Massif des Aravis Ski Chalets and Apartments for Sale
Le Grand Bornand €1,250,000House for sale in Thônes - very spacious detached property, 6 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms
La Clusaz €215,000Building plot with valid planning permission
La Clusaz Ski Resort
La Clusaz produces champions. It lives and breathes snow sport and also hosts world cup races - and yet it still remains relatively unknown with the British public and very popular with the French.
La Clusaz comes from the word “cluse”, a narrow pass between two mountains. Old parchments call it “Clusa Locus Dei”, God’s Narrow Place, which became La Clusa Lieu Dieu, used until May 1772. This name was given by the Abbots of Talloires on whom La Clusaz depended. La Clusaz was a particularly poor village. The climate of the area only allowed the cultivation of barley and rye for bread, oats for the animals, linen and hemp for clothes and potatoes for domestic food. The two main occupations were agriculture, including the making of reblochon, and forestry..... and then came tourism.
The first skiers arrived in 1907. In 1926 the first sport's club in the resort was created. In 1928, villagers built the ice-rink and in 1935, the first ski lift came in to operation. La Clusaz celebrated 100 years of snow sports in 2007 – it now has 2050 inhabitants and 20,000 tourist beds.
La Clusaz aims itself at the family market but don’t be fooled this is a active and young resort, it supports all types of winter sport including boarding, freestyle and pretty much anything goes here. They very much cater for the new style of skier and boarder who not only want to ride the mountain but do tricks and jumps as well – it’s all here.
La Clusaz – Manigod is part of the Massif des Aravis with 220kms of pistes – 132kms of which are La Clusaz. To enjoy the full area you will need to catch free navettes as you link between St Jean de Sixt to La Grande Bornand. The small amount of effort is worth it but there is plenty on offer in the La Clusaz area anyway.
Excellent snow record even on the lower slopes and in total 84 pistes. La Clusaz is considered to be the most important ski resort of the group .... but best not tell the other resorts that! They have all the typical resort activities here; ski flying, huski sledging, sledging, Snow shoeing, snowmobiles and the list goes on, something for everyone.
In resort you have a typical village atmosphere quiet and tranquil, but open the right door and you’ll hit nightclubs and dancing into the wee small hours. There is a swimming pool – midnight swimming is available I’ve heard! Nightclubs, cosy bars and a variety of restaurants. Whilst La Clusaz aims itself at the family market it is also aiming at the quality market – those who want a little more luxury in their skiing may like it here.
Massif des Aravis Ski Area
In the Haute-Savoie, between Annecy and the Mont Blanc Massif is the beautiful Massif des Aravis. Tucked away here you’ll find a less well known ski area named after the mountain range. It is very beautiful, interesting and traditional.
It brings together the 4 ski resorts of La Clusaz, Le Grand-Bornand, Manigod et Saint-Jean de Sixt which offer Alpine skiing (downhill)and Nordique skiing alongside a whole host of other activities. There are 220kms of piste across the 4 resorts, 2 snow-parks, 1 half pipe of 130m. There are also 150kms of nordic skiing including the Confins plateau, which is an official site for the World Cup. Plus 26 routes for racket walking (snow shoes). At Le Grand-Bornand you’ll find the GB snow-park which is classed among the five best in France. In addition there are 2 ice rinks and an aqua centre.
Each of the four resorts have charm and retain their traditions with original architecture and a village feel, these are after all villages turned ski resort and not purpose built. There is agriculture in the area which works alongside the ski resorts retaining a very authentic feel and they work hard to preserve the mountain nature of all the resorts.
This is also a hugely popular destination for summer. All four resorts aim themselves firmly at the family market and succeed very well with this, but over the last few years a new trend has developed aimed at the rich and famous who value privacy and peace above glamour and glitz on their ski holiday this is most noticeable at La Clusaz and Grand Bornard who are member of “Top of the French Alps” a group aiming for excellence.