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Chalet le Col Blog

Family Fun Holiday

After receiving the keys back in April it’s been a long wait as the builders have completely rebuilt the apartment and we eagerly awaited the school holidays. 

As July arrived the time had come to get out and visit our new dream mountain home for the first time. We’d planned for the boys to drive down and set the apartment up during week one before the girls flew in for the second week.


Normally we would fly to Geneva and hire a car but given the amount of stuff we had to take down and the time we were spending down there we decided to drive this time.

So with a car full of ‘bottom draw’ items – duvets, towels and a multitude of knick knacks we’ve been collecting for months – we set off from our home in Manchester in the pouring rain.

The traffic was pretty rough as we headed down to Le Shuttle in Folkestone, where we managed to get a few hours sleep in a Premier Inn before driving onto the train in the early hours of the morning. Once in France a 9 hour drive took us through the Champagne region, to Dijon, Lyon, Chambery, Albertville (home of the 1992 Winter Olympics) and finally the Tarentaise valley where a right turn in the valley town of Aime took us up to our winter home in La Plagne Montalbert. It was a long way, but with relatively quiet roads and drivers who keep right unless overtaking, the drive was easy and pleasant.

Over the two weeks we recorded a total distance of 2500 miles which cost approx. £400 in fuel. The tunnel cost another £400 with about £75 in tolls.


After spending a huge amount of time dreaming, designing, planning and briefing the builders we arrived with a sense of excitement mixed with trepidation as to how things like the furnishings, colour palette and joinery would turn out.

We shouldn’t have been worried as the outcome was beautiful. Traditionally built, Savoyard inspired with natural tones, luxurious carpet, uber-comfortable bed and an attention to detail that Artisan French tradesmen are renown for.


But we weren’t only there just to kit out the apartment; we were there to have FUN! Basketball and football were practice provided a solid daily warm up, whilst the PlayStation 5, table tennis tables, trampolines and bungees around the Tourist Information Centre were great time fillers.

The swimming pools offer incredible views, and unlike the UK many encourage ball games, diving and general tomfoolery! Unfortunately there’s no public swimming pool in Montalbert itself, but a 20 minute drive to either La Plagne or Montchavin finds fantastic indoor-outdoor pools with hot tub, slides, a lazy river, balls and floats and picnic / sunbathing areas.

Despite the lack of a swimming pool, there is one of the longest slip ‘n’ slides you’ll ever see outside the Les Choucas residence, and for €8 for the full afternoon the kids had an absolute blast!

Of all of the activities on offer it was those up the mountain that really got the blood pumping. Mountain carting was incredible fun for €20 a run – we’d take the gondola to the top of the mountain before picking up our three-wheel carts with hydraulic breaks and bombing down dirt tracks through the trees, along paths and down grassy skiing pistes to the bottom – always followed by a lot of “whoop whoops”.

The other major summer sport is Mountain Biking. Admittedly La Plagne isn’t as well reputed at Morzine or Avoriaz but it still offers plenty of variety for all skill levels. With the runs mirroring the coding of skiing piste’s – blues, reds and blacks – we stuck to our ability level and took our top of the range hire e-bikes (cost = €35 per person for half a day) on a green run with the 20km 870m ascent/descent a perfect family run for us.



One of the best things about the apartment is the location, and particularly during summer it is recommended to use it as a base to go and explore.

A day trip to La Thuile in Italy took us over the Petite San Bernardo pass to one of our favourite mountain resorts. The 90 minute journey was a very winding road but the scenery was incredible. An afternoon in the spa at the Montana Lodge, with snacks at Chocalat and lunch at the Petit Skieur brought back memories of past ski trips before we headed back into France and the mountain coaster in La Rosiere. €10 per go was great value for an adrenaline rush through the forest.

We also took a day to travel into the next valley to visit Courchevel. The villages that make up the resort were stunning, but unfortunately we were caught short with very few shops, activities and restaurants open during our visit.

We never made it but also heard great things about Macot lake down in the valley – where you can swim under supervision with inflatables and other activities to add a sense of fun.


All of the restaurants offer great quality food at reasonable prices. Savoyard dishes such as tartiflette, raclette and charcuterie are plentiful, the salads are huge and most places offer burgers and pizzas.

La Luge had the best pizza, La Forperet the best views, Le 360 offers a BBQ every Saturday during winter, and Les 2 Zebras was a firm family favourite.

So after two amazing weeks of family fun, fantastic food and fresh mountain air we can’t wait to get back after then temperature has dropped and the snow has fallen.


    Get In Touch With Us Today

    Welcome to Chalet le Col, stunning mountain suites in the French Alps.

    [email protected] Les Choucas Residence, La Plagne Montalbert, 73210
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