Vallorcine – A Hidden Treat Worth Looking For

SAF-Vallorcine1Right at the end of the Chamonix Valley lies a series of hamlets that make up the village of Vallorcine – a village that’s easy to miss though very, very worthy of your attention.

Lying just a stone’s throw from the border with Switzerland, Vallorcine is home to just 400 residents and has the kind of hidden, secret and rustic alpine charm that’s already been eradicated across 99% of the world. This really is the kind of place that makes you feel like you’ve just stepped into a living fairy-tale and for those on the lookout for seclusion and tranquility the way it was served up centuries ago, there’s no place in the region quite like Vallorcine.

And even better still, while it’s easy to while away days or weeks reveling in the simplicity of the traditional life, Vallorcine also happens to be well-connected to the Le Tour ski area. There are also dozens of amazing pistes and cross-country ski opportunities around the village itself, adding up to a package that is quite different from any of the other mass-travelled resorts across the French Alps – in the best possible way!

Vallorcine is also famous for being one of the best places to try your hand at jeering – think something along the lines of water skiing only on snow and with a horse powering you instead of a boat! There are also abundant options on the cards for slightly less white-knuckle pursuits, including any number of sleigh rides and adventures with a small army of huskies.

In the town centre itself, visitors will find further ways to spend their jolly time including an ice-skating rink that’s open every day and 100% free of charge for all. There are also some of the most quaint and traditional cafés and eateries to warm up at any time of day or night.

The pace of life in Vallorcine is not just unlike that of anywhere else in the French Alps, but most of the world as a whole. Time seems to grind to a halt and while there is everything a tourist could ever need for an amazing winter ski break, it feels almost untouched by tourism. Where else would you find a Post Office that doubles as a bar? Why it works is anyone’s guess, but it does and you will love it!

SAF-VallorcineThere’s even ample opportunity for ski and board rental around town, making it an ideal place for newcomers to the sport that are still to find their feet and invest in the goods.

Once the snow has made its departure and the hills come alive with stunning greenery, Vallorcine becomes one of the most popular spots in Europe for extreme mountain bikers. Along with the natural glory of the place, there are some killer purpose-built downhill runs to test the mettle of any biking enthusiast.

From climbing to bouldering to nature stalking and unbridled relaxation, Vallorcine is a secret that defies belief as to how it hasn’t been completely taken for all its worth and destroyed by mass tourism. Long story short, go now before word spreads!

If you want to learn more about Vallorcine, the Alps and the best mountain sports read Katy Dartford’s blog!

Photo Sources: s.camptocamp.org/uploads/images – flickr.com/photos/84554176@N00