Archive for the ‘The Three Valleys’ Category
There’s nothing like that moment when the first snowy pictures from the French Alps start appearing every year. Seeing the beautiful French mountains covered in fresh snow only builds the excitement for our ski holidays to France!
Here are some of our favourites to whet your appetite for the upcoming winter season:
And if this has got you suitably excited to hit the pistes this season, check out our Early Bird booking offers: up to 20 per cent off accommodation [including the school holidays!] if you book before November 5!
And if you also book your equipment hire, passes and lessons through us you could save up to 45 per cent!
Happy skiing everyone!
Once you’ve tried a skiing holiday, with the fresh air, amazing views, and, of course, the apres ski and amazing food…. Well once you’ve tried skiing for the first time it’s something you do again, and again and again…
But learning to ski for the first time can be a daunting experience – even though every skier has, at one time or another, had their very first ski holiday. So we’ve teamed up with our friends at the Les 3 Vallées in France, the world’s largest ski area, to give one family the chance to become experts in one season. Yes, we said one season!
The Easy Rider competition!
The fantastique ‘Easy Rider’ competition means you could win over £30,000 worth of ski holidays, ski equipment, ski lessons and more; and the amazing experience for your family to learn and perfect your ski skills in one season. The extremely lucky family will win FIVE ski holidays to Les 3 Vallées in France between December 2012 and April 2013 including:
- Flights from London to Grenoble
- Transfers from Grenoble to Les 3 Vallées
- Accommodation in five resorts in the Les 3 Vallées region
- Season lift passes for the full Les 3 Vallées region
- Ski equipment for all the family
- Ski clothes for all the family
- Ski lessons for all the family
For the chance to win this once in a lifetime competition, all you have to do is to tell Les 3 Vallées why you would be a great choice to win in a short video. It could be that you are really sporty, but never thought you would be able to afford skiing. Or that you are a real whiz on you blog and will tell thousands of friends about about it. Or just that your family needs a new challenge…
Whatever the reason all you need to do is post your entry to YouTube and share that video on Les 3 Vallées’ Facebook page.
For more details on the competition, its rules and the prize click here. Bonne chance everyone!
And if you’ve decided to take the plunge and try skiing for the first time this season – you won’t regret it! – here are a few of our useful guides on organising a ski trip for the first time, what you’ll need on your first ski holiday and general ski tips for beginners to get you started!
The snow arrived in the nick of time for 2012, but with the dozens of options available, how do you choose which French ski resort to spend your hard earned pennies on this season?
In an attempt to match you up to a resort that you will love, channelling Cilla Black from her Blind Date heydays, we’ve put together three compelling reasons to pick our selection of cool contenders…
Alpe d’Huez – There’s no chance of getting bored in this traditional, historic and lively resort…
- Airboarding – A new(ish) snow sport has arrived en piste. This time on an inflatable grooved sled-like cushion. Airboarding allows you to hurtle down the mountainside head first while lying stomach-down on the board. This, of course, poses a slight hazard to fellow skiers so Alpe d’Huez hosts Airboarding and ‘snow toys’ sessions at the Poutran lift every Friday between 10am and 4.45pm.
- Alpe d’Huez Ice cave – Whimsical ice sculptures are carved annually in this cave gallery at 2,700 m. The Alpe d’Huez ice cave was dug into the snow by two high mountain guides, Bruno Gardent and Bernard Lambolez. It is accessible via the Grandes Rousses DMC lift. This year’s themes are ‘The Garden’ and ‘Biodiversity’.
- The world’s longest ski run – At 16 kms and with a vertical drop of 1,820, Sarenne is the world’s longest ski run. Once a month during the ski season you can even ski Sarenne by moonlight after a meal atop the Sarenne Glacier.
Where to stay in Alpe d’Huez:
Pierre & Vacances Residence L’Ours Blanc – The recently refurbished Pierre & Vacances L’Ours Blanc residence is located in the centre of the resort. The pretty wood-decorated building has superb views over the valley of the Massif de l’Oisans providing direct access to ski lifts and the Olympic skating rink.
Pierre & Vacances Residence Les Bergers – Less than 100 m from the ski lifts each apartment features a balcony with views over the resort on one side and the Ecrins mountain range on the other. Facilities include a swimming pool and heated relaxation room, sauna and a restaurant.
Val d’Isère – One of the original ski resorts and still one of the best. Challenging skiing with superb nightlife.
- It’s high up! It’s a no-brainer really, if you’re after lovely fresh white powder, choose a resort that’s at high altitude – it’s colder up there and there’s more chance of snow. Val d’Isère’s position offers skiing from 1550m-3470m, that’s the height of more than ten Eiffel towers stacked on top of one another.
- Olympics standard slopes – The location of the 1993 Olympics men’s downhill race, Val d’Isère provides immediate access to 300 kms of groomed slopes in the Espace Killy ski area, with further opportunities to ski in first class off piste powder AND in neighbouring Paradiski and Three Valleys systems. There’s enough here to challenge even the most experienced skier.
