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Bourg St. Maurice as a base?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

So I can find some pretty cheap apartments in Bourg St. Maurice, near the base of the funicular to Les Arcs.

 

Question: how convenient/sensible is it to use B-S-M as a base for visiting nearby resorts, such as Meribel, la Roserie, and Val d'Isere using public transport.

 

Would it make sense, say, to stay in B-S-M for a week, and ski Les Arcs for a day or two, then make day trip using bus/train to Meribel, Les Menieurs, or VdI?

 

This place in B-S-M by the way is called Glieres. It does not look so hot, but I can find a studio there for like 170 euro for a week, and discounts on six-day lift tickets. Is Glieres a totally depressing dump where I will be afraid to walk around barefoot in the apartment, or just a partial dump, where I will feel slightly icky but satisfied for having saved so much money?

 

Glieres: http://en.ski-france.com/ski-area-paradiski/bourg-saint-maurice/glieres-a/?sr=1

post #2 of 12
I think BSM would be a good base for the Paradiski area if you're looking to save money. Hopefully, one of the members in France can come along with more details.

The only issue I have with your plan is the idea of switching to different ski areas (Three Valleys and Espace Killy in addition to Paradiski) every couple of days. I see this a lot from my fellow North Americans when they plan trips to Europe, and I think it's because of the size difference between North American resorts and European resorts.

The thing you have to keep in mind is that these ski areas are absolutely massive. The Paradiski area has over 130 lifts and over 2000 m (~7000 ft) of vertical http://www.skiclub.co.uk/assets/maps/images/largemaps/752.pdf. Moreover, the Espace Killy has about 80 lifts and a around 1700 m of vertical, and the Three Valleys has around 180 lifts and 2000 m or so of vertical.

I use this analogy a lot, but I think it's the best way to understand it if you haven't skied in a big European resort before. Switching resorts every couple of days would be like driving to a movie theater to watch 30 min of a film, then driving to another theater to watch 30 min of another film, then driving to a third theater to watch 30 min of a third film, then driving home.

If you're only going to be in Europe for a week, then there's no need to change resorts every couple of days. The Paradiski area alone has enough terrain to keep you entertained for more than a week. Plus, you'll save money if you just get one 6-day pass rather than 3 separate 2-day passes, not to mention the savings on travel.
Edited by CerebralVortex - 11/1/13 at 4:20am
post #3 of 12

Aslo, check out Saint Foy. It is on th eroad to Val D'isere and claims it is where Val ski instructors ski on their day off.

post #4 of 12

We stayed upstairs from a bar in Bourg St Maurice, and a parking place and two beers in Courcheval cost the same as our room.  We loved the place.  Shower down the hall, one Euro extra (honor system, pay the bar tender)

 

Even better, was our stay in St. Jean de Maurienne.  There is an amazing long, long gondola to the back side of the Trois Vallees which puts you way up there and ahead of the morning rush from the resorts.

post #5 of 12

hi guys,

 

hmmm I reckon its feasible for Les Arcs with the funi but not the other resorts without having a car and spending some time in it.

 

Val D is a good 40min drive up from Bourg and that's with the road clear of snow.  So add some traffic and snow and it could take you longer.  having spent a fair amount of money on flights to get to Europe ( I assume you are coming from USA) then to spend a couple hours of your day driving up and down the valley seems a bit of a waste.

 

Paradiski is a massive area so you could happily spend a week skiing it out. Bourg itself is a pretty nice little town.  I don't know exactly where the Glieres is in comparison to the town centre but I don't think its that far.  I'll be driving through there next week so will keep my eyes peeled for you!

post #6 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by alig View Post
 

Paradiski is a massive area so you could happily spend a week skiing it out. Bourg itself is a pretty nice little town. 

I spend 9 months living in BSM and agree with this.  Don't recall where Glieres is.  

 

It is easier to get to Val & Tignes (a bus from the train station which was about 15 Euro r/t same day) than 3V.  However, if you are staying in BSM, the plan should be to mostly ski Paradiski with maybe a day each at EK & 3V.  There might be a Navette to St Foy, but if you try to ski everywhere, you will only be touching the surface at each resort- I don't think you realize how big they are.

 

Check out Snowcrazy's Paradiski thread http://epicski.onthesnow.com/t/122205/les-arcs-la-plagne-paradiski-france-season-thread

IMO, getting hooked up with a safe way to access some of the off piste is far more important than trying to hit all the different areas, but everyone is different. 

post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the suggestions. I've been to Europe before and even just looking at the trail map can guess that Paradiski would offer weeks and weeks of skiing opportunities -- however, I'm fairly OCD for some reason and really actually do want to switch areas every day or so.

 

Glieres says it is 50m from the funiculaire base. On the map it looks like it's fairly directly across the street. All the rooms I can find for rent online are pretty cheap, which made me wonder if BSM was cheap in general or if I had just happened to find the village flophouse.

 

So what I really wanted to know was, could I wake up in the morning at BSM, catch a 5 euro bus at 8 and be at Val d'Isere/St. Foy/Tignes, etc. and ready to ski at 9.30? I can look at the map and see that these massive ski areas are literally a few miles from each other. In Montana, where I live and just drive everywhere, it would be simple enough to motor out of the house each morning and go to a new place. But in France, where I speak about 25% of the language, am a cheapskate, and will be dependent upon possibly surly bus drivers, I don't know how easy that would be to pull off. In Austria several years ago I found it was almost always quite easy to find information about bus routes, stops, and times; I've been to France but not to ski, so using the ski buses there is more of an unknown.

post #8 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by cloudcult View Post
 

So what I really wanted to know was, could I wake up in the morning at BSM, catch a 5 euro bus at 8 and be at Val d'Isere/St. Foy/Tignes, etc. and ready to ski at 9.30? 

