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It may be a hidden gem in the French Alps, but Flaine’s fantastic pistes are proving perfect for family fun as Justine Halifax discovers... It's in the impressive shadow of the snow capped Mont Blanc, the highest mountain in the beautiful, French Alps, that you’ll find the ski resort of Flaine. Located in the Haute-Savoie region and part of the Grand Massif ski-ing area, Flaine has earned itself the nickname of “big snowy bowl”, as it boasts one of the best snow records (in the French Alps). My family and I were fortunate enough to spend a great week here and we can certainly confirm that it delivered excellent snow conditions. For, despite being close to the end of the ski season, we enjoyed two snowfalls, and, with the days in between topped up by 110 snow canons, we had no issues at all with ice on the resort’s very well maintained pistes. And for those travelling with children in tow, Flaine is a perfect spot for families. Just one of several reasons for this is that it’s actually possible to ski purely blue runs if wanted here, and yet still take in the best views of the Grand Massif area – which has 70 lifts taking you to no less than 148 runs. This makes for a perfect afternoon treat for children still honing their skills in ski school to be able to enjoy showing off their new found talents with their parents, without having to tackle taxing pistes with tired legs. There’s also a nursery school for newcomers - with a magic carpet.
Flaine is great for more experienced families too, there’s no chance of getting bored of the pistes here. As well as the resort of Flaine, which boasts 64 runs reaching an altitude of up to 2500metres, the Grand Massif ski-ing area also includes the interconnected areas of Les Carroz, Sixt, Morillon and Samoens. Overall you’ll find 8 green runs, 26 blues, 25 reds and 5 blacks at your ski tips in Flaine and across the Grand Massif area a total of 20 greens, 65 blues, 50 reds and 13 blacks. And if that’s not enough to keep you entertained there’s something for the more daring too as there are also 13 fun spaces, including three in Flaine, as well as a slalom area. My family’s home for a luxurious week, was in one of the five star, self-catering apartments that can be found at Les Terraces des Helios, run by Pierre and Vacances, part of the Centre Parcs group, at Flaine’s Mont Soleil level. A ski in, ski out venue, located at an altitude of 1600m, it proved to be a perfect base for my family for a host of reasons. Our fabulous apartment featured a large open plan kitchenette, dining room and a lounge, which led out onto a spacious balcony with table and chairs overlooking the green piste that led back to the venue. There was also a cloakroom for storing ski attire/coats, and at slope level we also had free access to a heated ski room.
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