Car is not necessary
About Le Grand Bornand
The Aravis range of mountains in the Haute Savoie area of France runs North-South stretching from Cluses in the South to just north of Ugine in the North. The highest peak on the chain is Pointe Percee at 2752metres.
The main town and resort of La Clusaz is supported by nearby Grand Bornand and St Jean de Sixt to make up the 220km Aravis Ski Region. The area has long been a popular destination for the French and Swiss who rate the skiing highly and regularly visit at weekends.
A decision to develop only traditional chalet style accommodation has preserved the look and feel of the area, so it has escaped the ugly resort developments of the 60s & 70s. Each village is based around the church, main square and the traditional "centre ville" and still retains a very appealing French atmosphere.
Our chalet is located in Saint Jean de Sixt, a small village conveniently located just 2km from either of the main resort centres of La Clusaz and Le Grand Bornand. The resort ski bus (free with area lift pass) links all the areas.
Both villages have a number of interlinked ski areas offering the full range of slopes, views and skiing environments. Each area is linked to the others by both runs and lifts, which makes for some fun mountain traversing and provides a large choice of runs. You can easily pick a mixture of pistes to suit your requirements and visit both high plateaus and tree-lined slopes in the same day.
Skiing in the Aravis Mountains in the French Alps The highest skiable peak of Grand Bornand is Mont Lachat de Chatillion at 2100m and the highest point of La Clusaz is Col de Balme at 2616m.The pistes vary in height from 1100m to 2600m, meaning you can enjoy a range of skiing from high plateau to tree lined runs and everything in between. In January and March the pistes are quiet and queues for lifts are unheard of. The majority of the lifts are mainly chairlifts, good news for all boarders, unless you venture over to the Manigod and Merdassier sectors where there are more button lifts.
In addition to the 220km of downhill skiing there is more than 120km of cross-country ski trails in the area, based in the Vallee du Bouchet in Grand Bornand and on the plateau of Lac de Confins above La Clusaz, both with a dedicated ESF school. There is also plenty for non-skiers to do.
Lessons and Ski passes are available through us for an additional charge if you let us know at the time of booking. Alternatively you can organise your own lessons and lift passes through the Tourist Office on your arrival.
Both resorts are great for beginners with some perfect nursery slopes and some easily accessible green runs. Combine this with the great instructors we use and it's the ideal place to learn to ski.
La Clusaz has some flat and wide nursery slopes around the village, as well as at the top of the Beauregard cable car with wide gentle greens and easy drag lifts on the plateau. We also like the green at the bottom of La Balme for beginners as it's a nice smooth piste with a gentle drag lift (which the friendly lifties will slow down for first-timers!). Manigod is another area that has some good gentle blue runs, with simple to use lifts.
Grand Bornand has an extensive nursery slope area at the top of the Rosay cable car, including ski-gardens and play areas for the kids. This is where many of the lessons start from and there is a good choice of long, gentle green runs which allows you to cover some distance around the mountain but without any steep or scary bits. Access to the mountain restaurants is good from the green runs, so mixed ability groups can all still meet up for coffee, lunch etc. As well as an extensive nursery slope area - Grand Bornand has some brilliant confidence building blue runs which are always a favourite, and where you can put it all into practice! And of course - with few people, wide pistes and plenty of space you can relax without worrying about anyone else! Also - our ski team will be on hand to make sure you know where to go, what to take and what to expect. We were all beginners once!
Ski or snowboard in La Clusaz or Grand Bornand Intermediate skiers will be in their element with some excellent mountain cruising. There is a good range of blues and reds which make the most of the linked ski regions and cover some distance through varied terrains.
The tree-lined blue runs down to the village from Beauregard and the wide runs of the Aguille are always favourites in La Clusaz. Manigod and Merdassier provide another quieter area with many blue runs through the trees and, although shorter in length, there is a great choice on consistently good snow conditions.
All areas are linked by both runs and lifts to guarantee that you can ski the best of every area within the week. Grand Bornand provides some great chances to cruise on blues - with the "hidden valley" of Col des Annes giving a run of around 2.5km, ideal for a spot of "shoosting". The reds are brilliant for building confidence on steeper slopes with varying steepness, but wide well groomed pistes and no scary cliff drops off the side! The Grand Bornand area is very well served by fast new lifts including the 6-person chair to Maroly - and makes for easy navigating.
After fresh snow, La Balme offers some serious powder with a huge expanse of off-piste as well as red and blue runs and Grand Bornand also adds to the fun with plenty of good powder runs. All of these are accessible to the intermediate skier!
Powder day in La ClusazAlthough the area does not have many official black runs, you can still find plenty of good fast pistes to thrill you. Etale mountain has a steep red, as well as a few challenging black runs, one of which becomes mogully and very tough - definitely a thigh burner! La Balme is the best area for advanced skiers, with the biggest and steepest runs for both on- and off-piste descents. It has some good speed skiing reds and the descent from top to bottom will severely test anyone's downhill ability! The large sheltered bowl is the highest point in La Clusaz as it rises up to 2600m, with amazing views across to Mont Blanc. It gets the best snow in the resort and because of its height and aspect it keeps it very well. La Blame is definitely the place to go on a fresh powder day - a few times each season you can experience waist deep powder.
Grand Bornand has some long steep red runs, as well as a couple of very challenging black runs. The top of Lachat (reached by a fast 6 person chair lift) provides access to Piste 2000 run which is a fabulous long red, looping all the way down to the village if required. Or take the more direct route off the side with a black run reserved for only the most competent (or crazy!) skiers. The Snow Parks in both La Clusaz and Grand Bornand are open to skiers and boarders alike. It's not just boarders who enjoy the parks and natural terrain kickers - La Clusaz is home to many professional skiers and riders such as Candide Thovex who will often be performing their tricks on skis with rails and jumps.
For those prepared to work a little harder the ski touring possibilities are amazing in the resort with many hidden areas, such as Bellachat just off La Balme, offering fresh snow routes where you can carve your own tracks! Please ask us for details if you are interested - we can advise you where to hire touring skis and a guide.
Activities near Le Grand Bornand
|Local sports activities
Within 15 minutes: Mountain biking, Swimming, Horse riding, Climbing, Sports centre, Fishing, Cycling, Skiing, Walking
|Local leisure activities
Within 15 minutes: Food shop, Restaurant, Shopping
||Walking holiday, Sight-seeing, Cycling holiday, Summer holidays, Ski Holidays