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French Connections

Find Holiday accommodation in France

  • Discover lakes and mountains in the Haute-Savoie

    High in France’s Rhone-Alpes region, the Haute-Savoie department is a world of lakes, waterfalls, caves, gorges, glaciers, nature reserves, perfect ski slopes and, of course, majestic mountains. Back in the 18th century, the English came to Haute-Savoie to admire the glaciers. Now, this beautiful natural landscape is a top destination for tourists.

    The town of Chamonix is probably one of the most popular Alpine ski resorts, having played host to the first Winter Olympics in 1924.  Nestling in a valley, it is surrounded by stunning mountains – including the famous Mont Blanc - with nine ski areas that offer some of the best skiing in Europe.

    The capital of Haute-Savoie is Annecy, an elegant, fashionable city with a friendly ambience. Annecy’s network of canals make it a truly romantic setting – think Venice plus crisp mountain air and snow-capped Alpine peaks! A 15km long lake adds to the romance and is a great setting for hiking, gliding or cycling.

    In the north of the Haute-Savoie lies Evian-les-Bains, close to Lake Geneva. Yes, this is the Evian famed for its springs, where water is bottled and sent around the world. A visit to the factory is a must as you can sample the famous water at its source. Also on the lake is the enticing medieval stone village of Thonon-Les-Bains.

    Find accommodation in Haute-Savoie

  • Escape the ski crowds in the Hautes-Alpes

    Set between Grenoble and the Italian border, this sunny corner of the Alps has a wealth of friendly villages, some spectacularly high peaks and fantastic winter sports. Yet the Hautes-Alpes are delightfully unspoilt and offer less crowded ski holidays than better known ski areas of France.

  • Fantastic snowfalls mean early start to French ski season

     

    The ski season in France is off to an early start this year, with exceptional falls of snow right across the Alps. Local ski professionals are saying it’s the best snow and earliest start to a season that they have seen.

    In the ski resort of Tignes, which is at relatively low altitude, the glacier was open in early October and now snow lies thick on the slopes below it. Chamonix, Montgenèvre and Val Thorens are also popular resorts that have already opened their slopes for skiing.

    France is a great ski destination, with easy access by car, snow train services and a choice of flights and airports. There is a wide choice of resorts that are family friendly where facilities for skiers of all ages and abilities are of a very high standard.

    Travel experts are predicting that skiiers will be looking for maximum value this year. At French Connections we have a great choice of chalets, gites and apartments to rent, suitable for couples, families and groups. These self-catering properties offer really attractive prices, space and facilities when compared to hotels.

    Much of our accommodation is in the Haute-Savoie region – and several chalets here are offering £100 discount plus a champagne reception for bookings made before January. Enjoy a stay in a buzzing resort or choose a peaceful, traditional village where you can enjoy a typically French winter holiday with great food, drink and charming apres-ski events. Find your ski holiday property in Haute-Savoie now.

  • Let it Snow! - Photo Friday 24 December 2010

    A Christmassy picture of snow in the French Alps.

  • Ski holiday accommodation in traditional French villages

    France is the world’s top ski destination, yet I love that it’s still possible to avoid crowds and noise and get amazing value by staying in a really French mountain village. Many of our gorgeous ski chalets and lodges are just a little off-piste in locations that are peaceful yet accessible to all the action – both the ski slopes and shops in the day and friendly, cosy auberges in the evening.

    The famous resort of Alpe d'Huez has already had abundant snowfall this year and the glaciers are perfect for skiing, so it’s likely to attract a lot of the ski crowd. Yet within striking distance of the Alpe d'Huez slopes are picture book villages like Auris-en-Oisans, Le Freney D Oisans and Mont de Lans, where we have a great choice of ski chalets, lodges and apartments so that you can enjoy a slice of real French life as well as the thrill of winter sports – and get a lot more space for your money.

    A typical example is Auris Chalet, which stands at 1,400m in Les Cours, a peaceful village with narrow winding streets yet very little traffic as the road leads nowhere else. Village buildings are typical farmhouses, there’s a quiet friendly atmosphere and fabulous views. For meals, a beer or bottle of wine in front of a roaring fire, the local Auberge is just 25 metres away.

    Our skiing guide has information on all the best ski areas, with accommodation options, and you can book flights, ferries and ski train travel, see a guide to driving through France and even get your winter sports travel insurance.

    Visit our guide to Ski Holiday Accommodation in France, find owners who specialise in ski holidays and find ski accommodation in Auris and the villages

  • Still time to grab a ski holiday in France

     

    France is deservedly the world’s premier ski destination - and there’s still time to book a ski holiday this winter. The French Alps are spectacular, with truly majestic and unforgettable scenery. They also boast  Europe's highest mountain, Mont Blanc, which overlooks Chamonix - one of the best ski resorts in the world.

    Our owners offer a cosy home from home for your skiing holiday, whether as a couple, family or group. They include self-catering chalets, farmhouses and apartments conveniently located for the slopes and often in charming villages where mountain traditions have been maintained.

    The Haute-Savoie is a favourite skiing area and its capital, Annecy, is a fashionable town with a friendly ambience. The town’s canals give it a sense of romance and is often compared with Venice - but of course Venice does not have the magnificent French Alps bearing down upon it! Also in the north lies the Chablais area, situated along the French/Swiss border. This is known as 'Portes du Soleil' and in the centre is the village of Morzine, France’s largest ski area.

