How much are you missing the snow? We have to say that we aren't missing it that much and we want to apologize for this. We know that by reading this post you might feel a little jealous. The thing is, we couldn't wait any longer ... so we headed off to the French Alps so we could go visit one of our favourite destinations and tell you all about it.
Ohh! and by the way, we have to warn you that the following post might make you want to go skiing!
It's never too early to start booking a 2022 ski holiday and on Esquiades.com we have been getting everything ready to offer you the best ski deals in the French Alps . So what better way of doing this than visiting the ski destination and checking that everything is in order for you skiers!
Two of our teammates Carlo and Javi (from our product and customer service department) are true skiing lovers that decided to go visit the french alps with Carlo's van and see what the different ski resorts have to offer as well as many of the hotels and apartments that we include in our website, Esquiades.com.
They've been travelling for more than 2 weeks and had the chance to visit countless accommodations, had meetings with different ski providers and most importantly, they went skiing! ;-P
They got back with a lot of useful information to share with all of you that are interested in skiing at the French Mountains . We asked them to explain and share their experience with you guys in order to help you decide when booking your next skiing holiday! On their way back they also stopped at two ski resorts in the French Pyrenees , we'll talk about that later.
Here's one of the photographs that was taken during their holiday to the Alps, plenty of snow for them to enjoy!
Javi and Carlo are both 100% snowboarding lovers, (they only get off the board to have a shower, not really but almost) so seeing that there was good snow, they couldn't resist any longer and decided to go hit the slopes.
Let us introduce them to you guys, tell you a little more about them and explain what their job is within Esquiades.com.
Carlo is part of the product department and is one of the first workers of Esquiades.com. ( He's been with us for more than 10 years) and other than looking for the best ski deals for all of you, he is also in charge of finding and negotiating rates with accommodations that are near the ski resorts. He's also the one that gets everything arranged in order to offer bus holidays to the Alps, (you can find this holiday on esquiades.com)
He's a ski expert that can be found at the other end of the phone for those who need advice or special attention about the French destination.
Javi, on the other hand, has been part of our customer service department for about 3 years, his job is to offer telephone service, help you arrange your ski holidays, answer your questions and stay in touch with the different hotels and ski resorts.
So after introducing both of our colleagues Javi and Carlo we now leave them to share and tell you about their skiing experience in the French Alps. Try not to miss out on anything, they are going to be talking and sharing their opinion on the hotels and ski resorts that they have been visiting.
We are Carlo and Javi, we are delighted to be with you all and to have the opportunity to tell you about our experience at the French Alps . After two intense weeks and more than 3,000km travelled by car, we are now back ready to share with you our whole experience as well as all the useful information, tricks, tips and the latest news about everything that you have to know for the next skiing season in the French Alps.
These are the ski resorts that we visited in the French Alps.
The French Alps occupy a huge and extensive area. Below you will see the different ski resorts that we have been to: Les 2 Alpes, Alpe d'Huez, Val Thorens and Tignes , also, as we didn't have enough with all these, we made a brief stop at the french pyrenees to visit the Saint Lary and Font Romeu ski resorts. Below you can see a map with the route that we did.
We have to confess that this is not our first holiday to the Alps ;-P in fact we have been visiting this destination for several years in order to gather information, get to know the area and negotiate accommodation and Ski Pass rates, so we can offer you the best prices!
Although all this sounds like we spent our time working hard, we did have time to go hit the slopes! ;-)
Our holiday to the Alps
October 13th was the day! We were all set and ready to leave.
We had a chat about if it was a good idea to take all our snowboarding equipment and decided to do so. We were going to try our best to find some free time and enjoy their amazing ski resorts (it's October!)
Once we managed to load everything into Carlo's van, which is perfect because everything fits perfectly. We headed to our first destination, Les 2 Alpes. If you're an olive oil lover, we do recommend you to take some with you since it is very expensive there. We use it in all our meals.
Everything was going ok during the first hours of our holiday, good music, good company, really excited and looking forward to seeing and skiing at this amazing ski destination. Have you guys ever been to Grenoble? it's only 70 km from Les 2 Alpes, well we don't know how but we ended up taking the wrong turn and getting lost. Luckily it didn't take long for us to get back on the right track. A few minutes after that, we were surrounded by this thick fog that was covering the entire landscape. This added to a progressive temperature drop, was the sign that we would soon reach our destination.
We arrived at Les 2 Alpes around 8pm (more or less the scheduled arrival time). We then got in touch with the manager of the Le Meijotel Residence Apartments and went off for a rest. Below you can see a picture of the front of the hotel.
The accommodation is ideal for skiing as it is only 50 meters from the gondola.
