Here I have put together the must-read guide to the Rhône Alpes. It is pretty inclusive so I’ll do it as a bit of a bullet point. But it is a good start where to see all their ski resorts and which ones could tempt you for your perfect ski holiday.
The Rhône Alpes is an extensive area in the Central West of France. From west to east it offers the Auvergne Volcanoes to Lyon and the French Alps and Mont Blanc. This is the roof of Europe at 4,810 meters.
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How to get there: The Must-Read Guide to the Rhône Alpes.
Paris Airport- transfer to Lyon is 45 minutes.
Paris – TGV (fast train)
London with the Eurostar
Brussels with the Thalis
Lyon airport: 1-3 hours
Geneva airport: 1-3 hours
Chambery airport: 1-1.5 hours
Grenoble airport: 1-1.5 hours.
The French Alps – The Must-Read Guide to the Rhône Alpes
The French Alps are the most renown ski mountains in the world. Here are some specs to explain why:
It has been three times host of Winter Olympic games:
Chamonix in 1925 (first edition)
The 3 Valleys is the world’s largest ski area, with 600 km of ski slopes and more than 200 cable cars. Most of the terrain is above 1800 m altitude.
There are different connected ski areas, or if you prefer to call them ski carousels.
Les 3 Vallées
Val d’Isère- Tignes.
It has the longest snow season in Europe, from November (October for Tignes this year!) to May.
It offers summer skiing from June to August at
Les 2 Alpes
This guide will pinpoint the unique particularities of the different main ski resorts.
The Sportive Ski Resorts. – The Must-Read Guide to the Rhône Alpes.
Chamonix, Val Thorens, Val ‘d’Isère, Tignes and Les 2 Alpes.
The Ski Area is called Evasion Mont Blanc, Les Portes du Mont Blanc.
The ski pass to get is the Mont Blanc Unlimited. The dominion has ski pistes in three countries: France, Switzerland and Italy. A total of 1000 km. There is an option to get more local ski passes.
Chamonix offers ski, snowboarding and ski touring. This past winter, when the resorts had their lifts closed, ski touring was pretty busy.
You must go to visit the Aiguille du Midi to see the Mont Blanc from a close distance, and try the Step into the Void. This is a glass cabin where you step into the abyss.
Another attraction is to take the train from the station in Chamonix into Montenvers. You get off at the end and you have a view of the end of the Mer de Glace. In summer you can go all the way down to the glacier and get into an ice cave. Going down the steps, you’ll see how fast the glacier is melting and the effects of climate change. It is a very shocking view. The terminal of Montenvers has a beautiful lodge. If you cannot stay there, you can still have lunch in its terrace. There is also a bigger restaurant in the main building.
Paragliding is very popular in Chamonix. Every time we pass, we see lots of paragliders on the air. There are also 50 km of groomed Nordic skiing slopes, a toboggan. Also lots of snowshoeing, a QC Terme spa and a casino.
Chamonix has 62 hotels of all categories and 11 apartments buildings.
There are lots of altitude restaurants and 130 varied options of gastronomic experiences.
Val Thorens is the highest ski resort of Europe. Its slopes go from 2300 , to 3230. They go much lower if you start counting from Brides les Bains, the lowest resort in the 3 Valleys.
How to get there: 3 hours from Lyon airport or Geneva airport
There is a children’s entertainment area at 2560m altitude.
Sledging, water sports and entertainments. Folie Douce.
Lodging: the resort is partly ski in-out, so you have to check where to stay!
-3 to 5 star hotels
-1 Palace hotel
-Traditional self catering chalets.
Dining: lots of optoins, with a 2 Michelin stars restaurant. Local Savoy restaurants. French, Japanese and Italian cuisines.
2h45m from Lyon Airport or Geneva Airport
2h from Chambery Airport
40min from the Train Station of Saint Maurice.
Ski Area: Tignes- Val d’Isère
Ski Pass: Tignes- Val d’Isère.
-the pass starting from 2 days till 15 days , gives you access to the pool at Le Lagon.
-Free beginner’s area (considered Pink Piste). This is great if you are making your first steps in skis or snowboard. You start with ski lessons there, you don’t pay a lift ticket. When you can start moving a bit more around, you start paying then.
Located in Méribel with direct access to the slopes. The hotel has a Michelin-starred restaurant, which serves regional dishes with seasonal produce. The hotel has also a bar.
The rooms combine a contemporary style with a chalet style. The hotel offers buffet breakfast. There is a spa with pool, accessible for an extra cost. Same with private parking (for an additional fee). You can travel with your pet here. Family rooms are available.
This is a luxury hotel ski in the resort of Val Thorens, the highest of Les Trois Vallées. The hotel has a 500 m2 spa and wellness center. The rooms and apartments have balcony with mountain views. The apartments have private kitchen with oven, stovetop, dishwasher and coffee machine.
The hotel has two restaurants on site. Two renowned chefs Roumuald Fassenet and Josselin Jeanblanc manage them. Les Explorateurs has a a Michelin star.
The hotel has a smoking lounge, a sun terrace and a ski shop. The wellness have an indoor pool with mountain views. It also has an indoor and outdoor hot tubs, Turkish and Nordic baths. A sensual shower, a fitness center and a solarium complete the offer. Great hotel for families with kids.
