Sainte Foy is located in one of the best ski regions in Europe the Tarentaise Valley. It is the ultimate all round ski resort in France for a winter holiday. What it lacks in slopes it makes up for with personality, uncrowded pistes, no lift queues, and affordable ski passes. Even professional skiers like Dave Ryding ‘An English World Cup alpine ski racer’, like to come here and train away from the crowds.
The resort has a reputation for its excellent natural snow cover and conditions. This is due to the cold air travelling over the Alps before snowfall and slopes being sheltered from the wind. Sainte Foy has a really nice family feel about it and you can be easily seduced by its charm and authenticity.
Cover Picture Provided By: Premiere Neige
Sainte-Foy Tarentaise Station sign
The ski area is smaller than its giant neighbours like Les Arcs, Val d’Isere and Tignes but still successfully attracts skiers and off-piste/freeride skiers and snowboarders. Its long blue groomed runs are great for beginners and families, while its red runs are ideal for intermediates and advance skiers.
Then you have your black slopes and ungroomed runs for the more adventurous and skilled. It is also one of the many reasons why all types of skiers keep coming back to this little gem of a resort.
Here is everything you need to know about your winter holiday at Sainte-Foy Tarentaise Ski Resort;
Sainte Foy is a charming village resort in the Tarentaise Valley, France. It looks like something straight out of a movie scene, with cute wooden chalets clustered in small groups. It is split into two areas, the village at the bottom and the ski area above known as Sainte Foy Station.
Unlike some of the larger, more commercialised resorts in the Tarentaise Valley, Sainte-Foy has retained its traditional architecture, creating an authentic alpine village ambience. This is due to its carefully controlled developments in the resort.
Nearly all of the accommodation in Sanite-Foy is ski-in/ski-out and are run by more independent companies like Premiere Neige. The village has a decent selection of restaurants, bars and ski hire shops across the resort. As well as 2 mini supermarkets and a few delicatessens that specialise in selling cheese and wine products.
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Some of the Saint Foy Tarentaise accommodation along the slope from the Peak Chalet- Provided By: Premiere Neige
Sainte-Foy-Tarentaise is located in the Savoie region of France, in the Tarentaise Valley. The village is nestled up in the mountains at an altitude of 1550m and is connected to the ski resorts of Les Arcs and Tignes via road.
For people looking for sustainable travel, a low-carbon footprint option is via train to Sainte Foy Tarentaise. You can get by train to Bourg Saint Maurice and then it is a short 15-20 minutes transfer to the resort. Paris is only 5 hours by train and London is an overnight train. If you are staying with Premiere Neige they can easily organise a pick from Bourg Saint Maurice.
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What makes skiing in Sainte Foy Tarentaise so desirable is the uncrowded slopes, the affordable ski passes and the welcoming atmosphere. The ski season starts in early December and finishes in mid-April when the chairlifts close. It has 43 km of slopes with an elevation of 1550 meters to 2622 meters that covers 800 hectares of ski area
There are 26 pistes that include 2 green, 7 blue, 12 red and 4 black slopes as well as a children’s toboggan run. All are connected by 4 chairlifts and 2 magic carpets which are for beginners and children. There are runs for skiers and snowboarders of all abilities from beginners to advanced skiers. Not sure what type of ski jacket to buy then check out this buyer’s guide on what is best for you.
Dave Ryding training on the L’Arpettaz red slope Sainte Foy ski area
Sainte-Foy is well known for having some of the best off-piste skiing in the area. It has a reputation for having accessible off-piste terrain that provides plenty of adventure. Being at a high altitude you’re also pretty much guaranteed fresh powder to enjoy too.
There are a number of ungroomed tracks/theme areas dedicated to off-piste skiing in the resort. One of the best ways to get to these areas is at the top of the TSF L’Aiguille chairlift on Col de l’Aiguille. This is the highest point of the Sainte-Foy-Tarentaise ski resort. On a clear day, you will have magnificent panorama views of the French Alps.
