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The Three Valleys in France: Photo Essay

A photo essay from the stunning Three Valleys Ski Resort high in the Savoie region in France.

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Skiing the Three Valleys in France

The Three Valleys are located in the Savoie region of France high in some of the most spectacular scenery in the world. Since it is so beautiful we wanted to share with you a handful of some of our photos from our recent skiing and snowboarding trip to the Three Valleys.

Enjoy!

Three Valleys Relaxing

When we grabbed our snowboards for our recent trip to the Three Valleys we knew that the ski area would be huge. We just didn’t realise how big it was actually going to be! I guess when you combine 8 ski fields into one it is going be GIGANTIC.

For example, we took the photo below from the far “skiers left” of Courcheval looking back over a small portion of Meribel. You can only see about half of Meribel. Now think of 8 of those and you have a very rough idea of the immense scale of the Three Valleys Ski Resort. All those peaks in the background are actually part of the ski area.

Three Valleys Sunset

At the base of all of the 8 ski fields within the Three Valleys they also have these gorgeous ski-in/ski-out villages. You can drive to the base of most of them but a handful were accessible only by chairlift. Especially the condos higher up the slopes. We even saw people skiing with bags full of washing!

Meribel Village

While we were snowboarding in the Three Valleys we were fortunate to not only have bluebird days like this but we also we received a small dusting of fresh powder on two  of the mornings. There is nothing like having fresh tracks during Spring as it is just so warm!

Three Valleys View

Just one of the many panoramic Three Valleys shots we took!

Ski Three Valleys

Looking from the peak of Courcheval down to the valley floor over 2 kms below our snowboards! One crazy, exhausting and leg numbing run!

Courcheval Three Valleys

With over 600 km’s of ski slopes we had to take a lot of breaks for delicious hot chocolates. It’s a pity that everything on the slopes is so expensive!

Hot Chocolate Three Valleys

Adjusting our gear before dropping into the next bowl of fresh powder…

Skiing 3 Valleys

Get holiday packages for your next trip to the Three Valleys.

Have you been to the Three Valleys? Did you love it as much as us?

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32 Comments

32 Comments

  1. EurotripTips

    March 30, 2012 at 12:09 PM

    Wow, so beautiful 🙂 I particularly love the second one!

    • Cole

      March 30, 2012 at 4:00 PM

      Thanks! Have you ever been before?

  2. Laurence

    March 30, 2012 at 12:17 PM

    Great photos – I love this ski resort. Love the hot chocolate and the shot looking at your skis! Only one thing (hope you don’t mind!).. the photo of Adele seems a touch dark, not sure what’s happened there 🙂

    • Cole

      March 30, 2012 at 3:35 PM

      Yea couldn’t lighten up the photo without degrading it too much. Not sure what went wrong with the settings there 🙂

  3. Ali

    March 30, 2012 at 3:04 PM

    That looks GORGEOUS!! Although I don’t think I’d ever actually attempt skiing there. And people skiing with their laundry? Hilarious!

    • Cole

      March 30, 2012 at 3:36 PM

      It was crazy that they were skiing around just holding onto their clothes in a big basket in front of them! Very impressive.

  4. Andrea

    March 30, 2012 at 4:40 PM

    Wow – this takes my breath away. I’ve never been snowboarding (a bit afraid – I’m a little unco) but I would love to get out there in this scenery somehow.

    • Cole

      March 31, 2012 at 4:23 PM

      They have lots of snow shoeing and other activities there! And if you go to the snow then I would try skiing over snowboarding. It is WAY easier to get started with 🙂

  5. Laura

    March 30, 2012 at 5:48 PM

    I love the third photo. Great effect.

    • Cole

      March 31, 2012 at 4:14 PM

      Thanks Laura 🙂

    • Cole

      March 31, 2012 at 4:14 PM

      Totally Stef! It was so nice just chilling in the sun but with our hot chocolates rather than mulled wine.

  6. Caro from Passport and a Toothbrush

    March 31, 2012 at 5:29 AM

    I’m no skier but that second photo may have convinced me to give it a try! Gorgeous! Vive la France!

    • Cole

      March 31, 2012 at 4:12 PM

      Just do it for the hot chocolates! 🙂

  7. Bret@ Green Global Travel

    March 31, 2012 at 3:17 PM

    It’s funny, I think I may have a slight prejudice against France (despite the fact that I’m like 25% French Canadian). For some reason, I always think of the country as offering little more than Parisian cafes (and snootiness) and the pastoral countryside of South France. Anyway, cool photos!

