With extensive varied slopes, a snowy micro-climate, and short transfers, Flaine has it all. So why aren’t more people enjoying skiing holidays Flaine? As the skiing here is undeniably excellent, the answer probably lies with the resort itself. The classic 1960s purpose-built French resort is certainly not to everyone’s tastes. But unlike some of its competitors, Flaine has never tried to be anything more than a stunning ski resort.
If you want a holiday where skiing or snowboarding is the main priority, Flaine won’t leave you disappointed.
Flaine is part of one of the largest and most varied ski areas in the French Alps, the Grand Massif, which offers a staggering 265km of varied terrain, with something suitable for all levels of skier.
There are some truly fabulous off-piste both locally and across the Grand Massif as a whole. However if you are going to explore you should always take a guide with you as the terrain here is quite complicated.
Even by French purpose-built standards, Flaine rates highly on ski convenience, with most of its accommodation either on, or within a stones throw of the slopes. If you happen to be out in the satellite resort of Flaine Montsoleil, you’re still on a piste, and all pistes eventually lead down to the resort’s main centre.
The unique geography of Flaine means that the resort punches well above its weight in regards to snow – in terms of both quantity and quality. The quantity comes from the resort’s location – which is close to the north-western edge of the Alps which makes it highly exposed to Atlantic storms; another factor is the resort’s proximity to Mont Blanc – Western Europe’s highest mountain.
Flaine benefits from a high volume of natural snowfall, but it also has the micro-climate to preserve it; at least in the main bowl. Most of the local slopes face north and the resort itself is surrounded by a horseshoe of high mountains that work in protecting the ski area from the winds. For this reason, snow is guaranteed all the way down to resort will into the month of April.
The French Alps isn’t known for being cheap, Flaine is however noticeably better value than its rivals, Val d’Isere, Meribel, Chamonix and even Avoriaz. The resort is clearly trying to make a move to be a bit more upmarket, but it still remains an attractive possibility for anyone looking for the “big resort” experience without blowing the budget.
If you want to avoid some of the pretensions of the larger resorts, Flaine might be right up your street. Flaine offers a more down to earth experience – despite the impressive size of its ski area, Flaine is smaller than you would expect and with many people returning year-upon-year, the vibe here is very relaxed and friendl
Skiing in Flaine might just be the perfect choice for someone who wants that “big resort” experience, without all the fuss of actually being at one. Beautiful slopes, attractive cost and a friendly and relaxed vibe, what more could you want from a skiing holiday.