France

Want to ski in the French Alps? Here are the best ski fields.

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They say that once you ski in France, you’re spoiled for life. ‘Spectacular’ doesn’t even come close to describing the French Alps – it’s no wonder that the Alps are one of the world’s top skiing destinations.

Apart from its incredibly beautiful powder peaks and world-class après-ski scene, the appealing thing about the French Alps is its broad range of skiing opportunities. From kids hopping on skis for the first time to advanced cross-country trails, there’s something for everyone.

So, which ski spot is perfect for your snow holiday to the French Alps? Strap on your skis and hop on – we’ve got the lowdown on this incredible part of the world.

Getting to the French Alps

While the French Alps are particularly well connected to the rest of France, it’s actually easier to get to the mountains from Geneva in Switzerland rather than Paris.

The easiest route to Geneva from Australia is via Dubai or Doha flying either Qatar Airways or Emirates. Once in Geneva, the best way to get to the ski resorts is via car or bus transfer. It’s also the most scenic and enjoyable way to witness the breathtaking countryside!

Which French Alps ski area is best for me?

With countless ski fields, it can be hard to know where to go. Below, we give you a rundown on the top picks in the area.

Espace Killy

Named after famed French skier Jean-Claude Killy, the Espace Killy is renowned as one of the best ski areas in the world and for good reason. With a ski season that lasts from November until May, over 300km of slopes and a maximum altitude of 3450m, you’ll reach the height of ski holidays here.

Number of runs: 20 green runs, 67 blue runs, 41 red runs, 26 black runs Altitude: between 1,550m and 3,450m

Ski fields in Espace Killy:

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  • Val d’Isere sits at 1850m at the foot of the slopes, and is perfect for its ski-in ski-out access to the mountain. Ideal for couples or friends, Val d’Isere has plenty of authentic chalet charm and is also home to the awesome La Folie Douce, a bar in the mountains. Download the piste map here

  • Tignes Val Claret is higher than Val d’Isere at 2,100m, and is perfect for the thrill-seeker. In addition to incredible skiing and snowboarding conditions, the enthusiastic can also take on ice-diving or climb a frozen waterfall. Download the piste map here

Paradiski 

When a ski area has the name ‘paradise’ in it, you can bet that it’s going to be a great spot for skiing. Comprised of three resorts and boasting 425km of downhill skiing, Paradiski is literally a dream for beginner and expert skiers.

Number of runs: 12 green runs, 132 blue runs, 65 red runs, 37 black runs Altitude: between 1,250m to 3,250m

Ski fields in Paradiski:

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  • Peisey-Vallandry sits at 1,600m and oozes charm, from log fireplaces to stone and wood bars. With ski-in ski-out access and incredible snow-covered pine trees, Peisey-Vallandry is literally a winter wonderland and perfect for families. For brownie points, the neighbouring Vanoise Express is also the world’s fastest cable car. Download the piste map here

  • La Plagne is perched on the mountainside, and from the slopes you can literally see the Mont-Blanc rising in the distance. At 2,100m, these high-altitude runs are the perfect answer to any skiers dream. Download the piste map here

  • Accessible from Peisey-Vallandry, Les Arcs is one of the first “mega resorts” with its large and varied network of open runs and wooded ski runs around the Peisey-Vallandry and Villaroger area. Sitting at 2,000m, Les Arcs is home to the Robert Blanc black run; plus, with 53 blue runs and 32 red runs available, intermediate skiers will fall in love with this area. Download the piste map here

Les 3 Vallees 

As the largest linked ski area in the world, Les 3 Vallees (or The Three Valleys) are home to a whopping 600km of slopes. The ski area covers eight resorts, including Meribel, Val Thorens, Orelle, Courchevel, Les Menuires, Saint Martin de Belleville, La Tania, and Brides-les-Bains.

Number of runs: 68 green runs, 104 blue runs, 110 red runs, 35 black runs Altitude: between 1,300m to 3,200m

Top ski fields in Les 3 Vallees:

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  • Val Thorens was voted the best French skiing resort and, at 2,300m, is Europe’s highest station. With a variety of open runs, Michelin-starred chefs and an incredible apres-ski scene, Val Thorens is the epitome of what skiing in France is all about. Download the piste map here

  • Meribel is known as the heart of the 3 valleys, and is the perfect place to experience French chalet culture. After a day of skiing, Meribel is the perfect town to stroll around in and soak up the French chic style.

Discover Club Med’s French Alps resorts in the video below or by clicking here!




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An Alpine Experience with Chic Euro Style

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This article was reposted from journalist Dan Avila’s post on justluxe.com. All photos below are courtesy of Dan Avila Photography.  Read the original story here. Dan Avilais a frequent traveler across the globe, camera in hand - shooting unique people and places. He relates below his great experience of spending a week during the snow season at Club Med in Valmorel.

To many, the Alps are the prime locations for snow sport excellence. Endless runs in pristine conditions, fabulous infrastructures and picturesque villages with a chic Euro style; it is ski heaven. The tiny Alpine town of Valmorel, set high in the French Alps, is transformed in the winter. Valmorel village may be small, but it punches above its weight in premium offerings. Some of the finest French cheese, wine and produce are from this region and the skiing is simply sublime.

