Swoosh down the pistes, go fat biking, snowmobiling, sledging or snowshoe hiking, take a horse-drawn carriage ride and enjoy the snowy mountain peaks. In the evening, pop off your skis and have some fun! There’s so much to do in the French Alps in winter and for New Year celebrations you’re spoiled for choice.
Warm up in your cosy chalet, admire the magical scenery from a hot tub, chill out in a sauna, take a dip in a heated pool – your accommodation in the French Alps is part of the fun…
In Courchevel the skiing is glorious but there’s plenty more to do. Why not go ice diving at the lake of Courchevel Le Praz (1,300m above sea level). Or try your hand at driving a ski groomer in a 470-horsepower piste caterpillar, accompanied by a professional. And in the evening enjoy the festive winter nightlife. For New Year there are three days of events with entertainment including theatre, music, dance and fireworks – great for friends, couples and families (29-31 December).
In picturesque Meribel, New Year’s Eve brings a special torch lit descent, where skiers head to the slopes by candlelight as fireworks explode overhead. This is followed by a giant party on the piste with free hot drinks, music and more fireworks. When the party’s over, winter is the ideal time to go snowboarding, snowshoeing and husky-dog sledging in the Mottaret Mountains, while the ice skating rinks in Meribel town centre will keep the whole family entertained.
Like Meribel, Val Thorens ski resort hosts a torchlight parade, suitable for all ages, followed by a fireworks display to say goodbye to the old year while Place Caron rocks to the beat as DJ’s play the funkiest sounds. In the Saint-Martin-de-Bellville commune, Val Thorens is a fun winter destination with plenty of events including a rather unusual Australia Day (26 January) – with fancy dress, a giant barbecue and all things Australian!
Magical Manigod with its Narnia-like scenery, Le Grand Bornand and La Clusaz with their fabulous pistes and vibrant village life and lovely St Jean de Sixt – each part of the Aravis Massif resorts offers something different. On New Year’s Eve there’s an unmissable masked ball in Le Grand Bornand!
Go night skiing. Ogle the majestic Mont Blanc from the beautiful Beauregard Plateau. Take a cheese tasting in the village of Manigod. Go ice bumping in La Clusaz – yup, bumper cars on ice! Whizz down the sledge run at St Jean de Sixt – suitable for all ages! Relax in a hot tub (photo La Grange a l’Ours, Manigod).
And when you’re not outdoors having fun, you can be indoors having fun, chilling out and enjoying your best life in a gorgeous chalet. Where you stay is as much a part of your French Alps winter holiday as the snow. There are plenty of restaurants but self-catering is also a great experience with bakeries, fromageries, epiceries and supermarkets in the towns and villages. Plus stock up at the regular markets where you’ll find great cheeses and charcuterie, and make fondue, raclette and tartiflette – perfect fuel for your Alpine adventures.