Vallorcine Ski ResortQuiet backwater village on road between Chamonix and Switzerland, linked to Balme area above Le Tour.
Vallorcine is a great beginner and intermediate ski area with all but one of its runs being graded either blue or red. Beginners can learn the ropes in the beginners areas at either Le Poya (a ski area on the other side of the valley), to which you will have to catch a train, or Le Tour, to which you will have to catch a train to Montroc followed by a bus to Le Tour itself. Intermediates can catch the gondola up to the main ski area and then ski or snowboard a series of blues and reds to Le Tour. Less confident intermediates may wish to catch the gondola down the final part of the descent to Le Tour rather than ski the red Les Caisets run. There is little on offer for advanced skiers and therefore advanced skiers should purchase a Mont Blanc regional pass which provides access to 10 ski areas. Chamonix, one of the areas included in the pass,can now be accessed by a gondola that takes you directly from the village to the Balme area.
Vallorcine is a beautiful traditional village. It is excellent for families due to the skiing on offer and the self-catered apartments which have a kids club and indoor swimming pool. If you fancy a drink after a hard day on the slopes there are a few bars to choose from which are usually fairly quiet. Getting to Vallorcine is easy - Geneva airport is only one hour away by car or alternatively Chambéry is a two hour drive away.
Resort website: www.vallorcine.com