Les Carroz ski resort guide & reviews Ski area, apres-ski, things to see & do in Les Carroz
Skiing in Les Carroz Araches, to give the resort its full name, sits at 1140m on a sunny plateau in the heart of Haute Savoie in the French Alps. In local patois Carroz means crossroads and the resort is renowned for being the gateway resort to the Grand Massif ski area.
Originally, Les Carroz was just a collection of alpine farms with cattle grazing the prairies in the summer. Nowadays, Les Carroz is a vibrant village which has not been overrun with ugly apartment block developments which has helped it to keep its family-orientated and authentic feel.
Les Carroz is a very popular resort in winter and summer and the main target audience is families, so if you're looking for a massive apres-ski scene, Les Carroz probably isn't for you.
But if you want well-organised events, good food, facilities and attractions for all the family and enough skiing to keep you all happy for a week, Les Carroz could be just what you're looking for.
Les Carroz ski area guide
Les Carroz is actually one of the oldest ski resorts in France, with people skiing for leisure since 1936. The very first draglift was installed in 1939 and at the time it was the longest in Europe.
Since then the Les Carroz ski area has developed to offer 30 pistes and 15 lifts. Les Carroz is part of the Grand Massif collection of resorts.
|Key information (whole area)|
|Longest run||14 km|
|Cross country||176 km|
|Season||Dec - April|
|Apres ski||Relaxed and fun|
Les Carroz is also well known for its night skiing. During the main season the floodlights are switched on at Timalets and you can ski and snowboard the nice red piste there from 19:30 to 22:30. The slope is visible from the motorway at the bottom of the valley floor and is quite an impressive sight. What's more, if you have a valid lift pass its free.
One other piece of advice is to make sure you take a piste map with you when skiing from Les Carroz, because we find the signposting isn't as good as it could be and with you being able to access other ski areas easily, you need to make sure you work your way back to Les Carroz before any lifts you have to access close, else its an expensive taxi ride back to resort.
There is plenty to keep the beginner to lower intermediate skier or boarder happy. Kids will love the learning areas just 100m away from the village centre with the rope lifts and adults will love it too as its no faff to get the kids there for their lessons and if you want to sit and watch them over a morning coffee you can do.
Skiing in Les Carroz itself ranges from 1140m to 2120m. There are lots of good blue and red slopes, with a good mix of wide pistes, trails in the trees and runs in the sunshine too.
If you're looking for the steeps, the technical and the off-piste, we would suggest you purchase the Grand Massif lift pass and head over the mountain to give Flaine a go. For the relaxed family ski holiday, Les Carroz has just about enough to keep you entertained on the slopes, but being linked to the Grand Massif means you can explore further.
The Grand Massif may not have the ruggedness of some off-piste trails such as that found in Chamonix and Verbier, but it does offer plenty to keep the experienced skier challenged throughout their holiday break.
The cross country skiing area is over at Plateau Agy where you will find some very scenic trails that wind through the forests.
A word of warning for snowboarders, there are a fair few traverses in the Les Carroz area, in particular the green piste between the Molliets chair and the Kedeuze bubble lift, which is just flat!
Other ski holiday activities
For non-skiers or for something different, there is...
- Snowscooter tours
- Night sledging
- Trekking & snowshoeing
- Hot air ballooning
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Our views on Les Carroz
Les Carroz is a well-placed resort that merits its Famille Plus label. The atmosphere is more relaxed than other ski resorts and although the pistes in the local area are more suited to beginners and lower intermediates, Les Carroz links easily via the mountain to all the other resorts in the Grand Massif, offering something for every level of skier or boarder. Whether you choose to visit Les Carroz in winter or in summer, you'll find plenty to do to keep all the family happy.
Some of our top tips on Les Carroz include...
- Visit the Mine, a coal mine that dates back to 1750. The mine ran again between 1940 and 1950, but has since shut down. Its in La Colonnaz hamlet by the Epine river
- If you're feeling adventurous book in with a guide to go caving at the Grottes de Balme which is on the road down from Les Carroz to the motorway. You'll be amazed by what you see deep underground in the caverns!
- Use the free shuttle buses. There are three routes during the main winter season with Araches and La Frasse, Le Pre du Bois and the village centre lines. If you take the car, there are large car parks at the Kedeuze and Molliets lifts
- Head to Les Molliets restaurant for food or and après-ski drink. Next to the chairlift of the same name. This farmhouse-style restaurant offers excellent food and fun atmosphere, with live music at least once a week during the winter