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La Cluzaz, Trois Vallees, Portes du Soleil...

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
Hello People!!!

You know, the end of the years is just around the corner, the Winter, the snow and so many wishes...

We are planning (just a plan for while!) a trip to Europe(France/Italy), next Jan. and, of course, few days of ski is absolutely  mandatory !!!

After read many of your concerns about an European ski place we are thinking strongly about Trois Vallees and surroundings.

Also, a France friend told us about La Cluzaz as his preferable France ski place. Lots of good reasons to go there - good snow, huge, lots of pistes, not a sort of hype and crowd place (and not so expansive, indeed) well treated slopes,  real France style, etc. Man, he really loves this place!!!
 
So, this became our first choice! And, as we'll get so close to other nice places, we probably do some short escapes to Trois, Camonix...

From this point, I would like to ask you for hotels, apartmens, rental and ticket tips????

PS.: We have an extra motivation to chose La Cluzaz, there are so close to Annecy and we love Annecy and their Lake.

Best regards,
Eduardo
Edited by edlam - 9/21/09 at 8:42am
post #2 of 22
Thread Starter 
No suggestion?
post #3 of 22
Hi edlam,
I'm currently in Oman with a limited internet connection - if you can wait a week I'll try to give you an answer!
post #4 of 22
Thread Starter 
You already did!!!! Thanks!!

For sure, I can wait. Don't worry about it. As I said We are just looking forward.

Oman I think they haven't snow over there!!!!!

Thanks again! Take care and good luck !
post #5 of 22

La Clusaz is lovely, and a real French village rather than a purpose built resort. We came across very few foreign tourists even during the holidays, and most of the visitors seemed to come from Annacy.

The skiing is good, not great. By the end of the week we were certainly ready to move on. I'd say that it's good for beginners up to advanced intermediates, but after that it's pretty limited.

Lift tickets are cheap, while food and drink are probably reasonable by French standards but expensive by Austrian standards. We rented an apartment through one of the agencies listed on the resort website. It was reasonably priced but very small. You get better value renting direct from the owner as we usually do in Austria or Switzerland.
 
To sum up, as long as you’re not an expert looking to push yourself, I think it’s a great place. It would be perfect for a family of beginners and intermediates, and culturally it’s a really fantastic village.
 
As for Chamonix: it’s Chamonix. Simply awesome.
 
You also mention Portes du Soleil in your title. We skied there are Easter Sunday this past winter, accessing through Les Crosets and skiing mostly in the Avoriez sector. It was late season, so my view is somewhat limited by the spring conditions. There is great potential there, and in good conditions I think it would be a fantastic ski area. The whole of the Portes du Soliel is massive beyond my ability to comprehend. Avoriez is architecturally ugly as sin, in my opinion, although I guess some people find it interesting. At any rate, it’s about as different from La Clusaz as you can get. Bottom line is that the skiing appears to be as good and extensive as you would expect in a resort of that size, but the villages (at least the ones we visited) much less interesting than La Clusaz.

I'll post a few pictures in a while.
post #6 of 22

Decent view of l'Etale region of La Clusaz

Mount Blanc off the back of the La Balme section of La Clusaz


La Clusaz village


l'Aiguille restaurant and mountain


More:

www.flickr.com/photos/berliner_jake/sets/72157603614842061/

post #7 of 22
Thread Starter 
Ami, Fantastic!!!

You got the point and give me a close understood of the scenery!

You said "...good for beginners up to advanced intermediates..." We are intermediates, maybe advanced!!!, we love long runs, medium difficult.
Also, "...
As for Chamonix: it’s Chamonix. Simply awesome...." Yes, absolutely, we'll be so close and by car, so a day at Chamonix should be possible.

Last year we've skied Ausria - Stubai. simple awesome. And it is my first choice. But we are a family of 4 where 2 doesn't ski. For a trip that begins at Paris will far shorter to drive to Laz Clusaz and, also, to know another place is ever a must.

Thanks so much for your concerns!
Best regards,
Eduardo


post #8 of 22
Thread Starter 
Beautiful pics!! Thanks!

The mountain looks huge.

Is it correct that they have 5 mountains? All ones, linked by the lifts?

Also, do you have some rental shop preference?
Last year, we could found a small rental store - Olympia at Stubai, Mr Albin brought us with great ski sets, reasonable  prices and a warmth treatment.

Cheers~
post #9 of 22
Compared to other places in the Alps, I would not say La Clusaz is huge. It is bigger than Stubai for sure, but not huge. Portes du Soliel is huge.