    • Cole

      March 31, 2012 at 4:12 PM

      I have never understood how people cannot love France. We absolutely love everything (including the small Parisian cafes) and are planning a cycle trip around some of the areas. I guess we are just suckers haha.

  8. Bret@ Green Global Travel

    March 31, 2012 at 4:19 PM

    Maybe it’s an American thing. I’ve heard first-hand stories from many Americans who visited France and found the hospitality there to be less than welcoming. Not sure if they fit the “ugly American” stereotype or what, but it has certainly colored my perception of the place. Europe in general doesn’t come up on my travel radar all that often anyway (Spain and Iceland are the only two countries in our Top 10 destinations list), and from what I’ve read France doesn’t offer a lot of ecotourism opportunities… But the mountains look amazing!

    • Cole

      March 31, 2012 at 4:34 PM

      Totally get where you are coming from in terms of Ecotourism. Trying not to offend anyone now but we have found that a lot of tourists, not just American’s, don’t even make an effort to learn a little bit of French or learn the local customs. It doesn’t take much to make a little bit of effort (this goes for every culture and country) and we have always found that by doing that we are welcomed in with open arms.
      We are off to Spain in July!! Can’t wait.

  9. Angela

    April 1, 2012 at 11:57 AM

    Wonderful pictures! The snow scares me a bit, maybe because I come from the seaside, but it certainly gives beautiful views.

    • Cole

      April 1, 2012 at 8:45 PM

      Well really it is only frozen water so it is just like being near the seaside 🙂

  10. Stephanie - The Travel Chica

    April 3, 2012 at 10:45 PM

    What a gorgeous place to hit the slopes!

    • Cole

      April 4, 2012 at 10:00 AM

      Thanks Stephanie! Are you a skier or snowboarder? Do you recommend anywhere else to go?

      • Stephanie - The Travel Chica

        April 4, 2012 at 1:04 PM

        I am a snowboarder, but I didn’t learn until about 4 years ago. So I’ve never actually snowboarded anywhere great. I went to Lake Tahoe several years ago, and that was the first time I skied on real mountains and real powder. Plus, it’s gorgeous!

        • Cole

          April 5, 2012 at 9:09 AM

          Lake Tahoe is amazing and gorgeous! I have only driven through and haven’t snowboarded there unfortunately. Did spend a season at Mammoth Mountain though!

  11. D.J. - The World of Deej

    April 4, 2012 at 12:44 PM

    Love the hot chocolate pic…looks like an awesome place:)

    • Cole

      April 4, 2012 at 12:50 PM

      Cheers D.J. They were super expensive though I think like 6 Euros for 1!

  12. Courtney Mroch

    April 9, 2012 at 6:09 PM

    Oh man, that hot cocoa looks SO yummy! THE perfect thing after hitting the slopes. Or to recharge while taking a break before going at them some more. Your photos are stunning, by the way. Thanks for letting me jaunt on your ski trip virtually like this!

    • Cole

      April 9, 2012 at 9:19 PM

      It was a shame that particular cafe on the mountain was so damn expensive! 6 euros per hot chocolate! Glad you enjoyed the photos and hope you can visit in real soon Courtney 🙂

  13. cheryl

    May 5, 2012 at 11:12 AM

    Wow, such stunning scenery! I need to make my way to France as soon as possible. I’m not sure I’d ski or board but would love o walk or snowshoe. 🙂

    • Cole Burmester

      May 6, 2012 at 9:17 PM

      Definitely get yourself to France Cheryl. If not for the scenery then just for the food 🙂

  14. Karin@yumandmore

    October 17, 2012 at 11:23 AM

    Yup but only in the summer!
    Great hiking there and great cheese!

    • Cole Burmester

      October 17, 2012 at 7:18 PM

      We might be there this summer as we are moving to France for a year 😉

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Adventure Travel

Summer Events to check out in Surfers Paradise

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The weather is already heating up on the Gold Coast and everyone is getting ready for some hot days on the beach. Christmas is just around the corner and with it all the big summer events and festivals that happen at this time of year. Surfers Paradise is at the centre of it all and makes a great base for exploring the Gold Coast and attending the events on the Gold Coast’s summer schedule. There is plenty of places to stay in Surfers Paradise, so book yourself a room and check out some of these fantastic summer events.

