Haute Savoie / France
Le Grand Bornand is the perfect mountain paradise for skiers, sports lovers, families and those just looking to get away from it all. Surrounded by authentic wooden chalets and mountain view, wherever you look there's a photograph waiting to be taken!
Already popular with the French in winter and summer, its location — less than an hour from Geneva airport — means that visitors from further afield are now discovering its many attractions.
Historically a traditional Savoyard farming village, Le Grand Bornand has grown to become a popular holiday destination in both winter and summer.
Indeed, the residents of this wonderfully picturesque town are very proud of the fact that, despite its growth, they are still outnumbered by their cows! Each week throughout the year you can visit the town’s traditional market, or buy local produce, including delicious cheese, direct from the farms. All the local villages, such as Le Chinaillon, are gorgeous, authentic French mountain villages that just happen to be in a fantastic ski area; no high-rise concrete hotels here!
With access to more than 220km of sunny pistes to suit all abilities, extensive off-piste areas and a snow record that is the envy of many larger resorts, you’re guaranteed an unforgettable winter holiday.
From December to April, the Aravis mountains are perfectly positioned close to Mont Blanc to benefit from great snowfall. Combine that with high altitude (2100m) and hundreds of snow cannons, and you'll discover why the French love this resort so much.
You’ll find the slopes much quieter here too. The area is a popular weekend destination for residents of the nearby city of Annecy but, especially during weekdays and outside the French peak weeks of New Year and February half term, the slopes are quiet, and there are rarely any queues.
The resort is home to an ESF ski school, which has plenty of English-speaking instructors who pride themselves on encouraging skiers and snowboarders from the age of three. Little ones are particularly well catered for in Le Grand Bornand, with their own protected ski area.
Prices in Le Grand Bornand (lift pass, ski hire, eating out, shopping etc) are also lower than the more well-known resorts, which means your money will go a lot further here than elsewhere.
Whether you choose accommodation in Le Grand Bornand or the nearby Chinaillon area, where most of the ski runs start, you'll find your perfect ski chalet — with even the most traditional Savoyard chalets fully equipped for your stay — with the OVO Network.
Combining the slopes of Le Grand Bornand village and Chinaillon, higher up the mountain, this ski area offers something for all abilities.
Novice skiers visiting Le Grand Bornand will easily find their ski legs on the snow-covered pastures which make up a large part of the ski area at Le Grand Bornand. More experienced skiers can head for the steeper slopes of Mont Lachat, with its ungroomed freeride area.
The Grand-Bo snow park, which is rated the best in France, will suit all ages and abilities, and cross-country skiers will find their winter playground in the Bouchet valley, where 60km of tracks link Le Grand Bornand to La Clusaz.
The Le Grand Bornand and La Clusaz ski areas (which are covered by a single Aravis ski pass) provide 220km of skiing and 95 lifts.There's a huge variety of slopes suitable for all levels and extensive off-piste in the area's legendary powder.
There's night skiing too, every Tuesday, on the pistes of Cyclamens and l’Abondance in Chinaillon. Take a look at the Le Grand Bornand piste map to find out more.
Le Grand Bornand has been awarded the prestigious Famille Plus status for the quality of its childcare and activities, and you’ll soon discover why families love it here in winter.
Children are welcome throughout the resort, and nurseries for children aged up to five years old are available near the slopes. On the pistes, there are protected areas set aside for toddlers to enjoy their first lessons safely. Add to this the fact that the transfer time from Geneva airport is under one hour, and the TGV station in Annecy is just 30 minutes away, and it’s much easier travelling to this ski area than many of the better known resorts.
Le Grand Bornand offers superb childcare and an extensive summer activity programme, making it a perfect choice for a family holiday.
With forest trails, pony rides, a fabulous outdoor swimming complex with kids pools and a water slide, plus tennis courts, a golf course, organised children’s clubs, a creche and much more, there’s plenty to make sure they never get bored! If you visit in August, don't miss Au Bonheur des Mômes — the largest children's festival in Europe, with some fabulous shows, activities and events.
If skiing isn’t your thing, or if you fancy a change, there are plenty of other winter activities to keep you busy in Le Grand Bornand.
The village is a superb destination for non-skiers, with a great choice of activities. Choose from ice-skating, sledging, snow-shoe walking, horse-drawn sleigh rides, dog-sledging, hot air ballooning, a cinema and even tandem paragliding if you're game. There really is something for everyone. Alternatively take a trip to the beautiful medieval town of Annecy, just a 30-minute drive away.
Le Grand Bornand is a perfect location for those who love activity, adventure and the great outdoors!
