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5 excellent alternatives to skiing in Val d’Isere this Spring

You may be surprised to hear that ski resorts aren’t all about skiing. I don’t mean in the summer months when there isn’t any snow to be had. I mean in the core months, when the snow is at its best and sunnier days prevail. Val d’Isere for example has five alternative events that make the most of the spectacular mountain setting but offer something a little different. That something, whether it’s yoga, golf or adventure film can be combined with a ski holiday to make it richer and more dynamic. Equally, they allow non-skiers to join in a ski trip without feeling left out. Yoga Festival – 28th February to 2nd March 2014 What could be more energising than yoga where the air is at its purest? Val d’Isere’s yoga festival is the first of its kind to be held in any French ski resort and is championed by YogaChezMoi founder, Charlotte Saint Jean. With other 24 workshops to choose from, an Indian music concert, yoga market and organic cafe, it’s time to open your chakras to the positive chi flowing through Val d’Isere at the end of February. Yoga Festival Winter Golf – 27th – 30th March 2014 Snow + golf – not your usual bed fellows but it certainly makes for an interesting combination. This three day event kicks off with ‘Street Golf’ down the Avenue Olympique while the main event sees 30 sets of two player teams battling it out over two half days of nine hole golf. Wrapped with dinners and a session at the BMW ice driving circuit, it promises to be both a social and entertaining few days. Adventure Film Festival – 14th – 17th April 2014 If last year is anything to go by, this year is set to be another fascinating insight into the world of human endeavour from all corners of the world. Last year saw a film line-up which covered diving under Greenland’s icebergs, tracking Abyssian wolves, extreme climbing in Venezuela and wing suiting in Europe. The 18th Adventure and Discovery Film Festival in Val d’Isere, there are set to be 12 films plus awards, showcases and the chance to meet some of the adventurers themselves. A Celebration of French Literature – 2013/14 Voltaire, Zola, Sartre, Moliere – even ski resorts can’t escape France’s incredible literary heritage. Strictly speaking, the awards ceremony for literature is over for this year, but a visit to Le Bouquetiniste by the main slopes is always guaranteed a strong response. The owner, Jean-Paul Shafran, is a man born with an absolute passion for literature. He founded ‘Vivre Livre’ and has brought more than 250 authors to Val d’Isere to entertain groups with cocktails and dinner while speaking about their work. So if you’re a French literature fan, Le Bouquetiniste is where it’s at. Hot Ice – April 2014 For skiers ‘Hot Ice’ simply translates as amazing ‘spring’ snow as the top layer melts in the mornings providing a beautifully soft bed for perfect skiing. But there’s something for everyone with Val d’Isere’s dedicated ‘Hot Ice’ progamme throughout the whole month of April. Try out a yooner or an airboard, see how controlled avalanches are detonated, go chamois or ibex watching, take wildlife walks or simply take advantage of festive Thursdays with ice sculpting and music in the main square. It promises to be a great finale to the end of season, which steals up on us all too quickly. So there you have it. There’s more to life than skiing, apparently. Jamie Rennie is Director at Le Chardon Mountain Lodges, Val d’Isere. If you would like to be a guest blogger on A Luxury Travel Blog in order to raise your profile, please contact us.

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