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Posts Tagged ‘val thorens’

The snow is here! Are you ready for Winter 12/13?

October 30, 2012 11:56 am
posted by Sarah

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!

And this year we’ve been treated to some really fantastique pictures from some of the top ski resorts and areas, including Les 3 Vallees, Avoriaz, Espace Killy

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! 

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Make the journey part of your ski holiday

February 16, 2012 1:41 pm
posted by Sarah

This week’s guest blog is courtesy of seasoned snowboarder and travel writer Daniel Elkan, who has worked as a rep and led holidays for Ski Club of Great Britain in Saas Fee, Cortina, Andorra and Davos. Daniel has also written ski features for The Guardian, Observer, Daily Mail, Sunday Times, Ski+Board, Daily Mail Ski&Snowboard and Conde Nast Traveller.

In 2009 Daniel co-founded Snowcarbon, an independent website dedicated to helping skiers and snowboarders reach ski resorts by train from the UK. And he’s visited more than 30 ski resorts by train! Here are his tips on the best French resorts to reach by train, and why you should shun the long airport queues and tedious transfers for a speedy snow train: 

‘When you first started skiing, what struck you about the French Alps?  One thing was surely how beautiful and striking the mountains are. But were you also surprised about how long it takes to reach them?

‘Door-to-door, whether you fly, drive or take the train, it always takes a while to get to the snow.

‘It was the airport queues and transfers that first prompted me to look for alternatives to flying, and along with friends I started going to resorts by train, to try to make the journey part of the holiday. We were surprised to find that daytime journeys take little longer than flying – and are so much more enjoyable.

‘In 12 years of travelling this way, we’ve had loads of fun on the train, seen great scenery, met people, bantered, played games, read, and just relaxed.  And we sometimes travel to resorts overnight on Corail sleeper trains to get extra time on the slopes.

‘Though the journeys were great, finding the travel information was always difficult – you had to look here, there and everywhere. So a couple of years back, I set up Snowcarbon to help other skiers and snowboarders find out how to travel to ski resorts by train.

Pierre & Vacances have always shown their support for rail travel to ski resorts, and it is great that so many of the resorts they feature are convenient by train.  Here are ten of the best:

Avoriaz

The resort’s car-free, ski-in-ski-out village, at the heart of the 650-km Portes du Soleil, makes a great base for families skiing and intermediates.

 Chamonix

This classic resort has always been a magnet for experiences skiers, drawn to its wondrous off-piste terrain, including the incredible Vallee Blanche, as well as a lively, authentic town.

La Clusaz

An absolute charmer of a village set amongst the stunning Aravis mountain range, with great intermediate terrain and impressive off piste, yet relatively unknown to the British. A discovery!

Les Arc

Copyright Manu Reyboz

Les Arcs’ traffic-free villages give access to the epic Paradiski area – a huge playground for intermediates with plenty of challenge and good beginner areas too.

Les Menuires

Les Menuires makes a great base for the Three Valleys, located right at the heart of this huge area. A good-value resort – ideal for families –  with great skiing.

Megève

Megeve’s traditional village is proper winter-wonderland stuff and the relatively quiet slopes – part of the 400km Evasion Mont Blanc ski area – are home to some of France’s best mountain restaurants.

Meribel

A favourite with the Brits for generations, as it has so much to offer.  A buzzing village with lots of wooden chalets,  set at the heart of the 600km Three Valleys.

Serre Chevalier

Four villages all give access to a wonderful wooded ski area in the Southern Alps. The French love it – it suits families especially – and the British are just getting to know it.

Tignes

Very snowsure and a big favourite with intermediates, as the resort has 300km of pisted terrain, graduating from gentle blues through rolling reds to challenging blacks.

Val Thorens

With a village at 2300 metres, Three Valleys’ Val Thorens is the Alp’s highest ski resorts, with snow-sure skiing, good family facilities and the Folie Douce for après on the slopes.

‘And here are some photos from my train journeys.  Happy travels!’

Snapping scenery from Eurostar Cafe bar, on way to Les Menuires

TGV cafe bar on the way to Megeve

This kid was having a great time on a journey to La Clusaz

Lunch at Gare de Lyon, Paris

A little read before bedtime, on the way to Avoriaz

Corail Lunea sleeper train in the morning

The cheese shop opposite Bourg St Maurice station, near Les Arcs. Whiffy!

Happy family on the train to Chamonix

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Après ski cocktail recipes

February 8, 2012 4:20 pm
posted by Rebecca

Nowhere does après ski quite like France!

There’s nothing like a busy day on the piste for working up a thirst.  And there’s definitely nothing quite like that first grande biere or vin chaud for satisfying that hard earned thirst…apart from a cheeky après ski cocktail that is.

Here’s our guide to some of the top tipples you should be tracking down in the French Alps this season, and how to make them at home.

