Tag Archive for 'Savoie'

Valmeinier ski resort

Tourist Office

Office du Tourisme
Residence “L’Ours Blanc”
Valmeinier
Savoie
France
F 73450

Telephone: (479) 595369
Email: [email protected]
Website: www.valmeinier.com

Description

Small traditional village linked into the huge Valloire ski region since 1974. Purpose built off shoot at 1800m (same name). Good snow record compared to other resorts on the same latitude.

Review

The small traditional farming village of Valmeinier (known as 1500) and its not unattractive purpose-built, and indeed carefully thought out, off-shoot at 1800m were lift-linked to Valloire in 1974. The resort is a fraction of the size of some of the Alpine giants that neighbour it, giving it an intimate and relaxed feel for most guests. The Valmeinier – Valloire area is largely a recreational holiday destination, but if you want some tough off-piste terrain that’s off the beaten track too, it’s here to be found.

keywords

Valmeinier 1500, 1800, Maurienne, Savoie, Alps, Domaine Valloire – Valmeinier, Le Super Grand Large

Print This Post Print This Post

Valmorel ski resort

Tourist Office

Office du Tourisme de Valmorel et des Vallees d’Aigueblanche
Valmorel
Savoie
France
F 73260

Telephone: (479) 98555
Email: [email protected]
Website: www.valmorel.com

Description

Valmorel is 30 years old, and very tastefully designed, gaining widespread admiration for having the advantages of a purpose-built resort without looking like one. The ski area is linked to that of St François Longchamp giving over 150km of terrain. An ‘ideal family resort’

Review

One of France, Europe and the world’s newer major resorts, Valmorel was built in 1976 after the mistakes of earlier French ski resort developments had been learned. It is the first ski centre you reach on entering the famous Tarentaise Valley and, provided you arrive on a good day, you should be inspired by a sense of calm, natural beauty on arrival. The resort opens out onto scenic pine forests, mountain pastures and the backdrop of the high Alps, the marketing slogan ‘Valmorel La Belle’ seems perfect.

The architectural style is unique in France, inspired by ancient construction techniques in the Morel valley. There are no slopeside rectangular concrete apartment blocks, but instead large chalet style buildings, none of them more than three or four storeys high and all following the curves of the land beneath. Only wood, stone and paving stones are used and there are no visible electrical wires or cables either.

Valmorel is divided in to various ‘hameaux’ (hamlets) – clusters of buildings on different levels. These are connected by footpaths, sometimes covered, and adorned with charming little squares and internal courtyards. Everything here has been created with a calm but active lifestyle in mind and to remain harmonious with the natural setting.

It’s a concept very similar to that taking the major North American ski areas by storm in the late 1990s, pioneered by Intrawest, most notably with their successful resort designs of Whistler-Blackcomb and Tremblant in Canada. Valmorel centres on The Bourg (‘the small market town’). Almost all of the shops and services are located here in a pedestrianised area. The façades in pastel tones are decorated with trompe l’oeil frescos. The archways, porches and overhangs are reminiscent of the time when architecture was sophisticated.

keywords

Valmorel, Grand Domaine, Massif de la Tarentaise, Savoie

Print This Post Print This Post

Valloire ski resort

Tourist Office

Office de Tourisme Valloire
Rue des Grandes Alpes
Valloire
Savoie
France
F 73450

Telephone: (479) 590396
Email: [email protected]
Website: www.valloire.net

Description

Developing from a small farming community of the 1930s, Valloire has branched out across the Maurienne Valley, encompassing 17 hamlets, but remaining “very French”. It is located at the foot of the famous Galibier Pass, one of the highest in France, culminating at 2645m and at the heart of the Vallee d’or (Golden Valley). Well known for staging international competitions, including ice-sculptures.

Review

The best known of the Maurienne Valley resorts, Valloire offers some of the most extensive slopes in the Alps, stretching across to the neighbouring twin stations of Valmeinier 1500 and 1800. Valmeiner 1500 is a traditional village while at 1800 the village has been carefully planned to provide accommodation and services with easy door to door skiing. At the foot of the Galibier Pass in the northern Alps, Valloire is snuggled in a hollow only 17km from the motorway N6.

