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.
Skiing and boarding are the main activities that bring guests to chalets in Les Carroz in the winter, and in the summer, hiking, biking and climbing are the most popular attractions. But when you stay at an OVO Network property, there is so much more to see and do.
Here are some of our favourite things to do in Les Carroz - you’ll find the details below:
This Alpine adventure is a great day out for families with older children - it combines hiking and climbing on a trail cut into the rock face. You’ll wear a helmet and be clipped to the trail at all times to ensure your safety, but you’ll still need a head for heights! There are several packages near Les Carroz, suited to various ages and abilities, so check the website to find one that is suitable for your group.
Get a totally different perspective on the mountains from a paraglider! Various packages are available, with special rates for groups, and even children as young as seven can enjoy a tandem flight. If you love it, you can book a three-day course leading to a solo flight. It’s a good idea to book early in your holiday so that there is time to reschedule in the event of bad weather.
Winter or summer, a trip on the Speed Dragoz is always a winner. It takes just six minutes to get down the hill on this Alpine coaster at the foot of the Kedeuze gondola, which is open to children as young as four (accompanied by an adult). There are some tight turns, steep banks and forest runs to add to the fun, but if you’re riding tandem, one of you can use a VR headset which will transport you into the land of Dragoz monsters, or a Wild West bank robbery - make sure you recover the stolen loot!
Children (and adults) looking for adventure will find it canyoning - scrambling, climbing, jumping and swimming down mountain streams, rivers and waterfalls. You’ll be accompanied by a mountain guide, who will ensure your safety at all times. This thrilling experience is open to children over the age of 10, as long as they can swim and are not afraid of a 4m jump.
Whether you’re a keen golfer or a beginner, you’ll love the beauty and the challenge of a mountain course. You’ll enjoy incredible panoramic views of the Mont-Blanc massif and the Aravis range when you play the 18-hole course at Golf Flaine - Les Carroz, which is open from June to September. One of the highest courses in Europe, it sits between 1833m and 1953m, with the best views of Mont Blanc after the 14th hole.
There’s plenty of choice for MTB enthusiasts in Les Carroz, with five fantastic trails to challenge all ages and abilities. Lifts open from the end of June to the beginning of September. There’s also a lot of fun to be had at the bike park, where seven exhilarating trails are well supervised by a patrol crew, to ensure safety. Get there via the Kedeuze gondola.
Meet the dogs, learn the skills of a musher or just enjoy the ride and the fabulous scenery on this thrilling day out for all the family. If you’d rather take things at a slower pace, try cani-rando - a forest walk where each guest is harnessed to their own dog. This activity is particularly designed for children, who will get to know their dog, feed it and clean up after it.
You don’t have to stop cycling just because of a bit of snow! Electrically-assisted fat bikes are equipped with snow tyres and extra wide wheels so that you can enjoy a ride along forest trails and snow fields as well as a bit of a workout. Enjoy a ride with a guide, or combine it with an evening fondue in a teepee.
Round off a day’s skiing or hiking at the Aquacime mountain spa - soak amongst the bubbles, waterfalls or massage jets in the indoor or outdoor pool before heading for the sauna or spa. If you’ve still got energy to burn, there’s also a gym, cardio and weight-training room. Access to the sauna and spa is restricted to those over 16, but kids will love the leisure pool, with waterslides and splash pads.
Swing through the trees at this adventure park in the Arve valley. There’s a range of courses for differing ages and abilities, so no-one needs to feel left out. And when you’re done, there are tennis courts, beach volleyball, a swimming pool, basketball courts and a skatepark nearby, to keep you busy all day.
Le Refuge (97 route du Serveray, 74300 Les Carroz, tel +33 4 50 90 15 63) One of the most popular restaurants in Les Carroz, it’s worth booking well in advance if you want to be sure of your table here. Local dishes are what they do best - the pork cheeks and the tartiflette come highly recommended - and prices are very reasonable. The children’s menu could include burger or chicken nuggets with fries, or a mini tartiflette, followed by ice cream. Vegetarians and vegans should check with the restaurant before booking, as options are limited.
L’Anfionne (Sur la Piste Timalet, 74300 Les Carroz, tel: +33 6 81 18 32 77) This mountain restaurant on the red Timalet piste can be reached by the Plein Soleil chairlift, making it a great lunch stop for skiers and walkers. Enjoy fabulous views from the terrace on sunny days, and the warmth of the fire inside when it’s colder. The menu is limited, and the accent is on local dishes, but what they do they do well. It’s a good opportunity to try traditional home-cooked dishes that are no longer found on many menus, such as Caïon (a pork stew) and Pormontaise (a smoked pork and vegetable sausage). Portions are generous, but try to leave room for one of their delicious desserts.
Aux Petits Oignons (10 Chemin du Club, 74300 Les Carroz, tel: +33 4 50 90 36 93) The accent at this village restaurant is more on classic French cuisine, beautifully presented, than the usual local dishes, although both are available and well-cooked. You may pay a little more here, but the prices are justified by the use of good ingredients and generous portions.
L’Igloo (les Esserts, 74440 Morillon, tel +33 4 50 90 14 31) It’s worth hiking, biking or skiing to this popular mountain restaurant on the Marvel piste - you can always reward yourself with a hearty cheese fondue! Alternatively, you could just take the Bergin chairlift … As well as local dishes, you’ll find pasta, salads, meat dishes and much more. On a sunny day, the terrace is the perfect excuse for an ice cream or a cold beer.
Restaurant Les Servages (841 route des Servages, 74300 Les Carroz, tel: +33 4 50 90 01 62) This Michelin-recommmended restaurant sits at the foot of the slopes in Les Carroz. The chef’s passion for cooking shows in the way quality local ingredients are used to produce classical French dishes with a contemporary twist. Small plates could include a board of local sausage, sardines in olive oil or a glass of gazpacho, and starters such as foie gras with rhubarb and apple, are about €18. Expect to pay around €45 for a main course, with Aberdeen Angus beef, fillet of veal and various fish dishes featuring on the menu. Perhaps one to keep for a special occasion.
Le Yeti (247 route des Moulins Les Carroz, tel: +33 4 50 53 50 23) If you’re just looking for a snack before heading out for the day, or want a quick lunch, either to eat in or take away, this friendly cafe is a good choice. Huge burgers and salads are popular, as is the great value three-course menu of the day for €15. Service is friendly and the place is impeccably clean.
For a small resort, there’s a fairly good selection of shops in Les Carroz. Pick up some delicious local produce such as cheese, wine and charcuterie at the Grenier Savoyard or Saveurs des Alpages, and do your daily shopping at Carrefour Montagne or Casino. Bread, cakes, and pastries are available at Les Campanules bakery, where you can also pick up a ready-made sandwich.
The village also has a hair salon, a newsagent/tabac, a bank and a pharmacy. For a greater choice of shops, head for Samoens.
The nearest international airports to Les Carroz and Les Carroz d'apaches are Geneva, Chambery and Lyon. For transfers try Skiset Transfert (06 61 40 24 00) or Go Massif.
Taxis - click here for a list of taxi and transfer services.
Once you’re in Les Carroz, a free shuttle bus operates during the ski season between the resort and Chamonix - click here for the timetables and destination information.