Les Gets: a lovely traditional Alpine village for families

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Les Gets lies in the Massif du Chablais at the western end of the massive Portes du Soleil ski area, just below Lac Léman and is therefore easy to reach from Geneva. Les Gets is a great place for a last-minute break. With access to 650 km of slopes spread across 12 villages in both France and Switzerland, the vast Portes du Soleil area offers near-limitless skiing amid fantastic scenery. Border crossings are seamless.

There’s something for everybody in Les Gets and the Portes du Soleil ski area: tough mogulfields, long and wide cruisey pistes, big backcountry descents, and easy nursery slopes. The top of the lift system rises to only 2.466m above Avoriaz. However, an important point worth considering is that although Les Gets is not as high as many other resorts, but with substantial snowfalls combined with predominantly north-facing slopes, with grass as the base together with its highly skilled pisteurs one can often find better pistes in Les Gets even when its snow depth is less than in higher resorts.

Whilst Les Gets and Morzine aren’t in the heart of the Portes du Soleil, there’s plenty of local skiing to occupy most families. One of the most popular places to ski is the bowl where many of the pistes come together, and don’t miss out on Mont Chery which is lesser-known and therefore often empty even at peak times.

Few if any resorts in France have a better reputation than Les Gets for families. Not only is the village and the ski area exceptionally family friendly but there are dozens of added extras that make Les Gets a very special place for a holiday together. This is a family resort with a relaxed atmosphere and some good places to eat both on and off the mountain. Whilst there are plenty of bars (and one nightclub) to choose from, party animals would be better advised to stay in nearby Morzine.

Les Gets’ own pistes are spread across both sides of the village’s valley location, each side topping-off at around 1825m, while two chairlift hauls (one, if snow cover is good) will get you to Red- and Blue-graded runs into neighbouring Morzine. There are good links beyond into the depths of the giant Portes du Soleil, but the majority of families choose to stay in the local area and use the local Les Gets-Morzine lift pass. Snow cover in the main areas of Les Chavannes and Ranfoilly bowl is usually good, however, the south-facing aspect of Mont Chery means that conditions on that side of the village are not always reliable early and late in the season.

On a good day, the skiing around Les Gets and Morzine is superb – especially for beginner and intermediate levels.

The dedicated beginner areas in Les Gets are excellent and easily accessible using the Chavannes gondola. There are two moving carpet lifts and two rope-tows, plus a gentle button-lift that accesses the children’s village and a couple of steeper beginner slopes. The gradual progression and width of most slopes makes the Chavannes and outlying areas perfect for beginners and intermediate

The Espace des Mappys beginners’ ski area is a place where you can learn to ski safely protected from faster more confident skiers. Easily accessible from the top of the Chavannes bubble lift, this beginners’ zone has been set up in a calm safe area and has two gentle, moving carpets conveyor lifts, a rope tow lift and four gentle beginners’ ski-runs.

Intermediate skiers are fairly spoilt for choice with some 500km of piste in the Portes du Soleil graded green to red (easy to intermediate) beginning at your feet and stretching right over the Swiss border with trails up to 11km long. And there’s really every type of ski run and experience imaginable. The local slopes on Les Gets’ 'own' mountain Mont Chéry as well as the larger separate area linked to Morzine. With 110km of piste this alone may still be larger than many other ski resorts offer, but the lift ticket is extremely good value, about a quarter less than the full Portes du Soleil pass.

More advanced skiing can be found on Mont Chery, Chamossiere and Nyon. The Les Gets bowl also has a couple of black runs, but these are shorter in length. Advanced skiers are well catered for at Les Gets with nine black slopes adding up to 13km of steep groomed terrain, the toughest run usually Mouflons at 1.23km long it pitches at up to 47%. 25 more black runs await in the full Portes du Soleil region.

Expert skiers would probably be better off staying in Avoriaz. If you stay on the Chavannes side, you can quickly ski down into Morzine and take the lifts up to Avoriaz – giving you the best of everything.

The slopes of Les Gets have lots of small, romantic chalet restaurants and cafés. Mountain restaurants are something of a forte of Les Gets with more than a dozen to choose from (one per 10km of piste) and almost all in traditional wooden chalet buildings serving up filling homemade cuisine. If only the lunch scene in the A-list resorts was as good as this.  La Grande Ourse on Mont Chery is one of the resort’s best mountain restaurants and it’s certainly the highest. The menu featuring a twist on traditional local cuisine. The most popular area for lunch in Les Gets is at Les Chavannes where there’s a choice of good eateries including La Croix Blanche and Le Grand Cry. La Paika is a pretty little chalet halfway down the Vorosses blue piste at La Turche with a wood stove out on its terrace and a rustic, friendly indoor dining area too. La Paik offers a small authentical menu, extensive wine list and tempting deserts.

Chez Nannon is a romantic hut offering local dishes – it’s located on a blue piste beneath the Pointe de Nyon. Le Belvédère is another good choice with a beautifully appointed wooden dining room.

Given its family-friendly reputation, Les Gets is not the most hedonistic of resorts, but there are several lively bars if that’s your cup of tea, and activities like bowling or cinema if you want a night out, as well as a weekly entertainments programme.

Getting there

Being only 22 kilometers from the closest train station and only one to one and a half hour from the Geneva International Airport (GVA), Les Gets is very easily accessible. For the Portes du Soleil travel by Eurostar train from London to Paris then to Cluses(4½ hrs) or Geneva (3½ hrs). Swiss Airlines flies from London City and Heathrow to Geneva. Easyjet and Jet2.com offer low cost flights to the French Alps from several UK airports. Transavia flies from Rotterdam / The Hague airport, Eindhoven and Amsterdam to GVA.

Link suggestions

For more information on Les Gets please visit the official website of Les Gets.

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Written by skiweather on Tuesday September 4, 2018

Categories: skiresort, press - Tags: portes, gets, soleil

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