Chris from the Ski Collection team headed to Flaine in the Grand Massif for his family ski holiday. Here he tells all with some insider knowledge...
I'm a competent skier and my family are all beginner to intermediates so we wanted a resort that we'd all be able to enjoy. When choosing our must-haves included doorstep skiing, a friendly ambience and easy access to amenities. The ski resort of Flaine, close to Mont Blanc and part of one of the largest skiing areas in France, the Grand Massif, fitted the bill perfectly.
Travel: Getting to the French Alps
We opted to drive. We took the Eurotunnel with the FlexiPlus option which was as hassle-free as always and then drove to Reims for an overnight stay before heading on to Flaine in the morning. On the way back, we had a stop off in Dijon.
Our preference is always the car as we have a lot of equipment to take and we like the ease of FlexiPlus - we just turn up when we're ready and get on the next available train! But, it's also worth noting that Flaine is super-easy to fly to too. It's conveniently close to Geneva airport with lots of transfer options.
Insider Tip: If you're driving get a Liber-t tag - it's an automatic toll payer - before you go. You order online and only pay in the months you use it. I have had mine for over ten years! It's so much easier to whizz through the tolls and bypass queues. Also, ask our Alpine Experts for suggested hotels for your overnight stays. They know all the best ones and can even book them for you!
We all loved Flaine. It's a really lively resort which attracts lots of ski enthusiasts of all abilities. Our favourite thing was how accessible everything is - facilities are all close by.
During the evenings in Flaine, there are plenty of activities to entertain. The normal apres-ski of course, but also a cultural centre, cinema, video games arcade and much more. Flaine offers all the amenities you will need, from the supermarket and the bank to bars, restaurants and shops. There's even a swimming pool!
Ski Collection offers a range of accommodation in Flaine - from 3 and 4-star apartments and hotels to stunning chalets. We opted to stay at Le Centaure, which is a 4-star luxury residence, located close to the shops and restaurants.
Le Centaure is ski-in, ski-out with modern facilities including an indoor swimming pool, saunas, steam rooms, fitness room and spa. We enjoyed our stay, especially having access to the pool, and would happily stay again. The rooms were comfortable, clean and well maintained.
Insider Tip: Look for early booking and other ski discounts and you'll find great deals for luxury accommodation. I also recommend staying here for late/early season skiing - just as we did - as Le Centaure is superbly situated in Flaine Forum, the highest resort in the Grand Massif!
Skiing in Flaine & The Grand Massif
Flaine has an impressive 265kms of linked and prepared runs and the “Cascades Piste” is a staggering 14kms long and ends at Sixt Fer-a-Cheval! The skiing area connects Flaine with four other ski resorts: Les Carroz, Morillon, Samoens and Sixt Fer-a-Cheval - your Grand Massif Lift Pass will let you ski the whole domain! With one of the best snow records in the French Alps, Flaine is very often called the “big snowy bowl” so you'll enjoy a beautiful landscape while on the slopes. It really is breathtaking.
The whole family loved skiing in Flaine, especially the children. The ski school was great. My two weren't initially that keen on attending, but they really enjoyed it and were thrilled about their progression. They loved meeting all the other kids (many of whom were English) and the instructors were friendly with a great rapport.
The ski lifts were empty - we didn't have to queue at all - and the whole area is really well connected. That along with perfect weather meant, after ski school, we loved skiing together as a family - we genuinely had so much fun. The one downside was late afternoon slush but what was to be expected; it was mid-April and the weather was beautiful.
Insider Tip: Flaine is well suited to families offering a large nursery slope area perfect for children or beginners. Whatever age your children are, get them booked on to ski school. Remember, it's not just for beginners. Ski School confirmed to me it was absolutely worth the first-day stress of reluctant children after seeing how happy they were after!
If you have any questions about Flaine, or anything you have read here, give our Alpine Experts a call on 023 9289 0960.