Wide view of early morning skiers beside chalet-style mountain restaurant above Crest Voland.

Crest Voland

L’Espace Diamant, Savoie, French Alps

Located just south of Megève (with which it might one day become linked), the Espace Diamant brings together the ski areas of the Val d’Arly with those around Hauteluce and Les Saisies in the Beaufortain.

Currently one of the best-kept secrets in the French Alps, there’s a wealth of varied terrain and a great snow record, thanks to the nearby presence of Mont Blanc.

Wide view of Espace Diamant ski area above Crest Voland in soft early morning light.

The Ski Area

The Espace Diamant’s great advantage over other larger French ski areas is undoubtedly the possibility of skiing a full circuit around the mountains and back to your starting-point in a day. Much like the famous Sella Ronda in Italy, in fact – only here you’ll have time for a relaxed lunch along the way. For intermediates there’s great cruising terrain, and the varied scenery brings a sense of getting right away from worldly cares. Closer to home, Crest Voland’s gentle beginners’ slopes are easily accessible right above the village, yet still with inspiring views across the valley. And if you don’t want to do the whole circuit, you still have the choice of skiing a different area each day.
On paper at least, the only downside is the high number of drag-lifts. Things are steadily improving, though, and anyway we think there’s something to be said for being towed through forest glades where the only sound is the crackle of snow beneath your skis...

Resort Information

Altitude : 1230m - 2069m
Crest-Voland Cohennoz
Pistes Total:
35 km
Espace Diamant
Pistes Total:
192 km
31 Green
67 Blue
50 Red
10 Black
Ski Domain Lifts: 82
57 Draglifts
27 Chairlifts

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High view of snow-covered chalet rooftops at Crest Voland.

The Ski Village

Accommodation-wise, while the larger-scale development (but attractive) around Les Saisies has much higher capacity, the traditional village feel of Crest Voland and its neighbours in the Val d’Arly (Flumet, Praz sur Arly, Notre Dame de Bellecombe) have much to offer those looking for something more authentic. In fact, with the addition of luxury slopeside apartments close to Crest Voland, there's clear evidence that the area is on the up. And with a high-proportion of privately-owned chalets, it’s unlikely that the village will lose its low-rise/high-quality appeal.

Staying There

Value for Money Accommodation Dining Out Nightlife Village Charm

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Close view of two skiers on piste, showing Espace Diamant ski area, above Crest Voland.

Best For

Back-to-nature skiers, and anyone looking for a low-impact, traditional mountain style, will love this place. Families, and mixed-ability groups will also appreciate the area’s reassuring novice and early-intermediate terrain, in addition to the wealth and diversity of long, scenic cruising on offer. Naturally, there are some steeps here and there, to add variety to a day’s skiing, without anything sudden to put-off those who are building their technical abilities and fitness levels. All-in-all, an attractive option for those in search of a substantial ski area without the pressures of overdevelopment or any sense of being priced-out. Your friends might not have heard of it (yet), but don’t let that put you off.

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Skiing There

Beginners / Families Intermediates Advanced / Expert Mountain Scenery

Snowboarding

Childrens park called Opoualand, plus mixed ability park under the Cernix lift.
2 Snowparks


Cross-Country Skiing

Superb trails and village circuits from Crest Voland / Cohennoz to Les Saisies. Beginners welcome.
120km Cross-Country and Nordic Ski Trails

icon-smileyYes please...

  • Extensive, varied skiing.
  • Improving lift system.
  • Authentic mountain village feel.
  • Accessible ski-school areas.
  • Good snow record.
  • Friendly, welcoming atmosphere.

icon-frowneyYes but...

  • Very quiet in the evenings.
  • Signage could be improved.
  • Too many drag-lifts in some areas.

icon-winkingOur Tips

  • A day with a guide will help you get your bearings and reveal things you might otherwise miss.

Practical Information

Getting there

By Car
For Dover-Calais ferry travel, other cross-channel routes, offers and bookings visit P&O Ferries

Autoroute A40: exit at Sallanches, direction Megève. Follow signs for Crest-Voland.
Autoroute A43: exit at Albertville and continue in the direction Ugine and follow signs to Crest-Voland.

By air
The nearest airports are Geneva (70km), Chambéry Savoie Mont Blanc (80km), and Lyon-St Exupéry (150km).

By train
TGV Paris - Albertville (3h40), with bus connections to the ski station.

Book your TGV fast train from Paris or Eurostar’s ski train direct to the French Alps with .

Transfers
Visit Ski-Lifts for the best range of ski transfer destinations from airports and main rail stations.


Where to stay

Tried and testedHotel-Restaurant Caprice des Neiges

Route du Col des Saisies
73590 Crest-Voland
Tel: 0033 (0)4 79 31 62 95

Corinne and Rodolph Borrel provide a warm welcome to this exceptionally sunny spot overlooking the Aravis range and the ski slopes of Crest-Voland. With direct piste access, you couldn't be better placed to enjoy your ski holiday in the Espace Diamant or a summer break in the mountains.
The restaurant serves an original blend of authentic Savoyard cuisine and local produce with innovative flair.
The hotel is part of the Hôtels Chalets de Tradition group, in our experience a guarantee of charm and quality.


