One of my favourite ski memories is being in the La Clusaz Ski Resort in winter for New Year’s Eve. I remember arriving at the top of the L’Aguille ski slope on Massif de I’Aigull. Then thinking, this view is unbelievable and what a way to see the end of the year. I was high above the cloud level and all I could see were the peaks of the surrounding mountains. I felt like I was skiing in heaven.
Fast forward a few years and I am excited to be back in La Clusaz Ski Resort France for a few days to see what else this charming French resort had to offer.
Winter in La Clusaz
La Clusaz (meaning a narrow path between two mountains) Ski Resort is in the picturesque Haute-Savoie region in the south-east of France. Pretty and unspoiled it is a charming village with cosy chalet-style restaurants and accommodations.
With it being only 30 minutes from Annecy and within an hour’s drive of Geneva airport, I can see why people keep coming back time again.
There are 5 ski areas to La Clusaz Ski Resort (Manigod), Beauregard / Etale / Balme / Aiguille and Croix ( Fry /Merctassier). They are spread out across 4 main mountains, Massif de Balme / Massif de I’Aigulle / Massif de L’Etate and Massif de Manigod. These are all joined via chairlifts and gondolas.
The resort is always developing and creating new things such as building new chairlifts like the Deta to improve skiers’ overall experience of the area. Recently there were 2 new ski mountaineering tracks created for beginners and experts through the trees.
One reaches the summit of the Beauregard Plateau from the Hameau des Alpes (5kms). The other one from Les Joux to Belvedere Massif (4kms) has been created to give you a different type of skiing experience.
- If it is going to be a clear day and you are a confident skier, then head up to the top of Col de Baime, where you can see Mont Blanc.
Quick Overview of the SkiPasses & Ski Area
Ski passes are available for La Clusaz / Manigod Ski Area (Beauregard / Etale / Balme / Aiguille and Croix ( Fry /Merctassier)) or an Aravis Pass which also includes St Jean de Sixt and Le Grand-Bornand Ski Resort.
These ski passes are available either for a single day, 2 days or 6 consecutive days. You can also get a family pass.
- To save time buy your ski passes and recharge them online.
La Clusaz Ski Resort Area
- There are some good steep difficult red slopes, especially on both L’Aiguille and Torchere areas.
- 84 Piste slopes (18 green / 30 blue / 29 red / 7 blacks )
- 49 Ski lifts
- 1 FreeStyle Area
- 125 kms of runs
- Plenty of on and off-piste skiing, especially through the forest after a fresh dump of snow.
Tandem Paragliding over the French Alps
If there is one activity that I recommend doing in the Alps it is Tandem Paragliding on your skis (or snowboard). I have Paraglided a few times before in the summer but never on skis and to be honest I loved it even more.
It was something I just could not get around my head at first but the instructor (guide) informed me that it was a lot easier than running during take off. When you start you stand on the side of the slope (so you don’t ski off) in your skis. Then your guide says go, so you turn your skis downhill and before you know it you are up in the air.
Once we were up in the air and distracted by the most amazing views of La Clusaz Ski Resort and the French Alps, I completely forgot why I was so hesitant. Before I knew it, I was at the bottom and I was landing back on my skis. My only disappointment was that it ended so quickly!
You depart from Beauregard Area near Hotel Altitude 1647 depending on the wind. You take off to the side of the blue ski run, so you feel comfortable and relaxed. Then you land on the blue slope area near the Le Champ Bleu Ski lift.
- Duration – 10-20 mins depending on wind
- From – 12/12/2016 to 17/04/2017, daily.
- Price – 65€ Per person
- SD Card – Photos/ videos memories flight on : 25€
There are 2 things people say to me when I mention that I went Ski-Joering in La Clusaz Ski Resort. One is ‘what is Ski-Joering’ (then I explain) and the other ‘can you really ski behind a back of a horse?’ I suppose it is a good ice-breaker for a conversation if I ever needed one.
- From – 17/Mid Dec to late March, daily.
- Price – Per Person 29 €
- Duration – 30 Mins
- What to wear – Ski Trousers and Ski Jacket
- What to bring – Ski Boots and skis if you have them.
Enjoy a Spa – Deep Nature
One of the top things to do in La Clusaz France during winter and summer is to visit the Deep Nature Spa. Nothing beats a nice massage or a spa after a hard day of being outdoors whether skiing/snowboarding or hiking. La Clusaz Ski Resort organised for us to visit the new Deep Nature Spa one afternoon, after skiing.
They had a wide range of massages and treatments as well as a Sauna, relaxation area, herbal teas and aquatic course. Not to mention the amazing pool which is one of the biggest in the Alps. The pool had hydro massage jets, a swan neck fountain, and seating with jets and bubbles. With the whole proposal of helping you relax during your ski holiday.
Remember that you will need to take your own Swimwear
- Various body treatments – From 01/07 to 30/09/2017, daily.
- Opening Hours, Morning from 10 am to noon (valid for 2 h session): 21 €
- Afternoon from 2 pm to 8 pm (valid for 2 h session): 29 €
Where to eat in La Clusaz
Nothing beats enjoying a hearty lunch or dinner after some intensive mountain winter activities in La Clusaz. Although sometimes the main problem is deciding where you are going to eat. Here are a couple of recommendations you may like for lunch and dinner :
⇒ Read More – 6 Top Tips for Saving Money for a Ski Weekend
Eating on the mountain – Restaurant La Ferme
I heard that it takes up to two weeks to get a booking at Restaurant La Ferme for lunch and I can see why, especially with the views and food.