    Chamonix is probably one of the most popular Alpine ski resorts and is rooted in skiing history as the site of the first Winter Olympics in 1924. It is situated in a valley and surrounded by some of the most stunning mountains you will ever see. The nine skiing areas undoubtedly make for some of the best skiing in Europe.

    For those who prefer to look from a distance, take the train from the Gare du Montenvers to the enormous Mer de Glace glacier. On a day off from the slopes, you can also explore glaciers in the Alps, take a cable car at Le Brevant to the highest peak to gaze on the awesome Mont Blanc or relax in Evian-les-Bains, strolling along the shores of Lake Geneva or enjoying one of the many cutting-edge spa treatments offered here.

    There are plenty of options for flights to this region, with budget airlines flying from many regional airports to Lyon and also to Geneva or Chambery. Find ski accommodation in the Haute-Savoie and Savoie and book your travel to France.

  • The Hautes-Pyrénées: glaciers, healing and history

    In the south-west corner of France, along the border with Spain, lies a land of peaceful mountains and lakes, dramatic glaciers and foaming rivers. With its fascinating scenery, nature and traditions, the Hautes-Pyrénées is a great year-round destination.

    The mountains of this region may be less well known than the Alps, but the scenery is equally magnificent – appealing to walkers in summer, skiers in winter and mountain enthusiasts throughout the year. The Cirque de Gavarnie is a vast amphitheatre of glacial rock with waterfalls while the Pyrénées National Park delights with dense forests and flower-filled meadows.

    The best known city is Lourdes, the most popular pilgrimage destination in France, with its reputation for healing. Another town worth visiting is Luz-Saint-Sauveur. In winter it’s a fantastic ski resort and in summer host to an avant-garde jazz festival that attracts world-famous musicians.

    Bigorre Black Pig is just one of the Hautes-Pyrénées region’s gastronomic traditions influenced by Spain and Madiran is a rich, generous local red wine. Salut and bon appétit!

    Find accommodation in the Hautes-Pyrénées

  • The Savoie - beautiful for skiing and in summer

    It’s time for ski holidays and France’s Savoie region is a brilliant destination to get your thrills on the slopes. We’ve chosen Savoie in the Rhone Alps as our region for January because it is easily accessible and boasts miles of ski and snowboarding slopes, glorious scenery, friendly villages with cosy chalets and apartments, great apres-ski, fabulous food and wines exclusive to the area.

    The Savoie is home to Mont Blanc, the most famous of all French mountains. It also contains the massive and beautiful ski areas of Les Trois Vallées and L'Espace Killy. Both offer world class winter sports and facilities.

    Chambery is the region’s capital and plenty of ski resorts are within a short driving distance of its airport. You can also get a low-cost flight to Lyon and drive south from there. Savoie is about nine hours’ drive from the ferry ports or tunnel or you can opt to take a ski train. When booking, don’t forget to ask owners for tips on travel.

    Once you arrive, there’s the thrill of the ski lift, the winter sun on your face, the brilliance of all that snow and the exhilaration of flying through crisp mountain air. Even when your landing is less elegant than you hoped, you can take comfort in a rich hot chocolate by a blazing fire, a hot shower and later the amazing tastes of the Savoyard cuisine, especially cheeses, and local wines.

    When the weather gets warmer and snow leaves the lower slopes, Savoie is also a great destination for clear mountain air, breathtaking scenery, outdoor activities and wide open spaces. We highly recommend discovering the French mountains in summer.

    We have a great range of self-catering accommodation in the area, for couples, families and larger groups. Chalets and apartments are located in both popular resorts and traditional villages with a typically French mountain flavour. See more in our guide to the Savoie and our guide to the Rhone-Alps.

  • The Savoie – so seductive for skiing

     As a ski holiday location, France’s Savoie region really has got it all. This is a land of wild, majestic beauty dominated by the snow covered peaks of the Rhone Alps - especially Mont Blanc, the mother of all French mountains. Easy accessibility, miles of ski and snowboarding slopes, glorious scenery, friendly villages with cosy chalets and apartments, great apres-ski, fabulous food and wines exclusive to the area. No wonder the Savoie is our featured area of France this month.

    My first introduction to skiing was when my neighbour tried to teach me knee bends and leans in her spacious living room, using broom sticks as props. It was nothing like as much fun as being shown the moves by a handsome French ski instructor with a voice just like Yves Montand. Then there’s the thrill of the ski lift, the winter sun on your face, the brilliance of all that snow and the exhilaration of flying through crisp mountain air.

    Even when your landing is less elegant than you hoped, there’s the compensation of a rich hot chocolate by a blazing fire, a hot shower and later the amazing tastes of the Savoyard cuisine. Personally I’ll pass on the fricassee of frogs legs with garlic, onions and vinegar, but give me perch poached in red wine or just about any local game dish followed by a taste of the region’s delicious cheeses. Washed down, of course, with a soupcon of mountain wine... Generally unobtainable outside the  Savoie, the local wines are becoming more sophisticated as growers concentrate on raising their production from jolly nice plonk to high quality vintages.

    There is a terrific range of ski accommodation in the area, from popular resorts to traditional villages. Our photo shows Le Hameau des Airelles, a chalet holiday rental at St Martin de Belleville.

    Savoie is about nine hours drive from the ferry ports or tunnelor you can grab a low-cost flight.

    See more in our guide to the Savoie and our guide to the Rhone-Alps.