❄️ DECEMBER SNOWFALL ❄ au Pays du Mont-Blanc . . . often we have a snow flurry in October or November, but the snow of autumn 2018 is teasing us! When the ❄ first snow arrives, the delight and excitement is catching: walks knee-deep (or shoulder-deep for the little ones!) in the white fluffy stuff, snowball fights, ⛄️ making a snowman (or perhaps a snowcat or other snow animal) . . . and 🛷 SLEDGING FUN!
With the first ❄️ snowfall of the season, the MBFF team regularly head up to Plaine-Joux in Passy for some fun on a luge . . . one year, we were in such an excited hurry that we forgot to take our luges! So the kids just slid down the slopes on their tummies 🐧 penguin-style (until we managed to borrow some sledges from friends!).
2018 update – we headed up to Le Tour this year for the first December snow, and guess what? Yes, we left OUR luges in the garage! Thankfully our friends found some and we had plenty of fun with just two!
So, where to go for some 🛷 family fun on a luge? You may be lucky enough to know someone with a wonderful sledging slope in their garden or on their land . . .
If not, then I’ve compiled a list of some of the 🛷 designated sledging areas here 🏔 au Pays du Mont-Blanc (and beyond) . . . The designated areas have protective netting / soft fixtures and are set apart from other folks using ski pistes (ie skiers, snowboarders, etc . . .) / NB these areas will be set up officially from about mid-December, so do take due care if out and about on a sledge before that!
On the list you will find the smaller slopes, where you drag up your luge to slide back down the slope, and also some of the options for longer sledging trails (like the new ones from last season: 🛷 LaLuge at 🚠 La Princesse in Megève or 🛷 Crest-Voluge in 🚠 Crest-Volant!).
🏔 Au Pays du Mont-Blanc, you’ll also find:
- paret sessions;
- options to sledge down from a refuge at night;
. . . and at the end of the post there are some suggestions of
- 🛷 lovely places to take tiny ones for a walk with a luge;
- 🛷 and our all-year luges here au Pays du Mont-Blanc . . .
🛷 DISCLAIMER – please remember that sledging is at your own risk and that you are recommended to wear a helmet when partaking in this activity / ski boots are forbidden on pistes de luge.
Map of Pistes de Luge au Pays du Mont-Blanc (and beyond)
I’ve included a 🗺 GOOGLE MAP of all of these 🛷 luge spots, to make locating them a little easier:
Piste de Luge du Bois du Bouchet (Chamonix)
This sledging area is located in the Bois du Bouchet, near the Ski de Fond circuit.
🗓 opening dates: from mid-December until April (snow conditions permitting);
address: chemin des Gourgnes, Bois du Bouchet, 74400, Chamonix-Mont-Blanc;
🚗 parking: Parking du Bouchet;
Espace Luge des Chavants (Les Houches)
Located at Lac des Chavants in Les Houches, this sledging spot has an area for 2 to 6 year olds (Petite Tortue) and a piste for children 6+ years (Petit Lièvre).
opening dates: from mid-December until mid-March (snow conditions permitting);
address: 148 allée des Dilligences, Les Chavants, 74310, Les Houches;
parking: Parking du Prarion / Les Chavants;
☕️ escape from the cold: La Guinguette at Lac des Chavants (December until April, from 10h to 20h);
Piste de Luge du Prarion (Les Houches)
This sledging area is located at the top of the 🚠 Prarion télécabine, in the beginners’ ski area. Also, at Ski Camp, you will find snow-tubing slopes and other activities (tyrolienne, curling, swings, and other activities).
opening dates: from late November/early December until mid-April (same hours as remontées méchaniques and snow conditions permitting);
address: Sommet du Prarion, 74310, Les Houches;
parking: Parking du Prarion / Les Chavants;
price: you need to buy an 🚠 aller-retour piétons at the ticket office;
There is a small piste de luge behind the Office de Tourisme in Vallorcine.
opening dates: from late-December until late March (snow conditions permitting);
address: Office de Tourisme, Le Betté, 74660, Vallorcine;
parking: Le Betté
☕️ escape from the cold: Café du Comptoir (address: chemin rural dit du Plan de l’Envers, 74660, Vallorcine) and L’Arrêt Bougnette (address: avenue de la Gare, 74660, Vallorcine) – both a short walk away;
In Servoz, behind the tennis courts, pumptrack and playground at La Grangiat, there is a small piste de luge called Le Tour.
