Dream of being the primary to create tracks on brand-new snow within the morning, cross-country snowboarding or snowshoeing in silent, snowy forests, taking part in on pristine powder in your snowboard? Then a tenting journey within the snow should be in your final journey record.
Whether or not you understand a bit about it already or it’s all new to you, now we have put collectively a bit information to winter tenting within the snow for you (and don’t fear – this doesn’t imply you need to pitch a tent, you’re allowed to remain in ski chalets!)
Low-cost ski vacation: be part of the ‘caravaneige’ motion
The French – with many spectacular mountain ranges of their very own plus easy accessibility to Italy, Austria and Switzerland for a lot of extra – are nice proponents of out of doors holidays within the snow. Relatively than chilly climate being a motive to remain dwelling in entrance of the hearth, they appear to see pristine, white, snowy situations as much more of a superb motive to go tenting. A lot in order that they’ve invented a time period for this nice journey, which mixes the phrases for caravan and snow into one: ‘caravaneige’.
We’ve to agree with them, there’s something magical and reinvigorating about being outside, at one with nature, within the silent, beautiful, all-covering whiteness.
What’s ‘caravaneige’ precisely?
The unique that means was this: caravanning or campervanning x snow holidays. Staying in a caravan, campervan or motorhome in, or close to, a winter sports activities resort. It dates again to the Nineteen Sixties, when each campsites and ski resorts first actually emerged and developed. It must be admitted: between ski passes, gear and meals and drinks up the mountains, snowboarding is an costly vacation, particularly for households. Not ones to be restricted of their enjoyable, the French invented this economical lodging possibility, which allowed folks with extra modest budgets to benefit from the slopes. (It’s additionally an unbelievable journey for teenagers!) Thus, the emergence and recognition of ‘caravaneige’ is an financial phenomenon. Primarily, it’s an ingenious technique to have an inexpensive ski vacation.
However for the reason that Nineteen Sixties, sure issues have developed, not least selection of lodging choices. So at this time, what it means is that this: open-air lodging x snow holidays. These days campsites and open-air resorts – as a result of with a plethora of facilities and on-site lodging choices, that is what campsites have developed into in France – supply ski chalets, bungalows and cell properties to remain in. So, you’ll be able to nonetheless get pleasure from proximity to nature within the very particular snow season, but additionally creature comforts like heating, dryness, an indoor toilet and a heat kitchen!!
Think about snuggling up below your cover at evening in your motorhome or cell dwelling close to Peyragudes within the Pyrenees, or Megève within the Alps – your muscle tissue aching pleasantly after a day of snowsports, so sleepy you’ll be able to hardly keep awake. Earlier than you drop off, look exterior and soak up a panorama blanketed in white, snow-covered timber and clear, star-filled sky. That’s the fantastic feeling that solely an outside vacation within the snow may give you!
Caravaneige has subsequently grow to be a part of the record of providers supplied by campsites in France which keep open year-round. In addition to onsite self-catering lodging, they do typically nonetheless supply snow-cleared pitches in the course of the winter season, so taking your caravan or motorhome remains to be and possibility (and certainly a less expensive one). There are even some websites which open solely in winter, specialised in taking care of powder-seekers.
Hooked on the thought? Nice. Let’s take a look at how and the place to place a caravanning vacation into observe, and get you reserving a very memorable vacation with household or mates within the mountains.
What’s distinctive about snow holidays at a campsite?
Firstly, tenting within the snow tends to be in mountain places – the place there’s most snow and most enjoyable issues to do within the snow.
Secondly, it’s essential to discover a campsite or open-air resort that’s open in winter. Yr-round and winter campsites differ from “conventional” campsites in a number of methods:
- Opposite to what you may anticipate if you’re acquainted with typical open-air resorts in France which are likely to brimming with actions and leisure, in winter there are typically no actions or leisure at campsites. So, no youngsters’ golf equipment or night exhibits, however they could organise issues like snowshoe hikes or workshops on winter wildlife, so this may very well be value asking about for those who gained’t be busy on the slopes on daily basis.
- Alternatively, among the greater resorts nonetheless present restaurant or takeaway providers, which will be very helpful after an extended day! Others supply a lined, heated swimming pool and/or sauna or jacuzzi. So, it’s value trying on the facilities of various websites.
