In late March 2015 I went to France in search of the best, and most affordable, European skiing destination for South Africans. I’d never skiied before and so was also keen to find deals for learners. Les Gets in the French-Swiss Portes du Soleil region proved to be the absolute winner – a perfect ski destination for beginners, with plenty to keep more experienced skiiers happy too.
Also read: South African ski gear reviewed
Reasonable flights to Geneva helped keep costs down, but so did some very good prices for accommodation and some excellent ski pass / gear / lesson packages. All-in, my week in the Alps cost me just over R19000 and I had so much fun I’m already planning a trip back next year. Pick up a copy of our July 2015 issue for the full story.
Here are a few photos that didn’t make it into the magazine.
Mist blankets the Les Gets valley as a skiier prepares to descend into town.
At the end of the season, the lifts and slopes are not too busy. March is an excellent time to visit.
My two ski instructors Sylvain Gandy (left) and Jean-Luc Bastard (right) – so friendly and patient.
Les Gets is a small town, but there are plenty of little deli shops with a wide range of local produce.
Like these delicious preserves.
And these even more delicious dried sausages.
Crepes are a delicious and, at about R50, reasonably-priced lunch time option.
The area is well known for its cheeses. A visit to the restaurant “La Fruitière des Perrières” is a must. This photo on the wall caught my eye.
La Fruitière des Perrières makes their own cheese for fondue and raclette. Abondance is unique to the region – the milk coming from Les Gets’ neighbouring village of the same name.
Always good to see a fresh dump of snow over night.
A short drive out of town you can take snow-mobile rides through the forest. So much fun, if a bit pricey at 50 euro an hour.
Nothing quite like riding a snow mobile through a snow dusted alpine forest.
You share with a friend and swap drivers after half an hour.
Les Gets is very popular with families, especially British families, and the resort is well-geared for kids.
There are plenty of child lesson packages available.
And finally, my favourite moment of the trip. Catching some rays before another run into the valley.
Get the July 2015 issue of Getaway magazine for more on this story.
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Learn to ski in France for under R20000 all included. Pick up a copy of the July issue to find out how.