- Dick’s Tea Bar – It’s legendary for après ski partying attracting big name DJs, and its Val d’Isère premises have just re-opened for the season with a makeover.
Where to stay in Val d’Isère:
Pierre & Vacances Residence Les Chalets de Solaise – Self catered apartments with access to the outdoor heated swimming pool and wellness area and located at the heart of Val d’Isère.
Pierre & Vacances Residence Les Balcons de Bellevarde – Typical of the Val d’Isere region with its pretty wooden and stone-clad front, ski apartments facing the slopes and balconies for all-day sunshine.
Belle Plagne – another action packed resort, in fact, if skiing is not your thing you can pack in a week’s worth of snowy fun without ever strapping on a pair of skis!
- Adrenaline activities – The bob experience: an exhilarating 19 bends worth of Olympic bobsleigh run, a giant zip slide high wire, an outdoor ice climbing tower, access to four free-style snow parks and snow quad biking. Yo name but a few…
- Child friendly – With snow kindergartens, a sledging track and crèche facilities – there’s plenty to occupy the little ones in Belle Plagne while you get on with some serious adrenaline sports.
- Keep on trekking – Glacial snow shoe treks, husky teams along with some superb cross country skiing opportunities will help you to explore the region and take in its beauty at a slower pace.
Where to stay in Belle Plagne:
Pierre & Vacances Residence Les Nereides – Located in the heart of the ‘Paradiski’ domain, with easy access to the slopes from the residence. These self catered ski apartments have recently been fully refurbished.
Pierre & Vacances Residence Residence Les Constellations – Situated directly on the slope, the wooden and stone chalets blend into the snowy backdrop in this peaceful setting.
Flaine – A stylised modernist French mountain resort and the perfect choice for those with young families and ski beginners.
- Paradise for beginners and kids – Flaine’s wide snowy boulevards are perfect for beginners and those with less skiing experience and there’s plenty of free activities and family focused fun on offer too. Excellent ski schools are also available for anyone who is slightly less confident on two skis, and there’s even a week dedicated to children from 4-13 April 2012.
- Free lifts – No need for lift passes so you can ski for free!
- Modernist architecture and art – It’s not to everyone’s taste but if you have a penchant for Bauhaus, architect Marcel Breuer’s buildings won’t disappoint. And there’s plenty of art to see too including a sculpture park containing works by Jean Dubuffet, Pablo Picasso and Victor Vasarely. The cultural centre, Art de Flaine, also hosts exhibitions of contemporary art.
Where to stay in Flaine:
Pierre & Vacances Residence La Foret – A residence with easy access to slopes and in the heart of the resort.
Pierre & Vacances Premium Residence Les Terrasses d’Eos – Stone and timber chalets, lit by large bay windows with a warm and elegant interior finish and nestled in a spruce forest.
World Travel Market – where the whole world converges [literally] under one roof in November. Where months of planning comes down to just four days of meetings, networking, parties and sore feet.
Want to know what Pierre & Vacances got up to this year? Well read on…
A spot of Après Ski
What better way to get into the winter spirit than with an après ski party? And it wasn’t hard to persuade people not to ‘slope’ off on the first day of WTM with drinks, hearty nibbles and some fantastique live music courtesy of the 101s who will be playing the Little World Festival in Meribel in 2012.
But it wasn’t just a great excuse for a party; we also held a raffle for the excellent winter sports charity Disability Snowsport UK, here’s a short video about the fantastic work they do:
And with prizes such as a ski holiday to France, Meribel Little World Festival tickets, lift passes to the 3 Valleys ski area, lift passes to the Alpe d’Huez ski area, ski hire, a limited edition Petanque set and a magazine subscription up for grabs, it’s not surprising that we raised a great amount for such a fantastic charity.So a huge thank you to Crystal Ski, Ski Set, Les 3 Vallèes, Alpe d’Huez, Meribel Little World Festival and Racer Ready Magazine for their generous donations of prizes.
A glass of wine and a chunk of cheese
To celebrate WTM’s Responsible Tourism Day on Wednesday, we held a Green Wine and Cheese event on our stand – although it should be pointed out the cheese and wine weren’t actually green…
We plied people with delicious and authentic French wine and cheese from different regions in France, while our UK & Ireland Sales and Marketing Director, Cathy Rankin, presented the key elements of our sustainable approach, and the green initiatives being worked on for next year – and beyond! Interested? You can view Cathy’s presentation here!
And some green ideas
Going paper-free – To further support a sustainable message, the Pierre & Vacances’ press pack went paper-free this year! Instead of paper packs we handed out these nifty and specially designed USB sticks made from renewable materials.
A bag for [a ski] life – As French ski resorts are plastic bag free, we’ve designed an eco bag for life which can be used to lug back French delicacies from the supermarché, and is also designed to be big enough to hold a pair of ski boots as well as fit as carry-on luggage for the plane!
Educating the Brits – Plus front and centre of our stand this year was our Recycling in France infographic, to help UK and Irish tourists to clean up their recycling act while on holiday. There’s more about this initiative here.