Worldwide Ski ResortsFranceLes Contamines

Ski insurance for winter sports enthusiasts travelling to France

Overview

The resort village of Les Contamines is one of the best kept secrets in France. It is a simply lovely, quiet and unspoiled place, consisting of traditional, chalet style buildings and with an authentic French feel about it that includes a weekly market held in its attractive central square. It also enjoys an enviable location, almost within the shadow of Mont Blanc enabling skiers to make the most of not only the local slopes, but those of the neighbouring resorts including Megeve and Chamonix.

These are easily reached by a bus transfer that is included in the price of the regional lift pass. The village has plenty to offer in the way of shops and restaurants. Accommodation consists mainly of small, medium comfort hotels and a few catered chalets. It is not particularly plentiful, so book early to avoid disappointment.

Profile

The village stands at 1160m and provides access to 120km of local slopes that are served by a system of 26 lifts. The resort has a very good snow record and also has adequate snow making facilities covering the home slopes. Expert skiers and snowboarders have a wealth of off piste country to explore both locally and in the neighbouring resorts. There are also a number of quite testing black runs and some high mogul fields that will sort the men from the boys. Intermediates of all levels will find plenty to do all over the slopes and the more confident will also find that many of the local black runs are manageable. Beginners have a choice of nursery slopes and there are plenty of gentle runs on which to progress. Snowboarders have a small terrain park here and cross country skiers have 29 km of trails — some of which are regularly floodlit. There are a number of ski schools in the village and child care facilities are reportedly very good.

Mountain Information

Most of the pistes are found above the tree line and can be a little bleak and windswept at times. The views are magnificent however, and there are some delightful tree lined runs back to the village, particularly from Signal. Direct access to the slopes from the village is by gondola to either Signal or Etape. From here the slopes radiate out in all directions. Experts will find the best local runs are up at Veleray and Aiguille Croche. Intermediates can find some of the best runs on La Ruelle, although the less skilful may find that some of the blue runs are much steeper than they are used to. Some delightful mountain restaurants can be found on the local slopes with the Ferme de la Ruelle being particularly recommended for its food, atmosphere and welcome.

Apres Ski

Although the village has several good bars, the scene tends to be very quiet and closes early. Try the Saxo, the Ty Breiz and the Labyrinth Club. It is very much a family resort and regular events are organised by the local tourist board, including music and dancing accompanied by vin chaud around the village square. For the non skier, the village can offer skidoo rides, dog sledding, a climbing wall and an ice rink.

Resort Information • Les Contamines

Resort Height Resort Height 1160m
Top Station Top Station 2500m
Bottom Station Bottom Station 1160m
Vertical Descent Vertical Descent 2000m
Drag Lifts Drag Lifts 9
Chair Lifts Chair Lifts 8
High Capacity High Capacity 2
Opening Dates Opening Dates Dec - April
Rating Expert Rating Expert 8
Rating Intermediate Rating Intermediate 7
Rating Beginner Rating Beginner 8
Apres Ski Rating Apres Ski Rating 6
Snow Reliability Snow Reliability 7