Posts Tagged ‘St-Martin de Belleville’


Skiing in France with Small Children

March 1, 2009


All week I’ve chit-chatted with other mums at school waiting to pick up the kids: And this being the first week after the February half-term, I suddenly have a straight-from-the-horse’s-mouth list of the best places in France to ski with small children.


Living 40 minutes from the slopes, everyone I know over the age of 3 skis – on Wednesday, at weekends, in winter school holidays, in their sleep. Not only that: this is the savvy crowd that knows how to do it without spending three hours getting kid kit on, without losing one glove en route, without lugging 20kg of grumbling kid for kilometers from car to cable: Trust me, put ski boots on kid and weight is doubled. 

  • Monday a girlfriend told me about La Norma. Great family resort was her verdict and her being a ski instructor I trust her implicitly.
  • Tuesday I enthused with a girlfriend over the virtues of St-Martin de Belleville, a pretty Alpine village with a quaint church and a cable link to Les 3 Vallées.
  • Wednesday: no school, no time for chit-chat, everyone was up the mountain doing you know what.
  • Thursday’s hot tip was Les Gets, too well known but certainly reasonably challenging skiing and a much-loved crèche for pre-ski tots.
  • Friday I learnt about Puy Saint Vincent, a pinprick resort on the fringe of the Ecrins National Park in the southern Alps where kids are chaperoned from crèche to slopes to crèche again while happy parents frolic the day away in fresh powder. (The recommendation came from a couple who only use twin tips. Need I say more).

And the weekend?

  • On Saturday we skied in Bernex, a discovery that particularly appealed to our fearless seven-year-old because of its helter-skelter trails spiraling through pine woods. I liked it for its gorgeous Lake Geneva views.
  • Sunday saw us yet again at Hirmentaz, an old family favourite so small it has just one café and the cheapest crêpes this side of Mont Blanc. Kids tumble out of car onto the slope, ski hire if needed is likewise snowball-throwing distance and the crèche doesn’t ask that you book in advance. Not surprisingly I’ve bumped into Parisian families on the slopes here more than once …