Portes du Soleil Ski Area
With claims to being the largest lift-linked ski area anywhere in the world, the huge Portes du Soleil area offers a seemingly endless expanse of runs and no less than 12 individual resorts to explore.
The skiing is not only expansive, but also includes high altitude skiing in wide open snow-bowls above 2,000m, so whenever you travel, you are assured plenty of snow. There are also plenty of picturesque tree-lined runs down to the many villages which combine to make up the area.
From the contemporary architecture of Avoriaz, to the chocolate-box charm of Chatel, the area offers variety to suit all tastes, and there are wonderfully long, leisurely ski days to be enjoyed, taking a circular route around the system, in either direction, taking in Morgins or Champéry in Switzerland before crossing back into France. Easily accessible Avoriaz, is also a huge snowboarding favourite, with a half-pipe and four excellent boarder-parks.
- 650 km of marked pistes and trails
- 119 blue, 104 red, 33 green, 27 black
- 200 lifts
- 10 snow parks
- 90 mountain restaurants
- 14 valleys
- 400 square miles (1036 square km)
To see the piste maps for the Portes du Soleil click here.
Cret Beni ski area (height of top lift 1536m)
Skiing in the shadow of the impressive Mont de Grange (2432m) the Cret Beni ski area is ideal for families and for those in their first or second season of skiing or boarding. The pistes are north facing so ensure great snow conditions for skiing and boarding. There are also several mountain restaurants offering local cuisine.
Braitaz ski area (height of top lift 1792m)
Take the cable car opposite the Chalet to join this impressive South facing ski area (one of our favourite routes and ski areas). Not only can you ski to Torgon in Switzerland but you can also make your way towards the Super Chatel domain the vast Portes du Soleil ski area.
Whether you are a beginner or an expert skier there is a colour for everyone! Including;
- 37 green
- 112 blue
- 105 red
- 26 black
There is no minimum age limit for appreciating the mountains and there are numerous ski schools in the area. Locally, there is the ESF (Ecole du Ski Francais) where your children can enjoy the snow, meet new friends or learn to ski. The Piou Piou Club, adapted for children from 3 to 6 years, is specifically designed for children to have fun in the snow. The ski area is reserved and secure, with a ski lift, figurines and characters to encourage learning to ski.
There is also “Les Gattions” crèche (from 3 months) with its own snow garden, perfect for those children who prefer not to or are too young to ski.
Set in the centre of the valley, La Chapelle d’Abondance has one of the best cross country skiing areas in the Haute-Savoie, with loops from 5km to 35km which take you through forests or alongside the River Dranse towards neighbouring resorts. Click for the area’s Nordic Skiing map.
In neighbouring Chatel (5 minutes by minibus), there are numerous local ski schools including ESI, BASS and ESF. All of these ski schools operate from Pre la Joux which is renowned for offering some of the best skiing in Europe for all levels of skiers, and its mixture of French and Swiss culture create a wonderful ambience with excellent food and friendliness. Many of our guests prefer to use BASS as they have a wealth of experience and are all British instructors.