News from the snow
La Norma France
Established in 1971, La Norma's has a reputation for reasonable prices and great views over the Maurienne Valley to the Vanoise National Park. As yet still undiscovered by the bigger tour operators so queues are unlikely apart from school holidays when teams of young future champions are in training. The lack of cars in the heart of the village creates a relaxed pedestrian shopping area where street entertainers add a lively atmosphere. Close to the world famous Trois Vallées (Three Valleys Region) and Val Thorens, Europe's highest resort. There were plans back in the 1970's to lift link Valfréjus with Valmeinier, Valloire and Bardonecchia just over through the Fréjus Tunnel in Italy. The River Arc, so called because of its arc shape, runs through the valley providing summer visitors with a venue for many of La Norma's summer activities. The Maurienne Ski Pass allows you one day's skiing in a choice of 23 nearby resorts of the Maurienne Valley and with a ski pass of two days or more you can "get away" to the Trois Vallées, Vallee des Belleville or Val Thorens. Dominated by its peak 2917m, La Norma offers 700 hectares of ski slopes, stretching from an altitude of 1350m to 2750m. There are 65km of runs with 18 different ski lifts - a cable car, six chairlifts, 10 button lifts and a toddler lift). The ski area starts at 1350m up to 2750m. The resort has its own Sports Club which owns an FIS authorised permanent slalom stadium on La Fontaine aux Oiseaux and has hosted major competitions including the French Military Championships and the French Surf Alpine Trophy. The Club trains local juniors as well as running a weekly "Visitors Race".
Established in 1971, La Norma has a reputation for reasonable prices and great views over the Maurienne valley to the Vanoise National Park. This is a car-free resort in the midst of birch and larch trees. There's a very steep mountain with a speed skiing course.
La Norma has a 6km cross-country ski circuit. The nearest cross-country ski resort is Bramans, with 50km of trails for all abilities. Shuttle bus runs from La Norma to Bramans, a good area to discover by snow shoes, there are several footpaths leading out of La Norma, in particular the 34km Le Petit Bonheur footpath along which you can discover the Esseillon fortress, the baroque church of Avrieux and the villages of the Haute-Maurienne.
Minimum age for ski school is 3 years and the ESF have a special chalet and ski lift specifically for the tiniest tots who are supervised by trained staff in the Ski Kindergarten. Children are grouped together according to age and ability with lessons arranged both morning and afternoon if required.
The Hanouck excursion for children offers them a chance to experience a half day of hiking and camping accompanied by dog-sledge Huskies and their guides. An unforgettable day in the wilderness and they'll even learn how to put up a tent!
Traditional desserts include laTarte aux Myrtilles (Bilberry tart) and Creme Catalan - creamy custard with burnt sugar topping.