Club Med Valmorel Chalets

Set above this town is Club Med Valmorel's latest resort village. No expense has been spared ($113 million was spent) to create a truly stunning alpine experience which, in addition to the main resort village, includes a few stand-alone chalets. Club Med Valmorel has direct access to over 93 miles of ski runs reaching an altitude of over 9,800 feet. From the highest ski lift, views extend across three countries and even the most committed skier must pause in appreciation of these unforgettable vistas.

Club Med Valmorel Chalets

The property’s chalets are removed from the main hotel in a secluded area above the resort village. The accommodations are built to the highest-certified environmental standards and are designed in an authentic alpine style. Exclusive to chalets are in-house meals. Each morning, breakfast is prepared by your butler who gets to know you so they can tailor the service to your exact preference. On returning to the chalet after a solid day of carving up the slopes, our butler had prepared a decadent afternoon tea including the finest local produce and a special daily pastry from Maryan, awarded as one of the finest pastry chefs in France. The chalets also have exclusive access to a range of premium features including The Welcome Lounge. The club is beautifully constructed and features a fireplace and premium wine and spirits. A chauffeur is also available any time of day for those wanting to explore the area.

Club Med Valmorel Chalets

Club Med’s holiday experience is seamless, and allows guests more time to do what they go there to do. Group ski classes are part of the package and are highly recommended. The Valmorel ski fields are so expansive that just getting familiar with the runs can take days. The nationally-accredited instructors also double as guides, as small groups of similarly skilled skiers or snow-boarders are expertly instructed and guided throughout the reaches of this expansive region. From a very beginner seeing snow for the first time to competitive experts looking to hone their off-piste ability, all skill levels are catered to with group or one-on-one lessons.

Club Med Valmorel Chalets

After a glorious morning on the slopes, ski in and kick off your skis at the exclusive chalet ski room, near the restaurant while a smiling waiter offers fresh juice or Champagne even before you step inside. The chefs ensure a luxuriant spread for lunch before satisfied guests again succumb to the call of the mountains. Being on the slopes is a great way of experiencing a view of the Alps. Low altitude flying above them is even better, and there are a couple of options to get airborne, which include parasailing or flying in a microlight at 80 mph before setting down on the slopes to ski onto the next thrill.

Club Med Valmorel Chalets

Club Med controls a substantial portion of the European Alpine vacation market and this dominance has provided opportunity to refine their craft into what has culminated into the Valmorel experience. It is a total package of carefree fun that leaves guests satisfied and yearning to return.

Club Med Valmorel Chalets
Club Med Valmorel Chalets
Club Med Valmorel Chalets
Club Med Valmorel Chalets
Club Med Valmorel Chalets
Club Med Valmorel Chalets
Club Med Valmorel Chalets

Want to discover more? Watch this video below, or hop on our website to learn more about the Club Med Valmorel Chalets.

Japan or Europe: Which Is Better for Skiers?

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Club Med Val Thorens

Are you a powder-hound? Or perhaps a professional après skier? Whether you like to hit the parks or the piste, we’re sure you’re dreaming of fresh tracks – especially now that the Australian ski season is winding down to a close.

To find the world’s best snow you’ll have to venture north from the Australian Alps, where incredible powder peaks come to life between December to May, in Japan and Europe. The Northern hemisphere is a playground for skiers, but it can be hard to decide which slopes to take on. Luckily, we’ve done all the research for you! Read on to see which region is best for skiers…

Chase soft powder and cultural discovery in Japan

Japan is renowned for its incredible powder snow, with promises of over 15 meters in some prefectures! Regardless of where you ski, you’re guaranteed the world’s driest, lightest and deepest powder snow. Be sure to take in the beautiful mountain landscapes and the wonderfully unique culture that makes Japan one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world.

Club Med Hokkaido

Japan’s northernmost island, Hokkaido, is peppered with phenomenal ski slopes that promise reliable snowfall, which makes it a popular destination for tourists. Ski fields like Niseko are often crowded, meaning queues for lifts; for a quieter ski field, head to Sahoro and enjoy mountains all to yourself – literally!

Club Med Hokkaido

With a flight times of less than 13 hours from Sydney, the Japanese slopes are ideal for those travelling with young families. What’s more, parents can make the most of the mountains while the little ones are having a ball in professional ski lessons.

Club Med Hokkaido

Japan is also the perfect place to combine skiing with a longer holiday. You could easily spend days in the shrines and temples of Kyoto, or head to Tokyo and Osaka to soak in bright lights and unique cityscapes.

Get serious altitude in the French, Italian and Swiss Alps

There’s no mistaking it, the French, Swiss and Italian Alps offer some of the best skiing in the world. Paired with enchanting European charm, delicious mountain food (tartiflette, anyone?) and a long season with reliable snowfall, a ski holiday to Europe is one you’ll never forget.

