How to do a cheap ski trip to France with £21 flights | The Sun

IT’S no secret that a ski trip is pricey at the best of times.

But just because your finances are on the slide, it doesn’t mean you can’t still hit the slopes.

More and more firms are offering flexible trips for less than 100 euros (£90) a night, half-board.

Among them are the French resorts of Paradiski — “the world’s third largest skiable area” which includes La Plagne and Les Arcs resorts — where a three or four-night break is now becoming the norm.

Here in the shadows of the mighty Mont Blanc, ski-in, ski-out hotels jostle for business with rates that won’t break the bank.

As part of the Free Time Ski Time initiative from the Savoie Mont Blanc tourist agency, I stayed at the comfortable, no-frills, Belambra Terra Nova, a short slide from the nearest lift and 425km of runs.

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From here, you can pinball across the mountains all over the Paradiski area’s 264 pistes (70 per cent of which are more than 2,000m long) all the way to Les Arcs via a cool double-decker gondola.

Due to the vast area, crowds tend to be a bit smaller than at other Alpine destinations, and in three full days you can get a hell of a lot done.

Most pistes cater for intermediate level and below, but with enough black runs to keep the show-offs happy.

And if off-piste is your thing, then you’ll be in heaven here.

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Every angle of every mountain seems to have been skied at some point, with some tracks leaving you scratching your head as to how on earth they managed it.

This being the Savoie region, the pistes are dotted with charming restaurants, where you can take in the view and scoff traditional Alpine food such as tartiflette and crozets.

Then wash them down with a vin chaud or shot of Chartreuse.

At the beautiful Restaurant d’Altitude Chalet de l’Arpette the waiter will stand on the table with a giant bottle and pour it straight down your neck!

Some venues, like La Bergerie, kick off lively EDM-fuelled aprés ski parties each day at 3pm.

Here, sozzled skiers dance in their boots to DJs and saxophonists.

Some even strip down to their undies, as two chaps did when I visited.

Of course, you don’t have to ski.

There are numerous things to keep you busy that won’t break the bank.

Build an igloo

For £35, you can access the stunning Deep Nature spa perched on the side of the mountain in Belle Plagne and watch people attempt daring moguls while you work out which set of jets you want blasting your back in the outdoor Jacuzzi.

Or you could take a spin in a bobsleigh.

For £45, you can hurtle down a genuine 1.5km Olympic track at up to 80kmh, which feels a hell of a lot faster than it sounds.

Trust me, my lips were on the side of my face by the end.

If that’s not fast enough for you, hardcore adrenaline junkies can catch a ride on one that speeds through the track at up to 120kmh — although you’ll have to shell out £120 for that privilege.

On top of bobsleigh rides, you can learn how to build an igloo, take a guided walk in snowshoes around the pistes or go ice diving . . . if you’re completely insane.

And when it’s time to replace those calories you’ve burned off on the slopes (dancing to David Guetta in ski boots can be pretty energetic), you are spoilt for choice.

Most resorts in La Plagne are purpose-built so don’t quite have the atmosphere of traditional ski towns like the nearby resort of Chamonix.

But whatever you’re looking for you will find.

There are cheesy treats galore, from raclette and ­fondue to loaded crepes or even just a burger served with the local ­Beaufort cheese, natch.

In La Plagne Centre you can pretend you’re a seasonaire and hang out with the young ski bums at La Luna Bar, where drinks flow until 2am every night.

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While in Plagne Bellecote there’s “English pub” The Spitting Feathers, which does a good impression of a British boozer — and shows football.

Whatever you do, you’ll be sucking in that cool mountain air that reminds you why a ski holiday is always worth the money.

GO: La Plagne

GETTING THERE: EasyJet flies from Luton, Manchester and Brimingham to Geneva (2.5hr transfer) from £20.99 each way.


STAYING THERE: Belambra Terra Nova has rooms from 178 euros per night on a half-board basis and based on two adults sharing.

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