Apres Ski in Val Cenis

Val Cenis is a quiet, pretty ski destination best for families and those who want to ski hard the next day. There’s virtually no après ski or nightlife besides several charming restaurants and a few bars scattered among three villages.

Compared to better-known French ski resorts there is virtually no après ski scene in Val Cenis so party animals seeking vibrant après ski and late nightlife should look elsewhere. Most restaurants are closed by 11 pm and there’s not a Michelin star yet to be seen anywhere in Val Cenis Vanoise. In Val Cenis, either the children stay up as late as the adults or their parents and children return to their apartment when their children go to bed, but hardly anyone stays out late. 

Lanslevillard has the most restaurants and bars including the best restaurant in Val Cenis Vanoise and by far the busiest pub. It’s the closest you’ll get in Val Cenis to anything with a semblance of nightlife, but that doesn’t amount to much. Several restaurants in Lanslebourg are open during the day and shut early. La Vanoise and La Ramasse (which is beautifully rustic) are effectively Salon du Thé. They also serve pizza and local dishes, but both close before 10 pm. 

Termignon is the quietest village in Val Cenis and Lanslebourg is somewhere in between.

Apres Ski Bars in Val Cenis

Howard’s Bar is the only real late-night bar in Lanslevillard that can pride itself on generally staying open past 10 pm regularly. Howards Bar has all the nuts and bolts of being a decent nightspot, it just needs the people. Tel: +33 6 69 39 28 95.

Bowling 1480 in Lanslevillard is for the younger generation, teenagers mostly. It might just work for you if you are older than 21, but be prepared to stand out. It stays open until 1 am. Tel: +33 4 79 05 21 87.

Bar Napoleon in Lanslebourg is the closest thing to a pub in Val Cenis. The bar is set back from Rue Mont Cenis, has a pool table, serves Guinness and stays open until 2 am; that’s if the clientele is willing, which is not often the case. Tel +33 4 79 05 90 47.

Restaurants in Val Cenis

Restaurants in Lanslevillard


L’Arcelle is a bright cheerful family restaurant with a bustling atmosphere. Good range of Savoyard dishes and the beef and duck spit grilled at your table is impressive. Children once again are warmly welcomed. Tel: +33 4 79 05 93 98. 

La Bergerie

La Bergerie is a delightfully rustic restaurant, but not too traditional. The wood has been scraped and a roaring stone open fire dominates the dining room, and there is a bar with a pool table attached. Extensive pizza menu, but also offers traditional French dishes. Tél: +33 4 79 20 64 05. 

Le Terroir Savoyard

Le Terroir Savoyard offers all the regular Savoyard specialities, as the name might suggest, with a fiercely regional wine list. Well-cooked food, and probably the only place in town where you can get prawns cooked in Vermouth. It closes early and often as early as 9 pm. Tel: +33 4 79 05 82 31.

La Terrasse

La Terrasse restaurant in Hotel Nanook offers a Savoyard menu. The restaurant inside can be a bit dark, but the food is not bad value and in good weather, you can eat on the terrace. Tel: +33 9 60 51 63 53.

La Cordée

La Cordée has a sun trap terrace, but the menu barely extends past crepes and pizzas. When it does, however, it does so with some success, serving up dishes such as carpaccio of beef as a starter and salmon with Morilles for a main course. Tel: +33 4 79 05 35 49.

Le Dahut

Le Dahut is out of character with much of the Val Cenis restaurant scene. A charming setting behind the main street of Lanslevillard, Le Dahut is beautifully rustic and wonderfully presented. The food is superb, too, so much so that you wonder what it is doing there. Tel: +33 4 79 05 98 20. 

L’Etoile des Neiges

L’Etoile des Neiges has a traditional Savoyarde menu and a roaring stone fireplace, which dominates this jolly restaurant in the eponymous hotel. The usual suspects are served up, with rustic gusto. A fairly cheap wine list, too. Tel: +33 4 79 05 90 41. 

Restaurants in Lanslebourg

Ta Ta’tine

Ta Ta’tine Is a cosy little restaurant with a small bar attached and a favourite in Lanslebourg. One of the most popular restaurants in town, it is child-friendly and offers an excellent regional menu. The ice cream is superb and alcoholic sugar cubes are an interesting digestif. Tel: +33 (0) 4 79 56 88 35.

