Just over 200km from both Grenoble and Geneva, it’ll take around 2 and a half hours to get here from either airport, which makes this resort as accessible as any other in the region.
Nestled near the France-Italy border, this resort — which few know about — is often discarded in favour of its neighbours, however Sainte Foy is the bee's knees if you're partial to a hidden gem.
Located bang next door to Val d'Isère/Tignes and across the valley from Les Arcs, it's a glorious playground of wide, rolling, empty pistes, untracked and expansive off piste, a veritable ski-touring (white) goldmine and Disneyland in the trees on a storm day. Well worth a day out if you're in the area and fancy escaping the crowds and helping yourself to a gorgeous change of scenery!
When it comes to resorts like Sainte Foy — those which aren’t incorporated into big linked ski areas — it can be easy to disregard them. However, that’s the secret to their wonder. Because big developers can’t leverage a lot out of them, they remain unspoilt. All of the buildings here are chalet-style with sloped roofs. They’re a mix of small apartment blocks, family-run hotels, and chalets. The bars and restaurants are traditional, French, and best of all, quite cheap. The lift ticket is reasonable, and staying here won’t cost as much as the neighbouring resorts, either.
Though big chains are beginning to pick up on Sainte Foy’s growing popularity. People looking for a more quintessential French break are starting to visit and people are beginning to notice. This is a resort that will undergo a lot of change in the next decade or so, but getting in now will deliver a really great French-village experience that most thought was lost after the 1960s when the European skiing boom transformed the Alps into a series of concrete jungles and crowded lift lines.
There’s little to do here in terms of apres and dining, though the few small restaurants and bars will service small groups and families well. Just don’t expect any pumping clubs. For that, you’ll have to grab a taxi to one of the bigger resorts just up the way.
Sainte Foy highlights: Unspoilt and under the radar, Sainte Foy will deliver isolation and charm in equal measure. The modest snowy bowl above is well maintained and quiet, so anyone looking for a getaway in this area of the Alps free of concrete and crowds will love Saint Foy.
Sainte Foy is best for: Families and those seeking a quiet break out of the melee of the big neighbouring resorts, where hundreds of kilometres of pistes aren’t a priority.
Ski and Snowboard Guide to Sainte Foy:
Sainte Foy’s top lift may only stretch to 2,622m, but with the town sitting at 1,550m, there’s over a kilometre of vertical to play with, and lots of great terrain otherwise. Long sweeping pistes of all grades will entice even expert skiers, though don’t expect to be entertained for more than a few days.
There is just 30km of groomed slopes here, and not very many of them. Those looking to learn will love the small nursery area right in the middle of the town next to the bottom lift, and those wanting more will be happy to head up.
There are only four lifts here, but each offers up a fair amount of space and fun. From the top of the town lift, the TSD Grand Plan, you’ll be at the mid-station, and will have a choice of two great blues to deliver you through the thick forest and back to town. Heading up higher on the L’Arpettaz will give access to a pair of reds, as well as the number 14 blue which will deliver you down to the most isolated lift, the La Marquise, which takes you up to 2,425m and offers up some blue and red pistes, as well as plenty of chance for off-piste excitement. Going right off the top of the lift will provide a big snowy bowl packed with natural features perfect for boarders or freestyle skiers, while going left will put you on a steeper, faster red than is perhaps expected, as well as giving you the chance at some more great off-piste. Though it’s more challenging, and conditions can be more changeable on this side.
The highest lift, the L’Ariguille, will take you to 2,622m, and serve up an ungroomed black, the Natur’ Morion, which is the best thing about the resort. If you head down the number 5 red instead, you’ll find another off-piste area, Natur’ Crystal Dark, which is epic considering the size of the resort. You’ll need to use this lift a lot to get the most out of this snowy bowl. And it certainly won’t be a chore.
For its size — just 4 lifts and 16 runs — it’s a great little resort that, when conditions are good, is one of the best for off-piste, made all the better by the non-existent lift lines and fields of untracked powder.
Particular favourites of ours are the legendary north face of the Fogliettaz - 2000m of powder that is often untracked weeks after a snowfall - and it's more easily accessed little cousin the Col du Granier. Both represent fabulous off piste itineraries that end up in the charming neighbouring hamlet of La Masure.
And don't even get us started about the gorgeous mountain restaurants! With its quiet, wide pistes that all eventually end up back at the base, Sainte Foy is also a great choice for families, beginners and young kids. We work with a selection of the best instructors and ski schools for kids in Sainte Foy. Bigger isn't always better- Sainte Foy is a little bundle of joy!
