France has three major mountain ranges to choose from when deciding on locations to buy.
France is a beautiful country to visit any time of the year, whether it’s as a tourist for sightseeing or for the countries excellent and varied skiing resorts. Boasting an amazing three mountain ranges, The French Alps, The Pyrenees and Massive Central avid skiers and snowboarders flock to France year after year and it’s a known fact that the French Alps in particular offer the best variety of resorts more than any other country in the world.
The French Alps is the mountain range that stands within the French sector is located in the Rhône – Alpes and Provence – Alpes – Côte d’ Azur regions. The elevation is 4,810m and the total area is 210,00km2 its borders are with the Swiss Alps and the Italian Alps. Within this area also the great resorts of Chamonix, Chambéry, and Grenoble, Albertville, Annecy and Évian-les-Bains.
The magnificent mountain range of Mont Blanc Massif is shared with Switzerland and Italy at 4,808m (15,774ft) Mont Blanc is on the French – Italian border and is the highest mountain in the Alps and the highest Western European Mountain.
There are numerous connected ski areas to be found here in the various ski domains of Les Trois Vallées, Portes du Soleil, Paradiski, Évasion Mont-Blanc and Espace Killy:
- Les Trois Vallées which is made up of Courchevel, Méribel, La Tania, Brides-Les-Bains, Saint-Martin-de-Belleville, Les Menuires, Val Thorens and Orelle. Here there are an impressive 338 slopes with 600 km of pistes.
- Portes du Soleil which includes the towns of Avoriaz, Châtel, Morzine, Les Gets and Saint-Jean d’Aulps and La Chapelle d’Abondance. There are 288 slopes with 650 km of slopes not entirely connected.
- Paradiski (La Plagne, Peisey – Vallandry, Les Arcs), Champagny-en-Vanoise with 239 slopes and 420 km of slopes.
- Évasion Mont-Blanc with the towns of Combloux, Megève, Saint-Gervais, Saint-Nicolas-de-Véroce, Les Contamines Monjoie, with 183 slopes, 420 km of slopes not entirely connected.
- Espace Killy is Tignes and Val-d’Isère with 137 slopes and 300 km of slopes.
There are two airports that are close to the French Alps they are: Chambéry Savoie Airport which is around 6 miles (10km) north of Chambéry and Grenoble – Isere Airport which is around 28 miles (45km) from Grenoble, however, most visitors will fly into the International airport of Geneva.
There is a great range of winter and summer activities available in the French Alps, in the winter, these include skiing and snowboarding as well as alternatives such as snowshoeing and sledging. There are numerous activities in the summer months that will keep you active such as gliding, hiking, mountaineering, biking and rock climbing.
The Pyrenees mountain range separates the Iberian Peninsula from the rest of Europe in southern France, stretching more than 430km between Spain and France and rising higher than 3,404m in elevation. Hiking trails cross the entire length of the range and national parks offer shorter trails, while dozens of ski resorts can be found here. It is an up and coming region and the resorts here are seen as more authentic that have retained their traditional French charm, they are less crowded and have very good facilities on offer. There are 38 ski resorts throughout the region, some higher and some lower in altitude, here is the top 4 considered by many.
- The ski domain of “du Tourmalet’ is composed of two resorts, Barèges and La Mongie. This is the largest ski resort in the Pyrenees with 69 pistes and 42 lifts. The resort has around 100km of slopes and peaks that rise to 2,500 meters.
- The Peyragudes rises to 2400m with 37km of pistes.
- The Piau – Engaly is at almost 2600m and is the highest resort in h French Pyrenees with 40km of pistes in a skiable area of 300 hectares.
- Saint – Lary Soulan covers and incredible 700 hectares with 100km of pistes at a height of 2400m.
The most convenient airports are Toulouse, Lourdes Pyrenees, Pau, Perpignan and Girona. All of these airports are located close to most ski resorts.
The Pyrenees is popular for winter sports such as alpine skiing and mountaineering and is also a good place for athletes to do high-altitude training. The summer months are also popular with activities such as by bicycling and cross-country running on offer. In the summer and the autumn, the Pyrenees are usually featured in a cycling’s grand tour, the Tour de France held annually in July. The stages held in the Pyrenees are often crucial legs of the tour, drawing hundreds of thousands of spectators to the region.
Massive Central is a ski resort located in the middle of southern France, consisting of mountains and plateaus; it is a huge area which covers approximately 15 percent of the country, the total area is 182,040km2 with an elevation of 1,886m. It is predominantly visited by the French it’s largely undiscovered and many foreigners are not aware of its existence yet! This means the slopes are uncrowded which is a great appeal to many.
The main ski resorts in Massive Central are:
- Super-Besse consists of two villages; its elevation is 4429ft – 5905ft Besse is at 1050m whilst Super- Besse is 1850 altitude and is considered the best ski resort out of the two with 27 runs over 27 miles of pistes.
- Le Mont-Dore with an elevation of 3937ft – 6069ft with 32 runs over 25 miles of pistes. At an altitude of 1050m, in the high Dordogne Valley and at the foot of le Puy de Sancy, it is the highest peak in the Massif Central (1886m), Le Mont-Dore is situated in the heart of the Natural Park.
The most convenient airport is Limoges – Bellegarde which is 6km (4miles) west northwest of Limoges.
The resorts appeal to both alpine ski fans that also enjoy hiking trails, downhill skiing, snowshoe walking and cross-country ski trails.
France is a truly spectacular country and caters for all skiing abilities from beginners to intermediates and advanced with excellent Après ski facilities on offer.