Ski trip to Les Carroz (Grand Massif) in the French Alps

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Le Grand Massif, view from La Tête des Saix Le Grand Massif, view from La Tête des Saix (Phil P.)

Yeehaaa, the winter and skiing season are already approaching fast. Where to go this winter? You'll find me in Chandolin and in the Val d'Anniviers, in Switzerland, in 2018. Last year I went to the Grand Massif in the French Alps, more precisely in Les Carroz. There was less snow than other years from what I heard, but still had great moments on and off the slopes.

Les Carroz d'Arâche

Les Carroz is one of the five connected villages with Flaine, Morillon, Samoëns and Sixt-Fer-à-Cheval that constitute the 265 km slopes long Grand Massif ski resort. The access to the Carroz at 1200m altitude is very easy and just a short distance from the motorway. Last winter in 2017 was not very cold, the snow being scarce for early march at lower altitudes as you can see from the picture below. 

View on Les Carroz d'ArâcheView on Les Carroz d'Arâche from Les Timalets. There's very little snow in the village.

One great aspect in going to such resort is to benefit from a very large domain to ski on and that you'll always be able to find some snow. I managed to ski a large part of the Grand Massif even though the link with Flaine was closed for two days due to the strong winds. Overall I had better impressions and enjoyed more the slopes of the Massif (Les Carroz, Morillon and Samoëns) rather than Flaine and the long waiting lines at the Grandes-Platières lift. Opened since 2017, the new Tête de Saix lift is apparently a huge improvement to link the two sectors. As it was my first time here, I can't really judge but would still recommend you check the paper maps as I was given one from 2016 that stated two lifts that have been dismantled since then. Nothing very dramatic but annoying when you don't know. LOL.

Les Carroz d'Arâche in the Haute-Savoie - Ski slopes seen from the villageView on the slopes (Les Combes) from Les Carroz 

Grand Massif SnowstormSnowstorm at the Tête des Saix

Strong winds and snow at the Tête des Saix - Les CarrozBlizzard in the Grand Massif

Restaurants on the slopes

I'm not an advanced skier and enjoy taking my time. Wintersports have to be without stress and should be relaxing. There's nothing better to go for a nice lunch after having skied a few hours in the morning. Down in Les Carroz a few meters from the Kedeuze lift, I liked very much Le Tire Fesses, a small bar-café with a good atmosphere. However, Le K, at the Kedeuze arrival isn't worth a penny. You'll be standing there in the line for hours and the food isn't really good. My favourite place on the slopes in Les Carroz is L'Anfionne, a little restaurant right down under the Plein Soleil chair lift and right at the start of the Timalets red slope going to the village. Get the house salad (Salade de L'Anfionne) which was very nice.

View on the Valley from Les CombesValley view

Kedeuze gondolas in Les CarrozGondolas of the Kedeuze

Snow in Les CarrozFinally some snow in the village

In the village 

Les Carroz is a nice mountain village with shops and many places to go out, but I would have preferred seeing it with more snow. I had rain almost all week but one good snowfall made it up to take a few nice pictures. I stayed in Les Tavaillons down the village. You won't find many English-speaking tourists there but the lodging was spacious and next to a swimming pool and fitness center. Access to the village center is about 10 minutes walk but there's also a practical bus passing every 15 minutes taking you up to the Kedeuze lift. As for the restaurant, just avoid.

In the village itself there are much better places to eat. For a pizza, I had a preference for Il Piccolo over L'Agora for the thinner dough and fresher ingredients even if the place is less cosy. For a cheese raclette or fondue, try out Le Refuge 1100m. The place is small so don't forget to book a table in advance. 

My last recommendation is a 10-minute drive from Les Carroz, up on the road to Flaine right down the Molliets and Tête des Saix chair lifts. The Chalet des Molliets is a typical restaurant from the Savoie region. I discovered the reblochonnade, a delicious melted cheese plate you eat with baked potatoes. Give it a try if you like reblochon cheese!

Winter scene in Les Carroz villageWinter scene

MorillonGetting near Morillon

SamoensSamoëns is a few minutes down

Mont BlancThe Mont Blanc

Roof of Europe, the Mont Blanc seen from FlaineThe Roof of Europe

FlaineFlaine and its forward thinking architecture

BullfinchA bullfinch

Beaufort and reblochon piesBeaufort and reblochon pies 

Inside the chalet des MollietsInside the Chalet des Molliets

Baked potatoeBaked potatoe for the reblochonnade

As a conclusion

I love going to the mountains in the winter for skiing. It's never easy to find the ideal resort but the Grand Massif is a good place to go.  The slopes were great and the view over the Mont Blanc spectacular. I only missed a bit more snow in the village but will keep good memories from my stay there.

And yourself, do you know the Grand Massif? What are your plans for next winter? Don't hesitate to leave a little comment below and I hope you liked reading my first article in English on VosVacances. 

The Grand Massif in the French Alps has a lot to offer. I take you to Les Carroz d'Arâche, one of the five villages of this famous ski resort. #grandmassif #frenchalps #skiing #wintersports #alps #hautesavoie #skifranceIf you liked reading this article, please pin it on Pinterest or other social networks!

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The English version of Vos Vacances ("Your Holidays") is live since October 2017 and is a small spin-off of the french version. Hope you like the site and feel free to leave a comment on any of the posts if you enjoyed reading them. 

Ξ Phil