First-time and beginner skiers: First timers will like the small-town feel of the nursery slope at the bottom lift, as well as the gentle off-piste area located off the number 15 blue run. The 11 blue is also great to practice slow turns as it meanders through the trees.
Intermediate skiers: Intermediates will have lots of fun on the whole mountain here, choosing to be pushed or to take it easy with a nice mixture of long blues and red to the left and bottom of the mountain, and some more intense blacks and reds high and to the right.
Expert skiers: Experts will no doubt make a beeline for the two high lifts and enjoy them in equal measure. For speed, the reds are excellent, but for sheer fun in the powder, the off-piste areas accessed from the L’Aiguille are nearly unbeatable, even with Tignes and Val d’Isere just over the hill.
Learn to ski and snowboard in Ste Foy
Ski School Group Lessons and Private Ski and Snowboard Instructors in Ste Foy:
Enjoy peace of mind by booking your ski and snowboard lessons through SkiBro with our best-price guarantee; free and easy cancellation; a huge choice of fully-certified ski schools and instructors; online booking system and fantastic customer support team.
Whether you're after children's group ski lessons, teen group ski lessons, adult group ski lessons, beginner ski lessons, off-piste clinics, group snowboard lessons, private ski lessons or anything in between - SkiBro has the perfect ski instructor or group ski lesson for you in Ste Foy!
Children’s Group Ski Lessons Ste Foy
From a three-year-old’s the first steps on snow in the children’s snow garden to teenagers confidently crushing black runs and getting in to the snowpark you’ll find ski lessons for children of all ages and ability in Ste Foy (which can come in handy when you suddenly realise your kids have become better skiers than you!).
We’re probably (more than) a bit biased but at SkiBro we think that properly laying the foundation for a lifetime on the slopes - free of bad habits - is one of the greatest gifts a parent can give their children.
SkiBro’s partner ski schools and instructors are all fully certified and have years of experience providing kids’ ski lessons that focus not only on technical instruction but also fun and safety.
Children’s ski lessons tend to book up very quickly during peak school holiday periods like half-term and christmas break, so make sure to book early during these times to avoid disappointment.
Adult Group Ski Lessons Ste Foy
Did you know that nearly a third of all group ski lessons are beginner adult group lessons? It sounds surprising but group ski lessons are a great way to learn to ski; surrounded by other people of a similar age and ability level who are also trying something new.
Group lessons are also great for progressing from a beginner skier to a more independent intermediate. With quality coaching for a few hours each day you can spend your mornings working on your technique before grabbing a bite to eat and explore everything the mountain has to offer with your friends and family in the afternoons.
Private Ski Lessons Ste Foy
Private instruction is just that – a ski instructor solely devoted to you (and any friends or family you choose to invite) for a given period of time.
These lessons are offered both by formal ski and snowboard schools as well as by freelance instructors – certified independent instructors working for themselves or in loose collectives.
A private ski instructor in Ste Foy can offer you a level of flexibility and individual attention beyond what group lessons can. For some people one short, intensive, session with a private instructor will teach them more than they’d get from a full week of group lessons.
For many people, however, the inverse would be true and the repetition and additional practice in group lessons is invaluable.
Off-Piste Guiding Ste Foy
Considered by those who get into it as skiing in its purest (and most fun!) form, freeride (also known as off piste or backcountry) skiing is the pursuit of skiing all over the mountain, unrestricted by the edge of the piste in a variety of snow conditions.
A good day’s freeride skiing might involve long descents down wide open mountain faces, steep couloirs and adventures through the trees, far away from the crowded pistes. In addition to private ski instructors and mountain guides you can sometimes find camps and courses designed to give upper-intermediate skiers their first taste of off-piste delights in Ste Foy. Be careful though, the white powder can be quite addictive.
Snowboard Lessons Ste Foy
From ‘never-evers’ to semi-pros you’ll find a snowboard lesson in Ste Foy designed to take you riding to the next level. If you’re thinking small, think big. And if you’re thinking big- think bigger! If you’re new to a resort or even if you’re returning to an old favourite, a top snowboard instructor or group snowboard lessons will help you unlock local secrets of the area that you’ll wish you knew about years ago! Flatland tricks, jibbing, carving trenches, slaying powder – stop being a slave to your snowboard and learn to master it!