Ski Independence Blog

Archive for ‘France’

Our Favourite Ski Videos of the Winter So Far

Vicky January 19th, 2022

Even though it’s only the middle of January, there are already plenty of awe-inspiring video clips to warm you up for your ski holiday. Here’s our Top 5 Favourite Ski Videos of the winter so far:

1. Candide Thovex’s latest show-reel

There’s no soundtrack on this clip, but hearing the skis on the snow makes Candide’s skiing all the more impressive:

Read the rest of this entry »

The Best Early Season Conditions in 10 Years?

Vicky December 15th, 2021

Huge Snowfalls in the French Alps

With snow depths of up to 190cm on the upper slopes already, many resorts open early and powder in abundance, could this be one of the best starts to the ski season in the Alps in a decade?

Feast your eyes on our selection of recent snowy images that we’ve gathered from social media…

The Three Valleys

Méribel-Mottaret webcam,14th December
Read the rest of this entry »

What’s New in the French Alps this Winter

Vicky November 16th, 2021

France’s excellent ski resorts have all kinds of new activities, gastronomy and accommodation to discover after the hiatus of the past 18 months. Here’s a taste of what’s new in the French Alps this winter:

Après-Ski with a difference

Ice Floating

What's New in the French Alps
Tignes ©andyparant.com

Take your wellness routine to the next level! Float on the icy waters of Lac Ouillette (Val d’Isère) or Lac de Tignes in a specially designed waterproof wet-suit and experience a completely unique way to relax. Get even closer to nature by floating under the stars once the sun has gone down.

Tree Top Adventure

@ Val d’Isère

Opening for its first winter in 2021/22, Val Aventure is a tree top adventure course located in the heart of the Rogoney forest, with views over the slopes of Val d’Isère. You can navigate numerous zip wires and rope bridges across 4 different courses – either in daylight or enchantingly lit up when the skies go dark.

Le Pas de l’Aigle, Morzine

Can you handle looking directly down a 350m drop, after walking along a 10m-long sky bridge? Test your mettle at Morzine‘s latest adrenaline-filled attraction, Le Pas de l’Aigle. If you make it along the sky bridge you’ll get to experience breathtaking 360o views of the Portes du Soleil and Lake Geneva.

Le Pas de l'Aigle, Morzine
Le Pas de l’Aigle. Credit: Domaine Skiable de Morzine

Les Arcs 2000 ‘Tyrolienne’ Zipline

If you’ve ever skied in Les Arcs 2000 you may be familiar with the old ‘Flying Kilometre’ piste that dominated the landscape above the resort. In winter 2021/22, there’s a new way to view this near vertical ski slope: by tandem, high speed zipline, at speeds of up to 130km/hr! One ride on the zipline is included with a Premium ski pass, or receive a 50% discount with an Essential pass.

Children’s Activities

What's New in the French Alps
© Val d’Isère

Le Village Perdu, Val d’Isère

Children and teens can discover this brand new outdoor play area, accessible from the slopes of Val d’Isère. Suspended walkways lead to a series of wooden treehouses, all hidden in Les Etroits Forest at 2,000m altitude. Sustainability is at the heart of this project: France’s National Forestry Commission collaborated on the design and only locally sourced larch was used in the build.

Avrizou, Avoriaz

Avrizou is a brand new childcare facility located right in the heart of Avoriaz, perfect for dropping off and collecting the youngest members of the family on your way to and from the slopes. Available as childcare only or in combination with ESF tuition, Avrizou promises a wide range of activities both inside and out (from 6 months+).

Val d’Isère goes Italian

Italy comes to Val d’Isère this winter in the form of three new restaurants.

  • Gigi, a cosy dining room in the style of a private Italian home, located inside the high altitude hotel Le Refuge de Solaise at 2551m altitude.
  • LouLou at Hotel Les Airelles: serving traditional alpine favourites with a twist, including truffle pizza and pistachio linguine. Don’t miss the incredible dessert buffet with its famous profiteroles, Piedmont hazlenut ice cream or toasted panettone, dipped in a rich sabayon sauce.
  • Finally discover La Cucucina at La Folie Douce, a unique dining space inspired by the artists of the Italian Renaissance. Savour a menu of locally sourced French and Italian produce whilst taking in the unbeatable views of Mont Blanc.
La Cucucina at La Folie Douce, Val d'Isère
La Cucucina ©La Folie Douce

New Places to Stay

Hotel & Residence Alpen Lodge, La Rosière

Located in the Eucherts area of La Rosière, close to a variety of restaurants and shops and just 450m from the Eucherts Express chairlift, this brand new 4-star hotel & apartment development enjoys a superb location. Hotel Alpen Lodge offers gorgeous rooms & suites, together with luxuries including a cocktail bar, gastronomic restaurant, spa and dedicated children’s pool & play area. If you’re looking for flexibility when it comes to dining, the adjoining Residence Alpen Lodge offers excellent quality self-catering apartments and benefits from the same great facilities as the hotel.

