Updated: Feb 26, 2022
Now that Autumn has arrived, you're maybe thinking about the upcoming winter season and what activities are available in some of Europes most magical ski resorts? Have you tried snow biking, or experiencing chemin des lanternes? Here's what's new in Crans-Montana (Switzerland), Les Gets (France), La Plagne (France), Val d'Isere (France), Morzine (France), Tignes (France), Serre Chevalier (Border of Italy) and more.
New Winter Experiences Season 21/22
New Ski Classes Available
The school has also opened a brand new café in Tignes, Oxygène Café, run by instructors Federico Luzuy and Beatrice Davico, partnered with Caffè Vergnano, a socially and environmentally-friendly Italian brand that supports coffee projects run by women, helping them to be economically independent.
E-snowbike & Moonbike Adventures
Two new activities available with Oxygene this winter in La Plagne and Val d'Isere are incredible E-snowbiking and Moonbike adventures.
Have an electric time this winter with Oxygene on a fully guided E-Mountain biking session with a qualified professional. Ride across the terrain around Val d’Isère, once the lifts have closed. E-biking is a booming sport and with winter tyres, they are said to be surprisingly easy and stable to ride in most snow conditions.
Winter E-Mountain bike sessions are suitable for individuals and families with children over the age of 8. The bikes are set up ‘Enduro style’ and are easy to navigate across the snow.
Price: 39 Euros for a one-hour guided session, including equipment. A 2 hour guided trip to watch the sunrise or sunset costs 79 Euros per person, including equipment.
What about traveling to the moon and back onboard a MoonBike, a completely new concept, are fully electric snowmobiles, but without the noise and pollution. They are easy to ride and lighter than a snowmobile, but can still get up to speeds in excess of 40 km/h.
The Oxygene sessions are fully guided and start after the ski lifts have closed down in the early evening. They allow riders to explore the resort of La Plagne in a completely different way, turning the entire mountain into a playground.
MoonBikes are offered exclusively by Oxygene in La Plagne & Belle Plagne. Suitable for age 16 and over. Price: 90 Euros per person for a one-hour guided session, including equipment.
French Language Lessons
What about mastering French while on a ski holiday? Alpine French School is based in the traditional Alpine town of Morzine, a bustling chalet-style mountain resort with a large selection of restaurants, bars, shops and services, just over one hour’s drive from Geneva Airport. The ski area is linked directly to Avoriaz and Les Gets and lies in the heart of the Portes du Soleil, one of the world’s largest interconnected ski regions straddling France and Switzerland.
British-owned and operated, Les Gets specialist operator - Chalets1066 has a highly experienced team of French/British staff that live in Les Gets all year round and have extensive knowledge of the resort and surroundings. Established in 2008 with over 40 properties including chalets in the French resort that’s located one hour from Geneva Airport and links with the Portes du Soleil ski area that includes Morzine, Avoriaz and Chatel (France) and Champéry, Les Crosets and Morgins (Switzerland).
As well as all this, Chalets1066 doesn’t employ any of its own catering staff, the prices are passed on directly to the customer and this means lower cost catered chalet holidays with exceptional quality food and wine. Here are some of the new accommodation options available for winter 2021/2022.
Chalet Grand Mouflon – ski in/ski out chalet on the slopes ideal for larger groups. Can be linked to next door chalet (Chalet Petit Mouflon), accommodating 22 people in total.
Sleeps up to 13 people in 6 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, hot tub, sauna. Limited availability for the peak weeks during the season, prices start from €2,811 per week for the entire property. chalets1066.com/accommodation/grand-mouflon
Chalet Petit Mouflon – ski in/ski out chalet on the slopes ideal for larger groups. Can be linked to next door chalet (Chalet Grand Mouflon), accommodating 22 people in total.
Sleeps 9 people in 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, hot tub, sauna. Prices start from €2,346 per week for the entire property. chalets1066.com/accommodation/chalet-petit-mouflon
Chalet Ruisseau – ski in/ski out chalet (for good skiers) in a popular area close to the ‘Lac’. Sleeps 12 people in 6 bedrooms, 6 bathrooms, hot tub. Prices start from €2,712 per week for the entire property. chalets1066.com/accommodation/chalet-ruisseau
Chalet Moleson Apartment Jaroda – large duplex apartment close to the ski lift. Can be combined with Chalet Moleson Tehui for large groups creating an 8 bedroom chalet. Sleeps up to 11 people in 5 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms. Prices start from €2,385 per week for the entire property. chalets1066.com/accommodation/chalet-molson-5-bedroom-apartment-jaroda
Chalet Moleson Apartment Tehui – 3 bedroom apartment that can be combined with Chalet Moleson Jaroda for large groups creating an 8 bedroom chalet. Sleeps up to 6 people in 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms. Prices start from €1,348 per week for the entire property. chalets1066.com/accommodation/chalet-molson-3-bedroom-apartment-tehui
Chalet Rochebrune - three 1 to 2 bedroom apartments a short walk from the village centre. Prices start from €750 per week for an apartment sleeping up to 4 people (one bedroom). chalets1066.com/chalet-rochebrune
Aïda Hotel & Spa, 5*
Hotel Aïda & SPA will offer exclusive adult-only accommodation, opening for the 21/22 winter season. With 17 suites, Spa & Wellness with indoor and outdoor pool, and restaurants run by the Michelin-star chef Franck Reynaud, the project promises to be of extremely high quality.
