Sunday, 9 January 2011

Skiing at Les Gets

We are back home in Madagascar, having spent the Christmas holidays in France, first in Paris and then some skiing in the French Alps, at Les Gets.  The British website Ski Famille describes Les Gets very aptly:

When, twenty years ago, we started looking for a resort which would be ideally suited to the needs of families, Les Gets shone out.
The picturesque village of Les Gets is about as far from a purpose built resort as you can get. Real people live in Les Gets all year round, the land is still farmed and you can wander round the weekly market every Thursday to purchase everything from the latest fashions for mountain folk (think 1950's Eastern Block chic) to alarmingly smelly cheeses. More sophisticated retail opportunities also abound!

They're absolutely right.  We loved it there.  It's not just a ski resort.  It's a real mountain village, complete with town hall, market stalls, skating rink, and good restaurants (can you say cheese fondue, raclette, and tartiflette?).  And did you know that Father Christmas lives at Les Gets?

Ski vacations are expensive enough as it is, so we tried not to pay a fortune for lodging.  We stayed in a two-star hotel (the Hotel Christiania), which has a nanny service for kids too small to ski.  The hotel has a very cozy and convivial atmosphere.  Just a warning: the rooms at this place are small.  BUT you don't have too spend to much time there.  Guests tend to spend a lot of time hanging out in the hotel's cozy lounge, around the roaring fire.  The price per night is per person and includes breakfast and dinner.  The food was scrumptious - at least as good as the food served in any four-star hotel.  If you do end up going to Hotel Christiana, you can tell the owners, John and Nicola King (a Scottish couple) that you read about their hotel here!  

The Bambina started out in the beginners ski class at the Ecole de Ski Française.  The classes consisted of ten children each and were offered in French and English.  Normally, I would have been inclined to put the Bambina in the English classes but since none of the English teachers were native English teachers and the Bambina speaks French just as well, we decided to put her in the French classes.  She graduated to the level of "flocon" (snowflake).  There was a "ski garden" for children as young as three years old but the Bambino is only 20 months old so he'll have to wait a couple of years.

We definitely want to go back to Les Gets soon!


Sarah said...

I'm sold! I spent a school year in Savoie as a college student and was lucky enough to have a flatmate who took me home to visit her family in their Alpine village from time to time. They showed me several different tiny, untouristy ski towns. I had never heard of Les Gets before, but it sounds lovely, especially for a family! And I looooove raclette. Thanks for sharing about your experiences there.