Haute Savoie Ski Safari
A discovery week of the French Haute Savoie 'classic style'. Our base for this week is Le Grand Bornand, the heart of the 'Chaînes des Aravis' where we have over 70km of groomed trails to explore in the valleys of La Clusaz, Les Confins and Le Grand Bornand. During our week we will have the flexibility to ski at some of the region's other first class Nordic ski areas.
- Track skiing amongst historic and picturesque venues
- Enjoy superb home cooking
- NEW 4* Luxury chalet accommodation with sauna, gym and pool
- Chalet situated by the ski trails at 1200m
- Flexibility to ski at a variety of locations
We grade this trip as Intro/Intermediate making it the perfect progression for those wanting to move on from our Italian Ski Weekends or Jura Highlights Trips. We will match groups on our weeks of similar abilities and offer group lessons and guided journeys with the opportunity to re-visit some of the basics, practice travelling techniques and progress to enjoy longer journeys at what ever standard of skier you are.
Introductory Week is HSSS1 or Intermediate Weeks are HSSS2, HSSS3 and HSSS4.
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The ski style for this week is 'classic style track skiing'. Each day we plan to visit a different ski area covering approximately 20km per day. Your guide will choose the best area to ski at depending on the snow conditions at the time, and there are plenty of regions, trails and 43 kilometres of trails to choose from located at altitudes of 952m up to our chalet at 1200m.
Once existing as an individual state, the two départements of Savoie and Haute Savoie have been part of France since 1860. Both areas share the same Alpine territory with their glaciers, deep gorges, mountain passes and lakes. This beautiful area of the French Alps is steeped in history, tradition and elegant mountain scenery and to this day enjoys a distinctive lifestyle rooted in its montagnard heritage.
Skiing in the Haute Savoie on the plateaus offers fine views of the Mont Blanc massif, solitude and unspoiled natural beauty. And due to it's Alpine climate receives excellent snowfall.
From our chalet we have numerous ski domains within easy reach with the use of our minibus. Enjoy the calm mountain ambiance amidst a variety of trails through forests, wide open valleys and high plateaus. The pistes, which are always tracked and groomed, have many trails where we can lengthen or shorten our journeys.
The villages of La Clusaz and Le Grand Bornand are nestled in a delightful setting at the foot of the Chaîne des Aravis and the 'Pointe Percée' where it holds the snow well and offers superb nordic ski terrain. During our week you will have the chance to sample the local produce, such as the local Beaufort and Reblochon cheeses and wines, as well as soak up village life.
Day 1 Arrival to 'Chalet Le 4' situated at 1200m
We base this week in the ‘Vallee de Lormay’, Le Grand Bornand and are delighted to welcome our clients to Chalet le 4 a newly renovated chalet - originally built in 1896. Chalet le 4 has been completed renovated and lovingly restored bringing it into the 21st century by the current owners and our hosts Eva and Piet Hein Schram. As it's situated at 1200m we have access to reliable snow conditions from the front door.
Your ski instructor/guide will meet you at Chalet le 4 for a welcome meal and to answer any questions about the week ahead.
Day 2 Vallee du Bouchet (952-1200m)
On our first morning you will have time to organise ski rental if needed and find your 'ski-legs' choosing from a variety of trails straight from the chalet door leading along by the river through woodland down to the village of the Grand Bornand, where you can ski further or take the ski bus back to our accommodation.
Day 3 Village of La Clusaz and Les Confins (1420-1650m)
Today we will be heading to the old village of La Clusaz which has been hosting winter sports since 1907 and is the birthplace of famous French skier Vincent Vittoz. Based in the Aravis mountain range La Clusaz (originally from the word cluse - meaning a narrow path between two mountains) was once called Clusa Locus Dei meaning God's narrow place. La Clusaz was connected to Annecy by road in 1902 allowing it to become the perfect mountain escape for both summer and winter sports. From here we can access the Les Confins ski area where we have 30km of trails to suit all levels accompanied by a stunning panoramic view and delightful restaurants. After our ski we will have time to visit La Clusaz for some après ski time.
