Photo credit: © LaRosiere 1850
La Rosière and its satellite hamlet Les Eucherts were purpose-built in an attractive chalet style high up the mountain at 1850m. Almost all the accommodation is within a few minutes walk of the lifts and pistes, and there is a free ski bus service as well. La Rosière's snow record is one of the best in France, but it faces South, so expect sunshine and glorious views, but also some slush if temperatures rise.
La Rosière, however, is just one part of the Espace San Bernardo: unless winter storms close the connecting lifts, you can ski over the Col du Petit St Bernard and onto La Thuile in Italy on predominantly North facing slopes. (It can be very cold and windy at the top so take an extra layer.) The area’s highpoint is Mt Valaisan where a new sector was opened in 2018, with lifts ascending to 2800m. In total there are about 90 pistes and 40 lifts, and between 150km and 200km of runs depending on how you measure them. This makes the San Bernardo domain just big enough for most skiers for a week, especially if they are prepared to spend some of their holiday doing other activities like ice skating, sledging, snowshoeing, kite skiing or simply spending time soaking up the sunshine in the bars and restaurants. Strong, keen piste skiers will find the ski area a bit small, though. Villaroger, part of Les Arcs, is just across the valley and only a 25 minute drive or taxi journey away, but there are no regular bus services or lift pass sharing arrangements.
For beginners, La Rosière is an excellent resort: there are free lifts in the main village and at Les Eucherts, with lots of nearby blue runs to progress onto. Intermediates effectively have the whole of the Espace San Bernardo to play on, provided they can master the narrow and slightly tricky red Bosquetin run from Fort de la Redoute followed by the long Bellecombe 1 drag lift (snowboarders take note) because that is the only pisted route through to La Thuile. The blue run back is easy but boring. Whilst there are some black runs most are not that steep and all of them can be navigated around.
Good skiers who want a challenge should head over to La Thuile: Piste 3 /”Franco Berthod” is a World Cup Downhill run that reaches 73% (about 37 degrees) in places, and pistes 2, 5 and 25 are also interesting. Closer to La Rosiere, the Ecureuil (black) followed by Ecudets (black) and Fontaine Froide (red) pistes form a lovely, if not particularly steep, continuous descent through the trees with a 1000m vertical, but it’s South West facing and ends at the very bottom of the ski area at 1190m, so it can be closed or in bad condition.
A better option for advanced skiers is heading off-piste. It takes only one lift from La Rosière to reach the Zittieux Freeride area which is avalanche controlled. It is South-facing however, so it needs to be skied quickly after a fresh dump of snow. There are runs in all directions from Mt Valaisan; the North-face hosts Freeride competitions and is easily accessed – look for the Piste Hors sign off the 2800m piste – but only a guide can tell you whether it’s safe to ski or not. Guides can also show the off-piste runs from Fort de la Redoute, Mont Belvedere and below the resort to the old Montvalezan villages. Ski Touring is also encouraged, and La Rosiere is one of the few ski resorts in France with heliskiing (you have to be dropped off in Italy). Boarders and freestylers have three snowparks to choose from,
At night the resort is not particularly lively when the slopes close – it’s too small and family-oriented for that – but there are enough restaurants and bars to have fun. For a bit of variety, you can also eat out inside an iglu on the lower slopes or at a mid-mountain restaurant reached via a ride on a piste-basher. The main apres-ski activity though is just relaxing with a drink in a bar or on a private balcony, admiring the sunset and scenery.
Accommodation in La Rosière and les Eucherts
La Rosière and Les Eucherts are quite small. You can walk between them in about 15 minutes, and it's a pleasant stroll through the woods on a well lit path. Of the two, Les Eucherts is smaller, quieter and has a higher percentage of ski-in, ski-out accommodation but La Rosière has more bars, restaurants and shops.
You can stay in hotels, B&Bs, chalets or apartments. Some of the apartments are now classified as ApartHotels because they have hotel-like level of services and comfort. For instance, the CGH-managed 4-star Lodge Hemera in La Rosiere and Les Cimes Blanches in les Eucherts not only have swimming pools, jacuzzies, saunas, spas, wellness centres, gyms and a cozy reception area with an open fire, pool table and a kids corner, but also can arrange for fresh bread and croissants to be delivered to your door every morning and your fridge to be stocked with food ready for your arrival. The Chalet des Marmottons near the top of La Rosière has similar levels of service: it lacks the pool and wellness centre but has the largest apartments.
Ski and Board hire in La Rosiere and Les Eucherts
There are plenty of ski and board rental slopes. Most are congregated in the centre of la Rosiere, or close to its main lift area, or in Les Eucherts. SKISET has outlets in both La Rosiere and Les Eucherts and gives discounts if you book online here. ALPINRESORTS.com also works with several shops in the resort and also gives discounts if you book here. Sport 2000 near the centre of La Rosiere is also recommended.
Ski Schools, Instructors and Mountain Guides
The main ski schools are Evolution 2 (tel +33 4 79 40 19 80) and the Ecole du Ski Francaise (tel + 33 4 79 06 81 26 but there are also private instructors and mountain guides. To compare prices, see classes and lesson times and check availability, you can use CheckYeti.
Getting to La Rosière and Les Eucherts
Flying / Nearest airports
- Chambéry airport (135km away; about 1 hour 45 mins drive).
- Lyon Saint Saint-Exupéry airport (210km away; about 2 hours 30 mins drive).
- Geneva international airport (215km away; about 3 hours drive)
Getting to La Rosière from the Airport
You can hire a car but you’re unlikely to use your vehicle in the resort so the most convenient way is by private transfer –GVA Transfers do private transfers from Geneva Airport. Public bus is cheaper but takes much longer and is less flexible. Altibus has a handful of direct services between La Rosiere and the airports at weekends (mostly on Saturday) but there are more buses from the airports to Bourg St Maurice. You can then complete the 20km journey to la Rosière or Les Eucherts by local bus on the T12 line (between 50 and 90 minutes) or by taxi (about 30 mins). For further details see the Altbus and MobiSavoie/Savoie Express websites.
Getting to La Rosière by Train
Bourg St Maurice station is just 30 minutes by taxi or 50 minutes by bus from La Rosière and has SNCF, TGV, Thalys and Eurostar services.
Getting to La Rosière by Coach
SnowExpress has services from London and Folkestone to La Rosier leaving on Friday night and getting in on Saturday.
Driving to La Rosière
La Rosière is about 10 hours drive from Calais. Take the motorway to Albertville, then dual carriageway to Moutiers then the A-road (N 90) to Bourg Saint Maurice. The final drive up to La Rosière is on the D 1090. If you are travelling from Italy remember the Petit Saint Bernard pass is closed in winter.
La Rosière Pros & Cons
+ Attractive, quiet resort
+ Ski area big enough for most family holidaymakers
+ Excellent child-friendly beginners' resort
+ High, snowy and sunny
+ Very few lift queues
+ Lovely views in the resort and on the mountain.
- Snow deteriorates on South-facing runs
- Ski area not big enough for keen piste skiers
- Drag lifts will annoy boarders, especially Bellecombe 1
- No lift pass sharing with nearby French resorts.