Deciding on family holiday destinations when the kids get a little older can be a tricky and daunting decision. You will desperately want them to have a great time so that you can bond and make many happy memories, so it must be somewhere with plenty to keep them entertained. In my humble opinion, you cannot beat skiing vacations – these combine fun and thrilling activities with incredibly peaceful and idyllic surroundings.
It is likely that you will all have different abilities and learn at a different pace, which means that you will want to find a resort that caters for all abilities. Les Carroz in the French Alps is a superb family-friendly resort that provides easy access to the legendary Grand Massif ski area – here you will find a huge variety of pistes for beginners, intermediates and experts.
Read this handy guide to see what awaits at the magnificent Grand Massif region!
Les Carroz is a pretty traditional French village with dozens of charming restaurants, bars and shops. This means that after an exhilarating day of shredding powder, you can all catch-up and share your stories over a delicious meal within a cosy, idyllic eatery (with a glass or two of red for mum and dad!).
Here is what you can expect on the slopes around Les Carroz.
Novices can learn new skills and boost their confidence here thanks to the nursery slopes and gentle blues, as well as inexpensive lessons. I have heard that the ESF and ESI schools both do excellent private lessons (for up to two people), but there are also group lessons where you can meet fellow beginners.
The nursery slopes are well protected and usually quiet – this provides the perfect environment for learning and developing confidence. It is also helpful to be able to easily access the chalet for beginners, who may want to take a short break from time to time.
At the top of the gondola, you will find a few fun slopes that are not too challenging, plus there are fantastic longer blue runs which beginners should aim to master by the end of their trip.
Beginners also benefit from free lifts and an affordable pass for beginners, which allows you to get access to the pistes at 1800m and the ability meet up with your family for a spot of lunch with great views of the beautiful area.
Intermediates will have a blast here as you can get full access to the entire Grand Massif area, which is a gigantic playground for any intermediate. Pick up a Grand Massif lift pass and the huge domain is accessible in just 6 minutes from the Kédeuze gondola.
The Flaine bowl contains a handful of tricky red runs that have challenging steep sections which are sure to get your blood pumping, whilst Faust and Méphisto are also popular with intermediate skiers. Zipping along the tree lined runs from Flaine down to Les Carroz can be great fun and has been recommended by many previous families, but these runs can be narrow so be careful. There are also lengthy and relatively easy intermediate runs down to Morillon 1100 – these enable you to take in the lovely views of your epic natural surroundings.
Much like intermediates, experts will love skiing here due to the easy access to the Grand Massif domain. It is the extensive off-piste options that will pique the interest of confident experts – the Molliets and Vernant valleys between Flaine and Les Carroz will test the skill and nerve of any advanced skier. Flaine’s Combe de Gers is an absolute must for the brave, but it is important to use a guide when going off-piste.
Samoëns and the Molliets valley contain a few serious black pistes, which would provide the perfect warm up for the intimidating 45-degree slopes of Styx Piste – this will provide you with a serious rush that will last all the way to dinner.
How to Get to Les Carroz
Reaching Les Carroz is quick and easy from the UK, so you will have dumped your bags and be ready for the slopes in no time at all. There are also a few different options to consider, enabling you to find the most convenient and affordable route. You could fly into Geneva (GVA), Lyon (LYS) or Chambéry (CMF) and the flight will be under 2 hours from London.
Geneva is the closest airport and an hour away by road, whilst Chambéry is roughly an hour and 20 minutes away. Lyon is slightly further afield and an approximately 2-hour drive. A convenient and affordable way to make the journey from any of these airports to Les Carroz is to pre-book a Shuttle Direct private transfer. They will even transport your ski gear for no additional charge if you notify them at the time of booking.
Where to Stay:
Hotel Chalet Les Airelles – Conveniently located near the foot of the ski slopes and a 5-minute walk from the city centre, this welcoming hotel is ideal for families, with cosy traditional chalet-style rooms that come complete with private bathrooms and flat-screen televisions. Although you are a short stroll from many highly rated restaurants, Hotel Chalet Les Airelles also has an inviting restaurant serving up traditional mountain specialties for the times you don’t want to leave the hotel. Wi-Fi is free in all areas, so the kids can easily stay connected with friends back home and upload their photos.
Les Tavaillons – This accommodation is ideal for families as each room has a kitchenette and social area that makes it feel like a home away from home. It also has enough to keep kids entertained, including mini golf, table tennis and darts. Wi-Fi is free and available in all areas. The hotel also has a restaurant and bar, but you are a 5-minute walk from the village centre as well as the slopes. This hotel has been rated very highly by previous guests due to its location and value for money.
Demi-Chalet l’Ancolie – This terrific chalet-style apartment has 3 private bedrooms, a fully equipped kitchen and a lounge area complete with a TV – the kids are sure to feel at home here. There are also lovely mountain views from the terrace. Getting to the slopes is easy each day as the ski lifts are only 100 yards away, whilst the shops, bars and restaurant of Les Carroz are just a short 200-yard walk. Wi-Fi is also free to use in the apartment.
About Shuttle Direct:
Shuttle Direct is the leading choice for transfers throughout Europe, with services available between all airports, hotels, train stations and cruise ports.
They are highly experienced in winter ski transfers throughout the Alps, providing an affordable, reliable and comfortable journey to your resort regardless of group size or budget.
Book your private or shared transfer today and let their expert team handle the rest.