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ENCORE UNE FOIS - Katie Bamber, Les3Vallees
Wednesday April 25, 2018 - Email this article to a friend

The snow has been incredible, the sun is shining and there's just a week or so left to ski Winter17/18. PlanetSKI is out doing it, for the last time, easy & cheap.

'How To Fit In a Last Ski of the Season'

The snow has been that heavy this winter, there's plenty around for spring skiing (and beyond) in the resorts still open.

AnnecyArriving in the Alps

There are even worries that the Tour de France starting in July will meet with snow problems up high, and be threatened by avalanches.

Many of the mountain passes remain firmly fermé as I saw on my journey to Val Thorens for final turns of the winter.

Firmly FermeFirmly Ferme

I had the assignment to check out the snow in the Alps and so set off for Les3Vallees - Les Menuires and Europe's highest village, Val Thorens - for a final ski and, of high priority, an easy going trip.

First off, flights to Geneva were nabbed for under £30 each way with easyJet.

So far, so easy...

I landed in Switzerland at 11am, picked up the rental car -  £150 for 7 days - and was on the road by 11.45.

The road to Val ThorensThe road to Val Thorens

The drive on a holiday at this time of year can be the best part with the sun shining and the roads clear, out of peak season.

I think we might have mentioned once or twice before on PlanetSKI that Spring skiing is what it's all about for class, affordable and fun ski breaks...

A tip, from Geneva to any of your Tarentaise Valley resorts, we're talking Val Thorens, La Plagne to Tignes and Val' d'Isere:

Don't even switch on the sat nav - (it's an adventure!)

You're heading into France - and the signposting means you shouldn't go wrong.

Take the green routed Annecy signs and don't stop.

There is the blue signed route to Annecy (the tolled motorways) but this green route will take you alongside the motorway but on a scenic route, through French villages.

And avoids the payage.

Spring in the AlpsSpring in the Alps

The scenery was incredible, suddenly it's spring and the trees were fresh green, and there was snow up top.

AnnecyLake Annecy

The green route might slow your journey down by 30 minutes or so, but it's a pretty ride.

So, to Annecy:

PlanetSKI's Katie Lake AnnecyPlanetSKI's Katie at Lake Annecy

Pictures speak a thousand words, so here it was today, Wednesday, at lunchtime.

The road pulls you right up to this beach-like scene at Annecy Lake; I had to stop.

Lake AnnecyLake Annecy

Lake AnnecyAnnecy

Stop to wander along the water way and old-town streets of Annecy.

The pedestrianised lanes were packed with everyone out lunching in the cafes and restaurants.

After what must have been a miserable season down in the valley (with all that snow at altitude) it was certainly a spring/summer day to be lauding.

Lake AnnecyLake Annecy

Lake AnnecyTo wander to old town streets in Annecy

The city, the atmosphere, the people, the vibe - all calm,. It was relaxed and busy at the same time.

And the romance...

Move over Paris...Move over Paris...

Love in AnnecyLove in Annecy

But the aim is skiing, and the destination, Val Thorens.

So anti-clockwise around the lake (keep on trusting the signs and don't switch on the tech), and peaceful lunch spots pass at the top of le lac.

The Auberge du Roselet was my choice (if you need a nap the ** hotel looked amazingly old school and comfortable) but the restaurant something else.

A whole grilled fish, right on the water, to fuel the not-so-long-and-tiring journey.

Lake Annecylunch at Lake Annecy, the quiet end

Lake AnnecyLake Annecy Auberge du Roselet

There are more churches and castles than you can count, including this favourite at the start of the Tarentaise Valley.

Past Moutiers, the train station serving this valley, and up the winding, classic Alpine approach to the high resorts.

En route to VTEn route to VT

Val Thorens roadUp to Val Thorens, past Moutiers

I drove into Les3Vallees by Les Menuires, waving up at the small village of Reberty - a favourite quiet spot to stay in Les3V - and our good friend Powder N Shine.

... And soon after into Val Thorens.

After 5 hours, with two well-worth-it stops (2.5hrs direct) I arrived to the most welcome view of all.

Mountains, with oh so much snow.

Val ThorensVT at 5pm - ALL THIS SNOW on APRIL 25th

A summer's day in France, with the bonus of the white stuff.

Driving into town there were lots of people, a serious amount of deep face tans and many ski tourers suited and booted ready to head up the hill for a competition, or just out for a perfect ski rando evening.

I'll be joining in all of what's on tomorrow: skiing, sunning, yoga, biking - whatever the long day of sunlight and warm might bring.

I've stopped stalling to resort-arrival to enjoy the summer's today...

Tomorrow: ski news and more.

Check back in.

See here for the main PlanetSKI news page with all the latest stories from the mountains.

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