Archive for the ‘Flaine’ Category
Our blog today comes from Liz at Ski Concierge, an experienced skier who tells us all about the French ski resort of Flaine. Check out her own blog at
Flaine ski resort sits in the Grand Massif ski area and is one of the best ski resorts in France. Flaine and its surrounding areas are known for record-breaking snow levels. It has a tasteful purpose-built style, making it really accessible and an easy place to visit if you’re on a short ski holiday. Most of the properties are ski-in ski-out and all of the amenities are within easy walking distance.
Getting to Flaine
Getting to Flaine is possible by all methods of transport. Being only 44 miles from Geneva airport makes it an attractive option for those not so keen on long airport transfers. The closest train station is Cluses (about 20 miles) and regular shuttle buses or taxis are available to take you from the station to the resort. Alternatively the drive from Calais or Dunkirk will take about eight hours and if your accommodation doesn’t have its own parking, there are free car parks at the entrance of the resort.
Accommodation in Flaine
There are plenty of places to stay in Flaine, but I’d recommend choosing self-catering instead of ski chalets in order to save some money! The Pierre & Vacances Flaine Montsoleil Terrasses d’Eos is a newly built residence in the Flaine/ Grand Massif area. It has 145 plush rooms and the residence itself has a swimming pool, sauna, steam and fitness rooms which are all available to guests on-site. The residence also has a Jacuzzi with panoramic views, and is big selling point 0with guests.
This residence was only built in 2008 by Intrawest, and was recently acquired by Pierre & Vacances.
Four people can stay in a 1 bedroom apartment at the Pierre & Vacances Flaine Montsoleil Terrasses d’Eos from just 602 euros during December 2009.
Pierre & Vacances also have another property in the area called Residence Pierre & Vacances Flaine La Foret has recently been refurbished to a high standard, and is one of the funkiest resorts in the area. It also has apartments that can sleep up to 7 people, so are great for groups having a ski holiday in Flaine.
The Grand Massif ski area links the resorts of our favourite, Flaine alongside Morillon, Les Carroz, Samoëns and Sixt-fer-a-Cheval.
The runs on Flaine include 265km of pistes that offer great choice for all levels of skier, from beginners to experts, with 14 black runs, 53 red runs, 60 blue runs and 17 green runs.
Novices are welcome as a few of the runs have been set-aside specifically for beginners and can be accessed by four free lifts. There is also a jampark for those wanting to try hanging with fellow freestylers and trying out their latest moves. The Combe de Gers provides a challenge for those who like to go off piste.
Les Carroz should definitely be visited as it is just six miles below Flaine and really accessible. Skiing in Les Carroz makes a great stop for families staying in Flaine due to the free shuttle bus to the slopes leaving Flaine every morning and afternoon. It’s really pretty and is laid out in a traditional French village style. There is also a pedestrianised main square, which has bars and cafes surrounding the edges, making it a perfect place to people watch in between runs!
For families wanting to stay away from the action, I’d recommend the Résidences MGM Les Fermes du Soleil in Carroz d’Arâches it is a short way down from Flaine, in Carroz, but has everything to ensure a comfortable ski holiday, including an on-site spa, swimming pool and an a skating rink to distract the kids!
You can spend seven nights in an apartment, which sleeps four from just 657 euros in January.
Les Cascades in Flaine
I should also mention ‘Les Cascades’, which at 14km long is a fantastic, often pretty much empty, run that takes you all the way from the top of Les Grandes Platières down to Sixt. Unfortunately, to get back to the main ski area you do then have to take a shuttle bus but I think this is a small price to pay for being able to ski 14km without a single lift!
Getting around Flaine
As you can imagine, such variety means that the skiing in Flaine is great. The slopes are usually relatively quiet compared to some of the larger French resorts, and the scenery is pretty breathtaking at times, with the view from the top of the Les Grandes Platières cable car being a particular favourite of mine!
The lifts seem to be brilliantly laid out so that the minimum level of effort is needed to reach all of the runs. Also, from a lot of the lifts you get the option of taking a red or a blue, making this a great resort for groups with skiers of different abilities.
As well as providing motorway-wide blue and red runs and picturesque tree-lined routes, Flaine also has a lot to offer for the more experienced skier. The black runs in the Sixt area of the resort are amongst the most challenging that I’ve skied and many of the higher red and black runs seem to be deliberately left un-pisted after a snowfall. It is also pedestrianised, meaning it’s great for families skiing together.
Ski passes in Flaine
Grand Massif lift passes for six days will cost 204 euros for adults, 156 euros for children and 183 euros for seniors (over 62). It’s worth checking out the Flaine website before you go as they often offer special discounts. For example during the week of 10th – 18th April 2010 if you buy a six day adult pass you can get one under 12’s pass absolutely FREE! Also if you’re travelling as a family at any time of the season you can buy a discounted ‘extended family pack’ offering you savings of up to 65 euros on a six day pass.
