Modane – French Alps
During our European trip in 2016, we caught the train to a small town called Modane in the French Alps. We stayed at a ski resort called La Norma which was a short 5-10min drive from Modane Train Station. It was absolutely stunning - I am a little obsessed with alpine ski villages and this place immediately took my breath away!! The ski resorts in Europe generally make you book for a week, Saturday - Saturday and even though we stayed only 3 nights we paid for 7, but luckily the resort wasn't too expensive. The staff all spoke fairly good English and were friendly and helpful.
ACCOMMODATION - We had a little 2 bedroom apartment with a double bed in one room and set of bunks in the other. It is very much basic accommodation, but it was roomy enough with a living area, balcony overlooking the slopes, bathroom and kitchen. The only negative I can find is all the little extras that you have to pay for - like 40 euro for the tv remote, 10 euro per towel and even your bedding. At the end of the stay you are expected to clean the room and have everything exactly like it was when you arrived also.
RESORT - The resort itself has around 5 restaurants aswell as some take away café style shops and a grocery store. There is a resort doctor who is available for a few hours each morning, unfortunately my son was extremely sick his whole stay at La Norma so a doctor visit was in order. If you require a script he writes it for you and you take it to the Guest Services who order the prescription, and the doctor delivers it later that night. I think our doctor visit was around 30 euro. There is also a kids playground in the snow which my toddler loved!
SKI - Being beginners we mainly kept to the basic beginner slope but by the end my daughter was going down the bigger runs. There wasn't a great deal of snow so the conditions were more icy than powder (and man that hurts when you decide to fall over wearing no gloves and using your hand as a stop!) The ski hire shops were fantastic and they have plenty of toboggans and tubes to hire for the little ones, aswell as everything you could possibly need for the slopes from suits to sunglasses. There is a daycare for the little ones which we didn't use as my toddler was so happy playing in the snow, but a great option for those that want to spend some time alone on the slopes . My kids didn't want to do lessons as they have done them before in New Zealand but the instructors and lessons we watched looked great and lots of fun!
We were here for New Years Eve and the highlight was watching all the skiers go down the mountain with their glow sticks - It was such an amazing sight !
I was so disappointed when I didn't get properly snowed on as this has been my dream since I was little - but of course the day after we left they had 30cms of snow! La Norma is one of those places where I could just sit and drink hot chocolate all day, take in the surroundings of snow capped mountains and watch the skiers. It is such a beautiful setting - we absolutely loved our 3 day stay at La Norma and would go back in a heart beat.