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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

Popular vs. Underrated Destinations:How To Avoid The Crowd?

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The biggest dilemma you have to face as an enthusiastic holidaymaker is whether to embrace popular destinations or to find lesser known regions for your vacations. Popular destinations have the advantage that they are experienced with tourists. You can be sure that you will find someone speaking your language and that hotel receptions will be open 24/7. But they are likely to be crowded to the point where it can be impossible to find a free spot on the beach or to walk down that famous avenue you’ve read about in your guidebook. Underrated destinations, in comparison, offer freedom of movement and peacefulness that you associate with a quiet pace of life. But they may not have all the necessary facilities to welcome tourists. You may struggle to find someone who speaks your language or even to get a decent hotel room, let alone direct flights to get there. In short, what’s the best answer to this dilemma?

Popular destinations with a twist

When you pick a destination that is familiar to the tourist industry, it’s both a blessing and a curse, as the available facilities and attractions are likely to attract hundreds if not thousands of same-minded tourists. However, these destinations are popular for a reason, so it would be a pity to avoid visiting marvels of the world just because you want to stay away from the crowd. Dubai, for example, receives every year a growing number of tourists, with estimations for 2020 to top 20 million. Needless to say, you’ll need to find things to do in Dubai that avoid the main entrance to their attraction area. But, looking for concierge services in famous cities like Dubai, Paris or Hong Kong can get you access to a privileged network to avoid tourists.

Visiting Dubai without the tourists

The perfect mix: Destinations that are about to get trendy

There are some destinations that are getting the necessary infrastructure to welcome tourists without having yet become popular. They are destinations in the making, areas that are about to go big and that you can visit while they’re not yet famous. The rising stars of the holiday industry are places such as José Ignacio in Uruguay – where you can meet the likes of Shakira among other celebrities – and Sofia in Bulgaria, which is Europe’s cheapest city destination. In those places, you can enjoy quality visits, beautiful landscapes, and architectures, without forgetting the exquisite hotel services too.

Beautiful and underrated destinations offer peace

Finally, there are places that simply don’t attract tourists for a reason or another. They are not specifically growing in popularity, but they remain hidden gems across the world. You will need to plan your holiday in advance, as some of these areas provide minimal comfort, such as the Basque Country which is a humble and quirky location. The Canary Islands, while being a highly popular spot in summer, is almost deserted in spring. There, you don’t need to worry about holiday attractions.

The charm of the forgotten destinations

In short, picking the best destinations for you demands a little bit of logistics juggle at first. Nobody likes a crowded place, so you can avoid other tourists either by choosing a different tile in a popular area or by working directly with a privileged service. If you are not keen on a famous destination, visit rising holiday stars or forgotten jewels. You’ll have fewer tourists but still a lot of fun!

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Adventure Travel

Five Of The Best Ways To Soak Up Scotland

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Rugged scenery, historic landmarks and a rich heritage – Scotland is a fantastic place to explore. With walking routes dotted between quaint cosy pubs, cities full with culture, and miles of beaches and scenic drives, there’s really no excuse not to embrace the tartan. Here are some of the best ways you can explore and soak up Scotland’s rich heritage.

Tour famous film locations

Scotland’s landscape is stunning, so no wonder its dramatic scenery has been captured on the big screen. Explore the picturesque film locations, such as Glen Coe for James Bond’s Skyfall moments. Visit Gairloch for the Billy Connolly classic, What We Did On Our Holiday where you can see views of the Isle of Skye from the expansive Red Point beach. Explore the Glenfinnan Viaduct in Lochaber for the iconic arched bridge that the Hogwarts Express chugs down in Harry potter.

By rail

Take the leisurely route around Scotland and travel by train. It’s a much needed break from walking routes, with stunning views from the window that look out across the ever-changing landscape. Scotland’s rail routes connect its seven cities with stops in many towns and villages across country, so you’ll find it easy to delve into the West Highlands from Glasgow, traveling through the scenic Fort William, or roll past the battlefields of Robert the Bruce through Dumfries.