Cycling here is a real treat with some of the world’s best known climbs offering road bikers a real challenge, while mountain bikers can enjoy an exhilarating experience in stunning scenery. If that sounds like hard work, there’s a wide variety of bike trails suitable for all ages and abilities. Take a picnic for a family day out. Those not afraid of heights can try the high ropes or paragliding and people with reduced mobility can fly tandem. Add to this hiking, climbing, horse riding, volleyball, swimming, archery, hot air ballooning, tennis and Segway tours and you’ll be spoilt for choice.
The villages around Le Grand Bornand offer even more activities, including via ferrata, Bun-J Ride bungee jump, canyoning and more.
In between all the activities and fun of Le Grand Bornand, don’t miss the chance to relax and rejuvenate in some of the world’s most beautiful surroundings.
If you fancy a more leisurely pace during your holiday, why not play a game of golf, go fishing, join a guided mountain walk, try horse riding or test your pétanque skills. Le Grand Bornand’s outdoor swimming complex has a choice of pools, along with plenty of grassy areas so you can soak up some sun between swims.
Alternatively, just kick back and relax with a massage or enjoy a day at a mountain spa. Many of OVO Network’s luxury chalets have their own spa and Jacuzzi, so you may not even need to go out. Just relax on your balcony with a glass of wine and enjoy the views as the sun sinks behind the mountains. If you're lucky, you might even see shooting stars!
The Alps are beautifully unspoilt and a dream to explore. Boasting some of the most stunning scenery in the world, along with diverse flora and fauna, you can really make the most of your holiday here.
The alpine air is well known for being clean and pure, and the weather, although warmest in summer, is usually still quite warm in spring and autumn too. Take a gentle hike surrounded by the mountains of the Aravis or take the chair lift to higher ground to discover not only superb views but also a wide range of flora and fauna. With wildlife such as deer, mountain goats, marmots, golden eagles, and grouse to name just a few, keep your eyes peeled and don’t forget your camera!
You can also take a guided hike into the mountains, visit a farm and let the farmer show you how to make delicious cheese — then taste it!
There are plenty of lovely restaurants for you to try during your stay in Le Grand Bornand. From take away pizza to refined dining, there’s something for all tastes and budgets.
Both in the main town and in the higher up village of Chinaillon you will find an excellent choice of restaurants and friendly bars. Try La Ferme de Lormay for a wonderfully traditional setting and freshly made food or La Boheme for great pizzas: booking is recommended. Up the mountain Terres Rouges offers incredible views and good food, while Le Chalet du Maroly is a popular stop when skiing in the Maroly valley.
For fine dining head to Confins des Sens which offers fabulous dishes and good service, while for takeaway pizza try Le Coin Gourmand. Alternatively, how about a barbecue on your chalet’s terrace, or you can even arrange for a private chef to come and cook for you in your chalet. On the edge of town, you’ll also find a small nightclub, and there is a good choice of bars for an après-ski drink or two!
Le Grand Bornand has some lovely shops selling everything from the latest ski gear to traditional ‘saucisson’, plus a wonderful weekly market that is a delight to explore.
Each Wednesday in the centre of Le Grand Bornand you can explore the local market, where stalls are piled high with local crafts and delicacies, fresh produce and more. The town also has a good choice of shops where you can buy everything from skis and base layers to sweatshirts and dresses! You’ll also find a fantastic pottery where you can watch them create beautiful bowls, jugs and more, plus shops selling toys, jewellery and souvenirs. For general groceries you’ll find three small supermarkets in the main village, another one in Chinaillon, plus a large supermarket on the road to Thônes.
Few ski resorts are as close to such a fabulous city as Annecy. Just over 30 minutes’ away from Le Grand Bornand, you can explore Annecy’s beautiful old town with its boutique shops and restaurants, or head to the beaches where you can try your hand at watersports such as water skiing, paddle boarding, diving and more. Hire a bike and cycle around the lake, or just relax and discover this wonderful area.
Get inspired with some of our top tips of what to do and see in the Alps. Check out our what's on guide.
Skiing in Le Grand Bornand offers plenty of choice for all abilities, while in the summer it’s easy for walkers and mountain bikers to get out and explore with several of the ski lifts open and clearly marked trails down the mountains. Take a look at the area’s ski piste map or summer trail map to start planning your trip.
And don't forget to check the weather forecast for the upcoming week, as well as our page of Le Grand Bornand webcams before and during your stay so you can pack accordingly and enjoy every day of your holiday.
Le Grand Bornand is a marvellous holiday spot in the French Alps, and OVO Network has the ideal self-catered accommodation for holiday makers. From luxury chalets in the centre of town to family-friendly chalets nestled among trees, you're sure to find the perfect chalet rental for your next holiday in France. Take a look at our chalets in Le Grand Bornand now.
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