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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!

Adela is one half of the New Zealand Adventure Couple who have been travelling since 2009. She loves the outdoors and has a real passion for Snowboarding, Mountain Biking and Surfing (apart from being scared of sharks). She loves food and writes all our food posts. Consider following us via RSS Feed, Twitter, Facebook and subscribe to our Newsletter.

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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.

  6. Ellen Billard

    March 13, 2012 at 1:01 AM

    6 days, great skiing, and beautiful scenery? Sign me up!

    • Cole

      March 13, 2012 at 9:17 AM

      We will go again if you are keen 🙂

  7. 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!

  8. 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!

  9. 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 🙂

  10. 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 🙂

  11. 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!

  12. 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 🙂

  13. 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 🙂

  14. evisumturkije

    July 7, 2015 at 9:45 AM

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

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Adventure Travel

Hammock vs Tent Camping

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Camping with a hammock is slowly but surely becoming more popular in recent years with new and improved hammock designs being preferred by some campers, compared to the traditional tent.

In this article we will discuss some of the key benefits and drawbacks of sleeping without a tent, and analyze key criteria so that you can choose your preferred shelter choice!

Weatherproof

Most tents work well in the rain; however, you’ll need to bring a tarp if you’re using a hammock. Traditional hammocks are not waterproof, and are generally open at the top, allowing water to find itself inside if you don’t have an adequate tarp. Moreover, a decent under quilt is also a good idea so that you can stay warm and cozy during cold and stormy nights.

Packing up your hammock after a long night of rain isn’t too bad, whereas packing up a soaking wet tent is always annoying. You almost always get wet in the process.

Setup

For first time campers, pop-up tents are the simplest to setup. All you need to do is find flat ground, and bam, your setup is complete! The beauty of pop-up tents is that you don’t need to worry about figuring out where to insert the poles and erect the tent. Although, traditional tents are usually more robust, and have a longer life span.

Essentially, a tent is simple, but a hammock can become a little more complicated for first timers. You’ll need to find 2 trees facing a good direction and tie each end of the hammock to them. If your hammock setup is too tight, you will generally wake up with sore ancles, but if it’s too loose, you run the risk of the hammock touching the floor, and insects crawling in with you.

If your campground doesn’t have many trees, or if the trees are dead (they could break and injure you), hammock stands come to the rescue! Basically, hammock stands allow you to pitch a hammock if there are no trees nearby. They are portable, adjustable, and are easy to setup. The only drawback is that the ground should be relatively flat, whereas if you were to hang a hammock between 2 trees, there won’t be any stands touching the ground, so a rocky floor wouldn’t be a problem.

Comfort

One of the main reasons for choosing a hammock is the comfort that it provides you! It has a basically has in-built seat which is arguably more comfortable than a standard blow up mattress. You need to pick your tree’s wisely though! You don’t want a pinecone falling on your face mid-sleep.

If you have constant back pain and find it hard to sleep inside tents, you should give hammocks a try as they cause you to sleep sideways, similar to a banana shape, which a lot people find much more comfortable.

Price

Hammocks are usually lighter and don’t include a wealth of poles and gear that tents do. Depending on the type of hammock that you purchase, they are usually quite similar to tents. You can however, find very cheap tents <$60, but they most likely won’t last long.

A good tent or hammock can cost between $200-500 without accessories. If you need a hammock stand, that will add to your cost, just like a mattress and other tent necessities will to its cost.

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Adventure Travel

Yacht Charter Destination Of The Month: The Middle East

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Mysterious and exotic, the Middle East is full of surprises, blending fascinating cultural heritage with stunning contemporary architecture. What’s more, with guaranteed sunshine and warmth, the winter months of November and April are the perfect time to visit. That’s why we’ve made the Middle East our yacht charter destination of the month.

What makes the Middle East such an exciting yacht charter destination?

Dubai: Glamour and shopping

An ideal starting point for your luxury yacht charter, Dubai is famous for its tax-free designer shopping, five-star resorts and world-class gastronomy. Thrill seekers can head into its vast desert for four-wheel-drive adventures across the dunes, while families will love the Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo, Legoland, or the magnificent water park at Atlantis on The Palm.

Abu Dhabi: Art and architecture

Neighbouring Abu Dhabi offers a more relaxed yacht charter destination – here, lovers of art and architecture will appreciate the iconic Louvre Abu Dhabi, which boasts some 9,200 m2 of galleries within its striking contemporary design.

The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is one of the world’s largest, and its open-door policy encourages visitors from around the world. The elegant Qasr Al Hosn museum, former home of the ruling family, is Abu Dhabi’s oldest standing structure, and displays artefacts dating back to 6000BC.

Oman: An understated gem

The understated, hidden gem of the Middle East, yacht charter destination Oman has an abundance of natural beauty, from spectacular mountains and wind-blown deserts to a pristine coastline.

