Overview of Flaine
Located in the Haute-Savoie region, its snow-sure, sunny slopes are part of the gorgeous Grand Massif ski area, which encompasses neighbouring resorts Sixt-Fer-a-Cheval, Morillon, Les Carroz and Samoens. This is one of the world’s largest dedicated snowsports areas, with 265km of interconnected pistes for skiers of all aptitudes, 139 ski runs and 62 ski lifts.
The resort’s high altitude pistes offer awe inspiring views of Mont Blanc, but its most notable man-made feature is probably its distinctive modernist architecture, which was designed to blend in with its Alpine backdrop.
This 100% car-free location has an inclusive ambience and offers doorstep skiing from its plentiful accommodation options, some of which have earned a positive reputation over the years for affordable luxury.
The resort is split into different levels which are connected by footpaths and the resort’s well known red funicular lift. Most accommodation in Flaine is self-catering, which is often the most hassle-free option for families who want to do their own thing at meal times and shop for essentials independently.
When it comes to facilities, you’ll find everything you need here – from après-ski bars to family restaurants, supermarkets and a host of on and off slope activities for kids of all ages.
When you want a great family ski holiday in the French Alps, Flaine is absolutely fabulous!
Skiing in Flaine
The natural snow cover in Flaine facilitates a long winter season which lasts from mid-December right through to mid/late April, so the piste conditions are usually excellent for the duration. Here are a few savvy tips on making the most of this fantastic French Alps ski resort.
Flaine is nestled at the bottom of a huge, north-west facing powdery bowl and has more than 100 snow cannons that provide extra snow cover when it’s needed. Local skiing mainly comprises long runs of around 1000m rolling down from the 2500m Grand Platieres, with beautiful views of Mont Blanc.
The ski area has a wide variety of ski terrain suitable for all levels of skiers, and includes some expansive tree-lined runs and a plethora of powder runs and adrenalin-charged off-piste areas.
Flaine boasts one of the best snow records in Europe and the aforementioned snow cannons supercharge 10km of pistes, which accounts for 25% of all runs and means that awesome ski conditions remain consistent even during unusual weather periods.
Ski in Flaine during the colder months of January and February and you’ll be able to enjoy the sunny, south-facing slopes, while the more shaded, north-facing runs come into their own later in the season.
Children and novices can ease themselves comfortably into the ski experience on the nursery slopes at the foot of Flaine, and they’re supported by free beginner lifts. This means there’s no need to buy a ski pass until you feel more confident and it’s a policy that exemplifies the resort’s dedication to family values, inclusivity and accessibility.
An extensive and efficient lift system ferries intermediate skiers to more challenging pistes and there’s a wide choice of blue and red runs, including wooded trails and long motorway pistes for cruising.
If you’re a capable and confident skier, you can pit your wits and reflexes against some excellent black runs, including the Grandes Platieres, Diamond Noir and Lindars Nord.
Countless off-piste trails are available, but since there are several crevasses in the area, it’s essential to book a local guide in order to stay safe.
Up for a challenge amidst some stunning scenery? Take on the 14km Cascades run from Flaine to Sixt-Fer-a-Cheval. At the bottom, simply hop on the bus to Samoens and reconnect to the main lift network.
As you can see, if you’ve been searching for a snow-sure French ski resort with ski-in/ski-out convenience that’s designed to deliver first-rate experiences for families, Flaine is pretty much perfect.
Snowboarding in Flaine
Although Flaine was purpose-built for skiers, snowboarders can have plenty of fun here too and the resort was actually one of France’s first snowboarding capitals. If you’re a boarder looking to fill your boots with the Alpine action here, check out the following tips:
Novice riders can find their feet on the flat runs that are complemented by four free beginners lifts – Flaine Forum bucket lift, Bissac drag lift and rope tow lift, and Le Pre chairlift.
As you progress, purchase a pass and explore more challenging long blue runs like those leading off from Les Grandes Platieres cable car.
