Unquestionably, the Savoie region offers some of the world’s greatest skiing. To begin with, there’s Les Trois Vallées (, one of the world’s largest linked skiing areas, with endless off-piste possibilities. Its four component resorts are glitzy Courchevel (, which also has by far the finest restaurants of any French ski resort; ugly and family-oriented Les Menuires (; Val Thorens (, favoured by younger crowds and the snowboarding set; and Méribel (, traditionally dominated by British tourists, and which therefore perhaps explains its status as the party capital of the Three Valleys. Despite the British imports, though, the small wooden chalets which climb the eastern side of the valley do manage to give the resort a traditional Savoyard feel. Less well known is the Paradiski ski area, on the slopes above Bourg-St-Maurice, which comprises the resorts of Les Arcs ( and La Plagne (w, linked together by a giant double-decker téléphérique that swings over the Ponthurin valley. The former is accessible from the town via a funicular railway, and offers excellent snow and terrain for all levels, while La Plagne is made up of ten resorts high above the Isère valley, with plenty of opportunities for both beginners and more advanced skiers. Beyond here, the world-famous resort of Val d’Isère (, site of the 1992 Olympic downhill, offers some of the most varied and demanding skiing in the country, including year-round skiing on its glacier.

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