In contrast to its neighbouring ski centre, Montchavin, just 3km away and 200m lower down, the small resort of Les Coches is relatively young, only dating back as far as the 1980s. Whereas the modern resort of Montchavin grew out of an original mountain village; construction at Les Coches, situated amid larch forests at an altitude of 1450m, didn’t begin until 1981. Nevertheless, typical regional architecture very much has a presence in the small resort, giving it a character to rival any of the “older” resorts.
Les Coches maintains this character for a variety of reasons, including the wooden chalets and apartments huddled in a semicircle on the mountainside, as well as the small, traffic-free streets that criss-cross the resort. As well as this calm, quaint atmosphere, visitors to Les Coches can enjoy all the advantages you would expect of a modern ski resort, such as lifts within easy reach, ample facilities for up-and-coming skiers and an abundance of other fun activities to get involved with. The resort also offers a spectacular view across to Mont Blanc.
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Thanks to its location, right in the centre of the Paradiski ski area, Les Coches truly has something for everyone, with access to ski runs of all difficulties. Families and beginners often find that the local area of Montchavin/Les Coches itself offers more than enough for a fun-filled holiday, with 25km of ski runs, a “Snow Park” and 3 deep powder snow runs. Cross-country skiers will also find 2 challenging routes, totalling 16km in length, just above Les Coches. Budding skiers can make use of the 2 practice areas, as well as the 3 free lifts in the resort.
But for those who want even more variety, the southern half of the Paradiski ski area, named La Plagne, offers almost 10 times as many kilometres of ski runs; 225km to be precise. The area also contains a number of off-piste routes and “Snow Parks”, as well as the Bellecôte Glacier with its ideal snow conditions. Both the “Lac Noir” gondola and the “Plan Bois” chairlift take visitors straight from Les Coches to Plagne Bellecôte, a great starting point from which to explore the whole La Plagne area. For added convenience, the two lift stations in Les Coches are linked to each other by another small cableway.
A real attraction of the Les Coches resort is the fact that it sits directly on the edge of the Les Arcs ski area, which forms the other half of the Paradiski XXL ski region in conjunction with La Plagne. One cable car journey is all it takes to reach one of the stations served by the “Vanoise Express”, a state-of-the-art double-decker gondola that links La Plagne and Les Arcs. The combination of the two ski areas offers an impressive network of ski runs with a total length of 425km, including 2 glaciers, multiple “Boarder Zones” and many deep powder runs.
No matter which ski area holidaymakers in Les Coches decide to make use of, the last run of the day will normally bring them neatly back to virtually their front door. Thanks to north-facing slopes and an array of snow cannons, these runs right back down to the resort are usually operational all the way through to April.
In addition to the alpine activities on offer, such as the 3 long and exciting cross-country ski routes, Les Coches also has various other wintry pastimes in store for its guests. For example, there are hiking and snowshoe hiking routes to guide walkers through the picturesque landscape surrounding the resort. Those looking to try something new can also take part in one of the “Telemark” skiing courses offered at the local ski school. Montchavin/Les Coches is very proud to have hosted the very first “Telemark” world cup, and remains the worldwide centre for the sport.
Tobogganing is a favourite at Les Coches, for young and old alike, and whether on a classic sledge or using a so-called “Airboard”, a kind of blow-up bobsled. Last but not least, holidaymakers in Les Coches also have access to the resort’s very own ice rink, where they can do a few relaxed circuits before heading to the warmth of the restaurants and bars for the remainder of the evening.