Last weekend we discovered the perfect spot for families with young children who wish to ski, sledge or simply play with snow in the French Alps and near Geneva area. This was like a dream place for our family! We all fell in love with this small town in the Alps, which is called Les Carroz.
LES CARROZ SKI RESORT
Les Carroz is a family friendly ski resort that is situated in the upper Savoie region of the Northern French Alps. It is located between Geneva and Chamonix, so it would take you about 45 minutes to get there if you’re coming from Geneva. And the good news is that the way to this resort was quite smooth and easy compared to many other ski resorts, that usually have too many turns and leave us feeling dizzy on the way before we even reach our destination.
Les Carroz is one of 5 linked ski resorts that range from 700m to 2500m in altitude. However, at an altitude of 1140m, Les Carroz is the most easily accessible ski resort of them. It has been classified as “Family Plus” which means that families are warmly welcomed and most of their needs are met in this ski resort.
WHERE TO PARK IN LES CARROZ
We arrived early in the morning and parked our car in a free parking that has 500 car slots. It is so convenient as it’s placed next to the cablecar that goes up to the mountain. Moreover, the resort offers regular and free ski buses that can give you a ride from town right to the slopes.
LES CARROZ TOURISM OFFICE
During our visit, we got the chance to go to two ski schools; ESF and ESI, and checked out their offers (more on ski classes below). Ski schools offer collective and private classes. We booked a private class for our children that afternoon and headed to the tourism office. The helpful staff assisted us in planning our day at Les Carroz, while our children played in the lovely kids area in the office (the kids loved the play room, they asked if they could play for 5 more minutes even though we told them it was time to go and play with snow!).
After renting our skies and sledges, we headed to the sledging area. This was the best sledging area for young kids as it’s not too big and also not too crowded. The best thing about it was the moving carpet that takes us up the hill so we didn’t have to climb up every time we sledge down. This allowed us to save some energy for other activities. However, I should warn you that once you start sledging, it will be almost impossible to stop. We literally had to drag the kids out of the sledging area to have enough time for lunch before ski classes start.
WHERE TO EAT AT LES CARROZ?
There are more than 20 restaurants that will meet all skiers taste buds. And what could be better to eat after spending time in the fresh air than a delicious hot fondue! So this is what we went for for our lunch; hot cheese fondue accompanied by dried meat and pickles.
Kids enjoyed stirring pieces of bread in the huge fondue bowl with melted cheese, but they also had some chicken nuggets, salad and chips.
For dessert we had an amazing speciality of the region called “Croute à täe”. It is a soft and tasty pastry made of crushed almonds and pistachios (which gave it a unique green colour).
SKI CLASSES AT LES CARROZ
Soon after lunch we went to our ski class and the instructors took the kids to the different pistes that suited their levels and their advancement. We, parents, hit the slopes on our own while enjoying the spectacular scenery of the clouds below the mountains, the beautiful village with its picturesque chalets, and paragliders slowly descending from the sky.
We also learnt that there’s a day nursery (La Souris Verte) for kids from 6 months to 3 years, children’s club (Des Loupiots) for kids from 3 to 12 years old that opens during French school holidays, Club Piou-Piou for kids between 3 and 5 years old and Kid O Ski for children between 4 and 12 years old. Some of these specialised places for kids offer activities that prepare kids to ski in a fun and enjoyable way. I think these are great options for families and their kids that allow parents to have an amazing skiing experience, while knowing that their kids are having great fun learning how to ski themselves.
In the pistes, there are photographers that take family pictures which you can later collect in their shop in town. So you take a lovely souvenir back home with you after the lovely vacation in the mountains!
I am sure this will be a place to which we will keep coming back to ski and sledge. And maybe try other activities that are offered there, such as tobogganing, dog sledding, glacier trekking and snowshoeing. Snowshoeing is definitely on our list of new activities to try this season that I included in my resolutions!
The kids really enjoyed the visit, so I’m sure that we will be returning to Les Carroz really soon for another family day out.
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