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# 7Expert Terrain in Haute Savoie
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Overview

Purpose built in the 1960s in a large bowl of powder facing West and aptly nicknamed the big snowy bowl, Flaine offers the widest range of skiing in the Grand Massif ski area.  The resort is not the most picturesque of them all and for some visitors the severe architecture is too much to take but if you can ignore the ugly concrete buildings and focus on the fluffy white stuff you’ll find a family-friendly resort with excellent facilities. Children are particularly well catered for and good deals can be found on family lift passes. The village centre is mainly car free, compact and convenient.

In spite of its dreary reputation, Flaine is regarded as a cultural landmark in France having been designed in the Bauhuas style by celebrated architect Marcel Breuer.  As a result, the resort is a hub for modern arts and at the bottom of the slopes there’s a range of art by abstract artists, the most notable piece being a large Picasso sculpture of a woman’s head.

The resort has, in recent years, undergone a number of refurbishments, and is now making something of a comeback. The Totem, a hotel originally designed by Breuer, has been revamped and rebranded as the ultra-cool and minimimalist Hotel Terminal Neige Totem.    

Among Flaine’s many attractions, and foremost is the great skiing on offer, is that it’s a resort that won’t break the bank.  There are plenty of low-cost accommodation options available (the new Totem Hotel has competitive rates) designed to appeal to a hip crowd of skiers who are more appreciative of Flaine’s artistic credentials than previous visitors.  Newer chalet style accommodation is also available.

The main resort is small  and made up of two areas accessible by lifts called the red and black devils. Forum is the busier andlower of the two at 1600m while bigger Forêt, up the hillside, is located at 1700m. The latter has its own shops and bars. There are also some rather nice traditional villages in the outlying area; Samoëns, Les Carroz and Morillon offer additional lodging options and generally better dining.

The skiing in the Flaine bowl is mainly open, but the lowest runs are wooded. Outside the bowl, above Les Carroz, Morillon and Samoëns the situation is reversed and most of the slopes are below the treeline.

In town there are various activities to partake in but nightlife and evening apres ski tend to be quiet with most people preferring to stay in their chalets.

Inside Scoop

It’s not huge on apres ski but the resort does throw some good parties. During spring,  the resort puts on classical music, electro funk, pop and rock open-air shows on the slopes. They’re completely free and an itinerary is available week by week. On the last day of the spring season the resort holds a free bbq.

For some serious relaxation, we can recommend The Pure Altitude Spa in the swanky Terminal Neige. It has a wellness space, comprising a fitness centre, sensory showers and a relaxation room which extends out onto the terrace with superb mountain views. The Jacuzzi and outdoor saunas have been refitted into old cable car cabins and will transport you to the height of well-being.

Restaurants

In town, La Ferme du Sartot has a wonderful authentic setting and serves regional Savoyard specialities. The restaurant is open for lunchtime and evening bookings.

Le Desert Blanc, Flaine

Located at the top of Grande platières cable car (DMC) at 2500m is Le Desert Blanc, a self-service restaurant with a wonderful sun terrace that faces Mont Blanc and offers spectacular views. Staff are friendly and the food is filling.  

Le Bissac, Flaine

Another self-service restaurant, Le Bissac is located in Flaine Foret, near the bottom of the Petit Balacha lift. Table service is available at no extra charge. Order the special of the day and you won’t be disappointed. In peak season, the restaurant always fills up, so arrive early to bag a table.

Les Chalets du Michet, Flaine

Les Michets offers fine Savoyard cuisine in an ancient thousand year-old sheepfold (shepherd’s hut). It has an a la carte menu and delicious homemade dishes and is open for lunch and dinner.

L'Eloge is attached to Les Chalets du Michet at Flaine Forum and is cheap and cheerful.  Food is hearty with favourites L'Eloge such as croque monsieur, lasagnes and filling soups.

Plan Your Trip

Ski Rental

Best Time for Snow

Average Snowfall

198cm
124cm
83cm
42cm
7cm
7cm
Nov
97cm
Dec
165cm
Jan
103cm
Feb
101cm
Mar
47cm
Apr
Beginners Runs
13%
Intermediate Runs
40%
Advanced Runs
40%
Expert Runs
7%
Runs in Total
70
Runs in Total
146 km
Longest Run
14 km
Skiable Terrain
146 km
Snow Making
40 ha
Snow Making
105 km

Total Lifts: 24

Gondolas & Trams
2
Eight Person Lifts
2
High Speed Sixes
2
High Speed Quads
4
Double Chairs
1
Surface Lifts
13

Elevation

Base
1600m
Summit
2500m
Vertical Drop
900m

Important Dates

December 09, 20232023/12/09
Projected Opening
April 21, 20242024/04/21
Projected Closing
130
Projected Days Open
128
Days Open Last Year
56
Years Open
550cm
Average Snowfall
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