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The area has everything, except club-charged nightlife!

We decided to buy the chalet because, as passionate skiers, paragliders and mountain bikers we wanted a base to offer year-round options. We have certainly found this!

Skiing and Snowboarding

wg10The three ski areas of Areches Beaufort, Les Saisies and Les Contamines offer a great range of very affordable skiing for everyone in your group and over a week make for varied days out. Areches is steeper, North facing terrain, Les Saisies more open and sunnier and Les Contamines offers a bit of everything being the largest of the 3 areas. The area is renowned for the fabulous ski touring to be enjoyed and boasts an impressive snow record, some 40% more snow on average than Val D'Isere!

For groups with members of mixed ski abilities these 3 areas offer everything - and they are very affordable compared to the big ski areas. Areches Beaufort is only around €25 per day, and for learners it has an excellent area available at only €10 per day.

Ski touring in the Beaufortain is fantastic - superb, accessible terrain (both from the lifts and from roadside) with some truly excellent backcountry refuges. We have done many day tours and several multi-day trips and think the terrain and conditions (and also the low number of other users) make for some of the best touring in the Alps. Just check out the Refuge du Presset to get a taste of what the region offers.

Check out the Oxbow Back to Powder trailer below (held in Areches Beaufort each year):

Snow Shoeing

If walking is your thing, then try snow shoeing through the forests and on the mountains in winter - it's great fun and also a nice way to have a day off from skiing. Snow shoes can be rented from all the ski shops for very little (around €12-15 per day) and there are plenty of nice spots to explore.

Mark Tennant at Simply Savoie runs guided snowshoe weekends in the Beaufortain as well as many other guided activities. Check out his website:

Mountain Biking - Destination X

mountains_bikesDownhill and XC mountain biking is fantastic here and the area is recongnised as the latest downhill mecca. The chalet couldnt be better situated as the summer uplift bus stops just 100m away and many of the trails end not far from the chalet door! The ski lifts at Areches-Beafort open 2 days a week during the summer season to allow access to their superb freeride course. Click here for more info. The Beaufortain has many miles of quiet roads, forest roads and steep trails many of which are marked as mountain bike trails with grades. Bikes can be hired at Gaspard Sports in Areches. The chalet has a large garage so can safely accommodate all your bike gear.


Check out this Youtube Vid to give you a taste of the trails:



pg2The chalet stands in the valley bottom and if a few trees were trimmed you'd be able to see the main valley launch at the Signal de Bisanne, almost 4000 feet above. This take-off is accessible summer (by vehicle) and winter (by chairlift) and offers great morning flying. The garden is big enough to land in when there is no valley breeze but the main landing site is just a couple of km up the road towards Beaufort. We have flown here extensively (Jake having flown a 120km triangle here in 2009) both ourselves and with Sunsoar Paragliding who run courses at the chalet. A typical summer day would involve a huge top to bottom flight from Bisanne first thing, a second in strengthening thermals followed by lunch on the chalet terrace and then a 45 minute drive to Annecy for fantastic thermal flying till dusk or a 45 minute drive the other way for dynamic soaring at the Cormet de Roseland. There are also some amazing sites in the Beaufortain which involve a walk up but are well worth it for the stunning possibilities. There is a paragliding school in the valley, Les Volatailes, who operate from Les Saisies.

In short this is a great location for a paragliding holiday, so for a group of friends wanting a cheap week with an amazing variety of flying, we think it has no equal. We would be more than happy to help with site location and advice.

Here is a short Youtube video to set the scene...


Road Biking

The Tour de France passes the chalet door most years so is ideal for a Tour-watching holiday. With the Col de Saisies, Col de Pres and Cormet de Roseland as major Tour de France mountain passes you can see that this is the ideal testing ground for your cycling fitness. Cycling is BIG round here so you will soon find your way around. There are automatic timing devices available for the area too - see the local Tourist Info for details.

The chalet has a large garage so can safely accommodate all your bike gear.


This is paradise for hikers - unspoilt scenery, a multitude of flora and fauna, no crowds and superb mountain refuges are surely the ingredients of the perfect hiking hioliday. There is walking here for all levels, whether you are looking to tackle the Tour de Mt Blanc or take a stroll round the Barrage de Roseland, there are many many possibilities. Borrow one of our maps or guide books, or follow a guided itinerary, the choice is yours.


The River Doron runs about 100m from the chalet and can be fished under a permit locally available. The river has good stocks of trout, the potential can be seen by looking over any of the bridges in Beaufort (no, they are not salmon!). There are also many beautiful reservoirs (barrages in French) and natural lakes that can also be fished and which contain trout and arctic char. 

Licences can be purchased from the following outlets:

-Bar Blanchet in Beaufort
-Quincaillerie Viallet Bruno in Beaufort ( sales of bait and fishing equipment)
-Intersport in Arêches (sale of bait; rent/sale of fishing rods)
-Presse du Beaufortain in Beaufort 
-Restaurant La Pierra-Menta in Roselend Col du Pré
-Base de Loisirs de Marcôt Beaufort : selling of fishing card for one day in Marcôt lake only
-Le Chalet de Roselend- le Méraillet


Although tourism is developed here, the Beaufortain still retains the charm and character of a forgotten time. You'll see hay being harvested by scythe in late summer and a way of life unchanged for many many years. The villages all retain charm and original French culture - you'll rarely hear an English voice here. There are some very nice places to wander and dine, here are a few recommendations:

-Hauteluce. A charming village with great views to Mont Blance and the big big Alps. Try lunch at the Auberge d'Hauteluce; authentic, great value food
-Cite de Conflans. This is the old city of Albertville, no cars, very charming and lots of open-air dining options.
-Beaufort. A beautiful town with a market (Wed am) and nice bars and restaurants
-Areches. A mountain village with great access to skiing and walking. Try Chez Dede for an apres ski beer (or 3).
-Barrage de Roseland. Wow, wow wow. Incredible high mountain scenery and some lovely roadside cafes. 

You could also check out the many other attractions such as the Beaufort cheese factory, a farm visit, or one of the many cultural evenings, museums or galleries dotted around.

Peace and Tranquility

You will be hard pressed to find a corner of the Alps offering such a diverse range of activities and also a degree of quietness like this. There are literally hundreds of miles of rarely frequented footpaths and pretty spots to stop for a picnic.


If you are a keen birdwatcher, you'll be able to spot many species just in the chalet garden! We have seen eagles, buzzards, jays, magpies, green woodpeckers, pic noir, dippers, owls and many finches, buntings and tits. Further afield you may see ptarmigan, grouse, many owl and raptor species as well as snow bunting in the correct season.

As we have travelled into the backcountry on foot, skis and by paraglider we have been lucky enough to see much of the wildlife in the area including chamois, marmots, bouquetin, deer, wild boar, squirels and many other species.

Around the chalet are squirels, lizards, deer and boar. Go into the woods at dusk and you may see some surprising animals!

Anything else?

Why not check out the following:

-Ice skating, Albertville
-Swimming pool with slides, Beaufort (summer only)
-Shopping in Albertville
-A trip to Annecy for site seeing or shopping
-Luge at Les Saisies (summer and winter)
-Sledging on any slope you can find
-Tandem paragliding (see Les Volatiles above)
-Treetop adventure park at Le Marcot (3km towards Beaufort)
-Via Ferrata at Roc de Vent near the Barrage de Roseland 

Here's the Tourist Office promo film to give you a flavour of the region... enjoy...