November has crept up on us, the shops are full of tinsel, and naturally, our minds start to turn to Christmas festivities.
Nothing says Christmas quite like a wintery wonderland of snow capped mountains, horse drawn sleighs and cosy hot chocolates around the Christmas tree.
And where better than the French alps for an Alpine adventure? The Three Valleys boast some of the best skiing in Europe and are home to charming resort villages, perfect for a winter getaway.
A Christmas ski holiday is a magical way to spend some quality time with your family and loved ones. That’s why we’ve put together some of the best activities and places to ski at Christmas time, so you can have your best Christmas in the Alps.
Skiing in the Three Valleys
The Three Valleys provide some of the best Christmas skiing in Europe. The area connects the world renowned French ski resorts of Méribel, Courchevel, Val Thorens and Les Menuires. As the largest lift-linked ski area in the world, the Three Valleys offer top-class skiing for all abilities.
The high altitude of the resorts here mean guaranteed snow all season long, while the North facing slopes in Courchevel offer arguably the best snow in the whole area. 600km of carefully groomed slopes await keen skiers, from wary beginners to thrill-seeking experts.
The villages are easily accessible via a convenient, connecting bus service so exploring is a must.
The Lead Up Festivities
Christmas in France tends to be a less commercial affair than in the UK. That’s not to say the French don’t know how to get into the festive spirit, however. A wealth of enchanting activities are on offer around the Three Valleys, all taking place in a snowy Alpine landscape rivalling lapland.
Turning on the Christmas Lights
The festive season in the Three Valleys kicks off at the start of December with the ceremonial switching on of the Christmas lights. Sip a hot chocolate or mulled wine and watch in wonder as the twinkly lights transform the village into a picture-perfect postcard.
Entertainment for All
In Courchevel, ‘the magic of Christmas week’ commences on the 23rd December with street theatre, magical fairies and a storytelling elf to keep little ones entertained.
Watch World-Class Skiing
An Alpine ski holiday wouldn’t be complete without some electrifying winter sports. The ninth Women’s Alpine Ski World Cup is being held in Courchevel this year from 21st- 22nd December. Watch as the best female skiers battle it out to win the prize!
A Fairytale Christmas Eve
Christmas eve is the time for family, food and fun. Here’s how you can celebrate in style in the Three Valleys.
A Christmas Service
For the traditionalists among you, a Catholic Christmas mass is held at the Meribel ice rink at 6.30pm on Christmas eve, and a protestant service can be found at Notre Dame des Nieges chapel on Christmas eve and Christmas day. Sing carols and spent time with your family, appreciating what Christmas is really all about.
Family Friendly Fun
Little ones will get whipped into a frenzy meeting Father Christmas and his merry band of elves as they pay a visit to each resort in the Three Valleys. This is topped off with a spectacular firework display in the evening.
Christmas Day Delights
Awaking in your chalet on Christmas day to a fresh white layer of snow outside and presents around the tree can only be improved by one thing, a morning on the slopes!
Christmas Morning on the Slopes
Christmas day morning is the perfect time to get out on the slopes. As the French celebrate Christmas on the eve of the 24th, the slopes are relatively quiet first thing.
In Méribel, it’s traditional to ski in fancy dress. Adorn yourself with baubles and build up an appetite for your Christmas lunch!
A Fully Catered Christmas Lunch
Leave the turkey to the professionals.
The great thing about spending Christmas in the Alps, is coming back to Christmas lunch with all the trimmings lovingly prepared. Say goodbye to hours spent sweating over the stove and stressing about getting home for the hourly baste. In a catered chalet, this is all done for you, allowing you the time to spend with your family as they gleefully tear open the presents.
The Christmas Circus Show
Moscow Circus visit the charming village of Courchevel Moriond to bring their extravaganza of breath-taking performers, magicians and music to the stage. A bit more exciting than the usual game of charades we think!
Sing for your Supper
Once you’ve slept off some of your Christmas dinner, take a short walk to the Tourist Office square in Méribel for some 6pm Christmas carols. Accompanied by a full brass ensemble and enough mulled wine to loosen those vocal cords, you’ll soon find yourself belting out the classics along with the crowd of French and English singers.
An Evening of Relaxing
After a long day of festivities, there’s nothing better than slipping into a steaming jacuzzi with a glass of bubbly. Choosing a chalet with a sauna, steam room and swimming pool is a necessary luxury to soak tired limbs and restore your peace of mind for the year ahead.
Boxing Day Activities
Although it’s tempting to spend boxing day lying down and recuperating from all the eating and drinking of the previous days, you might want to get out and experience what the Three Valleys have to offer…
Winter Sport Events
The Millet Ski Touring event held on boxing day in Courchevel has become an important fixture in the life of the village, with over 14,000 participants. Work off your Christmas dinner with a 3.2km timed uphill race all the way from the tourist office in Le Praz to La Croisette Courchevel 1850. But be warned, you’ll be competing with some of the best ski touring champions around!
Booking your Trip
With flights to the Alps being quick and readily available, the best Christmas ski resorts are well within reach for an easy Christmas getaway.
Due to the excellent skiing conditions, ski schools and magical ambience, winter holidays in France prove popular, especially over the Christmas period. We recommend booking your chalet early to avoid disappointment.
The icing on the Christmas cake for your festive holiday in the Alps is finding the perfect luxury chalet. Take your pick of our exclusive chalets in Courchevel this Christmas – you might find it hard to leave! Alternatively, if Méribel takes your fancy, spend the holiday season in one of our luxury lodges.