Club Med Pragelato

Europe has an incredibly diverse range ski fields for skiing and snowboarding holidays, and includes: ❅ The world’s biggest ski area, Les Trois Vallees in the French Alps, featuring over 600km of terrain and 335 runs.. ❅ A natural glacier at Paradiski in the French Alps, where there are 425km of slopes with 139 runs, suited for every level. ❅ Another one of Europe’s largest ski areas, the Via Lattea in the Italian Alps, is home to over 400km of ski slopes and 92 runs. ❅ Beautiful alpine skiing trails in Haute-Engadine in the Swiss Alps, with over 570km of slopes and 56 runs.

Club Med Ski Resorts

Given the sheer size of the European Alps, it’s hard to know where to start. Make the most by booking in professional lessons with the ESF National Ski School – they know the ski conditions and can take you to the best locations, as well as give you the best tips.

The best thing about skiing in Europe is that… well, it’s not all about the skiing! Europeans invented après ski, after all, so it’s no surprise that the world’s best après ski can be found here.

Club Med Val d'Isere

From hearty dishes including tartiflette and raclette, to restaurants and bars on the mountains and outdoor heated pools, there’s no shortage of things to do. Mountain clubs such as the iconic La Folie Douce are definitely not to be missed! A European ski trip is the ideal escape for people who want world class ski fields… and world class après-ski.

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So between Europe and Japan, which is better?

It really depends on what you’re after! Located so close to home, the Japanese ski fields are ideal for families and friends who want to discover unique culture and incredible powder. But if you’re seeking the ultimate ski experience, there’s nothing quite like the iconic European Alps. Trust us – it’s worth it.

See you on the slopes! ⛄ ❄️ 🎿 Learn more about Club Med’s all-inclusive ski holidays in the video below, or on the Club Med website here.

 

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7 Foodie Holiday Destinations You Won't Forget

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From the finest cheeses in Europe to the dynamic spices of South-East Asia, our world is home to an array of delectable dishes and culinary sensations. Explore seven of the best and most delicious foodie destinations in the world...

#1: A Trip to Italy

Culinary Delights

Famous for its pasta, olive oil and pizza, Italy also boasts incredible mountain gastronomy. Mountain cheeses, bold red wines and charcuterie are all integral to the Italian ‘dolce vita’ (sweet life). After a day on the ski slopes, try pizzoccheri, a hearty dish made from buckwheat pasta, chard, potato and cheese.

#2: A Stay in Mexico

Culinary Delights

Home to enchiladas, tacos and guacamole, Mexican cuisine has no shortage of tastes and flavours. Experience pozole, a spicy soup with meat and vegetables, toasted tortillas, or indulge in the patriotic chiles en nogada – poblano chillies filled with picadillo, a mix of meat, fruits and spices, topped off with a cream sauce. Whether you plan to discover Mexico by surfing in Cancun or by kayaking in Ixtapa, make sure you find a minute to live this unique (and spicy!) culinary escape.

#3: A Voyage to France

Club Med French Food

France is not all snails and frog legs. With pains au chocolat (chocolate croissants) and delectable cheeses atop doughy bread, it’s pure foodie heaven. In winter, mountain fare in the French Alps is delicieux! Gather with friends around a glass of wine after a snowboarding day or around cheesy delights during your family holiday, in all cases you will be delighted by the French Cuisine.

#4: A Mauritian Getaway

Culinary Delights

A blend of African, French, Asian and Indian flavours, Mauritian cuisine is as multicultural as it gets. Relish fresh grilled fish, dholl puri (a curry flatbread stuffed with peas), and rougaille (a tomato-based dish blended with Indian and European spices). Finish off your exotic meal in Mauritius with Victoria pineapples, the sweetest in the world!

#5: A food adventure in Thailand

Culinary Delights

With an array of curries, herbs and spices, Thai cuisine tantalises tastebuds all over the world. Spicy Boat Noodle Soup (Kuaytiaw Reau), green or red curry, and tom yum soup served alongside rice and fresh coconut are just a few delights you’ll discover in the land of smiles.

#6: An Oriental Experience in Morocco

Culinary Delights

Morocco is a melting pot of Arab, European, and Berber (indigenous North African) influences. Subtle spices are combined with lentils, grilled meats and couscous to create intriguing flavours unique to region. Try the quintessential Berber tagine with meat and vegetables. Scoop out the gravy with khobz (Moroccan bread) for a satisfying end to the meal! One thing Morroco can assure you is that even the finest food connoisseur will enjoy culinary surprises...

#7: Going beyond... Sushi in Japan

Culinary Delights

While sushi is a staple in most major cities, Japanese cuisine is so much more than fresh salmon nigiri and soft shell crab hand rolls. Japan can lay claim to heart-warming ramen, udon and soba noodle dishes, okonomiyaki (a savoury pancake), and nabemono (Japanese hotpot) – all accompanied by sake, of course. Remember, your trip in Japan can only be more memorable if you also make it a gourmet discovery.

#TheBestPart? At Club Med, it's all included.

At Club Med, discover a culinary adventure all around the world with local and international recipes in all the resorts. Discover more below...