Alternative family winter vacation in Chamonix, France

“If you’re looking for a memorable family ski trip in France, you just found it. This family winter vacation in the Chamonix Valley has pretty much got it all.”

Highlights

Family skiing in Chamonix Valley | Ski-in, ski-out | All-inclusive of meals, plus full Chamonix lift pass | Half-price equipment hire on-site | Sociable dorm accommodation ideal for families | Yoga sessions and dance studio | Fab children’s activities including circus skills | Family-friendly disco, games room and chill out room | Easy ski train connections| Morning lessons with ESF available | Hot chocolate every afternoon |

Travel Team

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No snow?
This is much more than a ski vacation so if there is no snow we could hike, dance, do yoga, circus skills, ask our amazing guests to facilitate conscious raising workshops, do crafts, etc.. It has never happened though, it almost did when we ran this trip over New Year.. which is why we moved it to Feb Half Term!
Overview:
We have always been about enabling folks to connect with their source. The cornerstone of every trip is connecting with oneself, with community and with nature.
Wheelchair:
Our alternative winter sports vacation is wheelchair accessible. The owner of the Outdoor Centre we stay in is a paraplegic athlete and will support us in arranging ski lessons. We have one room on the ground floor that specifically caters for wheelchair users. All the facilities are on the ground floor or accessible by road/ramp.
Blind/ limited vision:
Blind guests and those of limited vision are welcome on our ski vacation. Our vacations are Family Vacations, and the support of the family would be required however.
Deaf/limited hearing:
Deaf guests and those with limited hearing are welcome on our ski vacation. Our vacations are Family Vacations, and the support of the family would be required however.
Cognitive conditions:
There are a lot of guests on our Ski and yoga and I would not recommend it for anyone who requires a lot of very tranquil space as it might be a bit overwhelming. We can however custom design summer or winter vacations in the Alps that do offer a great deal of tranquility and space to be so please talk to us.
'Free from' food:
All of our trips are catered and we will ensure that all dietary requirements are catered for.
LGBT:
Some of our hosts are LGBT families themselves and LGBT families are more than welcome on our trips.
Low carbon:
We only run our trips in places that are easily accessible by train from the UK. We recommend snow carbon, Loco2 and Trainline.eu and advise on setting up an alert with Loco2 as bookings only open 3 to 4 months before the trips. In the winter we offer free local travel passes to everyone. We are also encouraging our winter guests to try activities that do not involve any carbon emissions such as ski de font and ski touring.
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Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your vacation will help support conservation and local people.

Environment
Our company has sustainable travel at its heart. We were one of the first companies to offer sustainable vacations in the Alps.

On this trip we are staying in a green Outdoor Centre. This concept of 'Centre De Vacances Verte' is little known outside of France. 'Green Vacation Centres' offer French schools and adults access to and an appreciation of the Great Outdoors. They offer Nature Discovery weeks and try to give people new Outdoor experiences. Our Outdoor Centre is run by the head of the Valley's UIAGM Mountain Guides.

New Year is a busy time in the Alps, but we try to minimise our impact by staying in a simple Outdoor Centre that is very aware of its carbon footprint, that sources much of its food locally, that recycles and is generally very aware of having the least possible impact on nature.

We often have guests who are strong ecological activists and work in areas of sustainability. We do not ski where there are artificial snow cannons. We moved our trip from New Year to Feb Half Term so that the snow conditions are more reliable and have never had no snow, but it is a possibility and if it it did happen, we would organise hiking and biking and other activities and tours for our guests. One of our favourite tours which is included in the price, is to take folks up to the Monenver Railway to see how far the Glaciers recede every year. It is amazing to see and makes you really think about your impact!

We encourage our guests to travel to the Alps in the most sustainable way possible and selected an Outdoor Centre with easy train access right to the door from London! We also give everyone a free train pass on arrival so they do not need to use their car when they are in the mountains.

We do not see carbon off setting as a valid excuse to burn Co2.

La Source offers a generous monthly donation to Tree Sisters who plant and manages some of the most impactful rainforest projects around the world.
Community

The Impacts of this Trip

Well this trip is entirely supported by locals, from our accommodation to our chefs, to the ski instructors and guides. This small community who we have got to know well over the 10 years we have visited this valley, love us bringing them our lovely guests and welcome us with open arms. They appreciate our philosophy of working as much as possible in harmony with nature.

