Are you a non-skier? Tired of your friends and family going on ski holidays and you being left behind because skiing isn’t really your thing?
Why not join them and explore the magic of our beautiful ski resorts off the slopes, then still enjoy quality time with them afterwards?
The villages of La Clusaz and Le Grand Bornand are agricultural villages originally, inhabited by generations of farming families; whereas the village of Samoëns was established historically as a stone masonry town.
Since the popularity of skiing has taken off in the last 50 years or so, the villages have become an excellent place to spend a holiday, explore the ski slopes and enjoy the traditions and sights of the villages themselves in a winter wonderland.
The huge weekly village markets are fantastic events – crammed full of local produce and Savoyard regional specialities – saucisson, cheese, bread, fruit and veg, mountain decor and handicrafts – as well as the characters selling them.
The French Alps are also a haven in winter for photographers, with picture postcard scenery and views all around. Simply take a cable car, enjoy a vin chaud or hot chocolate up the mountain, take some snaps and take the cable car back down. No skis required!
As well as the ambience of the villages, there are lots of activities that you can partake in if you are not skiing, including snowshoe walking through the mountains, cross-country skiing, ice-skating, exploring by horsedrawn carriage, dog-sledding, swimming or pampering yourself in well being centres offering saunas, hammams, massage etc. If you are really brave you can also paraglide off the tops of the snowy peaks!
The beautiful medieval town of Annecy and the more cosmopolitain city of Geneva are very close to several resorts too – meaning that non-skiing guests can jump on a bus and go into the cities for a day of shopping, sight seeing, eating in wonderful restaurants and taking a stroll around the stunning lakeside with a backdrop of snowy mountains.
What about the après-ski? Come evening time you can rejoin your friends and family, enjoy a delicious 3 course meal with wine whilst swapping stories of your day, relax next to a roaring fire in the lounge bar, or perhaps head out to one of the local bars.
Many of the resorts also devise an entire programme of events and activities for visitors, giving you the opportunity to try many fun things you wouldn’t normally get to do in any other season; a great way to round off your winter holiday in the snow!
Highlights of activities for non-skiers in our resorts
Heated outdoor swimming pool with breathtaking views of the Aravis chain of mountains;
Sledging – individual or in groups, including at night;
Quad biking / snowmobiles;
Ice driving circuit;
Ice garden (for kids);
Ski joering – unique to La Clusaz try this magical activity of skiing whilst being pulled by a horse!;
Monday morning local market;
Cinema and Casino;
Free ski-bus to Le Grand Bornand and other villages / resorts in the local area;
Annecy only 30 minutes bus ride away.
Le Grand Bornand
Wednesday morning local market;
Maison de Patrimoine – fully recreated traditional farmhouse giving an insight into traditional farm life of the region;
Free ski-bus to Chinaillon with its Sunday market, La Clusaz and other villages / resorts in the local area;
Annecy only 30 minutes away by bus.
Sledging and tobogganing;
Relax by the lakeside;
Beautiful Alpine botanical garden;
Wednesday morning local market.
Swimming at the indoor heated pool;
Relax in the termal baths or at spa / wellness centre.
Frozen waterfall trails;
Tuesday morning local market.
Relax in a thermal spa or at a wellness centre;
Wednesday morning local market.
If you are interested in a short ski break, whether as a skier or non-skier, please check out the various options on our website, or contact us for further information. We can provide details on all aspects of your holiday, and are happy to discuss your requirements and offer suggestions.