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Peak Transfer | Les Contamines Winter Ski Guide
20th August 2016

Les Contamines Winter Ski Guide

Deep in a valley at the base of Mont Blanc there is a little-known gem in the form of a picturesque Savoyard village where you can take a horse-drawn carriage to catch the ski lift into one of the best ski areas in the world, Evasion Mont Blanc. Despite the fact that snow is almost always guaranteed and the resort boasts 120 km of powdery pistes, the crowds still haven’t discovered this slice of heaven.

The historic village of Les Contamines Montjoie is a compact area of 5km located about 75 minutes from Geneva airport and has a handful of tasty restaurants and bars. You don’t come here for the nightlife, but if you need a night off, you can still find something to quench your thirst. The resort’s groomed pistes are most appealing for beginning and intermediate skiers, but even advanced skiers will have plenty of fun on the powdery off-piste trails.

KEY FACTS

REGION: Haute-Savoie, Rhône-Alpes, France

 

ALTITUDE: 1,164m

 

HIGHEST LIFT: Mont Joly – 2,350m (Evasion Mont-Blanc) & Aiguille du Midi – 3,800m (Mont Blanc Unlimited)

 

SKI TERRAIN:
Evasion Mont-Blanc – Groomed Piste: 445 km (19 Green, 28 Blue, 25 Red, 11 Black),  Off-Piste: Vast varied terrain, Cross Country: 40 km
Mont Blanc Unlimited – Groomed Piste: 952 km (88 Green, 154 Blue, 183 Red, 65 Black), Off-Piste: Exceptional world class terrain, Cross Country: 40 km +

 

CLOSEST AIRPORT: Geneva – 95 km / 75 mins

SKI

Les Contamines lies at just over 1100m high, with a peak of almost 2500m, yet remains snowy despite its relatively low altitude all winter long thanks to its location on the northwest side of Mont Blanc. While the resorts are not yet linked, Les Contamines is covered in the Evasion Mont Blanc ski pass, which also includes Megeve, Combloux, Saint Gervais Mont Blanc, and La Giettaz. Together, this area has 450km of pistes but Les Contamines is also covered in the far reaching Mont Blanc Unlimited pass which offers almost 1000 km of piste, endless off-piste-possibilities and peaks at over 4800m high.

Peak Transfer Love the Evasion Mont Blanc Ski Area

From the village you’ll most likely need to take the free shuttle to reach the resort’s main ski lift, though there are a few chalets closer to the lift. This lift takes you up to Col du Joly on the Savoie and Haute Savoie border, and where you can ski over to the neighboring Hauteluce resort, if desired. While there are also a couple green trails in the village, there’s one here too, a treat for newbies who are usually relegated to the lower altitudes at most resorts. To access the black trails, you’ll need to carry on further up the mountain to Aiguille Croche and Veleray, which is also where you’ll find the resort’s snow park. Even here, though, there are still plenty of blue and red trails. Most of Les Contamines’ slopes are above the tree line.

Lessons in Les Contamines are provided by Ecole du Ski Francais and ski guides can be arranged for off-piste skiing through the Bureau des Guides et Accompagnateurs. For webcams and weather reports, head to the Les Contamines website.

Les Contamines is a charming alpine village ski resort for all the family

EAT

More rural village than famous resort, the prices in Les Contamines are quite fair, both on and off the slopes. That doesn’t mean there aren’t fine dining options to please a refined palette, though. L’O a La Bouche is the resort’s most famous restaurant, and it has been recognised by Michelin for its quality Savoyard fare — modern and inventive upstairs, cozy and traditional fondue and barbecued meats in the basement.

La Buche Croisee is a popular option on the mountain for a hearty, mid-priced lunch with a stunning view of Mont Blanc. For an equally delicious, though less scenic bite, head to La Table d’Hotes Savoie in the village. Le Husky is a casual spot with a wide range of options and prices. The rustic Restaurant L’Op Traken is just a bit cheaper for a family-friendly meal. For inexpensive and yummy crepes, head to bar and restaurant Le Ty Breiz, which is open for lunch and has outdoor seating.

