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La Rosiere Ski Resort Guide – Skiing in France

All encompassing La Rosiere Ski Resort Guide including recommendations on the best ski runs, snow conditions, food and accommodation for the ski area.

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La Rosiere and La Thuile Ski Area

La Rosiere Ski Resort in the French Alps is one of those beautiful ski areas that is a true hidden gem. It is part of the Espace San Bernardo Ski Area which crosses the border between France and Italy.

La Rosiere is located on the French side while La Thuile makes up the Italian portion.

While La Rosiere is not as well known as its big brothers and sisters such as Les Arcs, La Plagne or the Three Valleys, all located within 1 hours drive, this charming Ski Area benefits from much quieter ski slopes and the snow conditions are just as good.

La Rosiere and La Thuile Ski Area

La Rosiere Ski Resort Basic Statistics

The Espace San Bernado ski area containing both La Rosiere Ski Resort and La Thuile Ski Resort has over 160 km of groomed pistes. 38 ski lifts crisscross the two powder filled bowls that make up the Ski Resort areas and offers a wide range of slopes to suit all abilities.

  • Lifts: 38 (1 Cable Car, 7 high-speed detachable chairs, 11 chairlifts, 16 surface lifts and 3 learner conveyors)
  • Downhill Ski Trails: 80 made up of 8 Green, 25 Blue, 35 Red and 8 Black runs.
  • Beginner: 40%
  • Intermediate: 40%
  • Advanced: 20%
  • Cross-Country Trails: 12 km
  • Snowmaking Coverage: 20%
  • Highest Lift Elevation: 8,665 ft. / 2,641 m
  • Ski Resort Elevation: 6,070 ft. / 1850 m
  • Vertical Drop: 4,806 ft. / 1,465 m
  • Terrain Parks: 2
  • Halfpipe: None
  • Restaurants On Ski Area: 11
  • Bars on Ski Area: 4
  • Ski In/Ski Out Accommodation: Yes
  • Night Skiing: No
  • Ski Season Open/Close: Mid-December to late-April.

La Rosiere Ski Resort Piste Map La Rosiere Ski Resort Piste Map

Download the full-sized La Rosiere Ski Resort Piste Map.

Positives

La Rosiere faces south with spectacular views over the Tarentaise Valley along the French Alps. This also means that the days are longer and you are blessed with sun throughout the day.

Mid-week the crowds are non-existent and you can easily ski all day without hitting a queue for the chairlifts. Even during the busy Christmas/New Year period and February school holidays the crowds move quickly with no queue lasting longer than a few minutes.

Ultimately this means more skiing time and less standing around. And with the ski connection to La Thuile Ski Area in Italy you won’t get bored skiing here.

Very experienced ski schools who can cater for beginners to advanced skiers wanting a few extra tips. Plus there are three free chairlifts for beginners to start on without forking out for a ski pass.

Basically there is something for all levels of skiers to enjoy at La Rosiere Ski Resort.

Negatives

While having the sun all day on La Rosiere Ski Area is great, during the end of the ski season this can prove problematic with conditions turning slushy. Therefore it is best to ski in La Rosiere first thing in the morning before heading across the border to Italy and the north-facing slopes of La Thuile.

Be aware that the connection between La Rosiere and La Thuile has to be made via a VERY long drag surface lift.

As there are a high number of surface lifts, this can be particularly daunting for first time snowboarders. Although after a few times you will master the technique. You can also easily explore the entire La Rosiere Ski Resort just using chairlifts.

La Rosiere can be affected by high winds due to its openness. This means that the La Thuile connection may be closed from time to time.

La Rosiere Ski Resort Guide

On-Piste

The only trails in La Rosiere that don’t get groomed every night are the black runs. This means that every morning the very wide trails are perfect for warming up your legs with big turns before tackling the steeper bumps.

While there are not many Green Trails, don’t let that put you off if it is your first time. The Blue Trails are perfect for learning on and you will be whizzing down them with ease. Even the Red Trails are easy enough that skiers on their first week are able to tackle them after a few days on the slopes.