opening dates: from mid-December to late March (snow conditions permitting);
address: La Grangiat, 74310, Servoz;
parking: Parking du Tennis / Parking de l’Eglise;
There is a piste de luge at Plaine-Joux, and also a piste reserved for snow-tubing (sliding on an inflatable tyre!).
opening dates: from mid-December until mid-March (snow conditions permitting);
address: chemin des Parchets, Plaine-Joux, 74190, Passy;
parking: Parking de Plaine-Joux;
snow-tube rental: you can rent snow-tubes or luges at Skifiz;
☕️ escape from the cold: La Bergerie (address: 314 chemin des Parchets, 74190 Passy) – this family-run restaurant is warm and cosy and is well set up with books and toys for children; there are a couple more restaurants at Plaine-Joux and a 🍏Salle Hors Sacs (indoor picnic room);
Refuge du Tornieux to Burzier car park (4km) (Sallanches)
This is an absolutely brilliant place to sledge with older children, but it does take effort to get there (and the descent can be hairy, as you do pick up speed); a 1.5 hour walk up a piste that is well damée (usually no need for snow shoes), with your own luge. You must be careful on your walk up, as there will be children (and adults) hurtling down on sledges, parets, yooners and various other sledging creations! Refuge du Tornieux, which is a lovely mountain refuge, also organises dinner + night time descent on one of their luges (price: 40€) / you can also spend the night at this comfortable refuge / 🧀 great food! / see here for more details;
🚗 parking: Burzier car park (road leaves from behind Eglise St Jacques);
⛷ interesting fact: in the 1980s, a small family ski resort was built in this area of Sallanches . . . sadly, three consecutive years of poor snow brought an end to this activity (Tornieux was originally established as a on-piste restaurant!);
Piste de Luge du Cuchet (Combloux)
With a view of Mont-Blanc, this piste de luge is set next to the departure zone for raquettes circuits.
🗓 opening dates: from mid-December until late March (snow conditions permitting);
🗺 address: Le Cuchet, 74920, Combloux;
🚗 parking: Parking du Cuchet, Combloux;
Piste de Luge de la Cry (Combloux)
This piste de luge is set next to the Loupiots garderie, the Beauregard chair-lift and near the Tanière de Tilou softplay / it is small, so more suitable for very young sledgers.
opening dates: from mid-December to until late March (snow conditions permitting);
address: 207 route des Brons, 74920, Combloux;
parking: Parkings des Brons or Le Cry Combloux;
☕️ escape from the cold: O’PB (address: 2772 route de la Cry-Cuchet, 74920, Combloux), Chez Albert (big, spacious indoor area), La Taverne, and there is also a 🍏 Salle Hors Sacs (indoor picnic room);
Piste de luge derrière la Mairie (Combloux)
This piste de luge is ideal for very young sledgers, as it is a gentle slope in the centre of town! Some sledging action here can easily combine with some ice-skating (check opening hours).
opening dates: from late-December until mid-March (snow conditions permitting);
address: Office de Tourisme/Mairie, 132 route de la Mairie, 74920, Combloux;
parking: Parking centre de Combloux;
☕️ escape from the cold: Le Coin Savoyard (address: 300 route de la Cry-Cuchet, 74920, Combloux) and various other cafés and bars in the centre of Combloux;
Piste de Luge Domaine Skiable (Cordon)
There is a small sledging area at the Domaine Skiable in Cordon.
opening dates: from mid/late-December until late March (snow conditions permitting);
address: Domaine Skiable, Frébouge d’en Haut, 74700, Cordon;
parking: Le Dandry, Parking du Frébouge, 74700, Cordon;
☕️ escape from the cold: Chez Mireille, Le Darbelin (address: 1780 Route de Frebouges d’en Haut, 74700, Cordon) – a short walk downhill and there is a tiny 🍏 Salle Hors Sacs behind the Caisses;
Piste de Luge du Bettex (Saint-Gervais-les-Bains)
Up at the 🚠 Bettex ski area, there are two sledging areas set up: one for children 2 to 6 years and one for children 6+ years.
opening dates: from late-December until April (snow conditions permitting);
address: just below the 🚠 télécabine arrival station at Le Bettex, 74170, Saint-Gervais-les-Bains;
parking: Parking du Bettex or take the télécabine up);
🛷 special dowhill luge outing: 4km of descent, with guide / 10+ years / price: 25€;
escape from the cold: Hotel la Flèche d’Or (address: 138 route des Crêtes, 74170 Saint-Gervais-les-Bains);
good to know: the Bettex is the departure point for lots of snow-shoe circuits . . . and the circuit ludique de Charlotte la Marmotte (new).
