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From: Philip Loughran
Date: 10-11-2011 02:00:00 am

Subject: Skiing in France


By Philip Loughran

Easily accessible from the UK, over 300,000 British holiday-makers head for the French Alps every year. But what draws them there and keeps them returning?

France offers the chance to sample a wide range of different levels and styles of skiing, making them a great destination for group ski and family holidays. Home to one of the largest ski areas in the world, the Alps extend over 700 miles, the highest point being Mont Blanc at 15,784 feet above sea level. Mont Blanc lies between the Aosta Valley in Italy and Haute Savoie in France.

The French Alps are largely made up of interlinking ski slopes and villages, each with its own unique feel. There are over 230 resorts to choose from, ensuring whatever your taste or budget, you'll find what you are looking in your skiing holiday. French ski resorts have mastered the art of catering for all, whether you are looking for a peaceful family trip or a party atmosphere, you'll find it here, at all levels of catering and luxury. French snowfall is well-known for being particularly reliable, and when the skies don't open a large number of resorts have snow cannons to even out the surface and minimise ice and grass patches on the slopes.

In days gone by a skiing holiday could be hard work. The walk to the ski lift in ski boots, hauling your equipment whilst trying not to slip or lose the kids was a regular feature, and not a great start to a day intended to be filled with fun sports and playful activity. Times have changed and French ski resorts are now well equipped to deal with the number of visitors they receive. Regular buses roam the resorts, shuttling skiers from resort to lift, ensuring you still have most of your energy by the time you reach the slopes. These buses are often most appreciated when on the way home from a busy day on the pistes, saving that potentially long walk back.

The largest ski area in the French Alps is the Grand Massif, tucked in between Geneva and Mont Blanc, making it not only convenient for airport access but close to the famous highest peak of the Alpine region. With over 265km of piste not only does this region offer a variety of slopes for every level of skiing ability it is also less prone to queues, great for maximising your skiing time during your holiday. Far from being the concrete jungle you may expect from the largest ski area in France, the Grand Massif is made up of a number of small, quaint villages, with the only purpose-built ski resort being Flaine.

Those new to skiing can participate in one of the many ski schools available within resorts such as the famous ESF who cater for all ages and levels of ability. Ski schools in France allow the more experienced skiers in the group to enjoy some of the more challenging slopes while their less experienced counter parts learn the basics and gain confidence, often getting back together as group after the lesson for a group skiing outing to practice what has been learned. Ski schools are a great way of making sure everyone gets to ski at their own level without having to leave anyone behind.

Philip Loughran is a freelance author who writes about a variety of subjects. For Ski holidays he recommends Abolute Alpine

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Seasonal Travel -    08-26-2011 15:20:00 pm
      Winter Skiing -    01-15-2011 02:00:00 am
            Skiing in France - Philip Loughran   10-11-2011 02:00:00 am


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