We do our best to provide you with the cosiest chalets in the Alps for rental or for purchase

Chinaillon in Winter

Le Grand Bornand is a long established alpine village which has preserved its character and traditions well. The resort has been developed carefully over the past few years maintaining the traditional character but providing some state of the art skiing facilities with modern high speed chairlifts and snow making on most pistes. Snowboarding is increasing popular in the resort and a purpose built snowpark opened with jumps and halfpipes galore in 2005.

Le Grand Bornand Ski Domain Skiing in the French Alps

Most of our chalets in Chinaillon have easy access to the skiing or are actually located on piste.

The skiing in Grand Bornand is well designed, fully linked and suitable for all levels of skiers. It is part of the Aravis ski area which links the resorts of Le Grand Bornand and La Clusaz and offers over 220km of downhill piste and 60km of cross country skiing.

Skiing in the French Alps
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Beginners will find the gentle green runs a confidence building debut before graduating to blue runs and access to all areas of the resort. For more advanced skiers there are a good range of red runs a few of which are never machined for those who seek bumps and/or deep snow without having to leave the safety of a marked run. The three black runs are properly steep and pose a technical challenge for those looking to tackle them. There are numerous opportunities for off-piste skiing. There is night-time skiing on Tuesdays under floodlights on an easy slope.

A selection of ski passes are available: day, week or season. These can be purchased at the various kiosks at the foot of the slopes as well as at the Grand Bornand and Chinaillon tourist offices. From 2008, the magnetic "hands free" passes will enable you to leave your pass in your pocket rather than display it. It can be used from one year to the next and can be charged up online!

There are ski shops close to all of the chalets and they all have the most recent equipment for all levels and will allow you to leaves skis overnight in their heated stores. High quality tuition is available for all types of alpine skiing and snowboarding. If you are an adult beginner we recommend that you take private lessons, as you will learn much faster. In 2008, private lessons cost around €40/hour for 1 or 2 people.

There are five different areas of cross country skiing available with a good selection of trails in both Le Grand Bornand and Chinaillon.

There are many activities for those who love the mountains but have no intention of skiing. There are many kilometres of snowy walking paths well away from the ski areas which can be tackled with walking boots. You could also try raquettes/snow-shoes (rental around €6/day) and there are guides that can take you to remote places with unspoilt views. There is a heated indoor/outdoor swimming pool in La Clusaz.

Le Grand Bornand and local produce:

Le Grand Bornand is a long established alpine village which has preserved its character and traditions well. It has a genuine year-round life based on dairy farming and its ancient wooden chalets are still used as farms and give an authentic feel to the area.

Eating out in Chinaillon

Le Grand Bornand has a weekly market on Wednesday mornings where fresh fruit and vegetables are sold alongside other local products. The area is famous for its Reblochon, one of Frances' best known Appellation Contrôlée cheeses. The region also produces large amounts of Tomme de Savoie as well as sheep cheeses (Brebis) and goats cheese(Chèvre). Pork is another important local product and you can buy a large variety of dried hams, saucisson, pates, terrines and sausages. There is honey from different parts of the mountains as well as jams made from the local fruits. Wines from the Savoie can also be bought from the market and in some of the village shops. They are mostly light white wines (Apremont, Chignin, Roussette) with a flowery nose and a fresh lemony taste. The red wines are either Gamay, which is light and fruity or Mondeuse which is fruity, peppery and tannic. There are similar markets in La Clusaz on Mondays and Thônes on Saturdays.

Chinaillon Local Produce, Le Grand Bornand.

Annecy

Annecy is one of the loveliest Alpine cities in Europe situated by a gorgeous lake which is about 30 minutes drive. It has been called the Venice of the Alps because of its well-preserved Medieval centre and its canal system. Inside the old city, which is nearly all car-free, there are lots of interesting shops and restaurants under the covered walkways and along the canals. The castle has a comprehensive museum and there are others monuments to visit as well. By the lake is a big open park and a botanical garden. You could also visit the numerous beaches all around Lake Annecy and swim in the cleanest lake in Europe. There are many water-based sports on offer all around the lake including sailing, windsurfing, wakeboarding as well as pedalos and rowing boats for hire.