Why Peisey-Vallandry Ski Resort?
- Great base from which to explore both Les Arcs and La Plagne ski areas (which form the massive Paradiski)
- A quiet alternative to the larger nearby resorts
- Authentic village charm
Peisey Vallandry Information
The up and coming resort of Peisey-Vallandry is becoming more popular as the ideal starting point to explore both Les Arcs and La Plagne ski areas and is a quiet alternative to bustling Les Arcs.
Peisey Vallandry can be found in the Savoie region of France, in the Northern French Alps, on the edge of the Vanoise National Park. It forms part of the massive Paradiski ski area which as well as Les Arcs/Peisey Vallandry includes La Plagne. La Plagne and its ski areas can be accessed via the Vanoise Express cable car which whisks skiers across the valley in 4 minutes. The double decker cable car has, in addition to the 360° panorama, a 3 dimensional outlook courtesy of a transparent glass panel inserted into the floor of the lower level of the 2 cabins.
Peisey, perched at 1600m, is an authentic and pretty mountain village with real farm buildings and Baroque heritage. Plan Peisey is much more recently developed area that offers a small selection of bars and restaurants, a mini supermarket, local specialty take-away shop, nursery, chemist and medical centre.
Plan-Peisey enjoys amazing panoramic views across the valley of Peisey Nancroix and the High Tarentaise. A mixture of old and traditional houses that have been restored and some small groupings of builds from the 60s and 70s as well as some new builds – it is a pleasant mélange of Alpine architecture. The Vanoise express, a double decker cable car that runs across the valley to La Plagne starts its journey here. The resort has two small shopping centres: one in the “Quartier du Soleil” the other in the “Quartier des Aiguilles”.
A stone's throw from Peisey, visitors will appreciate the peace and quiet of the village of Vallandry, which has been around for over 20 years now. Bordering the forest, the village is a harmonious mixture of buildings that blend into the environment; private chalets stand side by side with traditional houses along the small and scenic road that winds through the village. L'Oree des Cimes and L’Orée des Neiges, featured in the Ski Collection programme, are both located in the Vallandry area of the resort. Free parking spaces are available along the roadside and to the north-west there are excellent views of Mont Blanc. At the centre of the village, a small conglomeration of buildings is located around open squares where one will find the local shops.
Peisey-Vallandry has maintained its mountain soul and its authentic appeal in spite of being at the centre of the giant Paradiski ski area. Torchlight walks are organised to explore the small narrow streets of the individual villages with their traditional houses and the Baroque church.
It is made up of five Savoyard style villages. Each of them shows the “art de vivre“ of the Alps at its best with the snowy slopes of Les Arcs beckoning you to jump on your skis. The five villages are Landry, Peisey, Nancroix, Vallandry and Plan-Peisey. Plan Peisey is a recently developed area that offers a small selection of bars and restaurants, mini-market, local speciality take-away shop, nursery, chemist and medical centre.
As well as ample skiing there is also nature at its best here. The famous Vanoise National Park with its calm and idyllic landscape is a must see for nature lovers. Here one can enjoy various activities such as horse drawn sleigh rides, dog sledding, natural frozen waterfalls, Nordic skiing, ski Raquettes outings and local walks.
There is a local shuttle from Peisey Vallandry (change at Landry) to the Funicular station at Bourg-Saint-Maurice. It runs 5 times daily 7 days a week during the winter period.
The friendly and helpful Peisey-Vallandry Tourist Office is open every day during the winter season, 09:00 - 13:00 and 14:00 - 18:30 except Thursday: 09:30 - 13:00 and 14:00 - 18:30 pm and then open continuously from 09:00 until 18:30 during the school holidays. Their comprehensive website is full of useful information, tips and suggestions.
LES ARCS/PEISEY VALLANDRY SKI AREA
Les Arcs is part of the large ‘Paradiski’ ski area and is the 2nd largest connected skiing area in the world. Paradiski has excellent facilities and with its huge variation in altitude (1200m-3250m) and with over 70% of the area being above 2000m, there is a multitude of different types of scenery and piste to explore. This impressive lift-linked ski area is formed of 18 ski resorts (the first 7 below in Les Arcs and the other 11 in La Plagne):
- Arc 1600
- Arc 1800
- Arc 1950
- Arc 2000
- Peisey Vallandry
- Bourg St Maurice
- Plagne Montalbert
- Plagne Bellecote
- Les Coches
- Champagny en Vanoise
- Belle Plagne
- Plagne 1800
- Plagne Soleil
- Aime la Plagne
- Plagne Centre
- Plagne Villages
Les Arcs offers experts some tough descents beneath the Aiguille Rouge. For intermediates, the greatest concentration of blue and red runs are above Arc 1800 and lead down to the villages of Peisey-Vallandry. There are nursery slopes close to all of the Les Arcs villages, but some of the best green runs can be found in La Plagne. La Plagne has a further 225km of pistes - access via the Vanoise Express double-decker cable car (world’s largest cable car) which is in the village of Peisey-Vallandry. This takes you across to Montchavin (La Plagne).
Peisey-Vallandry is split into 2 skiing villages (and linked by lift to Les Arcs). Plan Peisey is located next to the Vanoise Express cable car (200 person capacity) and Vallandry is located a little further along. It comprises several small alpine villages which are linked to the large Paradiski ski area so you really do get the best of both worlds. The Peisey-Vallandry pistes are tree-lined and uncrowded - and very well groomed. You can then venture onto the popular pistes in the wider Paradiski area.
From the Les Arcs/Peisey-Vallandry ski area and the Paradiski area at large, there is skiing and snowboarding on offer to suit all abilities. In terms of returning to Peisey Vallandry from further afield, it's easy by either Arc 1600 and Arc 1800 “transverse” pistes or via the Arc 2000 Valley from the top of the Transarc, then the grand Renard piste towards the resort via the Derby chairlift.
