Bonneval sur Arc Ski Resort

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Bonneval sur Arc ski resort is a Powderhounds Gem
Bonneval sur Arc ski resort is a Powderhounds Gem
Haute Maurienne Vanoise skiing at its finest on Bonneval sur Arc France
Haute Maurienne Vanoise skiing at its finest on Bonneval sur Arc France
Bonneval sur Arc village needs no words.......
Bonneval sur Arc village needs no words.......
Ski Bonneval sur Arc France
Ski Bonneval sur Arc France
Bonneval off-piste skiing near the 3000 chairlift
Bonneval off-piste skiing near the 3000 chairlift
D
D'Andagne chairlift top station with a glacier backdrop at Bonneval ski resort
Powder skiing in the Bonneval off-piste.
Powder skiing in the Bonneval off-piste.
Bonneval ski resort
Bonneval ski resort's small base area with Vallonnet chairlift
Freeride Bonneval in a glorious setting
Freeride Bonneval in a glorious setting
Auberge D
Auberge D'Oul - one of Bonneval village's few small eateries
Bonneval has facilities for children & novices
Bonneval has facilities for children & novices
Broad, deserted intermediate on-piste trails are a feature of Bonneval su Arc
Broad, deserted intermediate on-piste trails are a feature of Bonneval su Arc
Snowboarding powder at Bonneval sur Arc ski resort
Snowboarding powder at Bonneval sur Arc ski resort
Bonneval sur Arc ski terrain
Bonneval sur Arc ski terrain
Bonneval ski resort lower mountain freeride terrain into the village
Bonneval ski resort lower mountain freeride terrain into the village
Bonneval ski resort
Bonneval ski resort's 3000 chairlift climbs to .......... 3,000m of course!
The nearby town of Bessans provides alternative accommodation to Bonneval
The nearby town of Bessans provides alternative accommodation to Bonneval
Bonneval & Bessans are connected by an amazing cross-country ski & winter-walking trail network
Bonneval & Bessans are connected by an amazing cross-country ski & winter-walking trail network
Bonneval village
Bonneval village's newer part of town is ski-in!
Ski Bonneval in the Haute Maurienne Vanoise France
Ski Bonneval in the Haute Maurienne Vanoise France

Bonneval sur Arc Ski Resort

Readers Ratings

Bonneval sur Arc

Bonneval sur Arc4/53
Bonneval sur Arc4 out of 5 based on 3 reviews
  • Recommend
    100%
  • Would Revisit
    100%
Mixed group guided instructional packages to the Dolomites

Nearby Ski Resorts

Aussois
La Norma
Val Cenis

     Bonneval-sur-Arc Ski Trail Map
  • Bonneval Ski Trail Map
  • Vertical (m)
    1,850m – 3,000m (1,150m)
  • Average Snow Fall
    Lots!
  • Lifts (10)
    3 Chairs
  • Opening Dates & Times
    Mid-December to end April
    9:00am to 4:30pm
  • Terrain Summary
    Runs - 32km
    Longest run - 5km+
    Advanced - 12%
    Intermediate - 60%
    Beginner - 28%
  • Lift Pass Price
    Day Ticket 20/21
    Adult – €29.80
    Child – €24.50
    Child u/5yr - Free

Bonneval-sur-Arc Ski Resort France

Bonneval sur Arc is a secret high-altitude ski area in the remote Haute Maurienne Vanoise that benefits from big snowfalls & very few humans - perfect for powder hounds! Oh, and did we mention the lift pass price is less than €30 for 1,200m of skiable vertical across a broad high alpine zone which climbs to 3000m elevation? No, well it certainly sweetens what is an already saccharine-soaked freeride destination.

Bonneval (pronounced Bonn-vaal) is one of five local ski resorts that combined offer some of the best value big mountain skiing in the Alps. All within easy driving or ski bus shuttle distance of each other, Bonneval's closest neighbour is the awesome storm-riding & family friendly Val Cenis. Further down the valley, polar opposites, the north-aspect certified Powderhounds Gem of La Norma looks across at sunny Aussois. Back past Modane, Valfrejus makes up the quinella for a ready-made ski safari week.

Pros & Cons for Bonneval Ski Resort

Pros

  • Super snow quality & quantity from a high elevation base area in one of the snowiest parts of France.
  • Efficient lift system.
  • No lift lines.
  • Fabulous on-piste trails particularly for intermediates.
  • Awesome alpine off-piste freeride & backcountry terrain.
  • Absolutely gorgeous historic village.
  • Exceptionally good value lift pass price.
  • Useful & regular public transport access by train to Modane, then bus to Bonneval
  • Free car parking for day trippers is ski-out ski-in, right near the lifts.

