We just love the variety in the French Alps in winter! From large high-altitude ski destinations such as Les Deux Alpes, to village resorts in large ski areas like Samoens, there is something for everyone. For those looking for some peace and quiet on their winter break, away from the large crowds of other tourists, and wanting to find a sense of 'true' Alpine France, then this blog is for you!
Below, we have selected some of our favourite unspoilt mountain villages, in beautiful natural settings and in off-the-beaten-track locations - these are the real 'hidden gems' of the Alps!
This typical Beaufortain village is found in the heart of the Savoie and nestled between 730m and 2300m altitude. Arêches-Beaufort is a year-round working village offering an authentic and traditional alpine atmosphere, with the stunning Mont Blanc massif as a back-drop! The town of Albertville just 20km away and the town of Beaufort also nearby. Along with the regional speciality, Beaufort cheese, this pretty village resort has a long artisanal heritage, which is still very much present today, .
In terms of skiing, the Beaufortain area of the Savoie region has an exceptional snow-record due to its proximity to Mont Blanc and boasts some of the most plentiful snowfalls in the Alps. Arêches-Beaufort has access to 50km of slopes, with two sectors; Grand Mont (accessed by the Grand Mont chairlift to Le Cuvy) and Le Planay (accessed via Le Cuvy). All ski abilities will find plenty of terrain to enjoy. Beginners are well catered for with dedicated areas at both Le Planay and Le Cuvy, whilst intermediates have a great choice of various blue and red runs. For the experts, there are a number of black runs as well as the opportunity for some ski touring from Grand Mont.
La Clé des Cîmes
These recently built and modern 4-star self-catered apartments are in a wonderfully convenient location, not far from the centre of the village. Guests have access to the shuttle bus, which stops just outside the residence, taking you to the nearest lift and ski school meeting point (3 minutes away).
Facilities La Clé des Cîmes also include the indoor heated swimming pool and Aqua Relaxation area!
Referred to as ‘the Pearl of Mont Blanc’ the unspoilt village resort of Combloux has a rustic feel with its traditional and medieval architecture. Visitors will marvel at the 360-degree panoramic views of Mont Blanc whilst enjoying a taste of rural Alpine France. Combloux is perfect for families, being awarded the Famille Plus title for its welcoming atmosphere and facilities for children. This picturesque village is also only a few minutes from Megeve and Chamonix is under 20 miles away.
Combloux is linked to the Evasion Mont Blanc ski area which offers 445km of piste to explore. There's plenty of runs for all abilities and the resort is lift-linked to the spa resort of Saint Gervais and another 'hidden gem', St Nicolas de Veroce. There's also an abundance of other winter activities in Combloux for everyone to enjoy, including non-skiers. Tour the village on horse-drawn carriages, or embark on a scenic snowshoe trail, as well as farm visits, and traditional folklore evenings.
Les Fermes du Mont Blanc
This 4-star residence includes spacious apartments which have been designed and appointed to a very high standard. As well as the convenient position just 300m from the centre of Combloux, most of these self-catered apartments offer breath-taking views of Mont Blanc.
Other facilities at Les Fermes du Mont Blanc include an indoor heated swimming pool, a spa and wellness centre, free covered parking, and free WiFi.
With a short 35 minute transfer from Grenoble Airport, Corrençon offers visitors a peaceful winter break in a traditional and authentic French village. Corrençon en Vercors is a tranquil village resort on the edge of the largest Natural Reserve in France, the Vercors park. This region of the Alps boasts many prestigious AOPs (Appellation d'Origine Protegée - products with a protected origin) including the Blue cheese from Vercors Sassenage, produced with milk from "La Villarde" cattle, found in neighbouring Villard-de-Lans.
Corrençon is linked to Villard de Lans in the Espace Villard-Correncon ski area, with 125km of varied slopes. The ski area is perfect for all ski abilities and disciplines, including cross-country skiing with a decent size Nordic Park. Here you can choose between classic or skating Nordic skiing or try snowshoeing on one of the dedicated trails.
Hotel du Golf
This family-run boutique hotel is found in an idyllic and quiet countryside setting, not far from the centre of Corrençon and the nearest lifts (2km). There is also a golf course nearby as well as the Hauts Plateaux cross-country ski area.
Facilities at the Hotel du Golf include a highly regarded gastronomic restaurant, Le Palégrié, as well as a lounge bar, and a small wellness area.
The traditional quaint ski village of St Nicolas de Véroce is well linked in the huge Evasion Mont Blanc ski area (445km piste). Found in the Haute Savoie region at 1180m altitude, this pretty and tranquil village faces the majestic Mont Blanc massif. Visitors will be able to ski or take the lift network to St Gervais or Megeve, with St Gervais making a perfect day trip to St Gervais if you have a car; it’s about 10km away.
With only one lift pass, you can ski in 6 other resorts in the Evasion Mont Blanc ski area, including Combloux. St Nicolas itself offers a small beginners area and a number of longer blues to progress to. For more advanced intermediate skiers there are various red runs above the resort and onwards to the rest of the ski area with plenty of intermediate and expert terrain.
The prestigious 5-star Hotel Armancette, opened in 2019, is located in a wonderfully peaceful location in the heart of St Nicolas de Véroce village with the local slopes and nearest Chef Lieu lift only 100m away. Alongside the wonderful facilities and fabulous location of this exquisite and unique hotel, guests are treated to the exceptional views of the Dômes du Miage and the Mont Blanc range from the hotel’s own terrace.
The many facilities available at the Armancette include a beautiful gastronomic restaurant, a tea room, wine bar, as well as a bakery. There's also a fully-equipped wellness area with spa, heated indoor/outdoor pool, indoor and outdoor hot tubs, sauna, hammam, and fitness/yoga rooms.
Perhaps you're also keen on discovering these French Alps destinations in the summer months too? Take a look at our summer site for some inspirational ideas for your next summer holiday!
If you're ready to explore your options for a wonderful winter break in one of these beautiful locations, then our expert and award-winning team can help with planning the perfect holiday for you. Call us on 023 9283 9310, chat with us online, or you can request a quote and we'll be in touch.
Get some more ideas from our latest blog posts, or our What's new section for the upcoming winter season. We also have a number of great offers available throughout the season! Keep up to date with all the latest news from us and our French Alps resorts by signing up to our newsletter, as well as following us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.