Skiing Down the French Alps

If you love to ski, participate in winter sports, or look at beatiful snow-filled landscapes, the French Alps is a great place to visit. Wendy Hammerle, a writer for, gives a detailed account of her vacation in the French Alps in her article; Snowplowing My Way Through the French Alps.

“I spent the first morning snowplowing down a beginners’ slope at Alpe-D Huez, a big resort about an hour and a half drive from Grenoble. Alpe-D Huez, which in the summer is famous for being a stop on the Tour de France, is linked to several other resorts for a total of 152 miles (245 km) of ski trails and 84 lifts.

This means there are absolutely no lift lines and plenty of room to practice without worrying about getting clobbered by somebody zooming down the hill behind you. We were there in early March and happily avoided the crowds that show up in December and February during European school vacations. Under the watchful eye of a very patient ski instructor, I progressed slowly and survived my only wipeout without breaking any bones.

Lodging choices in Alpe D’Huez include dozens of chalet-style hotels. When we arrived at The Hotel Royal Ours Blanc, cranky and jetlagged, the smell of a sweet burning wood fire in the lobby made us feel human again. We got breakfast, a room with a balcony and a view that belongs in National Geographic.

Our next stop was Megève, an old Alpine ski village of cobbled streets, stone bridges and horse drawn carriages. About an hour from Geneva, Megève has a large pedestrian-only center lined with pricey skiwear shops, bakeries, and chocolate shops. Despite its reputation for being somewhat high end, I found the people in Megève to be warm and helpful.”