French Ski Holidays
Half of all skiers in the UK choose France every year for a ski holiday and it's not just because it's so accessible with plenty of flights, ferries and Eurotunnelservices to take them to their chalets and hotels: the French ski holiday industry has so much variety and is able to offer from first time to Olympic standard skiers superb facilities and hospitality, so no matter what someone is looking for there will be a wide choice of French ski holidays available to suit everyone's price range.
2009 and 2010 both saw a drop in the number of people venturing abroad in the winter due to the recession, but with some confidence returning to the UK and Irish economies, the signs are good for the 2011 French ski holidays industry with a better number of early bookings compared to the last two years.
But there are some excellent deals to be found, and reliable companies like Crystal ski and Thomson Ski are both able to offer a wide range of accommodation and packages for anyone looking for a ski holiday France in 2011.
Learning To Ski
French ski holidays have been a tradition across Europe for decades. The Alps and Pyrenees have the highest variety of terrain and most ski area in Europe.
The appeal of France's slopes comes from its central location in Europe. Neighbours like the United Kingdom deliver a high percentage of people that take ski holidays in France each year.
While fabulous skiing is available in Andorra, Italy, Austria, and as far away as the U.S. and Canada, the French slopes are conveniently close to home for Britons. And it surpasses many of these offerings by sheer size and quality – making a French ski holiday a great experience.
The extensive on-piste mileage across the peaks and slopes is just one of the unmatched offerings available throughout the country. The seven mountain ranges attract skiers to their unique attributes based on their interests. Massif Central, Jura, Vosges, Corsica, and most notably, the Northern and Southern Alps and the Pyrenees range comprise the list offering a France ski holiday experience.
Accommodation varies from very basic to the more elaborate and upmarket resorts. The "ski-in and ski-out" runs appeal more to the slope-focused, while all-inclusive resorts attract more social skiers for a ski holiday in France.
The world-renowned resorts of Val d’Isère and Chamonix offer the highest profile and the most challenging ground to cover. These resorts offer stimulating social atmospheres and great apres-ski after a day on the slopes.
Guests expect a family-friendly French ski holiday resort to generally accept snowboarders, offering options for younger guests.
Family-friendly resorts also offer beginner trails, small classes and day care while parents are enjoying their ski holidays in France.
The resort in Valmorel catches many positive online reviews from family visitors. One guest mentions the simplicity and safety of a toddlers' learning area, a bonus for young families looking to go in 2011.
For a more relaxed and intimate atmosphere away from the crowds, holiday goers' best bets are either La Grave or L'Alpe de Huez. Resorts in the southern portion of the Pyrenees range such as Tourmalet and Cauterets offer a more laid-back community experience. Little known ski holiday France resorts on the Massif Central range provide quieter and cheaper alternatives to the more publicised mainstays and are a lot less expensive than for exampleSwitzerland or Austria.
Additional and improved lifts are being installed in many of the popular ski holiday in France areas of the Alps and the Pyrenees. Lodging that is typically cramped is being expanded to cater to those with a North American state of mind for 2011.
Development companies are connecting areas to offer the most options to toursits. Most recently, a 200 passenger cable car connected the resorts of La Plagne and Les Arcs in the Northern Alps. This permits travel between the two within three minutes.
Some resort booking companies have focused on sustainable tourism in their operations. Their aim is to eliminate an unnecessarily large carbon footprint for their visitors. While other countries still sometimes use chemicals in their machine-generated snowfall, France uses only water in their snow machines. In addition, operations like Peak Retreats will only book ground transportation, such as rail or ferry, for minimal environmental impact.
With a fifth of the country covered in mountains, it is no surprise that the French ski holiday industry brings in nearly 8 billion Euros of revenue each year - it offers more than 350 ski areas from which to choose; with thousands of acres skiable terrain. Exotic destinations bring about new resorts each year but the country remains secure in the global market.
Despite concerns over the impact of global warming and reductions in world tourism numbers, there is little worry that ski holidays in France will remain a favourite for many visitors for 2011.
Child Friendly Skiing
Méribel offers an abundance of English speaking nanny services as well as English ski schools. Kids are equipped with the Magnestick system – a magnetic bib that sticks them to chairlifts so they can’t slip off. New for the 2011 winter is the “Acticross” area, with tunnels, banked turns and slaloms.
French Ski Resorts
Courchevel is a French Ski resort situated in the Savoie region. It is well-known to be frequented by the more well-heeled skiing set and covers a huge area making up part of Les Trois Vallees.
Ten black and 38 red runs cater for advance skiers, while 27 green and 44 blue runs serve skiers of beginner and intermediate ability..
Courchevel isn't the cheapest of the French ski holidays resorts, but worth it for those who can afford it.
The Courchevel ski holidays runs to the end of April most years.