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Adventures in France: Skiing the Three Valleys

Hitting the Three Valleys for an adventure travel skiing holiday in France will be one of the best decisions you ever make!

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Three Valleys Powder

Where to begin? Literally.

Skiing the Three Valleys, which is the largest ski field in the world is a little daunting. With over 600 km of runs and a combination of 180 ski lifts, the decision of where to begin your skiing adventure can be hard.

Skiing Three Valleys

Skiing the 3 Valleys

We spent 6 days skiing the Three Valleys and it feels as if we did not even scratch the surface of the impressive ski field.

So let me start at the beginning. There we were standing at the bottom of just one of the eight areas, the Meribel Valley, gazing up at the biggest ski field we had ever seen and pondering which chairlift to start with. At the time we thought that six days would be more than enough to explore the Three Valleys. How wrong we were.

As usual our decision-making process came down to a quick game of rock/paper/scissors. With rock trumping all and the first lift decided we were off.

I was buzzing with excitement and could not wait to get on my board and with every metre we ascended the view got even more impressive. Then the moment I had been eagerly awaiting had finally arrived. The feel of snow under my board, that first glorious carve and the wind in my hair as I sped down the first descent.

Three Valleys Powder

Skiing the Three Valleys

The first thing we noticed about skiing the Three Valleys was that the runs are long. Really long. Each run easily lasted ten minutes and we even took over half an hour to complete some of them! Needless to say we had a lot of hot chocolate breaks to rest our rubbery legs.

Hot Chocolate Three Valleys

Every run lead us to a new chairlift and every chairlift led us to even more breathtaking views. It really feels like the ski area goes on and on forever. The fact that you cannot get a view over the entire Three Valleys really enhances this feeling as every peak we went over led to a new area and adventure to explore.

The facilities in the Three Valleys are superb. The chairlifts and cable cars are really comfortable and the lines were not too long during our spring skiing adventure.

All abilities are catered for with a great choice of runs of which the majority are groomed daily. For the thrill seekers there are also a huge range of parks and boarder-cross areas that have features from beginners to experts.

One thing that is obvious when skiing the Three Valleys, is that the French take their Après-skiing very seriously. Every bar nestled along the many runs were packed with locals and tourists alike. And that is just to kick-start the evening. Off the ski field the parties just keep on going.

Apres Skiing Three Valleys

Even if you are not in the Three Valleys for adventure then you are well catered for. Each of the main villages including Meribel, Courchevel and Val Thorens boast an impressive range of first class shops, day spas, bars and restaurants all with price tags to match!

And the cafes and restaurants situated on the ski fields themselves are awesome. The food was delicious in that way that the French seem to have mastered. All of it far from the deep fried reheated muck that gets served up in the cafeteria style areas on ski fields back home. Leisurely ski lunches, if you can afford them, consist of three courses and wine seem to be the norm.

Not a bad way to ski really!

Lunch Three Valleys

Lunchtime while Skiing the Three Valleys

Overall a fantastic holiday destination for all levels of skiers. Just remember to come with a full wallet and expect it to empty fast.

Also remember that you have to get back to your hotel at the end of the day so be mindful not to venture too far afield. It took Cole and I over an hour to get back on the first day!

If you want to go skiing make sure you have good travel insurance sorted our first!

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28 Comments

28 Comments

  1. Laurence

    March 12, 2012 at 8:41 AM

    The Three Valleys really are an awesome place for skiing. Incredible views and endless runs to explore. I must get skiing again!

    • Cole

      March 12, 2012 at 9:17 AM

      It was amazing to say the least! Our legs were buggered after every run because there was just too much to explore haha.

