Haute Savoie / France
Manigod is a very special mountain secret. This traditional farming village enjoys the stunning scenery of the Manigod valley. Its beautiful chalets and proximity to the popular ski resort of La Clusaz have made it increasingly sought after by visitors. Come and discover this mountain secret for yourself!
Originally called ‘Maningot’, the village of Manigod dates back to the start of the 11th century when it was ruled by a wealthy family from the Tarentaise.
Hidden in the Aravis mountains, Manigod played an important part in the Second World War. On 9 March 1943, the committee for the Resistance was created here, headed up by P Bozon-Laydier. Today, farming is the main livelihood for many Manigodins, with the valley famed for producing Reblochon, Mont Charvin and various Tomme cheeses that you can buy directly from the farmers.
With a family-friendly ski area, links to La Clusaz, stunning scenery and excellent ski schools, Manigod is an Alpine secret waiting to be discovered.
The ESF ski school at Manigod offers ski lessons for all levels, with children benefiting from safe, enclosed areas while they find their ski legs. Once they’re ready, there’s a choice of wonderful blue runs across the slopes of La Croix Fry and Merdassier to help build confidence and skills. For more experienced skiers, there are some challenging red runs, off-piste skiing and all the slopes of La Clusaz to explore. Take a Manigod and La Clusaz ski pass to access 130km of ski runs, while a full Aravis pass gives you 220km to enjoy in both La Clusaz and the neighbouring ski resort of Le Grand Bornand. For cross-country skiers, there is exceptional skiing at the Plateau de Beauregard, with incredible views of Mont Blanc.
Manigod also offers one of the largest night skiing areas in France. With floodlit slopes, you can experience the tranquility of skiing under the stars!
The combined areas of La Croix Fry and Merdassier include a snow park, a kids' fun area, dedicated toboggan fields and nursery ski slopes for complete beginners, Manigod has something for all ski abilities.
Driving up the mountain from Manigod village brings you first to the ski area at La Croix Fry. Here, you will find an ESF ski school, together with the start of the Plateau de Beauregard cross-country skiing. This side of the mountain offers some enjoyable blue and red runs, and you’ll see the Manigod ski club testing their speed on the red Vrailles run! Ski down Girolles or Bolets on the other side of the mountain and you’re in Merdassier with some more challenging reds including Edelweiss and the black Joubarbes. From either Merdassier or La Croix Fry, you can easily link into the La Clusaz ski area, opening up 130km of ski runs! For novice skiers, there is a fantastic circuit down to La Clusaz, and with stunning views of the Aravis mountain chain, the Manigod ski area is one that everyone can enjoy. You can also enjoy incredible night skiing here, stopping in at one of the restaurants for a warm drink or dinner between runs.
Manigod is a fantastic winter destination for families, with interesting ski areas, quiet slopes, great ski schools and, of course, beautiful chalets.
The Manigod ski areas of La Croix Fry and Merdassier are perfect for children, with English-speaking ski schools and a wide choice of beginner slopes. The tourist office also organises various activities such as paret (the traditional Manigod sledge) racing, which is great fun to watch or even try! Many of OVO Network’s chalets in the Manigod valley also have some excellent facilities for children — playrooms, games, DVDs, and more at our Cool for Kids chalets!
Enjoy a real taste of Alpine life in Manigod, with a relaxed pace of life, plenty of family time and getting back to nature.
Explore the valley on foot with a range of marked footpaths, picnic areas and plenty of opportunities to see the wildlife and enjoy the stunning views for which this valley is famed. In the summer you’ll find a market in the village centre, plus the area is perfect for road biking and mountain biking. Outdoor public swimming pools and tennis courts are available at the top of the mountain (Merdassier) or in nearby Thônes, and with La Clusaz just a short drive away, it’s easy to keep children entertained.
If you want a break from skiing or snowboarding, then there’s a choice of other winter activities to keep you busy.
The paret is the traditional sledge of Manigod and it’s a great sport to try. Watch one of the paret competitions to get inspired and then give it a go! Alternatively there are traditional sledging runs at both la Croix Fry and Merdassier, or try snow-shoeing. Head to the nearby resort of La Clusaz for a swim in the outdoor pool or ice-skating, or take a day trip to the historic city of Annecy, just 25 minutes from Manigod.
