2. Serre Chevalier, FranceLearn More
France’s Serre Chevalier Valley is near Briançon, a medieval town with a hip, bohemian vibe. The region is relatively unknown in the U.S., despite being the largest ski area in the southern alps, with more than 155 miles of slopes for all levels (13 black, 29 red, 26 blue, 13 green), 1,300 up to 2,800m in altitude, on 9,662 acres of ski area. There are 59 ski lifts, and excellent snow (even in lean years) due to one of the most comprehensive snow-making systems in the world. More than 80 percent of the runs are above 6,500 feet, and while there’s something for everyone from beginner to expert, the access to steep off-piste here is simply breathtaking. The road from Briançon winds through several old villages (Chantermerle, Villeneuve and Le Monétier Les Bains) that blend cobblestone charm with modern conveniences. All have lifts and cable cars that connect with the ski area. On your rest day, soak in the upscale hot springs in Monetier Les Bains—or take a gorgeous hike up to the 17th-century Vauban Fort.
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