Le Grand Massif in the Haute Savoie region is favourite destination for skiers, particularly Brits. Reports Sally Ann-Voak
Five resorts (Les Carroz, Flaine, Morillon, Sixt Fer à Cheval, and Samoëns) joined by 250km of interlinking pistes, stunning Mont Blanc views, and great atmosphere makes the Grand Massif in the Haute-Savoie a snowy paradise. It is a huge, varied terrain, for all standards, and each of the five stations-ski has its own personality. This season, to further improve the already good snow record, there has been a huge investment in snow canons.
For short breaks, access is easy (an hour by road from Geneva, or a sensational motoring experience via the spectacular Vallée Verte ). You can catch a budget early Friday morning flight from Gatwick, drive to historic Samoëns, ski for a couple of hours then relax with a “vin chaud” at my favourite bar.
A ten minute trip down the mountain on the Grand Massif Express brings you back to the village for a leisurely fondue followed by fireside chat over a glass of cognac!
For snow-sure and challenging skiing, Flaine, (1600 m – 2500m) with its modern architecture and spectacular 14km blue run, Les Cascade, is a popular choice with Brits but there is also a great selection of ski-in, ski-out chalets and hotels in slightly lower, but cosier resorts. You can still reach the heights and challenges of Flaine, but relax at the end of the day surrounded by Savoyarde charm. Morillon and Sixt are gorgeous old villages, and I’d pick Les Carroz for family-friendly activities and welcoming atmosphere.
The little town nestles in a mountain hollow, a fairytale setting. Take the lift up to Les Molliets, and ski over to Samoens, Morillon or Flaine, stay local and enjoy watching the kids on the toboggan run, skating, parapente, raquette, Montgolfier (ballooning), or just potter around the lower slopes. You might catch La Grande Odyssée 2015 in January, where teams of dog-sleds will race over the snow.
If the youngsters are still full of beans after ski-school, there is even a Spa des Enfants, where they can calm down with a massage! The accommodation is excellent: comfortable hotels and luxurious chalets. One of the best restaurants in the whole area is the rustic-chic Hotel les Servages d’Armelle aafter skiing over from Samoëns. Pure, Grand Massif magic!
Book 4 Alps is the perfect place to look for accommodation in Les Carroz
If you would prefer to stay in Samoëns, then go to Alps Accommodation