Les Sybelles, Savoie, French Alps
Located near the Franco-Italian border and accessed from Saint-Jean de Maurienne, in the Vallée de la Maurienne, it’s one of six linked ski villages of Les Sybelles, the 4th biggest ski area in France.
Other neighbours include Valfréjus, Valloire, Valmeinier and Albiez-Montrond.
Just to the north lie Val Thorens and the 3 Valleys, so Les Sybelles are in the firing line for frequent heavy snowfalls.
The Ski Area
- Lots of mileage on offer here on relatively quiet pistes.
- Good for budding free-stylers and off-piste potential.
The principal attraction of skiing here is that the lift pass gives you access to the combined lift-linked terrain of six linked ski villages known collectively as Les Sybelles – La Toussuire (1750m), Saint Sorlin d’Arves (1600m), Saint Jean d’Arves (1550m), Le Corbier (1550m), Les Bottières (1300m) and St Colomban de Villards (1100m).
The scale of the resulting ski area is hard to grasp until you set out to explore it, at which point you’ll discover that connecting it all is some superb intermediate cruising terrain, mostly served by modern high-speed chairlifts. However, as you’d expect, shorter non-connecting runs above the villages (Les Bottières and Le Corbier) tend to employ simple drag-lifts. If you’re planning to develop your free-style skills then La Toussuire is the best base in the domain, since it has the most direct access to two snow-park areas (one an ‘easy-park’) and a boarder-cross run just below L’Ouillon (2431m).
While there’s a noticeable dearth of black runs, the off-piste potential is fairly obvious, and a qualified local guide will help you find the best of it. At the opposite end of the technical scale, the novice area just above the village is safe, reassuring and accessible, and beginners can progress to a selection of reassuring blues nearby. But whatever your technical level, you’ll long remember the truly jaw-dropping scenery.
Pistes Total: 55 km
Pistes Total: 310 km
6 Magic Carpets
The Ski Village
- Purpose-built ski village with welcoming village centre.
- Most convenient is the ski-in ski-out accommodation which has access to an easy return piste.
There’s a lot of accommodation here, much of it modestly sized and straggling along the higher side of the approach road, making the most of the impressive views. As you approach the heart of things, however, the skyline changes to much larger apartment blocks with restaurants, boutiques and services at ground level. It’s classic, hard-edged, high-altitude ski village style, and a model of functional efficiency.
That said, there’s more of a Savoyard influence among the bars and restaurants lining the foot of the front-de-neige, where large sun terraces are predictably popular at lunchtimes and at the end of the day. As regards restaurants, we have to say that we were impressed by the range of options, and by the quality and presentation of our dining experiences here. There really does seem to be something for everyone (and if snacking on the go is your style then again you won’t be disappointed).
Despite being primarily a mid-range destination for value-conscious families, La Toussuire nevertheless has some real quality touches here and there, including some premium accommodation and services. If you prefer to stay close to the pistes (and we reckon you should if it’s within your price-range) then ski-in/ski-out accommodation is available.
See Practical Information below for accommodation suggestions.
Why go skiing in La Toussuire ?
Since most intermediate recreational skiers just love well-signed, well-groomed cruising terrain you have to say that Les Sybelles are currently hugely underrated – if you want quality, linked-domain skiing but without prohibitively-pricey lift passes then you really should get to know this place. You can rack up some serious mileage here, and enjoy your lunchtime meals in a different village each day, if you wish.
Families and mixed-interest groups will appreciate affordable pricing, ultra-accessible ski-school teaching areas, some very manageable blue pistes (there are few greens) plus a snow-park and boarder-cross area.
Finally, anyone who appreciates spectacular mountain scenery, with a few back-to-nature experiences along the way will be more than happy here.
SnowboardingPlenty of space to perfect tricks in an unpressured environment.
1 Snowboarder Cross
- 50% off your ski pass including part day tariffs on presentation of a valid invalidity card.
- ESF offer lessons with certified instructors (English spoken) with the aim of enabling people to ski independently.
- Parking / drop-off available at the front-de-neige near the ESF meeting point.
- Enough skiing to please mile-hungry intermediates
- Lots of vertical drop, too
- The domain all fits together rather well
- Some powerful lifts here now
- Single parent with 2 children or two parents with 1 child benefit from the "Family Pack 3" 6-day ski pass.
- Possibly the friendliest ski village in which we’ve ever stayed
- Not inspiring architecturally (but more attractive than its high-rise neighbour Le Corbier)
- Lower resorts not snow-sure
- Almost all the terrain is above the tree-line
- Still some longish drag-lifts here and there
- Close your eyes to the hard-edged skyline, relax and enjoy the friendly, welcoming attitude to visitors.
- If you have transport, while you’re here try to visit Albiez-Montrond (around 45min drive) for traditional charm.
Les Hauts de Comborciere
These well-placed chalet style apartments sleep up to 8 people and are conveniently sited right next to the slopes and within an easy walk to the ski schools for beginners. Ski-in ski-out is possible given the right conditions (the adjacent blue slope has snow-making) but we found the exit from the ski lockers a little tricky, easier to glide in and out in style on the piste to the front of the chalets.
Spacious and comfortable, Lagrange Prestige provide all the essentials for a self-catering ski break. There's underground parking (payable), a pool with Jacuzzi, pleasant lounge area with a small kitchen so you can make drinks. There's a friendly bar restaurant on the ground floor offering lunches and evening meals or a take-away service.
There's a Skimium shop next to the entrance for ski and equipment hire where we togged up for a day snow-shoeing. Shops and restaurants are all close by though you won't be disturbed by traffic, the chalets are in an quiet elevated spot slightly away from the main street.
For further information and bookings contact:
023 9283 9310