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Nestled in the French Alps, close to the Italian border, at a height of 1550m, Sainte-Foy Tarentaise has a stunning location, breathtaking views of the valley and Mount Pourri, and direct access to more than 800 hectares of virgin snow. Surrounded by the world-famous resorts of Val d'Isère, Tignes and Les Arcs as well as the smaller La Rosière, from where you can ski into Italy, it gives you access to some of the best skiing the world has to offer.
Though small in number, the efficient chairlifts serving each of the principle pisted runs and the magic carpet escalators on the nursery slopes are under-used (no queues!) and provide quick and easy access to a vast on-and off-piste area. All pistes end in a central location so there's no losing little ones. In fact, the useable ski area at Sainte-Foy is bigger than that of Val d'Isère.
The village of Sainte-Foy itself has preserved its authentic charm and local architecture, and offers affordable lift passes (around half the price of those in Val d'Isère and Les Arcs) and excellent traditional restaurants and bars.
But this is not just a ski resort – come in summer for active family holidays involving everything from farm visits to paragliding and white-water rafting.
Ski. The lovingly prepared pistes remain in top condition all day due to the lack of crowds. Sainte-Foy Tarentaise is good with all ages and abilities: the lower slopes offer wonderful sweeping runs through the trees, while the upper slopes provide breathtaking descents. You can explore tree-lined greens, gentle blues, wide and fast reds and challenging blacks. For beginners, the resort has adult and children's nursery slopes, and this is also a natural playground for snowboarders, with countless drops and hits.
Try snow-shoeing on paths that wind through the pine and spruce forests by the listed village of Le Monal, taking in spectacular views across to the glaciers on Mont Pourri, the farming hamlets of Le Planay and down to the St Guérin chapel.
Have fun with husky-sledging tours around the forest paths. You're in charge of your own huskies, so make sure you have a hearty breakfast first. Other winter activities in and around Sainte-Foy, many available with local adventure specialist Evolution 2, are night-sledging, ski joëring, ice-diving, ice-climbing and typical Savoyard dinners in a Mongolian yurt.
Head to Sainte-Foy in summer for outdoors activities for all ages: take the kids to a local farm, hiking or for a treetop adventure, try archery, mountain-biking and grass-skiing, or get the adrenaline surging with a spot of paragliding or rafting.
A great choice of cosy local restaurants serve everything from traditional Savoyard meals to pizzas, all of it perfect for families.
Sainte-Foy's altitude and many north-facing slopes mean snow can generally be counted on from mid-December to the third week of April, with the peak time for family ski holidays being February half-term. The summer season lasts about May–Sept but organised family activities are at their peak in the main school holidays.
Sainte-Foy Tarentaise can work out much less expensive than many of the better known resorts, especially if you choose self-catering accommodation.
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