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Ski Areas near Geneva

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Will be attending meetings in Geneva around Jan. 20th, and am looking to spend an extra 4 days skiing. Have never skiied Europe. Need recomendations for destination w/in 2-3 hrs from Geneva. My wife is a stong intermediate who prefers long groomed cruisers. I am lower advanced, like long cruisers, powder, some off piste. Neither of us is into the steeps, though i will venture into areas she will not. Usually ski vt and Colorado.

thanks in advance
post #2 of 14
I think it's a little further than that to Val d'Isere, but well worth it. Buses are available. Check out the Hotel Bellier if you go.

Other nearby areas are Chamonix, Megève, La Clusaz, Le Grand Bornard, Avoriaz-Mozine, Champéry, and Courmayeur.

Here's a search that may help.
post #3 of 14
Of the ones within an hour from Geneva, Chamonix/Argentiere, Flaine and La Clusaz are the most interesting.

Chamonix is best for pure shock and awe, mountain scenery and long impressive runs with large altitude differences. However the different areas aren't that well connected and although each providing a reasonable amount of skiing, the focus is more on steeps than intermediate cruising.

Flaine has got a reasonable snow record and a good extensive ski area which may suit your needs well. The general resort doesn't have much architectural charm (though is car-free) but there are a number of more attractive satellite villages (e.g Samoens and Morillons that are tree-lined but still well-connected to the ski area.

La Clusaz has a lot of charm for a French resort with also a reasonably extensive ski area but with not as much snow reliability as the others. So a good bet if you know there is a going to be snow.

If you can travel further, then anywhere in the 3 valleys (Courchevel/Meribel/Val Thorens/Les Menuires etc) is going to impress though the ski area is so huge that you might not get the most out of it in 4 days and it is quite expensive.
post #4 of 14
Chamonix. It's very easy to get there, a 90 minute bus trip from Geneva, buses run all the time. The town is gorgeous, a lot of accommodation choices, lovely restaurants.

There is a guiding service called Ski Fun tours who run out of the ski school, they will pick you up from your hotel, take you to the best skiing for the day, and the best lunch spots, and look after everything, it's a very easy way to see the best of Chamonix, and if you are lucky they might even take you to St Gervais/Megeve or across the border to Italy for the day.
post #5 of 14
Depending on traffic and road conditions Verbier is approx. 1.5-2 hrs from Geneva as is Cham, two great choices. However from what you described I wouldn't recommend either one in first place.

The Portes du Solei with Morzine (France) is closest, about 30-45 min. So is Torgon. Leysin is about an hour or so, a bit further to Les Diablerets.
post #6 of 14
Powhog, I was thinking Chamonix, if they base themselves there, they could go up to Le Tour which has a lot of cruisiers.

Also, it's Chamonix. I can't think of a better reason to go!

(OK, if you need your boots done, there's Footworks at the base of the Aguille du Midi where you'll find the Smallzookeeper - on of the best boot guys in Europe)
post #7 of 14
Agreed on Le Tour, Savoleires at Verbier too.

The other areas mentioned might fit his bill better though IMHO.
post #8 of 14
Our family took our first ski trip to the Alps last March. Our abilities are similar to yours. We went to Chamonix and I can not imagine a better place to stay and ski and there is plenty of terrain for you to enjoy. The drive was shorter than Denver to Vail and an easier drive with less elevation change. During our trip the best snow was at Grand Montet and worth the short drive/bus ride. The town of chamonix is great! I'm sure there are other equally outstanding locations but for my money we'll go back to Chamonix as soon as we can.
post #9 of 14
Verbier!!no doubt. You can get the base there, and you have Verbier and Chamonix.
post #10 of 14
Well if you take the train to Aigle,then take the blue Mt train up tp Les Diablerets/ Glacier 3000 you will find a fantastic Swiss ski area. Lots of skiable trails for all. Train ride is less then a hour to Aigle then that ride is about half hour up to les Diablerets. At train station take the bus for Isenau which has lots of ski trails for you. You can also ski Les Mosses, Leysin, and Villars. Then of course you can hit the Glacier A++++.
You can always travel a bit more central and hit my home area of Grindelwald!!! Just to many ski areas in the Switzerland and not enough winter!

Swiss Miss
post #11 of 14
Try St. Gervais. Same Pass as Megeve but much cheaper to stay/eat/drink.
post #12 of 14
Leysin is a nice small ski town. Go to Aigle on the other end of the lake and take the cog train straight up to Leysin. If you go there I might be able to direct you to some hidden pow, if you don't mind a short hike.

Les Diableret is pretty darn flat.

Chamonix is awesome. Something like 180 chair lifts. In 3 different countries. Just be back at your country of origin by the time the lifts close. They will throw you in jail with no passport!

Verbier is another good bet.
post #13 of 14
You might also consider Le Grand Bornand, a very French, non-touristy, intermediate local area less than an hour south of Geneva. We went there about 7 years ago and loved it. Stay in the village of Chinaillon, up the hill from the town of Le Grand Bornand.
post #14 of 14
Les Gets and Morzine are close and good for cruising runs, chamonix is great but perhaps a bit too advanced in places
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