We think Les Saisies is a really good choice for beginners. With its limited vertical the resort knows its core market is first timers and early intermediates so tries extra hard to attract both child and adult beginners, meaning better service and facilities than less specialised resorts.
There are separate beginner zones and two ski schools will help you quickly progress on to a selection of easy green and blue slopes close to the centre of the resort. It’s more affordable than many resorts too, with two free beginner lifts. There are similar facilities for first time cross country skiers and an easy ‘green’ line through the terrain park, plus a big air bag for a safe landing, if you want to be a beginner freestyle skier.
The recently completed Diamant Pass has linked Les Saisies to six other villages. The local slopes which extend to some 70km have long been linked to those of neighbouring Crest Volland, but now you can ski over to Notre Dame de Bellecombe, Cohennoz, Praz sur Arly, Flumet and the traditional village of Hauteluce too (famed as one of the most picturesque in Savoie) – meaning lunch in a different village is possible every day of the week.
We love the great feeling of travel from place to place – essentially ski touring but without the hassle and effort. The terrain is typically easy intermediate with more than 100 runs rated blue or red – much of it wide sunny piste, both above and below the treeline, often with great views of Mont Blanc. There’s also night skiing on the Periots piste.
Les Saisies is not well known for its advanced level skiing although there are now a dozen black runs dotted around the Espace Diamante area. In a bid to counter the image and beef up its more challenging terrain, the resort recently opened a new black trail down from the top of Légette.
Two ski schools and several local independent mountain guides are available to take you to some of the off-piste runs through the trees or ski touring. On the upside the lack of interest from most advanced to expert level skiers means that when the snow is good it’s less likely to be skied out as quickly as it is at one of the better known Meccas for good skiers.
Snowboard / Freestyle Skiing
We think Les Saisies is quite a good choice for boarders and freestyle skiers, there are three terrain parks linked to Les Saisies on the Diamante pass, one of which is directly above the village itself. This local park has a variety of progressive modules from beginner to expert (green, blue, red and black lines) and there’s also a big air bag for trying really big tricks in safety.
The centre for cross country ski and biathlon events in the 1992 Albertville Olympics is generally regarded as the best in France and one of the best in the world for cross country skiers. There are excellent facilities for all ages and abilities, including around 130km of tracks from beginner to Olympic standard.
The ski schools run comprehensive classes for both children and adults in cross country ski and biathlon (which combines cross country skiing and target shooting at a rifle range en route when your heartbeat is racing and you’re shaking so it’s hard to hold the gun still) technique.
There’s so much thought gone in here that you’ll even find ideas like Les Marmottons Treasure Hunt around a 4km loop and designed for children aged around 5 to 10 years old. It helps them learn technique while playing and having fun, answering quiz questions, finding secrets and winning prizes.
Average Snow And Weather Conditions
Les Saisies is built at a relatively snowsure elevation but the lifts do not climb to great altitudes in the immediate vicinity, so there’s an element of risk in the chance of good snow cover at the very start of the season (early-mid December) and after mid-April IF it turns out to be particularly poor snow year in the Alps. Otherwise the resort has a strong reputation for a micro climate giving above average snowfall for the area on its slopes (according to official French Government figures for the past 30 years). Snowmaking is becoming increasingly extensive (which is good news so long as it’s cold enough) and now covers a third of the terrain.