Balme Ski Resort

http://www.powderhounds.com/site/DefaultSite/filesystem/images/Europe/France/Balme/overview/01.JPG
Long intermediate piste trails at Balme Tour Vallorcine are a real treat
Long intermediate piste trails at Balme Tour Vallorcine are a real treat
Gentle alpine bowls & surface tows at Domaine de Balme, Chamonix
Gentle alpine bowls & surface tows at Domaine de Balme, Chamonix
Balme Tour Vallorcine ski resort is fabulous for families wanting to escape the crowds at other Chamonix resorts
Balme Tour Vallorcine ski resort is fabulous for families wanting to escape the crowds at other Chamonix resorts
The gondola leaves Le Tour village, one of the Chamonix valley
The gondola leaves Le Tour village, one of the Chamonix valley's most authentic places to stay
Powder skiing at Balme Tour Vallorcine is underrated & plentiful
Powder skiing at Balme Tour Vallorcine is underrated & plentiful
Balme Tour Vallorcine ski resort is only a short bus or train ride from vibrant Chamonix
Balme Tour Vallorcine ski resort is only a short bus or train ride from vibrant Chamonix
Gondola departs Vallorcine heading up to the ski area
Gondola departs Vallorcine heading up to the ski area
Vallorcine train station is easy to get to from Switzerland, plus is next to a gondola leading up to the mountain
Vallorcine train station is easy to get to from Switzerland, plus is next to a gondola leading up to the mountain
Our partners at Skiset have ski rental outlets near the gondola valley station at Le Tour village
Our partners at Skiset have ski rental outlets near the gondola valley station at Le Tour village
Restaurant at Charamillon (1,850m) overlooking the Chamonix valley.
Restaurant at Charamillon (1,850m) overlooking the Chamonix valley.
Charamillon lifts & facilities in Balme Tour Vallorcine are dwarfed by the towering peaks of the Chamonix valley
Charamillon lifts & facilities in Balme Tour Vallorcine are dwarfed by the towering peaks of the Chamonix valley
Balme Tour Vallorcine has numerous surface tows that may not suit snowboarders
Balme Tour Vallorcine has numerous surface tows that may not suit snowboarders
Shaded off-piste terrain on the darkside of Balme Tour Vallorcine near the Tête de Balme chairlift
Shaded off-piste terrain on the darkside of Balme Tour Vallorcine near the Tête de Balme chairlift
Freeride terrain at Balme Tour Vallorcine from Aiguilettes de Posettes toward Vallorcine
Freeride terrain at Balme Tour Vallorcine from Aiguilettes de Posettes toward Vallorcine
Off-piste terrain from Tête de Balme down toward Vallorcine along the Swiss border is the best in the resort
Off-piste terrain from Tête de Balme down toward Vallorcine along the Swiss border is the best in the resort
Vormaine ski area at Le Tour village is Chamonix
Vormaine ski area at Le Tour village is Chamonix's best novice ski area
Tour village is petite & takes a little time to emerge from the shade during winter
Tour village is petite & takes a little time to emerge from the shade during winter
Restaurant Alpage de Balme huts near the L
Restaurant Alpage de Balme huts near the L'Aiguillette surface lift are worth a lunchtime visit
Delicious ski terrain on the highest lifted point in the resort, Tête de Balme (2,250m)
Delicious ski terrain on the highest lifted point in the resort, Tête de Balme (2,250m)
Ski Balme Tour Vallorcine in the Chamonix Valley, France
Ski Balme Tour Vallorcine in the Chamonix Valley, France

Balme Ski Resort

Readers Ratings

Balme Tour Vallorcine

Balme Tour Vallorcine3.5/52
Balme Tour Vallorcine3.5 out of 5 based on 2 reviews
  • Recommend
    100%
  • Would Revisit
    100%
Up Guides Maurienne Tours

Chamonix Ski Areas

Brevent Flegere
Chamonix
Grands Montets
Les Houches

Balme Maps & Stats

    Balme Tour Vallorcine Ski Trail Map
  • Balme Tour Vallorcine Ski Trail Map
  • Vertical (m)
    1,260m - 2,250m (990m)
  • Average Snow Fall
    6m
  • Lifts (8)
    2 Gondolas
    2 Chairlifts
  • Opening Dates & Times
    Early December to mid-April
    8:30am - 4:30pm
  • Terrain Summary
    Runs - 30km
    Longest run - 6km
    Advanced - 0%
    Intermediate - 55%
    Beginner - 45%
  • Lift Pass Price
    Day Ticket 22/23
    Mont Blanc Unlimited Pass
    Adult - €76
    Child - €64.60
    Child u/5yr - Free

    Chamonix Le Pass
    Adult - €49.60 to 62
    Child - €42.20 to 52.70
    Child u/5yr - Free

    Ikon Pass valid with conditions/limitations
    Chamonix Ski Resorts Map
  • Chamonix Ski Resorts Map

Balme Tour Vallorcine Ski Resort Chamonix France

Smack bang on the border with Switzerland, the Balme Tour Vallorcine ski resort provides a magnificent French sun-soaked playground for both novices & experienced snow enthusiasts.