Cons

  • Lifts are dated, but one gets what one pays for!
  • A smallish ski area best explored in combination with other Haute Maurienne resorts.
  • Limited on-mountain dining & shelter.
  • The base of the Vallonnet is constricted & poorly managed.
  • Driving to Bonneval can be challenging during cold, snowy weather & getting into the car park near the chairlift or up to your accommodation can be just as interesting!

Pro or Con (depending on your perspective!)

  • Village is small and blissfully quiet.
  • Little sunshine in the ski area & village during mid-winter with super-cold temperatures – it is snowy here for a reason!
  • The best restaurants in the village are tiny, require booking, but do have very tasty local dishes.
  • English is not widely spoken or understood in several venues (mais ce n'est pas un problème!).
  • Accommodation is limited & can book out quickly.

Skiing & Snowboarding Terrain

The Bonneval skiing & snowboarding terrain, whilst limited to only 32km of piste trails, enough for several days of exploration, particularly if riding off-piste. It is possible to link together several trails and ski the entire 1150m vertical over a 5km+ distance top to bottom. Its diversity of lifts & trails on the lower portion of the ski hill cater surprisingly well to novices, however in mid-winter, one wonders whether this is a place to learn to ski. Probably best leaving the novice ski lessons to late February/March at this end of the Haute Maurienne valley.

See the Bonneval sur Arc ski trail map here.

On piste, the groomers are of a squeaky, chalky perfection not seen often enough. The cold temperatures & overall lack of traffic keep them this way. Novices have three areas to learn on. The gentle village lift & slope, the longer slopes & Pierre Fendue lift above the car parks plus the long feature filled Alouette slope accessed higher up the mountain via the Vallonnet chair. Progressing beginners & intermediates will enjoy all the other groomed trails. Most have lovely fall line & roll delightfully for maximum speed & fun. The Aiglon-Niverolle combination is the pick for eye-wateringly fast turns with a brain-snappingly gorgeous view across the mountains & valley. Advanced groomer-hounds may be disappointed. In all our visits, only one of three advanced trails was ever groomed - the fall line Aigle. Everything else is off-piste & they do get inexplicably bumped up between the markers!

Ripping down empty perfectly groomed pistes is a helluva lot of fun & the perfect morning workout, but from our perspective, Bonneval is all about the off-piste & backcountry. There are four broad sectors of off-piste at Bonneval, each associated with a separate lift. On arrival one’s eye is immediately drawn to the steep couloirs & light trees directly above the car park. They can be scoped from & accessed by the D'Andagne chair. On the way up the Vallonnet chair for the first time you will notice light trees & huge backcountry potential above & skier's right of the Moulinet tow. At the top of the Lacs tows, ski past the "you are about to die" sign (you'll know what we mean when you see it!) and enter a massive (and avalanche prone) zone of broad powder fields mixed with steep exits. The further skiers' right one goes, the longer the traverse out - snowboarders you have been warned. From the 3000 chair, the obvious gate skier's left enters a wide swathe of open high-alpine terrain that is limited only by your imagination & preparedness to use skins to get back up to the chair base. Freeride descents of around 500m vertical are possible here without skinning. Mind the cliff band midway - it cannot be scene from the lift or pistes. Longer backcountry descents are possible in the area, but they are best done with a guide in the first instance.

Bonneval-sur-Arc consists of five main lifts plus several secondary surface tows for novices. All are older style chairs & surface tows, which is quite fitting when one considers the ridiculously cheap lift pass price. Despite the lack of humanity in the ski area, the lifts are not without their problems. The main access chair, Vallonnet, has a base area with the ugly combination of limited space, speeding skiers entering the queue race, people sliding down the steep access path from the ticket office, people putting on skis plus those that are milling around just getting in everyone else's way. Thankfully, the times this combination of factors will occur is probably minimal. Lift queues are generally only ever sighted at the mid-mountain Lacs tows. They provide an important connector to the 3000 chair, but if both tows are not running it will probably be the only place you will line up at Bonneval.

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Where is Bonneval sur Arc France?

