La Rosière is a charming resort, the ski area of which is linked with the Italian resort of La Thuile. With good beginner and intermediate slopes, it attracts a loyal following who love it for the friendly, relaxed ambiance.
There are some ski resorts that by rights should be better known - and La Rosière is one of these.
Perched on the mountainside at the end of the Tarentaise valley, the resort has a friendly village with low-key nightlife but plenty of good skiing and non-ski activities.
La Rosière has a mostly south-facing aspect and attractive chalet style architecture. There are two locations – the main village hub and the newer satellite village of Les Eucherts, with plenty of high-quality slope-side accommodation.
Neither village is car free, but both have an easygoing, family-friendly ambiance and a range of shops, restaurants and facilities. Convenience of family-friendly facilities is a big plus, with an ice rink, bowling complex and a state-of-the-art nursery all metres from each other.
La Rosière's ski area, known as the Espace San Bernardo, has 160km of ski terrain and some great powder options too. Beginners will enjoy the local slopes, while if you are intermediate or advanced you'll enjoy forays into La Thuile, over the Italian border.
One of the best ski runs is the wooded Fontaine Froide red, which drops down 750m to the Ecudets chair. There is also easily accessible off-piste terrain, too, including a run of nearly 900m vertical from Col de la Traversette down to the chairlift below Les Eucherts.
As a family-orientated resort, La Rosière is holder of a 'Famille Plus Montagne' award for high standards. The resort layout, with nursery facilities and beginner ski slopes just a few steps from most of the accommodation, keeps things low hassle.
The Junior Academy gives teenagers the opportunity to try their hand at freestyle and freeride, while the Petit Saint Bernard trail is a green run through the forest designed to educate and entertain younger children.
The Lutins magic carpet gently transports tiny tots to the top of a green slope so that they can get a feel for gliding on snow. Once they have mastered the green slope, they can progress onto the Marmottons blue slope using the same lift.
La Rosière's 400m2 ice rink has ice skating lessons and ice hockey taster sessions throughout the season. If you're up for a thrill, you can leap from the summit of the ski area out towards the Petit-Saint-Bernard pass with a paragliding flight.
You'll cross the border from France to Italy, drinking in the panoramic views below you, and into the horizon. There's also dog sledding, with 20-minute trips around a circuit, and hour-long mushing sessions off piste, for the more adventurous
If you are after hectic après ski and full-on nightlife, then La Rosière isn't the best choice of resort. However, if you are happy with some friendly bars, then the resort can deliver.
Le Petit Danois, as the name suggests, has a Scandinavian theme and goes till about 1.30am, with occasional live bands. At the foot of the slopes Le Mckinley is a cocktail lounge, while Chez le Gaulois is a popular wine bar. Le Pub is the late-night spot, open until 4am if you really have no intention of catching the first lift...
Recent developments have seen self-catered residences of a very high standard. Les Cimes Blanches offers chalet-style apartments located near the slopes. In Les Eucherts, Residence Le Miravadi and Les Balcons de la Rosière are also popular with families.
The resort is home to plenty of catered chalets here from independent operators such as Mountain Heaven and MoreAlps. There are also some small, friendly hotels, such as the innovative Chalet Matsuzaka with its Japanese flavour and impressive Rotemburo outdoor spa - scented with cedar wood.
La Thuile makes an excellent destination for lunch, spurring skiers on with the tantalising prospect of Italian cuisine after a thigh-burning assault on the resort. One of the best spots is Lo Riondo Refugio, located right beside Piste no.7 San Bernardo.
Closer to home on the La Rosière side, the deservedly popular La Traversette is a self-service restaurant with a huge sun deck from which to take in the views.
In the village, La Grange serves up Savoyard dishes in a rustic setting and the well-loved Creperie le Petrin is heaven for those that want to satisfy a sweet tooth.
The nearest Eurostar station is Bourg St Maurice.
By bus: around 45 minutes; Adult 12€, Youth (U26) 9.50€ (www.altibus.com)
By taxi: around 40 minutes; about 90€ for an 8-seater taxi.
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