Les Carroz, France
How to get there
Once a small, traditional hamlet, the French ski resort of Les Carroz is rapidly expanding and now covers a large area of the road leading to the larger neighbouring resort of Flaine. Unfortunately, the beautiful resort’s lower altitude means that the snowfall is slightly less reliable but it does benefit from far shorter travelling times than other nearby resorts.
The nearest airport to the resort is Geneva Cointrin, which is just 55 kilometres away. By far the most convenient way of getting between the international airport and Les Carroz is by the shuttle skibus. These transfers run every day and cost 45.50 Euros one-way, and 78 Euros return. The skibus is run by SAT and usually goes via Taninges. However, on weekends, the bus goes direct to the resort from the airport. If you would rather hire a car at the airport and drive the short distance to Les Carroz, you will need to take the A40 motorway to Chamonix and then take Exit 19. Then, take the N205 towards Sallanches. At the junction signposted ‘Les Carroz d’Arâches’, turn left and you will see the resort in front of you.
If you would prefer to travel by train, take the Eurostar from London to Paris. From Paris, there is an infrequent direct TGV train destined for Cluses, a town located close to the ski resort. This service only runs at weekends and during the week you will need to take the TGV to Annecy and then transfer on to a train headed for Cluses. Once you have arrived at the train station at Cluses, take one of the many buses departing for Les Carroz throughout the day.
If you choose to drive to the resort from the UK via Calais, bear in mind several important things. Firstly, always check your snow tyres and chains and plan a good route before leaving. Secondly, bear in mind that there is no petrol station in Les Carroz. The nearest place to get petrol is on the N205, approximately 12 kilometres away from the ski resort.
Who does the resort cater for?
Les Carroz is perfect for beginners and intermediate skiers. Most of the wide, open slopes cater to the needs of less confident skiers. However, those skiers who are after a greater challenge will find the relatively unreliable snowfall at the resort a positive factor, since it leaves some icy patches exposed. There are two ski areas: the Massif or the Grand Massif. The Massif offers 4 linked resorts and a large number of red runs. The Grand Massif may be more suitable for expert skiers, since it has 5 linked resorts with a larger percentage of black runs. Snowboarders will love the snow parks and cross-country skiers will be spoilt for choice. There are free cross-country ski shuttle buses that allow skiers easy access to the Agy Nordic ski area, which is the perfect location for cross-country skiing.
For those who choose not to indulge in activity on the slope, there is plenty to provide amusement during the day. The Salle du Mont Favy offers indoor sports such as tennis, badminton, and table tennis. For those who don’t mind being out in the cold, there is hiking and ice-skating on offer. Nightlife in the resort is lively, with floodlit skiing always a popular choice with guests. There are bowling lanes, night dog-sledding, and evening snowshoeing, as well as an array of popular restaurants and bars that stay open long in to the night.
What accommodation does the resort offer?
Many visitors to the resort choose to stay in rented chalets or private apartments, due to the independence afforded by these options. La Cortiena is a beautiful chalet that sleeps up to 10 people. It is a tastefully renovated farmhouse that was built in the nineteenth century. The lodge offers amazing views of the surrounding scenery and is furnished to a very comfortable standard. Boarding is on a self-catered basis and includes a cleaning service. Smaller groups will be happy in the Les Carroz Studio, which offers apartments that sleep 2 to 3 people. The studio apartments are located centrally and are also next door to the skating rink. For those who would prefer not to cater for themselves, hotels are the best option. There are several good-value options in the centre of the resort, including Hotel Le Bois de la Char. This hotel is located at the top of the village and has a lovely restaurant.
There are 3 black runs (suitable for expert skiers), 8 red runs (suitable for intermediate skiers), 14 blue runs (suitable for beginners), and 3 green runs (suitable for those learning to ski). The slopes are served by modern lifts, (including a telecabine, and very comfortable chair lifts) and they take nearly 75,000 skiers per hour up the mountains. The resort also has 22 snow cannons which generate artificial snow to supplement the natural snow.
- Downhill Pistes: 265 km
- Cross Country Trails: 8 km
- Number of Ski Lifts: 80
- Maximum Vertical: 1360 m
- Highest Lift: 2500 m
- Altitude of Resort: 1140 m
- Lowest Piste: 1140 m