French ski resort alternatives explored
France is always a popular destination for a winter holiday. Whether skiing or just enjoying the sights, there are plenty of resorts to choose from. Although the most popular resorts are located along the eastern Alps or the southern Pyrenees, there are still a few other locations that are worth considering.
We take a look at some other French ski resorts that are perfect for that well earned winter break on the slopes.
The Vosges are a small mountain range located in the north east of France. Whilst they may be small, this range offers a combination of both downhill and cross country skiing. It also has a few large resorts, such as La Bresse and Gérardmer, to keep you entertained for a full week or more.
Additionally, the Vosges has some beautiful countryside if you descend from the mountains. Combined with the wealth of skiing opportunities, the vosges offer a great combination of picturesque scenery combined with intense skiing.
A range found along the French-Swiss border, the Jura mountains offer a mixed range of courses similar to Vosges, although there is greater emphasis on cross country skiing. The Jura pistes and runs are, however, usually higher up, ranging between 1300 and 1600 metres above sea level. Les Rousses and Métabief-Mont-d'Or are some of the more popular resorts here.
For those seeking something a bit quieter, the Jura Mountains also play host to a number of smaller resorts. These locations may not have as many runs or facilities as Les Rousses or Métabief-Mont-d'Or, but their smaller nature presents opportunities for a more intimate, private experience.
Located just south of the Alpine region is the Massif Central; a large area consisting of various mountains and plains. On the slopes can be found the likes of Besse-Sancy and Le Lioran, often high up at around 1700 metres or more. There are also a number of smaller resorts located throughout.
The Massif Central is a very wide area of France. It is a region where it pays to do research and find which mountains or resorts you wish to visit. The bigger resorts are closer to the French Alps, and retain some of the Alpine atmosphere that can be found in the most popular destinations. Yet the Massif can often be much quieter than the Alpine resorts.
Making the most of your visit
France is a popular region, so it pays in advance to find the best ski deals with companies such as Crystal Ski, before you go. The most popular and largest resorts can often be crowded whilst the smaller ones will give you more peace and quiet.
Likewise, the weather will also affect the skiing season. The lower down the resort is, the shorter the skiing season is, as the snow simply dries up. Some resorts will use artificial snow or other means to keep the business going, but it is mainly dependant on the weather; many of the bigger resorts are found higher up the mountains for this reason.
In short, there is a lot going on for the winter enthusiast all across France. If you don't feel like visiting the Alps or Pyrenees, then consider somewhere in-between; France has something going on during the winter no matter which mountainous region you decide upon.