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Peak Transfer | La Clusaz & Le Grand-Bornand Winter Ski Guide
13th August 2016

La Clusaz & Le Grand-Bornand Winter Ski Guide

Less than an hour from Geneva airport, you’ll find the Aravis ski area in the picturesque, charming Haute-Savoie region of France. This quiet ski area has remained relatively unknown to tourists from abroad. A treat for the French and the rare foreign visitors who do make a point of exploring it. Two of the key resorts in this area are La Clusaz and Le Grand Bornand.

Located just over the Bouchet Valley, the village of Le Grand Bornand actually enjoys a sprawling layout across two distinct altitudes. While certainly prestigious, Le Grand Bornand retains its sleepy Alpine ambience, and the partiers typically head to neighbouring La Clusaz. Despite the ski scene, La Clusaz is still a thriving year-round Savoie town with agriculture and plenty of appealing activities in the summer, too. The nearby resorts also include Manigod (closer to La Clusaz) and Saint-Jean-de-Sixt (a satellite resort of Le Grand Bornand).

Le Grand Bornand and La Clusaz are some of the best French ski resortsw with easy access

KEY FACTS

REGION: Haute-Savoie, Rhône-Alpes, France

 

ALTITUDE: La Clusaz – 1,100m, Le Grand-Bornand 1,300m

 

HIGHEST LIFT: Col de Balme – 2,600m (La Clusaz) & Le Lachat – 2,100m (Le Grand-Bornand)

 

SKI TERRAIN:
La Clusaz– Groomed Piste: 132 km (27 Green, 28 Blue, 23 Red, 7 Black),  Off-Piste: Quality challenging terrain, Cross Country: 70 km

Le Grand-Bornand – Groomed Piste: 90 km (10 Green, 15 Blue, 14 Red, 3 Black), Off-Piste: Mild terrain great for intermediates, Cross Country: 60 km

 

CLOSEST AIRPORT: Geneva – 70 km / 75 min

SKI

La Clusaz, lying at an altitude of just over 1km, still offers quite a bit of vertical drop with its highest peak at 2.6km. The resort has five areas, including a wide variety of trails. There are several easy green pistes which are higher and longer than many at other resorts. While the rest of the resort is made up mostly of blues and reds, don’t be fooled. There is still plenty of challenge for advanced skiers. On a fresh snow day, Massif de Balme (the highest peak) offers plenty of powder and stunning rocky outcroppings; any advanced skier would be more than happy with the terrain here. Massif de Manigod, on the other end of the resort is a compact little area with a wide variety of greens, blues, and reds. The short runs and quick lifts will make this area fun for little ones and learners.

Peak Transfer recommend skiing in La Clusaz this winter

Le Grand Bornand is connected to La Clusaz by shuttle buses and tacks on an additional 83km of pistes. Le Grand Bornand Village and Le Grand Bornand Chinaillon lie at 1000m and 1300m respectively, and the resort’s highest peak, Lachat, is 2.1km high. In addition to a dedicated beginners’ area, the resort includes several blacks and challenging reds. Despite the relatively low altitude, Le Grand Bornand has 22km of slopes with guaranteed snow, thanks to over 180 snow cannons.  The Le Grand Bornand Snowpark is rated one of the 10 best in France.

Le Grand Bornand is a top French ski resort

For lessons, check with Ecole du Ski Francais in La Clusaz and Le Grand Bornand or Ecole de Ski International, both long-standing and well-respected English-language ski schools. Purchase ski passes, check snow reports, or watch webcams at the Le Grand Bornand and La Clusaz resort websites.

La Clusaz and Le Grand Bornand have excellent groomed piste and off piste opportunities

EAT

Wherever you eat in La Clusaz and Le Grand-Bornand, traditional Savoyard recipes will be front and center. La Clusaz offers tons of options both on the mountain and off. Chez Arthur is self-service on the mountain that’s remarkably popular. La Pause is a budget friendly cafe in the village, and Pizz’Avalanche dishes out delish pizzas at fair prices. For fine dining, L’ourson offers a modern take on traditional foods. Restaurant L’Ecuelle is a long-standing favourite at middle-of-the-road prices (for this area).