Piste de Luge Plateau de la Croix (Saint-Nicolas-de-Véroce, Saint-Gervais-les-Bains)
There is a small sledging area at Plateau de la Croix, in Saint-Nicolas-de-Véroce.
opening dates: from late-December until April 2018 (snow conditions permitting);
address: Plateau de la Croix, Saint-Nicolas-de-Véroce, 74170, Saint-Gervais-les-Bains;
parking: Parking du Plateau de la Croix, Saint-Nicolas-de-Véroce, 74170, Saint-Gervais-les-Bains;
Pré de Saint-Amour (Megève)
You will find a small piste de luge for 2 to 6 year olds in the centre of town, on the Pré de Saint-Amour (across the road from the gare routière).
opening dates: from 22nd December until 1st April 2018 (snow conditions permitting);
address: Pré de Saint-Amour, Megève;
parking: Parking du Village / Parking du Casino;
☕️ escape from the cold: there are plenty of cosy cafés/restaurants in the centre of town;
🛷🚠 LaLuge longer piste de luge (Megève) 🚠🛷
New for last season, this 3km piste du luge (similar to the one at Val Thorens and Colorado Park at La Plagne) opened at La Princesse in Megève!!! The piste commences from the 🚠 summit of Mont d’Arbois, with a route through the forest of sapins (fir trees) and then opens out towards La Princesse arrival station. The sledge (only the authorised sledges are allowed) and a helmet (obligatory) are provided when you buy your ticket / for all 5+ years (5-10 year olds must be accompanied by an adult) / 11+ years – one person per luge.
opening dates: see Megève Tourisme;
address: Point Luge, Gare intermédiaire de la Princesse, 74120, Megève;
parking: Parking la Princesse;
price: 1x descent luge 7€ (access 🚠 remontée mécanique included) / many of the forfaits ski also include a free descent!
☕️ escape from the cold: not far from the departure point is Café Woody (address: chemin de l’Encraty, 74120 Demi-Quarrier)
Espace Luge Côte 2000 (Megève)
opening dates: from late December until April (snow conditions permitting);
address: Côte 2000, 74120, Megève;
parking: Côte 2000, 74120, Megève
Espace Luge La Livraz (Megève)
The Espace Luge La Livraz is located within the cross-country skiing zone at La Livraz, located between the centre of Megève and Côte 2000 ski station. This is a great location to come for a sledging session with children (for children under 6 years), as there is so much to find on-site: a salle hors sacs for picnics, an outdoor picnic area, a snack café/restaurant Deli’s Montagne, an indoor play area for children, and it is the starting point for many walks &snow-shoe circuits. You will also find toilets!
opening dates: from mid to late December until April (snow conditions permitting);
address: 1250 route de la Côte 2000, 74120 Megève;
parking: on-site (limited) or take a navette from the centre of Megève;
escape from the cold: in Chalet de la Livraz (open 11th December to 30th April, every day);
Espace Luge Jaillet Supérieur (Megève)
The Espace Luge Jaillet Supérieur in Megève is found at the top of the 🚠 télécabine du Jaillet. For very small children, it is pleasant to walk around the lower fields of Jaillet, around the children’s ski area.
opening dates: from late December until April (snow conditions permitting);
address: arrival station télécabine du Jaillet, 74120, Megève;
parking: Parking du Jaillet;
price: aller-retour piéton télécabine: 9€ adults and children 5+ years 6,70€ (free for under 5s with proof of age);
escape from the cold: 540 Café at the bottom of télécabine;
Espace Luge La Caboche (Megève)
The sledging area La Caboche (for children 2 to 10 years) is accessed either via the 🚠 télécabine du Chamois (centre of Megève) or the téléphérique du Rocharbois (from Mont d’Arbois). There is a covered tapis roulant (Le Schuss) which allows you to transport your luge back up to the top easily!
opening dates: from late-December until mid-August (snow conditions permitting);
address: La Caboche, 74120, Megève;
parking: Parking de Rochebrune or Parking de l’Office de Tourisme;
price: FREE to use sledging area, but you must pay aller-retour piéton to use the remontées mécaniques: 8€ (free for under 5s with proof of age);
Village Lutins des Neiges (Megève)
At the top of the 🚠 télécabine Rochebrune is the Village Lutins des Neiges: giant toboggans, tyrolienne, cabanes de lutins, treasure hunts, games and picnic areas!
