If you’re dreaming of a white Christmas, you need to either head North or up a mountain. Fortunately, for residents and travellers in the South of France, Christmas in the Alps is a mere 60-minute helicopter transfer away.
Not only is snow guaranteed, but you’ll get to see the dazzling white glacial peaks of the Alps as you soar above them in the comfort of a luxury helicopter.
The best alpine Christmas destination is Courchevel, which is home to the highest tarmacked runway in Europe. At 2,010 metres, you will be welcomed to a winter wonderland where chocolate box chalets, incredible winter sports and top-notch skiing await you. A spectacular helicopter tour in France that cover the beautiful alpine landscapes of the French and Swiss Alps is highly recommended.
Courchevel doesn’t just guarantee snow; it provides a unique blend of traditional alpine charm with a cosmopolitan touch. After all, it has the highest concentration of Michelin-star restaurants in a ski resort (12 in total) and attracts a host of VIPs, such as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Beckhams. Courchevel comprises four villages, but the highest resort, Courchevel 1850, is the top choice for luxury.
At these lofty heights, 5-star hotels make way for incredible 6-star accommodation that holds “Palace” status since a new rating was implemented in 2011. These sophisticated lodgings include The Cheval Blanc and Les Airelles, which can be found in Le Jardin Alpin area in the highest part of Courchevel 1850. These hotels have outstanding spas, along with others like the Hôtel des Trois Vallées with its mosaic-tiled Turkish bath, oversized hot tub and Filorga brand treatments.
Luxurious spas and treatments are all very well, but Courchevel’s shopping scene can also work its magic. If you have any last minute Christmas presents to buy, head to the resort’s boutiques and designer stores, which include famous names like Prada, Hermès, Chanel and Gucci. Even if you don’t plan on buying anything, window-shopping is a legitimate pastime in Courchevel. Last minute Christmas supplies can be found at florists and specialist food shops, such as Chez Le Gaulois and Chez Ma Cousine. You can also buy the latest ski gear at the numerous sports retailers.
When you see the array of high-end restaurants in Courchevel, you might want to forgo the usual Christmas turkey and trimmings. Don’t expect a big change in the menu for Christmas lunch, but make sure you book ahead because Christmas Eve is a big night for celebrating and eating out in France. As the only restaurant in Courchevel with three Michelin stars, Le 1947 benefits from Parisian chef Yannick Alléno’s culinary skills. Refined Savoie mountain delicacies are served straight from his open kitchen into an intimate 25-seat dining room. For truly spectacular Christmas views with your meal, try Le Kintessence, a 2-Michelin star restaurant with views of snow-blanketed mountains as far as the eye can see.
The best thing about a Christmas in the Alps is that the perfectly-groomed pistes and ski lifts of Courchevel are open on Christmas day. The north-facing slopes are part of the wider Three Valleys area and have plenty of runs for all levels, including black runs and steep couloirs for advanced skiers. For off-piste fun in the snow, you can ride the 2-kilometre toboggan slope which snakes its way through the forest from Courchevel 1850 to Courchevel 1550 with a 300-metre vertical drop.
If you’re interested in booking a flight for Christmas in the Alps, please contact our friendly team. Helicopter transfers from Nice, Monaco, Cannes and other Riviera towns only take around an hour.
One of the best things about living on the Cote d’Azur is the year-round mild climate. Of course, for those who love the snow and crave a white Christmas, another big bonus is that it is close to the Alps. From December, you can experience the best of both worlds with access to a winter wonderland.