Skiing in La Clusaz
Once known as Clusa Locus Dei (God's narrow place) for its narrow location within the Aravis mountain range, La Clusaz ski resort is very well positioned to offer an enjoyable and memorable ski experience. Located in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region of France, the village of La Clusaz sits at an altitude of 2616m and spans just over 40km of natural alpine beauty. The resort ski area stretches across and includes the massifs de Balme, de l’Etale, de Manigod, de Beauregard and de Aiguille, which together form the La Clusaz ski resort.
La Clusaz has an impressive ski heritage and has notably hosted winter sports competitions from as far back as 1907. Its heritage also boasts the birthplace of professional French skiers and snow sport athletes such as Catherine Lombard, Vincent Vittoz and Guy Perillat to name a few. La Clusaz ski resort is surrounded by stunning natural beauty from the surrounding massifs. You can catch majestic views of Mont Blanc from the top of the Col de Balme and or take in the beautiful, wooded range on the run coming down from massif Beauregard. The village itself has preserved and maintained its quintessential traditional atmosphere over the years as evidenced with the 18th-century Eglise Sainte-Foy bell tower; a prominent monument amongst the picturesque chalets dotted across the village. Partly owing to its charm and quaint Savoyard appearance, La Clusaz is generally regarded as a family holiday destination. Ideally, it fits the bill for skiers looking for a blend of the traditional Alpine feel without losing out on a great skiing experience.
There is accommodation available to fit all budgets at the La Clusaz ski resort ranking from standard 3-star hotels up to 5-star hotels. There is also an impressive selection of very good restaurants and bars which offer a variety of sensory experiences to choose from. You can opt for the typical apres-ski buzz or a relaxed atmosphere to unwind after a lively day on the slopes.
La Clusaz proximity to Geneva is an added advantage especially for overseas travellers as it is a convenient connection to Geneva Airport; a route frequently taken by skiers and holiday makers flying in from international destinations. La Clusaz ski resort can also be reached via Aéroski-Bus from Geneva and via rail connections to the cities of Annecy and La Roche-sur-Foron on the Leman Express; from where bus connections can be made to La Clusaz.
La Clusaz has a total of 85 slopes and 125 km of runs spread out across the 5 massifs that make up La Clusaz ski area. In essence, La Clusaz encapsulates the typical ski resort that caters to skiers of all levels of ability. There is a decent selection of tree runs and open runs for beginners and intermediates (mostly blue graded) particularly on the Bearagard and Manigod slopes. More confident intermediates can challenge themselves on L’Etale and l’Aiguille and as well as some of the red pistes on La Balme. Seasoned skiers can find up to 30 steep reds and a few blacks on La Balme, l’Aiguille and L’Etale. Advanced skiers can also take advantage of the off-piste opportunities along some of the slopes on Cols of the Aravis range; we strongly suggest you book a guide if you do. Fancy a bit more skiing or a change of scenery take the Aravis lift pass which also includes a shuttle bus connection to Le Grand Bonnard for more challenges.
In general, La Clusaz has a relatively good snow record with high snow volumes particularly on the Massif de Balme. There are also snow making machines that support snow volumes on the lower parts of the mountains when needed.
La Clusaz also has a very good ski lift network and gondolas to connect skiers across the slopes and resort. In particular, the Crêt du Merle chairlift has had an upgrade to a detachable 6-seater. There is also a recently installed departure station with a new ticket office, lockers access ramp for disabled visitors on mobility scooters and the likes.
There is a growing variety of English-speaking ski classes and ski instructors to choose from for beginners. There are also ski classes for young children being offered as well.
You can experience all 4 massifs that make up the La Clusaz ski resort on any given day, starting off with the Massif de Beauregard in the morning and then moving further up to Manigod after. You can complete the L’etale just after midday and save the stunning panoramic views for the end from on top of Col de Balme.
The snow density on Massif de Balme is a perfect fit for freestyle snowboarders and there are some blues which are well suited to snowboarding; the wide blue runs on Beauregard offer a smooth ride descent on snowboards for example. However, La Clusaz is generally more popular among traditional skiers with the slopes seemingly more favourable to navigate with ski’s rather than snowboards due to the mogul paths found on some of the runs.
Snow Conditions in La Clusaz
The snow conditions at La Clusaz are adequately sufficient in spite of its moderate altitude. It still has a good snow record which often results in adequate snowfall that ensures long seasons in the area. La Balme in particular, which is located on the upper half of the resort receives a high volume of snowfall thus providing a decent amount off-piste when the weather allows for it. There is always the possibility of thinner snowfall on the lower runs due to the altitude of the mountain range, however, the resort is well equipped with good snow making facilities.
