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Top things to do in the French Alps for non-skiers

There’s no arguing that France is a top ski destination. In fact, in the 2018-2019 ski season, French ski resorts recorded more than 55 million visitors — second in the world behind only Austria.

At the epicenter of the French skiing culture is the region known as the French Alps, with its world-class ski resorts, snow-dusted villages, and incredible natural beauty. There are so many reasons to visit the French Alps in the winter, and skiing and snowboarding are just two of them. Grab a mug of hot chocolate and discover seven other things to do in the French Alps during the winter months — especially if you don’t like to ski or snowboard.

Shop the local markets

Many of the ski villages surrounding ski resorts in France host vibrant weekly markets, especially during the holiday season. While the rest of your group is hitting the slopes, spend a relaxing day browsing local markets for artisan foods, handmade goods, and quality gifts. For a truly unique holiday experience, be sure to visit Grenoble between November and Christmas Eve, when you’ll find four separate Christmas markets in the town.

Enjoy a spa day

Treat yourself to a couple of spa treatments or a full-day of indulgence at one of the French Alps’ many spas. As the snow falls in the mountains, warm up with features like thermal soaking tubs, hot tubs, saunas, and indulgent massages. You’ll find spas in many ski resorts in the region, but for something truly special, check out Le Grand Spa Thermal in Brides-les-Bains, the largest thermal spa in the alps. The Spa Deep Nature – Les Sources de Marie in Les Arcs is an incredible mineral spa comprised of themed caves — another must-see.

Take a mountaineering expedition

The resort town of Chamonix is known as the world capital of mountaineering, thanks to in excess of 10,000 mountaineering and winter hiking routes in and around iconic Mont Blanc. Breathe in that fresh mountain air as you traverse your choice of trails, with offerings for adventurers of all skill and experience levels. Not sure where to start? A guided tour is a great way to go.

Ride the Alpine Coaster in Chamonix

Want the feeling of speeding down the side of a snowy mountain without having to be an expert skier? Enter the Chamonix Luge Alpine Coaster! This almost mile-long track is great fun for the whole family. Strap in and zoom down the mountain on an adrenaline-pumping ride that includes jumps, turns, spins, and more. It’s open year round and you can even enjoy a night ride, with the whole mountainside lit up.

Try cross-country skiing

Nordic skiing is a great winter sports alternative for those who don’t want to downhill ski or snowboard. Cross-country skiing offers the ability to enjoy the beauty of the French Alps in winter, while getting some outdoor exercise. Gear rentals are available at many ski resort locations, so simply plan a sports center visit. From there, you can enjoy a guided or independent ski day on groomed trails perfect for everyone from beginners to expert Nordic skiers. Note that snowshoe excursions are also a popular option along the same trails!

Go kayaking

Water sports might not spring to mind when you think of alpine adventures, but the French Alps are home to some of the best white waters in France on rivers including the Severaisse, La Bonne, Durance, and Ubaye. Numerous tour companies offer everything from kayaking day trips to extended adventure expeditions on white water rapids ranging from class 2 to class 4. So grab a helmet and lifejacket and prepare for thrills, plenty of sunshine, breathtaking views, and a healthy dose of the beauty of northern France.

Enjoy mountain biking

When the winter snow melts in ski resorts throughout the French Alps, networks of cross-country and downhill mountain biking trails are revealed. Orcières in the Champsaur Valley in the southern French Alps is a popular summer mountain biking destination with an amazing 5,900 feet of descent. Hop on the chairlift to the top, put on your helmet, climb on your mountain bike, and prepare yourself for an adrenaline-pumping ride.

Adventure awaits and the planning starts now

Whether your favorite winter activities include skiing, snowboarding, snow tubing, snow shoeing, ice skating, or even just enjoying an après ski evening with your favorite travel buddies, the French Alps are the perfect place to take your next winter trip.

As you’re planning your trip, always remember to pack your travel insurance. With a comprehensive travel insurance plan in place that includes coverage for all your favorite adventure sports, you’ll be well protected. A battleface travel insurance policy provides protection for logistical challenges like trip interruption and trip delay, inconveniences like lost or damaged luggage, and more serious issues, like travel medical insurance and emergency evacuation.

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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)