opening dates: from 23rd December to 7th January, every day 11h to 16h; from 8th January to 31st March, from 11h to 16h (shut Tuesday and Thursday); from 10th February to 11th March 201, very day 11h to 16h and from 12th to 31st March, rom 11h to 16h (shut Tuesday and Thursday) – snow conditions permitting;
address: Sommet de Rochebrune, 74120, Megève;
parking: Parking Rochebrune;
escape from the cold: Restaurant Super Megève (address: Rochebrune, Megève )
price: FREE, but you must pay aller-retour piétons to use 🚠télécabine;
Espace de Luge Praz-sur-Arly
There is a designated sledging area at the bottom of the ski pistes in Praz-sur-Arly.
opening dates: from 23rd December until March 2018 (snow conditions permitting);
address: route des Varins, 74120, Praz-sur-Arly;
parking: route des Varins, 74120, Praz-sur-Arly;
escape from the cold: La K-Bane (address: bottom of ski pistes, Les Varins, 74120, Praz-sur-Arly)
Praz-sur-Arly has its own Praz Yooner Challenge (a yooner is like the modern version of a wooden paret, like a stool attached to a mini ski) in January, and the ski station has plenty of yooners to try rent out and give a ride! §/ Le Crêt du Midi and La Rosière télésièges accept yooners, and then you have access to nine runs (6 blue, 2 red and 1 green) / great adrenalin rush!
Piste de Luge Nivorin (Les Contamines-Montjoie)
Located next to the Nivorin téléski, this is a piste de luge for children/adults from 6+ years.
opening dates: from mid-December until April (snow conditions permitting);
address: to the right of baby téléski du Nivorin, Le Nivorin, 74170, Les Contamines-Montjoie;
escape from the cold: you are not too far from the centre of town, which has lots of cosy cafés!
Piste du Chalet Nordique (Les Contamines-Montjoie)
This is a piste de luge for children 3 to 6 years, located near the Chalet Nordique in Les Contamine-Montjoie.
opening hours: from mid-December to April (snow conditions permitting);
address: Foyer Ski de Fond, chemin du Praz, 74170, Les Contamines-Montjoie;
parking: Foyer Ski de Fond, chemin du Praz, 74170, Les Contamines-Montjoie;
escape from the cold: Restaurant le Chalet du Lac (address: next to pedalo lake, 524 chemin du Praz, 74170, Les Contamines-Montjoie / FB page) – a short walk (or stroll with luge!) away / Curly’s Fish & Chips food truck also set up next to the Chalet Nordique during the winter season (see FB page);
- Grands-Montets – a new snowtubing piste is being tested, and soon to open! / see here;
- Argentière – Les Chosalets ski area – see here;
- Le Buet – Moontine café restaurant;
- Les Houches – Le Prarion Ski Camp – see here;
- Plaine-Joux – you can rent out snowtubes from Skifiz Skimium / see here;
🇫🇷🛷 FURTHER FRANCE SLEDGING 🛷🇫🇷
You will find longer 🛷 pistes de luge further afield . . .
🛷 Crest-Voluge longer piste de luge (Crest-Voland) 🛷
There is a new sledging piste (opened 2017), at 1600m of altitude in Crest-Voland: 2km long with a 400m dénivelé. The course starts at the summit of Mont Lachat (arrival station of télésiège la Logère) and your descent will take about 20mins. *You will need to be equipped with a plastic luge with 2 hand-brakes and a helmet!* See here for more details.
opening hours: from 23rd December to mid-April (snow conditions permitting);
address: 253 route d’entre deux villes, 73590, Crest-Voland;
price: 6€ to go up in the chair-lift;
🛷 Morillon – (Marvel) 🛷
During the February school holidays (from 6th February until 13th March), speed down the piste de Marvel in Morillon (Le Grand Massif) on a 🛷 sledge! / Tuesday and Wednesday evenings / see here for more details (you need to reserve online) / price: 7,50€;
🛷 Les Arc 1800 (La Mille8) 🛷
“Niché” in the heart of Les Arc 1800, l’Espace Mille8 is a collection of fun activities for big and small: les pingouins, cabanes, luge, slalom, swimming pool, sapins (forest walks for piétons) / the luge is a son et lumière experience! / access via télécabine des Villards; opening hours: 14h to 19h (except Sundays), and Thursdays late until 20h30; price: 7€ and FREE for children 3 to 7 years old! / website;
🛷 Val Thorens (Le Toboggan) 🛷
Le Toboggan is the longest toboggan run in France, with 1500m of descent (and 6km long!) and with a view of Mont-Blanc! / luge & casque from Société d’Aménagement de la Plagne / minimum height 1m40 (from 5+ years, with an adult / from 10+ years on own luge, with accompanying adult on separate luge) / open from 13h30 / price: 1 descent 7€ and 5 descents 30€ / access: Le Funitel de Péclet / luge rental: Chalet du Toboggan (04 79 00 07 08) / see here /
🛷 La Plagne (Colorado Luge) 🛷
See here for more details . . .
