Tucked in a wide bowl-shaped area in the north of the French Alps, purpose-built Flaine lies in the Haute-Savoie region, and makes up a part of the huge Grand Massif one of the largest linked ski areas in France. The resort is divided between Flaine Forêt, at 1700m altitude, and Flaine Forum, at 1600m, which is the busier of the two.
The resort is modern, practical and convenient, with diverse accommodation and ski areas that are easy to get around and well signposted. Some visitors may criticize its heavily-concrete development, but the resort has historically embraced it and has even won architectural awards! The 1600-2500m altitude slopes see huge popularity during the ski season, which runs from December through to April. Many families return year after year, a testament to Flaine's accessible and sociable image.
Flaine is a fantastic base to expand your skiing horizons across the wider Grand Massif ski area, with access to 265km of pistes in the form of 133 carefully maintained runs. Due to its location in relation to the Mont Blanc Massif, Flaine receives consistently good snowfall and as a result has one of the best snow records in France. The ski area can be split between the higher bowl-shaped Flaine area and the lower wooded valleys which descend from the Tete des Saix into the other villages. Pistes within the Flaine bowl are mainly open, with some wooded leading back down to resort. Graduating from excellent nursery runs, which are served by free lifts, to remodelled green runs, beginners have the chance to learn at their own pace. Intermediates will flourish in the wide selection of cruising blue runs and more advanced skiers will enjoy the choice of fast, rolling reds. For the more experienced skiers there are a few challenging blacks towards the top of the bowl as well as some accessible off-piste routes below the Grandes Platières and Lindars Nord lifts.
The vast Grand Massif, connects the purpose-built resort of Flaine with the traditional villages of Samoens, Morillon Les Carroz and Sixt-Fer-à-Cheval, all of which are at a lower altitude and below the tree line. The skiing in and around these villages provides a nice contrast to the open bowl of Flaine as most of the runs weave through pretty pine forests towards villages of chocolate-box chalets below. The mostly-blue tree runs are on the Morillon and Les Carroz side but there are also some more open reds and blacks descending from the top of the Tete des Saix above Samoens. Somewhat detached from the main ski area lies Sixt Fer-à-Cheval, a charming village, which has a handful of pistes and is the end point to the famous Cascades blue run, which leads skiers along a scenic route descending 14m from Flaine. From Sixt you can hop on the free shuttle bus to Samoens and then take the Grand Massif lift back up the mountain. All in all, the Grand Massif provides a huge variety of terrain to suit all types of skier, which coupled with its impressive snow record makes for a winning combination.
Being primarily a family resort, Flaine offers a varied range of restaurants and cafés. It's easy to find classic, hearty and warming Savoyard meals alongside American-style burger huts and Italian restaurants with some offering pizza takeaway for those in chalets. A few restaurants will even pick diners up and them back to their hotel or chalet after their meal.
Naturally, Flaine and the Grand Massif also has plenty of mountain restaurants complete with savoyard favourites to help you recharge at lunchtime and steaming mugs of hot chocolate and vin chaud to warm chilly hands. Try one of our favourite spots, l'Igloo Restaurant, located at the top of the Bergin chairlift (above Morillon), which offers an affordable savoyard menu with interesting daily specials.
Flaine's nightlife is not as vibrant as some other ski destinations, however, the resort does offer several pubs and bars, which perk up in the evenings with live music, good value drinks and a hearty sing-a-long. Why not try the Flying Dutchman, a lively bar offering good value pub-style food and live music, perfect for an informal meal or après-ski session and conveniently located next door to Résidence Les Terrassses de Veret
If that's not enough to keep you busy, Flaine alone provides an ice-driving circuit, snowmobiling, and paragliding. When exploring the mountains, dog sledding, snowshoe walks and hiking are popular.
To relax off the slopes there's a cinema, an indoor swimming pool, a gym with a climbing wall, and a bowling alley. Unwind in the spa, or enjoy the few boutique shops besides the plenty of sports shops.
Bright open spaces, floor to ceiling French windows, and a spacious balcony with each apartment makes Madame Vacances' Résidence Les Terrasses de Veret a modern and comfortable choice. Located directly next to the ski lift, slopes, shops and restaurants, plus the ESF ski school, guests are close to everything needed for the perfect ski holiday.
All apartments come with a fully equipped kitchen, and nearby shops offer a range of local fresh produce to cook up a French mountain feast. Apartments also come with a balcony or terrace, airy living areas and double or single beds, and extra sofa beds. Within the residence, enjoy the only indoor pool of any self-catered accommodation in Flaine, a hot tub, and a cosy lounge reception with a roaring fireplace and free WiFi.
The Flaine ski season generally runs from December through to April, with lifts running from 9:00 until 16:30-17:30, depending on the period and weather.
The Grand Massif area is linked by fast lifts, which have recently had hefty development to minimise queues. Adult, Child and Senior options are available to book with Madame Vacances for any duration to suit your stay and don't forget that you get a 5% discount if you book in advance with us. The lifts accessing the designated beginner areas are free and under 5s and over 75s can also access the entire ski area for free.
There are three ski schools in Flaine, and 11 independent ski instructors. Lessons are widely available for children from the age of 3, to adult teaching, and vary in level, from complete beginner to advanced top-ups. In Flaine, there are two designated beginner areas that are serviced by free lifts, meaning there is no need for a pass until you're ready to move up the mountain.
Families are welcomed with open arms in Flaine, and the facilities and services suited are second to none. When adults are on the slopes, children are well catered for with ski schools teaching lessons from the age of three upwards, and kids' clubs and the Les P'Tits Loups nursery offering activities for all youngsters. Once they've made their first moves on the snow, children under five ski for free! Once the ski schools finish up, children still have plenty to choose from, with ice skating, bowling and swimming on hand to entertain.
The Flaine resort is a car-free area, and free shuttle buses run throughout the day between the villages. There are, however, free and paid car parks at the entrance to each resort. Madame Vacances Résidence Les Terrasses de Veret provides indoor parking at 49 Eu per week.
When parking outside, it's useful to park facing downhill, with the wheels turned into the kerb to act as a brake. Remember where you parked, and be prepared to dig your car out after a snowfall!
The closest airport to the Flaine resort is Geneva (74km), with a transfer time of 1 hour 30 mins. Other airports nearby are Grenoble (199km) and Lyons (207km). Driving distances from Calais is 882km, and usually takes around 8 hours.