Wide view of mountainside with snow-covered Haute Maurienne valley at Val Cenis Vanoise

Val Cenis Vanoise

Haute-Maurienne, Savoie, French Alps

Above Modane on the ancient route to Turin via the Col du Mont Cenis (2081m) - and the ski area is linked to that of Termignon.

In winter the upper end of the valley beyond Bessans and Bonneval sur Arc is snowed-in, removing through traffic and creating an appealing, away-from it all setting.

Val d’Isère is just the other side of the Col, so a good season produces substantial snowfalls. Just down the valley lie the family ski resorts of Aussois & La Norma.

Wide view of two skiers descending high piste

The Ski Area

  • Plenty of snow-sure terrain with spectacular scenic views.
  • The Termignon sector wooded cruises and the topmost runs reached by draglift are worth exploring.

Val Cenis has enjoyed a loyal following among skiers since well before the addition of Termignon-la-Vanoise to the lift-pass. The link has proved to be an inspired move, broadening the appeal rather more than the piste-map alone might suggest. Much of the terrain is above 2000m, with a respectable 2800m on offer just above the 2665m Ouillon de la Tomba above Lanslevillard. The scenic highlights, though, are the near-panoramic overviews of the Lac du Mon Cenis, which you can admire from the red-graded Goulet piste served by the Mont Cenis chairlift.

As for the Termignon sector, the link is via the Turra 6-seater high-speed lift, after which you’ll find some surprisingly long cruises, not least the Traverse blue piste run down through the forest to the base of the lift. If you’re pressed for time, though, you can take the lift back - it carries skiers in both directions. Press on, though, and a 4-seater chairlift will drop you at 2300m for more options (including the very worthwhile drag-lift-served runs from just below Le Grand Coin (2796m)).

Finally, there’s limited but surprisingly good downhill skiing further up the valley at Bonneval (which is not lift-linked), plus some 80km of groomed cross-country terrain around Bessans.

Resort Information

Altitude : 1300m - 2800m
Val Cenis Vanoise
Pistes Total:
125 km
12 Green
19 Blue
21 Red
5 Black
Ski Resort Lifts : 27
13 Draglifts
13 Chairlifts
2 Gondolas


View of snow-covered village rooftops with mountainside

The Ski Village

  • The villages of Lanslebourg, Lanslevillard and Termignon make up the Val Cenis Vanoise ski resort.
  • Recent accommodation has developed with corresponding lift upgrades.

Val Cenis Vanoise is centred on the cheerful, year-round working villages of Lanslebourg, Lanslevillard and Termignon.

Spread out though this sounds, in practise it all holds together well, and any lingering doubts about this being a fully-fledged ski area were removed a few seasons ago by the addition of luxury self-catering accommodation by prestige Savoyard developer MGM Constructeur (now managed by CGH). All the signs point to things moving steadily (and deservedly) upmarket. That said, the fact that it remains a working village serves to keep its feet firmly on the ground, and meal/bar prices refreshingly affordable.

Termignon sits lower at 1300m, but has a similarly unpretentious, welcoming vibe, with good access to the pistes via the 4-seater Girarde high-speed chairlift.

Staying There

Value for Money Accommodation Dining Out Nightlife Village Charm


Two skiers on wooded mountain trail

Why go skiing in Val Cenis Vanoise ?

The presence of Europe’s longest Green piste is something of a mixed blessing, for while the area is a highly-attractive option for beginners, you might expect that it’s all going to be a bit tame here. Not so; there’s also plenty for intermediates to enjoy.

The terrain is also varied enough to satisfy both fans of steeps and those who prefer to take it easy among the shelter of natural, wooded settings. As it’s such a good place for novices, it's also a solid choice for families and mixed-ability groups, who will also appreciate realistic pricing in more traditional village location.

Finally, it’s readily accessible from Modane by those who prefer the TGV high-speed rail option.

Skiing There

Beginners / Families Intermediates Advanced / Expert Mountain Scenery


Easy to intermediate level parks, Freeride zone for experienced riders.
2 Snowparks
2 Snowboarder Cross

Cross-Country Skiing

Free access to trails.
27km Cross-Country and Nordic Ski Trails


  • Specialist instructors and adapted equipment (Tandemski..) - www.esf-valcenis.com
  • Range of adapted self-catering and hotel accommodation available. Les Balcons de Val Cenis have easy access to the Val Cenis Le Haut gondola.
  • Other activities include dog-sledding and paragliding.
  • Accessible public toilets at Tourist Office, reception at Val Cenis Le Haut and Les Chalets de Flambeau. Some restaurants already have adapted toilets. Listings and detailed guide available on www.haute-maurienne-vanoise.com (in French)
  • Parking: 1 place at the foot of the piste Val Cenis Le Haut and Tourist Office Lanslevillard.

icon-smileyYes please...

