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Top 7 winter outdoor adventures in the French Alps

There’s something magical about the winter season in the French Alps. Perhaps it’s the fact that with the incredible mountain peaks, frozen waterfalls, snow-dusted villages, and incredible ski resorts, you feel a little like you’re in a snow globe come to life. Outdoor lovers from around the world flock to the French Alps in the winter months, determined to try their favorite winter sport against the backdrop of one of the world’s most storied winter playgrounds. Here are 10 winter activities you simply must experience during a cold-weather adventure in the French Alps.

Skiing

The French Alps are a bucket list destination for skiers, and it’s actually two distinct destinations in one. In the Northern French Alps, you’ll find skiing at the country’s most famous ski resorts, like Chamonix, Val d’Isère, Tignes, and Courchevel. Of course, the Northern French Alps also put you in close proximity to Switzerland, if you want to extend your trip into this neighboring ski destination.

The Southern French Alps boast the awesome combination of plenty of snow and plenty of sunshine. Spring skiers head toward destinations in the Ercins and Mercantour National Park before continuing onward toward the beaches of the Mediterranean.

Snowboarding

Of course, any of the top ski resort destinations in the French Alps are also great for snowboarders, but many ski resorts offer amenities specifically for snowboarding. Tignes, which hosts the European X-Games, is home to an amazing superpipe for experts and an expansive snow park for those at intermediate levels. Les Arcs tempts with massive open powder bowls and plenty of freestyle areas.

Dog sledding

Humans have relied on dogs for thousands of years when it comes down to navigating snowy and remote terrain. In towns like Avoriaz and Chamonix, you can cozy up under a warm blanket as a team of sled dogs whisk you through the winter wilderness. Want to get in on the action? A handful of sled dog companies offer tours where you can learn to be a musher.

Snowmobiling

Snowmobiling isn’t just for the mountains of Alaska or Canada! The French Alps are also home to frozen wilderness where you can forge your own path on a snowmobile through pristine snowscapes. Many resorts offer snowmobiling after the ski slopes close around 6pm each day. Some of the most popular destinations to try this unique adventure activity include La Plagne, Fontcouverte la Toussuire, and Les Deux Alpes.

Cross-country skiing

The perfect combination of cardiovascular workout and nature tour, cross-country skiing is a popular activity for good reason. And during the peak snowfall months of January, February, and March, the snow reaches the lower elevations that are ideal for Nordic skiing. The Southern Alps are the epicenter of cross-country skiing in France, with multiple groomed Nordic parks across the resort areas of Valgaudemar, Haut Champsaur, Ancelle, and Col Bayard.

Snowshoeing

When the snow falls, hikers become snowshoers, and you can enjoy this outdoor activity in many resorts around the French Alps. Bring your own snowshoes from home or rent a pair while you’re visiting a local resort. While there are seemingly endless places to explore walking with snowshoes on, perhaps the most well known spot in the region for snowshoeing is at Col du Jaillet, where a two to three-hour walk will lead you to incredible 360-degree views of Mont Blanc.

Mountaineering

Winter mountaineering is not for the faint hearted — nor is it meant for beginners. But for those who consider themselves experienced mountaineers, winter expeditions can bring unparalleled beauty and unmatched challenges. Winter mountaineering is nothing if not technical, as it often includes not only trekking but ice climbing, mixed climbing, and ski mountaineering.

Plan your French Alps exploration with peace of mind

If the high peaks and hidden gems of the French Alps are calling you, it may be the perfect time to go. But while you’re busy figuring out how you’ll plan your winter holiday, don’t forget to lock in a travel insurance plan that includes coverage for adventure sports. With a travel insurance plan from battleface, you can explore this winter wonderland without worry, thanks to coverage for:
  • Travel medical insurance, including emergency evacuation in case of illness or injury
  • Baggage loss and delay, including optional coverage for sports equipment
Unexpected schedule changes, including trip cancellation, trip interruption, and trip delay
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PRE-EXISTING MEDICAL CONDITION

Pre-Existing Medical Condition means an illness, disease, or other condition during the 180 day period immediately prior to the date Your coverage is effective :
  1. received or received a recommendation for a test, examination, or medical treatment for a condition which first manifested itself, worsened or became acute, or had symptoms which would have prompted a reasonable person to seek diagnosis, care or treatment; or
  2. took or received a prescription for drugs or medicine. Item (2) of this definition does not apply to a condition which is treated or controlled solely through the taking of prescription drugs or medicine and remains treated or controlled without any adjustment or change in the required prescription throughout the 180 day period before coverage is effective under this policy.
  3. required a change in prescribed medication. Change in prescribed medication means the dosage or frequency of a medication has been reduced, increased, stopped and/or new medications have been prescribed due to the worsening of an underlying condition that is being treated with the medication, unless the change is:
    1. between a brand name and a generic medication with comparable dosage; or
    2. an adjustment to insulin or anti-coagulant dosage.
If you, or someone you are traveling with, has a Pre-Existing Medical Condition, you can still buy a policy from us but there is no cover for any claim arising directly or indirectly from that condition.

