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View of the Alps from Aiguille du Midi mountain by Konstantin Yolshin

The French Alps – A glamorous winter getaway

The French Alps are home to iconic snow-capped peaks and the highest mountain, Mont Blanc, in western Europe. The combination of charming old towns and impeccable ski slope

Chamonix, Val d’Isere and Mercantour

The French Alps are home to iconic snow-capped peaks and the highest mountain, Mont Blanc, in western Europe. The combination of charming old towns and impeccable ski slopes cater to every traveller who wants to spend quality time in this scenic wonderland. Explore the Roof of Europe from the picturesque Chamonix region, winter walhalla Val d’Isère or the unspoiled Mercantour National Park. Expect an outdoor playground with perfect slopes, thrilling activities and plenty of time for relaxation.

Chamonix

Icy pyramids seem to guard Chamonix, with Mont Blanc being a snow-capped Optimus Prime. Cable cars glide through the air around the highest peak in western Europe. On the way to drop people at one of the splendid, razor-sharp ridges the cable cars seem to dissolve into the elements. Snow, ice, and rocks rule in this desolated kingdom of Natura. There’s no way you’ll visit this snowy region of the French Alps without tying on your skis and exploring the slopes of France’s major peaks and their crisp blankets of snow. The white hills attract a diverse crowd, ranging from the ultimate tenderfoot to soaring snow masters. Chamonix region is known for its perfect slopes and excellent snow quality. Hit the hills!

Church in Chamonix by Nataliya Nazarova
Church in Chamonix by Nataliya Nazarova

Besides skiing yourself, watching others from a private hot tub might be one of the ultimate joys in alpine life. Overlooking the white world and dramatic mountainous backdrops one can dream away in a steaming bath … Subscribe to the magazine to read the full article

Val d’Isère

Welcome to the off the record winter capital of France: the Val d’Isère region with its same-named town and Courchevel. Everything in this villages revolves around the great sports activities. Restaurants rewarded with Michelin stars, art galleries, boutique shops and Courchevel’s own airport make for an even greater appeal. Thanks to the air connection, one can exchange the jam-packed alleys of Lyon for a winter wonderland in the Alps within the blink of an eye. Downtown Val d’Isère is different from Courchevel but equally divine and precious to winter sports lovers.

Skiers on the piste with the village of Val d isere by HUANG Zheng
Skiers on the piste with the village of Val d isere by HUANG Zheng

An open buffet for ski enthusiasts might be the most accurate description for this flawless area, for there are over 300 kilometres of ski slopes surrounding the French town. Val d’Isère is part of grand Tarentaise Valley, a monstrous ski universe. Thanks to its endless well-prepared ramps this lowland is known as one of the best skiing hotspots around the globe… Subscribe to the magazine to read the full article

Mercantour National Park

As a Promised Land for outdoor lovers Mercantour National Park is blessed with raging rapids, pointed summits and an overdose of mountain bike tracks. Climb arduous rock walls, test your guts while rafting through turquoise gorges and gaze upon the eternal galaxy during deep dark nights.
As the tip of the Alps’ tail, the National Park stretches almost as far as the Mediterranean Sea, with the city of Nice being an urbanised gateway. Colourful plastered houses, timber huts, and clock towers dominate the skyline of settlements cramped between narrow valleys.

National Park of Mercantour by ST GB AND AL
National Park of Mercantour by ST GB AND AL

Despite its lower altitude compared to Val d’Isère, during winter Mercantour National Park is always visited by snow clouds. Isola has about 120 kilometres of slopes and is the uncrowned winter sports king in this region. Twenty lifts cater ski and snowboard enthusiasts from all levels… Subscribe to the magazine to read the full article 

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© This article was first published in Dec-Jan 2019 edition of World Travel Magazine.
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