  2. Natalie

    March 12, 2012 at 10:34 AM

    I really would like to try skiiing sometime. We have some ski centres in Turkey but it is just plucking up the courage to do it. I think the above is a bit too complicated for me to start off as a beginner 🙂

    • Cole

      March 12, 2012 at 12:05 PM

      You would be fine Natalie! Just grab a half day lesson. And I definitely recommend skiing instead of snowboarding to begin with as it is quite a lot easier for your first time 🙂

  3. Ali

    March 12, 2012 at 10:41 AM

    I could barely handle the wimpy bunny slopes in the eastern US, there’s no way I could handle skiing here! It looks gorgeous though!

    • Cole

      March 12, 2012 at 12:04 PM

      It is an amazingly beautiful spot. They have loads of bunny slopes here as well so I am sure you will manage Ali!

  4. D.J. - The World of Deej

    March 12, 2012 at 12:13 PM

    Being a Florida boy, I haven’t done much skiing, but I have had the itch to for a few years. This place looks simply awesome…

    • Cole

      March 12, 2012 at 2:31 PM

      This would be a great place to start but there are definitely a few places closer to home for you haha.

  5. John

    March 12, 2012 at 9:23 PM

    Bring a picnic and you save the cost of those expensive in resort restaurants. In France look for Salles Hors Sac, where you can eat your picnic indoors. If it is a bluebird day then find a good spot, but remember to take your rubbish with you to the nearest bin. If you are on a budget don’t even consider shopping in resort. The only exception being if there is a market visits one day a week.
    But if money is no object, then treat yourself, you are on holiday!

    • Cole

      March 13, 2012 at 9:16 AM

      Great tips John! We always take a picnic with us but do treat ourselves to the occasional hot chocolates haha.

    • Cole

      March 13, 2012 at 9:17 AM

      We will go again if you are keen 🙂

  6. Sam

    March 13, 2012 at 2:21 AM

    Wow, fresh powder trails. So awesome.

    • Cole

      March 13, 2012 at 9:17 AM

      Wasn’t much powder but it was a nice little surprise for us indeed!

  7. Cherina

    March 13, 2012 at 4:07 AM

    I’ve only tried skiing once and was kind of thrown in the deep end withou much instruction. I have always wanted to learn properly and I’ve heard that the Three Valleys is one the best places to go skiing. Those views look fantastic!

    • Cole

      March 13, 2012 at 9:18 AM

      Apparently some of the instructors are the best in the world so I would highly recommend it. Plus they have runs for all abilities. Hope you get another chance to try it again Cherina!

  8. Bret@ Green Global Travel

    March 13, 2012 at 12:16 PM

    Is it bad that I’m more excited by the hot cocoa than the skiing? I’ve actually never tried snow skiing (did a lot of water skiing as a kid) but it’s something I’d like to do at some point in my life. Don’t know if my legs could handle six days though!

    • Cole

      March 13, 2012 at 3:21 PM

      Haha to be honest we get fairly excited about our hot cocoa breaks as well! I was born on water ski’s as well Bret and so skiing comes naturally to me. I am sure you would be awesome too 🙂

  9. Maria @latinAbroad

    March 20, 2012 at 2:05 AM

    I have always wanted to learn how to snowboard or ski – SO badly! Someday I’ll finally learn 😀 growing up in Puerto Rico and currently living in FL doesn’t help the cause! haha. This sounds like a great trip I would love to try these winter activities at.

    • Cole

      March 20, 2012 at 10:04 AM

      I don’t think that living it up close to the beach is such a bad lifestyle either Maria 🙂

  10. Jarmo @ Arctic Nomad

    March 21, 2012 at 6:21 PM

    I am in Val Thorens right now! 🙂 I love the three valleys, it’s my second time here. Just stopped in Meribel for lunch today! We’re planning on doing a run from Val Thorens to Courchevel tomorrow, it’s going to be a long day!

    • Cole

      March 22, 2012 at 9:48 AM

      The run from Meribel to Val Thorens was long enough! You are going to be sore after Courcheval to VT haha. Just remember you have to get back!

  11. Kieu

    March 23, 2012 at 3:53 AM

    Gerard is really missing snowboarding season back home but were in Asia. Lol. I can barely get up on the bunny slopes but would love to try skiing one day. Maybe France will motivate me. Looks stunning!

