It’s been snowing again! Fancy a cheeky ski day and want to take advantage of the resorts closest to the city? Well read on for a couple of easy access ideas that our Ski Group enjoy.
Note all distances measured from the Douane Thonex/Gallard
The ‘forgotten gem’ of the Chamonix Valley – just a 50 minute drive and 70 km straight up the A40. At the Les Houches turn off (before Chamonix town centre) just 300 metres off the main road (so no nasty hairpin bends on those little roads up to other resorts) you drive into the free car park next to the BelleVue cable car. Ski hire shops next to the car park if needed. https://www.leshouches.com
Les Houches extends from an altitude of 950m to 1900m. From the summit you get a spectacular 360° view of the Mont-Blanc massive. With 55 km of slopes meandering through the forests, there are 4 black runs included the international world cup slope “La Verte des Houches”, 13 red runs, 8 blue runs, 2 green runs and a snowpark. There is also snow shoeing and some great little restaurants – my favourite is a 250 year old alpine farm chalet called the Vieilles Luges hidden in the trees below the Maison Neuve lift. Great local specialities served in a cosy setting. Best to book http://lesvieillesluges.com/restaurant-de-charme.html
The easy access point for the Grand Massif – forget about Flaine and trekking up that mountain road, ignore Samoens and the cable car ride back to the car park – check out Les Carroz just 45 minutes and only 52kms again up the A40. Leave the A4O at the Magland/Flaine turn off and just 12 minutes up the mountain you hit the village of Les Carroz. Park in the free car park just next to the Télécabine de la Kédeuze, click on your skis and ski down 100 metres to the ticket office, purchase your lift pass and off you go. You can buy a Grand Massif area pass or just a Les Carroz – in total the top altitude is 2100m, there are 85 slopes, 42 lifts and 1400m total vertical variation. https://winter.lescarroz.com/
Hot Tip: don’t forget to have a go on the all seasons Alpine Coaster (a 350m climb before an 850m downhill run punctuated with banked turns, rollers and flip-flaps – a sensational ride of about 4 minutes through the heart of the Kédeuze forest). https://winter.lescarroz.com/winter-entertainment/alpine-coaster.html
And finally, just within an hour drive – 59 minutes according to Google maps and 74kms, try out the picture perfect resort of Les Contamines. Located between 1,200 and 2,500 m altitude it seems to have its own little microclimate with an exceptional snow cover record as well as sunshine, The highest part of the ski area boasts beautiful views of the Mont-Blanc range whilst the lower part runs through the trees. There are 120kms of ski runs with 9 blacks, 18 reds and 10 blues. https://www.lescontamines.com
Best view is from the restaurant at the top located at 2000m, at Col du Joly, the restaurant Chez Gaston faces Mont-Blanc and offers a cheese fest to diners.
We are a group of international women living in Geneva, Switzerland. If you would like to learn more about our activities and excursions, visit our website at http://www.aiwcgeneva.org/