The three valleys over Christmas and New Years; what a magical time! Full of skiing, fireworks and of course lots and lots of cheer. The French Alps know how to do the festivities well with their indulgent food, traditional decoration and beautiful rich Rhone Valley red wine. Keep reading for the three valleys festive fun, you will have such a jam-packed itinerary there will be barely any time for actual skiing- sorry.
Courchevel 1850 is a pretty spectacular skiing destination putting a very glamorous and fabulous twist to an adventure fuelled holiday. It’s not just about the addictively long, wide pistes that make your winter break so exciting here. On the run-up to Christmas take a rest from your long carving turns and stop at La Croisette, next to the lift station is the Festive market Place du Tremplin. It is lit up to the nines with lights and sparkle and picture postcard huts where you can refuel with a crepe or mulled wine.
The fun never stops in Courchevel for children and adults alike! Why not try a spot of night luging in Courchevel Moriond or Courchevel Village. This can be enjoyed on any day of the season however just imagine an adrenaline-fuelled luge down the windy track so the kids can work up an appetite for their Christmas dinner. Or alternatively treat yourself to a well-earned drink by the fire to dry off.
Once the merriment of Christmas is over, it is time to start thinking about bringing that New Years in with a bang. La Croisette in 1850 being the main hub for all skiing and apres ski action, it also turns into the epicentre of the New Years Dance Party! You can celebrate into the New Year with your own bottle of champagne from 10.30pm on the piste, and be stunned by an impressive fireworks display as the clock strikes 12. Stay warm into the early hours of the New Year by throwing some shapes with the live DJ’s that play all through the night.
If the glitz and glam of Courchevel isn’t your thing then hop over to the other side of the valley for the down to earth and wholesome fun of Meribel. After a thrilling day of skiing or snowboarding in the three valleys, it seems the joy will continue if you drop into Meribel centre on Christmas Eve. You can tell Santa Claus about your epic day at La Chaudanne in his Christmas wonderland. You can also polish off your vocal cords and join in the with the Meribel Choir and sing some carols at 5.30pm at the ice rink, and washing this all down with a free mulled wine or hot chocolate.
The Myth, the legend of La Folie Douce
Meribel is also one of the lucky skiing spots in France that has a Folie Douce, the apres haven for the fun and flamboyant. It is in an ideal location for apres ski and with as it is ski in ski out but also welcomes pedestrians with the bubble lift that stops just above the bar. The music and cabaret shows are always an exciting end to any day spent in the mountains but also particularly appropriate for Christmas and New Years, because when else is a better time to dance on tables and spray champagne than during the festive period.
If you are planning on spending your Christmas or New Years cruising the slopes at high altitude then you will probably be in Val Thorens at a whopping 2300m. Even at that altitude, you can join in with the cheer. You can still be sure that Santa will visit on his sleigh in the town centre from 7pm on Christmas Eve. If you stick around you will be delighted with lots of fun activities such as free sweets (because why not?- it’s free), mulled wine and hot chocolate. If you are still warm enough and have taken off your ski boots for the day, you can enjoy a magnificent torchlit descent and fireworks!
New Year’s Eve continues to be an impressive time in the Alps. If you are not tired after all the Christmas delights you can join everyone in the town on of Val Thorens at Place Caron on New Year’s Eve for live music, DJ’s and a spectacular pyrotechnics display to bring in the New Year. Not to be distracted from the reason why you visit the Alps, Val Thorens will remind you with an impressive ski and snowboard freestyle show and another torchlit descent at 6pm on the 31st.