Winter in France offers high-end travellers a particular kind of magic. This is low season in many places, and an excellent time to enjoy a luxury holiday that’s full of elegance, privacy, coziness, and warmth. Whether you’re after a winter holiday in France that’s full of quiet, contemplation and total relaxation, or are in it for the adventure of thrilling runs down top-rate, snowy slopes, there are so many ways to make your trip unforgettable and unique.
Gourmets and those interested in arts and culture will also find plenty to do. Whatever your tastes, interests and preferences, keep reading to learn how to make your winter sojourn in Paris, Burgundy, the Alps or elsewhere truly extraordinary. And if we succeed in inspiring you, don’t hesitate to get in touch: we’ll work to create the perfect private getaway for you this winter (or next).
Winter in France is subtly beautiful, and often magical. Here’s how to enjoy it in complete luxury, without taking away from the coziness and warmth.
When many people imagine France in its wintery guise, they picture an enchanting, snowy scene in the Alps or the Pyrenees mountains. Gazing out the enormous windows of your private lodge, a crackling fire blazing in front of you, you enjoy a cup of rich hot chocolate or crusty french bread dipped in fondue. Taking in breathtaking mountain and forest views, you watch skiiers descending rapidly down the runs, a bright sun turning the snow to a glittering white.
Later, you’ll take to the slopes yourself, enjoying the brisk air before heading to enjoy a gourmet dinner at one of the resort’s most-coveted tables. Or perhaps you’ll embark on a day of cross-country skiing, snowboarding or snowshoeing, then retreat to your opulent private suite to read by the fire, or enjoy a romantic afternoon with your beloved. Together, you can luxuriate in a special treatment and relaxing soak at one of the very best spas in the Alps, reputed for its sumptuous interiors, high-end beauty products and gorgeous views over the mountains. In the evening, you’ll wander through the winter wonderland after a gourmet dinner, taking in the glittering holiday decor and perhaps indulging in a warming digestif at a rustic but elegant bar.
What could be more idyllic, really?
The Fantasy Comes to Life
Does this scene appeal to you? Whether you’re travelling on your own, embarking on a winter trip France as a couple or building team cooperation and camaraderie through a corporate getaway, there are so many ways to enjoy a luxury ski or winter sports break in France.
From the Alps to the Pyrenees
Our private tours and luxury holidays in the Alps will help you enjoy the region at its most prestigious and opulent: stay in Chamonix, Courchevel, Megève or other high-end stations, benefiting from our exclusive partnerships and confidential insights into this sought-after region. After all, who wants to be caught up with the crowds, pursuing mediocre activities? We know that true luxury requires both privacy and exclusivity: we make sure you experience only the very best on your bespoke winter break.
The same is true if you opt for a more off-the-beaten-path winter holiday in the Pyrenees mountains. Not only does this sublime mountain range offer ski and winter sports enthusiasts a more original and rugged setting for a luxury break; it also offers so much by way of unique culinary discoveries, gorgeous natural scenery, peace and quiet. As with our Alpine tours and luxury holidays, we offer our discerning clients a prestigious yet authentic experience of the Pyrenees, whether you want to spend most of your time skiing, relaxing in a breathtaking mountain lodge or visiting some of the region’s finest restaurants.
From late November through early January, many of the country’s most beautiful regions and cities transform into glittering winter wonderlands, as French Christmas markets turn squares and streets into warm, cheerful holiday villages. At these traditional markets, you can browse for original artisanal gifts, warm your hands over fragrant cups of hot, spiced wine, take in Christmas carols and musical performances, and taste regional delights from sausages to Provencal-style sweets and biscuits.
In the French capital, the arrival of the annual Christmas markets can offer a festive afternoon or evening break as part of a bespoke shopping tour of Paris. After a session of VIP fittings with designers, private viewings of exquisite jewelry or a morning at an art and antiques auction, a trip to one of the city’s lovely marchés de Noel can be both relaxing and cheering, and allow you to pick up some additional, authentic gifts for friends and family.
In Alsace, cities including Strasbourg and Colmar as well as numerous storybook villages and towns transform into enchanted Christmas villages, with the traditional, warm-wood chalets popping up all over and offering traditional regional products and gourmet treats, from toys and Christmas decorations to gluwein, sausages and sweet breads. This is truly a wonderful time of year to explore this region, which is too often overlooked by luxury travellers.
Meanwhile, heading southward to Provence, local Christmas markets celebrate their own elaborate, festive holiday rituals, and the markets there are overflowing with delights: dried fruit and figs, calisson biscuits, white and chocolate nougat, olives and many other local gourmet specialities.
Take a Private Tour of France’s Magical Christmas Markets
If you’re planning a high-end winter break in France and want to incorporate one or more of these idyllic markets into your itinerary, we’ll make sure it’s as enchanting as it should be. Why not let us plan exclusive treats such as meetings with local artisans, unforgettable stays in nearby palace hotels, chateaux and lodges, or gastronomic feasts at superb tables following your whirl through the markets of Paris, Colmar or Saint-Remy-de-Provence? You can find more inspiring ideas in our full guides to the “marchés de Noel” around France.