    • Cole

      March 23, 2012 at 9:10 AM

      The slopes on some of the big ski fields are great for learning on as there are loads of easy green runs to try! You will love it 🙂

  12. cheryl

    April 7, 2012 at 2:39 PM

    I’m not much of a skier but the winter and mountain views are stunning! Looks like you had a fun time. 🙂

    • Cole

      April 8, 2012 at 5:52 PM

      It was beautiful and we loved it. Hopefully will be back again in the future 🙂

  13. evisumturkije

    July 7, 2015 at 9:45 AM

    France has all kinds of places to visit, like to see it one day!

  14. Pingback: Top Honeymoon Ideas for Adventure Couples

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Adventure Travel

The Best Destinations For Sun, Splendour, And Sightseeing

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Whilst an explorer should be seeking eye-opening experiences on his or her travels, there’s no denying that a healthy dose of sun helps to make the adventure a little more enjoyable. There are heaps of cold destinations (Greenland, Russia, and even England) that are visually stunning and a lot of fun to explore, but we’re going to talk about some of the hotter places on the planet that have a lot to offer in terms of sightseeing. You might as well have the perk of sunshine and warm weather whilst you’re exploring the world, right? After all, there’s no reason as to why you can’t relax during a big excursion. That being said, you need to find some destinations that meet all the criteria we’ve mentioned. If you’ve no idea where to go on such a travelling experience then you should check out these top destinations for sun, splendour, and sightseeing.

California, United States.

California fits the bill perfectly when it comes to a place that promises endless sunshine and a lot of things to do. There are many beautiful places to visit in the U.S. that promise sunshine and adventure, but this state is a common favourite for both domestic and international travellers. And there’s good reason for that – we’ll prove it to you. First of all, no tour of this gorgeous state is complete without a visit to Los Angeles. The city of L.A. is unlike anywhere else in the world. You should start by exploring Hollywood, as it’s something that everyone should do once. You’ll get an intriguing look into the world’s most famous films and actors behind the veil – and the Hollywood Hills are worth exploring for a look into the natural beauty surrounding this area. But once you’ve seen the intriguing truth of this surreal place, you should head into the heart of L.A. You’ll feel as if you’ve entered a different world. Whether you head to sunny Venice Beach or the busy downtown area, there’s so much to do. Find the Grand Central Market if you want a quirky L.A. dining experience; there’s often live music to go with the food. And this is only one city of many to explore in the sunny state of California. Make sure you had to San Francisco too.

Victoria, Australia.

If you want a real adventure in one of the sunniest places on earth then you need to visit Australia. It’s a huge and incredibly intriguing country with desolate uninhabited areas and dense cities that are heaving with people and things to do. The land down under finds the perfect balance when it comes to a destination that promises both natural beauty and lively culture. Whether you want to explore vast unexplored wilderness or a glitzy modern city, Australia has it all. The state of Victoria in the south-east is definitely the best place to start your journey, though. You should head to the Great Ocean Road for a journey that’s both scenic and historically relevant (the road is the world’s largest war memorial). You’ll get to see the Twelve Apostles along the way (ginormous limestone stacks that have become an iconic landmark in their own right) and the bewilderingly beautiful towns of Port Fairy and Portland. You’ll even have the opportunity to see whales and other fantastic sea life if you pay attention to the ocean at your side.

But the natural side of Victoria is only the very surface of what this state has to offer. You can expect sun and sweltering wherever you go and whatever you do in this massive state, but you probably want a little more than that out of your adventure. After all, you’ve travelled to such an exciting part of the world. This isn’t any ordinary beach holiday. You should head to the city of Melbourne if you want to see the vibrant and lively side of this state. The capital city boasts such a powerful modern-day and historical culture. You should visit The State Library of Victoria and head into the La Trobe Reading Room if you want to see both mesmerising architecture and a fascinating place. The Princess Theatre also boasts sublime architecture and a whole heap of wonderful performances to enjoy once you step inside. Once you’ve had your fill of culture and entertainment in Melbourne, you should definitely try some of the fantastic cuisine that the city has to offer. Check out www.vamos.net.au if you like the idea of eating at a tapas bar in Melbourne’s theatre district. This is just one example of a dining establishment that is influenced by cultures from around the world. The point is that Melbourne is one of the most fascinating places to visit in the state of Victoria. If you want a diverse and extensive experience of Australia with the perk of near-permanent sunshine then this is the place to go.

