Family Ski Holiday in France with Real Mom; Cat
We met Cat, her husband John and their 4 cute kiddos on Instagram. Cat is Italian and John is from Ireland. The family live in Rome, however, for the last 11 months they have been traveling the world. They have visited 21 countries and will be returning to (somewhat) normal life at the beginning of 2018. Follow their adventures on social media. @kidsintravels.
There is a place in everyones mind that has snow covered mountains dotted with log cabins and trails of smoke rising from stone chimneys. To me this romantic setting describes Chamonix. This fashionable ski resort nestled at the foot of the Mont Blanc, in the heart of the French Alps, was our setting for this year’s family ski trip.
We rented an apartment in a perfect location right in the center of town, only the train station between us and ‘Les Planards’ beginner ski area. It was great because we didn’t need a car. We flew into Geneva and got ‘Alpibus’ shuttle-bus from the airport. The journey took around an hour and they left us right outside the house.
The Perfect Family Ski Destination
‘Chamonix Mont Blanc Valley’ is famous for it’s winter skiing. It incorporates 5 towns altogether; Les Houches, Servoz, Argentiere, Vallorcine and Chamonix town being the main one. The valley avails of a vast network of ski lifts that gives access to the numerous ski-slopes (Piste) that surround the area and caters for everyone’s skiing appetite from beginners to pro’s. The ‘Ecole du Ski Francais’ provides lessons for every level and ensures that everyone makes good progress. They have a snow kindergarten on the slopes where children can have lunch and after ski school play. At the end of the course everyone goes home with a certificate and a medal.
Not Just Skiing
Although skiing is our main occupation not everyday is spent on the slopes. Cham’ has a great variety of extra ski activities. The information office was very helpful in pointing out the best for us. To name a few; the Aiguille du midi, the crystal museum, the charming red train that goes into the woods and up to the Montenvers Glacier, and the communal sports complex with a great indoor swimming pool together with water slides is a great way to break the skiing routine.
Chamonix’s centre is full of life with a wide range of shops and cafes. It is one of those places where you discover something new every time, be it a concept store, an ornate side street or the patisserie round the corner. It caters for all tastes and pockets from sports outlet such as quicksilver to high end designer stores such as Chanel. Even a trip to the supermarket can be quite exciting with all the wide variety of cheese, wines and meats available. In particular the Haute Savoie regional stores are worth a visit. Eating out will be mainly French style and cover every budget, which is not too bad considering the French cuisine is one of the most appreciated in the world. The kids’ favorite restaurant was Elevation 1904 – great hamburgers, relaxed atmosphere and hot chocolate to go!
The après-ski is very lively too. Every afternoon on our way to the grocery store we would come across a dozen cafe’s or pubs serving vin brûlée (mulled wine) out in the streets, most of them would have outdoors heaters. Walking past you would here languages from all over the world evidence of Cham’s international attraction.
A Great Place for Kids
Our children are 8, 7 (twins) and 6. We always look forward to our skiing holiday. It is a great opportunity for the family to spend time together and a healthy break from city life. The novelty of snow, snowball battles and skiing gives the children hours of fresh air outdoors. It’s great to see those red cheeks run inside to their hot chocolates, tired and happy.You might be into or not into skiing but I can assure you that a mountain holiday will always give you a lot of memories to bring back home and in the case of Chamonix also the prettiest box of Macaroons ever!