Arrive in style on the ski train...
Enjoy extra days on the slopes and no surcharge for skis or boards with Eurostar Direct Ski Trains.
Self-drive ski holidays in France
Travel to France by ferry and some of the best self drive skiing in the world. Enjoy the freedom of taking unlimited baggage and up to 9 people per car via .
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Why pay for your skis?
Book tickets to Grenoble and take Monarch Flights to this undiscovered destination from Leeds Bradford, Manchester, Birmingham and London Gatwick. There are plenty of cheap flights available to help you get the most out of any holiday to Grenoble, whatever season you travel in.
Experience complete comfort on SWISS flights to Geneva and enjoy the added bonus of taking your skis at no extra cost.
Pick up and ski this winter
Forget about queuing for a bus at the airport, low cost car hire - with a ski rack if necessary, will get you to where you want to go with a minimum of fuss. Click below to take advantage of special offers.
Les Carroz: more than meets the eye...
Extremely easy to access, Les Carroz is only a ten minute drive from the A40 motorway exit and Cluses rail station with high-speed links to Paris. Geneva airport is just a 45-minute drive, making Les Carroz and other ski villages in Le Grand Massif a very attractive option for travellers from the UK.
With access to 265 km of slopes in the Grand Massif culminating at an altitude of 2,500 metres, Les Carroz is in an exceptional location on a wide, sunny plateau to the west of the domain. Beginners and novice skiers will find plenty of variety among the pistes above the village all of which are accessed by the Kedeuze high-speed gondola. Neighbouring Morillon provides safe intermediate territory, and mile-hungry skiers or those seeking steeper terrain can cruise over to Flaine. The Grand Massif is renowned for its level of snow cover and runs back to Les Carroz are snow-sure for all but the tail-end of the season. We found the terrain close to Les Carroz undemanding but fantastic in bad weather when the tree-lined pistes offer greater security.
There’ s also extensive cross-country terrain, plus dog-sledding and guided snow-shoeing (including evening treks to a mountain chalet for a traditional Savoyard meal).
Highest of the villages in the Grand Massif, Les Carroz retains many traditional Alpine chalets at its heart and although there is modern construction it still has an authentic mountain atmosphere. A good variety of shops, bars and restaurants are mostly situated around the village centre. A frequent shuttle service covers most parts of the village and takes skiers to the base of the main lift where there is car parking with ample spaces at all but the busiest times. Childcare facilities are in a purpose-built crèche in a quiet part of the village where children can enjoy their first activities on the snow in a secure area with rope tow and heated room.
A Famille Plus Montagne resort, Les Carroz guarantees activities and services for all ages and is particularly known as a family resort with advantageous pricing and flexibility on lift passes (children, beginners and family passes). For independant travellers, Les Carroz have introduced an all-in-one booking system on their website enabling visitors to pre-book transport, passes, equipment, lessons, accommodation, childcare and activities in advance of their arrival - a great time-saver. Couples will value the freedom and flexibility on offer and will enjoy varied skiing and if you want it, plenty of luxury accommodation options.
There’s something reassuring about heading to one of the larger ski areas, not least since the extent and variety of ski terrain on offer is usually backed up by plenty of options when trying to decide exactly where to base yourself. Although we know the Grand Massif well, the terrain above Les Carroz is less familiar, a situation which we don’t need too much encouragement to remedy.
After picking up our Grand Massif lift-passes we head cautiously to the car parking area to don boots and goggles for what promises to be an interesting day. From the vantage-point of the gondola lift it’s clear that visibility is going to be an issue, so we elect to stay below the tree-line to take advantage of the sheltered terrain and clearer sightlines. Gliding off into the unkown brings an element of adventure heightened by the near-silence of our progress. Where are all the other skiers? If they’re out there somewhere we’ve yet to see or hear them, but there’s plenty for us to conentrate upon. Visibility finally opens up after lunch, and we set off with renewed confidence, making our way around the local terrain above Les Carroz and Morillon. The fun continues even after the lifts have closed, as there’s fresh snow and almost total silence all the way back down to the car park.
Next day finds us out early and keen to head over to Flaine. The improved conditions have brought out more skiers, but with no significant queues for the lifts, we make rapid progress. By the final gun-barrel drop into Flaine Forum the number of skiers with the same idea has increased dramatically, but once down everyone spreads themselves out once again. With plenty of time before we need to think about a lunch break we take the Grand Platières gondola to the highest point (2480m) in the Massif, and enjoy a couple of bracing runs back down on Faust, one of our favourite Red-graded runs.
After lunch we emerge from the restaurant to find conditions deteriorating once again, so before visibility clamps down completely we start to make our way back to ‘our’ side of the mountain. Aided by the 8-seater Grand Vans high-speed chairlift and a couple of flat-out Blue cruising runs, we're amazed how rapidly the return is accomplished. Too soon, in fact, so we spend some time back among the wooded terrain we’d enjoyed the previous day.
Next morning, in near-perfect conditions, we retrace our tracks over to Flaine, this time taking the Aup de Véran gondola and exploring the possibilities below the Tête des Lindars (2561m). The high point for us turns out to be the lowest, the entertaining red-graded Célestine woodland run which swoops through the trees and emerges right beside the village.
Our final days in Les Carroz see further good weather before the onset of more heavy and sustained snowfalls, adding a magical transformation to the tree-lined landscapes and giving everyone as much powder as they can handle (and for some rather more..). The sheltered terrain once again proves its worth, and we have a great time floating around the gladed pistes and barreling down the skier-cross run beyond the Gron chairlift. The challenge here is not to get around at speed without spinning off, but to do it all without losing concentration due to laughter - both your own, and among those following. Great fun.
We leave a snowy Les Carroz with heavy hearts, but with a sackfull of happy memories - and consoled by the certain knowlege that we’ll be returning.
© Roger Moss