Après Ski

That’s right, what better place to start our mixologist’s guide than with the Après Ski itself.

Make it at home?

25ml  vodka

25ml Pernod

10ml measure green crème de menthe

4 fl oz sparkling lemonade

Shake the vodka, Pernod and crème de menthe with ice, and after that strain into a highball cup with a few of ice cubes inside it. Add the lemonade.  Enjoy with a sprig of peppermint and a piece of lemon.

On the piste? 

For true glitz and glamour head to Courcheval 1850 and the Parisian style cocktail bar, Purple Cafe.

Chartreus’ito

Fancy a local French twist on the Mojito?  Try the Chartreus’ito, substituting rum for the herbal Alpine liqueur. Guaranteed to warm those cockles.

Chartreuse is one of the oldest and most mysterious spirits around…with nearly 400 years of history and the added kudos of being produced by Carthusian monks.  Allegedly only three monks from the order know the secret recipe – each hold one third of the recipe and have taken a vow of silence.  Its origins are said to be as an elixir of life!

Make it at home?

Mix 1/4 lime and sugar in a glass

Add fresh mint leaves and ice cubes

And 50ml Green Chartreuse

Top up with soda

Stir and serve with straws

And what could be better than a sunny day on the slopes?  A Chartreuse Soleil!

1 part Green Chartreuse

6 parts orange juice

Over ice

On the piste? 

You’ll find Chartreuse just about anywhere in the Alps and L’Alpe D’huez is one of the closest resorts to the spirit’s Grenoble home.

Toffee Apple

Meribel and Val d’Isère have become synonymous with toffee vodka.   This can be enjoyed as a fiery shot but why not linger over a long drink such as the Toffee Apple.

Make it at home?

50 ml Toffee Vodka

25 ml apple schnapps

25ml apple juice

12.5ml lemon juice

Over Cubed ice

One spoon of grenadine

Add to shaker Toffee Vodka, apple schnapps, apple juice (the sharper the better) and lemon juice.

Shake and pour into a Collins glass with cubed ice, then add one bar spoon of grenadine to create that marbled look and garnish with a piece of fresh apple.

On the piste?

Head to be Meribel or Val d’Isère, the home of Thunder Toffee Vodka.

St Germain Cocktail

Another local speciality, St Germain is made from elderflowers grown in the French Alps and makes for a very refreshing cocktail.

Make it at home?

Champagne or dry sparkling white wine

25ml St Germain

Topped with club soda

Fill a Collins glass with ice.

First, add St Germain, then champagne, then club soda. Stir well, and garnish with a lemon twist.

On the piste?

Where better to sip a refreshing cocktail than the heart of Paradiski at Plagne Soleil with its sunny climate and spectacular views of Mont Blanc.

Génépi

Génépi is the general term in the Alps for a home-made liquor featuring local mountain flora (the herb, Artemisia).  For a warming aperitif try it mixed with spirits and apple juice for a long drink.

Make it at home?

In a shaker filled with ice, pour:

25ml Génépi

50ml vodka

Apple juice

25ml syrup blue Curacao

Shake for 10 seconds and serve in a tall glass.

Or go for something a little more frisky…

The Powder

25ml Génépi

25ml peach cream

6cl orange juice

25ml cassis liqueur

Place 2 ice cubes in a tumbler and pour the ingredients in the order of the recipe.

On the piste?

You won’t have to search far in Avoriaz to find a bottle of Génépi behind the bar.

Black Forest

The title of this suitably fruity cocktail may remind you of skiing off-piste…

Make it at home?

ke it at home?

25 ml crème de cacao

25 ml cherry liqueur

25 ml cherry brandy

25 ml cream

Shake ingredients together and pour into glass. Add a little more cream on top, then add a cherry to garnish.

On the piste?

For a twist on the traditional recipe, head to Jack’s Bar in Meribel where they serve it with raspberry liqueur, white crème de cacao with hot chocolate and Chantilly cream. Yummmmy!

Hot Bunny

Also known as the Ski Bunny or Snow Bunny, this is ideal when you want a hot chocolate with an edge.

Make it at home?

25ml Triple Sec

1 Cup Hot Chocolate

Top with Whipped cream

Heat mug.  Pour in hot chocolate, add Triple Sec and stir.  Top with whipped cream or marshmallows. Sit by the fire place and enjoy.

On the piste?

You’ll need a Hot Bunny after tackling the slopes of Europe’s highest ski resort, Val Thorens.

French 75

Arguably one of the most sophisticated cocktails, the French 75 is said to have originated at Harry’s New York Bar in Paris in 1915, created for returning World War I fighter pilots.  The combination was said to have such a kick that it felt like being shelled with the powerful French 75mm howitzer artillery piece.

Make it at home?