Five peaks sounds about right. l'Aguille is the central one with a good variety of runs, but also the most crowded. l'Etale is mostly intermediate and much less crowded. La Balme is the best area for more difficult skiing. Beauregard is somewhat seperate (but technically lift linked) and has mostly beginner slopes as well as maybe the most difficult run (although it requires good snow cover). I forget the name of the fifth peak, but that should tell you what I thought of it.

In theory the area is totally lift linked, although the link to Beauregard is a bit tenuous, and between l'Aguille and La Balme it is a long, flat cat track in one direction and a rather steep powder/mogul run in the other (but you can download on a gondola if need be).

I brought my own gear so cannot comment directly on rentals. My girlfriend rented beginner equipment from a place called Twenner, and it seemed to be fine. I think there was a discount for online booking. Also, after I booked my accomidations I received a packet in the mail a few weeks later that included coupons for rental. I don't think it was anything more than the online discount, though.

The resort website was good for finding out pretty much everything I needed, although the English translation is quite poor. I think you'll do better if you can read French (I can't).
post #10 of 22
Driving from Paris, La Clusaz is a logical choice. I think you'll prefer it to Stubai, as well. Stubai is the first place I skied in Europe, so I have a certain affection for it, but to be honest it's pretty limited. La Clusaz has more variety in its slopes; you will be staying closer to the slopes, which is both more convenient and gives a different atmosphere; and the ski area is a lot larger than Stubai. You will find plenty of long, medium-difficult runs. I don't think I could ski more than a day or two at Stubai, but La Clusaz is fine for a week. There is also more for the non-skiers to do, as the village is quite nice.

I'm not sure that I would do a day trip from La Clusaz to Chamonix, though. It is about a two hour drive if I remember, and about half of that on quite a trecherous road. It was hard enough in dry conditions in daylight. I would have found it very difficult either in a storm or after dark, or worse both. Driving back from Chamonix after a hard day's skiing in a storm would be a nightmare. It's also a lot of driving in a day when you can walk to the slopes in La Clusaz.

If you want to ski Chamonix, I would recommend staying there for a couple nights either before or after you go to La Clusaz. We stayed one village down from Chamonix in Les Houches in a hotel called St. Antoine. It was €55 per night over New Years for a huge double room with a large balcony. The restaurant was poor, but other than that it was perfect apart from not actually being in the center of Chamonix. I don't think you can find anything comparable for the price in Chamonix itself.
post #11 of 22
Thread Starter 
Great shots!!

Seems like the place I'm looking for!

"...I think you'll do better if you can read French (I can't)...."

Unfortunately can't too! 
post #12 of 22
Thread Starter 
" Driving from Paris, La Clusaz is a logical choice."

- Yes, less 600Km to drive to.

"Stubai is the first place I skied in Europe, so I have a certain affection for it..."

- The same, our first skied place in Europe. And, I do need to say that we loved the whole experience. The ski, the Neustift village, the fantastic hospitality of Fernau Hotel, etc..

"You will find plenty of long, medium-difficult runs. I don't think I could ski more than a day or two at Stubai, but La Clusaz is fine for a week.

- State-of-art!!!!

There is also more for the non-skiers to do, as the village is quite nice.

- This is very good for the parents who'll does not ski.

I'm not sure that I would do a day trip from La Clusaz to Chamonix, though. It is about a two hour drive if I remember, and about half of that on quite a trecherous road. It was hard enough in dry conditions in daylight. I would have found it very difficult either in a storm or after dark, or worse both. Driving back from Chamonix after a hard day's skiing in a storm would be a nightmare.

- I can agree more

If you want to ski Chamonix, I would recommend staying there for a couple nights either before or after you go to La Clusaz. We stayed one village down from Chamonix in Les Houches in a hotel called St. Antoine. It was €55 per night over New Years for a huge double room with a large balcony. The restaurant was poor, but other than that it was perfect apart from not actually being in the center of Chamonix. I don't think you can find anything comparable for the price in Chamonix itself.

I'll- check it out

THANKS AGAIN for all information!!!

Edited by edlam - 9/24/09 at 9:36am
post #13 of 22
Thread Starter 
Don't call us crazy!

But in our researching we found another place that looks like a very good option too.
Les Arcs/paradiski.

Big! And we found reasonable prices for hotels, lifts and rentals.  
So we became divided !!
It's so hard to chose for a ski trip !!!