Best locals on-piste run

My favourite trail is definitely the never-ending top to bottom red groomed run from Roc Noir chair to the base of Petit Bois. You can get a lot of speed up without worrying about other skiers.

Off-Piste

Since La Rosiere is much quieter than some of the other ski resorts in the French Alps, you will find untracked lines of powder over 3 days after a snowfall. Even if you are skiing with beginners you can ride the same areas and chairlifts together due to the open bowls of La Rosiere. As the rest of your group snowplows to the bottom of the run you can dart off-piste and easily meet them at the same chairlift.

There are lots of small cliff-drops and challenging black trails for the more experienced skiers wanting to ski back-country runs, in-bounds.

Best locals run in powder

Ski to the top of Ecudets Chairlift and follow the Red Trail to the bottom. This run is usually left alone by tourists as other skiers will ski the wide open bowl in the next valley. This is also the best place for powder filled tree runs.

Ecudets Chairlift, La Rosiere Ski Area

Ecudets Chairlift after fresh powder

Terrain Park / Boardercross

La Rosiere Ski Resort is freestyle friendly with an excellent terrain park to suit all levels of skiers and snowboarders. The ski resort’s main snowpark is 300 metres long and has a number of features including multiple table tops, hips, fun boxes and rails.

All of these features are graded from Green to Black so you can work your way up to harder, and bigger, tricks. The giant airbag is also available for anyone to try a new trick on.

A skiercross and boardercross course has been developed next to the Fort chairlift. Great fun for everyone to have a go and a chance to race between your group. You can even stagger the starts to make it fun for the kids.

Other On-Snow Activities

La Rosiere Ski Resort is not just limited to skiing and snowboarding. 20kms of cross-country ski trails and snow-shoeing trails will keep you occupied, even after dark.

If you are feeling like a little more adventure then it is worth trying out the extreme snow-kite and speed riding zones on the mountain which will get your adrenaline pumping. Or just take in the scenery while paragliding.

Heliskiing in La Rosiere is actually perfect. While Heliskiing is banned in France, you can catch your ride from La Rosiere across the border into the Italian Alps to ski from the top of a number of untracked mountains.

Lift Passes Cost

There are three free drag lifts for beginners, although these won’t get you very high up the slopes. The prices for full lift tickets include both La Rosiere Ski Resort and La Thuile Ski Resort:

  • Adult 1 Day : €38.90
  • Adult 6 Days : €186.00
  • Child Day (5 – 12 years): €27.20
  • Child 6 Days (5 – 12 years) : €130.20

There are also the full range of ski passes such as La Rosiere Ski Resort only, half-days and multi-day options. You can find them listed on the Official La Rosiere Ski Resort site.

Location / Getting to La Rosiere Ski Resort

Located only a short 25 minute drive from Bourg St Maurice in the French Alps, La Rosiere Ski Resort is perfectly located for international travellers looking for a snow adventure.

Bourg St Maurice is serviced by the Eurostar with direct day and overnight ski trains from London running twice a day on Saturdays. There are direct shuttle buses from the train station up to La Rosiere Ski Resort.

The best airport to fly into is Geneva,which is only a 2 hour drive, depending on road conditions. Grenoble Airport is an alternative located about 3 hours drive from the ski area. Both are accessed by excellent public transportation including buses and trains.

Consider hiring a car for your ski adventure so that you can explore other ski resorts if you are tempted.

Bourg St Maurice Sunset, French Alps

Sunset over Bourg St Maurice

Where to stay in La Rosiere

La Rosiere 1850m is the perfect ski in/ski out location with lots of options depending on your budget and needs. These include self-catering chalets through to 5-star chalets with full 5 course meals every night.

The other option is stay within Bourg St Maurice or the surrounding villages for those wanting to explore other ski areas. It does mean you will need to drive 1/2 hour up to La Rosiere ski area each day.

