We arrived in Combloux ski resort at night. The snow was still falling lightly in the little French village, and the glow from the street lamps and modest Christmas decorations made it feel like something from a film. As we walked (uphill!) to our tiny apartment we were greeted by the cutest little wooden chalets, a beautifully lit old church and several inviting looking pubs and restaurants.
When we packed up three months worth of clothes and headed off to Combloux ski resort for the winter I had absolutely no idea what to expect. Obviously I had done a little reading. I knew that Combloux ski resort was only 4 km from Megève and 30 km from Chamonix. I knew that Combloux ski resort was supposedly a charming village overlooking Mont Blanc, in the French Alps, and I was relieved to read that it was pretty well suited to a range of abilities. But when you’re making somewhere home for three months, the information was pretty thin.
We picked Combloux ski resort as ‘home’ for the winter on a whim. We couldn’t stand the thought of living on our boat in the boat yard all winter, and we didn’t really fancy going home to England either, so we found the cheapest air bnb we possibly could that was somewhere within bus distance of some slopes, and went for it (find out how we are skiing for the season on a pretty tight budget here!)
We got lucky. Combloux Ski Resort is a skiiers paradise, and a beautiful little village to visit even if you don’t ski. After three months of making this place home, we’ve put together a complete guide on the area so that you can really make the most of your stay here. If it’s fantastic skiing, beautiful scenery or charming villages that you’re after, look no further than Combloux ski resort!
Where Is Combloux Ski Resort?
Surrounded by mountains and kilometres of pistes, Combloux Ski Resort is in an incredible location for anyone looking for a ski holiday. It is in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region in south-eastern France, and is only 4km from Megeve and 30km from Chamonix. It is also only an hour from Geneva airport, making it ideal for a short break or a long weekend away.
From many places in Combloux you get views of various mountains in the alps, including the famous Mont Blanc mountain.
Getting To Combloux Ski Resort
Combloux ski resort is easy to get to from Geneva airport (flights from London are often super cheap, depending on what time of year you’re intending on travelling). You can hire a car for your time here or use public transport.
By Car: If you plan on spending a week or longer here then it may be worth hiring a car to get around Combloux. The larger, cheaper supermarkets are tricky to reach by Combloux public transport, and having a car would make life easier. Depending on the size of your party, hiring a car may also be cheaper than public transport.
You can hire a car easily from Geneva airport, and the drive will take you about an hour. The route takes you on mostly main roads which should be clear from snow, though as you get into Combloux the roads are sometimes less well cleared depending on how recent the snowfall is. You should check that snow chains are included in your rental. The route to Combloux ski resort passes toll roads, so have some money handy!
Directions From Geneva: Follow the A40 l’Autoroute Blanche to Sallanches. Exit here and follow the N212 towards Combloux (8km). From Albertville follow the D129 to Ugine then take the N212 through Megeve to Combloux. Turn off right by the Tourist Office to access the ski area.
By Public Transport: The best way to reach Combloux by public transport is by bus. Book through oui bus or through a ski transfer company. You’ll have to change in Sallanches, but it’s a really simple change over. The bus will drop you off in the centre of Combloux, just outside the tourist office. It should cost around £30 per person, and take just over an hour.
If you’re coming from Paris then travel by TGV, direct from Paris to Sallanches then take a bus or taxi (8km) to Combloux. You can book your TGV fast train from Paris or Eurostar’s ski train direct to the French Alps with OUI.sncf
What Is There To Do In Combloux Ski Resort Village?
Combloux village itself is VERY small (unlike the actual ski area, which is massive!), so if it’s lively apres ski you’re after then you’re best off heading to nearby Megeve. If you’re more of a fan of atmospheric winter walks through a pretty little village, and a quiet drink in a local French bar, then this is the place to be.
In the centre of Combloux you will find a large tourist office, where staff speak good English. They have copies of bus timetables and maps of the local area, so it’s worth popping in to get your bearings.
The church in Combloux is well worth a visit, especially in the snow. It’s beautiful spire is metallic and reflects the sun perfectly on a bright afternoon.
Next to the church there is a reasonably large children’s play area with a picnic bench.
