Thursday, 9 July 2015

Le Grand- Bornand: ski resort

Le Grand-Bornand is amongst the best preserved and most beautiful Savoyard villages. Perfectly located between Mont Blanc, Lake Annecy and Switzerland, the local community has carefully worked to combine perfectly the needs for visitors seeking the excellent skiing, whilst maintaining the area's traditional charm and respecting its alpine heritage.

Le Grand Bornand ski resort (in Aravis) is famous for its attractive chalets with more than 400 spread throughout the village, often up to 300 years old.

Grand Bornand is split into the main Grand Bornand village (1000m) and Chinaillon village which is 6km away at 1300m. We feature accommodation in both. There are bars and restaurants in Chinaillon as well as shops but the majority of amenities are in the main village.

The Aravis Mountains, with their highest peak the distinctive Pointe Percée from where green, forested mountain slopes, curve down towards the valley, forming the main backdrop to Le Grand Bornand village. This is divided in to two parts with an efficient ski bus circling between them and ski lifts and runs linking them above. The original Grand Bornand village is a picture of old France with its shops, church, market square and “grenette” - a traditionally roofed market hall. Six kilometres up the Aravis valley Le Grand-Bornand – Le Chinaillon is the other part of the resort, where most of the ski runs begin. Chinaillon itself is very well preserved with the older parts dating back to 17th century. The splendid Bouchet valley stretches away behind… a favourite cross country ski area.

Le Grand Bornand inhabitants are out numbered by its cows, a fact of which it is proud. It is the birthplace of the famous Reblochon, an AOC cheese (appellation d'origine contrôlée) which is made twice a day in the farms of the village during winter time and in pastures during summer time. The first Reblochon's market was created in 1795 in Le Grand Bornard, and remains the most important in the whole valley. The traditional Reblochon market is held on Wednesday mornings in Grand Bornard. There are 65 farms in the area and the local cows, called Pie-Rouge Abondance, are almost a red colour, with white tails and hooves.

There are about 30 restaurants in Le Grand Bornand village as well as a supermarket, boulangerie, laundrette, hairdresser, pharmacy, petrol station, bank and post office so all holiday needs are covered. If you’re looking for lively apres ski there are nearly 40 bars and pubs of which” Les 2 Guides” has a British pub atmosphere whilst Le Thovet" has a great selection of wine by the glass. Later on the nightclub "Le Baron Noir" comes to life, located at Pont du Venay in Chinaillon (the other part to Le Grand Bornand).

Other activities in Le Grand Bornand include horse drawn sleigh or carriage rides, an ice rink, cinemas, snowshoeing, paragliding and hot air ballooning.

View here for a 360 degree view of Le Grand Bornand (hold down the left click of your mouse and drag left right up and down whilst still holding on the left click button to move 360 degree).