Off-piste skiing is at your own risk and you should do it only if you are an experienced skier or snowboarder. Due to its popularity, there is a good range of professional guides or instructors that offer off-piste skiing, heliskiing and ski touring. Don’t forget to wear your helmet and take your GoPro for all your action shots.
Sainte-Foy Ski Pass
The Sainte Foy ski pass is fantastic value for money and much less than that of its larger neighbours. The best bit is that you book your ski passes online in advance then you receive a small discount. You can get a 1-day up to 15-day ski pass as well as a Sainte Foy season pass. Sainte Foy also has ski lift packages for a family of 4 or for a group of 4 adults or more known as a Tribu offer.
Children under the age of 8 and adults 75 are entitled to a free lift pass. Students under 25 are entitled to the child rate upon presentation of a student card for the current year. Lift passes can’t be used in other major resorts in the area. However, with a 6-day Sainte Foy ski pass, you can get a discount 1 days ski pass for Les Arcs. Here are prices and more information for Sainte Foy ski passes.
⇒ Obtain a free quote and compare prices for insurance for a winter holiday in France.
The top of the TSD LA Marquise Chairlift station Saint Foy
Things to do in Sainte–Foy-Tarentaise Ski Resort
Being a high altitude village Sainte Foy-Tarentaise offers a good range of winter activities for everyone. Some of the things you can do is go dog sledging, snowshoeing or take a thrilling mountain cart ride down the mountain. For something a little different try first tracks with the ski patrol or go behind the scenes with the piste-basher team.
First Tracks with Ski Patrol
One of the best winter activities to do in Sainte-Foy is ski the first tracks of the morning with the ski patrol. Ski the freshly groomed slopes with the ski patrol rescue team and learn how they prepare the slopes for your safety. Afterwards, enjoy a well deserved Savoyard meal at high altitude.
Departures for the ‘First Tracks’ are at the bottom of the TSD Grand Plan chairlift at 8:10 a.m. and lasts one hour. This activity is available every Tuesday and Wednesday and reservations must be done online before 3 pm every Monday.
Go behind the scenes with the piste-basher team
One of the unique things to do in Sainte Foy is take a ride in a snow groomer popularly known as ‘Piste-bashers’. After the ski lifts close for the day, go behind the scenes and accompany a slope service driver to groom the runs.
We groomed the L’Arpettaz red slope and it was a lot of fun. I was okay going up the slope but coming down, I was a little scared. To get to the piste groomers, you have to catch the TSD Grand Plan chairlift from the village. Then walk across to the groomer’s station.
This activity is available every day except Thursdays and Saturdays through the winter season starting at 4.30 pm. Bookings can be made through the ski lift office or the Sainte Foy Tourism. Make sure to wear your waterproof snow boots, for walking across the snow at Sainte foy Tarentaise station.
Inside the Piste-bashers preparing the slopes – Winter activities Saint Foy
Where to hire Ski Equipment in Sainte Foy
There are a handful of ski hire shops in Sainte Foy Tarentaise that stock the latest equipment for your winter holiday. As I was staying with Premiere Neige, I used Sainte Foy Sports, one of their premium partners. They were located in the centre of the resort, less than 5 minute walk from my luxury chalet. If you book your ski equipment in advance online, you will receive a discount.
Sainte-Foy Tarentaise has a good selection of restaurants in the village resort and a couple on the mountain just at the base of the TSD L’arpettaz chairlift.
During high season I highly recommend booking in advance a restaurant in Sainte-Foy, especially for dinner. This is due to there only being a limited number of restaurants in the village resort centre. Here are a couple of suggestions on where to eat in the Sainte-Foy Tarentaise ski resort.
La Maison á Colonnes
La Maison á Colonnes is an 18th-century farmhouse that has been renovated into a restaurant. It has a large Panoramic terrace that has views facing Mont Pourri and is a great spot in the warmer months. It is located on the slopes at the bottom near the TSD Grand Pland chairlift on the Les Charnettes blue slope.
