Photo credit: Valmorel Tourism Office
Family friendly Valmorel is a small and welcoming ski resort in the heart of the Tarentaise region. Built in 1976 this purpose built ski resort is no concrete eyesore. French charm is at its core and, fortunately for those in the know, is often overlooked by tourists heading for the bigger ski resorts.
In the summer, walkers will be spoiled for choice, with challenging piste hikes as well as fairly flat waterfall walks, perfect for those with young children.
We’ve put our heads together and found our top 10 recommendations for things to see and do in winter and summer in Valmorel…
Hit the slopes
Photo credit: Valmorel Tourism Office
The family-friendly ski resort of Valmorel in the Tarentaise is a great choice for winter sports enthusiasts of all ages and abilities. It’s the main resort in the Grande Domaine ski area, and there are plenty of blue and green slopes for beginner and intermediate skiers, six areas for novices and several snow parks. Off-piste skiers are well catered for too, and we recommend that you should hire a guide and head for the Massif de la Lauzière. Valmorel has 165 km of pistes, 50 lifts and reaches an altitude of 2,550m. Get your lift pass ahead of time to avoid a long wait at the lift pass office here.
Learn the ropes
The Magic Adventure high ropes park is a great summer day out, and it’s open every day from the end of June to the beginning of September. With several courses graded by difficulty, 31 ziplines and a 30m pendulum jump, there are thrills for all ages, although younger visitors might be better sticking to the 8m children’s course. The park is open to anyone aged six and over, and tickets cost 8€ for children up to the age of 12, 16€ those over 12 and €24 for adults (prices accurate Oct 2018).
This short walk in La Lechere is perfect for those with young families – one path is passable with a pushchair while the other is a little more challenging for youngsters. The path follows the river, and there are several small man-made waterfalls before you get to the impressive 80m cascade.
Whether you are visiting in summer or winter, after a few days exploring the great outdoors, it’s always a treat to check in for a bit of pampering and relaxation. There are two choices in Valmorel itself – O des Cîmes and Valmoforme. A little bit further away in La Léchère is the La Léchère Thermal Spa, where you can go to enjoy the thermal waters for anything from half a day to a five-day cure.
Visit a medieval city
When you step through the Porte de Savoie into medieval Conflans, in Albertville, you’ll feel like you are stepping back in time. Within the 14th century walls, narrow streets and alleyways are clustered around a central courtyard with stunning views of the Combe de Savoie valley, Albertville and the Chartreuse mountains. Photographers will also love the quaint streets and the unique shop signs. The city, which is on the Roman road from Milan to Vienna, is just a 40-minute drive from Valmorel.
On your bike
In summer, one of the most popular activities in the Alps is cycling, whether it’s mountain biking, racing or relaxing family bike rides. The Valmorel area offers a variety of routes, from exhilarating mountain downhills to cross-country trails and flat riverside rides. The tourist office will be able to suggest a wide range of routes, or you can check them out in advance on their website.
The mountains are a magnet for walkers, and there is no end to the variety of routes to explore. Choose from a strenuous mountain hike, a valley stroll, a meditative guided walk or Nordic walking with yoga – there really is something for everyone. Many of the walks are also available to snowshoers in the winter – walking with a guide is a great way to see the mountains.
Sit back and enjoy the a dog sled ride, driven by a qualified musher or, if you’re feeling more adventurous, learn to drive the dogs yourself (adults only). All the equipment you need is provided, and all trips include a chance to get to know the huskies. If you’d rather stay on your own two feet, try cani-hiking – walking pulled by a dog! It’s a great family day out, for those with children aged seven and over.
Discover the beauty of the mountains with a donkey by your side! There are various excursions for adults and children – a magical day out for all ages. Explore the Aigueblanche valleys or conquer Crève-Tête while your four-legged friend carries your lunch. Children aged five to 12 can learn how to handle the donkeys, care for them and lead them, while those with younger children can get to know the donkeys on the farm.
You don’t need any experience of climbing to conquer the mountains when you try via ferrata – a sort of vertical hike around cliff faces on wire trails – it’s all totally safe as you’re attached to the rocks by a wire harness – even children can do it!
Whatever your interests are there’s something for everyone in Valmorel. Our first property in Valmorel, Chalet Pajules, is now open for bookings. Get in early to avoid disappointment!