Walk, trek, stroll

Discover all the wonderful wildlife and nature on foot. Trek through the rugged countryside for unbelievable sights of the towering mountains, shimmering lochs, golden beaches and lush farmland. Find Lochan Urr in Glen Etive for a spot of paradise, stroll along Applecross Bay, or scale new heights for stunning views of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park. For longer routes head to Fort William and Glen Coe for miles of green countryside.

Castle to castle

You’ll find castles on top of, near enough, every rolling hill in Scotland. From pretty fairy tale castles to robust medieval fortresses, you can visit the most spectacular buildings all around Scotland. Enjoy strolling around the floral gardens looking up at the enchanting French design of Dunrobin Castle, on the northern coast near Dornoch. Explore Culzean Castle for dramatic scenes, or, Kilchurn near Dalmally in Argyll to gaze over the Loch Awe. Visit the royal stronghold, Fyvie Castle near Turriff for rich decor and 13th century furnishings. For something completely different, head to Kelburn Castle in Ayrshire for a colourful mural of unusual cartoons.

Cruise the Scottish waters

Take a look at Scotland from a different point of view by travelling Scotland’s shores on a boat cruise around the islands. Visit the Isle of Skye, Stornoway, Port Ellen, Montrose and the picturesque Holy Loch Port. For something even more adventurous, canoe in the lochs and rivers around Fort William.

Sound good? There’s so much to see in Scotland that you’re bound to be mesmerised!

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Adventure Travel

Top things to do in Cleveland

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Cleveland, Ohio may not be a well-known city like the Big Apple or the sunny beach cities of California, yet there is still much to do in this small but very vibrant city. If you have been planning on heading out to this wonderful city, then you’re in luck as there are numerous activities, attraction, and reservations that will be sure to educate as well as entertain the family.

Here is a small list of places and activities for the family and visitors to enjoy.

Why We Rock: Top Things to do in Cleveland

 

# 1 Hard Rock Rocksino

The Hard Rock Rocksino offers people a Las Vegas-esque kind of vibe and feel for the citizens and tourist of Ohio. If you love games, racing, elegant cuisine and just an overall fantastic night out on the town, the Hard Rock Rocksino is the place for you.

 

# 2 Outdoor Activities

If you are someone who isn’t too much into the nightlife and the whole city feel then Ohio still has you covered. Ohio indeed is one of the most aesthetically pleasing states to see and visit. Boasting and offering its residents and visitors sights and environments such as the Cuyahoga River in Lake Erie where people can go kayaking to The Townpath Trail where people can go jogging, hiking or horseback riding.

If you are an outdoor’ kind of person than this is the place for you. Beautiful atmosphere, surrounded by nature and overall a sight that is awe-inspiring to look at – what more could an outdoors person as for?

 

# 3 Education – Family friendly Orientated Places

Now, ask yourself what type of family trip it would be if you just visit and didn’t walk away learning something new and different? Well, in Ohio there are a plethora of places where you can take the family for an educational trip for the day.

There is the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo which boasts a wide array of animals from all around the world. There really is nothing more splendid for kids to see the animals that they love to imitate in person.

If the Zoo were fascinating and intriguing then the next destination, Greater Cleveland Aquarium would be sure to be as equally entertaining as the Zoo. When Visiting the Greater Cleveland Aquarium enter into an under that is akin to the Atlantis. Experience the aquatic lifeforms in such proximity.

Lastly, Ohio offers its residents and visitors many museums. There is the International Women’s Air and Space Museum which educates the populace about the story of aviation and how much women had their part in history. And let’s not forget the famous Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Final Thoughts

If you are deciding to visit this fantastic state, then be prepared for a wonderful visit and many cultural aspects that will be learned and offered. Make this trip a trip to remember with these places in mind.

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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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