You can view the various Hotels in La Rosiere here.

Where to eat in La Rosiere

La Rosiere has three restaurants and bars on the mountain with the usual mountain style food and snacks. The finest dining can be found in the La Rosiere 1850m village itself.

The best coffee and hot drinks in La Rosiere can be found at the top of Fort Chairlift in a tiny slopeside hut. They have the best views across the French Alps and even have a snow cave for the kids to explore.

La Rosiere Ski Resort is best for…

Families or groups of friends who are looking for a quieter, and cheaper, week away skiing. La Rosiere Ski Resort will keep all levels of skiers occupied for the week. Especially if you venture into La Thuile a couple of times during the week.

Where else can you ski across the border for an authentic Italian pasta lunch before finishing back in France next to the fire with cheese and wine?

Insider Local Tip

On a nice day ski across the France/Italy border to La Thuile Ski Area, which is included in your lift ticket price, for better food and a chance to explore a different mountain. Kids will love the adventure and it will break up the week.

To find our more about La Rosiere Ski Resort then visit the Office of Tourism website for more information.

Cole is one half of New Zealand's leading adventure travel blogging couple who have been wearing out their jandals around the world since 2009. He loves any adventure activities and anything to do with the water whether it is Surfing, Diving, Swimming, Snorkeling or just lounging nearby on the beach. You can follow Cole on Google+. Or consider following us via RSS Feed, Twitter, Facebook and subscribe to our Newsletter.

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15 Comments

15 Comments

  1. Karen @ Trans-Americas Journey

    January 21, 2013 at 7:57 PM

    What’s all that white stuff????? Definitely been in Central America too long….

    • Cole Burmester

      January 22, 2013 at 8:57 AM

      Hahaha yup you need to get away from the beach 😉 How about a trade?!

  2. Laurence

    January 22, 2013 at 8:01 AM

    Crikey, comprehensive post! If I ever get round to doing some skiing in France, this one will be on the list!

    • Cole Burmester

      January 22, 2013 at 9:14 AM

      Perfect for a beginner skier wanting some quieter slopes to try out for the first time!

  3. Jennifer

    January 23, 2013 at 4:06 PM

    Perfect for beginner skiers you say? That would be us! I definitely need more lessons and Tim just needs practice. Looks gorgeous!

  4. Cheryl

    January 23, 2013 at 4:23 PM

    Great guide! I don’t even know how to ski, but I’d love to go just to take in those spectacular views.

    • Cole Burmester

      January 23, 2013 at 5:33 PM

      Just go up and enjoy some mulled wine and the views then! 😉

  5. Lynette E. Branch

    January 24, 2013 at 11:35 AM

    The nightlife in La Rosiere ski resort is limited, however, the bars all know how to have a good time. Most are found in La Rosiere Centre but there are also an increasing number of options in smaller Les Eucherts. No ski trip would be complete without singing along to a covers band so make sure you head for Le Petit Danois bar at least once. If you fancy yourself as the star you can serenade the other guests with a spot of karaoke at Arpin’s or for dancing, head for Le Pub which rocks until late. A more refined evening can be had at Clay’s Piano Bar. Bar Fusion in La Rosiere Centre or La Grange and Kitzbuhel in Les Eucherts are also fun.

    • Cole Burmester

      January 24, 2013 at 2:21 PM

      Thanks Lynette for the extra info! Definitely agree with all your points and places to try for a night out 😀

  6. Sonya

    January 24, 2013 at 8:20 PM

    Fab ski resort guide!

    • Cole Burmester

      January 25, 2013 at 8:34 AM

      Thank you for commenting Sonya! Have you been to La Rosiere before?

  7. Mary @ Green Global Travel

    January 24, 2013 at 10:09 PM

    The mountains are beautiful! Now, if I only could ski without falling down every 5 ft 🙂

  8. Ronny

    October 16, 2014 at 2:10 PM

    So cool that there are ski resorts in Europe where you don’t have to worry about lines during the week … always heard that hills over there are so busy!

