Parallel Trails is all about family ski holidays and skiing as a family. We are passionate about skiing and families who love to ski. This ski travel website aims to help you enjoy the perfect family ski holiday. It includes tips and advice so families can enjoy skiing holidays in parallel with their children - the team behind Parallel Trails love to ski as a family so we know how good it feels to go skiing with your children. Parallel Trails is an independent ski travel site for the family ski market, offering practical and honest articles on family ski holidays and family skiing. Why don't you join us on our online family snow & mountain adventure. Happy family skiing! © Parallel Trails 2017
The resort architecture (which is 1960s Bauhaus concrete and now protected under French listed status law) might not be to everyone’s taste, but there is a brilliant variety of skiing on offer. And nearly all the accommodation is ski-in ski-out due to the design of the resort, which opened in 1969.
There are safe beginner areas and wide gentle runs for younger children in a snow-sure bowl setting, as well as links to explore the entire Grand Massif ski area to Les Carroz, Morillon and Samoens.
Among the newest accommodation in resort is the Pierre & Vacances five-star Les Terrasses d’Helios self-catering apartments (see bottom right photo).
Seven days in a superior one-bedroom apartment sleeping four people for Christmas week is £1,404. While February half term will cost you £1,904 and the first week of the Easter holidays is £876.
The apartment block, which is perched high up with views out across the whole of Flaine, also houses a ski hire shop, small supermarket and ESF office. So all your needs are catered for on site.
You can click in and ski down into resort from outside the apartments and getting back up at the end of each day is fairly straightforward via a short button and chairlift combination.
Flaine is a skiers resort rather than an après-ski resort. However there are a handful of good bars to grab a beer at the end of the day. On the slopes, Le Cascade pumps out dance tunes as the lifts begin to close. It is a good place to grab a drink on the last run home and has outdoor sofas and fire pits. While the go-to place in the centre of Flaine is the White Pub.
Piste names in Flaine show a devilish sense of humour, such as Faust (a good red with challenging steep sections), Lucifer, Belzebuth, Satan!
While Serpentine is a long, wide and cruisey blue with plenty of undulating sections, which takes you from the top of Les Grandes Platieres at 2,480m and its spectacular views of Mont Blanc, back down to the heart of the resort.
On a bright and clear day, being at the top of Flaine is an absolute joy. Other times it can be bitingly cold and exposed, so make sure you wrap up younger children with enough layers.
What makes Flaine so attractive to ski as a family is that its bowl is easy to navigate. By its very natural all the runs funnel down into the central plateau area where the fenced off ESF beginner zone is. So even if you get separated, there is an obvious emergency meeting point for everyone to head to.
The reds and blues that criss-cross the Flaine bowl are perfect for testing out your carving technique. But the resort is also superb for easily-accessible fresh powder. On just about every run, you can play just off the side of the piste in softer ungroomed snow.
The terrain in Flaine is home to hidden crevasses and holes, so make sure you apply common sense and don’t stray too far from the piste markers. That way you can enjoy the playful powder without getting into difficulty. If you want to explore Flaine’s real powder potential, then do the sensible thing and get a guide.
Cascades is a famous 14km blue that starts at 2,480m and runs down to the valley floor at Sixt. You then need to hop on a bus to Samoens, in order to ski back to Flaine. The round trip takes around two hours but be warned it is often closed if the snow conditions down towards the valley are poor.
You can get a local Flaine lift pass, but for just a few euros more per day it is worth having the Grand Massif pass to give you the ability to explore the charming runs around Les Carroz and Morillon. A six-day adult pass is €237, while for children it is €178.
Sebastian, aged 13, says: "When you get fresh snow in Flaine it is the best because you can play around just off the side of the pistes. We had fun in powder that came over our boots and there are also jumps all over the place. The air bag at the top of Samoens is also cool to try out."
Ollie, aged 11, says: "I had new twin tips for our holiday to Flaine, so I really enjoyed trying some off piste skiing. The long blue Serpentine run was my favourite. You can ski off the side of it and find bumps to get some air on. I loved finding a picnic table and having lunch in the sunshine."