Other activities in Flaine
If you fancy a change from a day on the slopes, there are plenty of other adrenalin rush activities to keep you occupied, from ice driving to snow kiting. Or alternatively, if you want to spend the hours doing something slightly more sedate, the resort has a cinema, an ice rink and a bowling alley.
Apres ski in Flaine
There are several mountain restaurants to try in Flaine, L’Eloge has a cosy feel to it on colder days, or you can relax on the sun terrace when the skies are blue. L’Epicea, just above the main lifts in Flaine, offers a range of dishes as well as a couple of daily ‘Plats du Jour’, if you want a good spot on the terrace here you’ll have to book! Or alternatively if you want a fantastic view to go with your chocolat chaud then you can’t really beat the restaurant at the top of the Grandes Platieres cable car.
Flaine is host to a handful of bars and pubs, and although it’s quieter than the likes of Val d’Isere there are still plenty of options and if you really want a wild night you can usually have one! The Flying Dutchman is one of the more lively bars in the village and puts on a variety of themed nights from Karaoke to ‘Booze and Bubbles’!
There is also a wide variety of entertainment on offer for families, from street theatre and puppet shows to sledge races and snow sculptures to marvel at. You may also get the option to take part in a torch light descent if you’re really lucky!
There are plenty of affordable places to go for a bite to eat; in the Sucre Sale you’ll enjoy your meal surrounded by artwork, or head to Les Chalets du Michet if the sound of dining in an ancient sheepfold appeals. The Pizzeria Chez Pierrot has a take-away option if you fancy a night in. La Perdrix Noire is one of my favourites and won The Great Skiing and Snowboarding Awards’ Best Resort Restaurant award in 2008. It offers a wide selection of choices from the more traditional Fondue Savoyarde to fresh meat and seafood from the rotisserie and grill; it also has a pretty impressive whisky collection!
Pierre & Vacances ski offers
As well as having superbly located resorts in Flaine and Carroz, Pierre & Vacances also currently has a selection of offers for UK skiers wanting to save pennies on their ski holidays this winter.
Firstly, the fantastic Beat The Euro offer allows customers to book their ski holidays to France at last years’ prices. This means, customers save money by not paying out for the additional rises within the euro, leading to savings of up to 15%, and up to 35% when using the early booking discount. The great news is that this offer can be used alongside any other offers being promoted on www.pv-holidays.com and can even be used against any dates, including Christmas school holidays. To grab this discount, all customers have to do is enter the exclusive code, 8258, at the point of booking, or visit the dedicated Eurobuster page for more information.
Some of the aforementioned offers include a 20% early booking discount, alongside one night free offers.
Visit www.pv-holidays.com, the website for Pierre & Vacances to find out more.
We have some fantastic news for all you Skiers!
Pierre & Vacances group (P&V) have taken over two new properties in time for the upcoming ski season in Arc 1950, part of the Les Arc ski resort in Savoie and the Flaine Montsoleil resort located in the Haute Savoie region of France.
This is great news for skiers wanting to take a snowy break in the winter season 2009/2010. We’ll let you know as soon as you can book the accommodation in the newly-acquired area on pv-holidays.com – it should be soon!
We do of course, already have affordable ski accomodation in many of the leading ski resorts in France.
Information on Les Arcs
Arc 1950 was built by Canadian company IntraWest, their first mountain resort in Europe. They are also the name behind popular North American mountain resorts such as Whistler-Blackcomb, Copper Mountain and Mammoth. Arc 1950 is an ideal location for a ski holiday in France. The resort is abundant in charm and convenience; a high resort, with reliable snow, within the Paradiski ski area. Arc 1950 also offers great services, with numerous shopping arcades, lively bars, restaurants and excellent child centres.
The acquisition agreement includes the Pierre & Vacances group taking over the resort’s lodging management business, which consists of 655 apartments, two restaurants, a bar and two commercial spaces located in the resort village will also be owned by P&V Holidays.
Information on Flaine
Flaine, the brainchild of architect Marcel Breuer, a master of the Bauhaus style, is a resort proud of its Modernist and artistic design which is a dramatic contrast to the natural landscape of the French Alps. As well as the architecture, several large public art works adorn the base of the resort, including a Picasso. Under the acquisition agreement between Pierre and Vacances Group and Intrawest, P&V will now operate 138 apartments in the Flaine ski resort.
For skiers, this means both resorts will now be under the management of a respected and leading European ski accommodation provider. As part of the terms of the agreement, the Pierre and Vacances group will operate both resorts in accordance with 4-star tourist residence standards. All residences will feature modern facilities and appliances and provide comfortable accommodation whether you’re travelling with friends or looking for the perfect family ski haven.
Best places to ski in 2009/2010
In terms of convenience, residences couldn’t be better situated – most are nestled in ski-in ski-out locations! We hope you’re as pleased as we are and that you’ll be staying in our new, high quality ski accommodation.
P&V already have affordable ski accommodation in many of the leading ski resorts in France. Including Val D’Isere, Avoriaz and Chamonix. There are plenty of early bird ski savings to be had, please do take a look at our ski offers on PV-Holidays.com, the website for the Pierre & Vacances group.