France's excellent ski resorts have all kinds of new activities, gastronomy and accommodation to discover after the hiatus of the past 18 months. Here's a taste of what's new in the French Alps this winter:
Après-Ski with a difference
Take your wellness routine to the next level! Float on the icy waters of Lac Ouillette (Val d'Isère) or Lac de Tignes in a specially designed waterproof wet-suit and experience a completely unique way to relax. Get even closer to nature by floating under the stars once the sun has gone down.
Tree Top Adventure
Opening for its first winter in 2021/22, Val Aventure is a tree top adventure course located in the heart of the Rogoney forest, with views over the slopes of Val d'Isère. You can navigate numerous zip wires and rope bridges across 4 different courses - either in daylight or enchantingly lit up when the skies go dark.
Le Pas de l'Aigle, Morzine
Can you handle looking directly down a 350m drop, after walking along a 10m-long sky bridge? Test your mettle at Morzine's latest adrenaline-filled attraction, Le Pas de l'Aigle. If you make it along the sky bridge you'll get to experience breathtaking 360o views of the Portes du Soleil and Lake Geneva.
Les Arcs 2000 'Tyrolienne' Zipline
If you've ever skied in Les Arcs 2000 you may be familiar with the old 'Flying Kilometre' piste that dominated the landscape above the resort. In winter 2021/22, there's a new way to view this near vertical ski slope: by tandem, high speed zipline, at speeds of up to 130km/hr! One ride on the zipline is included with a Premium ski pass, or receive a 50% discount with an Essential pass.
Le Village Perdu, Val d'Isère
Children and teens can discover this brand new outdoor play area, accessible from the slopes of Val d'Isère. Suspended walkways lead to a series of wooden treehouses, all hidden in Les Etroits Forest at 2,000m altitude. Sustainability is at the heart of this project: France's National Forestry Commission collaborated on the design and only locally sourced larch was used in the build.
Avrizou is a brand new childcare facility located right in the heart of Avoriaz, perfect for dropping off and collecting the youngest members of the family on your way to and from the slopes. Available as childcare only or in combination with ESF tuition, Avrizou promises a wide range of activities both inside and out (from 6 months+).
Val d'Isère goes Italian
Italy comes to Val d'Isère this winter in the form of three new restaurants.
- Gigi, a cosy dining room in the style of a private Italian home, located inside the high altitude hotel Le Refuge de Solaise at 2551m altitude.
- LouLou at Hotel Les Airelles: serving traditional alpine favourites with a twist, including truffle pizza and pistachio linguine. Don't miss the incredible dessert buffet with its famous profiteroles, Piedmont hazlenut ice cream or toasted panettone, dipped in a rich sabayon sauce.
- Finally discover La Cucucina at La Folie Douce, a unique dining space inspired by the artists of the Italian Renaissance. Savour a menu of locally sourced French and Italian produce whilst taking in the unbeatable views of Mont Blanc.
New Places to Stay
Hotel & Residence Alpen Lodge, La Rosière
Located in the Eucherts area of La Rosière, close to a variety of restaurants and shops and just 450m from the Eucherts Express chairlift, this brand new 4-star hotel & apartment development enjoys a superb location. Hotel Alpen Lodge offers gorgeous rooms & suites, together with luxuries including a cocktail bar, gastronomic restaurant, spa and dedicated children's pool & play area. If you're looking for flexibility when it comes to dining, the adjoining Residence Alpen Lodge offers excellent quality self-catering apartments and benefits from the same great facilities as the hotel.
Hotel Marielle, Val Thorens
Val Thorens' hottest newest property Hotel Marielle boasts a relaxing wellness area and beautiful sunny terrace. Facilities include a wellness centre, bistro-style restaurant, cocktail bar, ski hire shop and children’s zone. The hotel is named after Marielle Goitschel, France's most decorated alpine skier and one of the early pioneers in Val Thorens.
Ski touring has boomed in recent years and French ski resorts are increasing their offering all the time. If you've ever fancied trying this latest trend in winter sports - and want to really earn those turns - several resorts now have dedicated ski touring 'pistes'. This means you can have a go in a safe environment before venturing further afield.
- Val d'Isère is launching a dedicated ski touring area in La Daille.
- You'll find a new touring zone in Val Thorens (Borgne sector), with one groomed ascent slope and two descent runs.
- Discover 3 touring routes of betwen 2km-6km in Avoriaz.
All the major ski hire shops now rent the specialist ski touring equipment, so grab yourself a guide and see the slopes from a whole new perspective!
So there you have it, our roundup of what's new in the French Alps this coming winter. Where are you going this season, and what new activity will you try first?