Straddling the spectacular Belledonne mountain chain, Les Sept Laux is not one of the Alps most famed resorts. You don't come for the apres-ski or the prestige, and the range of accommodation is relatively limited: but herein lies the resort's appeal. Les Sept Laux can get crowded at weekends with daytrippers from nearby Grenoble, due to its proximity and accessibility, but during the week, it is blissfully deserted, and even at the peak of the season, you can have the slopes almost to yourself. There isn't the massive pisted domain of resort areas like Les Trois Vallées or Les Portes du Soleil, though there are a range of runs for all ability levels - Sept Laux's real joy comes from the acres of luxuriantly powdery off-piste, which combined with a fabulous combination of scented pine forest and jagged peaks, not to mention the spectacular views across the Isere valley far below and further to the Chartreuse and Vanoise massifs, makes from a truly blissful day away from the crowds in a still-unspoilt Alpine paradise.
Les Sept Laux, Isere, France. (The main base station, Prapoutel, is off the A41 autoroute 15 miles north of Grenoble towards Chambéry) There are regular buses from Grenoble's central bus station, see www.transisere.fr
Straddling the spectacular Belledonne mountains, Les Sept Laux is a gem of a ski resort that is little known to foreign skiers. A small resort, only 45 minutes by bus or car from Grenoble, there is little in the way of accommodation, and you don't come for the apres-ski, Les Sept Laux is nonetheless a fantastic option for those who wish to beat the crowds and save money. Its easily accessible location means it gets busy with day-trippers at the weekends but never to the same degree as the more famous resorts, and come during the week for blissfully empty pistes. Sept Laux doesn't have the largest pisted terrain in the French Alps by any means, though there are certainly a variety of slopes for all abilities, however what makes the resort stand out is the seemingly endless expanses of soft, luxuriously powdery off-piste areas. And all this comes with superlative views on both sides of the Belledonne ridge (there are three base stations for the resort), and a mixture of jagged peaks, lush, scented pine forest and fresh, clean mountain air. Ski heaven.
Les Sept Laux, Isere, France.
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