LES ARCS SKIING
PEISEY VALLANDRY BEGINNERS
There are 10 green slopes in Les Arcs:
- Vezaille, Millerette, Piste des Animaux in Arc 1600
- Step by step progression zone 1-3 steps (first slides, turns and runs) at Les Cabnes in Mille 8 in Arc 1800
- Low KL, Marais in Arc 2000
- Flocon, Cabri in Peisey Vallandry
Peisey-Vallandry is the quieter side of the valley and is a perfect ski area for learners. Skiers can enjoy the whole Paradiski area using just blue pistes to get going (again) gently.
Both villages provide good nursery slopes which are accessed by a chairlift as they are higher up, around the tree-line. Cabri and Flocon are situated in the upper area of the resort. These are two protected ski areas with a small ski tow. Cabri is accessible from the Peisey chairlift at Plan Peisey and Flocon is accessible from the Vallandry chairlift. There is also a dedicated children's area located in Plan Peisey 'Pre Jeannot'.
There is one green run in the Les Arcs/Peisey-Vallandry domain but it's 7km long and in the forest! The Forêt run which heads down to Vallandry is also gentle enough to be green, even though it is officially graded blue.
LES ARCS INTERMEDIATES
There are lots of options within the Paradiski ski area for intermediate skiers with many blue runs and plenty of red ones too. At slightly lower altitudes (1600-1800m) there are lots of options for mixed ability groups with a choice of routes through the trees.
LES ARCS EXPERTS
Les Arcs has over 30km of black runs for experts. The Olympic speed-skiing track can be tested by strong-hearted members of the public, starting at various heights according to experience.
Arc 2000 is perfect for experts. If you want to try the impressive and demanding longest run in the world, then head to the top of the Aiguille Rouge cable car in Arc 2000. Here you will find the Aiguille Rouge black run which is 16km long! Handy tip: about a third of the way down it does change from a black to a red run and it can get quite busy, so we recommend that you head here early on and make it your first run of the day.
For the mogul lovers out there head to the top of the Comboriciere and Ours black runs. They are steep and demanding and are accessible via the Arc 1800 lifts.
LES ARCS OFF-PISTE
Les Arcs deserves its very good reputation for fantastic off-piste skiing. The powder is excellent, due to the resort being spread over a large area, a lot of which is not touched by lift systems. Arc 2000 offers truly amazing off-piste possibilities.
The main off-piste area is of course the Aiguille Rouge glacier (in Arc 2000), where you have the longest run in the resort at 7km, with a 2100m vertical drop! The most popular runs can be found on the north face with an immense area of off-piste skiing in the direction of Villaroger.
A large part of this area is, in fact, a restricted nature reserve so this really is one of the last untouched areas of the Tarentaise. The most accessible and easiest run is the ‘Petit Face Nord’ and is easy to get to from the Traversee chairlift. The next step up involves a hike: the ‘Couloir Canadian’.
Parts are very steep and avalanches are common. The ‘Couloir en S’ is one of the hardest descents – a rope and ice axe are useful! An easier alternative s the ‘Col du Génépi’. The northeast slopes of the Aiguilles Rouge are classed as moderate. For any off-piste skiing on the glacier we would highly recommend a mountain guide.
The ‘Grand Col’ at 2835m to Villaroger, beneath the glacier, is a popular off-piste area. Alternatively, a longer climb from ‘Grand Col’ takes you to ‘Col des Roches’ on a west facing slope – however getting there does involve a scramble and a cable attached to the rocks would be helpful!
For novices, from the top of the Dos Rond there is a gentle off-piste slope that follows the Les Bauches blue. There is also an eay route from Col de la Chal down towards Nancroix.
LES ARCS CROSS-COUNTRY
The ski area of Les Arcs/Peisey Vallandry has 55km of cross-country trails (131km in La Plagne also).
In Arc 1600 there is a loop starting at Courbaton, the top of the funicular.
In Arc 1800 a trail starts from the top of the Jardin Alpin chairlift.
In Arc 2000 the trail begins near the ESF 2000 ski school office.
Each trail is free to use and is approximately 5km in length.
A longer trail of 15km can be found in Bourg St Maurice and access is via the funicular from Arc 1600.
However, for the best of the best cross-country skiing you need to be further down the valley in the Peisey-Nancroix Nordic area (Peisey-Vallandry), at the entrance of the Vanoise National Park – 44km of well kept and marked trails await you. There are also paths here for walkers, snowshoe trails and toboggan runs. You do have to purchase a pass to use these trails, but the good thing is that any profit they make purely goes into the daily upkeep of these beautiful trails.
LES ARCS SNOWBOADERS
Les Arcs is a hot spot and firm favourite with snowboarders, where many of the Pros choose to come. Les Arcs offers brilliant freeriding including steeps, trees, gullies, natural jobs and hits. Arc 1800 and Peisey-Vallandry offer the best wide-open rolling slopes for beginners and intermediates.
LES ARCS IN BAD WEATHER
If the weather turns bad, the clouds creep in and the snow falls heavy it can be hard to know where to ski. Avoid the high and open glaciers at all costs. The trick is to head for the tree-lined slopes as they provide definition when the slopes and the sky merge into one and everything seems white! Head to the lower resorts of Arc 1600, Arc 1800 and Peisey-Vallandry.
From the top of the Chantel and Les Villards chairlifts, you can take some long blue slopes through the trees from Arc 1800 to Arc 1600. La Plagne Montalbert is another safe beat with gentle blues that cut through the trees and as you will be lower here you may even completely miss the high cloud causing the bad weather. There are also plenty of trees to be found in Vallandry, Plan Peisey and Montchavin/Les Coches.