Next door to the Outdoor Centre is a lovely and very lively pub and restaurant which has been owned by the same family for 5 generations. The sisters who run it are hilarious and it is much like a French Faulty Towers. We are based in a tiny little hamlet, but it gets a lot of action as just behind it is a very famous ski tour and the guides and their clients all stop off in the bar after their long day in the mountains.

We will work with the lovely local ski school and hire our equipment locally. The Outdoor Centre will provide us with meals and we encourage them to source as much as possible locally and organically.

We partner with Respect the Mountain a charity that promotes conscious travel in the mountains. We ask and expect our guests to act with deep Respect not only for the environment but for the local community, and for our own community. We draw our community from alternative schools around Europe - schools that promote environmental awareness and an appreciation of nature and the seasons, and of course Responsible Travel.

Climate

7 Reviews of Alternative family winter vacation in Chamonix, France

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 29 Feb 2020 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Being in the beautiful mountains and
learning to ski - especially seeing our 5
year old skiing! Yoga in the mornings!
Free train travel throughout the
Chamonix Valley.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


The accommodation is very basic but
was perfectly adequate for our needs.
Take slippers for cold floors.
The yoga, cinema, circus skills,
tobogganing were all great for adults
and kids.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


The free train and bus travel allowed us
to visit many areas within the valley
without driving.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Fabulous vacation for a family of novice
skiers!

Reviewed on 27 Feb 2020 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Making connections with other great families. Having a packed lunch. A trip up to see the glacier. Learning circus skills.Yoga twice a day.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Just be aware the accommodation is really very basic, although perfectly adequate. Next time I shall take my own pillow.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


We did reduced our environmental impact as we travelled by train to the vacation and whilst there.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Brilliant, voted as the best ski vacation we have ever had by the whole family.

Reviewed on 03 Mar 2019 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Wonderful skiing and meeting all the other families. The yoga in the mornings and evenings really helped the muscles after skiing.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


If you're looking for a family friendly ski vacation, just book it! Lots of apres fun for the children from arts and crafts during the day, circus tricks and cinema nights. The accommodation is similar to a hostel. Bring your own towels.


3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


A wonderful vacation for all in a beautiful setting.

Reviewed on 18 Feb 2018 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Such an unusual and great blend of yoga in the morning as the sun came up and fun circus skills, provided by fun, caring people. The community feel that the team creates is very special. Nothing is too much trouble. Our kids aged 10 and 12 had a ball and enjoyed mingling with the 35+ other kids form the UK

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Do it. It's a long drive - we would consider the train next time. We didn't use our car at once we were there and the train sounds very civilised and pretty easy too.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes, we all travelled to other resorts by train. It provided money for the charitable organisation that runs the hostel.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Excellent fun. Brilliant organised. Relaxed and great fun.

Reviewed on 21 Feb 2016 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


We loved the location of Skiroc next to the beginners slopes and a short ride on the local train to a bigger area. Lovely people, ample and wholesome food and just a great weeks skiing.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Pack light - other than warm clothes ski equipment and our pillows, everything is taken care of. Take advantage is the free trips offered as the kids loved the ice cave and the view from Mont Blanc.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


It was all in-house and small-scale, so that money spent returned to the local community. Lots of shared resources and travel too.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Fabulous!

Reviewed on 29 Feb 2016 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


There are some many memorable times from this vacation: Skiing together as a family on gorgeous sun-soaked slopes, having so much fun at the end of week circus and disco party, meeting and sharing the vacation with so many new and fun people, and having such a warm welcome by Saskia and her staff.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Don't expect a 5 star hotel! Its a basic hotel but has everything you need. Saskia and her team are excellent at turning this place into a great vacation. Be aware that if you have a family with a range of ski abilities then be prepared for quite a bit of traveling between different ski resorts. The train makes it easy (and free) but you are restricted by train times.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Skiing is not really an environmentally friendly vacation. However, there is a strong sense of helping each other throughout the vacation.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


A fantastic vacation. The kids had a blast with all the other children and after-ski activities leaving the adults free to relax and chat in front of the fire.

Reviewed on 21 Feb 2016 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Seeing our eight year old, first time skier, getting to grips with the slopes and enjoying sliding down them!

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


- Bring slippers/indoor shoes - the floors are very cold!
- Come expecting 'basic'! This isn't a hotel, so don't expect hotel luxuries and you won't be disappointed!
- Bring an open mind and a willingness to get involved and get to know the group.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Definitely benefited local people (the result of us spending on their products and services).

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


We all had a super time and really hope to be back next year!

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