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Major resorts in France

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Argentière

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Argentière is an old village in a splendid setting at the head of the Chamonix valley – below the Grands Montets. The Glacier d’Argentière pokes down towards it and the Aiguille du Midi and Mont…

Avoriaz

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Of the many purpose-built resorts thrown up in France in the 1960s, Avoriaz is probably the best designed. From most points of view, it works. One particularly neat trick is that the resort is sunny but…

Barèges

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Old spa village sharing one of the biggest ski areas in the Pyrenees, best for intermediates.

Bourg-St-Maurice

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Bourg-St-Maurice is a bustling valley town that is marketed as part of the Les Arcs ski area – it is linked to the slopes by a funicular railway to Arc 1600. It's also a great base for exploring other…

Brides-les-Bains

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Brides-les-Bains is a quiet spa town in the valley below Méribel, and is connected to it by gondola. The main attraction is that the place offers a cheaper alternative to the higher resorts and makes…

Cauterets

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Relaxing spa town, easy to reach; the small downhill ski area suits a couple of days – try the cross-country too.

Chamonix

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Chamonix could not be more different from the archetypal high-altitude, purpose-built French resort. It hasn’t been designed to deliver the smoothest possible experience to the widest possible market.…

Champagny-en-Vanoise

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Champagny is a quiet, charming village in a pretty wooded setting on the back side of La Plagne’s ski area. There are several hotels and an excellent chalet-style apartment development, the Alpages de…

Châtel

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Unlike most resorts linked to major ski areas, Châtel remains relatively unspoiled and retains a very French feel, with a life outside tourism (there are still around 30 working farms). It is also right…

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