. The accommodations are immaculate, and range from cosy rooms for to right up to spectacular chalets that sleep over a dozen holidaymakers and come complete with those little touches of luxury such as hot tubs.
The shopping is, as you imagine, incomparable. High end design boutiques nestle next to creperies and elegant cafes where you can relax with a coffee and pastry and simply soak up the atmosphere. It is this very essence that attract more non skiers to French ski resorts than those in any other country. They have no desire to hurtle down mountains, they simply want to be a part of it all
One the sun goes down, the French ski resorts really come to life. Bars, restaurants, clubs, live shows, many of these are open until dawn and partying in such cosmopolitan resorts are the kind of experiences that create memories that last a lifetime. Many of the resort restaurants bring in the top chefs during the ski season so you get to sample the famous French cuisine that is famed across the globe and considered to be the best in the world.
Skiing holidays in France are no longer just for the rich and famous, they are realistically priced to appeal to all budgets, and affordable to all. If you have never been skiing in France before, you really don’t know what you’re missing.