Le Grand Bornand, France | Welove2ski
Ski Resorts

Le Grand Bornand, France

Le Grand Bornand, France | Welove2ski
Photo: © Le Grand Bornand OT

The Stats

Altitude: 1000m

Top Lift: 2100m

Ski area: 90km of piste

Adult lift pass: 163€ for six days

site Official Site | site Ski Map | site Webcam

In a Nutshell

Accessible, relaxed and very authentic, Le Grand Bornand is much-loved by generations of French family skiers. Of those Brits who know of it, many learned to ski here, on safe, reassuring terrain which is just ideal. Long upstaged by nearby La Clusaz, the resort is nevertheless steadily raising its game.

Anyone who has ever driven over the Col de la Colombiere on the spectacular Route des Grandes Alpes in summer won’t have forgotten the exhilarating descent through broad Alpine pastures, dotted with authentic timber chalets and contented-looking Abondance and Tarine cattle.

Against the dramatic backdrop of the Massif des Aravis, Le Grand Bornand looks perfect – or almost. For that you have to see it in winter, when the snow lies deep, cattle are tucked away snugly indoors and finally you have the classic chocolate-box image you always dreamed of finding. However, the majority of visitors choose to base themselves in Chinaillon, which has a lot more accommodation while still managing to maintain a pleasingly traditional appearance. Together with La Clusaz – just down the valley – it’s a living, working, year-round community which was here long before the ski industry arrived.

Revolutionary cheese still standing

Cows outnumber humans around here – even in mid-winter when two-legged visitors arrive in their hordes. Le Grand Bornand is home to Reblochon cheese, which is made twice a day in the village farms during the winter. The first Reblochon market opened in the village in 1795 and it still takes place on Wednesday mornings.

So if you are looking to eat typical mountain cuisine in atmospheric restaurants, as well as enjoy the flattering intermediate skiing set against a gorgeous backdrop and a genuine Savoyard mountain welcome, then Le Grand Bornand is the place for you.

See also our feature on What You Should Know About Lake Annecy Skiing.

Continue Exploring Le Grand Bornand

The Loveometer

Where to Ski Loveometer 70% | Welove2ski

We Love

We Hate

tick The real-world, friendly atmosphere.
tick The spectacular scenery – particularly the Aravis mountains at sunset.
tick The improved lift system, which largely dispenses with queues.
tick The quick transfers from Geneva and Chambery.
tick Accommodation for all tastes.
cross Some piste-grading inconsistencies.
cross The absence of any truly challenging skiing.
cross The overall lack of apres-ski and nightlife.
cross The low altitude, which means that decent snow-cover is a lottery.

About the author

Felice Hardy

Felice was one of the founders of Welove2ski and regularly contributes, as well writing for a range of other publications including The Evening Standard, The Guardian, Conde Nast Traveller, Tatler, Harpers Bazaar, Country Life, BA Highlife and House & Garden. She started skiing at the age of three. She also enjoys hiking with her dogs and mountain biking in the Alps.

5 Comments

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  • Hello
    We have booked flights to marseille for feb half term as Genova and Grenoble flights are extortionate.
    Could you recommend any ski resorts for intermediate skiers that love a bit of off piste and high altitude.
    We are contemplating orcieres merlette as we went there years ago but would like to try somewhere new.

    Many thanks!

  • Road trip to Le Grand Bornand in campervan a while back and stayed at the campsite in the village. The campsite provided electric for heating and the facilities were very good. Planning another campervan trip hiring a van from Vanquest (www.vanquest.co.uk), will be heading back next year.