The French resort of Serre Chevalier offers more than just great skiing. Venture just off the beaten path and you’ll find a whole host of unique experiences to enhance your ski holiday.

Emily Morgan travelled to Serre Chevalier to look beyond the pistes and see what local businesses have sprung up to cater for those with adventurous tastes.

If you have ever wanted to feel like royalty in the mountains, Bain Nordique was made for you. Translated as Nordic baths, this unique experience oozes luxury and was the perfect start to a trip full of surprises.

The entrance is a plush tipi where the group changed into cosy robes and sat together for a welcome chat by the fire. From there, we were led through a tunnel glowing with fairy lights, outside to the baths. Eight cylindrical steaming tubs were arranged around a swimming pool which was full of snow, and we couldn’t wait to jump in. The chill from the walk made sinking into the hot water even more satisfying. Champagne was delivered to us and we lay back looking at the stars whilst sipping on bubbly, letting the warm water soak our muscles. The sound of the trickling river nearby and the crackling out the fire were the only sounds, which made for a completely blissful experience. After relaxing for a while, the next stage of the Bain Nordique arrived: a delicious food board. Grilled duck slices with pear and prawns coupled with asparagus were on the menu, and the flavours were divine.

Soon we started to cook a little ourselves, so we were invited out of the warm waters to sit around the fire in our robes, where we enjoyed bite sized choc-ices with marshmallows. Luckily, the night was calm with no wind, so being outside was no barrier to relaxing. If anything, the sounds and sights of the night made the experience even more vivid and magical. The Bain Nordiques were a luxurious experience from start to finish and the friendly staff added an extra level of comfort to the fairytale.

Once we were well fed and warmed to the core we departed to our accommodation for the week, the beautiful and rustic Chalet Refuge, operated by Zenith Holidays.

The following day we set off to make the most of the slopes. Serre Chevalier offers a great variety of long, wide runs for skiers of all abilities. There are plenty of cruisy blues and reds for intermediates plus a range of fun tree runs if you want to push yourself off-piste.

At lunch we ate on the mountain at Le Carré, Café Soleil. On arrival our ski boots were swapped for warm, furry slippers which meant no ungainly clunking around the venue. The décor was traditionally French with a woody feel and we enjoyed a view of the piste from our table. The service was outstanding the lamb main was hearty and warming, perfect for the cold conditions but perhaps a little overindulgent for an active afternoon on the slopes. After lunch the staff brought us our warmed boots which were nice and cosy ready for an afternoon on the slopes.

That evening we took a trip down to the old town of Briançon, only 15 minutes from our Zenith chalet. The cobbled streets and shuttered buildings are reminiscent of Amsterdam, and the walking tour led us along the 'drain' (originally designed to ensure a constant source of water to fight fires in the 17th century) running through the centre, to a variety of shops and bars. One of the bars was our next destination where we stopped to sample some local liqueurs at 1420 Pub. The flavours included raspberry and Meleze, a local speciality, but it was the strength we needed to watch out for. At 40-50%, the liqueurs really packed a punch!

We couldn’t get too bleary eyed though, because we needed to order our EasyValley lunch for the next day. EasyValley is an Alpine food delivery service which allows you to pre-order meals to collect at a place of your choice. You simply visit the website and select your food from an extensive menu then confirm your pickup location for the next day.

The following day we worked up an appetite carving around the slopes of Serre Chevalier before stopping to collect our EasyValley picnic. Don’t be fooled though, it wasn’t a simple packed lunch we were handed by the food courier. You can simply collect the food at an agreed time and place or meet at a designated food preparation station, equipped with a full-blown kitchen. We opted for the latter and met for lunch at a barbecue station on the mountain with incredible vistas and panoramic views of resort.

The grill was warmed by the EasyValley team before we arrived and the fiery hot station had everything we could possibly need for a plush picnic with a view to die for. Victor, our EasyValley representative, was exceptionally friendly and helped us prepare our meals. We enjoyed grilled chicken and sausage skewers with peppers and corn on the cobb, looking at the menu you would have thought we were at a beach barbeque. Preparing and eating outside was a unique dining experience and I would highly recommend EasyValley for a lunch on the snow. The ordering process was straightforward, and the courier was punctual and happy to help. We left full, content and ready to continue our day on the mountain – although I must admit I wouldn’t have minded staying next to the hot grill for a little longer!

Whilst skiing is a firm classic on the Serre Chevalier menu, the special making a debut this season is the Mountain Bob. You may have never considered choosing a trike for a mountain descent, but I can guarantee you won’t be disappointed if you do. Mountain Bob provides a different type of snowsports experience where you leave your skis at the summit and take on the piste with wheels.

In our group of five, we temporarily kissed goodbye to our skis at the top of the mountain and each chose a three-wheeled bike. At first, we joined a piste with other skiers which was unnerving as we had targets to dodge, but we quickly moved on to a mountain bob track free from other piste users – and that’s when the fun could begin. On the bikes, drifting is encouraged so skidding is the main way to travel. The track was a scenic trail with high walls descending 300m and we whizzed and skidded down the route, racing to the finish line. The entire descent takes about 15 minutes and helmets are provided, so it’s a fast and fun trail down the mountain which is also safe. At the bottom, racers celebrate victory or accept defeat then simply hand over the bikes and head back up the gondola to their skis. Suitable for adrenaline junkies of all ages, the Mountain Bob is a must-do in Serre Chevalier.

Whether you’re seeking eclectic dining experiences, luxury escapes or big thrills on the mountain, Serre Chevalier has something to offer every curious traveller. Make your ski holiday one to remember by injecting some extra fun.

Ski Club Holidays        in Serre Chevalier

Freshtracks Off Piste Instruction ski holidays to Serre Chevalier - find out more