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As a family we spent a week with Ski Miguel in Montgenevre in early January 2014. Its a lovely resort, with a good mix of runs, including more challenging trees and off-piste, as well as a good range of Pistes. The links to Claviere both involve some poleing which is not ideal, but once there the skiing was great as well.
Fewer high speed lifts than in some of the better known big French resorts, but in early January the resort was almost empty, so never had to queue for a lift. Overall, a great ski area and we enjoyed it so much we are planning to return next year as well.
Having only ever skiied in Tremblant, Canada, we were a bit unsure of what to expect, but Montgenevre is a great place and we're keen to return.
We stayed in the relatively new Hameau des Airelles apartments, in the Obelisque end of the resort - they don't come close to our experience of Canadian accommodation, BUT they were clean, beds were comfy (if weirdly short; not great for tall people), there was an outdoor pool (big hit with our 7-yr-old daughter), and reception staff were great. Kitchen generally well-equipped but would recommend taking stuff like handsoap, tea towels, a sharp knife and a mini bottle of washing-up liquid.
In Canada the roads and pavements are kept clear and gritted so bit of a shock to have to skid along packed ice on both roads and pavements in some parts of Montgenevre! But the town is nice - a fair few restaurants (we had a great supper in Caesar's one evening), a decent supermarket in the Obelisque area (the Cocci Supermarket; great deli section and they do fresh pizzas to order), a free circular bus service, and the people in the ski hire shops were great (Twinner, and Ski Set in the Obelisque area). It's not big on apres-ski but as a family that wasn't a problem.
Warning: watch out for the appalling amount of dog shit on the pavements!
Our daughter was in the ESF ski school for 6 mornings and really enjoyed herself - the instructors were obviously great with the kids. Only niggle was ESF not telling us they didn't send a bus to pick up the kids from the Obelisque end on Saturdays. My husband and I splashed out on a private 2-hr lesson with ESF one morning - money very well spent: instructor was fab.
Piste-wise, it's definitely best for beginners and intermediates. We didn't ski the Via Lattea (no time) but headed over to Italy for a morning above Claviere, which was fun.
Can highly recommend doing the Tipi Snowshoeing evening - it's not cheap but it was superb.
Our group of friends have a preference for staying in 'real' villages as opposed to purpose built resorts. This was our first time at Montgenevre, and it appeared to satisfy everything we look for; a snow-sure, authentic village, linked to a large ski area.
The village itself has an understated charm. Our group of '50 somethings' are not into late night partying, but even we were struck by how quiet and deserted the village was of an evening which robbed it of some of the usual atmosphere one would expect to find. We could not help but wonder how many of the shops, and numerous bars and restaurants would survive if that was typical of their level of trade.
There are 3 lift pass areas. Being keen skiers, we invariably buy whole area passes as a matter of course. If we were to return, however, we would probably not buy the Milky Way pass again. In theory it may be possible to ski over to Sestriere for a day skiing there, but takes so long that we didn’t once bother. If you want to sample the whole Milky Way, then exploring the area by car would probably be a better option.
The Monts de la Lune area is extensive and offers a wide range of pistes. Do some upper-body exercise before going, as many linking paths seem to demand a lot of of poling. If off-piste is your thing, the choices appear endless. Montgenevre would also be a superb place to learn to ski for a complete beginner.
Contrary to some reports, we felt there was a good choice of mountain restaurants in the area, the Italian ones offer great value for money - lunch being just over half the price of the French equivalent!
One problem we encountered with the area is only one return linking lift between Claviere and Montgenevre. Retuning home one evening we found that this lift had broken down. Several hundred people were left to wait for a very infrequent Italian bus service (not included on lift pass).
I would definitely return to Montgenevre, but I wouldn’t be desperate to rush back there,
Just to add that we also had an evening wine-tasting in one of the bars which was interesting, good fun and inexpensive.
So Neilson got us a good deal again, this time in Montgenevre, which I have to say I wasn't as taken with as Serre Chevalier. The main difference is that the village is much smaller, and much quieter in the evening, though I think this suited our group this year.
The other main difference is that the ski area is much smaller, BUT it is connected to the Milky Way which if you're not doing lessons and quick on the pistes I think you'll make the most of because it's not difficult to get to. However, we only went over into Italy once, and that was basically just to set foot in it and turn round and come back...we weren't so adventurous this time.
Our chalet this time was right at the foot of the slopes so coming back every day was great fun (we had a perfect natural jump and landing right next to the balcony). There was also a gully we found off to the side of a piste which turned out to be a hoot - skiing along a stream bed round trees etc with a huge ramp to get up at the end which basically meant you had to go fast (in my head it was like I was on a speeder in Return of the Jedi)! We told our instructor the next day and he suddenly got very stern and told us we weren't good enough to be going down there. Perhaps he was right as I found I'd totally broken a ski, meaning I had to pay for a replacement :o(
We had a great time, but it wasn't quite as good as Serre Chevalier.
