La Poya Ski Area (Le Buet, Vallorcine)

⛷ La Poya is a small family-run ski area in the hamlet of Le Buet (not far from the 🚞 train station), near to Vallorcine. It comprises: two drag lifts, a rope tow for Beginners and a pulley lift for small children, with 2km of pistes, including green, blue, red and even a black piste. You can opt for a 🗺 half-day ski pass, at a very reasonable … Continue reading La Poya Ski Area (Le Buet, Vallorcine)

La Vormaine Beginner & Nursery Skiing (Le Tour)

⛷ La Vormaine, “ the biggest of the small ski slopes “, is the splendid Beginner & Nursery ski area, nestled in the village of 🏔 Le Tour (1432m), next to 🚡 the Charamillon bubble lift. Ski pass options at La Vormaine La Vormaine is a good value ski area, as it allows families to opt for 2h30, 4 hours (often enough with toddlers to entertain!), a day or more, … Continue reading La Vormaine Beginner & Nursery Skiing (Le Tour)

COMBLOUX skiing

🏔 Combloux is definitely one of the most ⛷ family-friendly ski areas in the 🏔 Pays du Mont-Blanc, and skiing here will reward you with some of the most beautiful views of Mont Blanc and the mountains of Les Aravis and Les Fiz! ⛷ Ski Pass Options ⛷ You have different ski pass options to suit your family’s needs at Combloux: 🎿 Les Portes du Mont-Blanc – 100km of … Continue reading COMBLOUX skiing

Cordon Skiing

The village of Cordon is known as 🗻 Le Balcon du Mont-Blanc 🗻because of its magnificent views of Mont-Blanc, and it has a small, family-friendly ski station with 11km of ski pistes. A favourite ski station for the locals, it is perfect for tiny skiers and Beginners, as well as having a good selection of pistes for the more experienced skier. Cordon ski area normally opens towards the end of … Continue reading Cordon Skiing

Plaine-Joux Skiing (Passy)

While the children are young and learning how to ski, or if you have beginner skiers in your group, then ⛷ Plaine-Joux in Passy is the ideal ski station 🗻 au Pays du Mont-Blanc for multiple reasons: ⛷ it’s a small, family-oriented ski resort; ⛷ there are 12km of wide, gentle, sunny pistes (green, blue and red) with stunning views of the Mont Blanc Massif; ⛷ this is an affordable ski resort, … Continue reading Plaine-Joux Skiing (Passy)

PISTES de LUGE au Pays du Mont-Blanc (and beyond)

❄️ NOVEMBER SNOWFALL au Pays du Mont-Blanc . . . 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 … Continue reading PISTES de LUGE au Pays du Mont-Blanc (and beyond)

Ice-Skating au Pays du Mont-Blanc

🏔 Le Pays du Mont-Blanc has THREE ⛸ indoor ice-skating rinks that are 🗓 open all year round, and so are good places to head to escape the heat or rain during the summer months, as well as to visit in the wintertime!  In addition, during the ❄️ winter holiday season, there are several ⛸ seasonal outdoor ice-skating rinks (usually set up right in the centre of towns 🏔 au Pays du Mont-Blanc), that open … Continue reading Ice-Skating au Pays du Mont-Blanc

Gypaètes Barbus © Antoine Rezer Photography

Bon Anniversaire, Gypaète Barbu! (© Antoine Rezer Photography)

The gypaète barbu celebrated two big birthdays in 2017: 30 years since its successful re-introduction into France (1987); and 20 years since the first gypaète was born in the Alps (1997); Some gypaète barbu facts: NAME – the gypaetus barbatus is what is known as an «Old World vulture»; ie it resides in Africa, Asia and Europe, as opposed to the Americas; SIZE – the gypaète barbu … Continue reading Bon Anniversaire, Gypaète Barbu! (© Antoine Rezer Photography)

La Maison de la Créativité (Conches, Geneva)

The MBFF family visited 🎨 La Maison de la Créativité in 🇨🇭 Conches, on the outskirts of Geneva, on a crisp, sunny day in 2016 . . . what a magical discovery, for children and adults alike! A house (Villa Calandrini) set in copious grounds and surrounded by 🌳 woodland, with views of ⛰ the Salève mountain, and it even has its very own Faraway Tree ® (reference to Enid Blyton’s … Continue reading La Maison de la Créativité (Conches, Geneva)

