Press release – France Montagnes is set to kick off its spring season, running from March to the beginning of May and encompassing the Easter holidays. This is arguably the most versatile season in French ski resorts thanks to the longer and sunnier days, nature and wildlife emerging and an increased number of outdoor activities on offer.
Why ski in spring?
Spring is a great time to ski, whatever your level – but it is a good learning period for beginners too. The snow is significantly softer, allowing slower speeds, easier manoeuvrability and fewer bruises. Lighter, more breathable clothing can replace thick, heavy layers. High season is over, meaning prices are lower and resorts have a wealth of offers to enjoy. In addition, there is space to become proficient on the slopes with fewer people around, and dedicated beginners’ areas. Certain resorts offer especially good late-season skiing, including Tignes, Val d’Isère, Les Deux Alpes, OZ 3300, Les Menuires, Val Thorens and St Jean-d’Arves.
The French mountains’ events calendar set to come alive with the return of the Tomorrowland Festival from 19-26 March, with headliners Afrojack, Armin van Buuren, Martin Solveig and Kungs. Courchevel and Méribel will host the finals of the Skiing World Cup from 16-20 March. April continues with aerial sporting Vol et Ski in Les Contamines-Montjoie (16-17 April), Snow2Bike week in Les Deux Alpes (16-24 April) and Val d’Isère’s film festival (19-22 April).
Other outdoor activities
Itching to jump back in the saddle? The Vallée du Louron in the Pyrenees boasts 420km of cycle paths across the valley itself and along the slopes of Val Louron and Peyragudes, suitable for both cross-country bikers and road cyclists. Take the Le Privilège chairlift to the top of Peyragudes and cycle down to Loudenvielle 1,350m below. From the first weekend in May, you can have fun on the Schlitte mountain toboggan run or on electric scooters in the Vosges ski resort La Bresse, while the 1.6-kilometre Fantasticable zipline from Super-Besse in the Massif Central is a thrill.
In Le Dévoluy in the Southern French Alps, activities include via ferrata or via souterrata, climbing, horse riding, squash and skateboarding. There are also numerous watersports on offer on and around Savoie’s mountain lakes, from kayaking and paddleboarding to sailing, diving, fishing and even paragliding. Spring is also the ideal time to explore the nature of the Jura mountains with its many hiking trails and waterfalls, with the option to camp or stay in other eco-friendly accommodation. Mountain flora such as crocuses, daffodils and wood anemones are springing up, as migratory birds return.
A slower pace
Visitors looking to take it easy in the mountains can enjoy the Grands Bains du Monêtier in Serre Chevalier-Briançon, the Bains du Rocher in Cauterets or Durancia in Montgenèvre, spas using natural minerals with views of the peaks. Out in the fresh air, a new yoga trail takes in the unspoilt landscape near Valberg, open to adults and children from the age of four with an introduction to ten different yoga postures en route. The combination of hiking and yoga improves posture, flexibility, concentration and resistance to stress and fatigue. Plants including yellow gentian, violet, dandelion, juniper, genepi and pine all have healing properties and are used in local products from tea and cosmetics to essential oils, such as at the Ferme du Bien-être in Gérardmer. La Yourte Végétale is an ecological family farm in Saint-François-Longchamp that grows its own medicinal plants.
In terms of access to the French mountains, eco-conscious travellers are reminded that the Travelski Express train – linking London with Moutiers and Bourg-St-Maurice – is still operating on weekends until 8 April, overnight on Fridays from St-Pancras and returning from France during the daytime on Saturdays. This direct service is bookable as part of a package including accommodation, ski passes and shuttle services to six resorts: La Plagne, Les Arcs, Les Menuires, Méribel, Tignes and Val d’Isere.
For useful guides regarding travel from the UK to France, please consult the French Embassy’s website here.
For further information please contact:
Marine Teste – Head of PR – Atout France UK & Ireland