Overview of Ski Area
Comprising the three resorts of Valmorel, Doucy-Combelouvière and St François Longchamp, Le Grand Domaine ski area encompasses a network of picturesque tree-lined slopes, providing 165km of fun-filled skiing over 85 pistes.
Serviced by 50 lifts and covering a diverse range of slopes suitable for all abilities, including a dedicated beginner’s area, Le Grand Domaine offers fantastic high-altitude skiing and snowboarding as well as excellent off-piste trails.
Resorts in Grand Domaine
MAIN SKI RESORTS IN LE GRAND DOMAINE
Overview of Ski Resort
With a relaxed, youthful vibe and purpose-built for winter fun, Valmorel is the ideal resort for families and first-time skiers. Despite its charming French Savoyard town centre, there’s no pretention, and while it’s not exactly a hidden gem it’s often bypassed in favour of more glamorous resorts. But with a host of blue and green runs, a dedicated children’s area, and some very decent challenges for the powder hounds, this peaceful, laidback resort has earned its stripes.
Valmorel is heaven for first-time skiers, with some excellent nursery slopes in the 15-acre dedicated beginners’ area. Set away from the regular slopes, this area also has the added advantage of being right on the doorstep, so there are no tricky lifts to navigate.
With around two-thirds of the slopes classed as ‘easy’, intermediates and confident beginners have their pick of around 75 runs on the Col de la Madeleine, made up of long, wide pistes and steeper tree-lined routes. On the other side of the mountain, Saint François Longchamp offers even more scope of blue and red runs.
While those chasing an adrenaline hit may not think there’s too much to challenge them here, there are some black runs on the Pointe du Mottet as well as an extensive range of off-piste terrain around Vallée de la Lauzière.
There are also no less than eight snow parks here, which include a 120-metre half-pipe, ski cross courses and free ride zones.
With a 2011 upgrade to the lift system, Valmorel now enjoys fast, convenient access to the entire Grand Domain. While the village itself sits at a lower altitude, the use of snow cannons means consistent ski-in ski-out access.
For those who want to change it up, there are some very unusual activities available including airboarding (on inflatable sledges), speed flying (cross between skiing and paragliding) and snake glisse, a truly unique way to enjoy the slopes on multiple linked sledges.
For those looking to iron out the kinks, there are three day spas offering a range of massage and wellness treatments.
Even though it’s relatively small, the village has an excellent selection of bars and eateries to suit every budget. For lovers of themed nights, retro music and a lively good time, the cheesy Sound pub and club parties on until 5am, while Jimbo Lolo brings the jungle to the ski slopes, complete with cheap tapas and novelty wooden swings.
For the crowd coming off the mountain, the terrace bars of Le Petit Prince, Le Petit Savoyard and La Source are a popular stop-off, and for a more laidback, cosy evening, Le Perce-Neig fits the bill.
Saint François Longchamp
Overview of Ski Resort
Linked with nearby Valmorel, Saint François Longchamp, situated in the Maurienne Valley, has a predominantly French clientele and is popular with families and beginner skiers. With a range of long, wide blue, red and green slopes it’s the perfect place for intermediates to take their skills to the next level. Enjoying easy access, an excellent snow and sunshine record and everything from the gentle slopes on the Saint-Francois to a snowpark with boardercross and half-pipe, the resort is very relaxed and authentically French.
Encompassing the southern slopes of the Col de la Madeleine, the terrain of the resort caters predominantly to beginners and intermediates. Beginner runs make up 33% of the total pistes, meaning a choice of about 28 runs, while intermediates have carte blanche to the entire scope of Le Grand Domain, including the diverse slopes of Valmorel. Offering more of a laidback cruise than a frantic downhill hurtle, the long, wide-open slopes enjoy plenty of sunshine and good snow cover.
While it’s not the most challenging resort for the expert skier, there are eight decent black runs, some excellent off-piste opportunities and exciting cross-country terrain in the Grand Coin Nordic area.
With three high-speed chairlifts in operation, Saint-François has an advantage over Valmorel and all its slopes are extremely easy to access, even for beginners.
Off skis there’s plenty to keep everyone happy, with a cinema and museum, dog sledding, introduction to paragliding and marked walking and snowshoe trails. For those looking for a bit of TLC, the village’s health centre and spa, Forum des Eaux, offers hammams, saunas, spas and other aqua based wellness treatments.
While it’s by no means a party-till-you’re-pooped kind of resort, it has got a lovely authentic ambience. Its popularity with French holidaymakers means there are a number of good restaurants where you can enjoy some traditional cuisine.
The village is friendly and unpretentious and, unlike many other French resorts, prices for eating out are reasonable and family friendly. For a fun night out try L’Alambix or La Godile (for a delicious French pizza!), or for a late afternoon drink coming off a hard day on the pistes, La Grotte du Yeti has a fun, young vibe.
How to Get to Le Grand Domaine
The resorts of Le Grand Domaine are easily accessible from a number of airports that service the French Alps. With a flight time of less than two hours from the UK, it’s a perfect destination for even a short ski getaway, with budget carriers flying regular scheduled routes into Geneva (GVA), Chambéry (CMF) and Lyon (LYS).
The most convenient way of getting the rest of the way to the resorts of Le Grand Domaine is with a pre-booked transfer from Shuttle Direct. From the closest airport, Chambéry, it’s only about an hour’s transfer time, while if you’re flying in to Geneva or Lyon you’ll be at your resort in Le Grand Domaine in just two hours. If you’re travelling with your own equipment, as long as you notify us at the time of booking we’ll carry it for free.
About Shuttle Direct
For affordable, efficient and convenient transport from airports, train stations, cruise ports and hotels, Shuttle Direct is the leading provider of onward transfers throughout Europe.
With many years’ experience offering winter ski transfers in the Italian, French and Austrian Alps, Shuttle Direct’s team of experts provide a friendly, reliable service to transport you and your ski equipment to and from your resort. Our easy to book transfers are designed to accommodate all group sizes and budgets and we service a range of airport options, including Geneva (GVA), Chambéry (CMF), Grenoble (GNB) and Lyon (LYS).