It's a shame that it hadn't snowed at the ski resort because if it had, we would have got all our equipment and headed to the slopes. We had to wait a few days until we were able to do that. Our first day there was to visit several accommodations with which we had arranged a meeting.
Although the ski resort was closed, we managed to get in as we are travel agents and took a tour through the ski resort. For those who don't know, Les 2 Alpes is a ski resort where you can also ski in summer , thanks to its glacier located at 3,500 meters high.
After lunch we headed to Alpe d'Huez , a location known for its stage of the Tour de France. The arrival is spectacular, especially the section of the Tour, since it has road paintings with countless messages of encouragement to the runners. When we arrived, the snow wouldn't let us see the magnitude of the resort. So, after seeing where the accommodations we worked with were, we did some sightseeing around the most important sites in the area. Here there's also an immense sports centre that can be accessed with the same ski pass. Inside you will find swimming pools, a climbing wall, etc. We highly recommend it!
We couldn't believe the dump that fell on us in Val Thorens
We arrived in Val Thorens after spending the night in the city of Grenoble. The weather forecast for the next few days said that it was going to snow heavily in Val Thorens and it did! Seeing the ski resort full of freshly fallen snow was awesome, we'll tell you about that later. You have to know that Val Thorens ski resort has been named on several occasions as the best ski resort in the world.
As soon as we arrived at the ski resort we found a thin layer of snow, the first of the year, hurray! We stayed at the Les Hauts de Chaviere Residence , located directly on the slopes. Once we had settled and installed ourselfs, we looked out the window and it was snowing big time, how exciting was that! We then went for a short walk through the city but it was late and we were tired after a long holiday so we decided to have an early night. By the way, if any of you are thinking of going skiing to Val Thorens , this accommodation is more than recommended to do so, we loved it!
When we got up the next day, the snow was up to our knees! So after having a few meetings with different accommodations that we had already arranged, we decided to take photos (like the one above) and headed to Tignes . The weekend was approaching and we were starting to get a little nervous… It was almost time to take our snowboarding equipment out!
Incredible blue bird skiing day in Tignes
When we got to Tignes, we found that it had snowed a lot there too. So after a few hours of work, we went to the Slalom Residence , located right at the entrance of the town and a few meters from Tignes ski slopes . The Schuss Slalom Residence has very big apartments and also has free Wi-Fi connection!
On Saturday morning we got up really early (didn't need to set our alarm clock) and at 8:00 in the morning we were already up and ready to enjoy an intense snowboarding day!
The weather was brilliant throughout the day, it was a sunny day and the snow was just high quality, despite the fact that only the La Grande Motte glacier (located at an altitude of 3032 meters) was open, we decided to take a route off piste to the town of Val Claret . We certainly didn't want to stop skiing!
Here's some photographs of Tignes, and no ... we don't want to make you feel jealous ;-P
After a hard but very rewarding skiing day, we decided to go to the heated swimming pool that's at the Le Lagon sports centre, located in the village of Le Lac, this can be accessed for free with the Tignes + Val d'Isère ski pass (you need to purchase the ski pass for both ski resorts, the ski areais named as Espace Killy). Here there's also jacuzzis, saunas, water slides ... Ideal for you to chill and relax.
On Sunday we went skiing to the Grande Motte glacier for the last time. Later that day the weather began to get a little cloudy so we decided to go back to the apartment and get everything ready as we were leaving the next day. Next morning we said goodbye to the spectacular Alps with this impressive photo.
¡The holiday wasn't over yet ... we still had the French Pyrenees waiting for us !!
Arrival in Saint-Laury and Font-Romeu
After a two day drive we finally arrived at Saint-Laury. In this case neither of us had been there before and the truth is that we both agreed that the place was beautiful. Saint-Laury is a stone village, located only 850 meters above sea level, the town has 2 cable cars that take you to the slopes. We would have loved to try them out and ski at Saint-Laryski but the skiing resort was closed. Maybe next time!
The morning after was a busy one, we had arranged to have meetings with different suppliers located in the town of Saint Lary and after that we headed to Font Romeu , another destination where we had never been before. It was late when we arrived so we went straight to the Le Grand Tetras hotel. Have to say that although being a 3 star hotel it seemed to us more like a 4 star, it had been completely refurbished so that was great!
Here's a photograph of the Hotel's room
The welcome at the Font Romeu ski resort was amazing. They showed us the ski area, different accommodations and characteristics of the area.
After having lunch it was time to head back home with the satisfaction of a job well done, lots of pictures, countless anecdotes to tell, new accommodations to offer and most importantly: Our snowboards had an excellent time! ;-)
That's all from our experience in France!