Family skiing in the Grand Massif region of France
Quieter slopes, charming villages and cheaper prices with excellent snow conditions are on offer in the Grand Massif ski region of France, just 50 minutes from Geneva.
The five Grand Massif villages, Les Carroz, Samoens, Sixt fer Cheval, Morrillon and Flaine are the perfect place for family fun in the snow. Plenty of long, wide slopes and pine clad runs which are varied and great for learners or those that want to cruise.
There are also dare devil blacks (Diamant Noir in Flaine comes to mind) and dynamic reds offering a challenge for the more experienced skiers and snowboarders.
Les Carroz d’Araches Famille Plus Montagne
We have skied with our children in this region and the resort layout, options of ski in-ski out accommodation, and ski buses that run every 15 minutes make it a great option for a family ski holiday.
We always found that if we had to walk long distances, or the resort, piste access and signage on-piste was confusing then that was a major issue for us with children. The logistics of skis, boots, hats, gloves are enough without other complications.
We found that the Grand Massif was great for families and we’ve continued to visit with our family since 1999.
Moreover, in recognition of resorts that are family friendly, the French Tourism Ministry has created a new national tourism label to approve the facilities and services available to families with children staying in French tourist destinations.
The “Famille Plus Montagne” quality recognition has been given to Les Carroz d’Araches, a Savoyard village that oozes with tradition. The village offers excellent children’s facilities, children are looked after by professionals, with programmed activities for all ages.
The village takes care of those aged six months to 10 years, and there’s lots of extra entertainment laid on such as torch-lit ski descents, dog-sledding, and snow-shoeing. Beginners are very well catered for with the ski schools teaching all levels and ages on the nursery slopes, as well as having many kilometres of wide easy piste on which to practice techniques.
Also, two lifts in the village operate free of charge for beginners and the resort has the added benefit of family lift pass deals.
In Les Carroz d’Araches there is the Souris Verte Creche (3 months – 3 years) and the
Club les Loupiots ( 3 years – 12 years ) which offers all day entertainment for your children, while you can enjoy the mountain slopes with the knowledge that your children are being professionally cared for. The staff offers different activities for the children in addition to the activities offered by the resort and also carry out the transfers to/from the ski school for children who are enrolled in a course.
What’s more, the Marvel green run In Morillon is turned into a luge on Wednesday evenings, which is very popular with families.
Beginners ski area
There is a beginners area at 1750m just above the Keduze telecabine in Les Carroz d’Araches with a conveyor belt to take the children to the top of the dedicated beginner course. The Woops Series (progressive small bumps) is great fun and ideal for younger skiers who can feel safe on the exclusively green slope dedicated for beginners. The course is embellished with playful visuals themed Tootizz.
The ski area
Les Carroz d’Araches has 23 green and blue pistes and eleven red and black pistes and links into the four other interlinked villages of the Grand Massif; comprising Morillon, Samoens, Flaine, and Sixt Fer a Cheval making up the 4th largest linked ski area in France, with 265 km of piste, altitude of 2500m – 149 pistes – 69 lifts – 1800m total vertical variation. All five of the Grand Massif resorts are connected by easy, cruising blues, meaning that families together can explore the region easily and seriously cover a large amount of terrain in a single day.
What else can I do
In Les Carroz d’Araches there is also the recently opened Aquacime spa and indoor-outdoor swimming pool and fitness centre, with turkish bath, sauna, jacuzzi, gym, herbal tea room and pools heated to 30 degrees C which is well worth a visit to soothe away the aches of a day on the slopes. There are also alternative mountain activities available directly or via the tourist office; including dog-sledding, snow-shoeing, para-gliding, ice-skating, horse riding and snow-mobiling.
The tourist office of Les Carroz organises events throughout the winter season ranging from music concerts, firework nights, welcome hot drinks, choirs and large events such as the Grand Odyssey (dog-sled racing) and Santa Claus on his sled (and skiing !) with many events taking place in the centre of the village at Place de Ambience or in the Sports centre. These family events are great fun at the end of a day and an opportunity to socialise and meet with other skiers.
Mike runs Ucanski and has been a regular skier and in this region since 1999 and is keen to share his experiences for others who may be new to the area or those who have a love and passion for this most beautiful area of the French Alps. See more of Ucanski blogs here or on Twitter.