Manigod offers wonderful peace and quiet, but not far away you can enjoy a wide variety of sports and activities throughout the summer.
Set on the road of the famed Col de la Croix Fry — a climb that has challenged Tour de France riders — it’s no wonder that cycling is so popular in Manigod. From road biking to mountain biking, there are plenty of routes to choose from. Alternatively, put on your walking shoes and explore by foot. With an extensive range of footpaths to explore the Manigod valley and beyond, you can choose the distance that suits you.
For a less active holiday, visit a farm to try the local cheeses such as Reblochon, take a pottery class or find out more about the history of the Resistance and it significance during the World War II. There are also tennis courts and outdoor swimming pools at Merdassier and Thônes, plus via ferrata, tandem paragliding, and more.
With fresh Alpine air and stunning scenery all around you, it’s hard not to sit back and relax in Manigod.
This really is a very special location and part of its beauty is that it is still undiscovered by so many. Book into one of the spas in the valley for a beauty treatment or massage, or take a walk to explore the valley. Alternatively, simply relax with a book or a glass of wine in your chalet and take in the views from your balcony.
Completely unspoilt, Manigod offers a wonderful insight into the natural sights and sounds of the French Alps — all from the comfort of a hand-picked OVO Network chalet.
The scenery of the Manigod valley is truly breathtaking, with mountain peaks all around you, including the majestic Tournette which drops down to Lake Annecy on the other side. With beautiful, traditional wooden chalets dotted all around, you’ll find no high rise buildings here and the only sounds you’ll hear are cow bells and birds singing! A choice of walks lets you discover the wild flowers and fruits that grow on the slopes, and you can see the famed eagle — the symbol of Manigod — soaring overhead.
Manigod may be small but it still has a choice of restaurants for all tastes and budgets.
Right on the slopes at la Croix Fry, try FonFon, which serves delicious meals and snacks, while over the mountain at Merdassier, try Le Happy Chalet, set on the piste and offering a good choice of dishes and a warm welcome. Also at la Croix Fry, try Les Sapins for quality food and wonderful views over the Manigod valley, plus the acclaimed Christophe Pessey’s accordion nights. In the centre of Manigod village, you’ll find the Auberge de Sulens — a real local restaurant serving tasty food. For a special occasion, try Chez Marie-Ange, which offers top-end dining in a spectacular setting on the road up to the ski area, or try La Maison des Bois, the restaurant of acclaimed French chef Marc Veyrat, who is originally from Manigod.
One of the most enticing aspects of staying in Manigod villages is the rare opportunity top visit the farms to buy cheese directly from the farmer, along with butter and eggs. With a boulangerie, post office, craft shop, hairdresser and choice of pottery workshops, Manigod village offers a little retail therapy, but you’re just a short drive from Thônes and La Clusaz for plenty more!
For general supplies, the closest supermarket is in Thônes, about a 10 minute drive away, where you will also find a good range of stores selling items such as shoes, clothing, homewares, jewellery, perfumes and more.
As well as being a charming village with great skiing, Manigod is also just 25 minutes from the historic city of Annecy. Set on a lake with the same name, Annecy is stunningly beautiful with ancient houses lining narrow streets and waterways. Explore the boutique shops, try some of the renowned restaurants, and in summer, head to the beaches to relax or try watersports such as water skiing and paddle boarding.
The Manigod ski area takes in La Croix Fry and Merdassier — both of which link into the vast La Clusaz ski resort, so there is plenty of choice for snow sports in the winter and hiking and mountain biking in the summer. Take a look at our Manigod piste map page to familiarise yourself with the pistes ahead of your stay and for some great tips about the ski area.
For a better idea of current snow conditions, check the webcam page, which contains the latest images from Manigod village and ski resort. And don't forget to check the weather forecast before your stay so you can pack everything you need to enjoy your days on the slopes in comfort.
Get inspired with some of our top tips of what to do and see in the Alps… check out our what's on guide
With so many family activities on offer in this beautiful area of the French Alps, why not book a chalet and experience Manigod first hand.
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