- If you’re planning on snowboarding, mountaineering or snowboarding, it’s additionally value searching for a heated ski room. That is very sensible, because it means your gear and boots will likely be dry for the subsequent day’s actions and also you don’t need to litter up your lodging with them hanging in all places.
- Some institutions will supply a shuttle bus to the slopes.
Ski chalets and extra: winter vacation lodging
Listed here are the choices:
- Hire a chalet. Probably the most comfy (warmest!) lodging possibility is to lease a cell dwelling, bungalow or chalet. It’s costlier than parking up on a pitch, however so much cheaper than renting an condominium within the coronary heart of a ski resort. For a 100% ski vacation expertise, look out for websites with picket chalets. Conjuring up an actual journey with their conventional look and snow-covered roofs, they’re exhausting to withstand.
- Courageous a tent. If you’re feeling VERY adventurous and nothing will do however the excessive tenting within the snow expertise (or probably the most economical of journeys), you’ll be able to all the time lease a snow-cleared pitch and set off for the mountains together with your tent. No less than the bathroom and bathe block will likely be heated! However you’ll need to have all the suitable gear for the chilly in your tent. Nevertheless well-equipped the location could also be, sleeping in a tent within the mountains in the course of winter requires preparation each mentally and logistically!
- Convey your tenting automobile. That is the compromise possibility: medium consolation, medium value. Pitching up a caravan or motorhome goes to be a significantly hotter possibility than a tent, and cheaper than a chalet. You’ll respect the consolation of a house on wheels: heating, lighting and electrical energy for the lengthy nights alone. Take into accout although that driving in winter, particularly on doubtlessly snowy and icy roads, requires a lot of precautions and legally required supplies (suppose snow tyres and snow chains, particularly, above sure heights).
Towing a caravan or driving a motorhome or campervan within the snow
What precautions is it smart to take, when taking to the street in winter situations?
Earlier than setting off
- It might go with out saying, however crucial factor is to be sure you have snow tyres and chains in your automobile (chances are you’ll must order these a number of weeks prematurely of your journey). Snow tyres are necessary above sure altitudes in France now, and for those who get caught in snow when venturing off the street, you’ll want these snow chains.
- Additionally put together for any emergencies by having a equipment on board. For instance, at the very least one good torch in working order and spare batteries, long-life meals and water, a number of sleeping luggage or blankets, maybe a small heater. (That is all along with the same old emergency tools comparable to hi-vis vests and triangles.)
- In winter, as a result of chilly, a automobile will be susceptible to breakdowns. E-book in a winter service or examine your automotive’s battery, tyres, lights, windscreen wipers and fluid ranges your self. If doable, set up a battery booster, or deliver soar leads. Additionally bear in mind to make use of gas with an anti-freeze additive.
As soon as on web site
- Take a wheel chock for leveling your automobile on the pitch. This recommendation is legitimate in all seasons!
- Within the occasion of snowfall, clear the snow from the roof of your automobile and your pitch as quickly as doable.
- When you don’t transfer your automobile in the course of the day, begin the engine each morning and night. If it’s a lengthy keep, examine the battery and radiator often.
- When you want recommendation, don’t hesitate to ask your motorhome or caravan neighbours. Caravaneige has very devoted followers and you’re certain to search out somebody with a long time of expertise that can assist you out!
Now the snowy slopes of the Alps and the Pyrenees are yours to find, or the attractive walks of the snowy forests of the Vosges, the Jura or Auvergne.
It’s time to maneuver on to occupied with the place you’d most prefer to go. A legendary mountain vary that you simply bear in mind from geography lessons as a baby or a actual off-beaten monitor spot that nobody you understand has ever heard of? There are over 100 campsites in France open in winter, most of them positioned in one of many 5 mountainous areas above.
When you’re not able to decide to a vacation spot, browse our campsites within the mountains assortment as an alternative and see if any of them take your fancy. You probably have any difficulties discovering someplace in your low-cost snow vacation, ship our Buyer Care workforce an electronic mail telling them the make-up of your group and the kind of journey you’d prefer to e-book and somebody will come again to you with ideas. And don’t neglect to share your pictures with us on social media by tagging #campsited!