The Savoie Mont Blanc region in the majestic French Alps is an area known for its breathtaking landscapes and pristine nature. This charming region is a year-round dream destination for outdoor enthusiasts. In the summer months, Savoie Mont Blanc is the domain of hikers, mountaineers, cyclists and golfers. In winter, the idyllic landscape of picturesque mountain villages and peaceful alpine meadows transforms into a fairytale white wonderland. The extensive ski areas, state-of-the-art facilities and slopes for all levels set the scene for both active and relaxed winter sports enthusiasts during that period. Like us, they then get their fill of skiing, snowboarding and snowshoeing. Find out why you too will want to spend your next winter sports holiday in Savoie Mont Blanc in this blog.
Winter sports destination Savoie Mont Blanc in a nutshell
Savoie Mont Blanc is a beautiful, mountainous region in eastern France. It consists of the departments of Savoie and Haute-Savoie. The largest ski resorts in the Savoie department are Paradiski, l’Espace Killy and Les 3 Vallées. In addition, there are many small ski resorts that are certainly not inferior to the big ones in terms of winter sports experience. Among these small areas there are even some real gems!
The Haute-Savoie department is dominated by the imposing Mont Blanc massif. Here you will not only find Europe’s highest mountain, but also some of the most spectacular alpine landscapes in the world. Besides Mont Blanc, Haute-Savoie is best known for the winter sports areas of Evasion Mont-Blanc and Portes du Soleil.
Where to be in winter sports destination Savoie Mont Blanc
In winter, Savoie Mont Blanc turns into a true wonderland for winter sports enthusiasts. The region offers a range of winter sports options, from classic alpine skiing and snowboarding to cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and even ice skating. Whether you are a seasoned skier or visiting the mountains for the first time, Savoie Mont Blanc has something for everyone.
With its impressive mountain landscapes, perfectly kept slopes and charming mountain villages, this region offers some of the best ski resorts in the world. We first mention the major ski resorts in Savoie Mont Blanc. Then we look at the small ski resorts which, as we mentioned above, often include the best little gems.
The major winter sports destinations in Savoie Mont Blanc
Major winter sports destinations in this part of the French Alps include the ski resorts of Espace Killy, Evasion Mont-Blanc, Les Trois Vallées, Paradiski and Portes du Soleil.
Named after the legendary French skier Jean-Claude Killy, this area encompasses the ski resorts of Tignes and Val d’Isère. It is known for its excellent off-piste possibilities and high-altitude glaciers.
Part of the famous Espace Killy ski area, Val d’Isère is a paradise for both skiers and snowboarders. With its high-altitude slopes, it guarantees excellent snow conditions throughout the season. Val d’Isère offers a vast ski area of more than 300 kilometres of interconnected slopes, suitable for all levels. The charming village with traditional chalets and lively après-ski venues adds to the allure of the ski resort.are green and blue slopes. So ideal for beginners or if you want to take it easy. The views of Mont Blanc are fantastic from the ski resort. In addition, les Saisies offers various other winter sports activities, such as cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. Even a yoga session on snowshoes is among the possibilities! Les Saisies is a cosy village, with nice shops and good restaurants. There will be another blog about Les Saisies’ winter sports possibilities.
Located in the heart of the French Alps, Tignes is famous for its vast and high-altitude ski area. Together with Val d’Isère, it forms the Espace Killy ski area, which has more than 300 kilometres of slopes. Tignes is known for its snow security, making it a paradise for winter sports enthusiasts. The resort also offers a range of non-skiing activities, such as ice diving, snowshoeing and ice climbing, so there is something for everyone.
Evasion Mont-Blanc includes ski resorts like Megève and Saint-Gervais, as well as wonderfully quiet areas like Val d’Arly. This winter sports area is less well known than, say, Les Trois Vallées or Paradiski. But the fantastic ambiance and excellent gastronomy more than make up for the smaller number of miles of slopes! What is true of most ski resorts these days is that there is so much more to experience in Evasion Mont-Blanc than just skiing and snowboarding. In Val d’Arly, for instance, we went on an unprecedented snowshoe hike.
Les Trois Vallées
This immense ski area includes the resorts of Courchevel, Méribel, Val Thorens and more. With more than 400 miles of slopes, it is the world’s largest interconnected ski area.
