Frequently Asked Questions

Sainte Foy? Never heard of it!
So what's the riding like?
So what is there to ride in the rest of the valley?
Sounds good, how do I get there?
What's the resort like for families?
Can I come on my own?
What do you mean by ski-in/ski-out? Do I have to be a good skier?

Sainte Foy? Never heard of it!

Sainte Foy is a small resort which has developed something of a cult following among skiers and snowboarders looking for untracked off-piste terrain or just fed-up with the lift queues and crowds of the more famous resorts in the Tarentaise valley. The resort is just off the road between Bourg Saint Maurice and Val d'Isere. The village of Sainte Foy has a couple of excellent restaurants and bars while the resort itself, a few kilometers up the mountain, has been built in the traditional style and is home to 4 chairlifts, a few bars and restaurants and enough chalets to welcome about 2500 visitors.

So what's the riding like?

In short, superb. There may only be 4 chairlifts, but every run is top quality. All the trails are groomed every single night, so we never get the icy moguls of doom which they seem to like over at Val d'Isere. There is a long, scenic green run cruising through the trees back to the village (not too flat either!), a choice of several blues including the legendary Grande Soliet run down from the Marquise chair - this has to be one of the best blues anywhere. There are also several reds, which have a nice range from a an easy step-up from the blues through to steep and challenging. There is one groomed black run and 3 designated off-piste areas (also graded black). These don't mess about - Morion and Crystal Dark offer very steep off-piste riding and often hold great snow for a long time. The third off-piste area (Shaper's Paradise) is an easier introduction to the deep stuff, but still offers small drops, a natural half-pipe and a steep finish for those who want them. Beyond the groomed trails, the off-piste and backcountry riding is fantastic. There are easy routes for your first turns off the groomed runs, through to steep couloirs and cliff-drops. An hour's hike above the top of the chairlift takes you to the top of the awe-inspiring north face of Fogliettaz, offering a vertical drop of 1500m down steep faces which can hold good powder for weeks. The big bonus for off-piste riders is the lack of crowds in Sainte Foy. There's always enough freshies for everyone, and it's always possible to find fresh tracks even if it hasn't snowed for a couple of weeks. The unique location of Sainte Foy in between some of the massive resorts of the Tarentaise valley means there's always new runs to explore if you want to look further afield.

So what is there to ride in the rest of the valley?

From Sainte Foy, it's less than 30 minutes drive to Les Arcs, La Rosiere, Tignes or Val d'Isere. We offer up to 2 days out at any of these resorts during your stay with us in Chalet TinTin. We provide all the transport and organisation, all you need to pay for is your lunch and lift-pass (which is cheap as you get a discount with your Sainte Foy pass).

Sounds good, how do I get there?

There are several ways to get here. By plane, the most popular airport to fly to is Geneva, about a 2.5hr transfer away. There are regular buses, you can hire a car there or we can arrange private transfers for you - get in touch with us for the latest prices. It's also possible to fly to Chambery (1.5hrs transfer), Lyon (2.5hrs) or Grenoble (2.5hrs). To drive all the way takes around 10hrs from Calais and it's a pretty easy cruise on the motorway most of the way down. The alternative way of getting here is by train. If you live in or near London, this can be a great way to get to the Tarentaise valley. For example, you could get on the Eurostar on a Friday evening, change to a sleeper train in Paris and arrive in Bourg St Maurice at 7:30 on Saturday morning. This way, you get an extra day's riding in. Repeat the process on the way back and all of a sudden you've changed a weeks trip from 6 days riding when travelling by plane to 8 days riding when taking the train! Prices vary according to travel times and how early you book, but it's almost certainly cheaper than a flight + board/ski carriage charges + airport transfer. You could also dare the infamous overnight ski-train direct from London!

See our "getting here" page for more details.

Note on travelling by train: depending on how you book, you can be offered quite different prices for exactly the same journey. It's usually best to book the Eurostar (www.eurostar.com) and French train journeys (www.sncf.com) separately.

What's the resort like for families?

Sainte Foy is perfect for families. The local ski school is very used to dealing with British guests and is great with kids. All of the resort runs funnel back down to the same place, so it's almost impossible to get lost. There are 2 creches within the resort and we also have a good contact with a local nanny who can come to the chalet to look after kids.

Can I come on my own?

Yes! We charge a single supplement if you want to stay on your own in one of our double or twin bedrooms, but get in touch with us and we'll see what we can offer you for any given date.

What are the snow conditions like? Are they OK in late/early season?

Sainte Foy has an enviable snow record due to it's respectable altitude (1,550m, with 90% of the skiing above 1,800m and extending up as high as 2,620m) and north-west facing aspect. For winter 2010/11, a new snowmaking system has also been installed to guarantee cover at the beginning or end of the season. This system covers red and blue runs from the mid-station all the way back to the resort. From our own experience, we've been able to ski right back to the chalet every single day of the last 5 seasons!

What do you mean by ski-in/ski-out? Do I have to be a good skier?

Three of our chalets (Col du Mont, Bazilhote & Milou) have ski-in/ski-out locations. This means that the chalets are located on or very close to the edge of the piste, meaning you can put on your skis witthin a few metres of the chalet door to ski down to the lifts (or ski school) in the morning, then ski back to the same point in the afternoon. All of these chalets also have easy access from the road as well - skiing in/out is a convenience, but not a requirement! The piste down from the chalets to lift is graded green (easiest grade) but does have a steeper section which might be tricky for total beginners. You can ski back to all 3 chalets via either the green or red "back to base" runs. You can also just about get to Col du Mont via the Blue.