In Le Grand Bornand, you’ll find slightly fewer options, but still plenty of excellent choices. For a good value, try L’Igloo, Le Chalet Venay, or La Ferme du Pepe on the mountain. Les Deux Guides has a menu of traditional pub fare at fair prices. L’Hysope offers a luxe tasting menu at a reasonable price for fine dining and is recommended by the Michelin guide. L’Heliantis is also well-reviewed with modern recipes and eye-catching plating.

APRÈS

Le Grand Bornand is certainly not the place to go for a rambunctious party, but there are still a few bars to choose from in the resort. The Green Monkey Irish pub and Les Deux Guides can both be a lively time. Lalu stays open until 5am and has theme nights, making it your best bet for a party.

La Clusaz has excellent apres ski on and off the slopes

La Clusaz, though still not a club-hopping mecca, is a bit more of a party spot. On the mountain, check out Relais de l’Aiguille for a drink on your way down. At the bottom, Caves du Paccaly is an authentically rustic and popular choice. The other top bars include Salto, Pressoir, and La Braise, all of which have a friendly and upbeat atmosphere.

SLEEP

La Clusaz is a meandering village, so much of the lodging may be far from the village centre and ski lifts; be sure to check the exact location if you’d like a quick commute to the slopes. While many of these central lodging options are hotels, there are still plenty of luxurious chalets for rent, with features like saunas, pools, spas, and more. For an equally pampered hotel stay, try Au Coeur du Village. Hotel Beauregard and Alpen Roc Hotel are classic chalet-style hotels for a mid-priced budget. Two-star Hotel Christiania is you best bet for budget accommodation.

There are plenty of beautiful Chalets to make your home this winter in La Clusaz and Le Grand Bornand

Le Grand Bornand similarly offers more vacation rentals than hotels, though there are still half a dozen good hotel options. For an apartment, Residence Le Village de Lessy is an excellent option with a wide variety of layouts to suit a range of group sizes. Le Grand Bornand also lists both rentals-by-owner and rental agencies to find your chalet or apartment rental. Les Glaieuls is a good budget-friendly hotel for those who choose to forego a larger place.

ACTIVITIES

In addition to skiing, Nordic walking, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, and ski-joering are all popular in the Aravis area. La Clusaz also has a cinema and the Casino Imperial. Le Grand Bornand also has its own cinema. Le Cristal spa at the Coeur du Village is one of the top spas in the region. Radiomeuh Circus Festival at the end of March is La Clusaz’s must-see winter event.

GETTING THERE

La Clusaz and Le Grand-Bornand resorts are approximately 70 km away from the nearest airport in Geneva with a transfer time of approximately 75 minutes. Chambery and Lyon airports are also good options you might want to consider. After a short bout on the motorway you will soon find yourself winding up the mountain valleys through impressive rock formations passing many agricultural establishments producing reblochon cheese amongst other local delicacies on route.

BOOK YOUR RELIABLE LOW COST PRIVATE TRANSFER TO LA CLUSAZ OR LE GRAND BORNAND NOW WITH PEAK TRANSFER.

Peak Transfer recommend skiing in Le Grand Bornand this winter

Travel in style and just sit back and relax while Peak Transfer do all the hard work (skiing excluded) for you with our low cost, reliable private transfer service. Your dedicated driver will be ready to meet you when you arrive at the airport and transfer you directly to your accommodation door in La Clusaz or Le Grand-Bornand.

Get ensure things start out smoothly we will send you a complimentary SMS confirmation with your personal driver’s name and contact details 24-hours prior to travel. Whatsmore, we do not have any additional luggage charges (including skis, snowboards and prams) or for use of our fully safety rated booster, child or baby seats. To find out more about Peak Transfer, make an enquiry or to get a quick quote online why not visit our website here.

USEFUL LINKS

Get more information on the resorts at the La Clusaz and Le Grand Bornand websites.

For last minute bookings call our transfer hotline: +33 (0) 679 851 810