Oh là, là winter is coming!

The only thing I have been advised not to do following the two hip replacements I have had is not to ski, but there’s so much more to Frances mountains than just skiing, and besides nobody advised against après ski!

 

France is Europe’s most popular mountain destination, and number one for British winter-sports enthusiasts. 

French mountain resorts aren’t resting on their laurels, though: winter 2015-2016 sees over 300 million euros of investment in new ski infrastructure, to make the world’s best ski areas even better. New activities and exciting events, both to watch and participate in, are scheduled across France’s mountain resorts for those looking to add an exclamation mark to their mountain holiday.

 

Below are some of the venues where you can clearly see where the money has been spent to great effect. 

Les 2 Alpes: new blue piste

The completion of a 2-year project sees the inauguration in December 2015 of a new piste - Jandri 1- which will allow skiers to ski back to resort on a blue run for the first time. 550,000m3 of the earth has been moved, 12,000 trees replanted and 10 million euros spent.

Tignes: Bun-j ride

Tignes has always been at the forefront when it comes to action sports. It was one of the original European resorts to get behind snowboarding back in the day.. The latest is Bun-j ride - a new experience for thrill-seekers combining riding off a giant ramp into the void, attached to a bungee cord… on a zip line! 

Les Gets: SkiColor

A unique and colourful concept that combines skiing & having fun. Based on The Colour Run event, for the first time ever, participants will ski down a specially prepared run on the Mont-Chéry side of the resort. In a unique setting facing Mont Blanc, skiers will be literally immersed in explosions of colour for an unforgettable experience! 

Châtel: 1861 Hostel

This new hostel opened in July 2015, ideally located between Châtel village and ski lift hub at Pré de la Joux. The relaxed and well-appointed hostel is sure to be a big hit with skiers and snowboarders on a budget in winter.

Pyrenees: Pic du Midi

The observatory on the summit of the 2,877m Pic du Midi in the Pyrenees was where NASA mapped the surface of the moon in 1963 for the Apollo missions. The observatory is still open to the public, who can stay in the 15 boutique bedrooms, gaze at the stars through the observatory’s telescopes situated in one of the world’s 9 International Dark Sky Reserves.

Val Thorens: Hotel Pashmina

The  5* Hotel Pashmina will offer everything from hotel rooms to apartments to private catered chalets and even a glass igloo on the roof where you can sleep under the stars! Opening in December 2015, the Pashmina features two gastronomic restaurants and a 400m2 L’Occitane Spa.