Valloire makes the grade

4th April 2012, by DeeTours

The Chilton group enjoying their sunny prize holiday

The Chilton group enjoying their sunny prize holiday

Our photo competition winner for 2011, Dee Chilton, reports back on her prize holiday, a week in a French apartment courtesy of Lagrange Holidays.

My husband and I, together with a couple of friends, enjoyed spending a lovely week in Valloire (which shares extensive slopes with Valmeinier). We stayed in a two bedroom Lagrange apartment – the Chalets du Galibier.

We went on 10 March and chose Valloire because Lagrange kindly offered accommodation in the prestige residence for four people, whereas it would only be for two people in their other resorts. We wanted to go somewhere ‘off the radar’ and it seemed to fit. It also gave us an opportunity to share our good fortune with our friends.

The accommodation was very comfortable and reasonably close to the slopes and lifts. It was a little out of town, so no bar in which to end the day (if that’s your thing). You could ski all the way down to town for après ski, then get the bus up the hill. And the buses ran like clockwork until 8pm, after that it’s a 10-15 minute walk back uphill (never tried that in ski boots though!).

Chalets du Galibier, Valloire

We enjoyed decent snow; more would have been good as it was getting thin by the end of the week but thankfully they were excellent at managing what they had. And beautiful hot sunshine all week (T-Shirts and 20+ each day…hence the beers !).

We loved the skiing, the area is vast and great for mixed abilities and for both skiers and boarders. It’s a real hidden gem. Although we felt the pistes were sometimes inconsistently graded, you could ski from the very top of the mountain on a green track that wasn’t too bad if you were novice or timid early intermediate.

It would be a lovely introduction to skiing for someone just getting off the nursery slopes and there are fantastic confidence boosting areas to play on at the top of both main gondolas. The terrain parks were excellent too and had different areas for beginners to experts, half-pipes, boardercross areas, jumps and rails. They were easy to get to and well built and groomed.

The mountain restaurants were not too badly priced (for France) some offered good cheap snacks, beer was about 5 euros a pint, chips could be had for 3 euros, huge baguettes for 3.5 euros. We never went down to the town during the day as the snow wasn’t so good at the bottom. We preferred to travel over the three mountains for the day (and boy could you travel), but during our evening walks round the town, we saw lots of little huts selling takeaway snacks as well as a wider choice of bars, cafes and restaurants.

A taste of Valloire, France

Valloire was a place that we all said we would definitely revisit. It was a welcome discovery of a fantastic big ski area, set among beautiful scenery and with very friendly people. The main town is traditional and charming, with the feel of a proper year round community. There are plenty of shops, a market in the square on Saturdays, ice rink and excellent supermarket. We would even like to go back in the summer and do some walking in the area.

May we say a very big thank you to everyone at WTSS and to Matt Richardson at Lagrange UK for organising the prize.

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