Crest Voland is a charming old village located on a natural sunny terrace above the Arly gorge, facing the Aravis chain with the Beaufortain massif behind. Unlike most French resorts it is built of largely chalet style buildings, giving a traditional ambience, centred on the old church.
Although the large ski area, linked to neighbouring les Saises and close to Chamonix, offers "something for everyone", there is a laid-back family oriented atmosphere and cross country skiing in the beautiful, natural, protected area is a major part of the winter sports offering here.
The resort gained its first lift in 1951 and has grown steadily ever since, making the link to Les Saises in 1985 to create the huge 'Espace Crystal' ski region.
The "Espace Cristal" ski area which lift-links Crest-Voland Cohennoz and Les Saisies covers 3000 hectares, with 90 km of pistes amongst the fir tress and some forty chairlifts. Skiing at Crest-Voland Cohennoz is mainly for families and children, with sunny, wide and easy pistes, where everyone can ski safely according to their own level. However, experienced skiers will enjoy the Les Jorets and Les Rosières pistes and even the famous black "Kamikaze" piste. The local ESF ski school has 45 instructors available to teach Alpine, cross-country, snowboard, telemark or freeride. There are 60 snow cannons to ensure the essential links are kept up. Night skiing is also available one night a week on the Tovats run in the resort centre. Cross country skiers are particularlt well catered for, with more than 80 km of pistes marked out for classical style or the skater’s step in an area protected since 1989 and located opposite spectacular Mont-Blanc. These are the trails used in the 1992 Olympic Games. The loipes are accessed via Mont Lachat, very easy to reach by chairlift (La Logère, Le Cernix) or by the completely renovated road (3 km). There's a free loop for getting into shape, then a whole range of increasingly long and technical routes.
Crest-Voland Cohennoz has created a sledge run especially for families and operates a nursery for children between two and six years old. There is also a children's garden with ski classes for toddlers. The children's learning area, especially designed for children between three and five years old includes a baby ski-lift and teachers instruct in the first stages of learning to slide, using the ski-lift and passing the first French Ski School Test. Small children are looked after at the "Les p'tits malins" day nursery by qualified staff in especially designed premises. These include an activities room where early learning games, indoor games, origami, collages, music... and much more are offered. There is also an outdoor games area in the snow, ideal for making snowmen and sledging next to the French Ski School Garden for alpine skiing. For older children who have already mastered the basics, lessons are offered by Fred Marin-Cudraz, a member of the French Ski Team. Children and teens are taught technique, moguls, surfing, powder snow, giant, special slalom, super G and more.
The restaurant at the Caprice des Neiges serves traditional quality cuisine with local flavours It has an extensive, original and creative menu, strongly influenced by Alpine aromas and ranging from "Grandma's stuffing" to Savoyard gastronomy. Le Mont Charvin's restaurant has an à la carte menu and also offers Savoyard specialities. Although most of the restaurants offer local dishes, La Tortiglia is a popular pizzeria. For crepes try Le Saint Laurent or La Creperie.
Apres ski is typically low key in Crest-Voland with the after-midnight activity centred on La Grange aux Belles discotheque which is open nightly through the winter. Earelier in the evening there are a number of cozy bars to enjoy, most of them linked to hotels and other accommodations. Gregory Pub and Le Chamois are usually amongst the livlier choices.
Although its family atmosphere and excess of surface lifts does not perhaps make Crest Volland a first choice for most boarders, the natural terrain is enticing a good many and the resort is trying hard with a snowpark and recently added popular boardercross course.