Le Relais des Deux Col

Le Relais des Deux Col restaurant in the Hotel Relais du Col is a savvy operation and cooks good food. The tireless chef, Pierre Gagniere, cooks Savoyard specialities but is not afraid to experiment – how many times have you had cheese fondue in beer before? Tel: +33 4 79 05 92 83.

La Chouette

La Chouette is one of the first restaurants you come to on the way into Lanslebourg from Termignon. A cosy, popular restaurant, La Chouette offers a choice of 16 different pizzas as well as steaks, fondues and the usual Savoyard artery-clogging fare. Tel: +33 4 79 05 86 16.

L’Auberge Do Re

L’Auberge Do Re has one of the most extensive menus in Lanslebourg including foie gras, snails and frog’s legs as starters. They also have at least six salads for those who want to see something green on their plate. Good wine list and a decent selection of main courses. By Val Cenis standards this place is not cheap, but it is when compared to prices in almost any other ski resort. Tel: +33 4 79 05 90 30.

La Vieille Poste 

La Vieille Poste Hotel restaurant, next to the tourist office, has a large menu by Lanslebourg standards and you pay for it, too. Cote du Boeuf for two breaks the €50 barrier and the set menu includes other dishes higher up the pay scale. When the resort is busy, the bar stays open until 1 am serving cocktails and spirits, but how often is the resort busy? Tel: +33 4 79 05 93 47.

Restaurants in Termignon


L’Estanco is down the hill from the nursery slopes in Termignon and close enough to the slopes to reach on foot for lunch, but it comes into its own for dinner, when they sometimes have a band. It mainly offers Savoyard specialities and is good value although it is one of the more expensive restaurants in Terignon. Tel: +33 4 79 56 59 93.

Le Sabot de Vénus

Le Sabot de Vénus is an Italian restaurant, where you can eat well for under €30. Naturally, they also serve Savoyard specialities and sometimes have live music. The restaurant has been listed in the Routard des Guides since 2004. Tel: +33 4 79 20 51 76. 

Marine’s Bar

Marine’s Bar just off the main road in Termignon near the tourist office is a simple and cheery place that is open all year round. It serves French classics such as Boeuf Bourguignon, Moules Frites and Pot Au Feu. The restaurant also has internet access. Tel: +33 4 79 56 33 14.

Petite Ferme I

Petite Ferme I owners Raymond and Marie also own the lunchtime restaurant Petite Ferme II but use Ferme I as their evening site. The lunchtime and evening restaurants offer similar menus, which include a good range of crisp pizzas. Tel: +33 4 79 20 53 80. 

La Turra

La Turra restaurant in La Turra Hotel is open all year round. The restaurant is simple, as is the food, but the staff work hard to ensure a good meal using quality, local ingredients.

Villages in Val Cenis 

Val Cenis is made up of three rustic and pretty villages – Lanslevillard, Lanslebourg-Mont-Cenis and Termignon – each of which is built around a medieval church and situated on the road from Modane to Bonneval-sur-Arc.

Termignon at 1,300m is the first of the trio you come to in the Haut Maurienne valley, while Lanslebourg, which is 5km further down the valley, is slightly higher at 1,460m and is Val Cenis’s main ski station. Lanslevillard, the prettiest of the three, is 2.5km from Lanslebourg and at the same altitude. 

The Val Cenis Vanoise area was heavily involved in fighting during the Second World War as a consequence of which both Termignon and Lanslebourg have largely been rebuilt in the last 60-70 years. 

Lanslevillard, therefore, retains the most Alpine charm and is the cultural hub of the three villages. Lanslebourg has the best facilities, including a petrol station and the main tourist office. Families are better served in Termignon, as it is the quietest village in Val Cenis and the cheapest. 

Skiers renting self-catering apartments are well served in Lanslebourg and Lanslevillard, each of which has a reasonable-sized supermarket. They also both feature several bakers and artisan cheese shops. 

Val Cenis only caters for those who want to concentrate on their skiing so late-night revellers will need to look elsewhere. The villages are quiet and there is virtually no après ski at all apart from a few bars, and except for special occasions they close by 11 pm.

