This is our second time skiing in the Alps. Flaine is by far our favorite of the two places we have visited (the other is Valfrejus). Why do we prefer Flaine?
Accommodation – Flaine was purpose built and the resort was opened in January 1969. The accommodation we like is mainly in two areas: Flaine Forum and Flaine Foret both of which have numerous multi-story apartment buildings. You may not think they are pretty (actually I do) but they are very practical!
Easy access to skiing – Because the complex was purpose built most accomodation is an easy walk to the lifts. We recommend staying in Flaine Forum and secondly Flaine Foret. There is a newer area, Flaine Hameau, which is chalet style and farther up the mountain but it does not have the same easy access to the lifts as the Flaine Forum and Flaine Foret.
Perfect skiing for beginners – For beginners, Flaine has two dedicated areas served by four free lifts, including three magic carpets. So a beginner does not have to purchase a lift ticket. Sadly, we didn’t know this bought a week long lift ticket for Papa which he did not need since he is a beginner. Once you have mastered the runs in the free area there are more green runs accessible by the paid lifts.
Skiing for everyone – There is a really great variety of ski runs. There are numerous green and blue runs as well as off piste skiing. Some of the blue runs are quite long. Also, there are 26? (not sure) ski lifts. The Grand Platières lift holds 16 people (10 seated and 6 standing) and goes up 880m in under 10 minutes. When you arrive at the top at 2500m, you have a 360 degree view of the mountains including Mont Blanc. From there are blue, red, black diamond as well as off piste trails to get back down to Flaine at 1600m.
Restaurants and food options – There is a good variety of restaurants. In Valfrejus there were fewer restaurants and they were primarily pizza restaurants or traditional savoyard food (fondues etc.). In Flaine we ate at a small husband and wife run restaurant (1967) which we really liked as well as a larger more traditional restaurant with a variety of dishes, fast service and reasonable prices (Brasserie Les Cimes). There are also a number of on piste restaurants which we didn’t try since not all of us were skiing.
Otherwise we cooked in our apartment which had an amazing kitchen and bought food at the very well stocked Sherpa market. The market also has an excellent cheese counter with a super friendly cheesemonger.