These days tourism is the mainstay of the economy but Valloire was originally a small farming community before the ski lifts were established in 1936 and skiing’s popularity began to soar. Despite the developments, Valloire has retained the charm of a typically Savoyard village with its 17th century baroque-style church.

keywords

Valloire, Galibier, Savoie, Alps, Setaz – Crey du Quart, Domaine Valloire – Valmeinier, Maurienne

Print This Post Print This Post

Val Cenis ski resort

Tourist Office

Office du Tourisme Val Cenis
89 rue du Mont Cenis
Lanslebourg
Savoie
France
F 73480

Telephone: (479) 52366
Email: [email protected]
Website: www.valcenis.com

Description

Located in the heart of the Maurienne region, bordering the National Parc de la Vanoise, Val Cenis is made up of two traditional villages, now combined in to a single resort. A good vertical, uncrowded sunny slopes and a modern lift system, so no queues .

Review

Val Cenis is a less well known internationally that its neighbour Val Thorens. The resort is made up of a string of road-side villages (none called Val Cenis), the largest of which is Lanslebourg. The resort offers a healthy vertical, uncrowded sunny slopes and a modern lift system, so there are rarely any queues. Centred primarily on two traditional villages and located close to the Italian border in the southern French Alps, Val Cenis has a good snow record thanks in part to its comparatively high altitude skiing on north facing slopes.

The two resort villages, Lanslebourg and Lanslevillard, are largely unspoilt with a relaxed atmosphere. The two bases are of a similar size and only a few kilometres apart.

Lanslebourg, reached first as you travel up the valley, is perhaps slightly more compact; the ski area accessed by a high speed six-seater chairlift from the edge of the village.

Lanslevillard is spread out between the main village at 1400 and the newer apartments of Val Cenis Le Haut at 1500m, and has a wider range of village level nursery slopes and routes up to the main ski area, including a six seat gondola.

Off slope facilities including shops, restaurants and apres ski attractions are divided reasonably evenly between the two. A bus service runs every 20 minutes throughout the day around and between the two villages.

keywords

Val Cenis, Lanslebourg, Lanslevillard, Savoie, Alps, Maurienne

Print This Post Print This Post

Val d’Isère ski resort

Tourist Office

Office du Tourisme
BP 228
Val d’Isère
Savoie
France
F 73155

Telephone: (479) 60660
Email: [email protected]
Website: www.valdisere.com

Description

Val D’Isère ranks alongside St Moritz, Stowe and Cortina in the “famous names of skiing” category and is one of the very few in the world to stage World Cup, World Chamionship and Olympic competitions.. However it is also in the world top ten for ‘ski area size’ as well as name-fame, sharing the huge Espace Killy with neighbouring Tignes. Add to that world class lift infrastructure and a vast array of apres ski activity and you have the archetypal world-class resort. ‘Val’ is very popular with the British, and has spawned purpose-built developments at out-of-town La Daille (1785m) , which boasts an ultra-modern funnicular, and le Fornet (1930m). Most of the men’s downhill events were staged here for the ’92 Albertville Olympics and the European leg of the World Cup season generally starts here in the first half of December.

Review

One of the world’s most famous ski resorts, Val d’Isère offers a vast skiing panorama made famous by the great French skier, Jean Claude Killy, after whom the ski area, Espace Killy, is now named. The resort has it all – a huge vertical stretching up to an altitude of year-round snow and skiing, with 90 lifts opening up seemingly endless terrain, including Olympic and annual World Cup downhills. In 2004 the resort won the rights to host the Alpine Ski World Championships, making it only the third resort in history to host all three events – and the only resort in the modern era to do so.

The resort is however, one of those that have materialised from nothing at the turn of the last century, when it was just a small hamlet at the valley head, served by a rough mule track. The farms about the area lay dormant for up to 8 months of the year because of the snow. It all changed in the early 1930s when Parisian industrialist Jacques Mouflier persuaded the local mayor to work to turn Val d’Isère in to a ski resort. The rest, as they say, is history.

