La Rosière, regarded as one of the best French ski resorts for year-round good snow conditions, has come a long way since the first ski lifts were built by locals in the 1960s, and is now one of France's most modern ski areas.
Enjoying sunny, south-facing slopes, La Rosière is a warmly welcoming, family-friendly, good-value alternative to the bigger, brasher, more crowded and more expensive nearby mega-resorts of the Tarentaise.
La Rosière itself is an attractive, small Savoyard village offering a fair selection of small shops and a reasonable choice of unpretentious good-value restaurants. There are also a couple of shops and a restaurant at the newer suburb of Les Eucherts, together with an ice rink and a tenpin bowling alley. La Rosière's other facilities include a cinema and a fitness centre, plus a couple of spas.
Where is La Rosière ski resort?
La Rosière village sits close to the Petit St Bernard pass, a high road link between France and Italy, just 23km from the main valley town and transport hub of Bourg-Saint-Maurice.
It forms the French half of the cross-border Espace San Bernardo ski area, linked with the Italian ski resort of La Thuile, making it the only Savoyard resort be part of an international ski area. Quieter and generally less expensive than the nearby super-resorts of France's Tarentaise Valley, La Rosière is ideal for families and improving intermediates. The combined 154km area of the ski domain offers a great mix of prime novice and intermediate terrain and the novelty of cross-border pistes, and the chance to compare the charms - and the prices - of French and Italian resorts.
Access if straightforward: the nearest airports are Chambery, a 2hr transfer away, and Geneva Airport (3hrs) and the nearest station is at Bourg St Maurice, just 30 mins away.
Highlights of skiing in La Rosière
To answer the all-important question of 'what's the skiing like in La Rosière?' look no further than its piste profiles: as well as including plenty of good nursery slopes and beginner areas, the pistes here are mostly blue runs, meaning pretty much the whole resort is accessible to novices. In fact, it's one of the best French ski resorts for beginners and intermediates.
Sitting at 1,850m, it also has the advantage of being a high-altitude resort and therefore has a good snow record, meaning you are very likely to have a snow-sure holiday.
There’s plenty for more advanced skiers, too, with the Moulins and The Mont Valaisan sectors creating a more technical ski area with more freeride possibilities. The linked Italian ski area of La Thuile also boasts several steeper and more challenging terrain.
It’s also a popular heli-skiing spot. Despite being illegal in France, it’s offered by La Rosière’s ski school - skiers can simply step over the Italian border and be whisked away from there.
Why is La Rosière good for family ski holidays?
If you're skiing with young children the odds are you don't want - or need - anything too hard-core. And, like all the best ski resorts for children, La Rosière ski resort is all about family fun in the snow, with a packed programme of alternative family winter activities.
It's certainly an ideal resort for children learning to ski: all La Rosière’s lower slopes are family-orientated, with runs through the woods, and designed with children and beginner skiers in mind. Meaning you and your children can feel safe, with space to practise.
As this resort has south-facing slopes, it tends to be one of the sunniest in the area. This is great when you have small children who you want to ensure stay warm and enjoy their skiing experiences.
Though it might not mean much to the children, for their parents, however, the scenery in this area is wonderful, topped off by the spectacular views of Mont Blanc. If you have some children-free time or your youngsters are getting pretty handy on their skis, then a nice day skiing over the ridge into La Thuile, makes for a great adventure, with the added attraction of some authentic Italian pizza.
If you want a day's rest from skiing, there is plenty of in-resort entertainment so every day can be full of fun. From bowling, a cinema to ice skating, your little ones will not be bored!
When you are seeking a bit of outdoor adventure off the skis, there is a wonderful and magical family walk called 'Narnia' that takes you through the woods to the other side of the resort.
A particular highlight of La Rosière is that the resort is working towards earning its badge for the Green Snowflake initiative (Flocon Vert), a prestigious eco-rating.
Ski La Rosière with the family ski experts, Esprit
Esprit Ski have been providing family-friendly ski holidays in some of the world’s top winter destinations to families for 40 years. They offer hand-picked family ski resorts, with family-friendly accommodation, exclusive, small group childcare from 3-12 years, ski lessons, certified childcare staff, and English speaking staff and instructors. Their family-orientated skiing holidays cover everything from travel, catering, childcare - including private nanny service for children aged 17 weeks to 3 years - ski lessons and resort knowledge.
Esprit guests in La Rosière have a choice of 7 chalets, all of which are right on the piste and next to the childcare drop-off / pick-up point. This means there is virtually no walking in your ski boots for little feet. And talking of equipment, when parents pre-book red or black ski/poles/boots, children can enjoy free ski equipment hire in all of Esprit's covered resorts. It's their way of ensuring that every member of your family is geared up and ready for the slopes. In La Rosière, children under 5 years also receive a free lift pass.
If your children aren’t quite ready for the ski slopes, there are plenty of alternative options that mean you can still ski away the day. Esprit holidays offer infant care, all the way up to 12 years old with their professional and dedicated staff, from Snow Club to Mountain Academy.
For more information on Esprit's ski holidays in La Rosière, go to espritski.com