Why you should come with us to France

Bonjour! While you’re cozying up this winter with a cup of tea, picture springtime in France. Then picture yourself hiking in the French Alps, soaking up a day at an Italian spa, and nibbling cheese while you sip French wine.

Join Caitlin and I to experience alpine authenticity on Yoga, Hiking & Spa French Alps, May 16-23. Spring in the French Alps? Mais Oui! Why? Read on.

P.S. As soon as you sign up, we’ll send you a JADE travel mat, a copy of Mountain Lines: A Journey Through the French Alps, and a few French treats! 

Caitlin’s 5 damn good reasons to come with us to France

1) The views. There is something about the mountains around Chamonix that make it seem like you’re in the backdrop of a movie or a part of a painting. The mountains are towering, snow-capped beauties that seem to go on forever. As we go up to the Aguille du Midi, we are completely surrounded by breathtaking, gigantic, and snowy peaks. 

2) The company. One thing I hear a lot is that people are hesitant to book a yoga retreat by themselves because they’re not sure that they’ll connect with the other retreaters. What I love about Big Sky Yoga Retreats is the small groups. Limiting retreats to 10-12 women makes it easy to spend time with everyone, travel together on our adventures, and connect through camaraderie via challenging hikes, cozy yoga, and of course, wine & cheese. 

3) The food. Speaking of wine & cheese, this trip is hard to top when it comes to food. We start with gourmet, healthy breakfasts of eggs, ham, veggies, cheese, croissants, and more. On hiking days, we make our own packed lunches with fresh baguettes and other delicious ingredients, and end the day with local wine, elegant menus and Swiss chocolate. (Our retreat chef has cooked for Justin Timberlake. Just sayin’.)

4) Obee. This sweet Vizsla pup joins us on our hikes. He runs ahead to clear the trail, brings us sticks to throw, and provides comic relief and snugs when the trails get tough.

5) The Spa. We drive to Italy (, Italy!) through the Mont Blanc tunnel to spend the day at Terme di Pré Saint DidierI thought I’d get bored after an hour or two of relaxing. But after five hours, I felt like I could have stayed ten more. Our visit includes a massage, and we are set free to roam the spa.

Explore multiple buildings, two floors of relaxation (“nap”) rooms, and beautiful outdoor pools at every temp. In a single day, you can have a massage, go swimming, give yourself a salt scrub, take a nap, soak in at least five hot tubs and steam rooms, and still have more to enjoy. Thank goodness we have a ride home, because I promise you’ll float out of the spa more relaxed and snoozy than you’ve ever been. #twocountriesoneday 

Margaret’s 5 damn good reasons to come with us to France

1) Mountains & Mont Blanc. I’ve been obsessed with Mont Blanc for a long time. Legend, history and magic swirl around the highest peak in Europe. It gives new meaning to the word breathtaking. Every day, we wake up to this view. Every day, we get to see the many moods of Mont Blanc. Living and breathing in the shadow of this majesty is an experience that inspires self-reflection. As a yoga retreat location, it’s the tops.

2) Helicopter ride around Mont Blanc. OK, at first I was a little terrified of this idea. I’m not a thrill seeker. But the experience turned out to be sublime and meditative — so over-the-top beautiful that I had tears in my eyes. As we listen to the pilot narrate our surroundings, he’s careful to leave plenty of quiet moments for contemplation. There’s something about seeing the most breathtaking mountains in the world from above like this (note: very different from a plane) that gives you insight into the divine. It had me saying Namaste.

3) Notre Chalet. Did I mention we wake up every morning to Mont Blanc outside the windows??? Coming hOMe to Notre Chalet after hiking and exploring is like being wrapped in a cozy blanket. Our retreat home includes a back deck hot tub, a sauna, a steam room, and massage room complete with masseuse. And get this – it has an indoor slide. This route to the downstairs play room is pretty fun after a glass of wine…

4) Start saying “That time I hiked the French Alps…” Fresh alpine air, putting one foot in front of the other, maybe a dancer pose or two with the Alps in the background — it’s what hiking memories are made of. On one of our hikes, our guides often surprise us by pulling fresh strawberries and Champagne out of their packs!

5) Afternoon snacks and smoothies. Remember the joy of afternoon snack time when you were a kid? Rediscover this treat, at just about the time when you’re wondering “how much longer until dinner?” Voila! Indulgent yet healthy snacks and smoothies. Genius.

Bonus reason from both of us: Yoga! Nothing beats starting the day with yoga, no matter where you are.

What are you waiting for? Snag your spot here.

Namaste and Santé!

Margaret & Caitlin