In addition to skiing, the French Alps offers a range of pursuits to keep non-skiers busy as well as entertaining skiers who simply fancy a change:
SUGGESTED GENERAL ACTIVITIES
- Enjoy a horse sleigh ride around Lac Tueda on the edge of the Parc National de Vanoise.
- See the Alps from above with a scenic flight or hot air balloon ride.
- Take a scenic flight or hot air balloon ascent over the Alps
- Go husky sledding
- Relax and enjoy a beauty treatment
- Visit the local market in Val d'Isere
- Take a cookery class - available in Courchevel and Val d'Isere
SUGGESTED SPORTING ACTIVITIES
- Enjoy ice skating, either as a participant or enjoy one of the galas or ice hockey matches at the Olympic Ice Rink in Meribel
- Try your hand at Ice Karting at the Olympic Ice Rink in Meribel
- Go quad biking in Courchevel
- Go walking or snow shoe hiking (passes may be required for some areas)
- Hire a snow mobile and explore the slopes
- Go bowling - there are bowling alleys in Meribel and Courchevel
- Try your hand at toboganning - there is a 2 km run at Courchevel
- Try 'piste basher driving' in Courchevel
GMT + 1
The official currency is the Euro (€). Coins are available in 1 cent, 2 cent, 5 cent, 10 cent, 20 cent, 50, cent , €1 & €2 denominations. Notes are available in €5, €10, €20, €50, €100, €200, €500 denominations.
Travellers cheques are widely accepted for exchange or purchase in major cities, but in more rural areas, visit a bank to exchange them for Euros. Major credit cards are widely accepted here (though a limited number of merchants have American Express accounts) and ATM access is widespread. Exchange currency only at authorized outlets such as banks and hotels, and exchange only what you think you will spend in-country. Coins cannot be reconverted on departure. Save all receipts from any currency exchange transaction. You may be asked to produce them when you exit the country, and they are required if you intend to reconvert local currency.
Tips in restaurants are usually added on at 10/15 % of the bill. However, it is often a subject of controversy whether this amount actually goes to the waiter or not, therefore it is your choice whether to tip more.
ARRIVAL AND DEPARTURE FORMALITIES
Travel documents are your responsibility. In general you should have:
A signed, valid passport that will remain valid for at least 6 months beyond the completion of your trip. Your passport must have enough blank pages (excluding amendment pages) available for entry and exit stamps issued when entering and exiting immigration points.
Visas are required for certain nationalities and you are strongly advised to check your status allowing plenty of time for visa application.
The alpine climate is cold and visitors should wear warm, waterproof clothing at all times when outdoors during the winter. Hats and gloves are also essential to prevent frost bite. Sunglasses or ski goggles are also necessary to reduce the glare of the sun on the snow.
It is advisable to contact your doctor before you travel if you have any specific health concerns and imperative to take out appropriate travel and medical insurance. Winter sports involve a high degree of risk and you should be in good health and carry adequate medical insurance in case of winter sports accident, including cover for air ambulance.
Electrical service in France is supplied at 220-240 volts/50 hertz.
Traffic from the RIGHT has right of way, except at roundabouts or if the road has a white line across it.
Passport or national ID as well as driver's license/insurance papers/ownership papers must be carried all the time.
National speed limit is 50kmh (31mph) in towns, 90kmh (56mph) on secondary non-urban highways, 110kmh (68mph) on dual carriageways, 130kmh (80mph) on motorways (auto route).
Speeding fines: 30 – 300 Euros.
Minimum driving age is 18.
For use of the highways (auto route) it is invariably necessary to pay a toll before access. Payment can be made by coins or by credit card.
There are strict laws concerning drinking and driving. Blood alcohol levels must not exceed 0.05%. There are random breathalyser tests carried out regularly by the police.
An international driving licence is not required for European citizens. Your locally issued driving licence, as long as it is accompanied by the passport, will suffice.