A mere 20km from the border with Italy lies the idyllic ski resort of Sainte Foy. Encompassing the original village itself, many tiny hamlets and the ski station at 1550m, Sainte Foy is widely regarded as one of the little jewels in the crown of the French ski resorts. Far removed from the hustle and bustle of the larger ski areas, the resort simply allows visitors to enjoy its authentic Savoyard charm, and untainted natural beauty.
The traditional architecture of the original village was carefully replicated in the building of the ski station itself, some 6km away. The luxurious chalets, spread over a south-west facing flank of the mountain, are without exception constructed from local stone and woods, such as Larch and Spruce. This contributes to the fact that the entire resort seems to melt seamlessly into its surroundings, almost as if it has been a feature of the landscape for just as long as the trees themselves.
However, it’s not just the traditional architecture that makes Sainte Foy such an oasis of serenity. The very nature of the resort’s own ski area also helps, in that it contains just 23 traditional ski runs and 6 lifts. This apparently small number comes about because the rest of the high-alpine ski zone is given over completely to “freeriding” and off-piste skiing, an exciting yet also relatively peaceful way to explore the countless powdery mountain slopes.
|Indoor swimming pool||yes|
|Heated outdoor swimming pool||-|
As you would expect in such an atmosphere, any visit to Sainte Foy always has a certain intimate feel to it, with a maximum of just 2500 holidaymakers staying in the luxurious chalets, both right next to the runs and in the village centre, at any one time.
However, should guests in Sainte Foy not find their every wish fulfilled by the resort’s own slopes, they are also perfectly placed to access the enormous expanse of the Espace Killy and Paradiski ski regions, which incorporate the resorts of Tignes, Val d'Isère, La Plagne and Les Arcs, all reachable within just 10-25 minutes. There are also free shuttle bus services linking Saint Foy’s ski station with the main village, as well as the outlying hamlets.
Whether on or off the slopes, there is always something new waiting to be discovered in Sainte Foy. The village’s long history, stretching all the way back into the 17th Century, results in there being an abundance of historical delights to be uncovered. Not to be missed is a short excursion to the small “Village du Monal”, which has been preserved in much the same state since its appearance in the late 18th Century, and thus now functions almost as a kind of open-air museum. The range of 24 historic chapels dotted around the village, the oldest of which was built in 1633, is also an impressive feature.
Of course there are many different ways to enjoy Sainte Foy’s beautiful surroundings, not all of which involve a pair of skis. Snowshoe hiking, dog sled rides or snowmobiles are just some of the alternative ways of getting around.
Finally, Sainte Foy has just as much to offer in the evenings as during the day, with 2 luxury spas, each equipped with a swimming pool, Jacuzzi, sauna and beauty centre, as well as a variety of restaurants and bars.