Christmas markets aren’t the only occasion to enjoy France’s wonderful artisanal products. One of the great joys and pleasures of the winter months is the beginning of truffle season in France. For anyone with a gourmet palate to sate or simply a desire to understand some of France’s time-honoured and cherished culinary traditions, the period between November to January is ideal for learning about the product often referred to as les diamants noirs (black diamonds).
Prized for their incredibly rich and pungent flavour as well as their rarity, black truffles are among France’s most expensive and luxurious culinary products. Each year, they’re expertly, hunted, and sold in lively and prestigious markets, primarily in the Provence and Dordogne region, around Périgord.
At markets such as Richerenches and Carpentras in Provence and Gramat in the Dordogne, visitors with a taste for gourmet discoveries can participate in hunts led by adorable, uncannily clever truffle pigs or dogs and their human companions, purchase whole truffles from the country’s finest vendors (who weigh the “black diamonds” on ornate, old-fashioned scales), and witness elaborate town “truffle masses” led by confrérie members in flamboyant robes. It’s hard to find something more authentically regional than these beloved annual rituals. Here’s a way to truly get off the beaten track and participate in the traditions that locals themselves cherish.
You can also take truffle-centric French cooking classes led by master chefs, enjoy live music and dance and enjoy a variety of products laced with the delicious black mushroom.
Interested in a private tour of France that includes a whirl through truffle country? We’ll create a bespoke gourmet itinerary that can include markets, coveted regional tables, meetings with truffle artisans and hunters and much more.
Winter may not be a traditional time to embark on a romantic getaway or luxury honeymoon in France, but for couples with a taste for the unusual, the authentic or the quiet, it may be the perfect time to enjoy a high-end break together.
Head to Paris for an intimate luxury getaway together, staying in a sumptuous palace hotel, roaming streets and museums that will be significantly less crowded than in high season, and enjoying a variety of prestigious and romantic activities. Visit a top perfumer to create a signature scent for one or both of you that embodies your passion and devotion, or wander through the opulent old shopping arcades to find the perfect ring or piece of jewellry following your engagement in France. Embark on a day trip to Versailles or Champagne together and enjoy some serious art, culture, and a bit of bubbly to celebrate your special occasion.
Why not retreat to the storybook-romantic Loire Valley as a couple, lodging in a mythical castle and tasting a variety of wonderful wines native to the region? Explore the most beautiful chateaux in France, from Chenonceau to Chambord, and enjoy a quiet but utterly romantic stay that will afford some truly special moments together. And if you’re celebrating an engagement or a wedding anniversary, let us plan an unforgettable and exclusive reception or dinner for you and your cherished guests in a Loire property that’s synonymous with elegance and prestige.
If you’re a fan of winter sports and snow, embark on a trip to the Alps or the Pyrenees together (see more above for tons of romantic ideas). Lover of the winter sun? A honeymoon or engagement celebration in Nice, Monaco or Corsica could be just the ticket.
Most regions of France have something to offer couples looking for a romantic break that’s truly out of the ordinary, so take a look through our dedicated guides to each and let your inspiration guide you. And of course, since handling logistics and planning your trip can put a bit of a damper on the romance, why not leave it to the experts? We’ll do all the heavy lifting for you, creating a bespoke winter holiday in France that will take your breath away– and leave you with cherished memories to share.
It’s true that French wine tours are most sought-after in the late summer and autumn, when harvests take place across the country and various festivals, such as Beaujolais Nouveau, make for an enjoyable time to tour vineyards and cellars. But choosing a high-end winter tour that includes visits to some of the country’s finest winemakers can be remarkably pleasant.
For one thing, you’ll have a more intimate and authentic experience, since crowds considerably thin out in the winter months. Accessing the most exclusive cellars and meetings with prized vintners is even more of a possibility at this time of year, enriching your cultural experience and teaching you the secrets of French winemaking.
Even in the winter, the rolling vineyards of Burgundy, Bordeaux or Champagne can be poetic and beautiful. You can tour these iconic landscapes aboard a vintage 2CV Citroen. Witness the wintery countryside rolling by as you’re escorted from exclusive cellar to private dinners hosted by expert sommeliers.
Whether you dream of cracking the mysteries of Burgundy’s prestigious wines, exploring the remarkable underground chalk quarries of Champagne while you taste the finest examples of the region’s sparkling white, or heading to Bordeaux for an exclusive tour of the region’s quasi-royal wineries, don’t try this wintery venture by yourself. Working with an expert private guide means you’ll be able to access some of France’s most carefully-guarded wineries and cellars, granting you privileged access that would be difficult to obtain on your own.
Finally, although most major wine festivals and regional tasting events of note take place in the autumn, there are several interesting events related to the art of oenology scheduled during the winter, including prestigious tastings. Your private wine tour can certainly include some of these, so don’t hesitate to ask.
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