Flaine is the jewel in the crown of the Grand Massif ski area and it has links to the four lower villages via wonderful long tree-lined runs – a nice contrast to the open landscape higher up, and good in bad weather. The village is at the bottom of a bowl, making it hard to get lost – all runs lead home. It’s known as being good for families and beginners, but it’s great for experts and intermediates too – mixed groups thrive here. The black runs are steep, there’s challenging off-piste between runs, and intermediates will love all the cruisy reds. Make sure you do the lovely 14km-long, lift-free Cascades piste.
Flaine was designed in the 1960s by Bauhaus architect Marcel Breuer, to mimic the cliffs and forests. Look out for the Picasso at the base of the slopes. The village is on several levels, with steps and lifts between them, but it means there’s not much of a ‘village square’ feel. Most people self-cater in apartments, and although there are a few nice restaurants, Flaine isn’t a resort that offers much beyond the skiing. There’s not a great deal of après ski either. There are some fun non-ski things to do if you’re still feeling active: ice-driving, dog-sledding and snowmobiling.