Regards,
Eduardo
post #14 of 22
I have not been to Les Arcs, and you should wait to hear from somebody who has. I suspect the skiing is quite a but more extensive than in La Clusaz, but I also suspect the village is much less charming. I suppose it depends a bit on what sort of skiing your looking for and what sort of overall experience you want. I would worry somewhat about what the non-skiers will do in Les Arcs, while in La Clusaz that is not a problem.

But again, wait for somebody with personal experience with the place to comment.
post #15 of 22
Thread Starter 
Yes, we'll wait for comments
Thanks!
post #16 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by ami in berlin View PostAvoriez is architecturally ugly as sin.

I've always loved the architecture of Avoriaz and how well it blends in with the mountains. :P



It's been 11 year since I've last been there but in my memories and according to my sisters who have recently been there it's great.

The skiable area is huge, there's like 10 snowparks and 650km of Piste in the Portes des Soleil.
Ski pas is cheap for what you get but the accommodation is on the expensive side.

The advantages of Avoriaz are that there are no cars, it's in the center of the Portes des Soleil Area, there is two snowparks on either side of the village and the superpipe. They also have "the Stash" which is a 100% natural snowpark with allot of objects hidden in the woods.


The nightlife is supposedly pretty darn good.

In addition, Portes des Soleil is suitable for nearly everyone, from beginner to advanced skiers from parkmonkey’s to slalom nuts, everybody has their place to ski.
The Terrain is really diverse.

Website:

www.avoriaz.com

Greetings,

Sly

post #17 of 22
Thread Starter 
Thanks Sly!!!

Portes des Soleil and Avoriaz are still in of our wish list.
However, for this time we begin to think that we'll chose for a Clusaz or Arcs. But as I said this is hard to chose and nothing is closed yet!!!

Regards
post #18 of 22
I lived in Bourg St. Maurice for a year and loved Les Arcs...between Espace Killy (Val & Tignes) and 3 Valless, so daytrips there are possible (and may be included on a 6 or 7 day ticket). 

The 1600, 1800 & 2000 are ugly purpose built villages, but offer easy access to the whole resort.  Some of the lower villages in Les Arcs & La Plagne (linked "Paradiski" area) are more traditional looking, but might be limited for non-skiers.  Depends when you go and what you like, but there may be a bit more for the non-skiers in Bourg, while 1800 may offer the best night life (although I never went there at night, so I am only guessing).  However, there are probably better places for both and I think that Cham is a slightly bigger town with daytrip possibilities to Geneva (but doesn't have easy access to a large linked area like Espace Killy, Paradiski, 3 Vallees or Port du Soleil).  . 

Other than the Valle Blanche in Chamonix, Les Arcs has one of the longest runs you will find going from the top at 3200 M down to Villaroger at 1200 M (weather/snow conditions permitting, but you can usually ski to at least 1400 M in a decent year). 
post #19 of 22
Thread Starter 
Hi MEfree30!

Our first choice was La Clusaz.
BTW, a friend family of 4  are thinking in come to Arcs 2000( Club Med) for a first ski trip and they think that a sort of package should be nice for the whole family. You know meal, hotels, rentals, etc. I agree that it could be a bit ease for them. So, we consider to meet them in Arcs and begin to search. We're found a very interesting (and affordable) hotel room in Arcs 1950, also good rental prices at Sport 2000 and Polaire Star at Bourg.

So many options...
Thanks !
Regards,
post #20 of 22

[URL="http://www.google.com"]click here to know more[/URL]

post #21 of 22
Thread Starter 
Sorry! I cannot understand the point!

Quote:
Originally Posted by sudheer View Post

[URL="http://www.google.com"]click here to know more[/URL]

post #22 of 22
Thread Starter 
Well, since this time Les Arcs, seems to be the perfect choice( few days ago was La Cluzas). We are now trying to figure out between to come by train or rent a car.

One point that ever annoy us is to pay for keep the car parked so many days(6), during the ski stay.

So, we are seaching for train fares Paris-Bourg St Maurice and funicular to get the mountain. This way we'll can rent the car at Annecy or Albertville, just after the ski days to drive around on the second half or our trip.

The question is: wen you put all $ together (taxi or van Paris airport-gare, train paris-Bourg, train or bus Bourg-Annecy - all that  4X ) you conclude that will cost almost the same of rent a car and keep it parked. And the car give us more comfort and compensation.

Hard choice...
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