Ski vacation in France

A Ski Trip with a Cheese Problem

March 9th-17th, 2018

8 nights, 9 days

SOLD OUT!  Wait-list available.

The group gathers and looks over the Portes du Soleil ski resorts in the French Alps. Photo by Jeanette Bowles.

Join us for an amazing ski trip in the French Alps with a focus on cheese.  Haute Savoie is my favorite place to ski because of the beautiful unspoiled mountain views, fresh powder, excellent food, and French touch.  We will ski and ride the “Portes du Soleil”, a collection of 12 connected ski resorts encompassing more than 600 kilometers of slopes in France and Switzerland’s Rhône-Alps  region that allow for giant loops (see video Ski Safari) without ever skiing the same slope twice.  Discover small charming locals’ resorts with excellent restaurants only accessible by ski.

The whole country of France is famous for cheese but the Rhône-Alps region is famous within France for their delicious cheeses made by cows and goats grazing on lush mountain pastures.  Each night we will dine on an ever changing selection of regional cheese specialties including “Fondue au Fromage” (rustic bread dipped into a simmering pot of melted mountain cheeses and wine), “Raclette” (slices of creamy melting cheese poured over boiled potatoes and eaten with cured meats), “Tartiflette” (a gratin of potatoes, lardons, and onions covered with a slightly aged soft cheese called Reblochon) and more!

Local cheeses and baguette. This is why we ski in France. Photo by Shannon Sims.

We will also visit a charcuterie shop to learn about curing meats, as well as a cheese maker to meet his cows, watch how cheese is made, and sample the fruits of their labor.  To avoid cheese overload we may also sample some of the non cheese delights the region has to offer such as mountain trout, perch filets from Lake Geneva, and the excellent sausages.

Jean-Paul shows off the curds for the famous Abondance cheese. Photo by Shannon Sims.

Take the gondola up the Aiguille de Midi, Mont Blanc (Chamonix) and, for advanced skiers, descend the 15 kilometers Vallée Blanche over the glacier accompanied by a mountain guide.  We will ski/snowboard 5 days with breaks in between for cultural activities and exploring.

Accommodations will be in a beautiful mountain Chalet (an 1820s barn renovated into a modern luxuery Chalet) in the mountain town of Morzine, and one day in a hotel in Thonon-Les-Bains on arrival.  Most meals, lift tickets, transportation within France and Switzerland, and all accomodations are included.  Rental equipment, alcohol, and travel insurance (highly recommended) are not included.

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A view of the Alps from Châtel ski resort.

Must be at least an intermediate level skier/snowboarder that is very comfortable with intermediate (blue) slopes and able to ski advanced (black) slopes. Must have a good level of fitness.  If you are a beginner skier we can arrange for 3 or 6 half-day group lessons along with equipment rental for an additional $200 (3 day) or $350 (6 day).

Typical days might mean getting up at 7 am so that we can have breakfast and get on the slopes early.  In the evening we will have time to relax and experience French mountain towns before eating large amounts of cheese in various forms.  Bedtimes could run late.  If you are not comfortable skiing/boarding all day and eating cheese all evening then this is not the trip for you.  We will have a rest day built in and there will be the option to skip a day of skiing.

les cornettes
A Saveur the Journey crew enjoys dinner at Les Cornettes in Chapelle de l’Abondance (photo Gretta Siegel)

Our group will be staying together in the chalet so you must be willing to share common spaces, help out with clean up, and be respectful of each other.  For those interested in cooking there will be some opportunities for hands-on learning.  This trip is not suitable for vegetarians, vegans, dairy free, or gluten free diets.  Speaking French is recommended but not required.  Please make plans to arrive at the Geneva, Switzerland airport on March 2nd, 2018 (airfare is not included).  Cost for trip is $2950 (based on double occupancy) please add $500 for use of a double room by a single person.  If you would like a guided ski descent of the glacier at Mont Blanc (Chamonix) (guides are required) please add $350.  Couples sharing a bed (kind sized) save $300 from total cost.

Space is limited to 10 people.  To see a sample itinerary, subject to change, please click here.  If you are interested in participating in this trip please send an email to aaron@saveurthejourney.com to fill out an application.