All of this snow has got me thinking about last month’s skiing trip to the French Alps. I try and ski every other year and more recently I’ve been roped into the convienience and glitz of Club Med resorts (basically all you can eat, drink and often ski-in-ski-out in one package). The other thing you should know is that I never book anything last minute, which makes Club Med a lot more affordable.
So when I ended up having a week off in between jobs, with every other conversation on the tube being about the ‘glorious’ snow, I found myself booking a last minute (and pretty reasonably priced) trip to Montchavin.
Nestled at the bottom of La Plagne, Montchavin is a real gem. It’s small, but has a few bars, restuarants and ski hire shops, plus two lifts up the mountain. The big advantage is that it’s only a short ski away from the Vanoise Express, a double-decker cable car which in just 4 minutes stretches across the valley and right into Les Arcs. So you have not just one but two of the best French Alps playgrounds to explore. See for yourself.
I haven’t stayed in a catered chalet for a good ten years, but was pleasantly surprised by the ease and quality of Hidden Alps, a small business ran by an English and Spanish couple. We stayed in the quaint alpine village of Landry, which was a 5-10 minute drive up to the lifts in Montchavin. The rooms were comfy and the food was delicious and far better than you’d get in a hotel.
I was a bit wary of having to get driven up and down every day, but honestly it was as easy as ski-in ski-out (and easier than some so-called ski-in resorts I’ve been to in the past). The famously long Mont Blanc run down to Montchavin ended practically at the door of the Intersport ski hire shop (which has a heated locker room) and from there we either waited in one of the bars (if we were early or late) or got straight onto the minibus down to the chalet.
Of course the main risk with a chalet is that you never know who you’ll end up with (funnily enough, a distant family member was actually in our chalet for the first half of my holiday). But given there were only two of us and the chalet slept 20 we were always going to be somewhat outnumbered. But hey, if you’re there to ski some of the best slopes in the world, eat good food, and sleep well – who cares!
‘You can’t buy happiness, but you can buy a lift pass’ – Anonymous
Feeling the urge to ski but can’t get away this season? The witty comments about these ski posters from The Telegraph will have you longing for some vin chaud.
Flights: £77pp direct to Geneva with Easyjet from London Southend (which FYI is super easy to get from out of London)
Accomodation: Catered chalet through Hidden Alps which included airport transfers