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One of Europe’s prime skiing destinations, France has a bit of everything: for every major hub like Les Arcs, there’s a boutique Megève. For every groomed Courchevel, you’ll find a free-riding La Grave.
Around 300 holiday ski resorts are spread across three main, mammoth ski regions: the ill-defined Northern and Southern Alps, plus the mostly smaller-scale French Pyrenees. Such size and range, combined with extensive accommodation options and those Gallic staples of fine wine and good eating, means that everyone from novices to those seeking ultra-tough runs will find satisfaction.
The world’s three biggest skiing areas are all here: Paradiski (combining Les Arcs and La Plagne), Les Trois Vallées (including Courchevel and Méribel) and the northerly, most-easily-accessed Les Portes du Soleil (containing Les Gets and Morzine), which extends into Switzerland.
All are enormous, interconnected areas of villages and resorts linked by hundreds of high-capacity gondolas, chairs and cable-cars. The numbers are dizzying: Les Trois Vallées alone, at almost 26,000 skiable acres (10,500 hectares), exceeds the five largest US resorts combined. All levels and budgets are catered for and the après-ski scene is prodigious.
Also here is the almost-as-big Espace Killy area in the Tarentaise Valley, home to Val d'Isère and Tignes plus hundreds more miles of runs, and world-famous Chamonix, situated at the foot of Mont Blanc and glittering with style.
Wine-tasting on the River Loire, cycling up Mont Ventoux and visiting the martyred village of Oradour-sur-Glane are just a few of the ways to see the less touristy side to France.Read moreabout Secret France: How to escape the tourist trail
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