The French are notorious for migrating south to the Côte d’Azur during the month of August. However, everyone and their mother also takes at least a week of the winter holidays to go skiing in the Alps. In fact, this is one of the reasons that the winter vacations in all three zones are staggered– the last thing you want is the entire country of France taking over the Alps and the Pyrénées all at once. As assistants, skiing is totally doable, but sometimes it is difficult with limited means of transportation.
One option is of course getting a bunch of assistants together, renting a car (keep in mind that all cars in France are manual) and a chalet, or studio, and staying on a ski resort. Another option is going and staying with someone you know. I went skiing in the Alps in 2010, and we stayed with a friend of a friend, who lent us all of the ski and snow equipment, as well as drove us to the slopes. This time around, I went back to Annecy to visit Pierre this past December, but unfortunately there was not enough snow on the ground when I was there to open the slopes.
A third option is to go on a day trip with city-organized groups if you live in a region that is close enough (this advice particularly applies to assistants in Nice and Aix-Marseille). Here in the Académie de Nice we are only a few hours south of the closest Alps, and a day-trip is doable. If you live in the Var, like me, check out organized trips from Le Bus Des Neiges. You can reserve your tickets online, which covers round-trip transportation, breakfast, as well as a lift pass. You do, however, have to rent skis once arriving at the slopes. I recommend asking colleagues or local Frenchies you are close to if they have anything to lend to you in order to save money and hassle. If you live in the Alps-Maritimes check out 100% Neige on the Lignes d’Azur website. This bus only covers round-trip fare, and you pay for your lift pass and ski rentals upon arrival. Additionally, check out Kelsey’s post about skiing here on her blog.
My friends and I made reservations to go skiing with Le Bus Des Neiges back in late March, but unfortunately the trip was canceled due to lack of participation that particular weekend– we were SO bummed! (And, that is why you didn’t have a post about skiing from me until now. But hey, at least I had the opportunity to do it once!)
Do you have any other skiing advice to add? Leave a comment below.