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Introduction

Montchavin is a traditional French alpine village in the Haut-Savoie region. It has also become a ski resort yet retains elements of both.

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Sights and Activities

Skiing

Located at 1,250 metres above sea level, Montchavin is not the highest of alpine resorts and thus good snow quality near the resort cannot be guaranteed. It is however part of the Paradiski ski area - one of the largest linked ski areas in the world. - So as well as having access to the not inconsiderably sized Montchavin-Le Coches area in which it sits you also have the option of skiing over the mountain to the La Plagne area or taking the impressive Vanoisse express cable car across the valley to Les Arcs.

Telemark

The local mayor probably is a former Telemark champion and as a result the area has a special connection to this form of the sport. As well as the sport being slightly more popular in the resort area (more people "freeing their heel" on the slopes, better provision of rental and lessons) the town also hosts the Telemark championships every year.

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Getting There

By Train

Montchavin is just a few minutes by taxi from Bourg-Saint-Maurice and thus has good access to the rest of the continent. During the peak of the winter seasons UK skiers can access this station direct from London using the Eurostar ski train service.

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Getting Around

By Public Transport

A free shuttle bus runs regularly (at least during the ski season) between Montchavin and the nearby resort of Les Choches.

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Keep Connected

Internet

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.

Phone

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.

Post

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.

For international package services, you might also check options with companies like DHL, UPS or TNT, which have competitive services and prices and might be faster in most cases.

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Contributors

as well as celeriac (9%)

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This is version 3. Last edited at 8:09 on Sep 20, 13 by Utrecht. No articles link to this page.

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