La Tania is one of the smaller resorts in the world’s largest ski areas, the Three Valleys.
It’s also one of Europe’s newest ski destinations, with the original buildings here constructed to provide accommodation for athletes competing in the 1992 Albertville Winter Olympics, as well as journalists covering the biggest event on the skiing calendar.
The village was built in the Courchevel Valley and can be found to the left on the piste map, between Courchevel itself and Meribel on the other side, so in a prime location. In fact, taking your ski holidays to La Tania often means faster access to some of the key areas of the 3 Valleys rather than those staying at its bigger neighbours, in part because of the resort's location.
Over the past few decades, the village has only expanded gradually so retains a friendly, intimate feel and a reputation for offering good value. It has a strong British community with a number of resort businesses run by ex-pats, although at the same time it is part of the La Perrière community, a group of ten small, traditional Savoy hamlets below and has largely maintained the traditional architectural style of the area which is famous for it its baroque church and the local "Becqua" stone.
La Tania, France
SKIING IN LA TANIA
What to expect…
La Tania Expert
"There are many, many runs worthy of recommendation, but 'Park City', a red named after Courchevel's twin-resort in Utah is universally popular."
LOCAL SKI AREA -
Although well integrated into the 3 Valleys, La Tania does have its own little corner of paradise, with a small selection of lifts and runs.
Most skiers will jump on the gondolas at the start of the day which quickly lifts them up to the top of the forest and out in to the wider Courchevel Valley and then the Meribel Valley and beyond, but there are red (Moretta Blanche below the gondola), blue (Folyeres), green and the famous steep, black and usually heavily mogulled, Jockeys run (set to be a crucial piste in the upcoming 2023 Alpine Skiing World Championships which Courchevel and Meribel jointly won the rights to stage back in 2018).
So whilst the temptation to head out into the bigger domain ahead is there, it's possible to ski laps from the gondola whatever your level, and in bad weather, the unusually high tree cover means it's actually a great place to stay with better visibility than upon the open mountain slopes above.
Beginners have nursery slopes with their own dedicated lifts and dedicated snowmaking down at resort level and another area up at the top of the gondola, there’s also a snow garden for young child learners. One of the beginner lifts operates free of charge for first timers.
WIDER SKI AREA - THREE VALLEYS
La Tania sits in a prime location on the right-hand side of the Courchevel Valley, meaning it is just two lifts up from the village to the Col de la Loze (2305m).
From Col de la Loze you can ski down into the Meribel Valley above Meribel centre. From, here another two successive lifts (options include Tougnette 1 and 2), will lift you to the top of the third valley, above Les Menuires and St Martin de Belleville, so you can be at the furthest extreme of the 3 Valleys from La Tania in a little over an hour, using just fast blue and red pistes if you wish, although there are more challenging routes to take instead should you prefer.
Alternatively, a left turn at the top of the gondola from la Tania leads you down (by red or black runs) to Courchevel le Paraz 1300, lowest of the four Courchevel base villages. If you want an easier run down take the Bouc Blanc chair after the gondola and this will take you up to Chenuls (2240m) from where you can ski down to all four Courchevel villages on runs of every grade from green to black, or indeed head on up the famous Saulire ski slopes, some of the most challenging in the 3 Valleys and home to the infamous ‘Ugly Sisters’ couloirs, or over to Signal.
There are many, many runs worthy of recommendation, but 'Park City', a red named after Courchevel's twin-resort in Utah is universally popular.
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Approximate transfer times:
- GENEVA: 1 hr 15 mins
- CHAMBERY: 1 hr 5 mins
- LYON: 2 hr 15 mins
- GRENOBLE: 1 hr 30 mins
LA TANIA VILLAGE
La Tania is a relatively small ski village, set in a pretty, wooded location.
La Tania has a loyal following of repeat-skier-visitors each winter who love the community feel that’s centred on a few of the main bars and restaurants at the base of the slopes.
Traffic-free, it only takes a few minutes to walk or ski from one side of the village to the other and there are just a few dozen shops, bars and restaurants with a limited amount of off-slope activities.
This all makes la Tania, which is also known for having some of the lowest prices in the 3 Valleys, a good choice for families who want to ski and board all week and don’t need much else laid-on to entertain them. It’s also good for mixed groups with beginners able to enjoy the local nursery slopes whilst experienced skiers can easily whizz off out to the many attractions of the 3 Valleys.
The village is around 2.5 hours (1230km) from Geneva Airport and located just off the road linking Courchevel’s lowest village Le Praz to Méribel. It has had its own unique identity in the past and has a strong community feel with locals promoting the village's unique character and attributes but officially it is being ‘kind-of' treated as part of Courchevel at present with the name ‘Courchevel La Tania'! It is certainly easy to reach the village's larger neighbour on skis or by hopping on the ski bus and that will satisfy any craving for a bigger selection of shops, eateries and activities if you have one and are carrying plenty of Euros.
