News from the snow
Les Gets France
Les Gets is a pleasant farming village, which has grown in to one of the world's top resorts apparently without noticing. Picturesque and relaxed, it has neither the sometimes oppressive enthusiasm for health and fitness that some of the high altitude French purpose built centres promote, nor the pre-occupation with glitz that attracts the soulless money-obsessed to others. Instead, it's charming, relaxed, and full of its own unique character and ambience. How many other resorts can offer a museum of mechanic music and animated mannequins or free excursions to the local cheese farm? For added convenience, the "Maison des Gets" encompassing the Lift Society, the Events Society, the Tourist Office, the nursery, town hall and lift ticket sales desk So clients will easily find all the information they need in one place. The resort is close to Morzine, six kilometres (four miles) away by road and also the main lift-linked destination over the Pleney mountain. Both are on the huge Portes du Soleil circuit and it's possible to strike out in most directions on skis with a regional pass, or just stay local with a Les Gets-Morzine only ticket. Les Gets' long history as a winter sports resort is proven by its status in being the location of the first Ecole du Ski Français which opened here in 1940. Don't get the idea that this is some quaint old skiing back water either though, there's been heavy investment in recent years in a series of state of the art lifts.
A pleasant farming village which has grown into one of the world's top resorts without noticing. Close to Morzine on the huge Portes du Soleil circuit, the first Ecole du Ski Français opened here in 1940.
Beginners have nursery slopes at village level and, across the valley at Les Chavannes (1484m), reached by road, chair lift or gondola, there are altitude nursery slopes, with the added security of snow making. This is also the route over to the skiing of Morzine, and from there on up to Avoriaz, then ultimately over the Swiss border. Thus it is perfectly feasible for reasonable intermediate level skiers to head over to Switzerland for lunch before returning home - the trip is possible on blues and reds, and there are dozens of other itineraries in this huge lift-linked area of 650km (406 miles).
With more than six different routes up on to the mountains from resort level there are rarely any bottle necks in which queues might develop. Much of the skiing above Les Gets and Morzine are cut through the forest, with snow lying on top of meadow grass, so there are few nasty rocks to worry about when the snow cover is sometimes thin at the start and end of the season.
There's a choice of four ski schools: the original French Ski School, the Skiplus School which offers off-piste lessons, the 360 International Ski School and the Des Enfants Ski School.
Ski Famille, the leading British tour operator for families that makes special efforts "beyond the call" to offer all the extras for babies and children, is based here. The resort has its own creche, Les Fripouilles, accepting children from six months to four years. After that the French ski school's kindergarten offers a snow garden and first lessons on snow and a second choice, 'Ile des Enfants' ('Children's Island') is also available for kids aged three and up.
Beyond these permanent facilities the resort goes to great lengths to organise a full program of fun packed children's activities and kids can enjoy the cinemas, bowling, skating rink and the unique mechanical music museum.
For Iocal Savoyard dining a good choice is La Fruitiere des Perrieres or Les Copeaux.
Amongst the more lively bars are the Canadian Bar, the irish Pub, the Bar bush and the Copeaux. There is one nightclub, The Igloo.
Further afield most of the other Portes du Soleil resorts have snowparks of their own to explore, all accessible if you opt for the full area pass.