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Q&A


By Ilona Kauremszky


Q: My husband and I would like to take our 7 and 11 year olds to the south of France for three weeks during Christmas. Are there any resorts with activities for the kids?

A: The best way to find out about ski resorts and all the activities offered besides skiing on the resorts is to visit http://www.skifrance.fr/default-a.htm. It's a general website that promotes skiing in France. In addition, there are also ski resorts such as Isola 2000 (www.isola2000.com), in the Southern Alps you might like to consider.

Jérémie Gabourg of the France Tourism Office, Maison de la France says, “What is great about the Isola 2000 is its close proximity to Nice. It is only 1.5 hours away from Nice and it is in the French Rivera which is renowned for very sunny and mild winters.”

Other resorts you might wish to consider include Val d'Isère (www.valdisere.com), a lively village nestled at the foot of the mountains near the Italian border. Whatever your skiing level is, the Val d'Isère skiing area promises something for everyone. There are two funiculars and 89 skilifts on-site that allow you to discover a skiing area spread over 10 000 hectares with over 300 Km of marked runs. Opening dates are from November 26, 2006 through May 8, 2007.

Over at ALPE D'HUEZ, (www.alpedhuez.com) this is a veritable kid-friendly ski resort. Since 1936, Alpe d’Huez has expanded at an altitude of 1860m on the southern flank of the Grandes Rousses Massif. Also dubbed “The Island in the Sunshine”, this health resort enjoys long sunshine with an average of 300 sun days per year and it has a particularly active microclimate.

You’ll find this ski destination is only 1 hour from Grenoble and less than 5 hours from Paris. Known for its affordability and great slopes, the kids will certainly find lots to keep them busy. There’s a Kid’s Island that offers ESF, a French Ski School for children of all ages.

For instance, kids between 2 to 10 years can register for the Crapouilloux kindergarten. This program is available as either a half day program with meal or without and also as a full day program. Price for full day is €30 from 8.30am to 7.30 pm and includes a full day of ski, daycare, and meals.

For best rates, weather conditions and resort plans, log onto their web site. Jeremie notes most Alpine stations have shuttles to Lyon for shopping or gastronomy lovers. For other travel information on France you can contact Maison de la France on the Web at www.franceguide.com or call toll-free 1-866-313-7262.

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