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Ski resort recommendations in the French Alps?

(13 Posts)
AnotherEmma Mon 29-Feb-16 19:33:25

I'm looking for a ski resort in the French Alps which is suitable for beginners and intermediate level. The most important thing is plenty of green and blue slopes (we would possibly venture onto the easier red ones but would steer well clear of black and off-piste!)

Other criteria:
- Reasonably easy to reach from Lyon by train and/or coach
- Snow in March/April
And a few "nice to have" (not essential):
- Picturesque scenery when skiing and/or in the main town/village
- A few other things to do eg snow mobiles, spa, etc

Price-wise, good value would be fantastic - we don't want to pay for a pretentious luxury resort, but equally it doesn't have to be low budget either.

Any recommendations?

MyAngels Tue 01-Mar-16 09:02:55


My suggestion would be Courchevel :
- Fantastic extent of greens and blues, some through trees
- Fun family snow-cross run, and other snow-parks easy to use and fun for the kids
- Stay in 1650 NOT 1850 - close enough to get everywhere, cheaper to stay
- High enough - last year we went (and are going again) first week in April - snow was fine high up, retreating lower down, but there are easy enough slopes higher up too
- New Aquamotion indoor/outdoor pools and spa just opened in 1550.
- Bound to be bus links from Moutiers and trains from there to Lyon

Just a month till we go again - can't wait!

Skilover Tue 01-Mar-16 14:06:20

If you are in Lyon, either the Maurienne Valley resorts or the Tarentaise Valley resorts are easily accessible by train. The 3 Valleys can be got to from Moutiers, La Plagne is easy from Aime and Les Arcs, La Rosiere, Tignes, Val d'Isere and Ste Foy from Bourg St Maurice.
Some lesser known resorts such as Valloire, Valmeinier, Val Cenis, La Norma are all in the Maurienne and are definitely worth a look at too.
What about one of the villages of La Plagne like Montalbert which has a new gondola up to the higher skiing and the great blues of the whole area but is less commercial and therefore less expensive than some of the better known resorts in that area? Valmorel might also be worth looking at too?

cavedescreux Tue 01-Mar-16 14:45:52

Val dIsere is wonderful so long as you don't mind getting the chair/gondola down at the end of the day if less than a confident intermediate. Tignes may be an alternative (less pretty). Espace Killy has a wonderful amount of skiing for beginners (greens/blues) and some easier reds. And it's high - I've been 3 times at Easter and never regretted it.

lovetoskimum Tue 01-Mar-16 16:12:34

Hi Anotheremma,

Oh exciting for you, I have a 3 sleeps to go (not counting) off to Les Arc 2000, skied there last Easter and was fab, lovely blue runs from 2000 all the way down to 1600 (you can ski over to a red and then meet back to the blue) 1950 Arc is the prettiest village but most expensive, we are in 2000 but there is a bubble lift that runs till 11pm so you can make most of both villages smile Let us know where you decide x

Cant keep eyes off webcams, so excited, not sure who is more, me, hubby or daughter smile

AnotherEmma Tue 01-Mar-16 20:31:28

Thank you all for your replies! Some exciting suggestions to look into. I particularly like the sound of Courchevel and Espace Killy... but I'll look into a few of the others as well.

The one and only time I went skiing (!) was at Les Deux Alpes. It was a mixture of fun and terrifying! And it was years ago, so I'll definitely need refresher lessons. But if it's somewhere with lots of friendly green and blue slopes I'll be fine! touch wood

MyAngels Thu 03-Mar-16 09:15:17


Just to add to skilover's post, although I recommended Courchevel (and love it, its my all time favourite) we have just bought a teeny tiny apartment in a village called Champagny en Vanoise (much cheaper to buy and only 20 mins drive from Courchevel).

Champagny, like Montalbert, is linked in to La Plagne via a gondola to 2000m, with nice blue runs all over. The lower slopes back to the village face south, so might lose snow at the end of the season, but everyone just gets the gondola back down again if that happens. Fab views and the village is very French, in the Vanoise National Park (so absolutely beautiful scenery) and accommodation much cheaper than the main resorts. Just another option...

Ktay Sun 08-Jan-17 18:23:12

Just reviving this old thread to pick MyAngels' brain if (s)he sees this, or get other opinions. We are off to Champagny for half term and I'm worrying a bit about the DCs' lessons. DD1 in particular has had terrible luck over the last few years with not ending up in an English-speaking group, even when we've requested that option at booking (or the instructor forgets to speak English to the DC). I guess somewhere like Champagny this is even more likely??

fredabear Sun 08-Jan-17 18:26:07

For Courchevel, which I love, I'd stay in La Tania, which is much cheaper and more family friendly but gives access to skiing in Courchevel

Ktay Sun 08-Jan-17 18:42:01

Oops sorry fredabear, I think the OP's skiing holiday has been and gone but I revived a zombie thread to get more info on Champagny

MyAngels Thu 12-Jan-17 12:42:07

Hi Ktay

I'd have to say that yes, on the face of it the risk of being in class with many/all French speakers is high in Champagny as isn't well known to Brits, BUT we have just got back from there at New Year and I noticed a lot of Dutch/Russian/Eastern Europeans about who may be being taught in English if in lessons.

Much as I love Champagny as a village and a base for skiing - its truly fab in those respects, the language in lessons issue would bother me for my kids too.

The answer we found was just to take them out with us - DS has had a few lessons in other places, so can snowplough turn (when he wants to), and DD can keep up with us on blues no trouble at all. We just chose easy routes and by the end DS had come on a treat speed wise (he still had little technique, but we know enough to teach him a bit), but what we did have was a fab family holiday with none of the "we have to dash back to pick DS up from ski school" - we all stayed out together. Yes, we had to take it slow and easier than we would if he was in lessons, but we all had a great time.

I hope you have a fab time anyway - am thrilled to see people going to Champagny, its great. I can recommend Le Barillon restaurant for fondue and pizzas, and the Timbale pub for lovely apres ski atmosphere.

Ktay Sat 14-Jan-17 09:35:05

Thanks so much for getting back to me! That doesn't bode well sad . DD1 could happily ski around with us but DD2 only started getting the hang of it last year, I think she needs one more week of lessons really. We'll see. Appreciate the restaurant/pub recommendations!

MyAngels Sat 14-Jan-17 15:10:21

Np problem, don't worry too much, at half term there will be lots of people there, including English speakers, so your DD might not be the only one in her group.

Have fun!

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