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La Grande Terche - the Alps' best kept secret

It isn't often that a ski resort can be described as a well kept secret, at least, not in the French Alps, but this is how La Grande Terche is described by its aficionados. La Grande Terche sits above the better known resort of Saint Jean d'Aulps (whose population is included in the figure given for La Grande Terche), and is in itself a small ski resort as well as being the ski area for the larger village below.

Small and friendly resort

La Grande Terche is a small and very friendly family resort that is also renowned for offering some superb off piste and fresh powder skiing. Part of the Porte du Soleil ski area, in terms of access passes but otherwise not linked to it, the resort offers its own ski area of thirty-four kilometres of skiing, complete with sixteen lifts. There are runs for all levels of ability, but the resort is especially known for its skiing for experts, and has been the venue for the French National Skiing Championships. One of the characteristic pleasures of skiing in La Grande Terche is that the slopes are quieter than most in the region, with a low density of skiers and beautiful natural surroundings.

Amenities on offer

The resort itself is small, but it does offer enough amenities for everyone to find some essentials and to have a good time. There are four restaurants and a pub in addition to a handful of shops, but just three kilometres or so away in the village of Saint Jean d'Aulps are many more shops and facilities. The two are linked by a shuttle bus.

Enjoy activities in the summer as well as winter

With many of the Alps' best skiing/boarding slopes on the doorstep, there is no shortage of things to do for winter sports enthusiasts. Summer, when it arrives in the Alps in all its fresh, green, glory, brings a different ambience, yet also one packed with activities to enjoy. La Grande Terche in summer is just as appealing as in winter, as when the snows melt and the skiers depart, the walkers, climbers, mountain bikers and white water rafters arrive. And the appeal of the resort is the same as in winter, in that it is peaceful, beautiful and at one with nature.

For a vibrant party scene, head for nearby Morzine

Anyone in search of a lively après ski scene will probably not have chosen to make a base in La Grande Terche, but should you wish to find a vibrant party scene in the evenings you only have a few kilometres to travel to reach resorts such as Morzine.

How to get there

La Grande Terche is pretty easy to get to from the UK. You can fly to Geneva with a good choice of airline and departure airports, or take the train to nearby Thonon les Bains. For drivers, the resort is found from Saint Jean d'Aulps which lies on the D902.

Property prices and availability in and around La Grande Terche

The Alpine ski resorts are commonly expected to be at the top end of the property market with regards to price, if not always for quality. However, La Grande Terche is a welcome exception, with some lovely, quality apartments and other properties at very reasonable prices. Take, for example, a studio apartment currently (November 2011) on the market for 65,000 Euros. Make your mind up quickly, because someone will at that price!

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La Grande Terche AT A GLANCE

WHERE IS La Grande Terche?

La Grande Terche is situated in the east of France. It lies in the north of the Haute-Savoie department.

La Grande Terche Property Map


Rhône-Alpes Guide

Rhône-Alpes Property Map


Haute-Savoie Guide

  Haute-Savoie Map

Population: 1,189

Access: By air: The nearest airport is Geneva. By rail: Take a train to nearby Thonon les Bains from Geneva, or the ski special to Moûtiers or Bourg St Maurice. By road: The resort is found from the D902, close to Saint Jean d'Aulps.

Economy: The economy is all about skiing and mountain sports.

Interesting fact: La Grande Terche is excellent for off piste skiing, and tends to have longer lasting fresh powder than most areas.

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