Where To Eat And Drink In Combloux Ski Resort
There are several small bars in the centre of Combloux. Postilion is popular with locals and seasonaires, and is probably the best place to grab a vin chaud after a day up the mountain. What it lacks in atmosphere and charm, it makes up for in friendliness.
There is a lovely restaurant just up the hill a little bit, opposite Route de Fueg and next to the church.
Combloux Ski Area – A Comprehensive Guide
The Combloux ski area is absolutely huge. From Combloux you can access 445km of slopes, from beginner to advanced, and experience some great off piste skiing too.
The two main lift passes available are for the ski area “Portes du Mont-Blanc” including Combloux, Le Jaillet, the Giettaz and Cordon (100 km of ski runs from 1100 to 1930m) and the ski area “Evasion Mont Blanc” which includes the skiing in Combloux, Megève, St Gervais, Les Contamines, St Nicolas and the Giettaz of Véroce (445 km of slopes).
I have split the ski areas up into two areas that are separated by bus, so that if you plan to spend only a day here it will be clear what you can expect from accessing only one of the ski areas. The Combloux ski area, best accessed from Combloux and reachable from the Jaillet gondola in Megeve and the Mont d’Arbois ski area which includes Rochebrune (accessed via a lift), all the way over to Cote 2000.
Portes Du Mont Blanc In Combloux
How To Get There
Take the Combloux ski bus from the bus station in town. It’s a 5 minute ride up to the ski resort and the buses come every 20 minutes (usually sooner). If you have a car then there is a large car park, but be aware that it gets very busy at weekends and during the school holidays.
Skiing At Portes Du Mont Blanc Combloux Ski Resort
The closest lift to access from Combloux village is the Beauregard 4 seat chair lift at La Cry. You will also find a few drag lifts for the debutante slopes (see below for beginner information).
As you take the chair lift up you will begin to get a feel for Combloux and it’s magical tree lined runs that make this ski area quite unique. If you’re lucky enough to be heading up with fresh snow then you’ll be treated to frosted branches and untouched powder below. From here, the best place to head is down the blue Papa run which takes you to Pertius chair lift. It’s short and usually in good condition, making it the perfect warm up run to begin the day.
If you continue on Papa past the chair lift you will come out back at the Beauregard. There are also several more home runs from here. Gentiane, a blue that takes you the opposite direction to Papa, and a red you can turn off onto from Gentiane.
At the top of Pertius chair lift the mountain opens up, and from here you can access a wide range of slopes, from beginner to advanced. There are no restaurants here, but there is a nice picnic area and toilets.
The red run Jorace is a favourite of ours from the top of Pertius. It takes you through a racy tree lined run that ends at the Jouty chair lift. You can also reach this lift a rather flat blue and an often un-pisted black. This lift is slow and long, so the runs down to here are often a little quieter. The red run Melazes back down to Pertius is also fun, and often quiet even when the slopes are really busy.
There are a few runs down to the Jaillet gondola if you want to visit Megeve town (catch the free ski lift into the centre), or several home runs too which are pretty low down and were rarely open on our three months here.
From the top of Pertius follow the cruisy blue Bel Ava, which twists and turns down the mountain and provides some rather magical views. Here even more of the mountain is accessible, and you can head up to Christomet. Turn left from the chair lift to find some of the best views of Mont Blanc, and some nice red runs back down. Or you can ski down the long Treffleannaise to reach Le Giettaz and the 1930m high mountain, Le Torraz.
Stop on the way at Auberge Bonjournal for some lemon meringue pie beside the wood burning stove. This is one of the more reasonably priced restaurants on the mountain, and it’s cosy, warm and well worth a stop off.
If you have the time and energy to get all the way over to Le Torraz then you’ll be rewarded with, what we think, are the best views of the whole Combloux ski resort. There is a little snack bar (you’ll pay for those views!), a picnic area and toilets at the top here. Don’t rush back over, make sure you fit in some of the runs back down to Le Giettaz. We especially like Crete, which splits into two different reds half way down.
The only way back from La Torrez is via several drag lifts.
Combloux Ski Resort For Beginners
As a complete beginner when I started my season here, I got to know the beginner slopes pretty well, and think I’m well qualified to comment on their difficulty for complete beginners! I found the Combloux ski area provided slightly easier slopes than those off of the Princess gondola, and it was possible to explore more of the mountain here as a new skiier. The Combloux area is also noticeably quieter, which is a much nicer atmosphere to learn in.
