Sports & Outdoors

La Clusaz – It’s not just about skiing!

Breathtaking views, snow-laden slopes, summer fun – this charming resort in the French Alps offers all-year-round adventure.

La Clusaz is one of the best kept secrets of the French Alps. It is a ski resort that has held onto much of its old Alpine charm. But that doesn’t stop it delivering everything you want from a skiing holiday – a range of fantastic slopes, good snow conditions, top quality amenities and awesome après ski. 

The fun doesn’t stop when the ski season is over. La Clusaz is an all-year-round resort, offering something for everyone. 

Where is La Clusaz?

La Clusaz is nestled in the Aravis valley, around 20 miles east of Annecy. This is one of France’s winter sports hotspots (or, hopefully, coldspots) – the resorts of Chamonix, Morzine and Le Gets are all nearby, and the whole region is overlooked by Mont Blanc, Western Europe’s highest peak. 

Driving to La Clusaz from Calais

It takes around 8 ½ hours to drive (with tolls) from our terminal in Calais to La Clusaz, via Arras, Rheims and Dijon. Skirting Lake Geneva, your final approach to La Clusaz takes in spectacular alpine scenery. If it looks familiar, especially in summer, the mountains of the Haute-Savoie are regular climbs on the Tour de France

Snow covered mountain range with a populated valley below
The Aravis mountain range

Exploring the resort

La Clusaz has been welcoming skiers since the 1920s, but it has retained much of its character because there has been less over-development here. So more traditional Alpine architecture is in evidence, as well as a lovely church with a charming bell tower at the centre of the village. In fact, with the rooftops blanketed in fresh snow, La Clusaz is the picture perfect Alpine village. Pop into one of the local shops or cafés and sample the local Reblochon cheese, or visit the ‘Hameau of the Alps’, a charming museum which will tell you all about the history and traditions of this area. 

Skiing in La Clusaz

The La Clusaz pistes

The resort’s five mountains, with a ski area of 132km and over 80 runs, offer different challenges, which will appeal to the newbie, intermediate or advanced skier. Beginners will find the slopes near the top of the Beauregard gondola most to their liking. La Balme is popular with off-piste and freeriding skiers, and there is 1500m worth of descent from one of La Balme’s vertical drops! 

With an Aravis ski pass, you can also take the free shuttle bus or drive to the ski resort of Le Grand Bornand and enjoy more slopes.  La Clusaz also connects to the skiing at Manigod.

Cross-country skiing and freeriding is popular in La Clusaz, and the resort is an up and coming one on the freeriding scene. It has hosted World Cup downhills and Freestyle World Championships. 

Cross-country skier skiing across snow
Cross-country skiing is popular in La Clusaz

Snow conditions in La Clusaz

Snowfall in La Clusaz is on a par with the rest of the Haute-Savoie region. The ski area opens in November and runs until April, with snow conditions at their best during the peak winter months. In December the average snow depth at low levels is 35cm and at the highest slopes it can reach 104cm.  

Après ski

La Clusaz is quieter than some of the bigger resorts, but still has plenty of bars and restaurants for that all important après ski. Relais de l’Aiguille is a mountain bar with great views of the slopes, while down in the village Les Caves du Paccaly and the Pressoir bar are the places to head to for a wide choice of beer and great music. For something to eat, try La Grolle and La Ferme, where we are reliably informed the raclette is excellent!  

Activities at La Clusaz

It’s not just about the skiing at La Clusaz! It is an all-year-round resort, which means the slopes are home to all kinds of summer fun. Even better, the ski lifts are open 12 months of the year.

Mountain biking

The hills are alive with mountain bikers! From downhillers to e-bikers, there are trails and tracks to suit mountain bikers of all persuasions. The Crêt du Merle e-bike trail is a brilliant way to gain altitude without too much effort, while the gentle contours of the trails on Les Confins let you savour the scenery at a reasonable zip. 