Tried and testedChalet ‘Chante de Vent’

73590 Crest-Voland
Tel: 0033 (0)4 79 31 63 06

Selection of self-catering and Bed & Breakfast accommodation in a great position overlooking the Aravis range and Mont-Charvin. Just a short walk to the centre of Crest-Voland, with a chairlift practically on the doorstep. Be assured of a warm welcome by the owners plus plenty of advice to help you make the most of your stay.


Where to Eat

Tried and testedLa Montagnette Bar-Restaurant

Flumet
Tel: 0033 (0)6 88 46 62 92

This authentic chalet is situated on the pistes above Flumet and serves local dishes in its popular restaurant with terrace. Specialities include platters with a variety of charcuterie and Alpine cheese dishes served with forest fruit tarts and a glass of local liquer. Reservations advisable at busy periods.


Tried and testedLe Vent Volet

Crest-Voland
Tel: 0033 (0)4 79 31 60 14

Mountain restaurant Le Vent Volet, Crest Voland

Restaurant with sunny terrace on the slopes above Crest-Voland. Friendly welcome, varied menu with traditional dishes, salads and their speciality - chicken escalope gratin with mushrooms and cheese.


Tried and tested Le Cernix

Tel: 0033 (0)4 79 31 82 91

Bar-restaurant at the foot of the pistes with a lunchtime snack menu and varied evening menu to suit most tastes.


Tried and testedL'Arche de Zoé

Le Cernix
Tel: 0033 (0)4 79 31 61 21

This family-owned restaurant combines the trademark warm welcome of Logis de France Group hotels, with the added pleasure of a beautifully crafted Savoyard chalet style dining room.


Insight: Crest-Voland Cohennoz

Low, wide view of two skiers with mountain chalets near Crest Voland ski resort

Insight: Crest-Voland Cohennoz

Our approach from the Val d’Arly, past venerable, unmodernised mountain chalets, suggests that this is going to be interesting. Sure enough, the sinuous route up to Crest Voland requires a steady hand — not easy when there’s so much dramatic scenery to distract the eye at every turn.

Crest Voland is at first glance the classic mountain ski village, with a cheerful, welcoming style and a refreshingly strict low-rise planning policy. The ski-lifts are also located close to the heart of the village. And for us, snow conditions are perfect when we arrive, so next morning we set off early with Alexis, our ESF moniteur, on our own grand tour of the terrain above the Val d’Arly.

“The sheer scale of the terrain becomes apparent as we work our way systematically around the mountain and down into Praz sur Arly, almost 900m below.”

Fresh snow above Hauteluce, en-route for Les Saisies.
Skier on wide piste at Crest Voland, Espace Diamant.

The circle game

We begin 1767m above Notre Dame de Bellecombe on Mont Rond, swooping down through silent wooded glades and heading back up to the exposed vastness of Mont Vores (2069m). The sheer scale of the terrain becomes apparent as we work our way systematically around the mountain and down into Praz sur Arly, almost 900m below. By now it’s clear that today is going to be a high-mileage day – which is how we like it, particularly when the journey reveals a succession of new and varied surroundings.

Our lunch stop looks, feels and smells like an authentic chalet restaurant should, and La Montagnette enjoys a tranquil setting below the Roc des Evettes, between Praz and Flumet. Copiously warmed and refreshed, we press onward to tackle the assortment of drag lifts serving this area. Low-tech it may sometimes appear, but the system works, and gets us where we’re heading, back up to Mont Rond for a final run back into Notre-Dame de Bellecombe, right where we started.

Family skiers at Crest Voland, Espace Diamant.
The Douce chairlift, Les Saisies.

Bonus time

So, we’ve made a full circuit around the mountains in a single day and seen something of what the various areas have to offer. But we know that there’s a lot more enjoyment to be had by digging a little deeper to exploring the many hidden valleys and glades we overlooked in the quest for the grand tour. Not that we’ve done that just yet.

Next morning we set off from Crest Voland to familiarise ourselves with another side of the Espace Diamant’s engaging personality, namely the area extending into the adjoining Beaufortain valley. From Mont Lachat (1650m) we work our way through more pristine forest to the Chard du Beurre (1889m) and La Legette (1865m) for the exhilarating steep plunge between ancient mountain chalets above Hauteluce. Things get gentler as we approach the visibly popular ski village of Les Saisies, for the onward run over Mont Bisanne, whose 1940m summit offers an impressive panoramic viewpoint. After the inevitable photo-pause we press on, and drop into the developing ski hamlet of Bisanne 1500 on the Blue-graded Le Planay piste.

After riding the Rosières chairlift back to Mont Bisanne we’ve gained the altitude we’ll need to make the long schusse which would normally take us back into Les Saisies. At the half-way point, though, we peel off and maintain enough speed to carry us onto the Green-graded forest trail for the long, winding cruise back to Cohennoz. Along the way the silence and beauty of it all is haunting, adding yet another dimension to the remarkable Espace Diamant. At Cohennoz our journey is almost over. One final haul back up to Mont Lachat allows us to descend once again towards Crest Voland for a welcome lunch break on the restaurant terrace of le Vent Volet. High above the village, we gaze back at the pistes and try to take in all we’ve seen and done in just two days. Our conclusion: this place really has come up with just the kind of unique package it takes to amaze us.MountainPassions heart icon

Pretty chalets at Cohennoz.
Last run of the day at Crest Voland.