Faced with global warming and the lack of flakes, many ski resorts are using artificial snow. Ski enthusiasts will therefore be able to hit the slopes, but other original activities, often unknown, delight holidaymakers.
This February 6, a few days before the start of the winter holidays, the Court of Auditors published a chilling report for professionals in the sector, which presents an uncertain future for ski resorts in France. “Climate projections show an increase in the medium term. All ski resorts will be more or less affected by 2050. but alone “some stations could hope to continue operating beyond this deadline”, estimates the report which recommends a new vision and new resources to deal with rising temperatures. Although many vacationers fear not being able to ski, they will still be able to hit the slopes thanks to the production of artificial snow if the weather fails. But what should you do in a ski resort if there is no (or little) snow, or you simply don’t know how to ski? Please note that many very original, unusual and often little-known activities allow you to have a memorable stay with family or friends. Top 10.
1- Mountain biking on snow, Ski Joëring and Ruisseling in Contamines-Montjoie
Labeled Famille Plus since 2017, the Les Contamines-Montjoie resort located in Haute-Savoie, at the foot of Mont-Blanc, is the ideal place to come and enjoy the pleasures of the mountains with the family. Carriage ride, Snakegliss (descent in sleds attached to each other in single file, and piloted by a guide), sleigh ride pulled by Eskimo dogs, ice rink… everything is planned to delight the youngest. For those who like to gain height to enjoy the landscape, the two-seater paraglider offers a panoramic view of Mont Blanc. Also discover the Electric fat bike (mountain biking on snow), and test it Ski Joëring (fun equestrian discipline which combines horse riding and sliding). Another must-have: the Ruisseling (walking and ice climbing) accompanied by a guide.
2- Curling, sled dog and wildlife safaris in Vaujany
Located opposite the Grandes Rousses massif and the Fare waterfallnear Savoie, the Vaujany village resort has 250 kilometers of slopes in the area ofAlpe d’Huez. The station also offers snowshoe walks at sunset with a guide, animal safaris, a sled dog ride and the training of these animals like no other, an international ice rink with an introduction to curling and Eisstock (a type of pétanque on ice). Children will also be able to test the flight simulator in the museum area which allows them to put themselves in the shoes of an airplane pilot and fly over the Grandes Rousses massifs which dominate Vaujany. Other assets, a snow garden, a bowling alley, a snow park to learn jumps. The other essential activity for your children? The snow factory!
3. Pony sledding for babies, aperitif in an igloo, Frozen River in Samoëns
Besides traditional skiing and sledding, in Samoëns, in the Giffre Valley, in Haute-Savoie, it’s an incredible program that awaits you: from 1 year old, your baby will be able to experience their first sensations of sliding during a session of sled pony and from 2 years, he will be able to initiate ice skating. Educational snowshoe hikes are also organized for families whose children are over 4 years. Your little mountaineer at 7 years old? So why not try its nighttime version which ends with an aperitif in an igloo? Unless he prefers to indulge in skijoring, that is to say skiing pulled by a horse. Finally, for older children, from 10 years old, the Frozen River will allow you to hurtle down the (icy) river in a raft, canoe or hydrospeed. A stay that promises to bring snowflakes to the eyes of the whole family!
4- Zip line, tobogganing, ice diving, panoramic footbridge in Val Thorens
The resort of Val Thorens, in Savoie, was voted best station in the world for the 8th time in 10 years. Perched at an altitude of 2300m, Val Thorens is also the highest resort in Europe and is part of the largest connected ski area in the world: the 3 Valleys. The station also has the longest toboggan run in France, the highest zip line in Europe, but also ice diving, fat biking, dog sledding, ice karting, an ice rink, and even igloo construction. This year, something new should amaze visitors: a panoramic footbridge from Cime Caron, a real step into the void, offers a breathtaking 360° view of Péclet, Mont Blanc, Val Thorens and the Belleville Valley.
5- Biathlon, pony-sledding, meeting with reindeer in Méribel
The Méribel resort in the Alps is ideal for family ski holidays. Its toboggan run “MissionBlack Forest” is made up of 28 bends over more than 3 kilometers and almost 500 meters of elevation change. Also on the program: an introduction to biathlon, skijoring (or pony sledding), snowshoe walks with a chocolate fondue, igloo construction, a meeting with reindeer at the Tuéda nature reserve…
6. Paddle and rafting, winter canyoning in the Haut-Giffre valley
Going for winter sports with the family in the Haut-Giffre Valleyit is first of all slaloming in the first ski area in the world to be certified Green Globe thanks to its sustainable development. On site, many unusual activities are offered. Try an expedition with sled dogs for a bivouac in the countryside, a paddle and rafting session on the Giffre river or even winter canyoning with three hours of immersion descent in Sixt-Fer-à-Cheval where the Liquid water, snow and ice are sublimated.
7. Snowscoot, Yooner and frosty escape game in Blanche Serre-Ponçon
In the heart of the region Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur and the department of Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, the resort Blanche Serre-Ponçon – PureAlpes brings together three ski resorts with a multitude of activities that will give your beginners a taste of the mountains: Igloo construction in Montclar and Chabanon, trip to snow scooters in Montclar, walks with sled dogs in Chabanon, Ski Joërin pulled by a horse trotting or galloping… Don’t also miss the snowscoot, a daring mix between BMX and snowboard, or the Yooner, a modern version of traditional sledding, for all ages. And that’s not all, an escape game is also organized: participants will have to go in search of the Yeti at the Grand Puy station. Finally, for a relaxing break, go one hour from the slopes to the Spa Thermal de Haute-Provence in Digne-les-Bains or to the water sports area.
8. Ice Palace, snowmobile, sleigh ride in Avoriaz
Upon arriving at Avoriazto discover the resort and take possession of the place, there is nothing like a guided sleigh tour with a horse. Children can even enjoy a walk, accompanied by their musher which they will have taken care to harness beforehand. Also on the program: visit to the skating village and its ice palaceinitiation and trip in snowmobile (for ages 5-17), a number of other activities await you for the greatest happiness of your children. The best part of the resort? No need for a car, all chalets and residences are accessible by ski, sled or sleigh from the slopes!
9 – Sledding, ice rink, sheepfold and Family park at Auron station
The ski resort Auron in the field of Mercantour, nestled in the Southern Alps (1h30 from Nice) has 135 kilometers of slopes. Other joys of the resort that will delight children: its bobsled track accessible free of charge, ice rinksher multi-game area. During your stay, also plan a visit to the sheepfold and take a trip to Family park (fun course in the snow). Information on www.hiver.auron.com
10- Snowpark, water fun area and Western ski park in Courchevel
Winter sports resort of the Tarentaise Valley, Courchevel is labeled Family Plus Mountain. And for good reason, apart from the fact that your little skiers will benefit from largest ski areathey will be able to enjoy unusual experiences such as participating in a escape game to save the station from an avalanche, crisscross its ice skating rinkset out to attack the snow parkor even enjoy a sleigh ride in the heart of the snowy forest. A water fun area, a media library, a piou piou club and the children’s village will also complete your/their desires. Its plus, for little beginner and curious skiers: the Western Ski Parka fun space designed to start skiing in complete safety!