If you’re thinking of getting away this Easter, remember that the ski season isn’t yet over! Most European resorts stay open until at least mid-April, with lifts in the Paradiski area in France promising to transport skiers and snowboarders until 27 April.
Paradiski, situated in the heart of Savoy in the Tarentaise valley, is comprised of three resorts – La Plagne, Les Arcs and Peisey-Vallandry – linked by the Vanoise Express cable car, which carries 1,000 people over the mountain every hour. It is one of Europe’s largest ski areas, with more than two-thirds situated at an altitude of over 2,000m, making late-season snow a relatively safe bet.
Visitors have access to 425km of pistes, 235 downhill runs and two glaciers, and there are plenty of opportunities for snow fun with boarder cross areas, snow parks (think jumps, half-pipes and show-offs) and air-boarding. Those looking for more relaxed, eco-friendly activities can use the 153km of Nordic ski trails for cross-country skiing (so you do more work and use fewer lifts) as well as the chance to see some fairly remote areas in Peisey-Vallandry with a little snow-shoeing.
Continue your traditional alpine day in style with a visit to the Igloo Village in La Plagne, where couples and small groups can feast on traditional Savoie food in a candlelit ice igloo and can even stay overnight (starts at 80€ for dinner and night, www.blacksheep-igloo.com). Larger parties keen for an Inuit experience should head to the neighbouring resort, Les Arcs, where they can toboggan, snowshoe or ski in torchlight to spend the night in giant, inter-connected igloos with a view of Mont Blanc.
After somewhere to stay in the Paradiski area? Look no further than the Chalet Mont d’Eden at Monchavin Les Coches in La Plagne. Newly opened in 2012, this small, traditional chalet offers guests the perfect balance between luxury and homeliness. Particularly impressive are the complimentary spa facilities – sauna, steam, indoor and outdoor jacuzzi – and the fabulous views of Mont Blanc and the Glacier du Bellecote.
The chalet is run by the friendly, easygoing husband and wife team, Jean-Max and Marie, who cook delicious, locally-sourced dinners and are usually on hand to answer questions about the area. Chalet Mont d’Eden is just 20 minutes by car to Landry train station, 90 mins to Chambery airport and two hours to Geneva.
+33 (0) 6 43 32 60 64