Fresh powder: the best French ski resorts you’ve never heard of

the latest tech news, global tech news daily, tech news today, startups, usa tech, asia tech, china tech, eu tech, global tech, in-depth electronics reviews, 24h tech news, 24h tech news, top mobile apps, tech news daily, gaming hardware, big tech news, useful technology tips, expert interviews, reporting on the business of technology, venture capital funding, programing language

Fresh powder: the best French ski resorts you’ve never heard of
© Provided by The Guardian Photograph: Hemis/Alamy

The recent change in travel advice allowing UK citizens to travel to France again has put the country back on the agenda for the ski season.

the latest tech news, global tech news daily, tech news today, startups, usa tech, asia tech, china tech, eu tech, global tech, in-depth electronics reviews, 24h tech news, 24h tech news, top mobile apps, tech news daily, gaming hardware, big tech news, useful technology tips, expert interviews, reporting on the business of technology, venture capital funding, programing language

While skiers scramble to secure packages to the famous mega-resorts, there are dozens of smaller, lesser-known ski villages that offer excellent value for money while combining thrilling skiing with old-time charm and glorious natural surroundings. Here are a few that offer a change of scene and pace.

Hauteluce, Savoie

Fresh powder: the best French ski resorts you’ve never heard of
© Provided by The Guardian Hauteluce. Photograph: Only France/Alamy

Global Tech News Daily

You would hardly know this traditional farming village, tightly clustered around a tall baroque church spire, was a ski resort. There are no big hotels or pylons, but one chairlift discreetly rises from the back of the village, connecting to the Espace Diamant, a surprisingly large ski area given its low profile, with 192km of runs across six resort villages. Lying at 1,150 metres in the Beaufortain region with epic views of Mont Blanc, Hauteluce has an “eco museum” displaying historic objects from everyday life. Nearby is the smart La Ferme du Chozal hotel (doubles from €175 a night room-only, six-person apartments from €1,600 per week) with spa and restaurant.

Valloire, Savoie

Fresh powder: the best French ski resorts you’ve never heard of
© Provided by The Guardian Valloire. Photograph: Marek Slusarczyk/Alamy

Global Tech News Daily

The traditional Alpine town of Valloire is famous as a point on the classic Tour de France route between the Col du Télégraphe and the Col du Galibier – one of the highest passes in the cycle race. It’s less well known as a ski resort, but the sport has grown a lot here over the years and benefits from a link to the modern resort of Valmeinier, together creating a varied ski area of 150km of pistes across the Maurienne valley. The Résidence Odalys le Hameau (from €405 per week sleeping four), just 10 metres from the slopes, has simple self-catering apartments and an indoor pool.

Saint-Véran, Hautes-Alpes

Fresh powder: the best French ski resorts you’ve never heard of
© Provided by The Guardian Saint-Véran. Photograph: Lamax/Alamy

Many smaller ski resorts lie at a lower altitude than the big hitters, but not so Saint-Véran in the unspoilt Queyras valley, which sits at 2,040 metres and stakes a claim to be the highest (and, they say, the most beautiful) resort village in France. Situated in glorious Queyras regional natural park and known primarily as a place for enthusiastic ski tourers to get into the backcountry, it also has a small network of lifts for downhill skiers. Try the Chalets du Villard, whose rooms and separate gîtes have access to a sauna and restaurant (studio rooms from €102 per night sleeping two or €160 sleeping four, room only; gîtes from €465 per week sleeping four).

Barèges, French Pyrenées

Fresh powder: the best French ski resorts you’ve never heard of
© Provided by The Guardian Barèges . Photograph: Hemis/Alamy

Among 40 ski resorts across the French Pyrenées, the high mountain town of Barèges is an excellent choice, noted for its thermal waters and proximity to the Grand Tourmalet ski area, the region’s largest, which also incorporates La Mongie. Freeriding on the 2,877-metre Pic du Midi, with 10km of descent, is a big draw, though it’s almost as fun to ride the cable car up to the top just for a cappuccino on the sun terrace. Balneotherapy centres provide relaxing immersion in the famous waters, while kids might prefer an igloo-building lesson. The recently revamped 13-room Hotel le Central (doubles from €75 a night, room only) has a pool and handy in-house ski hire and servicing.

