First opened in 1975 and boasting over 300km of meandering, powdery slopes, Les Bottières is a French ski resort that also offers plenty to attract visitors during the summer months. The attractions of the area include a French Ski School which offers group skiing lessons for children during the French school holidays and a number of special events for visitors that take place on selected days throughout the ski season.
The resort sits in the heart of a collection of ski resorts collectively known as Les Sybelles, which also includes the towns of Le Corbier, St Colomban des Villards and St Jean d’Arves. Between them, the resorts boast a total of 63 ski lifts and 320km of ski slopes, suitable for all ability groups.
The variety of ski slopes and facilities on offer makes the resort a very popular choice with tourists who return time and again to experience the massive choice of attractions on offer. This makes property in the resort an attractive option and homes which do come onto the market tend to be snapped up very quickly.
Living in Les Bottières and Things To Do
The main advantage of Les Bottières compared to other French ski resorts is that it is a popular resort in the summer as well as the winter months. When the ski season is not in progress, the breath-taking mountain scenery and challenging local terrain make it a popular base for hikers who come to experience the local landscape. The ski station is also used as a regular stage endpoint in the country's famous Tour de France cycle race.
The resort also benefits from a number of restaurants, some of them attached to the major hotels in the area, which serve local French fare and some international dishes. It's a generally quiet, family friendly resort and a number of facilities are on hand to keep kids safe and entertained on and away from the slopes.
Why Choose Les Bottières?
The network of local ski resorts means that the resort attracts a wide range of skiers. There are runs that are suitable for all levels, from high-intensity black runs to green runs and snowparks that are perfect for beginners and younger skiers. The local authorities also regularly invest in improvements to the resort and run a number of regular activities to allow skiers to meet each other and get the most out of the resort. All of these activities are included in lift passes and are an extra draw for any visitors who may be considering a trip.
The area is also well connected by train services to major cities in France and neighbouring countries, making it easy to do a day of business in Lyon by train and still be back in the resort the same evening. The train offers a good alternative to local roads which can be narrow and windy and become very crowded during the peak of the ski season.
Weather Conditions in Les Bottières
The ski resort opens in the middle of December every year. While this is somewhat later than some other French ski resorts, it reflects the general pattern of the French skiing season, which doesn't tend to ramp up until around Christmas time. The resort continues to operate until the beginning of April, offering a full four months of skiing to local residents and visitors. You can check out the latest snow report and general weather conditions here with our Les Bottières resort guide.
If the snow isn't falling, then around one-quarter of the slopes in the resort are fitted with snow cannons meaning that skiing can continue in the resort regardless of the overall weather conditions.
During the summer, temperatures can climb much higher. While conditions at the top of the mountain tend to remain cold, those at lower levels can climb as high as 30 degrees or even more.
Transport to Les Bottières
The closest airport to the resort is located in Chambery, which is served by flights from most major Western European cities. Flights tend to ramp up and down in line with the ski season and the airport is one of the few in Europe that is quieter during the summer months than winter. Those looking to fly can also consider Turin and Grenoble. The nearest airport with regular long-haul flights to other continents are Milan Malpensa and Geneva, both of which are between two and three hours from the ski resort depending on traffic and the route taken.
Other options for accessing the resort include high-speed train services for all over Europe. The nearest railway station is located 9km away and is served by overnight and high-speed trains from Paris. It is also possible to connect to other services from Lyon, which is served by high-speed TGV services from Northern Italy and the popular Spanish destination of Barcelona.