Flaine is located in Haute-Savoie, just a short distance from Geneva rendering it ideal for both a week and a short break getaway. The resort sits right on top of one of France’s largest ski areas, the Grande Massif, so there are beautiful panoramic views as far as the eye can see. Flaine is a pedestrianised resort and has a vibrant atmosphere, great for families and groups looking to enjoy everything Flaine has to offer. With the charming main square being spacious and full of pavement cafes and bars, it’s a lovely place after a day’s skiing on some of those superb slopes. Flaine was built in the 70’s with little thought of architecture and tradition, but more for convenience, so initially it was quite ugly, just full of grey concrete.These buildings do still exist offering ski in ski out options but Intrawest have helped develop and expand the area, with more of an eye on detail and tradition, so it has become a significantly more aesthetically pleasing resort, with ski convenience par excellence!
The resort is made up of two main areas, Flaine Forum and Flaine Foret; Flaine Forum being the livelier of the two. All the areas are linked by bus, which runs throughout the day, with Foret and Forum connected by a funicular system which runs 24 hours a day. Hameau de Flaine is the third and newer area which the more picturesque, traditional alpine part of Flaine, offering a concoction of attractive chalet style buildings and is the area you can find the odd catered chalet option.
Being the gateway to Le Grande Massif, which includes Samoens, Les Carroz and Morillon there is no end to the amount of perfectly groomed slopes for you to enjoy on a ski holiday in Flaine. The area boasts one of the best snow records in the French Alps, mainly as most of the slopes are North facing, which generally leads it to having some of the best conditions throughout the season, leading to great Christmas conditions and end of season snow, unique to Flaine which also revels in its own microclimate.
The ski area has some brilliant runs that have some stunning views of the surrounding area – including views of the Mont-Blanc region.The resort also has some very varied terrain which is perfect for mixed ability groups, ranging from some nice wide beginner runs around Flaine Foret through to the challenging Diamont Noir for the more advanced piste enthusiast.
The lift systems in Flaine are also impressive – with 144 slopes all linked together by 103 fast modern lifts you’ll not be disappointed! These lifts are great, because it means that even in the busiest of times, you won’t always have to wait in the typical February half-term queues that can plague many other resorts. So much fun too skiing over to pretty Samoens and back, with Flaine offering the best and most convenient ski base in the Grand Massif area, with Samoens undoubtedly the prettiest base.
As regards apres ski then Flaine isn’t top of the charts when it comes to buzzing nightlife. It’s a resort which is dominated by family and first-time skiers or boarders and while Flaine Forum and Flaine Forêt offer a few bars, it’s not party-central. So saying that are a number of popular bars and restaurants but groups of singles wanting more action when the lifts close would be better off in resorts such Morzine, Megeve, Meribel or Chamonix. Of the bars that are there then Diamond Noir, La Pente a Joules, 1967 (with its family friendly happy hour}, Le Lapiaz Sports bar, the White Pub and La Cascade, with its ice bar, would be our favourites.
FLAINE RESORT FACTS
Top elevation 2500m
Resort elevation 1600m
Lifts in area 103
Pistes 267 kms (Grande Massif)