Pretty, charming and unspoilt, the old farming village of Les Gets has something special to offer every visitor, with a variety of skiing to suit all levels, but where this magical resort truly excels is in the service that it provides to families. The resort is a proud owner of the 'Famille Plus Montagne' label, which means that the needs of younger guests have been carefully considered. Facilities include a medical service for minor injuries, and events, such as carpentry workshops where children are taught to make wooden models, are geared towards providing them with a safe and exciting stay.
The resort has top notch ski schools, several of which have won awards, and extremely good nursery slopes are located in the centre of the village. It’s also a great place for adult learners; try the British Alpine Ski and Snowboard School which offers group and private lessons.
One of the many draws of Les Gets is that it’s reachable within an hour’s transfer from Geneva. The other draws include conveniently laid out lifts, minimal queues and un-crowded slopes – which makes a change from most French resorts which tend to get very busy. The quiet slopes can become a little less quiet on the weekends due to the fact that the resort is within easy reach of Geneva and Lyon but it still won’t be jam-packed. On the downside, at 1172m altitude, snow is not guaranteed at village level, however, there is much more skiing and fun to be had up the mountain at Chavannes including more nursery slopes.
The resort is located on the outer circuit of the Portes du Soleil ski network which, with 650km of pistes, is the largest linked ski area in the world. The Portes du Soleil connects 12 ski villages, each with its own distinct character, and Les Gets is one of the best bases from which to start exploring! Although, if you want to explore the whole area, then stay at one of the villages within the inner circuit of Portes du Soleil, as these are better connected. Lastly, but certainly not least, Les Gets has been making efforts to be environmentally friendly. Diesel generators on lifts have been replaced with solar panels, artificial snow is made without chemical additives and groomers are using bio-degradable diesel fuel – all things that make the OnTheSnow team very happy indeed.
The village dates back to the 12th century and the locals are proud of their Savoyard culture. The restaurants too exhibit traditional fare and you’ll find plenty of tartiflette, fondue and charcuterie. That being said, there is a wide range of cuisine to suit all tastes and most restaurants have children’s menus.
Bars and tea rooms will be bustling in the early evening however the village isn’t famed for its après ski. If you’re after something wilder head to nearby Morzine.
Overlooking the village Le Bacchus is a new wine bar and tea room which plays jazz in the evenings. With a cool interior to relax in, nearly 200 wines to choose from, and delicious tapas to feast on, it’s a sumptuous setting for a spot of après.
Located in the Perrières area above La Turche aux Gets, this renovated farmhouse is popular for its outdoor barbecue and generous portions. The homemade puddings are excellent too but a word of advice – these disappear quickly so pick yours upon arrival. Go and you won’t be disappointed!
Fruitiere des Perrieres
A friendly environment, warm staff, an open fire burning in the corner and sharing food around a large wooden table make this a cheese restaurant that is not to be missed. Opposite is the region’s most famous fromagerie which serves Savoyard specialities in the original 100-year old cheese-maturing cellars.
Run by a family originally from Cornwall, this mountain restaurant offers some spectacular views of the Mont Blanc Massif. The food is not your typical mountain fare – try the mussels which are a particular favourite of diners and if you’re there on a Sunday go for the hog roast. Pizzas come highly recommended and vegetarians are well catered for as well.
To get there, take the Mont Chery Cabin lift from Les Gets, at the exit, go right and follow the Chamois cutting over to the left towards the top of the snow park.
Beginners can practice on the nursery slopes in the village centre but for better views (and better snow) there are gentle runs near the top of the Chavannes mountain. Here you’ll find the Mappy’s area – a quiet space with four slopes created for beginners which is set apart from the standard ski area. Take the Chavanne Express and not the Chavanne gondola which is rather slow. Gentle runs to progress to include the Bleuets Bars and restaurants are also located nearby.
Beginner adults can join the YouCanSki program (offered throughout the Portes du Soleil ski area) which has been designed as a cheaper all-inclusive ski programme exclusively for adults.
Intermediate skiers should take advantage of the challenging reds on the Mont Chery side where they can improve their technique on quiet slopes. Confident skiers can enjoy mogul skiing down the Yeti run and down the north and east of Mont Chery. The difficulty of these runs will depend largely on the snow conditions - not much snow equals bumpy and hard.
There’s a boardercross track where snowboarders and skiers can practice increasing their speed which is maintained with artificial snow makers throughout the season. And the park is pretty decent too. A mini-snowcross for children can be found in the Grand-Cry territory – an American Indian village complete with teepees, a war-paint workshop, face-painting and treasure hunts!
For quality freestyle head to nearby Avoriaz.
When there’s a fresh dump of snow, the tree skiing in the Mont Chery trees is among the best in the whole of the Portes du Soleil area.
Surprisingly tricky black runs and some sweet off-piste can be found on Nyon but, overall, expert skiing at Les Gets is limited. One of the toughest runs is Mouflons which is 1.23km long and pitches at up to 47%.
Skiing to Avoriaz will take two hours but it’s worth it to ski the famous Wall and to get to access to extensive off-piste terrain. If you don’t fancy the two hour ski trip you can just hop aboard a 20 minute bus transfer to Prodain, which is what all of the locals do anyway.
Les Gets is a fantastic family friendly resort but there’s a smorgasboard of fun activities for adults too – from wilderness walks to skating at the ice rink or a movie at the cinema. Cheese lovers will delight in the cheese dairy tour where a guide will explain how the local cheese is made! And for chocaholics, the Chalet du Chocolat runs workshops on the art of chocolate tasting and chocolate making.
Outdoor activities include ski jeering where you’re pulled on skis, holding onto a frame, behind a horse. Children can try it once they are able to balance on their skis (normally from the age of five). But if the adrenalin of being pulled by horse doesn’t appeal, relaxation sessions in a yurt and pampering treatments at the Serini Cimes Spa are available too.