Known locally as the Domaine du Balme, it has the most sedate skiing & snowboarding terrain of all the 4 main Chamonix ski resorts, with abundant piste trails for beginners & intermediates, plus forgiving off-piste options for those that prefer a little black freeride in their day.

Pros & Cons for Balme Tour Vallorcine Ski Resort

Pros

  • An underrated Chamonix ski area which can get overlooked on a powder day.
  • Only multi-aspect Chamonix ski area.
  • Uncrowded.
  • Good range of piste trails for progressing beginners & intermediates.
  • Chamonix's best novice / learn-to-ski area at Vormaine in the village of Le Tour.
  • Chamonix’s 2nd best valley trails (just behind nearby Grands Montets!).
  • Interesting variety of off-piste terrain & an excellent snow park.
  • Amazing views all the way down the Chamonix valley.
  • Several good on-mountain restaurant options.
  • Le Tour is Chamonix’s most ‘authentic’ traditional mountain village.
  • Part of the good-value Chamonix Le Pass interlinked ski lift ticket (valid in Grands Montets & Brevent Flegere).
  • Excellent public transport access by train to Vallorcine & bus to Le Tour.

Cons

  • Smallish ski area with a short skiable vertical off most lifts (two notable exemptions being the valley trails into Vallorcine & Le Tour villages).
  • Limited advanced & expert terrain.
  • Older style ski lifts predominate which snowboarders may not appreciate.

Pro or Con (depending on your perspective!)

  • Village at Vallorcine is dark & cold in mid-winter but has superb gondola access to the ski resort & connection to other Chamonix ski area via the train.
  • Le Tour village may be in the Chamonix valley, but it is not in Chamonix!
  • Après ski is quieter in these parts & restaurant options are more limited.
  • Ikon Pass is valid in the resort, which might be a good reason for some to spend more time here ...... or for others to avoid it!

Skiing & Snowboarding, Lift & Terrain

There are two distinct mountain sides to Domaine de Balme. One is the broad sunny alpine bowls that look straight down the Chamonix valley & have gentle wide-open slopes above the village of Le Tour. The other is the Vallorcine descents - longer runs through magnificent forests near the Swiss border (great on bad weather days). Vallorcine has the best snow quality due to its northerly aspect & sheltering trees below the alpine.

Check out the ski trail map for Balme Tour Vallorcine below.

Balme Tour Vallorcine Ski Trail Map
Balme-Tour-Vallorcine Ski Trail Map

A total of 8 main lifts (including 2 gondolas & 2 chairs) service the ski resort's 30km of beginner & intermediate piste trails. There are no advanced (black) piste trails in the resort, except for a short section on the tasty valley run. Many of the piste trails are served by surface lifts, so snowboarders with an aversion to them and extended flat sections, should apply elsewhere!

At Le Tour village, three additional surface lifts make up the Vormaine ski area. Vormaine is the best learn-to-ski location in the Chamonix valley & ideal for complete novices or children.

Lift Passes

The Chamonix Le Pass & more expensive Mont Blanc Unlimited ski passes are valid in the ski area. See the two main lift pass areas on the Chamonix ski resorts map. For the cheapest pass, buy a Chamonix Le Pass, and pre-purchase online. If planning on broader exploration beyond Brevent Flegere, Grands Montets & Balme, the more expensive Mont Blanc Unlimited Pass may be for you (but read the fine-print carefully if going to Verbier!).

for international visitors, 'Ikon Pass' is valid in most of Chamonix, with days shared between: Grands Montets, Les Houches, Le Tour/Balme, La Flegere and Le Brevent. Holders of an Ikon Pass can ski for free for 7-days, with no blackout period. Holders of Ikon Base Plus Pass and Ikon Base Pass can ski for free for 5-days with no blackout periods. To redeem lift passes, you will need to go to a local ticket window and show your Ikon Pass, Ikon Base Pass, or Ikon Session Pass.

Holders of the 'Mountain Collective Pass' can redeem free ski days at most Chamonix ski areas but by some quirk, Balme Tour Vallorcine is NOT included.

Where is Balme Tour Vallorcine France?