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Adventure Travel

Walking the Camino de Santiago Photos

These are my favourite Camino de Santiago Photos from my pilgrimage along the French Way in March. A truly beautiful way to spend a few weeks.

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Puenta La Reina Bridge Camino Arrow

El Camino de Santiago kicked my ass. Well technically it kicked my feet. Turns out my minimal preparation for the Camino de Santiago was terrible. After a miserable effort of only 4 days, the doctor in Legrono told me that I wasn’t allowed to go on until me feet healed. I had walked just over 100 km’s and my feet were bloodied and blistered.

To be honest, I was relieved.

The thought of putting back on my shoes made my shudder. For the last 9 km’s I had stumbled along in jandals and socks. One of the travelling fashion sins I vowed I would never break.

Jandals on the Camino de Santiago

Jandals on the Camino de Santiago

So while I have unfinished business with the Way of St James (an upcoming post), I did want to share with you some of my favourite photos from the Camino de Santiago. Because I had yet to reach some of the more “unsavoury” parts of the Camino that Sherry Ott had discovered, every step of my pilgrimage had been beautiful.

Puenta La Reina Bridge Camino Arrow

Puenta La Reina Bridge – Camino de Santiago Arrows

There is no way you can get lost on the Camino de Santiago. Arrows, scallop shells and signs point you in the right direction at every bridge, road crossing and intersection.

Camino de Santiago Scallop Shell

Camino de Santiago Scallop Shell

Reaching the top of Alto Pedron gave views back the way I had come from Pamplona, as well as views to where I was going. The rocky path on the way down proved to be my ultimate downfall, as my too small shoes caused my toes to smash into the front.

Alto del Pedron Camino de Santiago

Alto del Pedron Camino de Santiago

Metal Pilgrims on Alto del Pedron

Metal Pilgrims on Alto del Pedron

There were so many beautiful old churches along the Camino de Santiago. But since I was walking in early March, it seemed that most were yet to open for the busier summer season.

Church of Obanos

The Church of Obanos

And between every small village the well-maintained pathways of the French Way wound across the spectacular Spanish countryside.

The French Way - Camino de Santiago

The French Way – Camino de Santiago Photos

Puenta La Reina

Puenta La Reina in the evening

Puenta La Reina has one of the most amazing bridges I have ever seen. It was also the 1st village I had the pleasure of sleeping in after busy Pamplona.

Puenta la Reina Bridge and Sunrise

Puenta la Reina Bridge at sunrise

Most mornings I was up and walking before the sun began to sprinkle across the horizon.

Spring flowers on the Camino de Santiago

Spring flowers on the Camino de Santiago

Pilgrims approaching Cirauqui, Spain

Pilgrims approaching Cirauqui, Spain

Every village and town was built on a small hill. Sure it looks beautiful until you realise you have to go back up again to go through them all!

Church of Santa Maria - Los Arcos

Church of Santa Maria in Los Arcos

While there were only about 20 pilgrims walking each section every day, it wasn’t uncommon for you to encounter them all. The people I met along the Camino de Santiago were some of the most inspiring and remarkable people I have ever spoken to. They are the ones that make the pilrgimage so special.

The endless French Way

The endless French Way

Irache Wine Fountain - Fuente del Vino

The free flowing Irache Wine Fountain or “Fuente del Vino”

Hay bales along the French Way

Hay bales along the French Way

Every village had at least one ancient church and it wasn’t uncommon to find them dotting the landscape in remote locations either.

Ermita de San Miguel

Ermita de San Miguel

Iglesia de San Andrés de Zariquiegui Church

Iglesia de San Andrés de Zariquiegui Church

I have travelled through Spain in the past, including cycling in Costa Brava and surfing in San Sebastian with both independent planning and a vacation planner. But having the opportunity to walk at my own pace through some of the most beautiful scenery in Spain on the Camino de Santiago has so far topped them all.