Pays de Gex, Monts Jura

A good all-round resort for a variety of snow-bound activities, Pays de Gex connects four characterful ski areas in the Monts Jura mountain range, 30 minutes’ drive from Geneva and covered under one ski pass costing a bargainous £19 a day. There’s great diversity among them: challenging Lélex-Crozet has a vertical drop of 800 metres, Mijoux-La Faucille offers dreamy cruising, Menthières has family runs, while 160km of cross-country tracks wind through the Domaine de la Vattay. Be sure to try bleu de Gex-Haut Jura, the local blue cheese. And consider Hôtel-Restaurant Bois Joly in Crozet, with magnificent balcony views and serving traditional fare featuring morilles, marrons and escargots.

A seven-night stay costs from £506 for two people room only, booking.com

Aravis valley, Savoie/Haute-Savoie

The Aravis valley resorts of La Clusaz, Manigod, Saint-Jean-de-Sixt and Le Grand-Bornand are a serious option for skiers of all levels, linked by ski bus, with 230km of varied runs between them. La Clusaz is a good all-rounder with some gnarly off-piste on the Massif de Balme. Manigod’s woodland learner slopes are lovely for first-timers, while Le Grand-Bornand suits intermediates, with some black runs. The area excels when it comes to unusual extracurricular activities, too, such as a 7km night-time sledge run by torchlight or twilight fat-tyred e-bike descent in Le Grand-Bornand. All are easy to reach from Aravis Lodge (three nights’ half-board from £429pp, skiweekender.com), a chalet-hotel with sauna which runs a free shuttle bus.

Montgenèvre, Hautes-Alpes

This snow-sure resort on the French-Italian border lies at one end of the Milky Way ski area, where its own 60km of slopes are extended to 400km under the Grand Montgenèvre ski pass, which also covers the Italian resorts of Pragelato, Sestriere, Cesana, Sansicario and Sauze d’Oulx; the two countries’ cultures mix here. Montgenèvre has two boardercross courses, and some folk make day trips to the extreme off-piste resort of La Grave an hour away. Try Le Napoleon’s modern collection of self-catering apartments, with shared access to an indoor pool, hammam and sauna.

A seven-night self-drive package costs from £420pp including Eurotunnel crossing with Ski Solutions

Sainte Foy, Savoie

Increasing numbers of skiing families are cottoning on to Sainte Foy, north of the Tarentaise’s Vanoise national park, as a fantastic alternative to its lively neighbours of Vald’Isère and Tignes. Gorgeous cruisy runs funnel down into the valley, making it hard to get lost, while experienced riders and skiers can discover awesome off-piste lines in the backcountry by hiring a guide when conditions are right.

Peak Retreats has seven-nights’ self-catering at the centrally located Etoile des Cimes Sainte Foy Ski Apartments (from £656pp per week including Eurotunnel crossing), which has an indoor pool and spa

Pralognan-la-Vanoise, Savoie

Fresh powder: the best French ski resorts you’ve never heard of
© Provided by The Guardian Pralognan.

One of the lesser-known resorts among 110 that are spread through the Savoie Mont Blanc region, Pralognan-la-Vanoise is only one valley over from Courchevel but a world away in terms of cost and atmosphere. This underappreciated gem in the Parc de la Vanoise combines decent downhill (10 reds, four blacks, 10 greens, five blues) with beautiful terrain for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. One of France’s few curling rinks is open for visitors here, or try cold Toumo yoga, which originated in Tibet and is performed outdoors in the snow and glacial rivers. Hotel Edelweiss, with spa, sauna and gym, became the resort’s first four-star this season (from €980 per week B&B sleeping two, five course dinner €35pp). Or self-cater in an apartment at Les Hauts de la Vanoise (from £500 per week sleeping four).

Gérardmer, Vosges

For those whose idea of a winter break involves lots of cosy time padding around a timber cabin watching snowflakes, rather than hammering the sort of pistes you see on Ski Sunday, this might be the one. A 10-minute drive from Gérardmer, whose ski area has 21 runs, night skiing and 30km of cross-country ski trails, is Vosges Cabin, a modern minimalist refuge in a nature reserve in the Vosges mountains. The owner describes the area as more akin to Germany’s Black Forest than the Alps, and the cabin features huge box windows for gazing out at woodland and sparkling Lac du Gérardmer, as well as a hot tub and sauna.