This five starts, located in Saint-Gervais offers airport shuttle. The hotel offers concierge services, free WiFi and a bar and a restaurant. The property has also free bikes, as well as an indoor/outdoor pool. The property offers continental or buffet breakfast. The spa has a Hammam, hot tub and a sauna. You can rent your skis or bikes at the hotel. The location of the hotel is within the Saint-Gervais-les-Bains and Megève ski resorts. The Chef-Lieu ski lift is 200 yards from the hotel. The Chattrix ski lift is 0.8 miles from the property.
A great location for a hotel, ski in/out, 100 yards from the Lanchettes ski lift. A five stars hotel featuring 2 restaurants of a renowned chef. There is also a bar enjoyed by guests.
Rooms have air conditioning and flat TV. Bathrooms come with bathrobes, slippers and free toiletries. Some rooms have seating area and views o the mountain or village. There is a great spa with indoor pool, sauna and hot tub. Massages available on request. A ski shop for renting your ski or snowboard equipment is on site.
The hotel has an indoor swimming pool and a Pure Altitude spa. it includes a hot tub, sauna and hammam, at an extra cost. Rooms have a satellite TV and a desk. Bathrooms have either shower or bath.
Full buffet breakfast served daily. The hotel has a bar, L’Herpie. Also the property’s restaurant Le Rif Briant. A lounge bar has a fireplace where to relax.
The Alpe d’Huez Ski School is 350 ywards away. The Alparius ski lift is 150 yards. Te Marmottes I ski lift is 250 yards away, and many more are within 400 to 700 yards. This makes this property ideal for families. There are some Junior Suites with two single beds, one bunk bed and a large double bed for families.
A great location of this four-star hotel in the centre of Chamonix. It is 1,050 yards from the Aiguille du Midi cable car an a 5-minute walk from the train station. The teleski of Samaran is 300 yards, the TK Savoy ski lift at 350 yards. The Chamonix-Planpraz ski lift is at 650 yards, the Grepon at 800 yards. The Planards is at 850 yards.
The hotel has a spa and wellness centre, airport shuttle, restaurant and bar. They offer room service. There are tea and coffee maker in all rooms and a very good breakfast.
Brides-les-Bains is the lowest resort you can stay in Les Trois Vallées, and you can get very nice hotels for a fraction of the price.
From there you can take the Olympic gondola up the mountain into Méribel. And then you are in one of the biggest ski areas in the world with its 600 km of trails.
The Golf Hotel is a grand building with a 1920’s décor. Guest rooms are very well equipped and decorated. You can see the Grand Bec from the hotel and also the village of Brides-les-Bains. The hotel is 200 yards from teh Olympe 1 Ski lift. You can stay with your pooch. The hotel has a restaurant and bar. There are also family rooms.
This résidence is part of the Premium properties of Pierre & Vacances. They provide apartments 8-minute walk away from the Chantel ski lift. There is a wellbeing centre, with sauna, hammam, an indoor heated swimming pool. There are also massage and beauty treatments at the Deep Nature Spa with an extra cost.
In winter guests can order deliveries of fresh bread and pastries for breakfast. For dinner there are available regional dishes.
The résidence has a fitness centre with classes at an extra cost. A ski school for children is onsite. With prior reservation you can get the lift tickets an ski equipment at your property. Pets can come to this property.
There are buses available to travel between the train station and the property. The hotel has been awarded the Green Key.
The Carreley lift is 400 yards away. The Vaguere Ski lift 500 yards, the Les Villards ski lift 650 yards. The Transarc is at 700 yards. The Charmettoger Ski lift, 1150 yards away. And the Arpette ski lift is 1,200 yards away.
The Residence Cortina Les Deux Alpes is a four star hotel-style apartment complex. It provides apartments for 4 to 12 guests. Located 100 meters from the nearest ski slope. Rooms have balconies and fully equipped kitchens. There is free use of the sauna and jacuzzi.
A definite favourite in Les Menuires for guests, the Hillary Hotel Les Menuires is by the pistes. It offers a wonderful south-facing terrace with panoramic views of the mountains. Guests can play billiards or cozy up by the fireplace.
Rooms are simply decorated, a bit on the small side but very nice. Some have bath and others showers. Some also offer a terrace with mountain views.
Local cuisine and Savoyard specialities are available in the on-site restaurant. A bar also allows you to enjoy your evenings. In the mornings, there is a buffet breakfast available. Family rooms are available. Free parking and WiFi.
More information on the Rhône Alpes resorts can be found here.
Start planning your next trip!
You can search for your own accommodation in the snow for your next ski holiday through our Accommodation Search tab. Or if looking to stay in the heart of the Mont Blanc Valley in the Aosta Valley, check Il Coure della Valdigne review here. This is our own family home in the mountains, that I am renting out when not using, you can always write me a private message if interested to firstname.lastname@example.org
You can book directly through Airbnb through this link
If you want to take your family skiing and you don’t know where to start, read here. And search for your ski transfers from all airports to the Mountains here. And for those that are like me, that are lazy to cook, you can get your food, even gourmet mountain food delivered to your home with Huski.
If renting equipment (skis or snowboards) check our agreement with Skiset– you can get up to 50% off ski or snowboard rental rates. I have been using them for years every year when I go to America and Europe and they are great!
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