Natural arches - Camino de Santiago

Natural arches on the Camino de Santiago

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Adventure Travel

Hammock vs Tent Camping

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Camping with a hammock is slowly but surely becoming more popular in recent years with new and improved hammock designs being preferred by some campers, compared to the traditional tent.

In this article we will discuss some of the key benefits and drawbacks of sleeping without a tent, and analyze key criteria so that you can choose your preferred shelter choice!

Weatherproof

Most tents work well in the rain; however, you’ll need to bring a tarp if you’re using a hammock. Traditional hammocks are not waterproof, and are generally open at the top, allowing water to find itself inside if you don’t have an adequate tarp. Moreover, a decent under quilt is also a good idea so that you can stay warm and cozy during cold and stormy nights.

Packing up your hammock after a long night of rain isn’t too bad, whereas packing up a soaking wet tent is always annoying. You almost always get wet in the process.

Setup

For first time campers, pop-up tents are the simplest to setup. All you need to do is find flat ground, and bam, your setup is complete! The beauty of pop-up tents is that you don’t need to worry about figuring out where to insert the poles and erect the tent. Although, traditional tents are usually more robust, and have a longer life span.

Essentially, a tent is simple, but a hammock can become a little more complicated for first timers. You’ll need to find 2 trees facing a good direction and tie each end of the hammock to them. If your hammock setup is too tight, you will generally wake up with sore ancles, but if it’s too loose, you run the risk of the hammock touching the floor, and insects crawling in with you.

If your campground doesn’t have many trees, or if the trees are dead (they could break and injure you), hammock stands come to the rescue! Basically, hammock stands allow you to pitch a hammock if there are no trees nearby. They are portable, adjustable, and are easy to setup. The only drawback is that the ground should be relatively flat, whereas if you were to hang a hammock between 2 trees, there won’t be any stands touching the ground, so a rocky floor wouldn’t be a problem.

Comfort

One of the main reasons for choosing a hammock is the comfort that it provides you! It has a basically has in-built seat which is arguably more comfortable than a standard blow up mattress. You need to pick your tree’s wisely though! You don’t want a pinecone falling on your face mid-sleep.

If you have constant back pain and find it hard to sleep inside tents, you should give hammocks a try as they cause you to sleep sideways, similar to a banana shape, which a lot people find much more comfortable.

Price

Hammocks are usually lighter and don’t include a wealth of poles and gear that tents do. Depending on the type of hammock that you purchase, they are usually quite similar to tents. You can however, find very cheap tents <$60, but they most likely won’t last long.

A good tent or hammock can cost between $200-500 without accessories. If you need a hammock stand, that will add to your cost, just like a mattress and other tent necessities will to its cost.

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Adventure Travel

Top of Cappadocia day trek – with Middle Earth Travel

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Trekking through the valleys of Cappadocia’s fairy chimneys with Middle Earth Travel feels more like the set of a Star Wars movie than a historical region once carved out and lived in by humans. Churches, homes and pigeon houses are scattered throughout the valleys, all waiting to be explored. The best part is, Middle Earth Travel know all the hidden secrets.

Standing at the top of Cappadocia

Top of Cappadocia day trek – with Middle Earth Travel

On the 26th of July (which just so happens to be my birthday!) Middle Earth Travel took us on their private and guided Top of Cappadocia day trek. From Pasabag, along the top of Cappadocia and down through the Gulludere Rose Valley to Goreme, we trekked 15kms in one day! (We recommend getting your bearings with this map)

Upon arrival to the Middle Earth Offices, we were warmly greeted by our new friend Atil whom we had met a few days earlier while mountain biking through the Kizilcukur Red Valley. We were then introduced to our guide and given a briefing regarding the day. Normally, the Top of Cappadocia tour would start from Çavuşin, however, since we had already explored Çavuşin Castle, they adapted our tour to compensate ensuring we would explore new terrain!

With charged cameras, plenty of water and our running shoes on, we were driven to our starting point of Pasabag. We wandered through the fairy chimneys, coming across camels and markets – then the true hike began.

