VALBERG, FRENCH ALPS
Valberg is a ski resort in the French Alps, possibly less well known than Isola 2000 it is in the same area and is easily accessible by car from Nice which is about 1.5 hrs away.
We were invited to stay with a French family just outside the village and had an insiders course on how to enjoy the mountains without emptying your bank account !
First up and the most amazing experience was racketing (snow shoes). Our guides knew the mountains very well and suggested to us that if we were happy to walk a little way in the deep snow using rackets we would be able to have a mountain side all to ourselves. This is not something that can be attempted without a good guide, but the experience of walking through the forests on virgin snow and up to a sunny mountain slope really is amazing. the only sounds we could hear were the birds, the crunch of the snow and our heavy breathing as we slowly waded across the snow. It was absolutely beautiful.
In addition to this we took on Nordic skiing, which isn’t easy, but is a lot less dangerous (we think) than the alpine version. Again we met only a handful of people and had the forests and snow to ourselves.
Our daughter did have a go at traditional downhill alpine skiing, and the rest of the time we simply drove out of the village to a deserted mountain side, parked and picnicked on the frozen white landscape - with temperatures reaching 15 degrees it was almost a summer experience.
•Valberg is in the French Alps
•There are 90km of pistes between 1500 and 2000 meters high
•Valberg has gentle slopes for beginners and families
•The 80km drive to Valberg from Nice takes you through the startling bright red rock gorge of the Gorges de Cians.Painting shown:
Artist: Joanne Short
Painting: “The warmth of Autumn”
Size: 12 x 12 inches
Medium: Oil on board
Courtesy of Gallery Monaco