Bourg-Saint-Maurice is a commune in the Savoie department of the Rhône-Alpes region of southeastern France. It is located in the Albertville arrondissement and has aproximately 8,000 inhabitants. Its location at the foot of one of the world's most prestigious mountain passes and ski areas (Les Arcs) has transformed this village resort into a highly popular all weather resort of international acclaim.
For more information, check the official Ville Bourg-Saint-Maurice website (French).
Bourg-Saint-Maurice, like much of the western Alp region in France, has nice warm summers from June to September with temperatures around 25 degrees Celcius during the day but rather chilly nights as it is located well above sea level. Heavy showers and thunderstorms can occur during these months. Winters last from December to March with frost and snow up the mountain slopes (good for skiing) but a little warmer in the town itself, sometimes even well above zero during the day.
The closest international airports with connections to major towns worldwide are at Geneva in Switzerland and at Lyon in France. The Geneva Cointrin Airport has many flights, including lots of flights to places outside Europe. It also has many flights with lowcostairlines like Easyjet.
Lyon Saint Exupéry has lots of flights as well.
The town of Bourg Saint Maurice can be reached from both these airports by a 120-150 minutes drive.
Although a little further away, the international airport of Milan and Turin are not that far way either and might have connections you prefer more.
Direct TGV trains connect Bourg St Maurice to Paris and Lile. The town is also directly connected by sleeper trains from most of the major towns of Europe. SNCF operates the rail network in France.
There are even twice a week connections from London in winter directly to Bourg-Saint-Maurice
Visitors coming from Geneva can take the N201 highway to A41 freeway. Follow the signs towards Annecy and Chambery and exit A41 at Annecy and take N508 highway to Albertville. From there follow the signs to Bourg Saint Maurice.
Frequent buses are also available from Geneva to Bourg-Saint-Maurice.
There are loads of hotels and appartments in the Les Arcs / Bourg-Saint-Maurice region.
Check the Les Arcs website for more information and possible bookings.
France is one of the best connected countries in the world, with data speed for upload/download ranked among the top 5 in the world. Most hotels and hostels would have in-house facilities to provide free internet access. Many major cities also have initiatives put in place to provide free wi-fi connection in public spaces. Alternatively there are internet cafés available in most cities/towns at a reasonable rate. Some private businesses, such as local cafés (or even the Starbuck's chain), may also provide wi-fi connectivity - keep an eye out for the signs by the shop windows/doors. Also look for the @ symbol prominently displayed, which indicates internet availability. However, with most homes now wired for the internet, cyber cafés are increasingly hard to find, especially outside the major cities.
See also: International Telephone Calls
To dial an international number from France, the IDD is 00, followed by the country code that you wish to dial, the area code and the phone number.
To call France from abroad, start with the international direct dialing (IDD) code from the country you're in, followed by French country code 33, the area code (drop the first zero in front of the area code), and the phone number. French telephone numbers are rarely given without the area code. The telephone number, including the area code, is made up of 10 digits. They are written in a set of 5 pairs of digits (i.e. 01 xx xx xx xx xx).
In France, the area code designations are: 01 - Paris Area ("Région Ile-de-France"), 02 - northwest, 03 - northeast, 04 - southeast, 05 - southwest, 06 - mobile phone providers. From 2010 onwards, 07 will also be assigned to mobile phone providers in order to cater for the surging demands for mobile phones.
Emergency numbers are 15 (medical aid), 17 (police station) and 18 (fire/rescue). You can also use the European emergency number 112 (perhaps a better choice if you don't speak French). These calls are free and accessible from virtually any phone, including locked cellphones.
France uses the GSM standard of cellular phones (900 MHz and 1800 MHz bands) used in most of the world outside of the U.S. There are several companies (Orange, SFR, Free, Bouygues Télécom and some others MVNOs like Virgin Mobile) offering wireless service. The country is almost totally covered but you may have difficulties using your mobile phone in rural or mountainous areas. If you stay for some time, it may be advisable to buy a pre-paid cell phone card that you can use in any phone that supports the GSM standard on the 900/1800 MHz bands. Then incoming calls and SMSes are free.
La Poste in France is also referred to as the PTT (short for postes, télégraphes et téléphones). The mailboxes are painted bright yellow and often there is a slot for local city mail and another slot for "outside mail". Normally there is a queue in the post office, but most of the post offices have the self service machine installed which is quite easy to operate. Nowadays many of the tabac and even some of the souvenir shops also sell postage stamps. Normally an overseas postcard costs almost as much as sending a letter. Mails sent in France also have a zip code. The first two numbers represent the administrative department (e.g. in Paris' case that would be 75).
Post offices are generally open from 8:00am to 7:00pm Monday through Friday, and 8:00am to noon on Saturdays. Apart from the basic job of mailing letters, most of the post offices do some banking activities also and some even have photocopy machines and cyber cafes for internet access.
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