BUGGY WALKS & FAMILY STROLLS: lakes in autumn au Pays du Mont-Blanc

After a visit to Japan during the magical time of 🍁 « autumn leaves », I never thought that autumn would inspire me in the same way again . . . But then I returned home to the 🏔 Pays du Mont-Blanc, and was charmed all over again by the palette of red, ochre, gold and orange covering the trees, crunching under my feet and reflected in … Continue reading BUGGY WALKS & FAMILY STROLLS: lakes in autumn au Pays du Mont-Blanc

FAMILY HIKES – tips for hiking with small children

2019 update – this appears to be a very popular article on the MBFF website, so I have updated it with a few new suggestions for family walks! ⛰ Family hiking with small children is not a simple task! Well, perhaps it is for some families . . . perhaps your children were born hikers! But for many of us, getting our children to 🏔 LOVE hiking in the … Continue reading FAMILY HIKES – tips for hiking with small children

SOFTPLAY, INDOOR PLAY & BOUNCY CASTLES au Pays du Mont-Blanc (and beyond)

🏔 Au Pays du Mont-Blanc, we are lucky to have a 🌈 softplay option in the industrial zone of Sallanches for those ☔️ RAINY DAYS all year round . . . and in the ☀️ summer months, plenty of bouncy castles spring up in lovely locations too . . . and further afield in the 🇫🇷 Arve Valley and beyond, there are some larger softplay and indoor play areas . . . … Continue reading SOFTPLAY, INDOOR PLAY & BOUNCY CASTLES au Pays du Mont-Blanc (and beyond)

Le Chalet des Créateurs (Saint-Gervais-les-Bains)

🎨 Le Chalet des Créateurs in Saint-Gervais-les-Bains is a fabulous venture, bringing together: 🖼 a gallery showcasing local creative talent (45+ créateurs, with collections changing with each season); a boutique with unique hand-made, local goods and gifts to buy; 🎨 a centre providing workshops for children and adults throughout the year (and especially during the school holidays); a workshop for local artists; A little history Charlotte Paget is the protagonist in this artistic … Continue reading Le Chalet des Créateurs (Saint-Gervais-les-Bains)

Lac de Passy

💦 Lac de Passy, officially referred to these days as a Base de Loisirs (due to the numerous leisure activities on offer), is the largest lake in the Pays du Mont-Blanc. Ideal for a 🏊‍♂️ swim and a splash during the summer months, it is also frequented by 🚵‍♀️ cyclists,🏃‍♀️joggers, buggy-walkers, 🎣 fishing enthusiasts, windsurfers, paddle-boarders and dog-walkers (NB 🐶 dogs are not permitted at the beach or criques ends of the lake during … Continue reading Lac de Passy

2KM3 – when a car park becomes ARTWORK! (Saint-Gervais)

A contingent of the MBFF (the youngest member and myself) headed off last week on a voyage of art exploration and discovery . . . to the newly painted multi-storey 🚙 car park in Saint-Gervais-les-Bains: 2KM3. This new art project really is a masterpiece: an alternative museum of street art, a FREE museum, a museum open every day of the year! Parking one’s car has never been … Continue reading 2KM3 – when a car park becomes ARTWORK! (Saint-Gervais)

The beautiful quais of the Sallanche river

A walk along the 💦 quais in Sallanches makes for a perfect buggy walk or stroll with a toddler on a draisienne (see MBFF post Sallanches springtime family stroll for a possible route). All is very compact in the centre of Sallanches – so you can take in two playgrounds, 🦌 Le Centre de la Nature Montagnarde (currently shut for renovation; re-opening 2020), 📚 la Médiathèque Ange Abrate, a … Continue reading The beautiful quais of the Sallanche river

Les Gorges de la Diosaz (Servoz)