The local farmers trained as ski school instructors, a ski shop opened, the authorities brought running water and electricity to the village and six years later the first ski lift was installed. Today the resort, which then had just four hotels, can cater for over 28,000 overnight guests, staying in the resort centre or in one of the satellite accommodation complexes of Le Fornet or La Daille. Rapid development in the 1950s and 1960s led to the construction of some rather ugly concrete buildings, but in recent years the resort has worked hard to use local materials and architectural styles to make it far more attractive.

keywords

La Daille, Le Fornet, Val d’Isère, Espace Killy, Savoie, Alps, Massif de la Tarentaise

Print This Post Print This Post

Val Thorens ski resort

Tourist Office

Office du Tourisme
Maison Val Thorens
Val Thorens
Savoie
France
F 73440

Telephone: (479) 808
Email: [email protected]
Website: www.valthorens.com

Description

Situated at the top of Les 3 Vallées, the largest ski area in the world, in the heart of a natural rock and ice circus, Val Thorens offers a complete range of skiing.
At 2300 metres, Val Thorens, the highest resort in Europe, is situated in the heart of a 360° Alpine Circus, orientated in all four directions, with a grandiose countryside, optimal sun throughout the day and superb quality snow from the end of November through to the beginning of May.
From powder fields to perfectly prepared pistes, the 140km of the wide and varied Val Thorens-Orelle ski area is ideal for everyone: skiing, snowboarding, snow shoes..
With easy skiing around the resort, medium and difficult on the summits, Val Thorens combines “great skiing” and first tracks for the great delight of all skiers whether beginners or more expert.

Review

Val Thorens represents the pinnacle of ski resort development to date – at least in terms of its altitude. The highest ski resort in Europe, located in a vast snowy bowl within the biggest ski area in the world, the resort and its surrounding ski area has continued to evolve since its opening in 1971.

Today it can claim to be a stylish ‘village’ and world class ski resort rather than a clutch of rather desolate, high altitude buildings as some imagine. In contrast to that image, the resort has been constructed using local wood and stone to designs inspired by traditional local Savoie architectural tradition.

More than 250m Euros have been spent in recent years in improving and expanding the resort and the local ski area. The whole has also been designed to a well considered plan giving it a compact, largely pedestrianised centre where most of the public facilities (of which there are many!) are concentrated. This investment has helped the constant popularity of Val Thorens which now attracts some two million visitors annually (placing it in the world top 20 ski resorts by popularity as well as altitude) . It also boasts occupancy rate of around 90% on average through the season, making it the envy of many other famous ski resorts.

Always been ahead of the game on many levels, even being one of the first areas to offer wi-fi internet access in 2003. A year later it showed its environmental credentials by tackling smokers who drtopped cigarette butts from chairlifts pointing out the total can reach as many as 30,000 below just one of the more popular access chairs. he resort believes that apart from being a major eye-sore, they’re also a major environmental hazard, with each individual cigarette end likely to contaminate a cubic metre of water. Stressing that they were not launching an anti-smoking capaign, just a “responsible disposal of cigarette butts campaign”, the tourist office added a glass box that will display the thousands of cigarette butts picked up alongside an exhibition showing the long-term environmental damage caused by man-made trash. Two thousand pocket containers designed to hold used cigarettes were provided for skiers.

Despite being north facing, the resort’s altitude ensures it gets good sunshine with little over-shadowing it. The tourist office is open from 9am to 7pm daily (even to 4am on Sunday morning for those arriving late on Saturday night) for all information.

keywords

Val Thorens, Savoie, Alps, Massif de la Vanoise, Vallée des Belleville, Vallée de la Tarentaise, 3, Three Valleys, Trois Vallees, Espace Olympique Savoie

Print This Post Print This Post

Valfréjus ski resort

Tourist Office

Office de Tourisme de Modane/Valfrejus
Les Melezets
Valfréjus
Savoie
France
F 73500

Telephone: (479) 53383
Email: [email protected]
Website: www.valfrejus.com

Description

One of the newest resorts in the Alps, established in 1983, Valfrejus was built on a skiing area called Arrondaz, which had been lift served since 1969. It’s close to Modane, the Frejus tunnel to Italy and situated above the old village of Charmaix. As with all of the later generation purpose-built resorts, the architectural style is of a much higher standard than most of the better known areas which grew up in the sixties. Best suited to intermediates, standard purpose-built apres-ski fayre.

keywords

Valfréjus, Ski Pass Maurienne, Savoie, Alps

Print This Post Print This Post