Set on the ski slopes just above the village, the Restaurant La Ferme serves traditional cuisine and mountain specialities, especially with yummy cheese.
Where to eat off the mountain – Sushi Fumi
Sushi is definitely not what comes to mind when you think of food in the French Alps. But I went to Sushi Fumi amazing place in the centre of the La Clusaz Ski Resort village and it was more than what I expected. If you love Sushi then you definitely have to eat at Sushi Fumi, the sushi was super fresh and the two owners had their own special twist on the food.
Not only did the food taste really good but it also looked really colourful too.
- As it only seats 10 people, you have to book a reservation during the lunch and dinner periods.
Winter Accommodation in La Clusaz
La Clusaz Ski Resort has a wide variety of accommodations spread out in the ski village. Most of the hotels are situated in the centre and right on the ski slopes. However, don’t be discouraged to stay further out because it is only a 15-20min walk at the most to get you back to your centre of the village. If you don’t want to walk there is a regular bus service that covers the whole of the area.
I stayed at the Hotel Beauregard, a beautiful looking ski-in and ski-out chalet-style hotel. Some would say it is in one of the best skiing locations in La Clusaz Ski Resort at the foot of the ski slopes and only 100 meters (you can ski it) to the nearest ski-lifts (Grenneche and Bossonnet).
I had a lovely room that was decorated in typical alpine chalet style with a glass door that opened onto a balcony. I loved waking up and having views of the La Clusaz village and the mountains. The room also had good fast Free-Wifi and lots of power outlets. This is always a bonus when travelling especially for work.
The hotel had a heated indoor swimming pool with a sauna, jacuzzi and hammam, as well as a restaurant and bar area. Their service was good and I liked coming back in the afternoon for a relaxing drink in front of the open fire. Whether you are skiing or on a summer holiday in the mountains, Hotel Beauregard is a great place to stay.
- If you or your children are taking skiing lessons, then the ESF (French Skiing School) has a pick-up point just in front of the hotel.
- You can buy your ski pass at the hotel
Resort Location & How to get there
The closest international airport to La Clusaz Ski Resort is Geneva Airport, which is roughly an hour’s drive in good weather conditions. Making it one of the quickest and most accessible resorts to get to in Europe. Instantly save on airport parking, if you are flying from any UK airport with Purpleparking before leaving.
- Check with the airline that you are travelling with because some of them allow you to check your skis on the plane for free.
- Geneva has two arrivals areas, there is both a Swiss side and a French side to the airport.
There are numerous ways of getting to La Clusaz Ski Resort, Buses, private transfers, shared transfers or car hire all vary in price depending on what you can afford. As I was with the tourism board, I was picked up and I did not use one of the transfer companies. However, you can catch a public bus which runs a couple of times a day.
Top Tip for La Clusaz in Winter
- Upload the La Clusaz App, which will keep you up to date with the weather, find where you are on the piste map, recharge your ski pass and much more.
- If you want a coffee or simply would like a break I recommend Le Relais de l’Aiguille at the top of Cret du Loup. It has some great views of the Alps and slopes.
- If you have a child, you can ask for a free ID Bracelet that they can wear while skiing. You can collect one from the Ski Pass office and all you need to do is write down the details on it.
- Le Grand-Bornand Ski Resort is a great day trip skiing
- You can get to St Jean de Sixt and Le Grand-Bornand Ski Resort via a shuttle for free with your Aravis lift pass.
- Every Tuesday, try the FREE Yooner sledging on the ski run in the centre of the La Clusaz
- Catch the Beauregard gondola up to Hotel Altitude 1647 and enjoy a drink with a view
Why I recommend La Clusaz in Winter
I would definitely go back in a heartbeat to La Clusaz Ski Resort, the atmosphere is relaxed and the people were friendly. The ski runs can be challenging or easy depending on what you are comfortable with and there were plenty of things to do and lots of places to eat.
Getting around is also easy and it is good for both families and groups of friends. Just like Pays de Gex, it is great for a ski weekend with it being only an hour from Geneva airport.
French ski resorts near Geneva
If you are interested in discovering other French Ski Resorts near Geneva then I suggest Pays de Gex, Les Gets or even Morzine. All are great options for a ski weekend trip if you want something close to the airport.
Before hitting the ski slopes in La Clusaz, make sure you have the right travel insurance. You can compare ski travel holiday insurance for FREE
You might also be interested in these ski resorts in Europe
- Monte Bondone Italy – A great affordable ski resort for a weekend
- Champéry Switzerland – The Ultimate Skiing Guide
- Jahorina Bosnia – A ski trip that combines history and skiing
Thank you for reading this article ‘A Winter Holiday Guide in La Clusaz Ski Resort’, I hope it helped you to decide where to go for your next Ski Trip.
Have you been to La Clusaz Ski Resort Haute-Savoie during winter before? I would love to hear about your experiences in the comments below.
Annecy Haute-Savoie France is a great way to take a break from skiing, which is only a 30-minute drive away and there is plenty to do.
Disclaimer: Even though I was a guest of the La Clusaz Ski Resort during winter. All views are my own and based on my own experience.