Peisey-Vallandry Ski Holiday Resort
Plan Peisey & Vallandry are two individual villages but if truth be told they are only 400m apart and have merged into one. Peisey Vallandry offers a friendly and attractive base with a small village like feel, and with access to the huge Paradiski ski domain from the Les Arcs side. Quite crucially, the Vanoise Express, a huge double decker gondola that straddles the valley between Les Arcs and La Plagne, departs and arrives in Peisey. This makes the resort a linchpin to the ski network and so piste maintenance is concentrated here to ensure the links are open. The accommodation is all low rise and attractively built using local stone, slate, and timbers. Pitched roofs protrude adjacent to pine trees as the resort sits amidst a large forest network.
Although the Paradiski lays claim to the largest acreage of any ski area, Snowfinders believe this to be a marketing statistic more in line with some of our North American resorts bragging. The fact that is undisputed is that the combined area covers over 400km of piste, still way short of the Three Valleys. Personally, we wouldn't get uptight about statistics, Peisey-Vallandry's immediate ski area (Les Arcs) covers over 200km of piste which is ample for a season let alone a week. Although the full Paradiski pass allows unlimited access to La Plagne as well as Les Arcs, we believe that most people only need to buy the the Discovery pass that includes just one day in La Plagne as the Les Arcs area is so comprehensive.
Although there are no green runs in the resort, there a couple of nursery slope facilities both at village level and above. In addition there is a "zone tranquille" - a ski area for slower speed skiing. The blue runs above the village are quite manageable and make this a suitable resort for developing skiers. There is also an excellent British ski school called Ski New Generation which will ensure that novices develop very quickly.
Intermediates can ski the whole area with a fantastic variety of cruisy blues, fast reds and seriously intimidating blacks. The ski area has it all in terms of challenges from steep, deep, moguls, and speed. One great selling feature is that virtually across the whole area, wherever you are you have the choice of a difficult descent and an easier one making this an ideal choice for groups of mixed abilities. The stiff red from the top of the Aiguille Rouge is a favourite run of Snowfinders' Lisa, as is the more cruisy skiing off the top of the Plagnettes chair. On powder days head for the trees directly above Peisey-Vallandry as visibility is much better and it's just a winter wonderland to ski in the forest on powder days.
Experts, fill yer boots! The blacks are genuine blacks and not the Italian or Andorran pale imitations. This is a ski area where locals fly a straight line into the mogul fields as if their knees were mechanical suspensions. The top of the Aiguille Rouge offers serious tests both on and off piste and this route all the way down to Villaroger provides a thigh burning 2000m vertical. The tree lined off piste above Peisey-Vallandry is superb too.
This area has been recognised as a mecca for boarders since the sport began. There are some flats to be aware of above Arcs 2000, and the odd drag here and there, but otherwise the area is perfect. There is an awesome terrain park above 1600 in addition. In essence, what is good for a skier is good for a boarder too though and we see no reason to write anything but praise for this area from a snowboarder`s perspective.
Vallandry and Plan-Peisey are pretty quiet. If you want to party then go to Val d'Isere, Zermatt, Verbier, Ischgl, St Anton, etc...................and pay a lot more money whilst you are at it too! In Peisey the British run Fying Squirrel has a happy hour and enjoys a busy atmosphere. In Vallandry a lot of Brits favour the Mont Blanc bar but Jimmy's also gets very busy with a rowdy vibe. There is a good selection of restaurants and many of these double up as public bars too, some with sky sports showing the latest football and rugby matches.
Non skiers do actually have quite a bit to do but on a smaller scale including snowshoeing, paragliding, winter walking, dog sledding, spa facilities, ice-climbing, farm visits, exhibitions, and even museums in the vicinity.
A superb base to explore this huge ski domain, and far more attractive than its neighbouring sister resorts of Arcs 2000, 1800, and 1600.