2012 Lifestyle

Whether or not you are a winter sports fan, Christmas in the mountains is always magical. And to make it even more so, the French resorts have planned a multitude of enchanting events for your Christmas holiday stay, to leave you with lasting memories for both young and old.

Whether or not you are a winter sports fan, Christmas in the mountains is always magical. And to make it even more so, the French resorts have planned a multitude of enchanting events for your Christmas holiday stay, to leave you with lasting memories for both young and old.

Have an unforgettable stay in Les Saisies with the “Magical Christmas” (“Noël féérique”) from 22nd to 29th December.  Amongst the main events during this week, you will find a Father Christmas fashion parade - with 40 costumes from all over the world - an event village in the heart of the resort, including an artificial ice rink, bouncy castle and bar, an ice and snow sculpture contest organised by a professional sculptor, open to all, and a GPS treasure hunt around the ski area.  

“The Magic of Christmas” (“La Féérie de Noël”) will also befound in Valmorel (Savoie) with a programme of events including a Christmas parade (with Father Christmas arriving in his sleigh), a children’s princess and pirates dance, and the chance to discover the “true” story of Father Christmas - who you will probably also meet in the resort.

Besse / Super-Besse (Puy-de-Dôme) invites you to “The Little Elves” (“Les Petits Lutins”) week, witha Christmas show, “après-ski” balls dances, the arrival of Father Christmas in his sleigh, and a torch-lit, historic treasure hunt in the medieval town of Besse.

Les Gets (Haute-Savoie) takes you to the heart of an enchanted forest, where, if you haven’t already spotted him in the village, you are likely to meet the star of the Christmas festivities himself, with his elves…During the “Father Christmas lives in Les Gets” festivities (22nd December to 5th January), young and old can also take part in a Father Christmas hide-and-seek game. The aim isto find the Father Christmas cut-outs hidden in the windows of the shops, hotels and restaurants in the resort. After completing the special grid in the event programme and checking your answers at the Tourist Office, you can win prizes if you are correct (ice rink ticket, ski pass etc)…

To find Father Christmas in his chalet in Chamrousse (Isère), you have to go through the enchanted forest - on the Arselle plateau, in the Nordic skiing area of the resort - on 23rd December from 5.30pm to 8pm.  You will be welcomed by Christmas carols, fantasy tales and hot chocolate, and your children can give their letter directly to Father Christmas!

In Ax-les-Thermes (Ariège) you won’t need to look far to find Father Christmas. On 22nd, 23rd and 24th December from 3pm to 5.30pm, he will be at the snow front during the daily school holiday events organised by the tourist office.  Children can take part in sledge races, snowmen contests, try out acrobatics on a big air bag, and of course have their photo taken with the man in red!

And what if he came to your house on Christmas Eve? It may happen in La Plagne-Montalbert (Savoie) just enter the lottery when you reserve your stay via the central reservations office in La Plagne and you may be one of the four lucky families in the random draw.

Or during the “Festival des Oursons” (Teddy Bears Festival) from 22nd-27th December in Orcières 1850 (Hautes-Alpes), where the man with the white beard can bring your children’s presents to your apartment (reservation required).  This festival also includes workshops, torch-lit ski descents and other events for youngsters.Similarevents will also be held in other French resorts for the Christmas and New Year holidays.

For example in Serre-Chevalier (Hautes-Alpes) where street events and open-air theatre shows will take place in the different resort villages (Monétier-Les-Bains, la Salle-les-Alpes, Chantemerle) at 6pm from 24th to 28th December during the “Festival Jeune Public” (Youth Festival) -  all for free !

In Les Orres (Hautes-Alpes), you will find shows during the “Féerie de Noël” (Magic Christmas) (23rd – 27th December) - at the Espace Rencontres et Cultures on 26th December at 6pm for the “Incredible adventure of Father Christmas and Madame Longuevumatuvu” - a mix of theatre, puppets and music - or at the ice rink on Thursday 27th December at 8.30pm with the Patin’Air troupe.During this themed week, visitors can also see torch-lit ski descents, a ‘batucada’ walking performance in the heart of the resort, the arrival of Father Christmas in his sleigh, barrel organ and Christmas carol concerts, and take part in make-up sessions and photo sessions with Father Christmas.

There are numerous events with a Christmas theme in the resorts for the end-of-year holidays.  However, other events will also take place, such as in Saint-Lary-Soulan (Haute-Pyrenées) which will hold the 8th International Free Ride Film Festival from 19th to 23rd December.From 19th to 21st December, around fifteen skiing and snowboarding films will compete.In addition to the film projections at the “Lary” cinema, on 22nd and 23rd December from 5pm, the general public will be able to discover the winning films, free of charge, on a big screen installed in the centre of the village - with deckchairs provided.You will also be able to discover local products at the International Film Market, organised on 21st and 22nd December by the resort retailers!

In Mont-Dore (Puy-de-Dôme), the end of year events will be sporty, with the "Mont-Dore de Tessières Cup” (22nd – 24th December), with star guest, Gauthier de Tessières, a member of the French alpine skiing team.The event will includea giant slalom for 7-14 year olds, open to all, with the winner receiving Gauthier's complete equipment and also training sessions with the champion. There will also be sledge races, giant aerobic sessions with the resort mascot and café waiters’ snow races.

In Praz-sur-Arly (Haute-Savoie), “Les Féeries des Neiges” (Snow magic) (25th December to 1st January) invites you to continue the wonder of Christmas with daily events on the theme of light -Brazilian paper balloon releases, displays of Luminéoles® (LED-lit kites), torch-lit descents and pyrotechnic displays, etc…   

Whatever the resort, you are sure to remember your Christmas in the mountains for a long time to come…


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