Beautiful France: 20 images that sum up the magic of France in winter

A French winter wonderland

A French winter wonderland - Credit: Archant

From festive Christmas markets brimming with seasonal goods to vibrant carnivals, France is anything but dull during the winter months. We pick our 20 favourite images that celebrate France in winter

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1 Vibrant Christmas markets, with glistening lights and festive trees, take over town squares across the country

 

 

https://www.instagram.com/p/-Wz9wfPr6B

 

2 Alsace has a few good ones, including the oldest in Strasbourg, which started in 1570...

 

https://www.instagram.com/p/-Vdri0t053

 

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3...and Provence isn’t going to be left out with its traditional Foire aux Santons.

 

Skating outside Hotel de Ville in Paris

Skating outside Hotel de Ville in Paris - Credit: Archant

 

4 There are the fabulous light shows, with the Fête des Lumières in Lyon leading the pack

 

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5 ...and the hugely popular ice rinks, including the famous Paris Hôtel de Ville ice rink...

 

https://www.instagram.com/p/-V9VWbHOku

 

6 ...and while you are in Paris why not pick up a bargain during the soldes d’hiver?

 

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7 France also has the most visited ski resorts in the world...

 

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8 ...including famous Chamonix, home to the Aiguille Du Midi cable car, which whisks you up to almost 4,000 metres and takes in amazing jaw-dropping Alpine views…

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GHebNQ_nVOY

 

9 ...and for the experienced skier wanting an exciting and exhilarating descent back to Chamonix there is the celebrated off-piste run The Vallee Blanche.

 

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10 If that isn’t thrilling enough there’s always the Olympic bobsleigh run at La Plagne, France’s only bobsleigh track, with its 19 bends and 1500 metres of pure, unadulterated thrills.

 

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11 For those wanting to take Alpine life a little slower, yet still experience the mountains, there’s snowshoeing or rather la raquette à neige.

 

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12 Either way once back on terra firma you can enjoy a vin chaud to warm up...

 

https://www.instagram.com/p/uaZc4SQdW7/?tagged=tartifilette

 

13. ...and some pretty good après ski activities too!

 

https://www.instagram.com/p/9-MUsTsY3Z

 

14 While in the mountains it’s basically compulsory to eat lots of hearty food to warm you up, and - as calories don’t count here - most of it involves cheese...

 

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15 ...lots of cheese!

 

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16 But down in the south, temperatures are mild enough to enjoy a drink out on a café’s terrace...

 

https://www.instagram.com/p/0A5HQ8i1qW

 

17...or even a dip in the Med...

 

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18 ...and winter in Provence certainly isn’t dull...

 

https://www.instagram.com/p/yjlPLJpziy

 

19 ...but rather a riot of colour!

 

 

20 Paris isn’t outdone either by its southern colleagues with its Cirque de Demain in January; be prepared to be enthralled and dazzled…

 

 

 

Like this? Then check out:

 

30 reasons to visit France in winter

 

19 pictures that sum up why France is a magical place to live and visit