Situated between the lac d’Annecy to the north and Chambery to the South, the Bauges Massif is often ignored as skiers head to the large Savoie resorts. Interestingly, because of its location, Les Bauges often gets the first snow of the season. Skiing in Les Bauges provides ‘real skiing’ with local people. Aillons-Margeriaz, 1000 – 1900m, is about a 20 minute drive from the chalet. The ski resort is a hidden gem frequented by the French in the know and has enough slopes to suit skiers of all abilities, 20 ski lifts and a snow park.

At Aillons-Margeriaz you can not only learn how to ski with expert tuition from ESF, you can find enough piste to keep you content for your stay and at less than half the price of the big resorts. For those of you who are non-skiers or just want to try something different, Les Aillons offers Husky dogsled rides or ski du fond (cross country aka Nordique skiing) which is great fun and a fantastic workout. If you have waterproof walking boots, why not try snow shoeing by hiring some racquets from one of the nearby ski hire shops. This way you can even meet the skiers up the mountain at Margeriaz for lunch or a vin chaud at La Bergerie, a rustic restaurant which we highly recommend. You may think hiking is only for the summer but if you fancy something other than skiing you can check out the winter hiking trails.

Another nearby resort with amazing views over the Lac du Bourget, is Le Revard, La Féclaz and St. François de Sales together known as the Grand Revard 1350m– 1500m, just 25 minutes from the chalet. It is also known as “Little Canada” primarily because it resembles the vast winter tundra of the Canadian west: miles of rolling sunlight clearings and thick evergreen forests.Although situated in the mountains, the whole ski range is on a high-plateau, thus allowing for miles and miles of endless Nordic skiing.In fact, the resort reputes itself as being the number one French destination for Cross-Country skiing (140km) with Alpine sking (50km) and snowpark activities as secondary attractions. But if the skiing isn’t enough for you, there is snowshoeing, dog-sled rides, tobogganing, snowscooting and an old form of Savoyard sledding called yonner.

Other more popular and higher “snow sure” ski resorts such as Courcheval, Meribel and Val Thorens are within easy reach for a days skiing (about an hour’s drive).

If you want an afternoon away from the slopes, why not head to the beautiful town of Annecy for lunch followed by a walk around the old town or perhaps venture over to the west side of the lake with its numerous Michelin 3 star restaurants!

For another excursion there is the spa town Aix les Bains and the Lac du Bourget for its mountain views and thermal baths.

Winter and Ski info:
Les Allions-Margeriaz
Grand Revard
Le Semnoz
Ski information for Allions-Margeriaz
Ski Information for Grand Revard
Ski Information for Le Semnoz
Winter activities in des Bauges

Ski Hire
There are hire shops at Les Aillons Station, Margeriaz & La Feclaz. To make a big saving we recommend booking in advance online at

Aillon Sport
Le Saint Anne
73340 Aillon Le Jeune
Le Vieux Chalet
Le Sapey
73230 La Feclaz

Ski Passes
The ski pass prices for these local resorts is a fraction of the price of the bigger tourist resorts.
Full list of ski pass prices for Aillons-Margeriaz
Full list of ski pass prices for Grand Revard
Full list of ski pass prices for Le Semnoz

It is also worth keeping your ski pass from Aillons-Margeriaz as you get a refund on your next pass if you ski outside school holidays! Likewise, if you just pay on a daily basis there is a discount if you already have your pass.

The tourist office in Le Chatelard is a good source of information for the surrounding area.  Use of the internet is free here and you can also print up to 5 pages of A4 per day at no cost.  Tourist office opening times.