Sixty miles from Chamonix in the French Alps is the secret ski area of the Aravis range. It is one of the premier free ski areas in Europe, perfect for the experienced skier who wants to find a new challenge. The ski area also boast some great pistes for the less experienced, with all the facilities you could possible hope for on an Aravis ski holiday.
The Aravis ski area has 117 pistes, consisting of downhill slopes and 56km of cross-country ski trails, split into four areas; La Clusaz, Le Chinaillon, St Jean-de-Sixt and Mont Saxonnex. Whilst the resorts offer great skiing for all abilities and instruction for beginners and young children, there is some of the best back country skiing and safaris available.
In the summer, the snow cover melts, leaving glorious Alpine meadows covered in flowers, which provides the ideal base for trekking and mountain biking. Taking an Aravis apartment in the summer also allows you to go fishing in the full melt water rivers, play golf or get an adrenalin fix on the go-karting track or in a hot air balloon. The world paragliding championships are held here too, just minutes from the front door of any of the Aravis apartments.
Le Chinaillon is the oldest village in the region, dating back as far as the 12th Century. The village is an authentic, picturesque Alpine village, but don’t let that fool you into thinking it is not lively. The après-ski is great fun, with some fine restaurants and bars. Taking an Aravis chalet lets you test your skills on over 200km of piste, no matter what your ability, so an Aravis chalet here is perfectly suited for mixed ability parties on an Aravis ski holiday. There is also a ski school and some exquisite climbing to be found.
St Jean-de-Sixt is the perfect resort for beginners and intermediate skiers taking an Aravis ski holiday. A chalet in Aravis has access to 107 pistes.
La Clusaz has over 400 hectares of downhill and off-piste skiing and usually plenty of snow. It is one of the leading resorts in the area, offering not only 132km of piste but also facilities for snowboarding, telemark and free riding. There are suitable runs for all levels of skier, and you can ski right down to the front door of your Aravis chalet, nestled deep at the head of the valley. In summer, the resort is a haven for walkers and mountain bikers.
Summer sports are blessed with glorious temperatures reaching an average close to 24°C. The winter snows are regular in the Aravis ski area, so temperatures are cold.
Geneva Airport (GVA) is the closest to the chalets and apartment in Aravis, taking just over an hour (50km) to reach. There are cheap transfers available, from mini-busses to cars. Cheap flights to Aravis are found from 12 airports across the UK.