If you’re after a charming and quaint traditional village vibe from your skiing trip then head to Valloire-Galibier, located in the commune, at the foot of the Col du Télégraphe and next to the ski resort of Valmeinier, (the alps) France. It’s not a resort we had heard of before we went, but it is conveniently located and quite easy to get to. We also learnt it was most famous as the birthplace of world champion skier Jean Baptiste La Grange, who actually happened to be around the week we were, and whom we spotted on the slopes a few times.
We enrolled at École du Ski Français, which is the largest ski school company in France and tasked them to help us develop our skills and techniques so we can ski down with some style whilst we were out there. Our instructor Titos (Thierry) was great at gauging our capabilities and pushed us as far as he knew we were capable of going. Unfortunately, the weather was up and down all week, improving as the week went on but the inconsistent weather actually helped hone skills on icy conditions. Plus, with Tito’s guidance we were able to handle the slopes in difficult conditions a little better than when we arrived so that was a plus and he also gave us the confidence to push ourselves.
The two main skiing areas in Valloire, the Sétaz and the Crey du Quart and both are easily accessible via lifts from the village. We skied across both, casually skiing down greens, blues and reds with the odd blacks thrown in for good measures as an additional challenge.
In terms of entertainment and apres ski, there is limited choices, Hotel Christiania was a good option for a few casual drinks as was Bar du Soleil at the bottom of the slopes for one of our runs. If you’re looking for anything more unfortunately you’ll be disappointed – we found the village doesn’t really accommodate late night bars. There are however some great food options, Grill and Pasta is a fantastic restaurant with decent food options and a reasonably priced Perrier Jouet champagne at 7 euros a glass or 65 for the bottle. La Grange restaurant is brilliant for Raclette too – a ski trip essential.
For day time fun you can always go up to the mountains (on days when the snow isn’t great or for a change of scene), hike up with some Llamas as your companions, these cute creatures are adorable. The host Gilles was an interesting guide and great at engaging the group on our walk with the Llamas. And whilst we know we shouldn’t have a favourite (they are all so cute) we loved Tchupi.
LaGrange Holidays offer self-catering at Les Chalets du Galibier from £395 per apartment per week (sleeps 4 people sharing).
For more information and to book lift passes and ski school visit here where a variety of discounts and offers are available.
• Lift Pass: 6 day pass in Valloire area from €190 per adult (€161.50 per child 5-12yrs)
• Ski equipment hire (skis, poles, boots): 6 days from €85 per adult (€45.50 per child)
• Ski School: 6 mornings €126 per person; 6 days (morning/afternoon) €190 per person
Access to Valloire is easy:
Fly/drive: Chambéry 1¼ hrs, Grenoble 1½ hrs, Lyon 2 hrs, Geneva 2¼ hrs. Direct transfers to/from Chambéry and Lyon-Saint Exupéry Airports:
Train: St Michel Valloire (17km): 7 hrs 20 from London via Paris (two changes); 8hrs 20 via Lille (two changes); for connecting bus transfers (€12.30 per journey)
Valloire is especially great for those on a budget, the skiing facilities are great if you’re a newbie or seasoned skier.
For more information contact Valloire Tourist Office and LaGrange Holidays T: 0207 371 6111