From La Cry there are several drags that take you a short way up, to some nice beginner slopes. Here you can practice your skills without feeling daunted. If you’re ready to tackle something a little harder then head up Beauregard from where you can take the blue run Papa down to Pertius chairlift. It’s a short blue and it’s mostly flat, with only a few wide steeper sections. You’ll have plenty of room to turn and traverse the mountain. As a complete beginner I found this a good slope to practice on, as it’s steep enough to give you the feeling of picking up speed but wide enough that it’s easy to keep control.
Once you’re at the top of Pertius there is the Bel Ava blue run that merges into a green to take you to the Jaillet gondola and on to Ravine chair lift. The top of this run may seem a little steep for beginners, but then it flattens out completely, before taking you down another steep section and from there it is all pretty flat. This is a great run to start practising some different skills, as it has steep sections, narrower flatter sections and some small hills.
Another nice run for beginners from the top of Pertius is the blue down to the Jouty chair lift. It starts with a slope that feels a little steep and busy (but is very wide), and then flattens out. It takes you through the forest on a little winding trail, and is very often pretty much empty. We skied this piste for the first time on Christmas day and it was the perfect run to help build my confidence.
If you’re feeling a little more confident then follow the blue runs detailed above all the way over to Le Torraz for spectacular views. The only section of run I found a little steep was the blue from the top of Le Torraz, but it’s very short and the views will take your mind off it!
Mont d’Arbois, Rochebrune and Cote 2000
This ski area is huge and could easily be split into three different sections. I’ve given a brief description of them all so that you can choose where to explore on your visit to Combloux.
How To Get There
You can access all three areas from the mountain top in various ways. If you’re coming from Combloux, the quickest way to get up to this ski area is via the Princess Gondola, which will take you to Mont d’Arbois. You can catch the ski bus from the village centre, drive (large car park available), or even walk.
From here you can access Rochebrune via a ski lift, and on to Cote 2000. If you’re coming from Megeve then take the gondola in the centre of town up to Rochebrune, and if you want to access Cote 2000 directly then you will need to take the ski bus or drive (parking available).
Skiing Mont d’Arbois
Stepping off the gondola at the top of Mont d’Arbois, you’ll be treated to breath taking views of Mont Blanc and the surrounding mountains. The top of Mont d’Arbois can get busy, but as there are so many pistes coming off from it that doesn’t mean it will necessary be busy skiing. There is a small bar and toilet facilities here, and a pretty darn expensive restaurant just below.
From here you can ski down to the Megeve gondola via several greens, reds and blacks. There are nice views of the lake form many of the runs, but be aware that the runs on this side of the mountain are often the first to melt in warmer weather.
The other side of the mountain leads towards St Gervais, and there are some lovely tree lined runs of all difficulties here. We especially enjoy the gentle green Chateluy. though it can get a little congested on the narrower bottom half, so avoid if it’s busy.
You can take various runs down to the Princess mid way station, or in good conditions all the way to the bottom. The blue run Prapacot is lovely when the snow fall has been decent, but other wise it is a little icy or slushy.
Follow Argent down to the Mont Joux chair lift to open up even more of the mountain. At the top of the Mont Joux mountain you’ll find Folie Douche and a party atmosphere. If you can tear yourself away from the bar then head down to Croix du Christ. There is a blue run down but we prefer the reds, which are usually in better condition. Or you can continue on to the Epaule chair lift and take a really lovely long red down towards St Nicholas, which has some fantastic views.
Mont d’Arbois For Beginners
If you’re a complete beginner then I would recommend taking the gondola from the centre of Megeve, and the lift over to the bottom of Mont d’Arbois (or take the Princess gondola up and the Mont d’Arbois gondola down again!) where you’ll find some really nice and easy beginner slopes to find your feet.
If you’ve come up to the top of Mont d’Arbois, then the first half of the green Mandarines run is gentle. Follow it past the drag lift from some slightly steeper slopes, where you can choose to get the chair lift back up or continue all the way down to the gondola back to Megeve town.
