Haute-Savoie is well known for its large ski areas – Skiers and snowboarders flock to the superhighways of the Portes du Soleil and the insanely steep off-piste of Chamonix valley in their hundreds of thousands, and for good reason. The microclimate between Lake Geneva and Mont Blanc offers snow surety than can rival the higher, more expensive megaresorts of Savoie’s famous Tarantaise valley.
However here at snowsaver.com, we LOVE the small resorts in the area too. Empty pistes, friendly lifties and small queues complement the big savings that can be found within easy reach of Geneva airport. With limited apres-ski and restaurant options these resorts are generally preferred by families, learners and quiet groups.
Three of our favourites are:
#1 - Roc d'Enfer (St Jean d'Aulps)
50km of Pistes
You can either stay down in the town of St Jean d’Aulps itself where a shuttle bus can take you up and down the hill to the gondola, or up in La Grande Terche ski station – there are some great ski-in ski-out apartment blocks near the bottom of the slopes.
#2 - Praz de Lys - Sommand
45km of Pistes
Just above Tanninges, on the road to Les Gets, there’s a left turn that can take you away from the busy Portes du Soleil and up to the quiet resort of Praz de Lys. Its south-facing slopes mean you can ski in the sun all day, and have great views across to the Mont Blanc range.
With a good range of beginner and intermediate runs, a snowpark and a boardercross track, Praz de Lys has something for everyone. There are even a couple of nice black runs heading down towards Sommand from the Haut Fleury peak. The resort also boasts one of the largest nordic ski areas in the Alps.
The resort is quite spread out, with various apartment options available. There are only a handful of restaurants and bars.
#3 - Lelex/Crozet (Monts Jura)
20km of Pistes
We’re stepping out of Haute-Savoie and into the Jura department on the north side of Geneva airport for this handy little resort, and it makes the list primarily for its location. Just 20 minutes drive from Geneva airport to the large car park at the bottom of the lift near Crozet means you can make the most of an early inbound flight to ski a full afternoon.
With only 20km of pistes – mainly blues and greens so ideal for beginnners – there’s not much you won’t see in a day, but it is very handy for getting the most slope time possible when following our guide.
Expect breathtaking views across Lake Geneva to the Chablais and Mont Blanc Massifs in exchange for you taking a gamble on snow-sureness.
Small resort savings
Skiing at smaller resorts can save large amounts of money. Accommodation, ski hire, lift passes and eating out are substantially cheaper.
Compare the savings to be made on lift passes alone against the larger resort of Avoriaz and the area pass for the Portes du Soleil.
Example lift pass prices (in Euros - 2020/21 season)
|Roc d'Enfer||Praz de Lyz||Lelex Crozet||Avoriaz||Portes du Soleil|