If you live in the South of France going to the French Alps is really accessible. A three hour drive is all that you need. We have been to three stations Orcières 1850, Risoul 1850 and Le Sauze and I tell you it’s worth the ski. Every time we go up to the French Alps, kids are always excited and especially impatient to hit the road. As usual, we have spent a white Christmas in Risoul 1850. We are grateful to have the French Alps as we wouldn’t drive long hours just to have the snow, ski and slide 😀 ! Risoul 1850 station, on the other hand, is found on the north so the sun is partly present. The temperature is a bit elevated compared to Orcières 1850. Do not forget to cover yourself up to protect from cold weather. The ski area coupled with the sunshine and connected with Vars concocting the field of Forêt Blanche with 180km of pistes. The ski slopes are very pleasant, enjoyable and suitable for all levels. The lifts are efficient and allow you to ski without having to wait long hours. You also have shops, postal service, restaurants, washing & dry cleaning shops. Typically, there are amusement areas like swimming pool, cinema, skating rink etc.
Sunset and full moon in Risoul
From Risoul’s one week vacation, we went directly to Orcières 1850 which is 1 hour and 30 minutes drive only. Thanks to a good friend, he’s always been so generous to lend us the flat for free. Btw, the name Orcières Merlette has changed to Orcières 1850 but I really don’t know why probably it has something to do with the altitude. I will try to discover why they have changed some names of the French ski sites.
To give you an overview of Orcières 1850 it is situated at an altitude of 1850 metres. Since the site is found in the South, you have the sun all the way to give you company and it could be really hot especially wrap all out with ski suit. So be ready to put on your sun screen lotion and all the protections you could possibly need when skiing. You may also find lots of interesting activities to do like, ice climbing, husky dog sledding, spending a night in an igloo, target sports, paragliding, quad biking, snow-shoeing, ski joëring, snake sledge, motor-sports and Tyrolean which is the longest zip line in Europe. The Tyrolean measures 1870m long cable stretching from the Drouvet summit (2655m) to the Lake Long (2500m). A person is specially attached securely to an adapted tackle, horizontally in sliding position, head first at speeds of up to 140km/hour. The whole sliding experience lasts approximately 1 minute and 20 seconds. Normally, one needs to be 10 years old to experience this but my kids first ever sliding when they were 7 yrs old (my son) and 5 yrs.old (my daughter 😀 ! There are also various facilities in the middle of snowy mountains like cinema, bowling, ice skating and swimming pool.
This is an early morning capture of our first day in Orcières.
Lastly it was year 2009 when we went to Le Sauze, I was still pregnant of my third baby. I did enjoy the stay as I was able to relax because I didn’t do anything from groceries to cooking 😀 ! It was a complete pension because we registered the family to CE (Comité d’entreprise from hubby’s work) to join the winter sport vacation. That was awesome 😀 ! Station with seven hamlets, Le Sauze gives you an unrivalled sportiness. All the pleasures of skiing are offered with variety of exhibitions and diversity of the tracks invites you to ski without restraint. The after-ski couldn’t be boring because there are also other activities to do like an indoor pool, a cottage in the mountains, where it is good to relax or a night in an igloo atmosphere north. Everything is possible and no dull moments 😀 ! The ski area measures 65 km of slopes, 23 lifts, 37 tracks, and with the altitude of 1400 to 2450 meters high.
This is where we stayed. The hotel L’eau Vive is one of the properties of my husband work.
Le Sauze Ski center
Despite of economic crisis, rocketing rates for everything , more tourist skiers still prefer to ski in France than anywhere else in the world. Surprisingly, I have seen many tourist this year 2012 and I don’t have this impression that crisis will stop people from skiing 😀 ! It is undoubtedly inescapable: the French Alps have always an excellent and broadest variety of skiing pleasure. If you book early as possible from lodging to ski passes it could be cheaper. If you’re planning a ski trip with friends and family try to consider a chalet rental or an apartment big enough to accommodate big number of person to match every budget. It’s a way much cheaper than renting hotels which is out of price !
Book now before it’s too late 😉 !
CE – A works council is a “shop-floor” organization representing workers, which functions as local/firm-level complement to national labour negotiations.