Combloux Destination Guide
The making of a ski resort
The village of Combloux was first noted in a charter of 1284 and mentions of the original church date back to 1344, when 'La combe des loups' (the valley of the wolves) was a farming community high above the valley floor, but on an important route for travellers. The first tourists were, surprise surprise, the Brits, keen to take in the views and the mountain air staying at the Grand Hotel du Mont Blanc, which opened its doors in 1912.
During the 1920s tourism in the summer to Combloux became increasingly popular with its stunning glacier backdrop that had previously charmed Victor Hugo. The village started to attract aristocracy, politicians and influential French facilities alike and by 1935, the very first ski lift opened, marking Combloux's foray into winter season tourism, thanks to the PLM (Paris-Lyon-Mediterranean) train company who ran the hotel and the lift.
War halted development and it wasn't until 1949 that commune of Combloux decided to re-open the lift and really started expanding Combloux as the friendly 'Portes du Mont Blanc' (gateway to Mont Blanc) ski resort, which has become a collective of local ski resorts.
Modern day Combloux in winter
The Portes du Mont Blanc is now made up of Combloux, le Jaillet (the slopes on the southern side of Megeve) and La Giettaz (actually over the 'border' in Savoie), which are all linked by lifts and pistes, as well as neighbouring Cordon, which is not linked.
With one lift pass you can explore 100km of pistes and if that's not enough for you, you can expand your skiing horizons by going for an Evasion Mont Blanc pass that gives you access to all the Portes du Mont Blanc resorts, as well as Megeve, St Gervais and Les Contamines too, all of which are within 10 - 20 minutes of Combloux, connected by ski buses.
Great facilities for families
And although the skiing locally won't tire out the very advanced skiers, it's a great choice for a good value ski holiday, especially families. Unlike pretty much every ski resort we've ever been to, there are lots of excellent picnic facilities around, with outdoor benches to make the most of those amazing views.
There's also a superb picnic room at the bottom of the main Beauregard chair at La Cry snow front, complete with microwave and drinks machines, so you certainly aren't obliged to buy the most expensive spaghetti bolognaise of your life in the mountains restaurants. Having said that, there are some delightful, family-owned and run mountain restaurants that serve good value tasty food that are sure to tempt you to take a pit stop.
Despite being a smaller resort, it's not a case of drag lifts everywhere, as Combloux boasts three chairlifts to get you up the mountain with ease. Unless you are a confident skier or boarder, we wouldn't recommend the Bouchet drag from the lower part of the village, it's better to head straight to La Cry snow front (regular, free ski shuttles take you there) and start your skiing from there.
Now you might think that with La Cry being at just 1183m, the resort struggles with snow coverage. But the pistes are on tree-lined prairies, so the resort only needs 30cm-ish of snow to be able to open, as you won't be taking out big chunks of your skis with rocks - there aren't any! The commune has also invested a lot in snow cannons, in order to make sure the liaison pistes linking Combloux to the fellow Portes du Mont Blanc resorts stay open as long as possible.
Kids are well-catered for with the Loupiots creche for babies from three months to six years right on the snow front at La Cry and the fact that the Portes du Mont Blanc lift pass is free for under fives. The ski school in Combloux works with the nursery to offer a variety of lesson/creche combinations too.
All in all, Combloux is a great place for a relaxed family ski holiday away from the crowds and lift queues and remember, being a very quick and easy transfer from Geneva Airport, it means you can maximise your time on the slopes and minimise your travel time with Mountain Drop-offs.
FAQ's / Testimonials
Geneva to Combloux