Freestylers will be in their element at the Jampark in the Calcedoine run at the Aujon ski area and there are plenty of opportunities to catch some big air. Kids are also catered for here with the cool Fantasurf half-pipe.
There are plenty of off-piste runs for freeriders – the tree-lined terrain at Les Carroz demands respect and offers a challenge for any capable rider used to tackling tricky, obstacle-strewn terrain at high speed.
Snow Conditions in Flaine
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Thanks to its high altitude and geological blessings, Flaine and the wider Grand Massif ski area are some of the most snow-sure terrains in Europe. So whether you’re heading there as a family, with friends, for a romantic couple’s weekend or as a solo skier, you’re sure to be impressed.
Here’s the lowdown on conditions in this exceptional resort:
Flaine’s fantastic ski area ranges from 700m-2480m with 265km of pistes and the Grand Massif ski area which encloses it is the fourth-largest interlinked ski domain in France, all of which is conducive to brilliant ski conditions. For easy navigation around the ski domain, each resort has its own colour sign posts, Flaine is Orange, Les Carroz is pink, Morillon is blue, Samoens is dark purple and Sixt is green.
If you consider Flaine’s main snow bowl in isolation, the resort is arguably the most snow-sure in Haute Savoie – the summit of the Grand Platieres receives around 15m of snow annually and proficient snow preservation means there’s great cover all the way down to the resort for the duration of the season.
Grand Platieres sits on the windward side of Mont Blanc, which means that it bears the brunt of storms approaching from the north-west and, because it’s tucked in so closely to the Mont Blanc Massif, benefits from high snowfall averages relative to its height. The panoramic views from the top of the Grand Platieres lift are awe inspiring and there is easy pedestrian access for non-skiers.
You’ll generally find the best snowfall in Flaine around the upper half of its bowl and the Desert Blanc chair is a prime starting point for a fine choice of runs at altitudes of 2000m-2500m.
Recent seasons in Flaine have seen up to 45 total snowfall days, total snowfall of 458cm, a biggest snowfall of 40cm, maximum base depth of 131cm, average base depth of 83cm, maximum summit depth of 440cm and average summit depth of 257cm.
Flaine isn’t the highest resort in the French Alps, but its unique geographical location means that it punches above its weight when it comes to snow conditions – which provides peace of mind whenever you book your seasonal ski holiday here.
Apres-Ski in Flaine
Flaine isn’t an Alpine party epicentre, but for a family-focused resort, there’s still a surprisingly wide choice of lively bars and restaurants where you can refresh yourself and enjoy lip-smacking cuisine.
The action kicks off from mid-afternoon onwards, when snowsports enthusiasts gather on the sun-kissed terraces by the slopes where most eating and drinking locations are found and there’s always a warm and welcoming atmosphere. Here’s a brief guide to some of the hotspots where you can chill out, chat and even throw some shapes on the dancefloor if the mood takes you!
Le White Pub in Flaine Forum is a prime pick for beer lovers, with plenty of draught and bottled varieties on tap and there’s regular live music and happy hour promotions.
Diamant Noir is another well-appointed Flaine Forum establishment where the regular refreshments are accompanied by activities like table football, pool and darts. It also serves tapas with drinks, which means you can fill your belly while you slake your thirst at happy hour here!
Fancy alfresco cuisine served on a scenic terrace a stone’s throw from the pistes at the bottom of the Almandine red run? La Pente a Jules fits the bill perfectly, and from mid-afternoon DJs and dancing are de rigueur.
1967 is named in honour of the resort’s founding year – situated in the Aldebaran building near Flaine Forum’s Telebenne lift, this high-class restaurant has a family-friendly apres session from 3:30pm each day with treats like cakes, pastries and hot chocolate for kids and a wide choice of cuisine, wine and spirits for adults.
