Perhaps you moved to France for the warm, balmy summers, to enjoy endless days of sunshine and spend as much time as possible in the great outdoors. If this is true, then the winter months may come as a bit of shock – but don’t fret! Winter in France can be just as enjoyable. Here’s how to embrace it.

Winter sports

Make the most of being in one of the best countries in the world for winter sports! Of course, the best spots to head to are the Alps or the Pyrenees. France boasts no fewer than 400 winter resorts, offering skiing, snowboarding as well as snowshoeing and even ice climbing. And if the family is keen but you’re not, then enjoy the spectacular mountain views with a mulled wine and settle in to your après-ski.

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Christmas markets

Come November, you can start enjoying France’s excellent Christmas markets. Apart from a chance to start some Christmas shopping, these markets make for a great day out. You can enjoy music, carols, mulled wine, delicious food and generally take in the festive ambience. They’re also a brilliant place to meet and socialise with friends, take the kids and spend quality time with loved ones. Strasbourg, Metz and Annecy are three of the most renowned, although you’ll find them all over the country.

Eat French comfort food

Like most places, France turns to comfort food when the weather gets cool. Soupe à l’oignon, cassoulet, fondue, beef bourguignon, raclette – the list could go on! Local restaurants will noticeably take a step away from lighter dishes and fill their menus with these hearty foods for you to indulge in – not to mention the plentiful mulled wine, hot chocolate and other hot drinks. You’ll also find more oysters and truffles on the menu and could even track down a truffle market to visit.

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Embrace French Christmas traditions

If you’re spending winter in France, this is your chance to fully embrace a French Christmas. The main day of celebration is the 24th of December as opposed to the 25th. Everything on this day builds up towards the evening meal, “Le Reveillon”, which is normally held late, often after church. The Epiphany on January 6 is also a cause for celebration in France and tends to revolve around the Galette des Rois – a cake in which a small charm is hidden.

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