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Flaine

Flaine Ski Resort Guide

Flaine, France

Rated: 3/5 (from 7 ratings)

Ski Area Highlights
Recommended ForFreeriders, Expert Skiers, Intermediates, Beginners and Apres-Ski!
Total Piste Length140km
Highest Lift2,500m
Resort Height1,600m
 Nearest AirportsGeneva and Annecy
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Flaine

Purpose-built and snow-sure, Flaine has some great skiing at the head of the Grand Massif ski area. Lifts radiate out in a skier-friendly natural basin, extending to Les Carroz, Morillon, Samoëns and Sixt.

Summary

The French ski resort of Flaine is in the French Alps at an altitude of 1,600m, with 140km of marked runs.

Flaine is part of the Grand Massif ski area with access to 265km of downhill skiing, with 351 marked pistes, served by a total of 78 ski lifts. In addition to the skiing in Flaine itself (140km of pisted ski runs), the appropriate ski Lift Pass will allow you to ski or snowboard in the other Grand Massif ski resorts of Les Carroz, Morillon, Samoëns and Sixt Fer à Cheval.

The ski resort itself is at 1,600m, so skiing or boarding back to the resort is usually possible. With ski lifts as high as 2,500m, snow cover is generally reliable.

Snow and Weather

When will it snow in Flaine?

The next notable snow forecast is 8cm, expected on 26 October, with around 8cm forecast over the next 7 days.

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Snow this week

Snow Forecast by day for Flaine
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Ski Area Stats

Flaine Ski Area

Piste and Lift Stats
Black Pistes
Expert Trails
 5 
Red Pistes
Intermediate Runs
25
Blue Pistes
Easy Trails
26
Green Pistes
Beginner Runs
 7 
Downhill
Total Length
140km
Cross Country
Total Length
13km
Ski Lifts
Number of Lifts
26

Grand Massif Ski Area

Piste and Lift Stats
Black Pistes
Expert Trails
37
Red Pistes
Intermediate Runs
132
Blue Pistes
Easy Trails
140
Green Pistes
Beginner Runs
42
Downhill
Total Length
265km
Ski Lifts
Number of Lifts
78

Altitudes

Flaine Ski Area Heights

Lift Heights and Resort Altitude
Highest Lift2,500m
Lowest Piste1,600m
Resort Altitude (Flaine)1,600m
Max Vertical900m

Ratings & Suitability

Ratings for Flaine
Freeriders
Expert Skiers
Intermediate Skiers
Beginners
Snowboarding
Snow
Apres-Ski

Flaine Overview

Flaine - the village - is not a sight that suits everyone, although the famous concrete-block architecture actually includes listed buildings! Flaine the ski area, on the other hand, offers a tremendous variety of well connected skiing for all levels. Absolute beginners can start on the tennis courts near the town and can progress on long meandering Blues further up. Unusually, beginners are also served by a couple of runs beside the highest restaurant.

Flaine sits on a forested hillside in a natural snowy bowl only 30km (18 miles) from Mont Blanc.

The resort is located at a snowsure altitude in the huge Grand Massif ski area, with lift-links across and down to quaint traditional villages like Samoëns and Sixt in the valleys below.

 Notable Ski Runs

The longest possible descent in Flaine is 14km long and the most difficult run is the 'Styx'.

Skiing

The Grand Massif is one of the more precisely measured of the larger ski areas - with 265km (167 miles) of prepared trails linking the resorts of Morillon, les Carroz and Samoens to Flaine. Sixt, also on the Pass, has its own small ski area but there's no lift link in to the main Grand Massif skiing, the closest is Samoens. However it is possible to take a wonderful long (14km /9 miles) blue down which comes out close to the resort. Although the lifts do not go as high as at some of the other big areas (and higher than some others!), the resort has an excellent snow record thanks to its largely north facing slopes and proximity to Mont Blanc. Another unusual factor for the Grand Massif is that a good part of the skiing is below the tree line on trails cut through the forest.

Flaine is a good choice for beginners with wide gentle nursery slopes by the resort. There are also nursery slopes at the very top of the ski area, accessed by the Grandes Platières cable car and served by Petit Balacha and Colonné drag lifts.