Sleeps up to 16 in five en suite bedrooms and a bunk room, from €200-€450 a night depending on numbers, welcomebeyond.com

News Related

OTHER NEWS

New York Rangers get another comeback win to force Game 7 vs. Pittsburgh Penguins

PITTSBURGH — How many times can the New York Rangers dig themselves into a hole and climb back out? At least one more, as of Friday night. The Blueshirts came ... Read more »

Wilson, balanced Aces cruise to 96-73 victory over Dream

COLLEGE PARK, Ga. (AP) — A’ja Wilson scored 15 points, Kelsey Plum had 14 points and 11 assists and the Las Vegas Aces rolled to a 96-73 victory over the ... Read more »

EXPLAINER: Why frustration lingers in Okinawa 50 years later

The Associated PressFILE – U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Mike Anglen of Turner, Ore., center, stands atop a cliff as Sgt. Bryan Wallace of Pikin, Ill., waits for his turn before ... Read more »

Astros beat Nationals 6-1 for 11th straight victory

WASHINGTON (AP) — Jose Altuve homered on the first pitch of the game, Yordan Alvarez and Yuli Gurriel also went deep and the Houston Astros extended their winning streak to ... Read more »

Kreider scores late, Rangers edge Pens 5-3 to force Game 7

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Chris Kreider’s long slap shot bounced over Louis Domingue and into the net with 1:28 left and the New York Rangers beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-3 on ... Read more »

Astros push winning streak to 11, roll past Nationals 6-1

WASHINGTON (AP) — Jose Altuve homered on the first pitch of the game, and Yordan Alvarez and Yuli Gurriel also went deep to help the Houston Astros extend their winning ... Read more »

Moustakas, Drury power Reds to 8-2 victory over Pirates

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Mike Moustakas homered twice and Brandon Drury drove in four runs to break out of a slump and lead the resurgent Cincinnati Reds to an 8-2 victory ... Read more »

Peterson's bases-loaded walk lifts Brewers over Marlins 2-1

MIAMI (AP) — Jace Peterson walked against Anthony Bender with the bases loaded in the ninth inning and the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Miami Marlins 2-1 Friday night. After starters ... Read more »

Padres: No cancer found during manager Bob Melvin's prostate surgery

SAN DIEGO (AP) — The San Diego Padres say no cancer was found when manager Bob Melvin had prostate surgery on Wednesday. Melvin, 60, was recovering at home Friday after ... Read more »

Ogunbowale, Gray help Wings rally past Mystics, 94-86

WASHINGTON (AP) — Arike Ogunbowale scored 27 points, Allisha Gray had 21 and the Dallas Wings overcame a 15-point second-quarter deficit to beat the Washington Mystics 94-86 on Friday night. ... Read more »

Resigning North Dakota senator led lawmakers in travel costs

The Associated PressFILE – North Dakota Sen. Ray Holmberg listens during a joint House and Senate Appropriations Committee meeting at the Capitol in Bismarck, N.D., on Jan. 7, 2009. Holmberg, ... Read more »

Residents in picturesque California county hit with gas prices topping $7 a gallon

A California county known for its spectacular mountains and proximity to Yosemite National Park has been paying the nation’s highest gas prices. Read more »

Boudreau to return as coach of Canucks next season

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — Bruce Boudreau will return as coach of the Vancouver Canucks next season after helping to turn the struggling NHL club around as a midyear replacement. ... Read more »

New Zealand leader Jacinda Ardern tests positive for COVID

On Location: May 13, 2022 Catch up on the developing stories making headlines.The Associated Press WELLINGTON, New Zealand — New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has tested positive for COVID-19 ... Read more »

Today in History for May 14th

Highlights of this day in history: Colonists go ashore in Virginia to set up Jamestown; Lewis and Clark begin to explore Louisiana Territory; Israel founded; Skylab launched; Movie producer George ... Read more »

Twitter CEO expects Elon Musk acquisition to close, addresses spending cuts

Musk is awaiting details supporting calculations that spam, fake accounts represent less than 5% of Twitter's users Read more »

Padres: No cancer found during Bob Melvin's prostate surgery

SAN DIEGO (AP) — The San Diego Padres say no cancer was found when manager Bob Melvin had prostate surgery on Wednesday. Melvin, 60, was recovering at home Friday after ... Read more »

Renovated NYC museum shows indigenous perspectives

The American Museum of Natural History in New York City recently finished a major renovation of its exhibition on the native peoples of the northwest coast of North America. Curators ... Read more »

Police release 911 calls in Gilgo Beach case

A woman who disappeared in a beach community on New York’s Long Island more than a decade ago, sparking an investigation into a possible serial killer, said “there’s somebody after ... Read more »

Academy Awards set 2023 Oscars for March 12

The Associated PressFILE – Oscar statue on the red carpet at the Oscars on Sunday, March 27, 2022, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. Next year’s Academy Awards will ... Read more »