Bonneval-sur-Arc is remotely located at the top end of Haute Maurienne valley in the French Alps. On the opposite side of the range to Val d’Isere, some of its top lift stations are visible from the higher reaches of Bonneval if you know where to look. The summer road across to Val d'Isere is well & truly closed in winter! Only 42km east of the transport hub town of Modane, the high elevation village (1850m) can be reached in around 45min if road conditions are favourable. The closest major towns are Bessans (8km) & Lanslevillard (17km). Bonneval is 239km (3hr) drive south of Geneva, 215km (3hr) drive east of Lyon & 113km (2¼hr) west of Turin. Gateway airports to the region are Geneva (GVA) & Lyon St Exupéry (LYS) for all travellers.

Public transport to the region is excellent. Modane has a railway station served by TGV high speed trains on the Paris-Lyon-Turin-Milan line. A major bus terminal is next to the station. Regular buses head to all five Haute Maurienne ski areas, including Bonneval on the M12 line. Alternatively, a private transfer from the train station to just about anywhere in the Haute Maurienne will be relatively inexpensive.

Search & book train tickets to Modane here.

Driving to Bonneval can be reasonably efficient due to much of the journey being possible via autoroutes, but they do come at a price. The motorways (autoroutes) leading to Modane from both France & Italy are all tolled. From Italy, the Frejus tunnel at the French border costs a lot more than a day ski lift pass one way – so day trips to the region from Bardonecchia or the Via Lattea are generally out of the question!

Once on the Haute Maurienne valley, the road beyond Lanslevillard & the Col de la Madelaine can be icy & challenging. Rental vehicles with all-wheel drive & winter tyres are recommended. Off the main entry road, all minor roads in Bonneval (including the car parks can be super-slippery. Don’t be afraid to park along the main road or near the Hôtel du Glacier des Evettes & walk- nothing is too far away!

Bonneval sur Arc Accommodation

Authentic French Alps landscapes & cultures with a village ranking amongst the most beautiful in France, Bonneval is, not surprisingly, quite small & with highly sought-after accommodation. The village is split in two sections, the old village is slightly lower and away from the ski lifts. The newer sector is spread around the Vallonnet ski lift base. Whilst several holiday homes and apartments in the village are for rent, they tend to have low availability at short notice. The exceptional Chalet Le Bois Joli guesthouse is one of the best lodging options & often has availability at short notice mid-week. Beyond that, the next village down valley, popular Bessans is a possibility, but vacancies tend to fill quickly with the cross-country ski fraternity.

Search & book all Bonneval sur Arc ski accommodation here.

Further down valley the base villages of the broad Val Cenis resort villages usually have midweek availability in ski-in ski-out apartments. They make a perfect base from which to explore the region. The village of Termignon, part of Val Cenis ski resort is another option.

For those with a car wanting to ski the entire Haute Maurienne Vanoise, the transport hub of Modane always has budget hotel rooms available, but the atmosphere may bring you down after a few nights!

Ski Rentals

Ski & snowboard equipment rentals are available in the newer Bonneval sur Arc village above the Vallonnet chairlift, but if not staying overnight, it is always a help to us (and thus to you) if one uses our local partners in nearby Bessans & Val Cenis! Receive a discount when you search & book via our Bonneval-sur-Arc Ski & Snowboard Rental page.

Activities

Aside from downhill skiing & snowboarding, the Haute Maurienne Vanoise has a festival of winter activities to distract you. Val Cenis has some extended Swiss-like toboggan slopes off the Le Haut gondola plus winter walking & a few minor cross-country ski trails. Down the valley to Bessans is an incredible cross-country ski & winter walking trail network linking both villages. Other trails exist down valley toward Aussois at Sardieres. Lovers of ‘old stuff’ will enjoy wandering around the forts either side of the deep defile spanned by the Pont Du Diable (crampons needed for the climb down to access the bridge in winter!) near Aussois. The Fort Victor-Emmanuel, Fort Charles-Félix & Redoute Marie Thérèse make for an interesting distraction from the slopes. And of course, there is always parasailing, ice skating, eating, drinking & generally laying about enjoying doing nothing at all!

Review

The Powderhounds visited Bonneval-sur-Arc in January & March 2020. To say we loved its gorgeous village, super snow quality, cheap lift tickets, deserted slopes & alpine freeride terrain is the grossest of understatements. Click on the review link in the left column (or top of the page if on a mobile) to read our inciteful, objective, non-biased, independent, quality reviews!

See how Bonneval compares to the rest of the European ski resorts on the Europe ski resort ratings page.

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