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Visitor reviews for Les Contamines Ski Resort
December 14, 2015
Martin from United Kingdom
I've been coming here for years and years (the last 5 years for Christmas week with my wife and 3 teenage kids). We all love it. It's been said on most of the other reviews but I'll say it again; it's in a beautiful setting, the locals are friendly, the shops and bars are great, the skiing is absolutely fine if you're anything but an expert skier looking for hard blacks.
The resort is pretty snow-sure, but Christmas week we were very unlucky last year and hardly had anything (although it dumped big time on the day we checked out!). This year isn't looking too good at the moment either, but that's the same everywhere across the Alps at the moment. But even if the snow is no good, Les C is close enough to be able to visit Chamonix easily and other slightly higher resort if necessary. Les Contamines also now has a new swimming pool which is very pleasant.
As a family ski hol, you can't really go too wrong.
Les Contamines Ratings
Overall: 4.1. Based on 19 votes and 20 reviews. Vote
(1) At least one overnight stop, (2) requires a whole day, (3) requires more than half a day – you may have time for a few turns (4) arrive by lunchtime and ski all afternoon, (5) there is a main airport within an hour of Les Contamines.
Public Transport: 3.8
(1) There are no buses or taxis to Les Contamines, (3) there are slow or infrequent buses / trains available, (5) getting to the resort is easy with frequent bus / train connections.
(1) An ugly resort in a bland setting, (3) average mountain views and resort, (5) a spectacular setting and a beautiful / historic resort town.
(1) No places to stay in/near Les Contamines, (3) a few places to stay in the resort, (5) a wide variety of accommodation suitable to suit all budgets.
Cheap Rooms: 4.2
(1) No budget accommodation available, (3) just one or two hostels so book ahead, (5) several cheap hostels and pensions available.
Luxury Hotels: 2.8
(1) No luxury accommodation available, (3) just one or two luxury hotels so book ahead, (5) several up-market hotels in Les Contamines.
Ski in/Ski out: 3.8
(1) The ski area is located far from any accommodation, (3) a free ski bus takes you to the ski area in a short trip, (5) Ski-in ski-out accommodation is available.
(1) There are no child care facilities at Les Contamines, (5) the resort has excellent child-care facilities including at least one reasonably priced creche.
(1) Occasionally gets enough snow for skiing, (2) is often closed due to a lack of snow, (3) occasionally suffers from a lack of snow, (4) rarely suffers from a lack of snow, (5) Les Contamines is snowsure even in the poorest seasons.
(1) Les Contamines relies entirely on natural snow, (3) there are just a few snow cannons, (5) there are snowmaking facilities on all pistes.
Snow Grooming: 4.5
(1) There are no snow groomers at Les Contamines, (3) occasionally some pistes are left ungroomed and in a poor state, (5) all the runs at Les Contamines are groomed daily.
(1) there is nowhere to ski when it is windy or visibility is bad and lifts often shut, (3) there are some trees for poor visibility but main lifts sometimes close, (5) Les Contamines is mostly in forest where you can ski in flat-light and windy days, lifts rarely close.
Nearby options: 4.0
(1) If snow conditions are poor at Les Contamines, it will be poor everywhere nearby, (3) there are good alternatives within an hours drive, (5) other locations on the same lift pass provide a rich variety of snowsure ski conditions.
Regional rating: 4.7
(1) Les Contamines usually has poor snow conditions compared to other resorts in region, (3) has average conditions for the region, (5) usually has the best snow conditions in the region.
Lift Staff: 4.6
(1) The staff at Les Contamines are rude or unhelpful, (5) lift staff at Les Contamines are pleasant, cheerful and eager to help.
(1) the resort is always busy and there are usually long lift queues, (3) it is quiet apart from occasional weekends and school holidays, (5) it is uncrowded and lift queues are very rare.
Ski Schools: 4.3
(1) No ski schools available, (2) one or two ski schools but local language only, (3) a few ski schools but book early for multi-lingual instructors, (4) plenty of ski schools and multi-lingual instructors available, (5) excellent ski schools with friendly multi-lingual ski instructors.
Hire and Repairs: 4.9
(1) Nothing can be sourced, not even ski-wax or ptex. (3) there are some ski shops but rentals need to be booked in advance, (5) good quality ski equipment can be purchased or hired and overnight repairs are possible.
Variety of pistes: 4.3
(1) The ski runs are featureless and unvaried, (3) the ski runs are varied but not extensive enough for a week, (5) Les Contamines has diverse and interesting pistes including forests and high alpine terrain.
