Val Cenis Vanoise is the ski area shared by three quiet, traditional villages in the unspoiled Haute Maurienne valley, on the Italian border south of Val d'Isere. If low prices and a low-key ambience appeal, it may be just the ticket.

The Haute Maurienne is the high eastern end of the great curving valley of the Arc. Its six main communities are marketed under the name Haute Maurienne Vanoise. The resort is comprised primarily of the villages of Lanslevillard, Lanslebourg-Mont-Cenis and Termignon, with new developments popping up to fill the gaps between them. Despite the recent investment, the resorts have maintained their charm and offer a visually attractive alternative to some larger french resorts.  

There are six main lift bases: the first resort you come to is Termignon; 6km on is Lanslebourg; then there's Les Champs, a group of apartment developments; then Lanslevillard, which has one main lift base on the outskirts and another nearer the centre; and finally its suburb, Le Haut, with the sixth lift. There are other resorts in the Haute Maurienne. A pass is available covering days in several. 40km down the road at Orelle is a gondola into the slopes of Val Thorens and so into the famously vast Three Valleys.

Pros

Prices well below the French norm

Some superb novice terrain

Varied terrain with fairly reliable snow - most slopes face north

High-quality, good-value apartments

Cons

Slow old lifts on upper slopes

Little to amuse experts on-piste

Quiet at night

Tedious long link from the westerly Termignon sector to the core sector

Getting there

  • Chambery airport: 1.5 hours
  • Grenoble airport: 2 hours
  • Lyon airport: 2 hours

Good For

Ability
  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
In Resort
  • Village Charm
On Slope
  • Fast Lifts
  • No Queues
  • Snow Reliability

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