Le Grand-Bornand is amongst the best preserved and most beautiful Savoyard villages. Ideally located between Mont Blanc, Lake Annecy and Switzerland.
The local community has carefully worked to fulfil visitors’ needs for excellent skiing, whilst at the same time maintaining the area's traditional charm and respecting its Alpine heritage. Le Grand Bornand ski resort (in the Aravis mountains) is famous for its attractive chalets. More than 400 are spread throughout the village, many of them up to 300 years old.
The Grand Bornand is split into the main Grand Bornand village (1000m) and Chinaillon village which is 6km away at 1300m. We feature accommodation in both. There are bars and restaurants in Chinaillon as well as shops, but the majority of amenities are in the main village.
The Aravis Mountains’ highest peak is the distinctive Pointe Percée from where green, forested slopes meander down towards the valley, forming the main backdrop to Le Grand Bornand village. This is divided into two parts, with an efficient ski bus circling between them and ski lifts and runs linking them higher up. The original Grand Bornand village is a veritable picture of old France with its shops, church, market square and “grenette” - a traditional Savoyard covered market. Six kilometres up the valley is Le Chinaillon, the other part of the resort, where most of the ski runs begin. Chinaillon is very well preserved with the older parts dating back to the 17th century. The splendid Bouchet Valley stretches away behind it… a favourite cross country ski area.
Amusingly – and the locals are proud of this - Le Grand Bornand’s inhabitants are outnumbered by its cows! This is the birthplace of the famous Reblochon, an AOC cheese (Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée) which is made twice a day in village farms during the winter, and in pastures during summer. The first Reblochon market was created in 1795 in Le Grand Bornand, and remains the most important in the whole valley. The traditional Reblochon market is held on Wednesday mornings in Grand Bornand. There are 65 farms in the area and the local cows, called Pie-Rouge Abondance, are almost a red colour, with white tails and hooves.
There are about 30 restaurants in Le Grand Bornand village as well as a supermarket, boulangerie, laundrette, hairdresser, pharmacy, petrol station, bank and post office - so all your holiday needs are covered! If you’re looking for a lively après ski scene there are nearly 40 bars and pubs. “Les 2 Guides” has a British pub atmosphere whilst “Le Thovet" has a great selection of wines by the glass. Later on the nightclub "Le Baron Noir" at Pont du Venay in Chinaillon (the other part to Le Grand Bornand) comes to life.
Other activities in Le Grand Bornand include horse-drawn sleigh or carriage rides, an ice rink, cinemas, snowshoeing, paragliding and hot air ballooning.
Why Le Grand Bornand?
- It’s less than an hour from Geneva
- The traditional villages have an authentic atmosphere
- Only 40 minutes from Annecy and La Clusaz ski resort is just down the road
- It’s part of the wonderful Aravis ski area
Interested in buying an apartment in Le Grand Bornand? See our Buying in the Alps section
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Grand Bornand ski facts:
- No. of slopes: 131
- Green slopes: 45
- Blue slopes: 45
- Red slopes: 36