They serve your typical French mountain food like burgers, pasta, and tartiflette, as well as a selection of vegetarian dishes. If you love cheese then I suggest getting ‘Jambon de Montagne’ (box of cheese for one). It was delicious and reminded me so much of my favourite, Mont ’Dor.
Box of cheese for one La Maison á Colonnes Sainte Foy Restaurant
Le Saint St Germain
Le Saint Germain is a wine bar and restaurant with a small shop that sells locally produced products. They have a good selection of wines, meats and fondues. We had both the local cheese fondue and the cheese and mushrooms fondue and both were delicious.
Make sure to book in advance during the peak season as it does book out.
Getting to Sainte-Foy via Plane and Train
The three main ways to get to Sainte-Foy ski resort from the UK are by Plane or Train then by transfer or by car. If you are staying with Premiere Neige luxury chalet they can arrange your transfer at your request.
If you are driving from the UK, make sure you have snow chains to get up the mountain. As well as a Swiss vignette so you drive on the Swiss motorway into France.
There are 4 airports that you can fly into, Geneva, Chambéry, Grenoble or Lyon. However, the best option in regards to flying from London is Geneva as their flights are more regular and you have a bigger selection of airlines. Then it is a three-hour transfer from the airport to Sainte-Foy via car.
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Snow Train to Sainte-Foy Tarentaise
A lot of French Resorts are focusing on sustainable travel and are encouraging more visitors to use the train instead of flying to the Alps. Bourg St Maurice is the closest train station to Sainte-Foy Tarentaise and from there is a short drive up the mountain to the resort.
Most of the major European capitals like Paris, Amsterdam and London are easily linked to Bourg St Maurice by train. The train route from London to the Tarentaise Valley reopens this winter season and will be operated by Travelski Express.
The Eurostar Snow train will run from mid-December 2023 to early February 2024 and will depart every Saturday to Bourg Saint Maurice and return on Sundays. Here are the prices and availability for the trains from London to Bourg St Maurice on the Ski Train.
Skiing on the La Chapelle blue slope at Sainte Foy Tarentaise Station
Sainte-Foy Tarentaise Accommodation
I stayed at the luxurious Peak Chalet, operated by the Premiere Neige a chalet company that is solely based in Sanite-Foy ski resort. They specialise in providing high-end chalets and apartments both catered and non-catered. My chalet was ski-in-ski-out located on the Marmottes beginner’s slope. All you need to do is put your ski boots on and walk out of the chalet straight on the slopes.
The luxury chalet has everything you would want from a high end ski accommodation, plus more. It had a hot tub, spa, sauna, private massage and treatment room, a small gym and ski /board equipment. There was also a private chef who prepared breakfast, and cakes for afternoon tea and dinner, as well as a chalet manager.
There were 8 spacious bedrooms in the Peak Chalet that all had ensuites and slept 15+ people. Mine had two balconies with stunning views of the village and the mountain range in the distance. I also had a sofa, a large comfortable bed and plenty of room. Something I appreciate when you are bringing all your ski gear.
I loved nothing more than coming back and sitting either in front of the fire or on the balcony with a glass of prosecco and relaxing before dinner. For additional information, booking enquiries and packages, feel free to contact Premiere Neige directly.
Taking in the stunning views with a glass of wine from the Peak Chalet balcony
Other High Altitude Ski Resorts in France
Looking for ideas for other high-altitude ski resorts in France? Then I suggest the following guides.
- Non-Ski Activities You Shouldn’t Miss in Val Thorens
- Staying at VoulezVous Hotel one of the best in Tignes
- Why Skiing in Oz Vaujany is a great alternative this Winter
⇒ If you or someone you know is unsure about skiing with a Pacemaker or Defibrillator (ICD). Then I suggest taking a read of this informative article on skiing with a device.
Have you skied in Sainte-Foy Tarentaise before? I would love to hear your experience below.
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Disclaimer: I was a guest of Premiere Neige Luxury Chatels and Sainte-Foy-Tarentaise Tourism. However, all views are based on my own experience.