A visit to 💦 Les Gorges de la Diosaz natural site makes for a wonderful visit en famille, come 🌧 rain or ☀️ shine (we have visited during both weather scenarios here at MBFF!). You are in the shade for most of the walk, so this is a great option during a summer heatwave, as well as on a slightly drizzly day! It is quite the experience to walk along the … Continue reading Les Gorges de la Diosaz (Servoz)

BABY & TODDLER PLAYGROUPS au Pays du Mont-Blanc

What you’ll find in this post, is a list of baby & toddler playgroups au Pays du Mont-Blanc that you can just pop along to for FREE! For a much more detailed list of 🌈 Baby & Toddler Activities au Pays du Mont-Blanc, see separate post. Colour code for listings: Chamonix Valley (Chamonix, Argentière, Les Houches, Servoz & Vallorcine) Passy & environs Sallanches, Combloux, Cordon & Domancy St Gervais, Le … Continue reading BABY & TODDLER PLAYGROUPS au Pays du Mont-Blanc

Cinemas au Pays du Mont-Blanc

🏔 Au Pays du Mont-Blanc, there is one large cinema complex in Sallanches – the 🎥 Ciné Mont-Blanc, and then a scattering of smaller screens, which have lots of personality!  During the summer months, many of the communes screen FREE outdoor films, so be sure to look at Tourist Office agendas for this lovely initiative. Chamonix Chamonix’s 🎥 Cinéma VOX is a bit of an institution. There are VO films … Continue reading Cinemas au Pays du Mont-Blanc

Plan d’Eau Biotope (Combloux)

A visit to the 💦 Plan d’Eau Biotope in Combloux makes for a wonderful day of swimming and lazing, with a majestic view of the 🏔 Mont Blanc Massif as a backdrop! Combloux boasts the 💦 first ecological mountain lake in France, in the most superb setting. The lake has been created for swimming and has more than 🌱 10 000 aquatic plants filtering the water in order to purify it, and … Continue reading Plan d’Eau Biotope (Combloux)

🎳 Bowling au Pays du Mont-Blanc

There is now just 🎳 ONE bowling alley au Pays du Mont-Blanc: in Sallanches. Chamonix The 🎳 bowling alley in Chamonix recently SHUT . . . to leave place for – you guessed it – a NEW hotel! Sallanches In Sallanches you will find the 🎳 Bowling du Mont-Blanc, located near the 🎥 Ciné Mont-Blanc. This bowling alley is a favourite for birthday parties and our son had a great time … Continue reading 🎳 Bowling au Pays du Mont-Blanc

Le Parc de Merlet Animal Park (Les Houches)

🦌 Le Parc de Merlet animal park is perched at 1563m, about 600m above the village of Les Houches. It is home to around 80 animals that roam freely within the boundaries of the park: chamois, ibex, deer, mouflons, marmottes . . . and even the odd llama (see here for more information about the animals that live here)! A little history . . . The animal park was opened in 1968, … Continue reading Le Parc de Merlet Animal Park (Les Houches)

Passy Playgrounds

Jardin des Cimes in Plateau d’Assy This is not a conventional playground – and neither is it free (as you have to pay an entrance fee to enter the gardens) . . . but I’ve included it in this Passy Playgrounds post, as you can’t find many playgrounds with such an incredible view of 🏔 the Mont-Blanc massif . . . These wooden structures at 🌷 Le … Continue reading Passy Playgrounds

BUGGY WALKS – a springtime stroll in Sallanches

🌸 Springtime has arrived . . . and while I dream of one day being in Japan for its famous 🌸 springtime cherry blossoms, for now I am excited to share this little Sallanches town walk with you. While there is still snow on the higher altitude walks, why not take a leisurely amble through the streets of Sallanches, enjoy the spring blossoms and discover a little history as you go … Continue reading BUGGY WALKS – a springtime stroll in Sallanches

Forte di Bard (Italy)

The MBFF team are 🇮🇹 big fans of Italy for holidays! As a destination from the Arve Valley, it is easy to get there through the Mont Blanc Tunnel and we can also book hotels and apartments last minute! Italians LOVE children (and not just well-behaving children; ALL children!), the food is very family-friendly (and delicious!), and there is endless nature, history and culture to explore. We … Continue reading Forte di Bard (Italy)