Top Lift: 875m
Ski area: 78.9km of piste
Adult lift pass: CDN$300 for six days
In a Nutshell
Tremblant is a rarity in North America: a ski-in, ski-out resort that has lots going on in town. The village is pretty and has real character, with a French je ne sais quoi, while the skiing caters for all levels.
Essential Advice for the Perfect Trip
North America is often seen as the ultimate destination for skiers and snowboarders, but many of its resorts are rather soulless, drive-in, drive-out places where, come 4pm, you will find yourself in an empty parking lot, 20 minutes’ bus-ride from the nearest town. If for you a skiing holiday is as much about the holiday as the skiing, you may find Tremblant lures you with its charm – certainly it has proved a huge hit with the British over the past decade or so.
The resort, in the French-speaking Canadian province of Quebec, was really only developed in 1991, but it has the quaint charm of a mountain village in spades. Its steep, cobbled streets are home to charming restaurants, waffle shops, bars and a microbrewery. As an accurate reflection of what a Quebecois village would look like a hundred years ago it has an extra claim to authenticity. Aside from the original buildings that were here when the first lift opened in 1939, many dating from the 1930s were brought over from the surrounding countryside and lovingly restored.
“Cynics may look upon it as a sort of Disneyesque caricature,” said our blogger Roger Bray, “but Intrawest, the developer which revolutionized it some two decades ago, has done an impressive job”.
Although the village of Tremblant is relatively new, the Laurentian mountains themselves are one of the oldest ranges in the world, with Mont Tremblant the highest peak at 875m. Although this means they have lost the impressive, pointy bits of younger ranges like the Alps, the resort has plenty of gnarly runs to test even advanced skiers, such as the ‘glade’ runs straight though the trees.
That said, Tremblant’s greatest draw has been to families, who want North American hospitality combined with a bit of Gallic charm – but without the long flying times to the West, and only five hours’ time difference to minimise jetlag. Tremblant is 90 minutes from Montreal, which in turn is about seven hours from London. The ski school has a good reputation and everyone is bilingual.
Just remember to take lots of layers
What those families don’t seem to mind is the bitingly cold wind that blows in from the south-west – making the north face, ironically, the place to warm up. In February balaclavas are de rigueur and one Canadian skier simply wouldn’t believe us that in Europe people often ski without a helmet or hat.
If you don’t mind the cold and aren’t a powder obsessive or a mileage-hungry intermediate then Tremblant is a resort that pretty much has it all. The people are friendly and speak English as well as French, the scenery is spectacular in a low-key sort of way, and you won’t get bored. As in the rest of North America, lift queues are generally short and orderly. Lift attendants make sure most spaces are filled, rather than just sitting around moodily, as in France. As a result there are few lifts to avoid.
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