The top ski- and seaside resorts of France

Chamonix

Chamonix, photo by Rob Alter/flickr

It is a well-known fact that France is a very popular destination. Besides the cultural attractions and the gorgeous historical towns, it owns a rich natural heritage. France has a wide variety of landscapes: from coastal plains to the mountain ranges of the Alps in the south-east, the Massif Central in the south-central part and Pyrenees in the south-west. France is bordered with the Atlantic Ocean to the west and the Mediterranean Sea to the south. Anywhere you go in France, you will find fantastic resorts. The mountainous areas are full of amazing ski resorts, while on the coasts there are some of Europe’s most beautiful and most visited beaches and resorts.

 

Chamonix

 

Chamonix-Mont-Blanc or more commonly Chamonix is a commune, also a ski resort in the Haute-Savoie department, located in the Rhône-Alpes region in south-eastern France. It is the most popular winter sports resort in France. It was also the site of the 1924 Winter Olympics, the first Winter Olympics.  As the highest European mountain, Mont Blanc is very popular for mountain climbers and Chamonix is the “heaven” of ski-lovers. The resort is also famous for its spectacular cable car up to the Aiguille du Midi peak (3,842 m). In the year of its construction, in 1955, it was the highest cable car in the world. During the summer months Chamonix enjoys a high reputation among the alpine mountaineers. The resort is also a destination for mountain bikers, but mountain biking is only permitted during July and August.

 

Chamonix

Chamonix, photo by Rob Alter/flickr

 

 

Courchevel

 

It is a popular ski resort located in the commune of Saint-Bon-Tarentaise in the Rhône-Alpes region, being part of Les Trois Vallées, the largest linked ski area in the world. Courchevel is the most eastern resort of the Three Valleys. The resort is renowned for its excellent lift system which is usually queue free, even at the busiest time of the season. Also considered by some the “best ski resort in Europe”, Courchevel consists of 4 villages (Courchevel Le Praz, Courchevel 1550, Courchevel 1650 and Courchevel 1850). It is very famous for its highest resort, the exclusive village of Courchevel 1850. Courchevel 1850 has 11 5-star hotels, known as an expensive resort, considered the 6th most expensive place in the world.

 

Courchevel

Courchevel, photo by msquirrell/flickr

 

 

L’Alpe d’Heuz

 

Being one of the largest resorts in the Alps, l’Alpe d’Huez is situated in the Central French Alps, more precisely in the commune of Huez, in the Rhône-Alpes region. The resort offers a wide range of facilities, including plenty of slopes for beginners and also off-piste skiing opportunities. The resort is the closest major ski area to the city of Grenoble, this is why it attracts plenty of visitors. L’Alpe d’Heuz gained popularity when it hosted the bobsleigh events of the 1968 Winter Olympics. With about 250 km of piste and 84 ski lifts, the resort is now one of the world’s largest ones.

 

Mimizan Plage

 

The beautiful seaside town of Mimizan has about 7.100 inhabitants and is located in the Landes department in Aquitaine in south-western France. There are two separate districts of the town: Mimizan-Bourg (the center of the town) and Mimizan-Plage (the resort). Mimizan-Plage lies between Bordeaux and Biarritz. Its landscape is amazing: the Atlantic ocean, vast sand dunes and pine forest make it a lovely and popular summer destination. The resort can be the perfect choice for the watersport-lovers, but there are also other leisure activities, such as cycling, horse-riding or golf playing. The beaches of the resort are white, soft sanded. It is also known as ‘the pearl of the Côte d’Argent”.

 

Mimizan Plage

Mimizan Plage, photo by magn3tik/flickr

 

La Grande Motte

 

La Grande-Motte is a commune in the Hérault department in Languedoc-Roussillon in southern France. It is also a popular seaside resort and port, built between the 1960s and ‘70s. Being visited by about 2 million tourists every year, La Grande Motte is one of the favorite resorts of the French. La Grande Motte is awarded a “European Blue Flag” every year for the quality of its water. The beaches are beautiful with white and fine sand. There are several sport activities at La Grande Motte, like windsurfing or jet skiing.

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