In a small valley, nestled between the French Alps, lies the little town of Valliore. We booked our family New Year’s holiday here. Soon after we had booked our stay, we read it was “The best kept secret…” And sure enough, we may have to agree.
This resort town is located in the Rhône-Alpes region in south-eastern France and about a 3 hour drive from Milan or 2 hours from Geneva. We skied over the New Year’s holiday and, apart from the ticket line, the slopes did not feel crowded. Valloire-Galibier Resort has over 150 kilometers of slopes with 33 lifts, which helped make for shorter lines.
A family of 5 can make for an expensive ski holiday, but this resort has very reasonable prices, including a family pass. An adult all day pass runs 50 USD (38.5 Euros), with options for a reduced child rate. For what the resort has to offer the prices can’t be beat.
Think of the smell of baguettes and crepes on the slopes….It really exists in here. A bakery literally sits on the bottom of the slopes and pumps out irresistible smells of deliciousness.
For the past 35 years, this town has had a snow sculpture contest. Really, how amazing is the giant Santa sculpture? You can see some pretty amazing sculptures carved out of snow here.
Much of the lodging provides direct slope access. My advice is to book ahead. We waited until the week before New Years to book, and the town was 95 percent booked. We lucked out and found a Resort lodge only 5 minutes from the slopes, but if had been proactive with booking we would have been able to ski home.
The views from the peak are really breathtaking. There are many cross-country and snow-shoeing trails scattered throughout the resort.
Avalanche control is an issue and signs are posted throughout the resort. Daily controlled avalanche blasts can be heard but are done in order to reduce the risk of avalanches. Just be careful and pay attention to their ski boundaries.
The town was just as quaint as you would imagine a little French village. The streets are lined with pâtisserie and restaurants. There is a giant ice skating rink and plenty of shops. We have heard this town is enjoyed year-round, but if you are looking for a reasonably priced ski holiday in a beautiful town, add Valliore to your list.