Barcelona, Spain.

You can’t explore the sunny cities of the world without visiting Barcelona. It’s not only a sunny and vibrant city – it’s a sunny and vibrant Spanish city. The culture that pours out of every building is part of what makes this city such a beautiful place to visit. As explained over at www.traveller.com.au, the work of Gaudi is part of what makes Barcelona so stunning. This famous Spanish architect designed so many of the unique aspects of the city. In fact, La Sagrada Familia is a gargantuan church that he designed and it’s still being built today (nearly a century has passed since his death). As suggested over at www.tripadvisor.com.au, you might want to take a private tour of the city if you want to get a full experience of the place.

The Kruger National Park, South Africa.

Whilst it’s not a continent that tourists explore as extensively as some other regions of the world, Africa boasts a lot of natural beauty along with sweltering heat. And the country of South Africa is definitely a fascinating place to visit if you’re looking for an enriching and educational experience combined with the chance to see some visually awe-inspiring sights. The Kruger National Park, in particular, is one of the most beautiful locations in the country. We’ve discussed it before, but it’s worth discussing again. If you want to see stunning animals in their natural habitat then this is the place to go. There’s something about seeing cheetahs, giraffes, monkeys, elephants, and many other stunning creatures in their natural habitat that fills you with a sense of elation. It’s an incredible experience.

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Adventure Travel

Tips That Will Help You Make More of Your Trip To Thailand

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Are you thinking of taking a big trip to Thailand this year? If so, you need to learn a bit more about what you should do and what you should expect when you eventually get there. There’s something for everyone in Thailand; it’s that kind of country. But making the most of it and knowing the key attractions and ways to spend your time is important, so read on to learn about this and more.

 

Remember, You’ll Get Further When You Smile 

Manners matter a lot in Thailand, and there are certain things you should never do. Pointing at people with your foot is seen as a sign of disrespect, as is touching another person’s head. So make sure you don’t do that. You will probably notice that Thai people smile a lot, so you should do the same. Being positive and smiling when you meet new people will help you go a lot further.

Explore the Markets and Don’t Forget to Haggle

Markets are a big deal in Thailand, and experiencing them for yourself is something you won’t forget. There are the conventional markets that are very loud and busy, and there are also floating markets that are navigated by boat, as you can see below. Whichever type of market you visit, soak in the atmosphere and don’t forget to haggle because it’s expected of you.

Sample the Street Food, But Do So Carefully

Street food is abundant in Thailand, and it can help you to get a taste of the real thailand by eating what the locals eat. As you walk through the streets, the smell of the street food will hit you first, but before you tuck in, make sure you take care and eat safely. Seek out food that has been cooked freshly in front of you and not the food that’s been left sitting around.

Find Time to Relax and Slow Down

Thailand can be a fast-paced and overwhelming place to visit, but you can’t let it get the best of you. If you want to experience the country to the max, you need to find time to relax and slow things down a little. The Shiva Samhita is a classic Thai text on yoga, so maybe you should take some inspiration from it and find time to do some yoga. You’ll find plenty of courses there to help you.

Don’t Miss the Nation’s Many Beautiful Temples

Thailand’s temples are not to be missed. Anyone who’s interested in religion, spiritualism or beautiful architecture can’t help but be astounded by the temples that are found throughout Thailand. No matter what point of the country you find yourself in, you’re sure to find incredibly buildings like the one you can see below. So make time to see as many of them as you can.

