As a visitor to Montchavin today, it’s hard to imagine that this small, picturesque winter sports resort came close to dying out completely at the beginning of the 1970s. At that time, the small mountain village at 1250m had a dwindling population of barely 10. This was, however, before its transformation into a popular ski resort began.
Today, Montchavin is one of the most authentic skiing villages in the French Alps, and has truly retained all of its original charm. Rustic chalets and apartments made from wood and stone, separated by cobbled streets, make up the small forest-encircled resort. Together with its neighbouring resort of Les Coches, further up the mountain, Montchavin could be described as the pivot point of the entire Paradiski XXL ski region, which stretches away on both sides of the two resorts. Whilst staying in a relaxed atmosphere far away from the hustle and bustle of the ski areas themselves, guests at Montchavin are still ideally poised to make the most of the enormous range of almost 250 ski runs available in the region.
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Snow lovers in Montchavin have true freedom of choice when it comes to planning their holiday, with 3 ski areas in easy reach. The “small-sized selection” of 25km of runs around Montchavin and Les Coches themselves, along with 2 specially designated practice areas, can, particularly for families and first-timers, prove more than enough to fill up the schedule. Those that would prefer a bit more choice could go for the “medium-sized selection”, and venture out into the La Plagne ski area, where over 225km of runs, several “Boarder Zones”, powder snow runs and challenging glacier runs await. All this, accessed via Plagne Bellecôte, is just 3 chairlift rides away from Montchavin.
But those with a truly insatiable appetite can give themselves the full “XXL-sized selection” of a total of 425km of ski runs in the entire Paradiski region (made up of Les Arcs in the north and La Plagne in the south) to choose from, and can switch from one to the other on a daily basis if they wish. As well as a second glacier, Les Arcs also offers fantastic snow conditions, a range of runs at all difficulty levels, “Snow Parks”, off-piste runs, and even an Olympic high-speed run. The “Vanoise Express”, a double-decker Gondola cableway linking Les Arcs and La Plagne, is only one chairlift ride away from the resort. After an exhilarating but exhausting day on the slopes, thanks to the use of an array of snow cannons, visitors can normally ski all the way back down to the resort right up until the end of the season.
Even for those smallest of holidaymakers, Montchavin offers great facilities. Ski lessons are available for children as young as 3 years old.
Those looking for an alternative to classic alpine skiing will find 16km of cross-country routes around Montchavin. This aside, guests also have the unique opportunity to try mastering the unusual technique of “Telemark” skiing. The first ever “Telemark” world cup was held here in 1995, and since then Montchavin and Les Coches have become an international centre for this traditional discipline.
There also plenty to do in Montchavin that doesn’t involve a pair of skis. The outstanding natural beauty around the resort is just waiting to be explored, whether on a good long walk, on a “snowshoe” route, or speeding along on a dog sled. However, visitors looking for a bit more action will also find plenty of ways to get their adrenalin pumping. Tobogganing fans have a choice to make; either go it alone, or try the “snakegliss” option, and thunder down the run lined up in a group. Another exciting prospect is a ride through the beautiful landscape around Montchavin on a snowmobile, quad bike or snow-trike.
Non-stop activity gives way to pure relaxation at the “Espace Paradisio” in Montchavin, an extensive bathing and fitness centre, spread over an entire square kilometre. The centre offers everything a skier could want after a day out on the slopes: a 70m² pool, a sauna, a Turkish bath, an infrared booth, whirlpools, cold pools and a kid’s area. The adjacent “Wellness” area, “Spa Océane”, offers a range of massages and beauty treatments. “Aquafitness” and “Aquabiking” courses complete the full relaxation and fitness package on offer.
To bring the day in Montchavin to an enjoyable end, guests can enjoy an evening in the cinema, at the disco, or in one of the many restaurants and bars. Montchavin and Les Coches are conveniently linked by a free shuttle bus, running until late evening.