Often skiers have to choose between staying in high-altitude resorts that offer guaranteed snow but little by way of atmosphere, or low-lying villages that might be prettier but offer more limited skiing.
However, ski specialist Erna Low has identified several low-lying resorts that offer all the charm of a traditional Alpine village while also providing swift and easy access to some world-class ski areas.
One such is Vaujany in the French Alps, which sits at only 1200 metres but gives direct lift access to the high-altitude resort of Alpe d’Huez, which provides an impressive 250 kms of skiing. When a link to neighbouring Deux Alpes opens in 2021, it will become part of France’s third largest ski area.
Vaujany also offers an impressive range of facilities for non-skiers including a big indoor pool, spa and ice rink.
Another French village that offers access to a vast ski area is Chatel, which plugs into the pistes of the Portes du Soleil on the French/Swiss border. Its two local ski areas are now linked by new fast lifts and there is also a new blue run down to the village.
In addition to Erna Low, it is featured by a handful of UK operators including Crystal Ski and Peak Retreats.
Samoens is not well-known in the UK market but it offers a more picturesque alternative to the purpose-built resort of Flaine for those who want to ski in France’s Grand Massif. Chocolate-box pretty, it is only eight minutes by gondola from 265 kms of skiing.
The resort is popping up in more and more brochures, including Crystal Ski, Peak Retreats and Erna Low.