Although La Clusaz is generally appreciated as a traditional, family skiing destination, it still has a surprisingly impressive apres ski scene consisting of a lively selection of bars and a couple of late night DJ sets.
Le Relais de l'Aiguille This perfectly positioned bar and restaurant offers a perfect spot for an evening meal and drink as you will have magnificent views of Massif l’ Aiguille and the L’ Etale with really good quality food and friendly staff. A popular stop for drinks by skiers returning from the slopes and buzzing with excitement.
Le Bercail Another popular choice amongst returning skiers although it does pose a challenging task of getting situated at 1450m altitude; regardless, the song does goe “ain't no mountain high enough”. Always a great vibe and local delicacies to try from €35 per person.
Le Bachal A great place to catch a cosy drink or two after a day of skiing but don't get too cosy just yet! After sampling an array of dinner aperitifs and cheeses, the mood could get livened up by a DJ set and live music. A great atmosphere throughout the evening and occasional DJ set to liven up the mood.
Les Caves du Paccaly Great outdoor bar area with heaters and a good view. Good music and calmer atmosphere but still a good apres ski. Cosy, rustic vibes.
For late night partying into the a.m, head to Club 18 Discotheque or L’Ecluse nightclub. Interestingly, the L’Eluse nightclub has a dance floor made out of solid glass and is positioned over the river.
There is also live music, dancing and DJ sets at Les Caves du Paccaly and Le Grenier.
Well known to be very family friendly, La Clusaz ski resort is perfectly set up with just the right facilities needed for a full rounded experience. From quality first class accommodation to great children’s entertainment and shops! Check below for further information.
There is a wide array of ski hire providers in La Clusaz so securing ski equipment for hire would be relatively straightforward. However, for a hassle-free experience Erna Low can arrange and secure ski equipment for you. With excellent connections, we can find the best quality equipment at competitive prices for every member of your party and conveniently roll it into your ski package break.
La Clusaz offers different types of ski passes depending on your age, the number of days you’re planning to ski and whether you're a group or not. If you want your ski passes for La Clusaz pre-booked to save time and trouble, contact Erna Low and we’ll be more than happy to make all of the arrangements. We can often source superb deals for families, children, and large groups too, so it’s always worth checking with us!
Following an eventful day on the slopes, or perhaps you may not be a skier and are in La Clusaz ski resort for a winter getaway, you can select from a number of saunas, spas and massages. Majority of the hotels on La Clusaz ski resort have spas as well but we have mentioned a few of the most notable. Check out the Spa Nuxe in the St Alban Hotel located right in the middle of the resort for treatments beginning from €60. For well-deserved indulgence, visit the Cristal Spa in the 5 star Au Coeur du Village hotel for a truly majestic well-being experience in a haven of pure serenity from €65.
There is a choice selection of exotic and traditional shops in La Clusaz to offer a truly memorable shopping experience. You can sample some of the region's traditional Savoyard delicacies from Le Repaire du Dahu or shop for charming jewelry at Jewellery Joly-Pottuz. For more variety to choose from and quench your retail thirst, La Clusaz is within a proximity of Annecy and Geneva where you are bound to have a plethora of shops to indulge in.
There are also facilities for other activities such as ice skating, snowshoeing,paragliding, paintballing, dog sledding and pony sledging. There is also a cinema on La Clusaz and an impressive aqua centre known as Aquatic Area Des Aravis ( translates Aravis Aqua Centre) mostly. For people who are keen to learn about the area, Le Hameau des Alpes' is a brief wander from the ski village, where you can learn more about the culture and heritage of the area.
Children are well catered for at La Clusaz. Read on for more information on activities and entertainment for your little ones.
There are ski lessons available at La Clusaz ski resort for all levels. International Ski School has up to 20 instructors advising different snow sports. There are also qualified independent ski instructors available.
La Clusaz ski resort is predominantly recognised as a family friendly resort. It is also a Famille Plus accredited resort; a national label awarded to tourist destinations which offer tailored services specifically towards families and children. You will find that the majority of the restaurants on La Clusaz serve specialised children’s menus and there are also a range of family themed activities organised by the tourist office. You will also find young ski clubs suited for most children's age ranges.
There is a good selection childcare option at La Clusaz. From well-advertised local nannies to creches catering for children from 8 months to 4 years old. There are also ski schools and clubs for young children learning to ski. Look out for Club des Mouflets or the P'tits Montagnards nurseries in the village. Le Club des Champions offers ski lessons to young children.
The ski terrain in La Clusaz stretches across 5 mountains in the Bornes Aravis, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes. There are up to 132km of slopes for skiing and snowboarding serviced by 49 lifts between elevations from 1000m to 2485m. A fast-growing free-ride haven, there are ample off-piste opportunities against scenic backdrops of the legendary Massif de Balme and Massif de L’Aiguille in the distance.