Le Grand Bornand Overview
Le Grand Bornand is a family-friendly resort situated in the mountains behind Lake Annecy, between Mont Blanc and Lyon.
It is the leading farming township of the region and home to a traditional Savoyard village dotted with wooden chalets, the oldest of which was built in 1664.
Ski season ends in…
Info & Stats
December 19, 2020 – April 18, 2021 (depending on conditions)
Le Grand Bornand has 29 lifts that access 46 trails, including 16 green, 13 blue, 14 red and 3 black.
It also has one of the best terrain parks in France.
Linked ski area
Les Aravis (4 resorts): La Clusaz, Le Grand Bornand, Manigod, St Jean de Sixt.
La Clusaz-Manigod and Le Grand Bornand ski area are connected by shuttle buses.
- 220 km of runs
- 86 runs: 7 blacks, 30 reds, 32 blues, 17 greens
- 2 snowparks
- 50 lifts
Non-ski activities and experiences
Le Grand Bornand has a covered ice-skating rink and cinema, as well as opportunities for paragliding, mountaineering, ski biking, fat biking and sledging.
While it’s not known for its après scene, there are plenty of bars for a quiet drink as well as authentic restaurants with fireplaces and outdoor terraces.
Location & Trail Map
Transfer time to Le Grand Bornand from:
- Annecy airport: 45min*
- Annecy train station: 50min*
- Geneva airport: 1hr 10min*
Resort altitude: 1,300m
*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.
Le Grand Bornand Video
Looking for a traditional French mountain village?
Le Grand Bornand’s old farming town with century old chalets dotted across the mountain is a real gem in the French Alps. Watch this video to find out more…
- Le Grand Bornand is one of only a few charming traditional farming villages in the French Alps which provides world class skiing and stunning views of the Aravis mountain range. The residents live and work here all year round so it is an authentic French alpine farming village.
- There are nearly 40 farms still in operation, many in the pastures of the Col des Annes producing the famous Reblochon cheese using a process that dates back to the 13th century’ Le Grand-Bornand is also famous for its gastronomic tradition with local dishes such as the péla, the “true” tartiflette.
- Discover an authentic French traditional market held every Wednesday morning since 1795 in the village square next to the church.
- There are over 400 chalets scattered around the mountain and in the valley, with local families keeping the old traditional style for several hundred years and the oldest still housing the same family since 1664.
- Le Grand Bornand is just a 45min drive to the beautiful lake and old town of Annecy and only 1hr drive from Geneva airport. This makes it an ideal location for fast and easy access.
- Le Grand Bornand has one of the top 5 best snowparks in France which has something for everyone: small and big, young and old, beginner to experienced professional.
- People looking for a charming authentic French village experience with beautiful old chalets spread over the mountain in a traditional winter wonderland
- People looking for a world class ski area while not having to spend the big bucks. Le Grand Bornand has really cheap ski packages on offer. There are no 5-star hotels there in Chinaillon (the ski resort) but you do have amazing quality accommodation and great 4 star self-catered apartment options.
- People looking to get to the ski resorts quickly when arriving into Geneva airport from Australia. It is only 1hr drive and one of the quickest ski resorts to access
- Families – Le Grand Bornand has amazing snow conditions while also not being too high in altitude (1,300m for Le Grand Bornand Chinaillon). The lower altitude means it is less cold and you have more oxygen than in the high altitude ski resorts. The snow covered pastures also require much less snow cover to ski on compared to many resorts with rocky slopes which require a good snow base.
- Cross country skiing (Nordic skiing) enthusiasts with over 68km of trails surrounded by beautiful forests and the Aravis mountain range. Le Grand-Bornand has a Nordic skiing area that is rich in cutting-edge facilities, such as the Sylvie Becaert international Olympic biathlon stadium. It is named after the double world champion and Olympic medal-holder from Le Grand Bornand. The stadium is the venue for the Annecy-Le Grand-Bornand French round of the Biathlon world cup. Why not try your hand at target-shooting from 10m or 50m away and follow in the footsteps of the greatest champions of the French team.
Once you have put down your skis/snowboard or if you’re not skiing at all during your stay in Le Grand Bornand, there are plenty of winter activities to enjoy such as beautiful snowshoe walks: get off the beaten track and go up in the world along the 81 km of snowshoe trails and 18 km of marked-out hiking trails; have a go at biathlon, Nordic skiing, skibike, Fat Bike, speed riding, paragliding, sledging (including paret/yooner), horse sleigh rides, ski joering, segway sightseeing tours; or how about ice climbing on frozen streams and short waterfalls; or experience something magical – hot air ballooning!
There is also an 800 m² covered ice-skating rink. Our 2 preferred properties in Le Grand Bornand Chinaillon, close to the slopes are Le Village de Lessy and Le Roc des Tours . Both have great Spa and Wellness facilities.
Be sure to visit the once weekly market every Wednesday morning (8am – 12:30pm) in Le Grand Bornand village centre by the square and old church, a must do. While you are there, check out the old boutique shops of local craftsmen still operating as they were hundreds of years ago. Visit the workshops of the saddler, Didier Perrillat (l’Atelier du Bourrelier), and potters, Edith and Patrick Martin, each artisan working in the den of ancient buildings by the fireside, using ancestral know-how.
Eat out at one of the many traditional restaurants and bars both on the mountain, in Le Chinaillon and Le Grand Bornand village.
Le Grand Bornand is a 1-hour 10min drive by private transfer from Geneva airport
It’s a 50 min drive from Annecy train station, the closest train station in France to Le Grand Bornand.
A shared shuttle transfer from Geneva will take over 4hrs and will only drop you off at the village bus stop, not at your accommodation – not ideal if you are travelling with ski gear and luggage and don’t know your way around.
Next winter, Le Grand Bornand ski resort is scheduled to open from December 19th 2020 to April 18th 2021.
There are 4 ski resorts included on the Aravis lift pass: La Clusaz, Le Grand Bornand, Manigod, St Jean de Sixt. La Clusaz-Manigod and Le Grand Bornand ski area are connected by shuttle buses (ski areas not connected by lifts).
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!
Le Grand Bornand Accommodation
At an altitude of 1,000 metres, Le Grand Bornand Village is a typical alpine farming village with an outdoor market, central plaza and church. A bit further up the road, at an altitude of 1,300 metres, you’ll find the well-preserved historic village Le Grand Bornand Chinaillon, which is the main ski base area.