Actor Fred Ward, of 'Tremors,' 'The Right Stuff' fame, dies

The Associated PressFILE – Fred Ward, a cast member in “30 Minutes or Less,” poses at the premiere of the film in Los Angeles on Aug. 8, 2011. Ward, a ... Read more »

Judge refuses to drop elections suit against Trump, media

NEW YORK — A Colorado judge on Friday denied motions to dismiss a defamation lawsuit filed by an election systems worker against former President Donald Trump’s campaign, two of its ... Read more »

Q&A: Becky G unveils every side of herself in latest album

The Associated PressFILE – Becky G appears at the Oscars in Los Angeles on March 27, 2022. Beck G’s latest album is “Esquemas.” (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File) NEW YORK ... Read more »

North Korea reports 21 new deaths as it battles COVID-19 outbreak

SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea reports 21 new deaths as it battles COVID-19 outbreak. Read more »

North Korea confirms 21 new deaths as it battles COVID-19

SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea says 21 people died and 174,440 people were newly found with fever symptoms on Friday alone as the country scrambles to slow the spread ... Read more »

White Sox place Giolito on COVID list, activate Vaughn

The Chicago White Sox placed ace Lucas Giolito on the COVID-19 injured list and activated outfielder Andrew Vaughn following a rehab assignment with Triple-A Charlotte on Friday. Giolito began experiencing ... Read more »

Traded back and forth, Ford learns to live out of suitcase

NEW YORK (AP) — Mike Ford has learned to travel light — and quickly. Since the start of the season, the 29-year-old first baseman has played for Tacoma, San Francisco ... Read more »

Falcon 9 rocket launches Starlink satellites

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched 53 Starlink satellites to low-Earth orbit from California on Friday. (May 13) Read more »

Celtics' Robert Williams remains out for Game 6 vs. Bucks

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Boston forward/center Robert Williams missed his third straight game with an injured left knee as the Celtics tried to keep their season alive Friday night in Game ... Read more »

Padres sign Robinson Canó, plan to use him off the bench

ATLANTA (AP) — The San Diego Padres have signed veteran second baseman Robinson Canó to a major league contract and plan to use him as a left-handed bat off the ... Read more »

WNBA star's Russia detention extended by 1 month

The lawyer for WNBA star Brittney Griner says her pre-trial detention in Russia has been extended by one month. Alexander Boykov told The Associated Press the relatively short extension indicated ... Read more »

Louisiana justices toss COVID-related charges against pastor

Hundreds of thousands of Americans fighting long-haul symptoms from COVID-19 Dr. David Putrino from Mount Sinai Health System and COVID long-hauler Joel Fram discuss the long-term effects of the disease.The ... Read more »

Sandy Hook lawsuits against Alex Jones on track to resume

The Associated PressFILE – This Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2018, photo shows radio show host and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones at Capitol Hill in Washington. The Sandy Hook families’ lawsuits against ... Read more »

Rockies' Bryant closer to return after cortisone shot

DENVER (AP) — Colorado Rockies outfielder Kris Bryant took swings in the cage Friday for the first time since he was sidelined with a sore back nearly three weeks ago ... Read more »

Mariners demote Jarred Kelenic to minors after poor start

NEW YORK (AP) — Rather than make his Citi Field debut against the team that traded him, Jarred Kelenic was demoted to Triple-A Tacoma by the Seattle Mariners on Friday ... Read more »

Biden: ASEAN partnership 'critical' in this moment

Looking to strengthen ties, President Joe Biden welcomes leaders from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to Washington for the first time. “We’re launching a new era in U.S.-ASEAN relations,” ... Read more »

Phil Mickelson will not defend his title at next week's PGA Championship

Phil Mickelson caught lightning in a bottle last year at Kiawah Island, winning a major championship at 50 years of age. The fairways flooded, and the golf world stood and ... Read more »

Tennessee Titans' Malik Willis on Ryan Tannehill's mentorship comments: 'Everything is cool'

The Tennessee Titans didn’t take issue with Ryan Tannehill’s comments about mentoring third-round rookie Malik Willis. Willis and coach Mike Vrabel were asked about Tannehill’s scrutinized remarks following the first ... Read more »

Lawyers plan suit against Lufthansa over Jewish passengers

Lawyers for 26 passengers said Friday they told Lufthansa that they will sue the German airline for refusing to let members of a large group of Orthodox Jewish passengers board ... Read more »

Wild face offseason after yet another early ouster

While the Minnesota Wild were stacking up franchise records and securing the extra home game for the first round, general manager Bill Guerin carefully acknowledged a “great year” for the ... Read more »