La Toussuire- Les Sybelles (France) Inspection Trip
Written by Ski Adaptable Ski Trip Consultant Ricky Behan February 2013
Flying from London Stansted I arrived in Grenoble and travelled through the falling snow to La Toussuire which shares its ski area with nearby Le Corbier and 4 other ski resorts in a wide sunny bowl in the Maurienne Valley, known as the Sybelles ski area. On arrival I was greeted by our agent Helene who was more than happy over the next 2 days to show us around the local area and take us out on the slopes to experience the excellent snow conditions Les Sybelles has to offer.
After a quick introduction to the local area, we visited the centrally located Chalet L’Edelweiss where a lot of our school groups choose to stay whilst in La Toussuire. On walking through the front door I was greeted by hotel manager Jean-Marc Gabizon who has over 40 years’ experience in accommodating student groups. I am pleased to say on inspection the hotel is perfectly suited to school groups as it offers in house ski hire and is located at the foot of the mountain allowing students ski to door access. This ease of access is further complimented by an extensive dining room and kitchen area as well as a large activity room where students can play table tennis or watch a DVD. I was hugely impressed by the Chalet L’Edelweiss and would recommend the hotel to large student groups due to it being so convenient in terms of it offering in house ski hire as well ski to door access. This makes it the perfect accommodation option for any group leader who wants to avoid the hassle of organising a large group of students in a busy ski resort.
From Chalet L’Edelweiss we made our way up the mountain to Tete de Belard at 2,225 metres equipped with our boards and of course our thermals to be greeted by an impressive view of the surrounding mountains. After a quick bite to eat in the nearby restaurant we made our way back down the mountain experiencing some excellent snow conditions and breath-taking views along the way. After a few more blue and red runs we called an end to the boarding and decided to have a relaxing hot chocolate at the foot of the mountain and enjoy watching the other skiers and boarders make their way back down the mountain. In the evening La Toussuire is magnificently lit up against the backdrop of the vast mountain range creating a warm friendly atmosphere for students to explore. With a bowling alley and cinema located close by as well as a local market selling local produce, students will not be short of souvenirs or things to do in the evening.
The next day after another heavy dumping of snow overnight, we visited Saint Sorlin d’Arves which is located about 45 minutes from La Toussuire by car. The resort Saint Sorlin d’Arves is smaller than nearby La Toussuire however I was very impressed with the level of skiing here and would recommend this resort as a perfect destination for beginner groups. After exploring the local village we made our way to Hotel Beau Soleil which is the hotel we offer in Saint Sorlin d’Arves. Perfectly located on the mountain, Hotel Beau Soleil is a high quality hotel offering spacious rooms with en-suite facilities and spectacular views of the mountain. Access to the mountain is very simple from the hotel with students only needing to take a short walk from their rooms to the outside terrace which sits on the mountain side. With an impressive dining room and spacious activity room to match students will be happy relaxing back at the hotel after a busy day on the slopes whilst group leaders can make the most of the spa and unwind in the hotel sauna and steam room.
Unexplored and relatively untouched by the masses, La Toussuire and Saint Jean d’Arves remain hidden gems in the Les Sybelles Ski area making them the perfect ski destinations for any school group looking to beat the crowds and try somewhere different. Offering a friendly warm atmosphere with traditional food such as fondue’s and raclette’s a plenty, students can immerse themselves in traditional French culture whilst enjoying themselves on the slopes in Les Sybelles. I was thoroughly impressed by the region and as an active skier myself visiting I would recommend Les Sybelles as the perfect destination for any school group looking to access the same snow conditions as the big resorts but without the crowds.
A really great trip and a huge thank you must go to our French agent Helene for making the trip possible!