If you give me the option to choose between snow or beach, it’s a safe bet that I will pick the beach. Still, being a summer girl at heart, I’ll admit I have an appreciation for snowy landscapes as well (especially when the sun is shining). I also feel like a person shouldn’t pass up on a travel opportunity easily, so off I went on a spring ski trip to the French Alps – ready to discover the best Valmorel and La Plagne had to offer. Our days were filled with eating, skiing, discovering charming towns and sledging down a hill. Spoiler alert: my body hurt at the end of the trip, but I did make it back home alive.
Now, why would one go on a ski trip during spring rather than, let’s say January? Easy, the weather! Admittedly, if you’re a ski fanatic and have a higher level, it’s recommended to go earlier since the snow is better at that time – but for a beginner or mid-level skier, there’s really no reason why you shouldn’t go around spring time. The sun is shining bright, it’s often hot enough to chill without a sweater and have your après-ski drink on a sunny terrace. Win! Another major plus is the cost. Since it’s the end of the ski season, you’ll be able to find a lot more budget-friendly deals and usually the slopes are less crowded. Personally, I think I’d prefer going during spring time in any case.
How we got there: we departed from Brussels and took the train to Lyon (which also seems to be worth a separate visit). This took about 4 hours, and after that Valmorel was about a 2,5 hour car ride away. Of course, there are other options to reach your destination – it all depends on your preferences!
The local specialties: there’s really only one correct answer here – tartiflette! Belgians will probably already be familiar with this potato and cheese loaded treat (always to be found at Christmas markets), let’s just say it was a good thing there was some exercise involved during this trip as well. So.much.food!
The activities: these are – obviously – mainly focused around snow and sport. Think: sledging, skiing, snowboarding, snow shoe walking, and so on and so forth. In La Plagne there were also several activities (called “sublicimes“) arranged at different ski stations. The zen altitude station offered a jacuzzi, sauna and massages whilst other stations involved reverse bungee jumping (two elastics catapulting you into the air – I kindly passed on that offer) or a beach-like setting in the snow. These are all free and available for everyone that feels like taking a little break from the slopes. At the hotels, you can usually enjoy wellness treatments as well.
The hotels: plenty to choose from in the area, but I mostly enjoyed my room at Club Med in Valmorel. A large suite, a terrace with a view, the ability to tan on my bed and a super sweet shower slash bathroom. Yes, please.