Friday, October 19, 2018

Val Cenis Vanoise Ski Resort Village in the French Alps

I have been having these wintersport pangs in the last weeks. Winter is coming and I miss the snowy mountains. I miss skiing.

The ski resort apartment complex where we stayed at in Les Champs, Val Cenis last winter.

From a once tropical gal, missing the snow and skiing is, how shall I say this, a huge step (into sports westernisation perhaps)? I mean, for sure there are many people born in the tropics who can ski and who love the winter and the cold snowy mountains, but I am at this point where wintersport has truly become a tradition in my life that I have fully embraced. I am really enjoying skiing now! That is far different more than a decade and a half ago when I was just starting with the sport.

Last winter, Dutchman and I went to Val Cenis Vanoise ski resort in the French Alps. We usually go in January when its low season, meaning low prices, less traffic on the road and on the slopes. We drove from the Netherlands very early in the morning (around 02:00 am) and arrived around 16:00 I believe. Just enough time to check in to our chalet apartment, get my skis and boots and settle down a bit to the alpine surroundings. I really need to buy my own skiing stuff soon because it is cheaper to own!

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During high season, the queues here at the (Chambery?) toll station are crazy. 

It is always exciting to get a closer glimpse of the Alps.

This coming winter we are not sure of going because the house will be finished around the time we normally go which is January. However, we received recent news that the delivery of the house might be pushed to February, so who knows, we might just go to the Alps. We will probably make a last minute decision depending because we cannot be in two places at the same time. But really hoping we can ski!

In Val Cenis last year, we stayed at the Les Alpages de Val Cenis. It is a hotel resort complex offering chalet apartments with a small kitchen and a locker room for the skis. The apartments were small, nothing luxurious, but comfortable enough especially because it’s just the two of us. Many winter sports holidaymakers share an apartment with this size with 4 people.

There is a spa with an outdoor heated swimming pool, a bubbling jacuzzi, a sauna, and a hammam (steam room). Shall I say that these hot rooms were one of the reasons why we chose to stay here? You know, it’s an incredible feeling to sweat it off in the sauna and hammam (Dutchman prefers the hammam) after a day of active skiing. It just helps with the muscle sores. It is very soothing and relaxing.

The resort also offers easy indoor garage parking which was very important for us. We've had accommodations in the past where parking was a nightmare and the car being snowed under.

Another reason why we picked this resort is that it's very near to the Pre Novel ski lift. You can basically walk to it and on some good days, you can even ski up to the back of the resort. However, this little slope was not accessible in the time we were there. It’s really a luxury to be able to walk/ski to the lift. No need for (waiting for) shuttle buses or taking the car (read: parking) to the nearest ski lift station.

Just a quick picture of moi on our first skiing day which I documented here: First Day of Skiing in Val Cenis in the French Alps

The Val Cenis ski resort is composed of 5 charming villages in the Haute Maurienne region of the French Alps, very near to the Italian border. These villages are, in proper order as you arrive in Val Cenis, Bramans, Sollieres-Sardieres, Termingon, Lanslebourg, and Lanslevillard. Our apartment resort complex was located between Lanslebourg and Lanslevillard, in a mini-village called Les Champs and closer to Lanslevillard as well, which is at the end part of the Val Cenis village route.

More information of the mountain ski village area: Val Cenis in the Haute Maurienne, French Alps

There are 350 kilometers of skiing terrain here, which is another one of the reasons why we picked this place. The joy of skiing in the Alps is not only about the powder snow and the stunning alpine views, but you can go on a little journey during the holiday by skiing from village to village and experiencing the French mountain culture through the restaurants, village markets, the local food, and the drinks. It is not just about the sport, it is a whole cultural holiday experience altogether.

I took so many pictures of the valley of the ski resort villages and I will be posting separately the pictures I took during the holiday per day. These pictures on this blog post were taken in the first 2 days of our holiday.

We are really hoping we can ski this winter!

Passing the village of Termingnon in Val Cenis.

Then passing the village of Lanslebourg, just before reaching our accommodation. Lanslebourg and Lanslevillard are the biggest villages in Val Cenis ski resort valley.

So this is our road to the right going to our accommodation, Les Alpages. The area is between Lanslebourg and Lanslevillard in the mini-village called Les Champs.

The entrance of Les Alpages chalet apartment complex. It has a ski shop on the same building which is handy if you are renting equipment.

Our little chalet studio with a balcony and view fo the mountains.

Nothing luxurious but comfortable. 

At the lobby of the chalet apartment/hotel complex where they were offering some welcome drinks.

We have collected our ski passes and ski maps. Ready for skiing! Snowboarding for the Dutchman though.

We checked out the surroundings and looked for a place to eat dinner. We ended up at this place nearby because they were offering Tartiflette which I was craving for.

Strolling Lanslevillard. It was like a ghost village on a very cold January evening. I am sure during high skiing season it would be a bit busier. High season for winter sport is around the Christmas holidays, February and March.

The pictures of the chalet apartment and the views from our balcony in the morning.

The lobby reception of the hotel resort complex.

This is the heated outdoor swimming pool which is just beside the spa area. The entrance is at the back of the reception. There's a gym, a jacuzzi, a sauna, and a hammam. We were regular visitors =)

The other accommodations in the area.

This is a nice restaurant with an outdoor terrace just outside the Ski cabin lift Vieuw Moulin in Lanslevillard. I have been meaning to eat here but it never happened.

Travel Period: January 2018
Destination: Val Cenis, Savoie (Auvergne-Rhone Alpes), France

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Happy Travels! Enjoy Life =)

All pictures were taken by a point and shoot pocket camera or a smartphone.

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