Haute-Savoie / France
This pretty Alpine village is a great favourite with French skiers, who appreciate the quick access to all the skiing of the Grand Massif, without the concrete architecture of its more well-known neighbour Flaine. And at less than an hour from Geneva airport, it’s a great choice for quick breaks.
You won’t find all the nightlife of a larger resort, but there are plenty of good restaurants and bars, as well as a couple of nightclubs which stay open later. But here, the accent is on families, and with Famille Plus status, there’s always something going on to keep the children entertained.
There’s an interesting selection of shops too, including delis and a couple of small supermarkets, and in a village once noted for its clockmakers, you can still see them being made and buy one to take home.
As you’d expect in the mountains, the village is on a slope, so it can be a bit of a hike up to the lift in the mornings, but a free shuttle bus covers most areas of the village, and there is plenty of parking at the lift.
With its excellent skiing for intermediates, pretty tree-lined slopes, great childcare and ski kindergarten, and fast access to the Grand Massif, Les Carroz is a bit of an inside secret for French skiers.
You’ll have a choice of two passes - the Four Villages gives you access to Les Carroz, Morillon, Samoens and Sixt (128km), but if you’re looking for a bit more to explore, opt for the Grand Massif, which covers Flaine too (265km).
It’s a bit of a climb from the village to the gondola, but there’s parking there if you’d prefer to drive, and a free shuttle bus which picks up around the village.
Novices are well catered for, and experts will find plenty of opportunity to test their skills - there are some tough blacks, including mogul fields, and some great powder skiing. If you’re heading off-piste, consider hiring a guide - the rocky terrain has some hidden crevasses.
It’s worth exploring some of the beautiful villages covered by the Massif pass - there are some lovely intermediate runs down to Morillon, and more experienced skiers will enjoy the reds and blacks to Samoens. Experts can reach the superb skiing in Sixt via the Gers bowl, but you’ll have to catch the shuttle bus into Morillon or Samoens to get the lift back.
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