Here are 10 of our favorite things about skiing in Les Gets, a resort within the Haute-Savoie region of France and one of the 12 linked resorts in the massive Portes du Soleil ski area. A picturesque village that even through significant recent growth, has retained a traditional chalet look.
#1 Linked to the Portes du Soleil area
The Portes du Soleil is a huge ski area in France and Switzerland spanning 286 ski slopes, 196 lifts and 99 restaurants. Les Gets is one of the 12 resorts that makes up this winter playground and although on the edge of the area you can have some epic days out. Les Gets has enough to keep most people occupied for a ski holiday but for the more advanced and the diehard first lift until sundown skiers, a whole world of variety is on the doorstep.
The minor downside is that Les Gets is on the edge of the Portes du Soleil so it takes a bit of effort to get across to the main area by skiing to Morzine and then getting across town in the mini train and taking the Super Morzine lift up towards Avoriaz.
Alternatively, if you have a car with you or amenable chalet hosts, then you can make the short drive to the Ardent lift just beyond Lac Montriond. Speeds things up if you don’t want to ski over the Les Gets / Morzine runs again.
#2 Mont Cherie
Mont Cherie is the mountain and small ski area the other side of the village from the main slopes. You can walk across the village or take a mini train to get to the telecabine for access.
We like it because it’s usually quiet. There are a handful of red and black runs as well as a decent snowpark.
The perfect place to spend an afternoon without having to avoid ski schools and beginners. And if it’s Sunday pop into La Grande Ourse to see if they are doing a hog roast.
#3 Mixed blues and reds
As a resort perfect for beginners and intermediates there’s a good mix of reds and blues and a mix of challenge. You can go up and down on the same group of lifts all morning working your way round the bowl or you can put together some circular routes that take you over to the slopes of neighboring Morzine.
#4 La Paika restaurant
There’s a lot of choice of places to eat on the mountain whether you want a quick baguette or 3 course Savoyard cheese induced coma. La Paika in our opinion is the best place to eat. A solid menu at good prices in a renovated barn with sundeck giving views over to the other side of the valley. Not to mention good friendly service.
And best of all, they have a huge outdoor charcoal grill for the daily specials. Huge hunks of meat, whole chickens or seafood brochettes: there’s always an amazing selection. It’s nice to occasionally have a meal that isn’t based around cheese and charcuterie.
You can find La Paika to the side of the Vorosses piste, about one third of the way down. If you’re skiing in Les Gets, you have to visit at least once.
#5 Easy accessible black runs
Les Gets is well suited for the beginner and intermediate skiers but once you’ve mastered the reds and want to try out some blacks they are easy to get to. The Yeti and Myrtilles both come down into the main bowl and have some challenging steep parts and form sizable moguls. Both fun after fresh powder. If you’ve got people in your group who prefer the gentler slopes they can take blue runs and finish up at the same place.
#6 Bar Bush quiz night
We probably spend far too much time in Bar Bush as it’s a popular hangout for expat locals and shows pretty much all live sports on the TV. A great, friendly place to grab an après drink while watching a 6 Nations match.
Every Thursday night of the season Bar Bush plays host to the biggest and best quiz night in Les Gets (it might be the only one). It is always an entertaining and competitive night with prize money and drinks to be won. Guaranteed to be a fun night.
#7 Transfer from Geneva
Geneva is a fairly small airport but it’s well served by Easyjet from most major UK airports which usually means there are plenty of options at good prices. BA and Swiss also fly to Geneva from the UK and are sometimes surprisingly good value as well. The transfer up to Les Gets is easy and takes about an hour.
But… at rush hour, and especially on a Friday, there can be long queues at the motorway border crossing from Switzerland to France. There’s no real alternative route so if you want to go skiing in Les Gets you just have to roll with it.
#8 Family friendly
Les Gets is geared up for the family with childcare options, evening events in the village for the kids (especially over the Christmas holidays), friendly restaurants and ski schools for all ages.
The one thing that stands out for us is the native American themed “Grand Cry” area on the slopes. This is full of activities and distractions for the kids with some gentler slopes. Perfect for when you’re tired of chasing them round the resort.
#9 The Aprés Bar
At the foot of the front face there’s an outdoor bar which is aptly named the Aprés Bar. The family nature of Les Gets means it doesn’t have a wild and crazy après scene but this place has a party feel. Regular live bands and DJs keep the noise levels up whilst the vin chaud flows. Perfect on a sunny day skiing in Les Gets to catch those last few rays before the sun goes down.
#10 Off piste within easy reach
If you’ve built your confidence and want to dabble with off piste skiing then it’s easy to do without it being a massive expedition. There are plenty of opportunities to ski through the trees between the pistes and in the powder at the side of the pistes.
For those that have the right equipment there’s a large freeride zone off the top of the Chamossière lift.
#11 Mont Blanc views
Yeah, we know, there’s only supposed to be 10 but have this one as a bonus. Whilst skiing in Les Gets you’ll probably notice that it has some of the best Mont Blanc views in the business. When the sun is out and the sky is blue, you will spend a lot of time taking photos.
All images: the author.