Throughout the winter season the mountain resorts of France are host to a huge spectrum of world class events. Both inclusive fun events in which holidaymakers can participate themselves and spectator events with a really broad appeal are on offer. Here are 9 of our favourites from a range of resorts:
1. La Grande Premiere, Val Thorens, 26th - 27th November 2016
Skiing at Val Thorens
Along with Val d’Isère and Tignes, Val Thorens is the first resort of the season to fire up its lifts, on November 26th. Winter 2016 sees a new opening weekend fiesta celebrating all things snow with parties, gear testing of everything from ski touring to snowboard equipment, the ‘rock on’ snowboard tour and plenty more across the weekend.
For more info, visit the Val Thorens Tourist Office website.
2. Christmas Forest, La Rosiere, 19th - 30th December 2016
Children sledging at La Rosiere
The family-friendly resort of La Rosiere is holding a special event for children this winter. Every day between 4pm and 6pm, there will be a Christmas Forest event with a wish tree, a post box and chocolates. There’s even rumours that Father Christmas may visit on Christmas day! (between 2.30pm and 4.20pm).
3. Classicaval, Val d’Isere 16th - 19th January 2017
Val d'Isere by Andy Parant
Val d’Isere will hold the 24th annual Classicaval Festival, a major cultural event of the season. Anne-Lise Gastaldi will be directing the event in the Saint Bernard de Menthon Church. It is a truly wonderful event for music lovers.
4. Freeride Week, Arc 1950, 28th January - 4th February 2017
Skiing at Arc 1950
The Freeride World Qualifier is coming to Arc 1950! Freeriders from around the world will compete in the competition, whilst guests staying that week can discover freeride skiing in all its forms through an impressive programme of broadcast films, awareness and initiation to mountain rescue, freeride courses for children and adults, etc.
5. International Festival of Pyrotechnic Art, Courchevel, 9th February - 2nd March 2017
Fireworks at Courchevel by Patrick Pachod
The grand finale of the world-class firework demonstration competition is coming to Courchevel. To celebrate the resort’s 70th birthday, the winners from the past 4 years face off in an epic battle to name the world’s finest pyrotechnic artist. The four finalists hail from the UK, Austria, France and Italy.
For more info, visit the Courchevel Tourist Office website.
6. 6 Stations Rugby Sevens Tournament, Various, 13th - 19th February 2017
Guests playing rugby on the snow
An epic rugby sevens tournament on snow featuring legends of the sport, played in 6 resorts, including Les Menuires and Val Thorens. Past players include legends Shane Williams (WAL), Serge Betsen (FRA), Simon Shaw (ENG) and Iain Balshaw (ENG). The 2017 edition promises to be a big hit, full of big hits!
7. The Torch Lit Descent World Record, Les Deux Alpes, 22nd February 2017
Torch lit descent by Franck Fatiguet
The goal is to bring 3,000 people together in Les Deux Alpes to attempt the torch lit descent skiing world record! Over 10km of non-stop descent on blue runs from 3,400m to 1,600. Register your place now and get your ski pass, torch and bib free-of-charge!
8. Snow Carnival, Avoriaz, 4th February - 4th March 2017
Children's ski lessons at Avoriaz
Avoriaz have 4 weeks dedicated to family-friendly activities on the slopes. So far, they have free animations, sledge races, carnival parades, snowmen contests, sleigh parades, fireworks and concerts planned!
For more info, visit the Avoriaz Tourist Office website.
9. Children Reign Supreme! Flaine, 8th - 14th April 2017
By France Montagnes
Flaine loves spring and this year the resort has planned over 50 free concerts on the slopes and terraces, as well as a multitude of themed weeks. This includes ‘Children Reign Supreme’ where children of all ages can attend circus workshops, face painting sessions, shows and parades!