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....have an unforgetable skiing or snowboarding vacation in France


Do You Dream of a French Ski Vacation?

Ever dreamed of skiing the famous resorts of France? Chamonix, Courchevel, Val d'Isère and more, a ski vacation in France can be a lot of fun and cheaper than you think!


Check out resort profiles....

Compare the costs:




Les Deux Alpes

Les Menuires





Val d'Isère

Val Thorens

Look at a ski vacation closely. A number of key elements determine the cost: transportation (usually air plus a ground transfer), accommodation, meals, lift ticket, local taxes and tips, and, for many skiers, equipment rental and ski instruction.

Learn the bottom line

All these together, plus some discretionary spending for drinks, a little souvenir shopping and some postcards, make up the bottom-line price.

The "lead" price can mislead

As most skiers buy their vacations in packaged form, the lead price of the package tends to influence perception: "Aspen from $425" clearly sounds like a better deal than "Chamonix from $900".

Unwrap the package

It takes careful unwrapping of the package to find that it isn't necessarily so: The American package just doesn't contain the same things the European package does. The two regions traditionally include different services and elements in their packaging.


What is included?

Both packages: There are some items both packages have in common. Both usually include air transportation and the room. Both usually exclude equipment rental, ski instruction and lunch (except perhaps during special sale periods). Here the similarity ends.

American packages: Only rarely do American packages provide what is considered pretty much standard in European packages: arrival and departure transfers between the airport and the resort; a welcome drink; breakfast each day; the daily dinner if chosen; a special farewell dinner; local taxes and gratuities.

European packages: The other way round, there is one feature of American ski packages that is not customarily part of European arrangements: the lift ticket.

Get a free quote and see what great value skiing in France can be!

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Am I Good Enough?

Slope Grooming

Resort staff generally speak English

People who work full time in tourism jobs study more English in schools and hotel colleges, or go abroad to perfect their languages.

Signs are pictorial or multi-language

Signs on the mountain are either pictorial (no language problem there) or multi-lingual. The standard avalanche sign, for example, warns in German, English, French, and Italian). Orientation boards generally use English and French.

Resort brochures and trail maps have English versions

Area trail maps and safety information is usually contain several languages, one of them always English. Alternatively, they may available from the local tourist office, or lift ticket windows in a separate English version.


 Even top-name French resorts have plenty of easier terrain

Ski resorts appearing in the datelines of World Cup reports, such as Val d'Isère, all range from at least 35% to as much as 60% of their total mountain area which is suitable for beginning and intermediate skiers. When you consider how many square miles of mountainside these famous places have in their networks of lifts and runs, you understand how much good skiing there really is for the less-experienced skier.

Find out more about your destination before you decide..


Careful grooming with state-of-the-art equipment

French resorts certainly groom their runs, although they leave some of them in a natural state for the powder hounds. It is a common sight to see a conga line of six or eight big snowcats systematically packing down new snow, grading a run, or planing down the bumps. From lift closing time until, well into the night, a string of headlights shimmer, and the growl of the big machines can be heard, from high up the mountainsides.



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Comfortable elevations in European Alps

In the other aspect, plain altitude, Europe's Alps are small enough to be comfortable. If you're a skier who pushes a desk at sea level all year long, when you get to a high altitude ski resort, it takes three and five days (most of your ski week!) for the body to adjust to the altitude. Until that adjustment is complete, insomnia, headaches, a high pulse rate, shortness of breath, excessive fatigue, and low tolerance to alcohol are common symptoms.


No long stressful adjustment to high altitude

In this context, the resort elevation, at which you live, eat, party, and sleep, is much more important than the mountain elevation at which you ski.

 Vertical drop, not elevation, is the key to good skiing

What matters most to a skier is vertical drop, the difference in altitude between the highest lift-served point and the bottom of the ski run, in Europe usually the village. Big verticals mean long runs, people widely spread out over the mountain, uncrowded lifts, and overall a better ratio between time on the lift and time on the run.

European snow

The snow on the ground is powdery, fluffy well into spring. Packed powder prevails on the groomed runs, deep powder off-piste. East coast skiers may want to detune their skis a bit before going (so they don't have to surreptitiously rub the edges on some rock or concrete in Europe). Overly sharp edges catch easily in the softer stuff of the Alps. Western skiers can count on just a touch more humidity in the air and in the snow than they would find under champagne conditions.

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