Chambéry is both the gateway to some of the finest skiing in the French Alps and an irresistibly charming destination in its own right.
Stroll around the narrow Medieval streets of its immaculate old town, and you’ll be treated to a stunning castle, impressive art galleries and family-run restaurants overflowing with character.
Sleepy Chambéry is the perfect place to find a charming pub or wine bar and join the locals for a drink of regional wine or beer. Although it isn’t famed for its electric nightlife, every March, Chambéry welcomes partygoers to one big event – the Pharaonic – with a giant dance floor at the multipurpose Le Phare (The Lighthouse).
Much of the après-ski in the region involves settling down with a drink in a cosy lodge, so it’s easy to find a quiet village and relax by an open fire while the snow covers the mountains once more.
If you’re here to party, however, the resorts in the Rhône-Alpes region embrace the après-ski lifestyle. Part of the appeal of visiting The Three Valleys is joining in with the partying at Val Thorens. La Folie Douce, in particular, is famed for being one of the highest open-air clubs in Europe. Live DJs and free-flowing drinks make the resort almost as popular for its nightlife as for its dramatic landscape and challenging pistes.