Flaine is a family-friendly ski resort built at the bottom of a large glacial cirque in the late 1960s.
It has a car-free village centre featuring a large sculpture by Picasso and other artworks.
While its modern concrete buildings aren’t as charming as more traditional resorts, it has magnificent scenery and excellent skiing.
Ski season starts in…
Info & Stats
December 12, 2020 – April 17, 2021
Flaine ski resort is part of the 265-kilometre Grand Massif ski area, which rises in altitude from 1,600 to 2,500 metres.
Flaine itself stretches across 140 kilometres, with 8 green runs, 26 blue, 25 red and 5 black.
The longest trail is the 14 kilometre-long Les Cascades.
It also has the largest terrain park in the Grand Massif.
Linked ski area
Grand Massif (5 resorts): Flaine, Les Carroz, Morillon, Samoens, Sixt Fer à Cheval
- 265 km of runs
148 runs (20 greens, 64 blues, 50 reds, 14 blacks)
- 71 lifts
Non-ski activities and experiences
Activities include ice diving, paragliding, snowmobiling, ice quad-biking and buggy driving, snow-kiting and scenic helicopter flights.
It also has a cinema, aquatic centre, art centre, bowling alley and an ice-skating rink.
Location & Trail Map
Transfer time to Flaine from:
- Geneva airport: 1hr15min*
- Cluses train station (closest): 45min*
Resort altitude: 1,600m
*Transfer time is approximate, by private transfer vehicle and subject to weather and road conditions. Shared shuttle/bus transfers have set departure times, take much longer to travel and don’t offer door to door service which is why we recommend private transfers only.
Grand Massif trail map
Flaine Ski Resort Video
The family friendly ski-in ski-out resort of Flaine is located in the beautiful Grand Massif ski area with 80% of its slopes facing north. This means reliable and great snow conditions all season. With stunning views of the Mont-Blanc, long cruising runs, great snow conditions and ski-in ski-out access, Flaine is one of the best family ski resorts in France.
Watch this video to find out more…
- Flaine is the largest of the 5 ski resorts in the Grand Massif ski area, the 4th largest interlinked ski domain in France.
- Thanks to a microclimate caused by its position at the edge of the Mont Blanc massif and with 80% of slopes north facing, Flaine holds its snow very well all season. The majority of the slopes are above the tree-line in a natural open bowl and offer stunning views of Mont-Blanc. There is also great tree skiing linking up to the ski resorts below like Les Carroz and Morillon.
- Le Hameau de Flaine (1,800m) is unique in the French Alps offering colourful Scandinavian wooden chalets in a little hamlet above Flaine Forum (1,600m), the original village centre. Just below on the side of Le Hameau de Flaine is Flaine Montsoleil. Here you will find our luxury apartment complexes, Les Terrasses d’Hélios and Les Terrasses d’Eos which provide ski-in ski-out access and have everything you need on site, including ski hire shops, a supermarket and a ski school meeting point.
- Les Cascades’ 14km run from Flaine to Sixt-Fer-à-Cheval (where a free shuttlebus takes you to the Grand Massif Express in Samoëns) is the 3rd longest ski run in France and in the Top 10 in Europe. On this beautiful ski run, it is not uncommon to see wildlife such as ibex, chamois and mountain hares.
- Flaine is the only ski resort built in the 1960s to be listed in the French Historical Monuments Survey. The resort was awarded the Architectural Heritage of the 20th century label by the Ministry of Culture in 2008. Bauhaus designer, Marcel Breuer created the Palais de l’Unesco in Paris, the Whitney Museum in New-York, and then Flaine.
- Flaine is on of the Top 10 snow-sure ski resorts in France. The main Flaine bowl has an outstanding snow record. Not only does the area have high average snowfall, but snow preservation is also excellent, with good cover down to resort level virtually assured well into April.
- Flaine suits all ski levels: Beginners will love Flaine, there are 2 nursery areas and 4 free ski lifts: 3 covered magic carpets – Le Pré, Le Michalet and Le Bissac, as well as the Télébenne gondola lift. Additionally, there are 3 dedicated beginner’s areas. Learn at your own pace on the Pré and Bissac safe zones, then move on to a series of green runs using the Ballacha ski tow, which is perfect with the beginner skipass. Advanced skiers will find a wide bowl with some seriously steep black runs and excellent off-piste skiing. Intermediates have a huge variety of slopes, from easy blues to steep reds (the majority of slopes here are blue and red).
- Flaine was created in 1969, when big concrete blocks of apartments were considered stylish, even in the mountains. These original blocks designed in the 1960s still form the core of the resort village and have the big advantage of mainly ski-in/ski-out convenience. Liking the architecture is a matter of taste – many find it ugly, but some admire its Bauhaus heritage and the outdoor sculptures by Picasso, Vasarely and Dubuffet.
- Flaine offers some of the cheapest luxury self-catered apartments in the French Alps
- Apartments are ski-in ski-out and the wooden chalets in Le Hameau de Flaine are just a short walk and across the road to start sliding through the forest to a piste if snow conditions allow. Otherwise, you can catch the free resort shuttle bus to the village centre which is 2km away.
- Flaine is a great family ski resort or for friends and groups interested in skiing all day but not partying all night. There is not much nightlife and the evening lacks liveliness and bars.
- The fact that a lot of people don’t like Flaine’s Modernist architecture means that prices have stayed relatively low for France. Add Flaine’s snowy micro-climate into the mix and you can see why some people come back here year after year.
Flaine has some great winter activities. If you’re there for a week or 2, there are plenty of options such as dog sledding, snowmobiling, ice driving, ice quad biking, paragliding, helicopter scenic rides (and 20min heli transfer from Geneva airport), tobogganing, snowshoeing even snowkite!
You will find an outdoor ice-skating rink in Flaine Forum and a beautiful spa with treatments, massages, swimming pool, sauna, hammam and hot tub in our luxury apartment complexes spa area.
Flaine is a 1-hour 15min drive by private transfer from Geneva airport
It’s a 45 min drive from Cluses train station, the closest train station in France to Flaine.
Top Snow Travel can also arrange helicopter or scenic flight transfers from all airports or other ski resort altiports in the region
Next winter, Flaine ski resort is scheduled to open from December 12th 2020 to April 18th 2021.
There are 5 ski resorts included on the Grand Massif’s 265km of run lift pass: Flaine, Les Carroz, Morillon, Samoens and Sixt Fer à Cheval.
January 2nd to Feb 6th 2021 is the cheapest and best time to go (low season), followed by 6th March until mid-April 2021 (the shoulder season).
For Australians travelling to France to ski during our January summer holidays, we benefit from the cheaper rates on offer in the French ski resorts’ low season. This happens to be when the French and Europeans go back to work and school after the 2 week Christmas and New Year holiday period.
Europeans and the Brits flock to the resorts through February into March (DO NOT TRAVEL from 6th Feb to 6th Mar 2021 as this is the French school holidays). The slopes are extremely busy, the queues at the lifts are long and the price for accommodation is very expensive during that time. Even all the restaurants are booked out!
Typically, in January, the snow is dry with the largest build up. It is also the coldest time, so you will need to make sure that you dress warmly. It is still wise to choose a high-altitude resort in case mother nature has not been kind earlier in the season. Bear in mind though, that snow-making is used to supplement natural snowfall in high traffic areas.
So, not only is January the cheapest time to go skiing in the French Alps, it is also the best time to go thanks to the weather conditions, the lack of queues, more availability and choice of accommodation and you get to breathe fresh air with your loved ones, rather than with thousands of other people!