Australian PGA Championship

Pacific Pines Resort is one of the premier golf courses in Australia. The country’s biggest golf tournament will make its way here from the 30th of November until the 3rd of December, where the best golfers from Australia and overseas will compete for the title. This is a must attend event for golfers, and there will be plenty of food and entertainment on offer across the four days.

Beachfront Markets

The foreshore in Surfers Paradise comes alive every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday night, with over 100 market stalls filling up the esplanade. The iconic Beachfront Markets will continue throughout the summer and provides the perfect opportunity to get out and about on those warm summer nights, browse the stalls for some unique buys, and then head out on the town for dinner.

Christmas in Surfers Paradise

Experience Christmas in true Aussie style by attending the popular Christmas in Surfers Paradise event that fills up Cavill Mall from the 13th – 24th of December. The entire mall is transformed into a festive wonderland, Surfers style. Even Santa himself will be wearing boardies and travelling in a surf boat sleigh. The kids will love getting to visit Santa in the mall, and the whole event ends with the popular Carols on the Beach on the 23rd of December. Where else in the world can you experience Christmas Carols on the beach on a hot summer’s night?

New Year’s Carnival

Surfers Paradise is one of the best places to celebrate the New Year in the country. The New Year’s Carnival happens on the foreshore of Surfers Paradise across five days from the 27th of December until the 1st of January. It will be one big celebration with lots of rides and fun filled activities, music and more. On New Year’s Eve, you can enjoy massive fireworks displays over the water, with three different displays lighting up the skies above the Gold Coast. There will even be an earlier fireworks display for the little ones. This is definitely the place to be to bring in the New Year.

Magic Millions Carnival

One of the first big events to check out in 2018 will be the extravagant Magic Millions Carnival. On from the 7th until the 13th of January, the Magic Millions Carnival is the premier event of the summer horse racing season. This is a $10 Million horse race and it is sure to be a huge event, with all the glitz and glamour and socialising that goes with it. On the 9th of January, head to the Surfers Paradise Foreshore for the Barrier Draw, where you can watch the horses on the sand and enjoy food and beverages from the stalls. The big race day will be held on the 13th of January.

Burleigh Pro

Surfing is huge on the Gold Coast and one of the best surf spots is at Burleigh Heads. The Burleigh Pro has grown to become one of the biggest surfing competitions in Australia and will see some of the world’s top surfers compete for the title. Local surfers and visitors should definitely attend this one. The Burleigh Pro will be held from the 25th – 28th of January.

Sand Safari

One of the more unique and interesting events to check out this summer will be the 2018 Sand Safari. This arts festival focuses on Australia’s talented sand sculptors, who will compete in the Australian Sand Sculpting Championships. These sand artists carve out incredible, often life sized sculptures entirely of sand, and you will often be truly awed by what they are able to create. The main sculpture competition takes place on the beach along the Surfers Paradise foreshore, however this is a big event from the 2nd to the 25th of February, and you will be able to find special sand sculpture exhibits all over Surfers Paradise.

Summer of Surf

The Summer of Surf is a massive event which will see the country’s best Ironmen and Ironwomen compete in a gruelling six discipline event across six rounds, including the highlighted IronMan and IronWoman competitions. These athletes are the epitome of endurance, and the competition will hit Surfers Paradise for round five of the competition on the 3rd and 4th of February.

The Village Markets

Burleigh Heads is one of the most picturesque and laid back places on the Gold Coast and well worth heading to for a few hours. A good time to visit is during the twice monthly Village Markets which have become an integral part of the Burleigh atmosphere. This popular and laid back market has a beachy, artsy feel to it, and you will find all kinds of unique buys here from the many stalls on offer. Street food stalls are also a big thing here so you can sample some delicious delicacies while browsing the stalls. Finish the day by relaxing on the beach, or sit down for a drink at the Burleigh Surf Club.

Whether you’re looking for a destination for a family holiday or just wanting a quick getaway to unwind this summer, Surfers Paradise is a great choice. With so much happening from cultural night markets to world class sporting events, you are sure to find something of interest in this iconic Gold Coast location.

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Adventure Travel

Top 5 Adventure Activities for a Vacation to Las Vegas

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Mention a vacation to Las Vegas and one of the first things people think about is the hotels and gambling.  And while these are major attractions to the city, they aren’t the only things you can do in and around Las Vegas.  Here are five ideas for fans of adventure holidays.

