Low, wide skier's-eye view ofpiste and snow-covered mountains at Valfrejus


Vallée de la Maurienne, Savoie, French Alps

Skiing in Savoie, but with a distinctly (and refreshingly) southern feel beside the Franco-Italian border.

Road access from Modane is quick and straightforward (and direct TGV rail services mean it’s just 4hrs from Paris).

The most practical budget-flight destinations are Chambéry Savoie Mont Blanc and Turin – each around 100km away. 

Skiers beside high-speed gondola lift, showing pistes and mountainside

The Ski Area

If a plan to link Valfréjus with Bardonnechia (just across nearby Franco-Italian border) ever becomes a reality this place will finally acquire the major-league status it deserves. For now, though, it quietly gets on with providing great skiing for all levels, with some worthwhile off-piste potential (although freeride terrain is more limited than it appears, owing to avalanche risks of steeper off-piste terrain).

For novices and intermediates a single gondola ride heads straight to the main Plateau d’Arrondaz area (2222m), from which there’s a choice of tree-lined return runs back to the village. From the Plateau an onward high-speed chairlift heads up to Punta Bagna (2737m) for blue, red and black-graded pistes amid truly startling scenery.

Resort Information

Altitude : 1550m - 2737m
Pistes Total:
65 km
3 Green
10 Blue
6 Red
4 Black
Ski Resort Lifts : 10
4 Draglifts
5 Chairlifts
1 Gondolas


Overview of chalet-style ski village, valley and wooded mountainside

The Ski Village

Valfréjus has its origins in the old mountain hamlet of Carmaix (1550m), and stringent planning constraints mean that all new construction follows solid, traditional Savoyard design cues. It therefore blends particularly well into the surrounding mountainside, much of which is attractively forested.

Most of the accommodation and services are located close to the Arrondaz high-speed gondola – the only lift access to the ski area. Those based at the opposite (entry) end of the village have a green-graded link run over to the gondola, accessed by a 4-seater chairlift, and can return at the end of the day via a choice of blue or red graded descents.

Staying There

Value for Money Accommodation Dining Out Nightlife Village Charm


Young skiers and snowboarders picnic beside piste, with big mountain backdrop

Why go skiing in Valfrejus ?

Young and budget-conscious family skiers - and anyone who values a quality, slightly ‘lateral-thinking’ alternative to the more obvious (and more pricey) big-name areas.

The skiing is varied, amid some of the most unspoilt scenery around. And while the mileage may not seem that great, there's the ESKI-MO ski pass giving free access and transport (one day per week to each ski station) to the nearby resorts of Aussois, Val Cenis Vanoise and La Norma. Any other resort in the Maurienne is accessible at a 40% discount if you possess a minimum of a 2 day ski pass.

Alternatively, for a supplement to the Valfréjus pass, you can ski from Orelle into Val Thorens and Les Menuires. Just 20km away, it’s an easy drive (navette every Wednesday) and the 3 Vallées Express high speed gondola takes just 15 minutes. It all adds up to a very appealing package.

Skiing There

Beginners / Families Intermediates Advanced / Expert Mountain Scenery

icon-smileyYes please...

  • Massive recent investment in high-capacity lift infrastructure.
  • Aussois and La Norma share the Valfréjus six-day lift-pass.
  • Gentle, tree-sheltered return runs.
  • Self-catering accommodation to suit most budgets.
  • Friendly, youthful village vibe.
  • Relatively undiscovered – so far...

icon-frowneyYes but...

  • Won't satisfy high-mileage fans.
  • Planned link over to Bardonnechia has yet to become a reality.
  • Lower return runs can lose snow-cover late in the season (but you can take the gondola down).

icon-winkingOur Tips

  • Enjoy stunning back-to-nature skiing behind Punta Bagna on the blue-graded Combe and Lac pistes.


Practical Information

Tried and testedRésidence La Turra

Rue du Cheval Blanc
73500 Valfrejus

The La Turra residence is sited near the base of the village and enjoys access to pistes just 60m from the front of the building. Given good snow conditions it would therefore be possible to ski back almost to the door.
We stayed in a two-bedroom apartment with a balcony overlooking the valley, with mountain views. It was comfortable and warm and had a well-equipped kitchen, TV and WiFi access (payable). A huge bonus is lift access to all floors - great for carrying luggage. Underground parking with direct access to the lifts is available though limited (and payable). Ski lockers are situated under the Reception lobby and close to the nearest piste.
It's a friendly, welcoming residence and would suit families. Note that ski-school meeting points are in the main village, a good 10-minute walk in ski boots. Alternatively, if confident, take the nearby lift and then the gentle Escargot link piste.
Other facilities include free access to the outdoor heated swimming-pool with panoramic views and a sauna, fitness room, plus a cosy bar with log fire, where we enjoyed a delicious breakfast (payable option).