1/2 oz lemon juice

50ml gin

25ml Cointreau

Champagne

Pour the lemon juice or gin and Cointreau into a cocktail shaker with ice cubes.

Shake well.

Strain into a chilled Champagne flute.

Carefully add the Champagne.

On the piste?

If you’re going to drink a classy cocktail then where better than Chamonix.  Head somewhere like the Clubhouse for some of the best cocktails around.

Which is your favourite post-piste tipple? Come and tell us on our Facebook page!

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Pierre & Vacances: A girls guide to Snowboarding in France!

October 18, 2009 1:21 pm
posted by Simon

We recently spoke to avid UK Snowboarder Kylie Jenkins to discuss key places to snowboard in France. In return, she offered us this guide to Val Thorens, her favourite resort. Here are her tips:

 

The Location:
Val Thorens, or more commonly known as VT is the highest ski/snowboard resort in Europe, at 2300metres there is guaranteed snow right until the end of April. At the top of the Three Valleys VT can be linked with Meribel and Corcheval with a Three Valleys lift pass.

Being one of the liveliest resorts in Europe VT is the place to be for any party loving, jagerbomb drinking snowboarder.

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The Slopes:

Whether you opt for just a VT lift pass or a Three Valleys lift pass, there are pistes to suit any level of snowboarder.

In the centre of VT where all the slopes meet there are gentle beginner slopes and numerous snowboard instructors on hand to help.

As any snowboarder will know button bar lifts are a complete curse and not the most glamorous way to travel to the top of the slopes. Luckily these are in very short supply in VT, in fact there is only one on the beginner slopes and can be easily avoided.

The higher up the mountain you travel the steep and quick the slopes become, don’t let this put you off as easy routes can be chosen and this is where all the best mountain cafes and restaurants are!

Many of the mountain restaurants have deck chairs outside providing the perfect place to get some snowboard posing and people watching in. If you have followed the latest trends and bought the newest colour of snowboard pants, here is the place to show them off!

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At the top of the Cascades chair lift is Chalet de la Marine which is a great place to stop for lunch and listen to the local DJ!

For those of you adrenaline-seeking girls there is a snowboard park in the centre of VT, kickers and rails can all be tackled here. Most afternoons an inflatable mattress is set up behind the kicker to provide a softer landing and to give confidence to those who will be trying it for the first time.

Apres Ski

Ok so we have spent a hard day out on the slopes snowboarding, people watching and posing in between falling over and face planting, so what next?

First things first snowboard to the door of the Frog and Roastbeef, the highest pub in Europe and quite possibly the most fun! Apres starts about 4pm and numerous drinks deals can be had, the Frog has a live band play every day except Sunday and it is the perfect place to kick start the party.

Be prepared to go partying straight from the slopes in all your snowboard gear, including goggles! But don’t panic everyone will be doing the same at some point during their time in VT.

Dick’s Tea Bar is the newest bar/club in Val Thorens. Dance the night away until closing at 4am.

Some of the other bars to check out are Café Snesko, Viking Bar, Le Saloon and Malaysia nightclub.

Eating out:

Val Thorens is littered with restaurants and cafes to suit all budgets, from the very basic take away burger and chips right up to gourmet three course meals.

One of my favourite places to eat is Le Grange restaurant at the bottom of the village. They offer a huge menu including traditional cheese fondue, tartiflet, and huge pizzas big enough for four people.

The slopes of Val Thorens are full of mountain huts and these are great places to eat and rest between heavy snowboarding sessions.

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Snowboarding is the perfect way to stock up on carbs; they release energy slowly allowing you to snowboard and party for longer.

When Kylie last boarded in Val Thorens, she stayed at our Pierre & Vacances Residences Du Soileil. Pierre & Vacances have five properties located all over Val Thorens and you can find out more about Pierre & Vacances ski accommodation by visiting their website, PV-holidays.com

Pierre Vacances: Val Thorens apartments

October 21, 2008 7:24 pm
posted by Simon

Thinking of booking a bargain ski holiday in Val Thorens? Then check out the comfortable but affordable Le Tikal apartments.

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Situated just 100 metres from the ski lifts and 500 metres from the centre, Le Tikal is an attractive residence within easy reach of the resort’s best shopping, restaurants and nightlife action.

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Click here to view a video of one of the Tikal’s apartments on TVTrip.com

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The apartments are clean, spacious and modern with flatscreen TVs and Wi-Fi Internet access. Other facilities include a bakery delivery service, ski lockers and boot dryer. You can also borrow DVD players and movies and Portable PlayStation Consoles to keep the kids entertained.

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These three-bedroom apartments can accommodate up to nine people, offering great value for money for group ski trips and family ski holidays

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PV-Holidays offers apartments at Le Tikal from £532 per week for a two-person studio.

Find out more about this property here

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Thanks for reading!
PV-Holidays

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