APRÈS

Like many authentic French villages, the mood in Les Contamines is far from raucous. Several of the restaurants on the slopes and in the village will be happy to serve drinks alone if you prefer, but your best bet for a party lies in the resort’s three most popular bars: Le Ty Breiz, Saxo, and Tetras.

Le Ty Breiz is a warm and casual spot filled with locals and tourists alike, where you can enjoy a delicious crepe or a pint. The bar is open until 2am — a late night in Les Contamines. Tetras is open until 2am as well and has plenty of bar games to keep you occupied. In addition to showing all major sporting events, Tetras also has a daily happy hour from 4-6pm. Saxo plays blues and jazz and serves cocktails, but still has the same down-to-earth ambience as the others.

SLEEP

There are very few hotels in Les Contamines, and those that are here are generally small 2- and 3-star places. The majority of accommodation can be found in the stunning and well-equipped chalets throughout the village. Chalet Chovettaz accommodates up to 12 or 8 guests in the luxury main chalet or the more modest attached apartment. Alpine Lodge features 9 apartments of varying sizes to suit every group and is located right in the centre of town. To stay closer to the lifts, try the reasonably priced 4-bedroom Chalet Les Cabousses.

Stay in a beautiful traditional alpine chalet in Les Contamines this ski holiday

While hotel options are limited, there are a few good choices. La Chemenaz is a sweet 3-star spot with a lovely restaurant. Hotel Gai Soleil is another popular 3-star chalet-hotel with an authentic ambience. Hotel Le Christiania is inexpensive and centrally located with a bar and restaurant.

ACTIVITIES

Skiing is the main draw in Les Contamines Montjoie, but there are a few other snow sports available, too. Of course, you’ll find sledging, snowshoeing, and Nordic skiing. Biathlon is also popular here, for a change of pace from the usual winter sports. There is an ice skating rink in the village and paragliding from the surrounding peaks, too. With a quick drive you can reach the thermal baths in Saint Gervais, which offer a wide range of spa treatments.

There are plenty of non skiing activties in Les Contamines to keep you occupied

A source of locals’ greatest pride is Les Contamines’ place on the international winter sports stage. Each year it plays host to a World Cup event and in 2017 will also host the International Curling Tournament.

GETTING THERE

Geneva is by far the closest and most convenient airport when travelling to Les Contamines. Transfer times from the airport is approximately 75 minutes to cover the 95km to resort where you can experience Mont Blanc in all its glory with some of the most impressive panoramic views ‘en route’ plus the beautiful waterfalls and foliage of the L’Arve valley.

Peak Transfer provide a low-cost reliable door-to-door transfer service to Les Contamines throughout the year. So let us do the hard work for you this winter so you can get straight to the important stuff, like enjoying your winter ski holiday. Your very own dedicated driver will be ready to meet you on arrival at the airport so all you need to do put your feet up and relax while we get you to where you want to be.

CLICK HERE TO BOOK YOUR LOW COST, RELIABLE PRIVATE TRANSFER TO LES CONTAMINES WITH PEAK TRANSFER

Have peace of mind travelling with Peak Transfer  knowing that with our professional drivers and fully licensed vehicles you will be in safe hands. This plus our complimentary SMS confirmation service and no additional charges for luggage or sporting equipment (including skis and snowboards) will take away any unnecessary travel stress you may have. For those travelling with their families including young children (VIP’s as we like to call them) then rest assured that we will provide and securely fit our fully safety rated booster, child or baby seats free of charge. To find out more about Peak Transfer, make an enquiry or to get a quick quote online visit our website here.

USEFUL LINKS

The Les Contamines resort website is an excellent source of information for planning your vacation. This is also where you can purchase your Evasion Mont Blanc ski pass in advance. Once in town, visit the Tourist Office in the centre of the village for more info.

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