La Clusaz Ski Resort
The picturesque, traditional village of La Clusaz is one of Haute Savoie’s best-kept secrets. It has lost none of its deeply rooted French charm despite being only about an hour away from Geneva, and its underrated ski area is large enough and high enough for most skiers for most of the season.
La Clusaz lies in a valley beneath the jagged peaks of the Aravis mountain range. 132km of groomed trails stretch out over five inter-connected ski areas which La Clusaz shares with the even smaller resort of Manigod. Keen skiers, however, should buy an Aravis ski pass which also includes Le Grand-Bornand (and the tiny resort of St Jean-de-Sixt) which boosts the amounts of runs to 220km, which is not huge but is not small either, and should satisfy most visitors for a week. There is no lift linking Le Grand Bornand to La Clusaz but they are only 6kms apart, and frequent shuttle buses make it an easy journey.
La Clusaz itself is attractive and has the look and feel of an authentic French mountain village, complete with its own weekly market. The centre is traffic-free, and whilst not all the buildings are as old as the church, most have been built in a sympathetic style. Accommodation is reasonably priced. At weekends and peak holiday times the village gets quite lively (and the slopes can sometimes get a little crowded too) but midweek it’s quiet and friendly, and there’s a good choice of bars and restaurants to suit most budgets and tastes.
The skiing includes tree-lined runs and open bowls. It’s mostly aimed at intermediates and beginners but there are some challenges for experts and interesting off-piste and freeriding terrain, much of which can be reached with very little climbing. The resort is situated at 1100m (Le Grand Bornand and St Jean de Sixte are even lower) and a lot of the skiing is below 2000m, so La Clusaz is not 100% snowsure. But its snow record is better than its altitude suggests. Most of its slopes face North or North West and lie on top of grassy meadows which require less snow cover than rockier terrain. And the top lifts at La Balme reach 2470m which is comparable to the highest lifts in nearby modern, purpose-built resorts like Flaine and Avoriaz, which have none of the charm of La Clusaz.
- Accommodation in and around La Clusaz. Hotels, Chalet Holidays, Self-Catering Apartments, Tour Operators… Read more >>>
- How to get to La Clusaz. Nearest Airports and Railway Stations, Airport Transfers… Read more >>>
- Ski Schools & Guides in La Clusaz. Ski & Snowboard Schools, Mountain Guides, Private Instructors…Read more >>>
- Discounted Ski & Snowboard Rental in La Clusaz:
- SKISET has two shops in La Clusaz and more in the surrounding villages. It gives large discounts if you book online via this link.
- ALPINRESORTS.com also works with shops in La Clusaz and nearby. It can secure big discounts if you book online here.
La Clusaz Pros & Cons
+ Pretty village in a pretty setting.
+ Just big enough for a week’s skiing.
+ Easy to get to / good for ski weekends.
+ Good variety of slopes if off-piste is included.
+ Rural, relaxed and friendly.
– Not really snowsure.
– Not enough steep pistes.
– Weekend queues on the roads, in restaurants and for ski lifts.