Ski holidays aren't for everyone - but that doesn't mean you should miss out on a snowy holiday in the French Alps - because there are some excellent non-ski activities to enjoy.
We headed to the Trois Vallees to experience the best of a ski-free holiday, complete with hot tubs and snowshoeing .
Whether you can't ski or won't ski, these amazing activities prove that you don't need skis or a snowboard to have an enjoyable holiday in the mountains. Here are some of the terrific things you can do on a French ski holiday that don't involve skiing.
Excellent for discovering the beauty of your surroundings and for a good workout in the powder, snowshoeing involves strapping a pair of tennis racket-style snowshoes to your feet before making your way through deep snow, via picturesque forests, mountains and lakes with a guide to take you to explore hidden parts of the valley that skiers may never reach. In Meribel-Mottaret, one of the most picturesque places to hike is to the Lake Tueda in the Tueda Nature Reserve. Wearing snowshoes, you can head from the centre of Mottaret through the untouched pine forest before reaching the lake and its magnificent mountain scenery.
Courchevel offers visitors something unique in France: its very own two-kilometre-long sledge run. The floodlit toboggan run, which operates from 9am to 7.30pm, features 300 metres of vertical drop. The ride costs nine euros for those without a lift pass and departs from the edge of the Tovets ski run in Courchevel 1850, arriving in Courchevel 1550. Fun for children and adults, the exhilarating sled run is a must for non-skiers and skiers alike. Watch this video of sledders in action on the run.
4. Soaking in a hot tub
If you love nothing more than relaxing in a hot tub, you'll adore the Jacuzzi at Hotel Le Mottaret, which is complimentary for all guests to use throughout the day and can even be reserved for free in the evenings. The hotel is set just seconds from the slopes in Meribel-Mottaret and its hot tub's wonderful location allows you to enjoy the bubbles as they relax your muscles while you sip a glass of champagne and soak up the snowy surroundings.
5. Indulging in the local food
With seven Michelin-starred restaurants, Courchevel is a tempting resort for foodies. Hotel Le Chabichou is home to one of these, Le Chabichou, but also the affordable bistro Le Chabotté, which serves up excellent dishes, including fish from the mountain lakes, at reasonable prices. Le 9.9 is another laid-back Courchevel eatery serving up local food in a fun atmosphere. For the regional specialities of fondue and raclette in Mottaret, try Le Rastro for its wonderful rustic setting, while the Tueda Nature Reserve's Refuge du Plan is worth the 30-minute hike from Lac du Tueda for the exceptional views and hearty cuisine.
6. Relaxing in spa heaven
For a blissful day of wellness and water-based fun, visit Courchevel to experience the luxurious Aquamotion and its array of state-of-the-art spa facilities. Featuring multiple swimming pools inside and out, a wave machine for indoor surfing and waterslides, the water park is loaded with activity for all ages. Those who are here to relax should head straight for the adults-only area where you'll find steaming outdoor lagoons, a Finnish sauna with an ice-cold plunge pool for a quick dip, plus saunas, a saltwater grotto, a hammam and more. If you're looking to take your relaxation to another level, there is a huge selection of massages and rituals available.
... and if you do fancy taking to the slopes in the world's largest ski area, Maison Sport is a great place to start as it matches skiers and snowboarders directly with independent instructors based on your skill level, experience and how much you want to spend. The website is fantastic for beginners looking for an instructor in the French Alps or intermediate skiers and snowboarders who would like to brush up on their techniques.