Intermediates will get the most from the Grand Massif as all its extremities may be accessed by easy or intermediate level trails, so there's plenty of touring to be had on long tree-lined slopes. All types of descent known to man are here - from long motorway cruises to short steep mogul fields. Experts sill also find a lot to entertain them in the Grand Massif, both on the 12 black pistes and off. The Diamant Noir, the Styx and the long black option down to the base of the Samoens access lift are all popular as is the Combe de Gers bowl of powder snow.

The Ecole du Ski Français and the International Ski School are both here in force - both offering trips over to nearby Chamonix to tackle the famous Vallée blanche (For good intermediates and better) as well as ski touring, heli-skiing and on or off piste tours in the Grand massif. In addition three specialist teams offer special classes.

There are a variety of pistes to suit all levels of skier ability, from Beginner to Expert.

Snowboarding

The Jam Park in the Aujon area is the area especially reserved for freestylers. It contains a Boarder Cross and other features.

Both the main ski schools offer snowboarding tuition and the ESF operates its own 'Rabbit Club' and Club Piou-Piou for children aged 6 to 10 providing supervision and equipment (board, helmet, knee and elbow pads).

Location and Map

Where is Flaine?

This ski resort is in the French Alps in Grand Massif, Haute-Savoie.

Map

Tap Show Map in Full Screen for Full-Screen, or see J2Ski's Resort map, showing Hotels and Ski Shops.

How to get there

 By Air

The nearest airport to Flaine is Geneva, 53 minutes drive away.

Annecy, Chambery, Sion, Lyon St-Exupéry, Grenoble, Lyon Bron, Berne and Turin Caselle airports are all within three hours drive.

Geneva is just one hours drive away, in good driving conditions, so you can be on the piste quickly.

Infrastructure

Ski Lift Capacity

The 26 ski lifts are able to uplift 32,000 skiers and snowboarders every hour.

Snow Making

Snow-making is available, on 10km of ski runs, with 100 snow cannons.

Season Dates

When is Flaine open?

We don't currently have confirmed season dates, but hope to soon.

Usual opening is late December, and usual closing is Late April.

NOTE:- Ski area, lift and piste opening is subject to Current Snow Conditions.

Piste Map

Flaine Piste Map
Flaine

COVID-19 / Coronavirus

We don't yet have specific details of the COVID-19 precautions being taken in Flaine, but they are likely to include most of the following :-

  • Face masks required on lifts, and in shops.
  • Social distancing in public areas.
  • Reduced lift capacity.
  • Extensive disinfection / sanitization.

French Ski Resort COVID-19 Measures describes further measures that may also be applied.

Visit the Flaine Tourist Office for the latest.

Talking about Flaine

Mentions in recent J2Ski News Items and Snow Reports from our users...

Aprés Ski

As with most of the purpose-built resorts of its generation, Flaine's night life is concentrated in buildings within the apartment and hotel complexes. Popular bars include the White Pub (famous for its range of beers and whisky) and the Flying Dutchman. There's one nightclub.

History and Development

Established in 1968, Flaine dates to the baby-booming years when France was building big ski resorts in big ski areas very quickly. The emphasis was on constructing resorts that were cheap to stay in but offered doorstep skiing in some of the world's biggest and best ski areas. Nothing else really mattered very much. Twenty years on, with the emphasis switching to quality, the concrete rectangles deposited in areas of great natural beauty have drawn much criticism but Flaine has hit back pointing out that its architecture is purposely stark and functional and that it was designed by Marcel Breuer, a master of the Bauhaus school. Although its design may at first appear incongruous it in fact echoes patterns of light and shade that are to be found in the rocks and crags at the base of the valley. What Flaine also points out, is that whatever your first impressions of its concrete monoliths, you should not judge a book by its cover!

The origin of the resort's name is rather romantic - legend has it that a huge giant slept in the mountains and valleys, resting his head on the spot where Flaine now stands. Flainoz was an old French word for pillow.

The main, original, part of the resort is split into three sections - Forêt, Forum and Front de Neige, linked together by pedestrian walkways and lifts - the design is very functional.

A more recent development, the 'Hameau De Flaine' - despite the resort's complete confidence in its original concept - is a complete architectural and design contrast. Wooden chalets built to Scandinavian-style design using a range of delicate colours stand apart from the main resort.

Flaine