Renowned for its luxury and elegance, Courchevel is a glamorous ski resort that attracts visitors from all over the world. With its impeccably groomed slopes, Michelin-starred restaurants and chic boutiques, Courchevel offers an unforgettable skiing experience.
Located at an altitude of 2,300 metres, Val Thorens is Europe’s highest ski resort and offers an extensive ski area, making it a paradise for ski lovers. With its reliable snow conditions and modern infrastructure, Val Thorens is perfect for beginners and experienced skiers alike.
Nestled in the heart of Les Trois Vallée, Méribel is a charming alpine village that combines traditional Savoyard architecture with world-class skiing opportunities. With its wide range of slopes and excellent snow conditions, Méribel is a favourite among families and advanced skiers.
Paradiski consists of the resorts Les Arcs and La Plagne. Here you will find more than 300 miles of slopes and extensive skiing facilities. La Plagne is particularly suitable for beginner and intermediate skiers. Les Arcs, on the other hand, offers a little more challenge for advanced skiers.
Portes du Soleil
This vast ski area stretches across the border between France and Switzerland and includes ski resorts such as Morzine, Avoriaz and Les Gets. It offers varied terrain and stunning views.
The little pearls among the ski resorts in Savoie Mont Blanc
Besides the aforementioned major ski destinations, there are also smaller ski resorts in Savoie Mont Blanc that you should definitely consider. Especially if you are looking for something with a bit more charm and tranquillity.
La Rosière – Espace San Bernardo
Located on the border with Italy, this resort offers access to the Espace San Bernardo international ski area. It is a beautiful and snow-sure ski resort. You have 120 miles of slopes, superbly groomed slopes and an average of 2000 hours of sunshine a year! As with the Evasion Mont-Blanc ski area, there is so much more to do in La Rosière in winter than just skiing. For example, there are almost 20 miles of (snowshoe) hiking trails here.
With 200 miles of pistes, Les Sybelles is the fourth largest ski area in France. Despite its size, the area is relatively unknown to the general public. This makes Les Sybelles, located in Savoy, perfect for winter sports enthusiasts looking for peace and quiet. Les Sybelles consists of six picturesque villages, each with its own character and charm. With varied slopes, modern facilities and breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains, this ski resort is a real hidden gem.
Located just south of Pralognan-la-Vanoise, the ski resort of Aussois offers an authentic and cosy atmosphere. With 40 miles of slopes, it may be small in size, but it has everything you need for a great ski vacation. From wide gentle slopes for beginners to challenging runs for advanced skiers, Aussois offers something for everyone. Moreover, the village itself is charming and welcoming, with traditional chalets and a relaxed atmosphere.
Valmorel is an idyllic ski resort known for its picturesque architecture and car-free streets. With 120 miles of slopes, ranging from wide gentle slopes to steep runs, Valmorel is a paradise for skiers of all levels. The ski area is also connected to the neighbouring Saint François Longchamp ski area, providing even more opportunities to explore. After a day on the slopes, you can relax in one of the cosy restaurants or enjoy the peaceful atmosphere of the village.
Val Cenis is a ski resort bordering Italy and is known for its peaceful and family-friendly atmosphere. With 100 miles of slopes at an altitude of between 1,300 and 2,800 metres, Val Cenis offers excellent snow conditions and stunning views of the surrounding mountains. The area also has a large number of off-piste options for adventurous skiers and snowboarders. After a day on the slopes, you can relax in one of the mountain restaurants and enjoy local specialities.
Brides-les-Bains is a peaceful-looking and delightful mountain village known for its thermal baths and spas. Here you can enjoy invigorating treatments and beneficial hot springs. For skiing, take the gondola to upper Méribel, Courchevel and Val Thorens. But after your day on the slopes, pamper yourself with a relaxing massage or an invigorating sauna. What really sets Brides-les-Bains apart from the higher ski resorts is its charming atmosphere. Here you won’t find mass tourism or crowds, but rather a cosy and snug environment. It is the perfect place to escape the daily hustle and bustle and enjoy nature.
One such hidden gem is the Arêches-Beaufort ski resort. It is not a destination where you will encounter masses of tourists. Yet the area is highly recommended for its easy slopes and the tranquillity of the entire ski area. Set in the middle of nature, the ski resort has some 50 kilometres of slopes. In general, easy to average pistes ensure a relaxed descent. For experienced skiers who love offpiste, Arêches-Beaufort is the ultimate. No rush to make your own fresh track through virgin snow, but ultimate peace and quiet. Tour skiers will also enjoy Arêches-Beaufort. And even beginners are well catered for, as there are several blue ski touring routes. An extensive blog will follow about Arêches-Beaufort.