At its northernmost tip, visit the red-hued fjords of the Musandam Peninsula. Action-seekers can admire the rugged Al Hajar mountain range by microlight, while land-based activities include desert sand-boarding, jeep rides and quad biking.

Capital city Muscat is steeped in history, with centuries-old souks where you can pick up fine pashminas, spices and frankincense, or even dazzling jewellery in the Gold Souk.

The Kingdom of Bahrain: Home of diving

It is said that diving was invented in Bahrain, and pearl diving is considered the quintessential Bahraini experience. Expect to find up to 30 types of coral and over 200 species of fish, too, making this yacht charter destination ideal for underwater enthusiasts.

Bahrain’s rich trading history is palpable in the Qalat al-Bahrain fort and museum, a registered UNESCO world heritage site. The Bahrain National Museum, found next to the Art and Cultural Centres, blends cultural heritage with contemporary ambience. Or, to indulge in some retail therapy, enjoy a traditional shopping experience at the Manama Souk, selling natural-oil perfumes and incense, fabrics and handicrafts.

The Red Sea: Reefs, diving and beaches

The Red Sea is another popular Middle Eastern yacht charter destination due to its year-round sunshine, warm water, coral reefs and incredible dive sites, including one of the world’s best wreck dives, the WWII British cargo ship SS Thistlegorm. In the south, the relatively undiscovered Marsa’ Alam promises incredible shore or beach diving around its natural fringing reef.

Mysterious, timeless and alluring, the Middle East is a yacht charter destination full of contrasts and surprises. Better still, it’s best visited in winter. What are you waiting for?

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Adventure Travel

Hiking Adventures in Bryce Canyon National Park

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If you are on the lookout for the perfect environment for an adventurous and challenging hike, look no further. Located in the Southern Utah region is the best park that is most suitable for your hiking adventure, the Bryce Canyon National Park. This is a great option to relaxed after you are through playing in $5 minimum deposit casinos.

This park hosts hike lovers from time to time and people even come from other countries in the world to experience the wonder of this park. The landscape and beautiful trails make this a choice venue. There is a rental service at this location if you love to stay behind.

You can enjoy the priceless glimpse of the sunrise and sunset from the different landscape. The part also permits visitors to create traditional camps at different locations for a more adventurous experience.

There are a couple of trails that you can choose from for your hiking adventure, and no matter your level of experience in hiking, you will find a track that matches your taste. Even if you are totally new to hiking, there is something for you at the Bryce Canyon National Park . Below is a list of some of the trails to try when you take a trip to this park.

The Rim Trail

This is the most accessible trail at Bryce Canyon National Park. It is suitable for those who just want to have a good time walking around and savoring the magnificent scenery of the park. From any part of the park, you can connect to this trail as it goes all the way around the park.

When lodging at the Bryce Canyon Lodge, it is a good idea to start your hike from the place known as the sunrise point. Just as the name implies, if you wake up early to start your walk, you’ll be able to watch the sunrise. If you have a camera with you, you’ll take some fantastic pictures.

Also, you’ll get a clear view of the Bryce amphitheater from this point. Just like in an adventure movie, you have to find a way to link up to boat Mesa, and on your way, you walk through some sites like the Mormon temple and Queen garden. This hiking trail is easy, and all you have to deal with is a total of approximately 200 feet elevation. You will surely have a nice time on this trail.

Navajo Loop Trail

On the order of difficulty, this trail comes next after the rim trail. The starting point of this trail begins from the sunset point around the southern area of the Bryce Canyon Lodge. Just like for the rim trail, the trail presents a nice view of the sunset, and with a good camera, you’ll be able to take exciting photo shoots.

Walking this route involves a visit to the Silent City, which is an aesthetic combination of limestone and urban expansion. During the hike, you will also walk through Wall Street, which happens to be a distinctive attraction at the Bryce Canyon park. You won’t ever want to miss the narrow walls. From this point, you may decide to go back to the sunset point or take other shorter hikes like the Peekaboo loop trail and Queen garden trail. Both routes are challenging and adventurous, but you will enjoy every bit of the challenge. After you have done this, you can then go ahead to have some fun in a $5 minimum deposit casino.

Mossy Cave Trail

This Trail presents an entirely different sight than the one that we have previously mentioned. From this trail, you will be able to catch the view of the towers in the park nearby without descending to the amphitheater. This hiking course begins at approximately 4 miles from the entrance to the Bryce Canyon park. However, if you visit this park and would like to enjoy something completely different from the other common tracks, then this is an exciting hiking trail for you to try.

Hiking is more than a walk, it is a fun and adventurous experience. All trails at the Bryce Canyon National Park are worth trying on your next visit. Whether you seek to have some fun or you just want to catch some beautiful scenery and feel close to nature, you will find the right place that suits you. Get ready to have an amazing hiking experience.

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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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