In the other direction there is Chateluy, a long, gentle green that takes you to the St Gervais gondola. There is a lovely restaurant stop half way down this run with stunning views.
Rochebrune has some beautiful tree lined runs, but was somewhat ruined for us by the crowds. As it has direct access from Megeve town centre it tends to be the most crowded place in the Combloux ski resort. Head there when it’s snowing and you’ll find it’s a lot quieter!
The best place to head from the top of Rochebrune is over to the Petite Fontaine chair lift. This lift meets in a bowl, with lovely views and a popular cafe and restaurant. There are a range of runs you can lap here, and it’s a great place to head to if you’re a mixed ability group, as you can meet easily at the bottom of the chair lift after doing the run of your choice.
If you have time then head even further, over to Cote 2000. This ski area is quite different to the pretty tree lined runs, and the scenery is much more dramatic. There is good off piste just off the side of the slopes here, so it’s great after snowfall. It can also be pretty icy, being higher and more in the shade, so pick your timing before heading over! At Cote 2000 the black run Descente is superb when it’s open, but is often closed for competitions.
Rochebrune And Cote 2000 For Beginners
At the top of the Megeve gondola you will find several beginner slopes that are perfect to practice on. Heading up to the top of Rochebrune there is a green run to try. I found this run pretty tricky when I first started out. It’s steep in places and has a difficult camber at times. It’s also often busy, which can be hard when you’re starting out.
Cote 2000 would be very hard to ski to for a beginner. If you want to ski Cote 2000 then take the ski bus there, where you’ll find only one green run. It’s not overly beginner friendly here, but if you’re feeling a little more confident then the scenery makes it worth giving a go!
No Skis? No Problem!
There is plenty to do in the Combloux ski area for those who don’t ski or snowboard. If you fancy a day or you get hit with bad ski conditions then off then take advantage of one of the many other activities available.
Snow Shoeing And Walking: Access to the walking area of Combloux is free for all. Just head up to the Beauregard chairlift and you’ll find lots of walking routes signposted from there. Adam and I had some lovely days exploring the walking routes. There are lots of tracks through snow covered forests, cabins in the woods and some awesome views. From here you can walk all the way back to Combloux village. We would thoroughly recommend trying out the walking routes while you’re here.
The Luge: From the top of Princess gondola you can take the luge run, which is great fun as a change from skiing. If you buy an Evasion Mont Blanc ski pass then you will receive a free ticket for the luge, and it’s well worth using it!
Ice Skating and Ice Hockey: At the Sports and Convention centre in Megève there’s a large ice rink for ice skating. There are also regular ice hockey matches on Saturday evenings which is a fun thing to do if you’re tired of the bars!
Horse Drawn Carriage Rides: Travel in style. From the centre of Megeve you can take a horse drawn carriage ride along the pretty cobbled streets.
Spa and Massages: There are several spas around Megeve. You can find one of the cheapest at the Megeve Palace, which offers 2 hours use of the saunas and steam rooms for 20 euros.
Combloux Ski Resort For Kids
Combloux ski resort has several different day-care options for kids. For children who are aged between 3 months and 4 years there is the nursery “Les Galopins” which is found in the centre of Combloux village, next to the church and the Crêche “Les Loupiots” situated on the ski slopes in La Cry. For children aged from 3 to 5 Club Piwi Piwi gives children their first experiences in the snow.
The Weather In Combloux Ski Resort
Combloux ski resort is a relatively low ski area, with the highest pistes reaching only 1850m. Luckily however, it’s great proximity to Mont Blanc means it gets more snow than it should. That being said, once the weather gets warmer the snow does tend to melt quickly, making slopes patchy and slushy. We were here during an unusually warm February, and although we had plenty of snow, it was gone very quickly.
What To Pack For A Ski Holiday In Combloux
It is obvious that there is a lot of money in Megeve, and people do dress to impress here. That being said, I never felt out of place in my scrappy, well worn ski gear! Check out our guide on what to pack for a ski holiday here, which includes a handy packing list so you don’t leave anything behind!
Hopefully that’s given you a good idea of what to expect from this incredible ski area. If there’s anything I’ve missed then just ask in the comments below and I’ll get back to you asap!