Le Lapiaz is a short stroll from the town centre and it’s a newly refurbished bar/restaurant/hotel complex with a comfy contemporary interior with big screens for live sports, as well as a vast terrace that provides panoramic views of the surroundings.
Facilities in Flaine
As you might expect, facilities in Flaine for families, friends, couples and individual skiers are excellent, and there are endless entertaining activities on and off the slopes.
If skiing and snowboarding alone aren’t enough for your adrenalin fix, there’s ice quad biking, ice driving and parapenting, and there are also spas and wellness centres in several accommodations for those who prefer their leisure activities to be a little more mild than wild.
In addition, fun family activities include ice skating and bowling and there’s also a cinema and indoor climbing wall. For a visit to remember, take a helicopter tour high above the resort – this is a favourite way for many guests to mark a special occasion and capture the moment. Here’s some more information that will help you make the most of your Flaine ski trip.
Ski Hire in Flaine
Erna Low has some great ski and snowboard hire deals in Flaine so it’s economical and convenient to include ski hire in your Erna Low ski package holiday and let us do the hard work of making arrangements for you. Chat to our team online or call 0287 584 2841 and we can pre-arrange everything.
Ski Passes in Flaine
Pre-booking your Flaine ski passes with Erna Low is really convenient. We send the cards to you before you leave the U.K. so there is now waiting in a queue when you get to resort.
If you forget to add your passes during the booking process, don’t worry – drop us a line and we can easily add it. Furthermore, don’t forget that anyone in your party aged under five or over 75 is entitled to free ski passes from the resort office.
We work with our trusted resort partner throughout the year to find the best deals and discounts – check out our Flaine special offers.
Spa and Pool in Flaine
There are plenty of spa and pool facilities in Flaine where you can unwind after an invigorating day on the slopes and indulge yourself with a terrific range of treatments.
The Aquatic Centre in Flaine Forum is a 2000 square metre pleasure dome with a 25m pool, baby pool, spa baths, sauna, steam bath and full fitness room.
Meanwhile, the Deep Nature Spa in Flaine Les Gerats features foot baths, sensory showers and a steam room and offers specialist massages and body and facial treatments.
Shops in Flaine
There’s no shortage of shops in Flaine for picking up fresh local produce and everyday essentials.
Douce France at Galerie Marchande Foret is a chic organic and artisanal grocery, Spar Helios is a great general store when you need to stock up on subsistence items, Sherpa is an alternative supermarket choice with a wide range of products and Aux Saveurs de Flaine sells the most mouth-watering pastry products!
Facilities for Children in Flaine
Your kids will never be bored in Flaine – here’s a handful of helpful tips on facilities and activities for them:
Ski Schools in Flaine
There are several ski schools in Flaine but our experienced staff recommend ESF. This established and trusted nationwide brand has 17,000 instructors across France and 100 in Flaine alone, and it caters for novice, intermediate and advanced skiers.
The main ESF school meets in Flaine Foret, Flaine Forum, and outside the ski school offices in Terrasses d’Helios. It caters from skiers aged 12 years and upwards.
Meanwhile, ESF Rabbit Club caters for skiers aged 5 and over, ESF Club Piou-Piou is an educational snow garden for kids aged 3-4.
Entertainment in Flaine
From husky dog sledding with Evasion Nordique to tobogganing in the town centre run and galaxy bowling in Flaine Foret, fun for kids is guaranteed in Flaine.
Childcare in Flaine
Les P-tits Loups Nursery is perfect for children just a little young to take to the slopes – it welcomes children between six months and three years old and has a good reputation for safety, care and nourishing activities.
Flaine Mountain Info
The Flaine Ski Area has some of the world’s best snow conditions and its north-west facing bowl facilitates expansive runs with amazing views of Mont Blanc and Les Grands Platieres summit offers an arresting bird’s eye view of the surrounding area.
This was the first resort in France to install snow cannons, has 100 snow making facilities to provide additional cover if required and has snow-sure slopes for skiers of all levels.