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Adventure Travel

Tips for Your First Caravan Adventure

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If you have decided to take your first caravan adventure, you will no doubt be excited about experiencing your first trip. Caravanning is an experience unlike any other. You will get to have a holiday that is filled with fun and freedom. However, to make sure that this is the case you need to plan for your trip effectively. With that in mind, read on for some top tips for your first caravan adventure.

Decide whether to buy or hire a caravan – The first thing you need to do is determine whether you are going to rent a caravan or whether you are going to buy one. Needless to say, there are pros and cons associated with both options. You may be wondering how much do caravans cost to buy? Of course, this all depends on the make and model you go for. Nevertheless, if you do buy a caravan, you will be putting your money into something that you get to keep. With renting, a lot of people feel like they are throwing their money down the drain because they have nothing to show for it in the end. Plus, if you buy a caravan, you will be able to go on a caravan holiday whenever you feel like it. On the flip side, renting a caravan may give you access to a luxury model that you otherwise would not be able to afford. Furthermore, this is a much more affordable route to go down. After all, not everyone may have the funds to buy a caravan outright.

Make a checklist – Once you have chosen the best caravan for your adventure, you then need to make a checklist of all of the things you are going to need for your vacation. Obviously, you are going to need a towing aid. However, you also need to make sure that this is right for your caravan. Other essential items you require for your trip include an insulation tape, a spare fan belt, extra oil and coolant, towing mirrors, a sway control device, caravan jack, wheel chocks, and a fire extinguisher.

Make sure that your caravan is secure and safe – Once you have gotten all of the essentials that you need, you will need to make sure that your caravan is safe and fully prepared for being on the open road. The best thing to do is write a checklist (yes, another one!), which states all of the things you need to do before you depart for your trip. Some of the checks that you need to carry out include checking that you have fitted the towing aid correctly, as well as ensuring that any loose items, including drawers, are secure, as well as the doors and windows being locked. You also need to remove the jockey wheel and wheel chocks, as well as raising the steps to the caravan. Finally, make certain that the tyres are properly inflated and that the lights of both your caravan and vehicle are operational.

Be prepared for confined spaces – One thing that will definitely take a bit of getting used to is confined spaces. There are two types of confined spaces. The first is dealing with parking and getting into confined spaces. This can take a little bit of getting used to, but you will soon be fine. The second is the confined space of the caravan itself. Your first caravanning trip will be very exciting, but it can be a test for you and your partner. After all, you may have never been in such a confined space before! You will need to try and give each other space (yes, easier said than done in a limited space!) whenever it is needed. Regular stops and working as a team can be the key to this.

Have a set-up routine – Another way to make everything run smoothly while caravanning with your partner is by having an established routine. One of the best ways to do this is by having a practice run. No, you don’t need to go across the country in your caravan for a practice run! You can just take a short journey to get a feel for everything. This will give you a good understanding of your vehicle so you can best prepared to navigate it and deal with any issues if something goes wrong.

Take a course – Last but not least, the final tip is to do things properly if you are serious about caravanning. While this can seem like a bit excessive, there are a number of courses out there that offer tips on caravanning for beginners. This may seem unnecessary, but the practical and theoretical advice you will gain can be especially beneficial, and it will boost your confidence. Another option is to get your caravan specialist to check your rig before you set off your journey. However, if you are going to be caravanning a lot, going for the former option is probably better advised.

As you can see, there is a lot to plan and consider when it comes to your first caravan holiday. Nevertheless, if you follow the advice that has ben provided above, you should find the whole process a lot easier and a lot of fun too. From choosing a caravan with care to making sure it is safe and secure, these are all steps that can make a massive difference in terms of the safety of your trip and the enjoyment that you have.

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Meet Cole and Adela

Cole and AdelaWe have been wearing out our jandals (Kiwi for flip-flops) on our travel adventures around the world since 2009. We think our blog is thought provoking and a little witty. But we have been proven wrong before. Find out more about us here...

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