Yes, I have taken the bus to Val/Tignes, but it is more than 5 Euro (but doable for a day trip)...see below.  It is a crap website, but here is the altibus service with times http://www.altibus.com  The bus is (mostly?) direct BSM to Val/Tignes, so less than 45 minutes travel time IIRC.  

 

If you really want to ski a different resort each day, having a car will help.  BSM is right in the middle of a lot of top areas and there might be some Ski Safari type van services, but I never did them and don't know the details.  Despite having two free days at 3 Vallees on my Paradiski pass, I never made it there as the friends I was going to go with backed out and I didn't have a car- you can get there via train, then bus, but it is a hassle for a day trip when a short walk to the funicular will take you to Arc 1600 in 7 minutes.

 

I realize you may have OCD, but it it completely possible to ski just the Les Arcs side of Paradiski all day without repeating the same lift (let alone the same run).  

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by MEfree30 View Post
 

It is easier to get to Val & Tignes (a bus from the train station which was about 15 Euro r/t same day) than 3V.  .  There might be a Navette to St Foy, 

 

Check out Snowcrazy's Paradiski thread http://epicski.onthesnow.com/t/122205/les-arcs-la-plagne-paradiski-france-season-thread

IMO, getting hooked up with a safe way to access some of the off piste is far more important than trying to hit all the different areas, but everyone is different. 

I would post any further questions in Snowcrazy's Paradiski thread or post over at Snowheads as there are lots of posters who regularly ski the Tarentaise Valley areas.

post #9 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by cloudcult View Post

Thanks for the suggestions. I've been to Europe before and even just looking at the trail map can guess that Paradiski would offer weeks and weeks of skiing opportunities -- however, I'm fairly OCD for some reason and really actually do want to switch areas every day or so.



Glieres says it is 50m from the funiculaire base. On the map it looks like it's fairly directly across the street. All the rooms I can find for rent online are pretty cheap, which made me wonder if BSM was cheap in general or if I had just happened to find the village flophouse.



So what I really wanted to know was, could I wake up in the morning at BSM, catch a 5 euro bus at 8 and be at Val d'Isere/St. Foy/Tignes, etc. and ready to ski at 9.30? I can look at the map and see that these massive ski areas are literally a few miles from each other. In Montana, where I live and just drive everywhere, it would be simple enough to motor out of the house each morning and go to a new place. But in France, where I speak about 25% of the language, am a cheapskate, and will be dependent upon possibly surly bus drivers, I don't know how easy that would be to pull off. In Austria several years ago I found it was almost always quite easy to find information about bus routes, stops, and times; I've been to France but not to ski, so using the ski buses there is more of an unknown.


 



In that case, I'm really struggling to understand your desire to switch ski areas every couple of days, especially since the Paradiski area itself is the combination of five so separate resorts.

But if you're willing to put in the hours on the bus, it is feasible to do day trips to other resorts. However, the travel times are going to be longer than you expect because of the altitude differences. BSM is only about 800 m (~2600 ft) above sea level, but La Rosiere and Val d'Isere are at 1850 m (~6000 ft), and Meribel, which is farther as the crow flies, is at about 1450 m (~4750 ft).

The Altibus site lists the journey to Val d'Isere at about 1 hr each way and €15.90 for a round trip ticket. On the La Rosiere site, they list the travel time at 50 min and €10 each way (probably a discount for round trip).
post #10 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by CerebralVortex View Post
 
 

The Altibus site lists the journey to Val d'Isere at about 1 hr each way and €15.90 for a round trip ticket. On the La Rosiere site, they list the travel time at 50 min and €10 each way (probably a discount for round trip).

Also be aware that while they may run certain routes multiple times per day (like BSM/Tignes) others may only run on Saturdays (the typical in/out day which means the roads are more crowded and the slopes less crowded).  The trip to Val may stop first in Tignes, otherwise it should be less than an hour.

 

This might be worth a google search for you https://www.google.com/#q=bourg+st+maurice+ski+safari

post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 

Thanks. The Altibus page is helpful to at least know that getting around like that is feasible. I was was trying to search similar connections using db.de, which is an  interesting but probably not entirely useful way to see what travel options there are. I also got some different information by searching on google.fr as opposed to google.com.

 

I emailed the BSM tourist office and they also suggested http://www.autocars-martin.com/, which seems similar if not identical to Altibus.

 

You'll have to excuse me for sleeping at the base of a 100-lift ski area and wanting to go to another, but I'm of the unfortunate category of persons who would be driven mad knowing that they were "just a few miles away" from some place like Les Menuires but did not visit. Just be thankful we're not skiing together, as I'd certainly make most of you nuts.

post #12 of 12

If you really want to switch every day then BSM is allright. Assuming you go to L'Espace Killy twice the commute will be endurable. St. Foy and Paradiski are right there and if you are an advanced skier then Les Arcs is more interesting than La Plagne anyway.

 

The area is even greater when you are into AT. There is great terrain in the range above St. Foy.

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