The picturesque village of Les Contamines-Montjoie sits at the end of a stunning valley in the heart of the Mont Blanc region. As a less known resort, it hosts a surprising amount of fantastic ski terrain around a huge undulating bowl, it is still a hidden gem within the Haute Savoie region of France.
Picturesque resort & fantastic ski terrain
Also called the jewel at the heart of the Mont Blanc region
Snow sure rating
Often overlooked by its more popular neighbours Chamonix and Megeve, Les Contamines is a small, friendly resort that offers a surprising amount of skiable area. It experiences an exceptional amount of sunny weather too!
The ski area is outside of the main village but both UCPA and the town provide a regular bus service to link skiers to the main lift station. Once there, the lifts take you as high as the Aiguille Croche at 2500m with pistes covering a vast network of 120km and a maximum altitude drop of 1336m from the highest point to the lowest.
Les Contamines is great for beginners and intermediate skiers. There are 2 designated beginner areas high up on the mountain so those new to the sport will still enjoy the fantastic high mountain views that are often only available for the more experienced. The pistes are long, open and wide with a more rolling and relaxed landscape. The ski slopes meander down through each of the valleys passing ancient forests, alpine farms and numerous small restaurants. Snowboarders have a fantastic selection of runs. The style of pistes are perfect for boarders at all levels. Although the ski area does offer some black runs, what is more enjoyable for those competent on harder terrain is to break off the side of the piste and explore the couloirs and tree lines that surround the ski area.
Les Contamines offers four excellent snowparks, a specific snowboard mogul piste as well as a half pipe.
Les Contamines is historically a farming town that has a much more authentic 'alpine' feel to it than the larger purpose built ski resorts. If you are after a relaxing week enjoying some great skiing followed by a nice glass of wine in the evening, then Les Contamines offers you just this.
There is a lot to experience around town from dog sledding, ice climbing, cross country skiing, night time skiing and snowshoeing. There are a few gift shops and a range of cafes and bars around the town, and of course restaurants if you fancy eating out during the week.
Les Contamines UCPA is a fantastic centre equipped with everything you could possibly need for a skiing holiday. With an optional in-house spa (jacuzzi, steam room and sauna), an indoor climbing wall and a games room, there is plenty to keep you entertained when not on the slopes. The centre has a huge terrace where you can sit outside and enjoy a beer after a hard day's skiing whilst watching the sun set on the surrounding mountains.
- 4 and 3 person rooms
- Twin rooms available
- Bathrooms shared between 3 rooms
- Well priced bar
- Buffet style restaurant
- In-house spa with sauna, steam room and jacuzzi (extra charge)
- Games room
- Indoor climbing wall
- Ski equipment and storage all on site
- Lift passes provided at the centre
- WiFi in bar area. Please note the WiFi is not good enough for working on data intensive activities
All UCPA meals are buffet style and with multiple servings the norm; you won't go hungry.
Breakfast is normally yogurts, cereals, fruit juice, coffee and bread - don't be surprised to see that the coffee and tea is taken in a bowl!
It is possible to return to the centre for lunch everyday where you will find 1 or 2 hot options available. As with all meals there will be a salad bar, plenty of bread, cheese, meat and of course desert. If you prefer you can make a packed lunch at breakfast time and eat on the mountain. Either way you will save a fortune avoiding the piste side restaurants.
Dinner is a 3/4 course buffet - typically a salad bar style starter, a choice of 3 hot main courses, a cheese and cold meat platter and ice cream/dessert.
Due to the cost focussed nature of UCPA and the wide range of dietary requirements, it is impossible to accommodate everyone as standard. If you have any severe dietary requirements please contact the centre two weeks before to let them know. Generally speaking vegetarians will find plenty of options, with vegan options being a little more scarce but improving year on year.
Geneva airport is the nearest airport to Les Contamines. From there you would need to arrange your own travel options, whether that is by car, airport transfer or coach.
We provide shared transfers for family weeks only. The journey is 95km and takes around 1h15. Passengers are grouped together based on their flight times and there may be a wait at the airport for other passengers' flights to arrive but generally speaking you won't be waiting for more than 1 - 1.5hrs.
We can provide private transfers (9 seater mini-buses, with a maximum of 8 passengers), these are most economical with a group of 8 people.
Our partner company Snowexpress offers affordable and environmentally friendly travel to the alps. All hold bags and ski bags are included in the price. The coaches travel through the night from London Victoria to resort, arriving typically after lunchtime directly at the centre.
The nearest train station to Les Contamines is Saint Gervais Les Bains (Le Fayet), which is 14km away from UCPA. From the train station you can take a public bus for 35 minutes to Les Contamines, and then walk approx 10 minutes to the UCPA centre.
It is possible to drive to Les Contamines, but it is important to note that driving can become challenging if the conditions turn significantly wintery - snow tires and chains may be required. There is no parking at the centre but there is a free car park near the centre, however, it is unguarded and uncovered.
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