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Dominic Killinger

07 Mar 16

Ski A Little Bit Of Italy From France

Dominic Killinger

07 Mar 16

Like skiing or boarding on those big snow-sure altitude ski areas the French do better than anyone else ?
Love ski-in/ski-out access to your comfortable, modern accommodation, with your croissant and pain au chocolat delivered to reception for you each morning ?

Well yes, of course you do, but be honest: do you look for something more on your French ski holiday ? A proper Italian pizza perhaps, actually cooked in Italy? Or if you’re a coffee lover, perhaps a real espresso ?

Well the good news is that in La Rosière you can have the best of both worlds – your champagne and your Prosecco as it were, or your fondue and your pasta. That’s because this snow-sure, high-altitude, family-friendly French ski resort that sits directly across the Tarentaise valley from Les Arcs shares the Espace San Bernardo with its Italian neighbour La Thuile in the Aosta Valley. That’s the next valley over and takes you across the border. Between them, these two resorts share 160km of superb skiing.

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The better news still is that a wide sunny plateau links the two, and with fast lifts even intermediate skiers can nip over to Italy for a traditional lunch (at very reasonable prices might I add) and ski home at the end of the day.
There are more than 80 ski runs for all ability levels in the ski area, which has a great snowfall record thanks to the influence of Mont Blanc, while also being blessed with a high sunshine record on the La Rosière side. You can enjoy breathtaking views of the surrounding snow-covered peaks from most of the slopes.

Although La Rosière has a particularly strong reputation for families, with great facilities for children and beginners (including new snowboarding facilities for children as young as age three this winter), plus endless piste kilometres for intermediates, advanced skiers have plenty to entertain them too.

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New this winter, the resort has created three permanent touring trails close to the marked slopes. These include Serge’s Trail, a perfect challenge for novice ski tourers, which takes you from Les Eucherts through wild, high-altitude landscapes, across the ski slopes and up to the summit of Roches Noires at an altitude of 2,330m, where there are stunning views of Mont Pourri.

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The Italian connection also brings access to some of the area’s best north-facing slopes and means that it’s possible to go on a heli-skiing day trip (heli-skiing is banned in France), and the area is also famous for its ski kiting on the plateau if you fancy something different.

La Rosière is a purpose-built resort, but you’ll be forgiven if you don’t realise that when you roll up there after a short 90-minute transfer from Chambéry or Grenoble airports, on the direct Eurostar from St Pancras or via the nine-hour drive from the Channel.

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That’s because its designers have worked hard to ensure that it has all the benefits and the traditional feel of an authentic Savoyard village with a strictly controlled development, including only allowing architecture that reflects the region’s traditions, showcasing local stone, wood and “lauze” slate.

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Holidays to La Rosière are bookable through UK-based specialist Ski Collection