Day 4 The Plateau des Glières (1400-1700m)
The Plateau des Glières has ski trails that start at 1400m in altitude and offers 35km of first class skiing with stunning views across the Chaîne des Aravis. The plateau stands as a symbol of honour as this was the place where 150 French resistance fighters fought for freedom during the Second World War. The trails are mixture of wide open plateau and more technical woodland terrain. Plenty for every skier!
Day 5 La Croix Fry & Plateau de Beauregard (1477-1750m)
From our chalet we take the local ski bus to the col (or mountain pass) known as the Croix Fry where we can access fine trails for all abilities. We can ski to mountain restaurants and enjoy views of the jagged limestone cliffs of the Aravis region. Soak up the sun at 1700m with the option to cruise back to valley level on the Beauregard cable car! (cable car lift ticket extra).
Day 6 Les Saisies - Olympic Site (1650m)
Les Saisies came to fame in the 1992 Winter Olympics and was also the home of the Olympic Champion, Franck Paccard. We will have a day trip to this first class area where there is more skiing than time (and energy) allows! Enjoy discovering up to 140km(!) of trails where we are likely to meet ski clubs training and professionals alike across the high plateau – we will stop for our picnic lunch en route to enjoy the 360° views of the Mont Blanc massif.
Day 7 Free Ski!
We will spend our final day skiing in the Aravis Nordic area and have a chance to revisit or explore new trails from our chalet door.
Day 8 Departure Day
The trip package finishes after breakfast.
Chalet le 4 after being completely renovated opened in June 2012 and offers their guests high quality accommodation in the form of individual apartments where the rooms are based on twins or doubles including en-suite facilities, access to a small kitchen and a living area per two bedrooms/apartment, access to a communal lounge. There are also ample other on-site facilities. After an active day out in the snow back at the chalet there is still plenty of exercise or relaxing to be found. If during your week you would prefer some time inside, you can splash in the indoor swimming pool and enjoy the massage jets, go for a workout in the gym or relax in the sauna. We can also arrange a home visit massage for you using the chalet 'massage room'. If this is something that you would like as part of your trip then please let us know to book in advance - massages are not included in the trip price.
Included: This trip includes half-board accommodation - meals prepared by our hosts at Chalet le 4, including: breakfast, afternoon tea and a three course evening meal. The accommodation is based on two people sharing in a twin or double room (single rooms maybe available on request) all chalet facilities, transport between ski venues, 6 days of guiding and the expenses of a Nordic Ski Instructor. The use of chalets for accommodation always depends on numbers, availability and the time of confirming the bookings once the minimum numbers for the trip have been met.
Not included: Insurance, flights and transfers, lunch and drinks, ski hire (approximately 80 Euros for the 6 days) and ski passes (approximately 7 Euros per day), any uplifts which may be used as an alternative in bad snow conditions.
This trip requires a minimum of 4 clients to run. We will take a maximum of 8 clients.
Please note that you must have the appropriate insurance for your chosen activity. You must be covered for helicopter rescue, repatriation and medical costs. With regard to this please be sure you have read the insurance section in our Terms and Conditions.
If Chalet Le 4 is not a available then we use the 3* hotel in the heart of the Grand Bornand Village called Hotel Les Ecureuils where they offer award winning cuisine and is equipped with a spa for easing off after a day in the mountains. The location is again ideal for the different ski locations, ski rental and transfer connections.
Please note that this itinerary is dependent on the weather and snow conditions at the time. Therefore changes to the itinerary may occur. Previous cross country or alpine ski experience would be an advantage for this trip. Upon booking a full list of the necessary suitable clothing will be provided.
The small towns offer all the facilities that you may require including cash machines and ski rental.
Le Grand Bornand is easily reached from other European and worldwide destinations by road, rail, coach or plane. Annecy is 20 miles/35km away and Bonneville is 20 miles/30km by road. The closest airport is Geneva, which is just 35 miles/50km by road.
Buses from Annecy to Le Grand Bornand can be booked with Altibus.
Buses from Geneva Airport to Le Grand Bornand/ La Clusaz are approximately 35 Euros one way or 58 Euros return and takes 1h 45mins. There are 3 buses per day each way. Please visit the La Clusaz Tourism Information website for bus transfers for more details.
To find out more about the Grand Bornand region please visit: Grand Bornand Tourist Office website
For suggested travel links please refer to our Booking and Information pages.