Alaïa Lodge, 3*
The Alaïa Lodge is a ‘hip’ new hotel located in the heart of the resort and 2 minutes walk from the Cry d’Er ski lifts. There will be large communal areas, including a bar with an après-ski terrace and a lounge. The ‘Swiss Lodge’ style hotel will offer 142 beds in several different room categories: doubles, family rooms or shared rooms. The choice will be an ideal fit for a variety of guests: families with children, young sports enthusiasts and group outings. The opening is planned for December 2021.
Hôtel Panorama, 3*
The Panorama will be opening as a completely renovated boutique hotel in Mollens, very close to Crans-Montana. Aimed at guests that are seeking a healthy and active lifestyle, the hotel promises a break centred around nature, wellbeing and sport. Its environmentally friendly restaurant ‘Le Cozor’ will offer healthy and exclusively local cuisine, not just to hotel guests but also to non-residents. Opens for the 2021-22 winter season.
Alaïa Bay is the first wave pool of its kind in continental Europe and probably the most spectacular spot for a surf session, whatever your level. Why not ski in the morning and surf during the afternoon? The facility is open all year round and opened during the summer of 2021. alaiabay.ch
UCI Mountain Bike World Championships return to Les Gets after 18 Years. Disciplines include Olympic Cross-Country course (XCO), Cross-Country Short Track (XCC), Cross-Country Relay (XCR), Downhill (DHI) and a new E-Mountain Biking category.
Following the World Cup Mountain Biking events in 2019 and 2021, Les Gets has once again become THE French destination for mountain biking – now the World Championships are making a comeback.
The UCI Mountain Bike World Championships will be held in the resort during August 2022, in cooperation with the French Federation of Cycling (FFC).
The Etoile Bella Lui festival invites visitors to discover the magic of winter in the heart of Crans-Montana, illuminated by the light of the Lantern Path, and the Ferris wheel. The festival is based on the story of “The Shepherd and the Bella Lui Star” and honours the magic of winter lights in the mountains. Taking place between 3rd December 2021 until 9th January 2022.
In the snowy streets of the village, winter takes on the delicious flavour of local produce, its taste enhanced by exceptional chefs, bakers, cheesemakers and winemakers. A central gastronomy area invites visitors to share an aperitif. From 3 December 2021 until 9 January 2022, Etoile Bella Lui will illuminate the holiday period in this innovative festival that pays tribute to the magic of winter in the mountains.
Men’s Slalom Invitational Race, January 12
Once again the elite group of men’s World Cup slalom skiers will descend on Crans-Montana and compete against each other under the floodlights in this night race that draws local crowds and a fun atmosphere. Last winter the race was won by local skier, Luca Aerni, but expect tough competition in 2022 from the world’s best, including Great Britain’s Dave Ryding (2nd place, 2019).
Knight FrankCity Ski Championships and Snowcamp Charity Marathon, February 3-6
The annual get-together for ski enthusiasts working in the City of London returns to Crans-Montana in 2022 following a 7-year gap. The long weekend, from February 3 to 6, will see skiers of all ability levels from beginners to former Olympic racers, compete alongside each other on the Piste National in Crans-Montana – a classic racing piste that is used for the Women’s World Cup races later in the winter. There’s always plenty of opportunities for networking and après ski parties too, often alongside celebrities that are keen to take on some serious ski racing.
Snowcamp Charity Marathon: A parallel event designed to run alongside the City Ski Championships, will take place during the same weekend. The snowsports charity, Snowcamp, is planning a series of competitive events with teams of 4 skiers taking on challenges to raise money for the charity that helps young people from disadvantaged backgrounds get into skiing and snowboarding.
Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup, Women’s Downhill, February 26-27
A double header weekend of top-class women’s downhill ski racing from Crans-Montana that has firmly established itself as the blue ribbon event on the women’s Alpine circuit. The regular date in the calendar will take place after the 2022 Winter Olympic Games and will see the top ski racers in the world take on the challenging Mont Lachaux piste, now widely regarded as the toughest race of the year for women downhill athletes.
