Why Grenoble is Five-Times an Awesome Winter Hotspot
The summer is once again about to beat a hasty retreat and take with it the kind of weather that delights millions and infuriates ski-heads. Yes, the cold weather might mean a lot of negative things to a lot of people, but for those intending on heading to the Alps for their annual dose of shredding, it’s all good times ahead!
But here’s the thing – instead of heading to the same haunts year after year after year, why not make the 2013/2014 season the one to mix it up a little? There are literally hundreds of towns, cities and villages in and around the Alps you could gain so much from by checking out. And this also counts for the places you probably only know for their airports – places like Grenoble for example have so much to offer besides a well-equipped arrivals hall!
So if the idea of real escapism even just for a day or two sounds like a winning idea this year, Grenoble comes highly-recommended. Not only is it a place that usual frenzied tourist mobs mostly pass by, but it really starts coming into its own as the winter months roll in. Those that know Grenoble will tell you the reasons to make a visit are infinite, but for the sake of keeping things concise, here’s a sample of five:
1. The Historic Centre
Grenoble is the kind of place where one of the most rewarding things to do is to do nothing at all! The historic centre of the town is like a living, breathing museum with more charm and character than you can shake a stick at. Particularly gorgeous are the areas around Fort de la Bastille and Notre Dame Musee, where you can easily while away a few hours just wandering around aimlessly and drinking it all in.
The Tarteline on Grande Rue comes extremely highly recommended as the place to go to on a cold day and warm up with a hot chocolate and a pastry. But to be perfectly honest, the food across the board in Grenoble is a force unto its own, ranging from the most sumptuous salads and snacks right through to the rib-sticking raclette – a dish that involves plenty of cheese, plenty of melting and a hefty dose of scraping! Enjoy!
3. Festive Markets
If you’re lucky enough to be in Grenoble from late November to the middle of January, you’ll be spoilt for choice with some of the most enchanting Christmas markets and fairs to be found anywhere in the world. The smell of mulled wine and fresh-baked goods fills the air, which when coupled with traditional Christmas songs and those unmistakable lights makes for a true fairy-tale experience.
Another example of having a great time by doing nothing at all comes in the form of sitting on your behind and just watching the locals do whatever it is they do best. Score yourself an outdoor table in any busy shopping area or even better still close to the Place Andre Malraux and Place Saint Bruno street markets and you’ll have a lifetime’s worth of entertainment right in front of you.
And finally, whether you’re looking to rough it with a dozen backpackers you’ve never met before or live like a Saudi prince in opulent luxury for your stay, every single need, desire and budget is covered with the accommodation on offer in Grenoble. Its hotels’ standards are reputed to be some of the finest in Europe – spend the night and you’ll see why!
Photo sources: flickr.com/photos/archangel12 – flickr.com/photos/u-suke – commons.wikimedia.org