Access to Balme Tour Vallorcine ski area is possible from either the village of Le Tour or via the Mont Blanc Express railway station or road at Vallorcine - hence the name!

The skiing area is the most distant of the Chamonix ski resorts, being 12 or 17km north of Chamonix town, depending on whether one travels to Le Tour (closer) or Vallorcine (further). Despite the distance, the free Chamonix Bus easily & quickly links all the valley villages to the ski area.

The best airports for travelers heading to Balme Tour Vallorcine & the Chamonix valley are Geneva (GVA) & Lyon St Exupery (LYS). A huge number of bus & train transport options from both airports to Chamonix exist. Search & book all train tickets to Chamonix.

For detailed information on the best ways to get to Tour & Vallorcine see our Travel to Chamonix page.

Balme Tour Vallorcine Accommodation

To ski or snowboard Balme, a string of mountain villages can be utilised for accommodation. The obvious village in the Chamonix valley is Le Tour. It is one of the quietest in the area & the most pleasant to stay in if seeking to avoid all the hoopla of the larger villages.

Search & book all Le Tour ski accommodation.

Across the range to the north is Vallorcine, which like Le Tour, has direct ski lift access into the resort & is as quiet as a grave. Vallorcine location deep in the valley leads to long hours in shadow during the day, but the train & gondola access is amongst the best in the region.

Search & book all Vallorcine ski accommodation.

Down valley from Le Tour is the village of Argentiere at the base of Grands Montets ski resort. It makes a more central accommodation alternative to Le Tour or Vallorcine. Much of the Argentiere lodging is quite soulless & not to Powderhounds liking. The village centre is a walk or bus ride from the ski lift base area.

Search & book all Argentiere ski accommodation.

Of course, the iconic town of Chamonix provides the 'must stay' location for those wanting to experience the full Chamonix treatment! Chamonix is a vibrant town in a splendid location below the ever-present Mont Blanc.

Search & book all Chamonix ski accommodation.

Both Chamonix & Argentiere have good transport links with the Balme ski resort via train & bus. The bus is free - the train is definitely not!

Ski Rentals, Guiding & Clothing

Ski rentals are available in all the Chamonix valley villages including at Le Tour adjacent to the gondola & main car park. Receive a discount when you search & book via our Le Tour & Vallorcine Ski & Snowboard Rental page.

Anyone exploring the off-piste can get lessons, instruction, guiding & more information from our Balme Ski Lessons & Guiding page.

[AdListings Filter="Chamonix Ski Rentals Clothing"]

Review

The Powderhounds reviewed Balme Tour Vallorcine in 2019 & thoroughly enjoyed it, discovering some delightfully quiet stashes along the way. Click on the review link in the left column (or top of the page if on a mobile) to read all the reviews.

See how Balme-Tour-Vallorcine compares to the rest of the French ski resorts on the France ski resort ratings page, or compare to the rest of Europe the European ski resort ratings page.

Follow Powderhounds Europe on Instagram to see where we are currently skiing. Follow our main Powderhounds page on Facebook to stay in touch with up-to-date info, tours, and discussions.

Tours in or near Balme Tour Vallorcine

Safari (Road Trip) Tours

Chamonix Mont Blanc Powder Skiing Safari
GUIDED OFF-PISTE ADVENTURE
8 Days | 7 Nights | 6 Days Skiing
Ability: Advanced to Expert
Ski off-piste on a guided tour around the resorts of Chamonix, Courmayeur & Mont Blanc, discovering amazing descents, incredible vistas & delightful ski towns. Enjoy 6 nights in Chamonix & a night in a rifugio high on Mont Blanc. Join a fixed date or get a group together for your best dates & duration....
Price p/p From price based on twin/double-share room occupancy on a 8-day tour.
Base/invoice currency is in EURO inc taxes.
Based on group of 7 for min 7 nights.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 2,449
View Details
 
See all Safari (Road Trip) tours that visit Balme Tour Vallorcine here

Single-Base, Multi-Ski-Area Tours

Chamonix Off-Piste & Freetouring
PRIVATE GUIDED OFF-PISTE FREETOURING
4 Days | 4 Nights | 4 Ski Days
Ability: Intermediate to Expert
Discover the best of the world's ski & mountaineering mecca, Chamonix, during low season in January, when the crowds are few but the snow is awesome! Inquire about a custom private tour to suit your best dates & group size.....
Price p/p From price based on 4 nights twin-share lodging in a minimum group of 6 people.
Base/invoice currency is in EURO inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 1,166
View Details
 
See all Single-Base, Multi-Ski-Area tours that visit Balme Tour Vallorcine here
200