The 2109m Col de Vars, a classic climb in the Tour de France, replaced an earlier, even higher pass created by the military and abandoned as soon as its successor opened. Was it, I wondered, still possible to follow the Route du Parpaillon? Attempting it on a mountain bike seemed like the ideal way to find out.
An exhilarating walk from Châtel in the Portes du Soleil, French Alps. After taking in the views from Morclan and the Col de Folière close to the Swiss border, set off down the valley for lunch at the Chalet de Barbossine, a summer dairy farm producing AOC Abondance cheese.
The Sentier des Bords de Dranse is a family-friendly cycle trail along the banks of the River Dranse between Châtel and Abondance. Stop off in La Chapelle d’Abondance around midway for refreshments in the centre of the village. There’s a choice of restaurants in all three villages and a summer shuttle bus service to take you and your bikes back to your start point.
Best known for its sunshine, snow record and connection to La Thuile in Italy, La Rosiere, part of the international Espace San Bernardo ski area, is spending 15 million Euros on expanding the ski area. Plans include building five new red graded pistes, bringing the total to 198km of runs, and adding two new 6-seater lifts.
More than 30 ski resorts and partners in the French Alps are taking part in the 2018 Skiing into Spring initiative, now in its’ fourth year. After record beating snowfalls in December and January, it looks like this year, late season skiing will be everything skiers hope for.
Should vegetarians still pack a sandwich or can they expect something better on the ski slopes?
Like all skiers, our pulses quicken when the snow begins to fall, but you can have too much of a good thing. Dont believe me? Try skiing in near-blizzard conditions, when you can’t read the surface of the piste you’re negotiating, thick mists have blotted out even long-familiar features and the wind is strengthening by the minute. When you get assailed by all three, then it’s time to do the unthinkable and head back down the mountain to sit out the storm.
The latter part of this month’s sustained snowfalls in the French Alps seem to have bypassed the Grand Massif, but there was more than enough to make our first couple of days’ skiing from Samoëns very enjoyable.
The French operator Club Med pretty much pioneered the truly all-inclusive holiday. Fast-forward sixty years the company, now largely owned by Chinese international conglomerate and investment company group FOSUN, has reinvented its all-inclusive concept.
Choosing a family-friendly ski resort can be difficult so we’re giving you a head start with some of the best in the French Alps.