  • Friendly, traditional villages with cosy, welcoming restaurants.
  • Terrain for most tastes, with good snow record, too.
  • Extensive skiing (125 km) since the Val Cenis and Termignon ski areas were lift-linked.
  • Wide range of accommodation.
  • Superb scenery, particularly above Termignon and the frozen Lac du Mont Cenis, right on the Franco-Italian border.
  • Short transfers from Chambéry Savoie Mont Blanc & Modane (TGV high-speed rail link).
  • Beginners ski pass (5-74yrs), from 14.50€ per day (93€/6 days) a learners' Débutant Village pass gives access to easy slopes and lifts.

icon-frowneyYes but...

  • Village nightlife on the quiet side.

icon-winkingOur Tips

  • Ski and visit Bonneval-sur-Arc — the definitive historic mountain village.
  • Discover the ski area above Termignon, returning via the express chairlift.


Practical Information

Tried and testedLes Balcons du Val Cenis Village

Val Cenis-Lanslevillard

Les Balcons du Val Cenis Village, Lanslevillard

Les Balcons de Val Cenis comprises 9 chalet style buildings situated at the foot of the pistes and with easy access to the Val Cenis Le Haut gondola. The ESF ski school has its meeting point here as well. Some of the chalets are conveniently ski-in ski-out, given the right snow conditions and skier ability (the return piste is graded green), though most have doorstep skiing.
The apartments are comfortable, warm and spacious with a pleasant lounge with balcony and a good kitchen with full-sized appliances including an oven, but we thought it lacked some basic utensils and had a limited number of oven dishes and saucepans.
Our two bedroom apartment (one double, one twin) with a sofa-bed had two bathrooms, one with a good shower, the other en suite with a Jacuzzi bath, but only one WC. We were impressed by efforts at energy-saving and recycling, and making walkways safe in icy conditions.
Free WiFi is available in the reception area during opening hours. There's a very good small supermarket, a bar restaurant and ski hire all on site. Underground parking costs €35 per week.

The Les Glières leisure centre and swimming pool is 10 minutes walk from the complex and you get one free access per person per day. The shuttle service between Lanslevillard and Lanslebourg stops just outside the residence and runs every half hour during the day.

More information and booking:
Peak Retreats
023 9283 9310

Les Chalets de Flambeau

Val Cenis-Lanslevillard

Chalet Flambeau, Val Cenis

This prestige residence is ideally located in a sunny setting at the foot of the slopes, close to the Pré Novel chairlift, and mid-way between the village centres of Lanslebourg and Lanslevillard.
The Leisure Centre has a free private indoor heated swimming-pool and paddling-pool with Jacuzzis, saunas, steam room and fitness room. You may also find time to be pampered in the superb Spa and Beauty Care Centre where you can enjoy a selection of massages and beauty treatments (payable).
The lounge area has an open fireplace and pool table, all the services you’d expect from a luxury residence, its own outdoor car park, and WiFi access.
All the stylish apartments are fitted and furnished to a very high standard of comfort and convenience. They have a living area with a double sofa bed, a fully equipped kitchen area, bathroom and wc. All apartments have satellite TV, telephone, WiFi and a balcony.

More information and booking:
Peak Retreats
023 9283 9310

Les Alpages de Val Cenis

Val Cenis, Maurienne Valley

Residence Les Alpages de Val Cenis

Les Alpages de Val Cenis is a ski in, ski out residence with 221 apartments across 5 independent chalets built to a very high standard. Guests benefit from access to many facilities within the residence including free access to the outdoor heated swimming pool & fitness room, with sauna, solarium, jacuzzi and hammam also available at an additional charge (payable in resort). The residence also features a bar and lounge with log fire and a restaurant where full and half board packages can be booked (payable in resort) and a spa facility ‘Aqua-Spa’ with various treatments available (payable in resort).

More information and booking:
Peak Retreats
023 9283 9310