Les Contamines Montjoie is a traditional alpine skiing resort located near Chamonix in the foothills of Mont Blanc. The resort is very friendly and has been able to retain its provincial charm whilst offering fabulous skiing areas coupled with good facilities on and off the mountain.
Our likes/dislikes: Apart from the fact that the resort has a great deal of character, probably its biggest plus is the breadth of skiing that it offers catering equally well for beginners and more experienced skiers.
Although there is a disco and some lively restaurants this resort does not major on “after-ski”. And non-skiers are not well catered for. But as a family resort it is idyllic!
Les Contamines factfile:
- Resort height: 1164 – 2500m
- Access: Near Chamonix, by car follow the D902 south of St Gervais. Coach transfer from St Gervais rail station.
- Downhill runs: 8 Green, 12 blue, 17 red, 11 black runs.
- Size of domaine: 120km of piste, the linked Evasion Mont Blanc area provides 450km of pistes!
- Snow cannon: 120 snow cannons.
- Lifts: 24 ski lifts including 3 cable cars from valley.
- Lift Pass: around €180* per 6 days for adults and €141 for children (note that children are 13 and under). Best purchased from the bureau in the village to avoid queues.
- Website: http://www.lescontamines.com/ (French only) or http://www.lescontamines.net.
Where to stay: Accommodation is scattered along the valley floor with chalets and apartments accounting for the majority. You have a choice of staying close the the main telecabine or in the village centre, the former is more convenient to avoid a tough 30 minute walk in your ski boots! There is a “navette” shuttle bus which costs around €3* per day and large car parks at both the main telecabine stations. Be warned though – these fill up quickly in season! The downside of staying near the slopes is that you are away from the village atmosphere in the evenings.
Skiing Lessons: The usual range of ski schools can be found in Les Contamines. In peak season you are strongly advised to book ahead and to check that you will be with English speaking groups/instructors (many of the homes in the village are owned by the French so you tend to find there is not so much English spoken on the slopes here.
Baby Sitting/Kindergarten: Les Contamines prides itself on its childrens’ facilities. Children up to 5 years of age can enjoy free ski passes and there are several clubs provided for them including La Galipette (day nursery for 1 – 7 year olds) and the Piou-Piou Club (ski lessons from 2 years upwards).
Other Comments: The ski lifts use the “contactless” system so you keep your pass in your pocket…..so much more convenient! A returnable deposit of around €3* is required for each contactless pass. On the slopes there are even sheltered picnic areas for those that want to cater for themselves, thus avoiding the high prices charged in the mountain huts.
Ski Equipment: There are plenty of ski hire shops scattered throughout the village and whilst they are not particularly cheap (about €80* per week for adult intermediate skiers), they offer an excellent range of good quality equipment.
Food Choice: There are several good quality patisseries and butchers in the village as well as a few small supermarkets which will provide all the necessities for a family self catering holiday (even the obligatory Christmas tree can be bought there!). There are larger hypermarkets in St Gervais and Sallanches (~30 minutes drive). Don’t make that journey in the evening as you will get caught in traffic and will have to make the return journey in the dark which can be very dangerous in inclement weather.
In the peak season there are regular street markets in the village where you can buy fresh produce as well as cheeses and meats.
The restaurants in the village tend to be family run affairs offering reasonably priced traditional cuisine. You are advised to book ahead in season. Nearby Megeve offers more exclusive restaurants.
* please note that all prices are subject to change, so check the providers’ website for latest information
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