Other Activities in Val Cenis

Val Cenis and the Haut Maurienne Valley offer extensive snowsports opportunities including ski touring and heli-skiing. There are plenty of other activities, however, for non-skiers and for those who want to take a break from skiing.

Husky Adventure

In mid-January, the Haut Maurienne forms one of the major legs of the Grand Odysee, the 900km international dog sledding race, a contest worth coinciding with your trip. Due to the influence of this extreme endurance test, mushing is big business in the valley. Stéphane Caron, a professional musher, takes first-timers and shows them how. Once you’ve got the hang of the basics, you can move on to learn how to keep the sled balanced and under control with two or four dogs. There are 77 “powerful and devoted” dogs in the Husky Adventure pack. Prices start at around €100 per half day.

Husky Adventure
Tel +33 6 70 80 72 78 

Ice Climbing

Ice Climbing is an exhilarating pastime, and the Maurienne is an ideal starting point for beginners. The resort offers Ruisseling, which is essentially an opportunity to try crampons walking over iced rivers and streams. Once mastered, you can progress on to ice-climbing proper, scaling sculpted waterfalls throughout the valley. Contact the ESI ski school for more information:

ESI-Val Cenis Ski School
Tel: +33 6 43 49 87 97

Cross Country Skiing and Biathlon

There are extensive cross-country ski trails at Bessans, both classic and Nordic, but visitors are often inspired by the International Biathlon stadium in the village. Each week there are biathlon instructors on standby for skiers to try their hand at shooting an air rifle at 10m as well as improve their cross-country technique. Contact ESF ski school in Bessans for more information:

ESF Bessans
Tel: +33 4 79 05 80 05

Snowmaking and Mountain Safety

Every week, the resort invites people who want to discover what goes on behind the scenes of a ski resort. The presentation is done in two parts; the first stage shows off all the equipment needed for snowmaking. In the second part, experts talk about the importance of avoiding natural avalanches and how avalanches are caused in strategic places. It also instructs visitors on how to use ARVA transceiver equipment. Contact the Val Cenis tourist office for more information:

Val Cenis tourist office:
Tel: +33 4 79 05 23 66 

Cheese and Wine Tasting

If the kids need a day off, the Haute Maurienne Vanoise Dairy Cooperative offers visitors the chance to watch the various stages of the production of Beaufort Cheese, the prince of Gruyere. Located at the centre of Val Cenis Lanslebourg visits are free every morning although there is a small charge for guided tours. Adults visiting on their own can also request cheese and wine tastings in the maturing cellars. In Bessans you can also discover the traditional methods of curing and salting charcuterie during a free visit. Meet at the Fringale du Pontet shop, every Monday at 6 pm. Contact the Val Cenis or Bessan tourist offices for more information:

Val Cenis Tourist Office: 
Tel: + 33 4 79 05 23 66

Bessans Tourist Office: 
Tel: +33 4 79 05 96 52

Wildlife in Val Cenis

Nightfall is the perfect time to spot ibex. As the skiers head home, the last lift of the day offers a great chance to take to the peaks to enjoy the natural fauna with an experienced Vanoise National Park ranger and a guide. For the perfect end to a delightful evening, enjoy a warming aperitif drink in a slopeside restaurant before the torchlit descent back to the village!

Bonneval sur Arc Tourist Office:
Tel: +33 4 79 05 95 95

Fresco Art Workshops

Completed by Lombard and Piémontais artists, the wall paintings adorning religious edifices within the Haute Maurienne Vanoise region are resplendent. Armelle Filliol offers a workshop that follows in the footsteps of artists and painters of the 15th century St Sébastien chapel in Lanslevillard, which is officially listed amongst the great historic monuments of France. Next, it’s your turn to try your hand at the art form, with Armelle helping you to reproduce iconographies, working with sand, pigments and lime. Contact Armelle for more information: Armelle Filliol, Tel: +33 4 79 05 98 67

Val Cenis Tourist Information

For more information about activities in Val Cenis, contact the tourist office:

Val Cenis Tourist Office
Tel: + 33 4 79 05 23 66
Web: www.valcenis.com

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