Helicopter trips

One of the best ways to see Las Vegas from the air is from one of the helicopter trips on offer around the area.  These offer a unique view of the city and its startling hotels.  It is also a great way to see more of the surrounding area – the Grand Canyon, the red sandstones at the Valley of Fire State Park and even the Hoover Dam.  Helicopter trips are great fun and often come with extras such as rafting tours along the floor of the Grand Canyon or exploring the area on an ATV.

Hiking

Las Vegas may be a largely desert area and pretty flat, but it is surrounded by mountains and that makes for great hiking opportunities.  Mount Charleston is just to the west of the city and has some great locations to hike including Mary Jane Falls for beginners or Mummy Mountain for more experienced hikers.  Look out for Raintree, the 3,000 year old Bristlecone Pine that is believed to be the oldest living thing in the state.  If you want to upgrade the experience, look out for the rock climbing schools around the city that offer climbing for all levels.

Kayaking

As well as kayaking as part of a helicopter tour, you can go for a more comprehensive kayaking experience in a number of spots around the city.  The Colorado River is one where you can visit spots like Emerald Cove that really lives up to its name.  Lake Mead is another ideal kayaking spot and somewhere you can also try stand up paddle boarding.  There are lots of little islands to explore around the lake, but the winds can be testing so don’t forget your safety gear.

Biking

Hire a bike when on vacation in Las Vegas and you get the chance to see some of the best of the area.  The Red Rock Canyon Loop is a 20-mile loop that includes the famous Joshua trees as well as the red rocks that give the area its name.  A lot of the loop is quite flat.  There are also some good routes around Lake Mead including more challenging ones that use the landscape carved out by lava when there was volcanic activity.

Snowboarding

Being in the desert, Las Vegas isn’t a place you would associate with snowboarding.  But for a few months of the year, the Lee Canyon near Mount Charleston becomes a snowboarding heaven.  It offers something for beginners and also some challenging areas for more experienced snowboarders including some good trails above the lift drop off point.  There is even a lodge that offers hot chocolate and other drinks to warm up between runs.

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Adventure Travel

Top 5 Unusual Luxury Cruise Destinations

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If you love the outdoors and wildlife or are an adventure holiday fan, a cruise may not seem like the ideal holiday for you.  But there are a few cruise destinations around the world that offer both luxury and something different.  Here are five ideas to inspire you to book yourself a luxury cruise for your next vacation.

Australia and New Zealand

Tours around Australia and New Zealand offer the chance to see some amazing scenery, wildlife and also visit some of the top spots around these two Southern Hemisphere countries.  Visit cities such as Sydney and Melbourne in Australia and Dunedin and Auckland in New Zealand as well locations such as the famous Bondi Beach and the island of Tasmania.  For northern areas, April to September is a good time to travel while March to August is best for the more southern locations.  Head to New Zealand in December to March for the driest months.

Japan

The ancient cities of Japan are just part of the attraction of taking a cruise around this country.  Top spots to visit include the capital Tokyo, with its brilliant blend of historic buildings and cutting-edge technology that sums up much of Japan.  Other locations to look to visit include Kagoshima on the southern edge of Kyushu with its palms trees and beautiful sea views.  Hakodate is another popular spot where you can visit the Mount Hakodate Observatory looking out over the sea.

Galapagos

For wildlife fans, the fascinating islands of the Galapagos are one of the dream cruises available.  Here you can see species of animal not found anywhere else in the world including giant tortoises, penguins and hilarious looking blue-footed boobies (a type of bird).  Each island has its own species so there is plenty to see.  December to May are the best times to visit when the seas are calmest and the animals most active.

Central and South America

While many people have experienced a Caribbean cruise, there is also plenty to see and do on the mainland of Central American and down into South America.  You can even find large cruise ships that can travel a distance up the Amazon River, being that it is so wide and deep.  Look for expeditions that allow you to visit Mayan ruins in Mexico or go kayaking in sea caves.  And there is the rich wildlife of the area to enjoy – monkeys, parrots and big cats to name just a few.  You can even find a cruise that takes you through the famous Panama Canal and across to the Pacific coast.

Antarctica

Antarctica might not be somewhere you associated with a cruise, but it is becoming a popular destination for people who want to go somewhere different.  There are places like the Falkland Islands and South Georgia as well as parts of Antarctica itself.  The wildlife is a big draw for people with elephant seals, fur seals and an amazing amount of bird life – who can resist penguins?  It is also a good chance to see historic locations associated with polar exploration.

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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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