I was in Monty for the 11/12 season.
Slopes: The pistes are very family oriented, with lots of really long greens to learn on and wide open blues. There are some trickier pistes, but there are large amounts of off piste easily accessible.
Accommodation: Montgenevre is very old for a ski resort, with many old buildings which make it a very scenic village. The majority of accommodation is in chalets, both catered and self catered to varying degrees of luxury/budget. There are a few hotels in Montgenevre, but I can personally advise against staying with Skiplan at the Rois Mages Hotel; but it is very cheap if booked last minute and in close proximity to the lifts.
Eating: As a small town, Montgenevre has quite a large amount of restaurants. These were my favourite places to eat: La Tourmente is a really nice tapas bar with a fantastic underground, cave type vibe and a really nice owner. Also has free salsa lessons! La Capitaine is an italian owned pizzeria (as far as I am aware). Really delicious pizza and calzone. Le Caeser serves lots of local dishes, as well as pizzas. The owner, Michel is an extremely personable and couldn't be more welcoming! La Cloche is a very good restaurant for a fancier meal. You will often need to book a table here as the chef (rumoured to be of Michelin star standard) is extremely good.
Apres: As a very small resort the night life is fairly limited, However there are many bars which are really nice and can certainly get very lively on the right nights, La Graal tends to throw the occasional party, as well as frequent live music events. There are two night clubs for those who want a late night.
Value for money: Value for money would depend on what you spend!
Personally I think the best way to evaluate money is using what I call the 'Beer money Index': a pint won't cost you more than 5 euros in the bars. Which is very reasonable for a French ski resort, I know that I've been stung for 8 euros in larger resorts such as Tignes.
This coming season will be our third visit (other than excursions from La Grave)
This is a wonderful resort for advanced and expert off piste, including tree skiing - especially if you have a guide.
Wonderful resort, wide pistes, not at all busy, never queued all week. snow wonderful. skied 30/35 miles a day. Try the day out to Sauze d'Oulx - great adventure. Hired our skis and boots from the Ski Club Point Break discount shop on the main street. They were very friendly and even stored our skis and boots. Only downside - not many restaurants on the mountain it is a conservation area, but overall wonderful going back again. Watch for the locals on Saturday afternoon too - deck chairs, wine, kids sledging, cars parked on the front - a winter seaside!
Just got back from Montgenevre and have to say I was very pleasantly surprised by both the extent of the ski area and the variety of the runs. Great resort for everyone up to advanced intermediate. Snow was fabulous, scenery the same. Outside of skiing, not much to do but who cares! The really distinctive feature of the resort is it's tree-line skiing. If you like skiing between or through trees then this is the resort for you. I've been skiing for over 50 years and reckon that of all the resorts I've been to only Steamboat beats it for tree-line skiing. Also, after a dump of snow the off-piste possibilities are superb, particularly on the southside behind the village.
At Montgenevre for 10 days before Xmas 2008 with wife, Brother-in-law and nephew. Stayed at the new hotel, Le Chalet Blanc. Great hotel with fantastic food and wine, but the rooms can be a bit small. Excellent resort for beginners, but if the Italian link is closed (as it was due to heavy snow fall), not great if you know what you are doing. All of the runs are accessible, i.e the blacks are not exactly blacks... and if asked to describe it in a word, I would say "Cruisey" - If you are happy on reds then this is the resort for you. Plus points are off-piste although we couldn't do much due to the avalanche risks because of the excessive snow, and the fact that if you buy a 6 day or more lift pass you get a day at Serre Chavalier, Puy St Vincent, Les Deux Alpes and a..an..other. We went to Serre and had the best days skiing in the whole 10 days - Lots to go at and the emptiest Pistes I've ever seen. Not a great resort for nightlife and the tbh the restaurants are rubbish (apart from the the Le Chalet Blanc!!), so don't go if you want to party or have great food, but do go if you want to bez down the slopes with friends and family!
We spent a fantastic week in Montgenevre from 27/12 to 03/01/2007. The road is now in a tunnel and the ski-ing was brilliant .... plenty of new snow. The resort is very safe for kids, especially in the evening. All in all, a great family resort!
Very good beginner and intermediate, not much for wild adrenaline lovers, but plenty of medium sized jumps to be found. Too many slow drag lifts lets this resort down. Not much choice as far as chalet/hotel is concerned. Recently a tunnel has been built so all traffic uses that instead of the front street.
Resort Report – Montgenevre
Skiing: Background Expert Skier/ intermediate snowboarder, over 25 weeks vacational skiing
Resort: Montgenevre (France) but Part of La Via Lattea (Italy)
Date of Visit: 26/02/06 to 05/03/06
Service from rep: Poor! Accommodation Chalet Banino The chalet was abysmally run down and the staff didn’t bother to clean at all. The food was truly awful!