Caprices, April 8-10 and 15-17, 2022
Elected the best international electro festival in the world, Caprices opens its doors once again from 8 to 10 and 15 to 17 April 2022. Be swept away by mesmerizing sounds from some of the best DJs on the planet, in a dream setting at an altitude of 2,200m. A magical experience for festival-goers, in the heart of the ski area.
New Hotel Lift Pass scheme
Visitors to Crans-Montana staying in partner hotel accommodation no longer need to purchase a 6-day ski pass to ensure a discounted price. Now, they can decide on the day whether they will purchase a ticket or not – depending on how they feel about skiing or snowboarding on that particular morning. A 45% discount is applied to the price of the lift pass on the day. crans-montana.ch/hotelpass
Marked Ski Touring Park offers a slower pace
Launched in 2019 but expanded last winter, one of the largest marked ski touring parks in Europe now has 15 routes spanning the entire ski area of Crans-Montana and is set up for different ability levels. Skiers do not need a guide or avalanche safety equipment and can choose to descend on piste (blue, red or black). For anyone looking to get away from the crowds and enjoy nature at a slower pace, this is a great option for the 2021-22 winter.
About Les Gets
The mountain resort of Les Gets is located about 1 hours’ drive from Geneva Airport in the northern French Alps. It’s linked with 12 other resorts in the Portes Du Soleil region that total 293 ski runs and 189 lifts during the winter and provides a network of lifts serving both hiking and mountain biking during the summer.
Les Gets is regarded as one of the top mountain biking destinations in the world, with Europe's largest bike park that includes over 128 KMs of marked trails for all levels and regularly hosts the downhill and XCO (Cross Country Olympic) editions of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup. The Mountain Bike World Championships with be held in the resort in 2022. Road cyclists will find the mountain passes, often used during the Tour de France, a genuine challenge and local rides include the famous Col de Joux Plane and Col de Ramaz. In town, there’s a number of hotels ranging from 4* to 2* as well as numerous chalets and apartments. There’s a total of 40 restaurants, on and off the mountain.
Sitting on a high plateau above the Rhone Valley and facing south, the views from Crans-Montana are spectacular, especially from higher altitudes where it’s possible to see Mont Blanc in the west, through to the Matterhorn and way beyond to the east. During the winter, the skiing is well suited for intermediates, with a wide range of blue and red runs, but there are excellent beginners areas as well as some more challenging slopes for experts, including some interesting off-piste and ski touring terrain. During summer, the resort is a haven for both road cyclists and mountain bikers as well as hikers and adventure seekers. Accommodation is varied, with a strong luxury element including several 5* hotels and a spread of 3* and 4* options as well as self-catering apartments and B&B’s
2027 Alpine World Championships candidate
Ski area 140 kilometres of ski runs
1500 to 3,000 metres
24 ski lifts
2nd largest snowpark in Switzerland with Olympic size halfpipe
15 marked ski touring trails, 40km of marked paths, totally unique
16 kilometres cross country slopes
Bella Lui family festival during December
With 30 hotels to choose from including 6 Luxury, 5 First Class, 14 Comfortable and 5 Economy. There are also 190 shops and boutiques, 150 restaurants, bars and clubs. As well as 7 spas, 4 museums, a casino, 3D cinema, bowling alley and an Ice rink (winter) to visit.
About Tignes Resort
Tignes is a large, high-altitude resort located at the end of the Tarentaise Valley (3,456m at its highest peak). It boasts a fantastic snow record across its 300kms of groomed slopes and wide-ranging back-country, linked to neighbouring Val d’Isère. In winter, Tignes is a melting-pot of nationalities, ages, skiers, snowboarders and off-piste enthusiasts. The resort is made up of 5 villages – Val Claret (2,300m), Le Lac (2,100m), Le Lavachet (2,000m), Les Boisses (1,800m) and Les Brevières (1,550m). A free resort shuttle bus running late into the night makes it easy to get around.
About Serre Chavalier Resort
Serre Chevalier is located on the border of Italy, between Col du Lautaret and Briançon. It is the largest winter sports resort in the Southern Alps due to the size of its ski area and its number of visitors. The Serre Chevalier Valley is 27kms long and includes the city of Briançon, whose Vauban fortifications are a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as well as 3 flagship villages: Chantemerle, Villeneuve and le Monêtier les Bains. The resort is also located inside the stunning Ecrins National Park.
I hope you have enjoyed reading and feel inspired to visit the resort of Les Gets, Crans-Montana, or one of the other magical ski resorts. I know, I sure am!
* Are you interested in skiing but not sure where to start or maybe you would love to know more about what you need to know about booking a skiing holiday? Excited to share a review on the new ski book - Ski A To Z. This book is said to demystify everything ski! Coming soon....
* Looking for new winter apparel? Watch this space.