All you need to know about ski holidays by train

Le Grand Bornand - introduction

Photo:
Maison d'Aravis
Photo:
Lake Annecy Resorts
Photo:
David Machet/ Lake Annecy Resorts

Le Grand Bornand, while still not a big name in world skiing, has become something of a cult destination among its devotees – and with good reason.

It's easy to reach, has a lot more skiing than first appears – especially combined with its near neighbour La Clusaz – and is one of the most beautiful villages in the Alps.

Famous for its distinctive historic chalets, many up to 300 years old, there's no better preserved Savoyard village. It works tirelessly to make sure that catering for the needs of skiers and boarders never detracts from its age-old charm and Alpine heritage.

This is a working village – it has a background of sustainable farming, and there are 65 farms in the immediate vicinity.

The skiing is accessed from the old village and also from the satellite village of Chinaillon, which itself has some lovely historic parts, 6km up the valley.

The choice is whether to stay at Le Grand Bornand or Chinaillon. The slopes are accessed from both – Chinaillon is more at the heart of the ski area, but we like the old village.

Highlights

  • A beautiful, unspoilt and historic village
  • More skiing than you might expect, and you can buy a pass that covers nearby La Clusaz
  • Few Alpine villages are easier to reach
  • A lovely cosy atmosphere, with lots of good bars and restaurants
  • Excellent beginner slopes – and a few good blacks too, so not a bad choice for mixed ability groups
  • Has won awards for childcare facilities – and for being one of the greenest resorts

Lowlights

  • Nightlife is on the restrained side
  • It's a popular choice for day-out skiers from Geneva and Annecy, so runs can get busy at weekends
  • Not the highest of resorts (but it has a decent snow record despite that)
  • Hot-shot skiers may find themselves short of real challenges

LASK Araris piste map

Ski area
Village Altitude
1000
m
Ski Altitude
1000m - 2100
m
Pistes
222
km
Green Runs
39
Blue Runs
60
Red Runs
47
Black Runs
11
Total Runs 157
Terrain Park
4
Cabin Lifts
8
Chair Lifts
34
Drag Lifts
60
Total Lifts 102