Walking in the Aravis mountains is one of the most popular pursuits in La Clusaz when the ski season is over. Take your pick from family walks to multi-day hikes. Set itineraries are available, and the ski lifts save you the effort of all that climbing to breathe in the cool mountain air! If you get the hiking bug, maybe a walking holiday in France could be your next adventure?

Paraglider in the sky in an Alpine region
Take off for the flight of your life


Paragliding in La Clusaz offers adrenaline junkies an access-all-areas pass to the spectacular Alpine skies. You take flight in tandem with an instructor, gliding over the mountain pastures and valleys below. For those brave enough, it is an unforgettable experience that can be taken in both winter and summer.  


Rock climbers of all abilities will find the cliffs of La Clusaz much to their liking. For those less experienced climbers, the via ferrata (‘iron path’ – steel ladders on the cliff face that climbers can use to climb and clip their ropes onto) ensure safety at all times. These can be found on the Yves Pollet-Villard and the Rocher des Aravis. The latter site has 130 pitches of varying difficulties, making it a haven for climbers during the summertime. 

Horseback riding

Imagine riding through the mountain pastures high above the Aravis valley, alongside chamois, mountain goats, cows and wild horses? This is a dream for many horse riders, but it comes true on the plateaus and paths above La Clusaz. Horse and pony rides are available for riders at all levels, with full guidance given to beginners and children. Trekking will usually only take place in favourable weather. 

A rock climber ascending a cliff face
The Aravis mountains offers challenges to climbers of all abilities

Golf & mini-golf

It is hard to think of a more stunning location for a golf course than the 10-hole course on the Confins plateau. The course has all the essentials, such as a driving range, putting green and 19th hole. There is also a mini-golf (crazy, in other words) course in La Clusaz village. 

Ice skating

Although less commercialised than Annecy or Chamonix, there are still some exceptions in La Clusaz. The under cover ice skating rink in the centre of the village is a real hub of activity during ski season. On Thursday nights the rink turns into a nightclub with DJs at the decks, and Fridays are ice hockey nights, where you can try your luck with a stick and a puck! 

Water park

Dive into the heated outdoor swimming pool of the Aravis aqua centre, even during the winter! You will certainly find skiers spending their afternoons here, taking in the breathtaking views from the main pool or jacuzzi. There is also an indoor pool, children’s slides and snack bar. 

Places to stay in La Clusaz

A large bell tower of a church dominates a town square with Alpine type buildings around it, on a summer’s day
La Clusaz, beautiful in summer or winter

Hostels & youth hostels 

The village boasts a good range of hostels. The Auberge de Jeunesse is your classic ski youth hostel – an authentic Savoyard farmhouse offering basic chalet rooms at a budget price, in a location at the foot of the slopes.  

Chalets & apartments

There is no shortage of chalets and apartments in La Clusaz. For those who want a little luxury we recommend Chalet les Crêts, a 7 bedroom chalet ideal for large groups. It can sleep up to 16 and includes its own sauna, billiard table and bar. Easier on the wallet is Chalet Alex, which sleeps 8 and has a terrace with stunning views over the valley. 

Hotels and residences

Once again there are hotels in La Clusaz to cater for every budget, from the 5-star Hôtel Beauregard to the more basic Hôtel Le Christiana. The same goes for holiday lodges, cabins and apartments, but it is best to book as early as possible for the ski season. 

Tips and advice when visiting La Clusaz

Something to bear in mind is that La Clusaz is a small resort. Experienced skiers may find they have covered all the challenging runs in a few days, if they prefer quantity over quality. But La Clusaz is quieter than many of the bigger resorts in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region. Families really enjoy coming here, not just for the good nursery slopes and ski schools but the more laid-back atmosphere of the resort. 

Drive to La Clusaz with LeShuttle

Getting to La Clusaz is easy with LeShuttle. It is one of the most northerly of the Alps resorts, and is only 8 ½ hours drive from our terminal in Calais. No need to worry about your ski bags counting as part of your weight allowance! 

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