What's New in the French Alps
Hotel Marielle

Hotel Marielle, Val Thorens

Val Thorens’ hottest newest property Hotel Marielle boasts a relaxing wellness area and beautiful sunny terrace. Facilities include a wellness centre, bistro-style restaurant, cocktail bar, ski hire shop and children’s zone. The hotel is named after Marielle Goitschel, France’s most decorated alpine skier and one of the early pioneers in Val Thorens.

Ski Touring

Ski touring has boomed in recent years and French ski resorts are increasing their offering all the time. If you’ve ever fancied trying this latest trend in winter sports – and want to really earn those turns – several resorts now have dedicated ski touring ‘pistes’. This means you can have a go in a safe environment before venturing further afield.

  • Val d’Isère is launching a dedicated ski touring area in La Daille.
  • You’ll find a new touring zone in Val Thorens (Borgne sector), with one groomed ascent slope and two descent runs.
  • Discover 3 touring routes of betwen 2km-6km in Avoriaz.

All the major ski hire shops now rent the specialist ski touring equipment, so grab yourself a guide and see the slopes from a whole new perspective!

Ski Touring Val d'Isère
© Val d’Isère

So there you have it, our roundup of what’s new in the French Alps this coming winter. Where are you going this season, and what new activity will you try first?

Speak to a Ski Specialist on 0131 243 8097 or request a tailor-made quotation

Our Favourite Quieter Resorts

Karen March 28th, 2021

Avoriaz, France. Credit: Avoriaz Tourism

You might be looking to spend your time on the mountain in a slightly quieter resort with fewer lift queues this year, or for a resort where you can avoid using enclosed lifts like gondolas and cable cars. So here are a few of our suggestions for our top recommended quieter ski resorts: Read the rest of this entry »

What’s New in the Three Valleys

Catherine October 19th, 2020

Meribel, France. Credit: 3Vallees, David Andre

With over 600km of pistes, the Three Valleys (Courchevel, Méribel and  Val Thorens) is the largest ski area in the world. This alone is reason enough to plan a trip there but there are also plenty of exciting developments in store this winter. Read the rest of this entry »

Our Tips for Driving to the Alps in Winter

The Team August 11th, 2020

Flaine, France. Credit: Kasya Shahovskaya on Unsplash

Not only is driving to the Alps cost effective, it gives you the freedom to travel at your own pace, stopping off en route at some lovely places. Read the rest of this entry »

Our Private Luxury Chalet Collection

Karen July 24th, 2020

Chalet Haapiti, Méribel

There’s something very special about an alpine chalet. Your very own beautiful home where you can totally relax and unwind in a cosy yet elegant setting Read the rest of this entry »

Rebekah’s Ski Holiday to Flaine

Rebekah January 24th, 2020

Flaine is one of the most popular ski resorts in the Alps, and it’s easy to see why. It’s only a short transfer away from Geneva, has a good selection of accommodation, and is part of the impressive Grand Massif ski area. Our Marketing Executive Rebekah has just returned from a holiday with friends to Flaine and has written a blog about her time there. Read the rest of this entry »

Europe’s Most Snow-Sure Destinations

The Team November 6th, 2019

When it comes to unforgettable ski holidays, snow is, of course, a hugely important factor. While we can’t guarantee the snow for your holiday, choosing a high-altitude resort will certainly up the chance of good snow conditions, especially if planning an early or late season trip.

Tignes - Image: Stephane Cande

Tignes – Image: Stephane Cande

Discover our pick of Europe’s most snow-sure destinations: Read the rest of this entry »

What’s New: Igloo Village Les Arcs

Lucy October 9th, 2019

The Igloo Village, which is already a popular après and dining spot in the much-loved resorts of Avoriaz and Val Thorens, is set to reopen in Les Arcs this winter. Whether you fancy a soul-warming hot chocolate, refreshing beer on the sunny terrace or a fondue dinner amongst family and friends, the Igloo Village will be the place to be when it open its doors on the 15th of December 2019.

Igloo Village Les Arcs. Image: Manu Reyboz

So how do you create an igloo village complete with a bar, restaurant and two hotel rooms? After accumulating around 3000m₃ of snow, it takes around 5 days to assemble the outer structure. Then the sculpting and decorating begins! Over 10 days an expert team sculpts the different rooms and carves incredible sculptures into the igloo walls. The electricians and sound technicians then add the finishing touches. The result? A 350m₂ ice village full of atmosphere, amazing art and, of course, snow. Read the rest of this entry »

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