Located at the heart of the 1992 Savoie Olympic Region, and at the entrance of the Vanoise National Park. Skiing began above this group of three small resorts 20 years before its internationally better known neighbour, Les Arcs, was constructed. The lifts of each now inter-link and more recently Peisey finds itself on the Les Arcs side of the spectacular Vonise Express cable car link to La Plagne and thus at the heart of the combined giant Paradiski area.
Peisey-Vallandry is actually better placed than most of the Les Arcs stations to make the most of the whole Les Arcs (and La Plagne) ski areas with their 420km (260 miles) of runs. Arc 1950 and Arc 2000 are just over the back of the mountain from the two area, La Plagne across the valley and Arcs 1600 and 1800 along side - so Peisey-Vallandry is now, in fact, the hub of the whole Paradiski area. Most of the local runs are blues and reds, including the lovely long cruiser Aigle from the top of L'Ours chair all the way back to resort. Experts may have to go a little further to keep them happy but the legendary 7km (4.5) mile long black from the top of the Aiguille Rouge down to Villaroger is worth the effort, one of the world's longest blacks it covers the world's biggest vertical for a run of this grading, a full 2000 metres. There are plenty of other challenges including mogul runs like the Dou d'Homme. Despite the homely nature of Peisey-Vallandry, the off piste and high mountain skiing opportunities are vast when you consider the full range of options at Les Arcs and la Plagne, plus ease of access to other famous ski areas nearby. The Bureau des Guides is the place to go for advice and a range of tours, plus heliskiing over the border in Italy (heliskiing is illegal in France). One route you might like to try, given the lack of a marked piste to accompany the new lift between La Plagne and Les Arcs is the increasingly frequented off-piste route between the two giant areas, a great excursion returning via the Nancroix forest.
Le Chat Botté nursery is situated in Peisey, 300m from ther Vanoise Express and ski school. It accepts children aged from one to eleven and advance reservation strongly recommended. The Tom Pouce Kid's Club is situated at the foot of the Vallandry chairlift and is open everyday from 9am to 5pm and accepts children aged from two to six. It has a 30 places capacity with advance reservation strongly recommended. The ESF take children in ski school kindergarten from age four.
Given the French dominance of these villages (compared to the Arcs), theirs is a good selection of several dozen eateries spread across the villages. On the mountain Blanche Murree, located 500m below the mid-station of the Transarc, serves up traditional cooking from the region with a daily special or the à la carte menu and theirs waiter service. Down at the base of the slopes in Plan-Peisey La Buvette has a large sun terrace where you can enjoy more traditional cooking and local specialities. L'Ancolie has superb family cuisine including such delicacies as wild-boar pate. Another stop there must be Chez Felix which specialises in crêpes and ice creams as well as being a full service restaurant. La Ferme in old Plan-Peisey serves up local specialities by an open fire. Or if you just want a quick snack any time, Le Marlu at the base of the Vallandry chair is open 9am to Midnight and offers a takeaway service.
Given the spread of these small villages and under exposure to loud northern Europeans, this is not the place to go for an action packed nightlife. However there are a few choices depending on where you are based. La Taverne du Relais in Peisey Village is a good bar with pool table. On the mountain Le Jimmy's Bar is the best place for après-ski in Vallandry. Most of the other options are within restaurants.
The Peisey - Les Arcs area claims to be the home of snowboarding and certainly some people were sliding around on the slopes here on something very similar to a snowboard a few years before Jake Burton hit the headlines in the early '80s. Some of the famous 'Apocalypse Snow' movies that first popularised the sport were initiated here. The area is very 'boarder friendly with a combination of value accommodation, great terrain for all styles and abilities and as many chairs and gondolas as surface lifts (rare for a French resort). The terrain park Appacalypse above Arc 1600, which is also open to skiers, has a wide variety of features including diverse humps and mounds which making it an attractive and interesting site where everyone can find something to suit their taste and level. There are also tables, hips, a funbox, a pyramid, big and small gaps.