The French Alps is one of the most well-known mountain chains in the world. Be it winter or summer, there is always something to do in the Alps. Chamrousse is the ideal place to begin your holiday. Get away from the touristy stations and perfect your snowplow as you try a few of the over 50 slopes. Discover Corrençon for a bit of snowshoeing in the magically peaceful forests of the Vercors.
The French Alps are part of the large European chain of mountains known as theAlps. They are primarily attractive for outdoor activities, such as Alpine Skiing and mountaineering. Less famous but still popular sports, in the region, include mountain bike (cross-country, Downhill), white water rafting and paragliding. The French portion of the Alps are also home to famous resorts towns Chamonix,St. Gervais, Albertville and Annecy with its old city and lake.
Chamrousse in France is a large resort with 26 lifts (9 chair lifts, 16 surface lifts) that offers skiers an impressive 855 metres (2806 feet) of vertical descent. Chamrousse has 865 acres of terrain over 35 pistes. Chamrousse is best suited to beginner skiers and snowboarders but there is some terrain for both expert and intermediates. There are 55 kilometers (34 miles) of cross country ski trails at Chamrousse. For snowboarders, there is a terrain park and a half pipe. About one quarter of the pistes at Chamrousse are covered by snowmaking. The nearest airport is at Lyon and the nearest train station to Chamrousse is at Grenoble.
Correncon en Vercors in France (in the Isere region) is a large resort with 11 lifts (2 chair lifts, 9 surface lifts) that offers skiers an incredible 1010 metres (3315 feet) of vertical descent. Correncon en Vercors has 27 pistes. There are 160 kilometers (100 miles) of cross country ski trails at Correncon en Vercors. Corrençon en Vercors is a small ski resort located in south-eastern France. Corrençon shares its facilities with the nearby town of Villard de Lans and is particularly proud of its cross-country skiing areas. The resort offers miles of pristine slopes and several fantastic restaurants and cafés.
Upon arriving high up in the Belledonne peak of the Alps, head straight for the slopes! With amazing views of the Vercors, Oisans, and Chartreuse peaks, one could be quite happy simply watching the horizon all day long. After the long days in the fresh air, enjoy some of the typical rejuvenating mountain dishes including raclette, tartiflette, and pierrade paired with a Savoie white wine.
Following three days of downhill exhilaration, take a cultural break in nearby Grenoble. Take the egg-shaped cable cars up to the hills of the Bastille where you will have a breathtaking panoramic view of the city. Visit “Le Magasin,” the contemporary art museum located in a giant warehouse originally built for the 1900 World Fair in Paris. “Le Magasin” often has in-house artists whose works are completed onsite.
Head into the Vercors, were you can try your hand (or foot) at snowshoeing through the forests of Corrençon. Enjoy the peaceful surroundings as you discover areas of the mountains that challenge even the best of skiers. Stay in the neighboring village of Villard de Lans, where you can settle yourselves around the roasting fire as you enjoy a hearty mountain dinner.
The Vercors is probably best known for the role it played in World War II, for it is in these mountains that the last volunteer soldiers (resistors) were conquered while trying to trap the German soldiers. Take time to hear the personal stories of those who lived through this important period of French history.
Spend your last day on the slopes of Villard de Lans. The station’s 80 miles of slopes allows you to have a full day of skiing without spending too much time waiting for the lifts. After six days of snow, it is time to say goodbye to the winter spectacular of the Rhône-Alpes.