Pasabag in Cappadocia

The police station in Pasabag, Cappadocia

Camel in Pasabag, Cappadocia

Camel in Pasabag, Cappadocia

It was a slow and gentle incline. With no trees to provide shade, I quickly realised why our tour guide had chosen to wear fully covered clothing! As the sweat quickly set in (a waterfall in Moss’s case) we snapped away with our cameras and enjoyed the entertaining shapes of Imagine Valley and the amazing view. We also passed a lot of rock piles, which according to our guide mean ‘father’ and are built to help lead the way.

Animal shaped formations in Imagine Valley

Animal shaped formations in Imagine Valley

Middle Earth Travel, Cappadocia

Making our way to the top of Cappadocia

Father leading the way (rock pile)

Father leading the way (rock pile)

The higher we trekked, the more breath taking the views became! As we walked along the summit of Bozdag mountain (the Top of Cappadocia) we could see EVERTHING – Pasabag, Çavuşin Castle, Kizilcukur Red Valley, Gulludere Rose Valley and Goreme. We were on the Father of Valleys! After a quick nod of agreement to the guide, we pushed ourselves the extra distance and made our way to the flag, as this HAD to be the highest point and was definitely worth a photo and a selfie or two!

View from the top of Cappadocia

View from the top of Cappadocia

Flag at top of Cappadocia

From the flag we looked down upon Aktepe Hill which is known as a popular destination for watching the sun set and could spot Kizilvadi Restaurant, our destination for lunch! Kizilvadi Restaurant is an attraction of its own. With its own historic winery and Grape church, plus some Middle Earth Travel treks even stay there for the night! After having a massive feed of soup, salad and pasta plus a surprise birthday cake, we made our way down into Gulludere Rose Valley.

Kizilvadi Restaurant

Kizilvadi Restaurant

The scenery is amazing, with strong colours visible in perfect layers on the chimneys, you would wonder what an artist was thinking, had it been a painting. Also, hidden to the side of the track we walked across a little bridge and not expecting anything to be there we were wowed by the massive church carved. It was absolutely huge and hard to believe that its most recent use has been as a pigeon house!

Coloured chimneys in Cappadocia

Coloured chimneys in Cappadocia

Pigeon houses in Cappadocia

Pigeon houses in Cappadocia

Church in Gulludere Rose Valley

Hard to believe this Church is carved inside a fairy chimney!

Middle Earth Travel Review

  • The team at Middle Earth Travel were extremely knowledgeable and certainly know Cappadocia’s hidden secrets. They have friendships with local tea garden owners which is also of benefit as it gained us entry to locked churches and hidden rooms that we would not have otherwise seen.
  • We covered a lot of ground, however we did not feel rushed. The whole day focused on showing us the region, therefore we had as much time as we needed to explore each church and to take ‘just one more photo’.
  • It wasn’t all about trekking. With a whole day and 15kms to cover, there were a few silly poses (especially in Imagine Valley), and we learnt a lot about the myths, legends and way of life in Cappadocia.
  • In conclusion I highly recommend Middle Earth Travel if you wish to go trekking or mountain biking in Cappadocia.
  • Cost: Day treks with Middle Earth Travel range from 50-90 euro, depending on the number of people taking part. This includes lunch, guide, vehicle transfers and entrance fees to historical sites, but excludes alcoholic and soft drinks.
  • Middle Earth Travel are outdoor enthusiasts and offer multi-day over night treks, mountain biking, abseiling, or custom made itineraries, in multiple regions throughout Turkey.
  • www.middleearthtravel.com

Disclaimer: We were provided with a discount for the trek with Middle Earth Travel, however, as always our thoughts on our adventure travel blog our own.

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Meet Cole and Adela

Cole and AdelaWe have been wearing out our jandals (Kiwi for flip-flops) on our travel adventures around the world since 2009. We think our blog is thought provoking and a little witty. But we have been proven wrong before. Find out more about us here...

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