🇨🇭🛷 SWISS SLEDGING 🛷🇨🇭
The Swiss do sledging par excellence, and there are some fabulous, long pistes over the border . . . see website Loisirs.ch for some ideas!
🇨🇭 Col de la Forclaz (Valais) – 1km long, dénivelé of 155m / where? l’ancienne route du Col de la Forclaz / FREE! / a little dameuse keeps the piste in condition to sledge and on certain days, there is a navette that takes sledgers to the piste / more information: firstname.lastname@example.org or +41 (0)27 722 21 05;
🇨🇭 Télémarécottes (Les Marécottes)– just over the border from the Pays du Mont-Blanc (and accessible via the Mont Blanc Express train), the 🛷 chemin de luge leaves from La Creusaz, and it is a 9km descent down to Les Marécottes! / website or FB page;
🇨🇭NOW SHUT FOR 2019 / 2019 SEASON ! Le Tobogganing Park (Leysin, Vaud) – this sledging park looks fabulous! / a dozen pistes for snowtubing! / supported by Silvio Giobellina (🏅Olympic medal holder and world champion for bobsleigh) / a mini-parc for under 4s / and the Village des Neiges (with igloos!) for relaxation afterwards! / website ;
🇨🇭 Moléson (Gruyères) – a 4km long piste de luge, with night-time sledging too! / see website for more details;
🇮🇹🛷 ITALY SLEDGING 🛷🇮🇹
A couple of years ago, when it was raining au Pays du Mont-Blanc, but ❄️ snowing big fluffy snowflakes on the other side of the Mont-Blanc tunnel in Italy, we decided to head to Val Ferret with our 🛷luges . . . the first hurdle was that the road up to Val Ferret was blocked far before where we were aiming for, so we made do with a little stroll near where we had come to a halt at the snow barrier! Next on the cards? 🍕PIZZA, of course!
Baby brother then fell asleep in the car and his big brother was still full of sledging energy (as we hadn’t actually managed any good “descents”!) . . . quite by chance, we discovered the Baby Snow Park in Dolonne, Courmayeur! So, while baby brother slept, the big boy 🛷sledged for an hour with his dad (and Dad even managed to get himself a good Italian coffee!). This snow park offers magic carpets, which means little ones (or accompanying adults!) avoid the laborious duty of dragging the luge back up the slope. There are also snow-tube pistes and a beginner ski zone. For sledging, you buy a card, which is stamped each time you use the magic carpets or other attractions. For more details, see here.
When you have very young children, but of an age when they can sit up on their own, there are 🛷 luges suitable for easy walks (albeit with the odd “face in snow” moment, when you go over a bump or take a turn too fast . . . which never seems to produce the same giggles as downhill fun!). The first snow of the season is a lovely time to head out for this type of (flat) walk: in a forest, around a lake, through a pretty alpine village . . . over the years, the MBFF team have had some magical féerique walks of this type:
- in the ❄️ winter wonderland Narnia of Argentière village;
- in the Bois du Bouchet in Chamonix (which can combine nicely with a downhill luge session at the sledging zone);
- up at Plaine-Joux (at present you are not permitted all the way along the chemin du Chatelet to the Chatelet d’Ayère refuge, as there has been rock fall along a section of the walk; but you can still walk for a while down this path with sledges in tow);
- around Lac de Passy (there are even some little slopes for some downhill giggles, snow permitting!);
- Lacs des Ilettes in Sallanches;
- in Megève at La Livraz . . . ;
- at Notre-Dame de la Gorge (Les Contamines-Montjoie), along the river to the pretty church;
- and, if you head into 🇮🇹 Italy, Val Ferret is a lovely place to go for a walk with a luge (with other activities for older children and adults alike: cross-country skiing, snowmobiles . . . );
And don’t forget the all-year alpine coasters available au Pays du Mont-Blanc :
- Chamonix – Chamonix Luge-Alpine Coaster in the Domaine des Planards . . .
- Megève – Luge 4S at the bottom of 🚠 Le Jaillet télécabine;
- Speed Dragoz in Les Carroz – a new all-year luge is now open in the Les Carroz ski station / located next to 🚠 télécabine de la Kédeuze / for 4+ years (accompanied by an adult) / and, a virtual reality option for your luge descent – with les Dragoz, the little Les Carroz dragons !
🛷 Happy Sledging! 🛷