(1) Beginners can only watch others ski and snowboard, (3) a few gentle slopes but beginners will get bored in less than a week, (3) Vast areas of gentle terrain.
(1) No intermediate terrain at Les Contamines, (3) intermediate skiers will get bored after a few days, (5) vast areas of cruising runs.
(1) Nothing for advanced skiers and snowboarders, (3) enough steep terrain for a few days with some good offpiste, (5) Enough steep terrain and offpiste areas to entertain advanced skiers for at least a week.
Snow Park: 3.9
(1) Not even a kicker at Les Contamines, (3) average sized park quite well looked after, (5) huge park area and expertly crafted pipes, jumps and boardercross trails.
(1) No off-piste worth mentioning, (2) off piste is out-of-bounds, (3) some varied offpiste that stays fresh for one or two days, (5) a vast array of off-piste routes that can stay untracked for several days.
(1) There is nowhere to go for cross-country skiing around Les Contamines, (3) there are some cross country trails available, (5) the area features many spectacular and well maintained cross-country trails.
(1) No designated luge or toboggan runs, (3) there are toboggan runs that open quite often, (5) Les Contamines has long and well maintained luge / toboggan facilities suitable for all ages.
Mountain Dining: 4.3
(1) Nowhere to buy food by the pistes, (3) some places to eat up on the mountain but they are often busy and expensive, (5) there is a variety of excellent mountain eateries right next to the slopes to suit all budgets.
(1) Bring your own food, there isn't even a shop. (5) A wide variety of places to eat and drink in the resort, from fast food to fancy restaurants.
(1) Nothing to do, not even a bar, (3) there are a few bars in the resort but nothing special, (5) clubs and bars stay open until very late and have a friendly atmosphere.
Other Sports: 3.2
(1) No sports facilities at all apart from ski lifts, (3) resort has just a small public swimming pool, (5) resort has all kinds of sports facilities, including a full-size swimming pool.
(1) Besides the snow and walking there is nothing to do here, (3) the non-skier will find things to do for few days but may become bored after a week, (5) the resort area is a fascinating place to visit, regardless of winter sports.
Winter Walks: 4.4
(1) Very limited walking and no snowshoe trails, (3) a couple of designated scenic walking/snowshoe trails, (5) extensive and diverse winter walking trails for all abilities.
Ski Pass Value: 4.1
(1) A 1 week ski pass is overpriced compared to the number of lifts available, (3) the ski pass is averagely priced and covers a reasonable number of lifts, (5) ski passes are excellent value for money and cover a lot of lifts spanning a big area.
Value (National): 4.1
(1) Overall, Les Contamines is one of the most expensive ski resorts in the country and not worth the money, (3) overall represents average value for money, (5) overall offers the best value resort in the country.
Value (Global): 4.1
(1) Overall, Les Contamines is one of the most expensive ski resorts in the world, (3) overall it offers pretty average value for money compared to resorts from other countries, (5) internationally the resort offers excellent value for money.
March 28, 2015
Roger F from United Kingdom
Spent the last 14 years going to Les Contamines on and off. Last 3 years with a family (2 adults 2 boys ages 10 - 13 now). We love it. Quiet resort and easily accessible. Half-term holidays: very short queues. Virtually snow sure too. Add to that, from St Gervais (10 minute drive) you can get the little train up the mountain to Les Houche in the Chamonix valley and ski there too (125euro for a family of four including the skiing).
Wide open skiing on mainly reds. Enough easy slopes for beginners; not a huge amount of blacks but a lot of off-piste/open bowl fun can be had if you know where to go. I was finding powder with none there 6 days after the last fall of snow!
Accommodation is cheap/reasonable (it is a ski holiday!). We love going back year after year. Some nice bars and eateries. 3 supermarkets in town for self catering.
We drive from Lancashire each year; well worth the trip. Driving also gives you options for going to Chamonix valley or Les Gets/Morzine/Avoriaz; all about 1hr ish away.
Add to that free night skiing on Tuesday and Wednesday and for your intermediate/family skiers its all great!
November 12, 2011
Alexander De Tavernier from Belgium
I have now spent 4 winter seasons in Les Contamines. It is a great place if you want to enjoy fresh powder. You can find some awesome runs without even having to hike your legs of. Of course, if you do like to climb for an hour or so, I can guarantee that you will find runs that are absolutely incredible. A large part of the resort faces north and the valley is known for getting big amounts of snow, so the chances of you getting some powpow are fairly high. If you prefer sticking to the groomed terrain, you won't be disappointed neither. Both challenging and more mellow slopes are there to be shreded. The resort does require some discovering, even after 4 years I keep on finding new spots which always blow my mind. Try to go there when you have some fresh snow, as you might have guessed by now, the free-riding is simply awesome.
