Family ski holidays might mean those days of eight-hours-straight skiing are a distant memory. But since nothing compares to skiing with your kids or watching them ski for the first time or letting your own inner child out to play at stuff like tobogganing and sledging, you probably aren’t complaining.
Plus you now have the perfect excuse to discover regions like Southern French Alps where, phenomenal as the skiing is, it’s only part of the story they tell on the snow-drenched mountains with views of the Côte d’Azur.
It’s probably not going too far to say that even if you didn’t ski at all, you could still have an amazing winter holiday in Southern French Alps since there’s almost as much going on off the slopes, as on. It’s a decidedly family-friendly region and covers every definition of family from babies and toddlers on board to teens in tow, at resorts ranging from sleek, chic and listed in the French top 10 to historic villages seemingly designed with the sole purpose of stealing your heart and refusing to give it back, ever. It also covers an area of 12,000km², contains nine national or natural parks and doesn’t appear to have a cut off point when it comes to adventurous activities. And don’t forget this is the South of France so you get heaps of sun with your snow even in December and January – just when you need it most.
But Southern French Alps’s combination of great weather, glorious scenery and a long, snow-sure season doesn’t just appeal to families. The region’s a longstanding favourite for major winter sport’s competitions. Judging by the number of events planned over the festive season it’s a clear favourite with Father Christmas too. And if anyone’s in the mood for a festival, from food and films to traditional French music, this is definitely the place for those this winter.
Between the enormous larch forests and snowy mountains you can’t help but feel festive in Southern French Alps this winter. Leaving nothing to chance, resorts all over the region are planning magical events and celebrations to boost the natural enchantment. So if that elusive Christmassy feeling is what you’re after, here’s where to find it:
Rocket Ski are offering kids rates as low as £399 for seven nights at Risoul this Christmas and New Year. Based on a family of four including return UK flights, airport transfers and half-board accommodation. Find out more here.
Happy to spectate? Or up for an interactive adventure? There’s no shortage of thrills either way all over Southern French Alps this winter:
Organised events are exciting, but Southern French Alps are eventful by default and there’s plenty of stuff happening in resorts all over the region whether you book for Christmas or New Year, make it for February Half-Term or hold off until spring to celebrate Easter in the mountains.
And just in case you find yourself kid-free on 16 and 17 March 2019, clever Pra-Loup is hosting Week-End de la Femme, with free weekend ski passes for women and heaps of offers and events throughout the resort on both Saturday and Sunday.
The Southern French Alps are just over an hour from the Côte d’Azur and encompass the Alpes-Maritimes, Alpes-de-Haute-Provence and the Hautes-Alpes.
Southern French Alps winter season 2018/19 officially opens on 15 December 2018
How to get there
The region is easily accessible from Marseille, Grenoble and Turin airports.
Direct flights from London to Marseille: 2h 5m.
Direct flights from London to Nice Côte d’Azur: 2h.
Direct flights from London to Grenoble: 1h 45m.
Direct flights from London to Turin: 1h 50m.
Shuttle services from local train stations to resorts run throughout the winter season.