When it comes to skiing, France is the most popular destination for British holidaymakers – and with good reason. A choice of fabulous ski destinations is a huge lure plus there’s a massive variety of resorts to suit all tastes and budgets. Expensive prices can deter visitors from choosing a ski holiday, but one of the most economical ways to enjoy a snowy, sporty break, is with a self-catering chalet and at French Connections they’ve got a fabulous range for you to choose from.
Here we take a look at where to stay in 7 great ski destinations that are not in the most well-known locations – they’re a bit off the beaten snow track…
Isere, Les Deux Alpes, Savoie
Les Deux Alpes is a dynamic, sporty and modern ski resort. There’s a huge ski area, suitable for all levels of skiers from children to experts and thanks to its location it benefits from heavy snow falls. And just in case there’s not enough of the cold white stuff, 225 snow cannons guarantee excellent ski conditions throughout the season. Lively après-ski, modern ski lifts, tons of facilities and activities galore make this resort really popular with the French, not so well known to the British – it’s just waiting to be discovered.
St Martin de Belleville, Savoie
A little bit off the beaten track and all the better for it, St Martin de Belleville is a traditional, unspoiled and picturesque village that’s not touristy. What makes it a great location for skiers is the fact that it also has quick access to Les Menuires, Meribel and the rest of the Three Valleys (Trois Vallees). Perfect for those who want a more tranquil ski holiday in stunning surroundings.
Samoëns is one of the best ski centres in France and yet it’s one of the least known to Brits. Part of the Grand Massif ski domain and connected to high-altitude, snow sure Flaine – it’s great for skiers of all levels with an impressive 265km of piste. With a traffic-free centre of town, lots of fabulous shops, great après ski and restaurants – it’s hard not to fall in love with sensational Samoens.
Doucy-Combelouvière is a small family friendly village on the side of the valley overlooking the more well-known Valmorel. The lifts connect straight from the centre of the village to Valmorel and over 150km of pistes for all abilities. The ski area is particularly popular with families and has excellent provision for beginners and intermediates.
Seez, Les Arcs, Savoie
A great choice of slopes makes Les Arcs, part of the Paradiski area, a standout ski resort for all powderhounds. Here you’ll find a vast range of winter activities from skiing, snowboarding, cross country skiing, heli-skiing, huskie-riding, snow parks, toboggan run and much more. It has a reputation for friendly locals and a traditional feel to the villages in the area.
St Jean de Sixt, near La Clusaz, Haute Savoie
Close to the lovely city of Annecy, La Clusaz is a traditional ski town with great restaurants and bars, quirky shops and stunning scenery. Le Grand Bornand, another stunning alpine town is close by and the smaller Manigod is within easy distance by free shuttle bus.
As a skier you’ll find everything you could possibly want here – a wide range of pistes that cater to skiers and boarders of all levels. There are friendly towns and fabulous après ski and for those with a sense of adventure how about go-karting on ice!
Where to stay: The lift-linked village of St Jean de Sixt is just 5 minutes from La Clusaz and Le Grand Bornand. It has all the essentials you’d need and is close to the lovely market town of Thones with its fabulous Saturday morning market and excellent gourmet food shops.
Renowned for its traditional and lively feel, Morzine, based in the northern edges of the French Alps and close to Lac Leman and Switzerland offers a wide range of shops, bars and restaurants. Morzine is linked to Les Gets which forms part of the Portes du Soleil circuit, one of the largest ski areas in the world, with 123 resorts and about 650km of marked ski and snowboard runs catering to every possible level and ability.