Haute Savoie / France
Just 5km from glitzy Megève, the smaller, family-orientated resort of Val d’Arly is made of four villages - Praz-sur-Arly, Flumet, Nôtre-Dame-de-Bellecombe and Crest-Voland.
The villages, which are year-round farming communities, are very welcoming and family-orientated, and the fabulous views of Mont Blanc certainly come a lot cheaper than they do in the area’s more swanky neighbours.
The Michelin-starred restaurants are replaced by cosy traditional auberges serving good local specialities such as farcement and rissoles, and you’re not like to find a lively apres-ski scene - although the ice rink in Nôtre-Dame is open from 4-8pm and several bars offer live music. The accent is very much on family fun.
Between them, the four villages of Val d’Arly boast 120km of pistes (21 greens, 38 blues, 34 reds and four blacks), but the fun doesn’t stop there. They are connected to the Espace Diamant, which includes Les Saisies, and gives you a total of 192km of pistes, 81 ski lifts, 162 slopes, five snowparks and six boardercross courses.
Most of the slopes are concentrated around Crest-Voland and Notre-Dame, and are wide and tree-lined. There are a handful of blacks for the more experienced, as well as good off-piste and snow touring.
Don’t expect a sophisticated lift system - chairlifts are stationed in each village to take you up the slopes.
Come in March, and you’ll get to ski with eagles - in the annual Festival Aigles à Ski, the birds and their handlers put on falconry displays in the villages, so you can ski while these majestic birds soar above you.