Espace Diamant, Haute-Savoie, French Alps
Located just south of Megève in the underrated Espace Diamant, which unites the ski areas of the Val d’Arly and the western end of Hauteluce (the opposite end being linked to Les Contamines).
The result is one of the better-kept secrets in the French Alps, with a wealth of varied terrain and great snow record, thanks to the nearby presence of Mont Blanc. You’re going to be hearing a lot more abou it as it continues to expand and develop.
The Ski Area
- Great cruising territory for intermediates.
- Gentle slopes for beginners conveniently close to village centre.
Compared with other French ‘grande domaine’ areas, the Espace Diamant’s greatest selling-point is the possibility of skiing a full circuit around the mountains and back again to your starting-point, within a day. And unlike its famous Sella Ronda counterpart in Italy, here you’ll have plenty of time for a relaxed lunch along the way. It’s great cruising terrain for intermediates, and the varied scenery brings a sense of getting well away from the outside world.
Being based in Les Saisies brings easy access to gentle novice and ski-school slopes, while intermediates who don’t feel up to doing the whole circuit have plenty of other options (including skiing a different area each day). The lift system over here is also among the most efficient in the Espace Diamant.
Pistes Total: 70 km
Pistes Total: 192 km
The Ski Village
- Authentic mountain village feel.
- Expanding accommodation choices offer premium ski-in ski-out options.
Accommodation-wise, the choice has been between the original village (above) at the foot of the slopes and the more discrete Hameau du Beaufortain (shown in our banner image), accessed by the Route du Mont Bisanne. For families the comprehensive range of services and easy access to ski-school areas make village the more practical option, while purists looking for a quieter, premium ski-in/ski-out location will find le Hameau du Beaufortain does not disappoint.
For potential property investors, however, the options are expanding. Beyond le Mont Bisanne (above Villard-sur-Doron and close to Hauteluce) lies the new development of Bisanne 1500, whose dramatic expansion is spearheaded by MGM Constructeur, which is developing not one but two sites: La Perle des Alpes and le Chalet d’Ameria – in total 70 new luxury slopeside apartments. We’ll be profiling these releases soon.
See Practical Information below for accommodation suggestions.
Why go skiing in Les Saisies ?
Family skiers and mixed-ability groups with varied interests will have plenty of options here. There's an infectious buzz to the village, which combines the traditional, down-to-earth feel of the Beaufortain with a perceptible (and growing) move towards mountain chic. So you can ski (downhill or cross-country) all day then relax in a salon de thé or unwind in a spa – or find a lively bar, if you prefer. All of which makes it a tempting option for those in search of a substantial and affordable ski area yet with plenty of gentle terrain close at hand for novices or early-intermediates.
9 Snowboarder Cross
Cross-Country SkiingOne of the largest and highest in Europe. Olympic Biathlon Stadium. Free Nordic Fun Park Good place to learn.
120km Cross-Country and Nordic Ski Trails
- Parking with easy access on to pistes, reserved spaces.
- All lifts are accessible for handiski.
- Adapted hotel and apartments available - call the Tourist Office for recommendations.
- Accessible public toilets next to the Tourist Office and in the main car park.
- Specialist instructors for disabled, mentally handicapped and blind skiers by ESF (in French only). Also, independent instructor Guy Bertin for personal tuition, English spoken.
- Extensive, varied skiing.
- Improving lift system.
- Authentic mountain village feel.
- Accessible ski-school areas.
- Good snow record.
- Friendly, welcoming atmosphere.
- Not a legendary party capital.
- Signage could be improved.
- Still too many drag-lifts in some areas of the linked ski domain.
- A day with a guide will help you get your bearings and reveal things you might otherwise miss.
Le Hameau du Beaufortain
Route du Mont Bisanne
Tel: 0033 (0)4 79 10 46 70
Hameau du Beaufortain has a quiet woodland setting away from the busy village centre and is made up of a collection of seven traditional style chalets. The spacious, comfortable apartments all have a fully-equipped kitchenette, satellite TV, phone (payable) and free WiFi access. We stayed in a two-bedroom apartment with balcony and panoramic views towards Mont Blanc. We loved having plenty of storage and the kind of large lounge dining area which would suit a family very well.
There's a swimming pool, Jacuzzi and spa treatment centre as well as ski hire and an on-site traiteur, where you can order hot food and expertly-prepared meals.
The main village is 5 minutes' drive but skiers can access the slopes via the blue-graded 'La Beaufortaine' piste, which runs behind the residence.
Enquiries and bookings:
023 9283 9310