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A hidden gem that’s perfect for people looking for a traditional Alpine winter experience, with particular appeal for beginners, families and intermediates. France’s fourth largest linked skiing area was created in 1980 and comprises Flaine and the lesser known ski resorts of Les Carroz, Morillon, Samoëns, Vernant and Sixt.
In the heart of the Alps, midway between Chamonix and Geneva (just one hour away), Grand Massif enjoys an enviable snow record partly attributed to the ‘fridge’ effect of nearby Mont Blanc. Flaine is the self-proclaimed capital of the region, built into a natural bowl, but it’s Les Carroz that claims to be the first French ski resort following the installation of the country’s first ever ski lift in 1939. It is also one of 44 French resorts classified as Famille Plus, an accreditation given to resorts that cater especially well for children and families.
The ski area offers tremendous variety, as you would expect with 148 runs, 265 kms of piste, 218 snow cannons and with 80% of slopes facing north. One sweeping scenic run that will appeal to skiers of all abilities is the 14 kms Cascades from the top of the Flaine gondola, that will take you across a mountain top, through wooded slopes and past waterfalls down to Sixt. You may reward yourself after this achievement with a Savoyard pizza, with toppings of paper thin-sliced potatoes, reblochon cheese and locally sourced ham, before returning to the slopes in the afternoon. More advanced skiers will enjoy the black Styx run, or the Diamant Noir with its challenging mogul fields.
At the end of a day on the slopes, attractions include a bowling alley, swimming pool, ice-skating, cinema, snow mobiles, husky dog-sledding and ice-driving. Or unwind and rest your aching limbs in the Aquatic Center, with its sauna, Turkish bath, jacuzzi and wide range of soothing treatments.
Grand Massif Piste Map
Resort Height: 700m–2561m
Snow Range: 265km (135 pistes)
Pistes: 148 - 14 black runs, 50 red runs, 64 blue runs, 20 green
Grand Massif Piste Map >>