Les Saisies – Espace Diamant
Les Saisies is an attractive mountain village at 1650 metres. From the village, you have direct access to the Espace Diamant ski area. There, over 140 miles of pistes await you. In general, these are green and blue slopes. So ideal for beginners or if you want to take it easy. The views of Mont Blanc are fantastic from the ski resort. In addition, les Saisies offers various other winter sports activities, such as cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. Even a yoga session on snowshoes is among the possibilities! Les Saisies is a cosy village, with nice shops and good restaurants. There will be another blog about Les Saisies’ winter sports possibilities.
Answers to practical questions about winter sports destination Savoie Mont Blanc
The Savoie Mont Blanc region is located in the French Alps. It covers much of the mountainous area between Geneva in Switzerland and Grenoble in France. The region borders Switzerland to the east and Italy to the southeast.
If you are travelling without ski equipment, the fastest way to travel to the Savoie Mont Blanc ski resorts is by plane. Fly directly into Geneva and take a hire car there to get to your final destination. Another comfortable option - and better for the environment - is to take the train. From Paris, take the TGV towards Annecy or Chambéry. From there, you can take local trains or buses to your final destination. If you want to head in that direction with your own ski equipment, travel to the French Alps with your own car.
The Savoie Mont Blanc region is a true winter sports paradise. It is in this region where you will find the largest ski resorts in the world. Consequently, there are countless options for winter sports. From classic alpine skiing and snowboarding to cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and even ice skating. Whether you are a seasoned skier or visiting the mountains for the first time, Savoie Mont Blanc has something for everyone. With its impressive mountain landscapes, perfectly kept pistes and delightful mountain villages, Savoie Mont Blanc also offers some of the best ski resorts in the world.
In the Savoie Mont Blanc region, there is much more to do in winter than just skiing and snowboarding. With a diverse range of activities on offer, there is something for everyone. Consider, for example, a visit to one of the many thermal baths or spas. Rather be active outdoors? Then how about snowshoeing, Nordic walking, ice skating, ice diving, or cycling with an e-fat bike or e-mountain bike? There are also opportunities for sledging, tobogganing and even go-karting in the snow!
The very largest ski area in Savoie Mont Blanc is Les Trois Vallées. In fact, with 400 miles of slopes, it is the largest ski area in the world! First in size is Les Portes du Soleil where you will find 400 miles of slopes. Paradiski, consisting of the ski resorts of La Plagne and Les Arcs, is in third place. Altogether, there are 250 miles of pistes here. In fourth and fifth place are the relatively unknown Les Sybelles and the more well-known Tignes/ Val d'Isère. At both you will find around 200 miles of pistes. The sixth spot in Savoie Mont Blanc is taken by the ski resort of Evasion Mont Blanc. Here, over 120 miles of slopes are at your disposal.
Savoyard cuisine is definitely a culinary feast for the taste buds. There no fewer than 36 Michelin-starred restaurants in Savoie Mont Blanc with good reason! This region is mainly about cheese, cheese and more cheese: tasty and creamy cheeses, the most iconic of which are Beaufort, Abondance, Reblochon and Tomme de Savoie. These cheeses are used in dishes such as the famous Tartiflette, a savoury casserole with potatoes, bacon, onion and Reblochon cheese. We ourselves are also partial to Savoyard cheese fondue and raclette. The difference? With fondue, melted cheese is served in which you can dip pieces of bread. Raclette, on the other hand, consists of melted cheese poured over potatoes, pickles and charcuterie (cold cuts). They are dishes that appeal to us in both winter and summer.
Another dish Savoyard cuisine is known for is Diots au Vin Blanc. Diots are small sausages simmered in white wine, often accompanied by onions and potatoes. This savoury meal is a favourite among not only locals. Another thing you will find on most menus are crepes. You have them with both sweet and savoury fillings.
You may also be interested in…
- Les Saisies, attractive village in Espace Diamant ski area
- Stylish winter sports in the heart of Savoie Mont Blanc
- Winter sports in the French-Italian Espace San Bernardo
- Méribel, the heavenly heart of Les Trois Vallées
- Skiing in La Plagne and Les Arcs
- Fit for the start of winter sports
- Outdoor paradise Savoie Mont Blanc in summer