Operation of lifts: The whole area has now gone over to hands free lift passes which is a godsend. These passes have the added bonus of offering a replacement if yours is lost or stolen. We didn’t experience too many problems with lift closures
Operation of Runs: Difficult to judge as we had such superb snow conditions for the duration of our stay so runs were left ungroomed until skier traffic had caused the snow to deteriorate.
Mountain Restaurants: Not too many of these to chose from on the Montgenevre side (although there is plenty of choice on the main street opposite the base of the lifts) but we favoured Refugio Gimont above Claviere which served lovely pizzas and pastas at very reasonable prices.
Ski Schools: No experience
Snowboarding: Although the sister resort of Sauze is a boarder’s paradise, boarders are not well served at this end of the Via Lattea. A large percentage of the uplift is by draglifts (sometimes unavoidable) and many of the runs (even some reds) have long flat sections which would be bad enough on skis but are dreadful on a board. Having said that, though, the powder slopes just off-piste (and on piste too) up in the Les Gondrans area after a fresh dump are sheer heaven. There was no evidence of the “Zone Free Ride” area at Les Gondrans when we were there but the half-pipe was in place at Prarial.
Children’s Facilities: N/a
Local Transport: No experience
Shopping Limited to one supermarket, a tabac, and a half-dozen or so ski/board rental/sales outlets. Nothing much in the way of designed goods etc.
Non-skiing: facilities Limited! It seems that if you don’t ski/board, you drink!!
Eating out: There was no shortage of options with restaurants all down the one side of the main street.
Apres ski Limited if you don’t enjoy pub environments!
Accommodation: Most levels catered for, from small self-catering ‘boites’ to fully catered chalets. Did not see much evidence of the more-expensive end of the market…
Prices: Small beer around 3 to 4 euros. Most supermarket prices comparable with the UK.
Summary: A pleasant resort for skiers with the availability of the link to the via lattea but I would not recommend for snowboarders unless either first week or advanced/expert level.
Airports: We flew to Turin and it was about a 1hr 20mins transfer.
An ugly resport with few shops and bars. Far too many drag lifts. Poor piste marking. Links to Claviere appalling, either xc ski run or an extreme rock strewn black. the latter ends horizontally with approx 800mm of poling. approx 20% total areas runs are roads, and damn boring to ski. beware ice on side roads when walking at night, as no snow or ice clearance from these even when no snow for a month. poorly linked into milky way. as link to claviere.
In resort from 2-8th January 2006 on a family holiday. Party of 9 including 5 children from 8 years down to 3 years. Turin Airport an absolute nightmare on arrival, brilliant on departure (?) ESF excellent, particularly the ski kindergarden for the two youngest in the party. Staff spoke excellent English and were very attentive. Recommend both the Napolean Pizzeria and La Refuge for food and accommodating staff bearing in mind the size and mix of our party. Too many drag lifts serving the main slopes resulting in large queues. Would suggest however people explore the La Bergerie side of village, quieter slopes and with small playground alongside mountain restaurant. Brilliant for young children. Can be accessed there and back by Gondala so no need to ski back from the top. Would certainly visit again.
Just returned from a Christmas week in Montgenevre. Turin airport was a nightmare but arrived in resort to over a foot of fresh snow, other resorts hadn't been so lucky and even though skiers were coming from other resorts there were no lift queues. Had six fantastic days of wall to wall sunshine. A great place for mixed ability. We holidayed with a family of beginners but there was plenty of terrain to suit us all. The long green from the top of the gondola is a great confidence builder.
Went to Montgenevre in late March 2003 and skied on fantastic snow with more fresh stuff later in the week. To be able to ski all the way from villages highest peak, the Aigle(eagle)back into the village on the thursday morning on fresh tracks was something special. For the person I was with, it was her first week skiing and for her to be able to manage this full run right from the top on the resort's flattering slopes was amazing. We never found the busy through road a problem when chilling late on an afternoon at the Ca Del Sol! Skiing accross the border into Italy was a must and lunching at the sweet little Italian restaurants for variety made it a great trip. I highly recommend the place for beginners and improving intermediates. Flattering!
We have been to Montgenevre twice in the last three years and are
returning in January 2005. The welcome is friendly, tuition is good and
Instructor English is very good. Montgenevre has so much snow to ski on
even when other resorts are losing theirs, eg Corbier. The Milky Way will
keep you entertained for ages. Night life is limited but for
groups/families wishing to have a full day's skiing with a nice relaxing
night without the tourist noise, then this is your place to go. Full Marks
Mongenevre is ideal for boarders,novice&intermediate improver level because of very wide piste.fantastic off piste,also very tree lined,looks like austria.apres ski lively,not crowded,a little oasis.
Starting this autumn, the trucks are forbidden to use the Montgenevre pass.
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