The winter sports season is well underway!
Are you preparing your stay in the mountains? To help you, we have put together our favourite resorts. Smaller, less known, more affordable and quiet, but also bigger resorts for ski or winter activities lovers.
See you in the following article to discover them!
The calm of small ski resorts
Bonneval-sur-arc is one of the small ski resorts that have been classified as one of the most beautiful villages in France. This family resort is made up of small stone houses that support a large snow cover in winter.
This pretty resort is located at the end of the Maurienne valley and is 3 hours from Lyon. For skiing, Bonneval sur Arc has 33km of pistes between 1800 and 3000m altitude. The ski area is situated to the north, which almost guarantees snow cover from December to April.
Photo credit : Haute Maurienne Vanoise tourist office – Joseph Jeanmart
Saint-Sorlin d’Arves is also a medium-sized resort and an Alpine village, at the foot of the Col de la Croix de Fer and the Etendard glacier.
This authentic village offers a wide range of accommodation, activities, landscapes and also entertainment after the ski days.
In the heart of the village, there is a beautiful baroque church surrounded by many typical houses, which are very charming. There are many starting points for hikes of all levels. You can also go snowshoeing, mountain biking or take a leisurely stroll through the small village and visit, for example, the Arves cheese factory, which is renowned for its Savoyard specialities.
Resorts with a larger ski area
Tignes, a renowned resort
In a completely different atmosphere, the resort of Tignes is also worth a visit. Internationally known for its very sporty ski area, its numerous events and its off-piste itineraries.
It is one of the highest resorts, ranging in altitude from 1550m to 3456m, which allows it to have a long opening period throughout the year. (16 October 2021: opening of autumn skiing on the Grande Motte glacier. 2 December 2021: gradual opening of the ski area until 1 May 2022: closure of the Tignes ski area)
On the slopes, there are many itineraries to do, the one in the Tignes and Val-D’isère areas, which goes up to the Pissaillas glacier, is very pleasant. In terms of slopes, this area offers many circuits but also very varied landscapes.
Photo credit : Mitea ski
The resort of Serre Chevalier
This area covers 410 hectares and is one of the largest ski areas in the Alps. It is located in the Guisane valley in the Hautes-Alpes department.
The resort of Serre Chevalier offers many activities besides skiing. With a good pair of snowshoes, you will have access to many hikes.
2 hikes are very well known in Serre Chevalier, for easy to moderate levels :
- The Casset to Boussardes walk (very easy – 2h30 – 7km – 30m ascent)
- The Conchiers loop by Chambacou (moderate – 2h30 – 4,3km – 126m ascent)
The resort’s tourist office will be able to advise you further depending on the weather and avalanche risk.
In this resort it is also possible to go dog sledding or to relax in the thermal bath of Monetier-les-Bains, which is well known for its natural hot spring.