PRE-EXISTING MEDICAL CONDITION

Any Medical Condition that, within the last 12 months, required any:

  • surgery, inpatient or outpatient treatment, referrals or investigations of any sort. This includes being on any waiting list, taking any prescription medication, tablets or required medical treatment (This will not apply to common colds, flu or contraceptive medication);
  • medical advice or treatment for any respiratory condition relating to the lungs or breathing;
  • medical advice or treatment for any heart, stroke or diabetic condition;

Hypertension or high cholesterol controlled by 1 prescription drug only and where the dosage has not been changed within the last 12 months will not be considered a pre-existing medical condition

Coverages Available:

*not all coverages are available in all states
Travel Protection Benefits Limits
Trip Cancellation 100% of trip cost (up to a maximum of $20,000)
Single Occupancy Up to trip cost
Cancel for Any Reason Up to 75% of trip cost Up to 50% of trip costs in FL(CFAR not available to NY residents)
Trip Interruption 150% of trip cost
Delay Package
Trip Delay
Maximum $200 per day up to $2,500
Missed Connection Maximum of $1,000 per covered trip
Baggage Package – Excess
Baggage and Personal Effects $2,500 $100 Deductible
Baggage Delay $100 per day up to a maximum of $500
Travel Medical Package – Excess AK, CO, ID, ND, NH – Primary
Travel Medical Expense – Adventure sports included $100,000 $50,000 in NH $50 Deductible
Emergency Dental $750
Emergency Evacuation and Repatriation of Remains Up to $500,000
Up to $1,000,000 in NH
Accidental Death & Dismemberment $100,000 or $250,000 or $500,000
Pet Medical Package
Pet Medical Expense Up to $2,000 $100 Deductible
Pet Return Up to $500
Rental Vehicle Damage – Primary Up to $35,000 per rented vehicle- Primary $250 Deductible for loss greater than $2,000
Vacation Rental Damage $1,500 or $3,000 or $5,000

Travel Medical Insurance

Some benefits are subject to an excess (aka, the deductible, or what you have to pay before we pay), as stated in the Policy Schedule, and are per Policy Period.

Benefits Limits
Cancellation and Curtailment 5,000
Emergency Medical Expenses, Evacuation and Repatriation of Mortal Remains 10,000,000 (excess 250 or 50)
Hospital Benefit 25 per day, maximum 100
Personal Accident up to 250,000
Baggage Loss or Delay up to 5,000 (excess 250 or 50)
Personal Money and Passport, limited to 250 in respect of cash 500 (excess 250 or 50)
Personal Liability 500,000
Travel Delay 500
Optional Benefits Limits
Business Extension up to 1,000 (excess 100)
Winter Sports (Ski Equipment) up to 750 (excess 50 or 100)

Travel Medical Insurance

Some benefits are subject to an excess (aka, the deductible, or what you have to pay before we pay), as stated in the Policy Schedule, and are per Policy Period.

Benefits Limits
Trip Interruption 2,000
Emergency Medical Expenses, Evacuation and Repatriation of Mortal Remains 10,000,000 (excess 250)
Hospital Benefit 25 per day, maximum 100
Personal Accident up to 5,000
Baggage Loss or Delay up to 2,000 (excess 250 or 50)
Personal Money and Passport, limited to 250 in respect of cash 500 (excess 250) *** Limited to 250 in respect of cash
Personal Liability 500,000
Optional Benefits Limits
Business Extension up to 1,000 (excess 100)
Winter Sports (Ski Equipment) up to 750 (excess 50 or 100)
Personal Accident up to 250,000
Baggage up to 10,000

Travel Medical Insurance

Some benefits are subject to an excess (aka, the deductible, or what you have to pay before we pay), as stated in the Policy Schedule, and are per Policy Period.

Benefits Limits
Cancellation up to $20,000
Trip Interruption $1,000
Medical and Emergency Expenses $5,000,000 (deductible $250)
Hospital Benefit $25 per day, maximum $100
Personal Accident up to $50,000
Baggage $2,000 (deductible $250)
Personal Money and Passport, limited to $250 in respect of cash $500 (deductible $250)
Personal Liability $500,000
Optional Benefits Limits
Business Extension up to $1,000 (deductible $100)
Winter Sports (Ski Equipment) up to $750 (deductible $50 or $100)

Travel Medical Insurance

Some benefits are subject to an excess (aka, the deductible, or what you have to pay before we pay), as stated in the Policy Schedule, and are per Policy Period.

Benefits Limits
Cancellation and Curtailment 5,000
Emergency Medical Expenses, Evacuation and Repatriation of Mortal Remains 10,000,000 (excess 250 or 50)
Hospital Benefit 25 per day, maximum 100
Personal Accident up to 250,000
Baggage Loss or Delay up to 5,000 (excess 250 or 50)
Personal Money and Passport, limited to 250 in respect of cash 500 (excess 250 or 50)
Personal Liability 500,000
Travel Delay 500
Optional Benefits Limits
Business Extension up to 1,000 (excess 100)
Winter Sports (Ski Equipment) up to 750 (excess 50 or 100)