March 15, 2011
Derek F from Israel
Just had a brief 3 days at Les Contamines, which I have had on my hit list for a couple of years.
Access by car from Geneva is really easy. It's literally 10 minutes up the road from St. Gervais and should be accessible even after snowfalls.
The village is nice, parking is not a problem, and there's a much friendlier atmosphere than most French sites. Seems to be only Brits and French families -- so not much in the way of international mix. We got reasonably priced accommodation in one of the Pierre Blanches apartments in Hameaux du Lay which is near the main cable car and were close to the Tetras bar which is great for watching soccer. Also a nice French bar: Saxo, round the corner.
I am used to ski in-ski out, so I was not wild about the fact that you need to get a lift up to the ski area and it's not really possible to get down to the village on a snowboard which meant you needed to end the day before the main return lift closed.
The snowboarding was generally good even though there was not that much snow. One small gripe is that there's a awkward narrow blue slope that takes you to the important Junction area that gets fairly crowded and it was not great in the hot sunny conditions we had.
The snow park is really good fun and I thought this and the main run down from the Signal area were the best sections.
My son felt he had exhausted the site after 2 days, but a group of Brits I met who come every year were of the view that the site is always full of surprises and never fails to hold their interest.
I felt there was a lack of tree-level pistes which meant a lot of the terrain felt the same but to be fair I did not get to the Hauteluce side. I suspect that a week here could be too long.
On the plus side, St. Gervais is very accessible and that has some great restaurants including the Enterele pizza which is probably the best pizza joint I have ever experienced. Really worth the trip but you may want to book to be sure.
On our last day we moved on to Chamonix - one day at the Flegere lift. The conditions were colder there, even though it is lower. Great tree level pistes mixed with wild and wonderful ski lifts and cable cars. It made a great contrast to Les Contamines and I can recommend the mix between the two. I would not like to do Flegere in bad fog though!
To sum up -- Les Contamines is a good site, with decent value for money with shops and accommodation which are reasonable. Also, in good snow conditions you have the option to explore St. Gervais, which looks interesting and is a great small town with plenty of good eateries. Plus the fact that Chamonix is not far away.
If you fancy just one resort then I would recommend nearby Flaine over Les Contamines (but the road up there is harder if the snow is falling).
March 05, 2011
maria from France
It is a good place, but it can be lonely or desolate there too, especially in bad weather and had some terrible ski instructor last year, one who was just a waste of money and time.........and just pushed us too hard and risky, I didn't enjoy it, but went another time and would rave it.
February 01, 2011
Ross from United Kingdom
Les Contamines is the hidden gem of the Alps. I love traveling as much as I love winter sports, and consequently never visit the same place twice.
Having now been skiing in most of the French resorts as well as Switzerland, Norway, Austria and Bulgaria, I have now, for the first time ever, booked accommodation and flights to somewhere I've been before, Les Contamines.
That says it all really, I'm very much looking forward to getting back out there in a few weeks time.
April 07, 2010
mary from Ireland
Les Contamines is a special place, but I expect if you hit it in the wrong mood it can feel quiet and lonely. The locals have a gentleness that is disarmingly welcoming - that is just gorgeous as is the scenery and skiing. I'm not that experienced a skier but if there's heaven on earth this has to feature up there.
April 01, 2010
Katie from Ireland
I love this place (Les Contamines). I am lucky enough to have friends over there and was able to visit. Loved it; best place I've ever been skiing.
I'd tell you to go. However, I want it all to myself. :)
January 29, 2010
Greg from United Kingdom
All the reviews below are still spot on, it's beautiful, unspoilt, great slopes and fantastic off-piste if you know where to look. I've been going to Les Contamines for the last 6 years and having skiied all the big resorts. Feel I've found a place that marrys the magic and majesty of French mountain life / culture and people with perfect conditions, fantastic snow and lots of great places to go out at night. No night clubs but I've never had a dull night out.
I wanted to write a long list of things that are aweful about Les C but it would be doing it a dis-service.
However, in the nicest possible way, please don't come here.
November 28, 2007
Tony from Ireland
When we went there first, a friend from Geneva said "don't tell anyone about this place", We have been going there for years ever since, One of the best snow records in France, great locals and not too commercial, ...nightlife has to be found...which is always rewarding, "...it's where the French Ski"