RESTAURANTS & BARS
La Tania has half-a-dozen or so restaurants, most of them small, and family-run.
Despite their limited number the quality id generally high and there's a great range from a purveyor of burgers and British fish and chips to a Michelin-starred gourmet restaurant.
Le Farcon is the establishment in this latter category and the exceptionally high quality (with pricing to match) seems a little incongruous with the rest of the dining options in the village, but it has been operating for many years now so chef Julien Machet clearly has a winning formula. The menu, is seasonal, always changing, and rooted in the Savoyard region, as is chef Machet.
La Taiga is also another popular option, with a great selection of French cuisine. In this cosy establishment, you can enjoy everything from fondue, raclette or tartiflette to snails. La Ferme de la Tania has a more rustic feel but is another option for French mountain classics and has a reputation for high value.For gourmet cuisine, L’Ourson is very highly regarded and serves contemporary French wonders with a particularly highly rated taster menu for the best of everything. However Bistro Les 2 Mules has climbed to the top spot in the village on TripAdvisor, no mean feat given the quality of the competition, but diners love the quality of cuisine and friendly chef.
Most of the mountain restaurants from La Tania are essentially the same mountain restaurants that are accessed across the Courchevel and indeed Meribel valleys.
The closest altitude eateries to the rest, located on the top of the gondola (so accessible to non-skiers staying in La Tania should you wish to meet up for lunch without skiing down) is the family-run Bouc Blanc, which is enthusiastically regarded as one of the best and most affordable in the entire 3 Valleys, let alone La Tania and the Courchevel Valley, by its many fans. The reasons are fairly obvious – a reputation for generous, high-quality servings of food, as well as friendly, efficient service and all at some of the best prices in the area.
Apres-ski in La Tania is very much what you make it.
The options are fairly limited and it is often described as "quiet" or "a family resort" but in fact there are about a dozen bar-restaurants and some of them are generally lively, with a fun, laid-back atmosphere, so if you're happy to become a ‘local' during your stay and don't need a vast choice of bars where you can visit a string of different venues every night of the week, you'll be fine! Two of the busiest bars are Pub Le Ski Lodge which is usually buzzing and sometimes has live music, themed party nights and the like. La Taiga Bar is a little more upscale with a good cocktail bar, big screen TV for live sports screening and there's usually live music here several evenings each week.
There are a lot of on-snow activities to enjoy in the Courchevel Valley.
Snowshoeing hikers are organised by the ski school and you can also sign up for dog sledding on paths through the forest. Snowmobiling is also offered around the village and if you have a head for heights it's also possible to go paragliding up above.
La Tania has fairly limited indoor facilities so it may not be the preferred resort.
There are a handful of shops, covering the basics, including a good deli, mini-supermarket and a bakery.
However, the village's Hotel Montana does have a fitness club and a small swimming pool with jet stream which are open to the general public. Facilities here also include massage, a sunbed and sauna.
If you do need more activities, there are large leisure centres in both neighbouring Méribel and Courchevel easily reachable by ski bus or on skis. The latter is an incredible €63m "Aquamotion" which opened near Courchevel 1550 / 1650 in 2015 which has a huge range of spa and indoor water fun facilities including a permanent indoor surfing wave.
Courchevel also has a long list of off-slope activities besides Aquamotion, including 10 pin bowling, toboggan run, climbing wall and paragliding.
WHO IS LA TANIA SUITABLE FOR?
Here are the highlights...
VALUE FOR MONEY
Of course, skiing in any of the big ski regions in the Alps is never going to be ‘cheap' but for those wanting to ski the world's biggest region, particularly staying close to arguably France's most exclusive (and thus expensive) resort, Courchevel, La Tania is a great bet.
Being of a comparatively modest scale, and lacking any hotels or glossy shops or restaurants, La Tania instead focusses on being an affordable place to stay as one of its key sales points. Although it's hard to give precise pricing examples, most aspects of your holiday here – the shopping, eating out, apres-ski drinks, ski rentals are all typically something like 10-20% cheap than at La Tania's big name, larger neighbours. The actual cost of your accommodation is also likely to be a little more affordable too. Of course the lift pass costs the same wherever you stay in the 3 Valleys but you can, if you are only in your first week or two of skiing, opt for a Courchevel-valley only pass, still offering more skiing than many stand-alone resorts, and at about a 10% saving on the full 3 Valleys pass price.
SKI IN/SKI OUT
One of the reasons for La Tania's popularity with its repeat visitors is that almost all of the accommodation here is ski-in, ski, out.
The village is built on a gentle slope with easy green and blue grade slopes running by it, down to the lifts at the base of the village. So skiers can ski out of their accommodation in the morning or after lunch and down to board one of the lifts, serving both La Tania's local slopes and access to the wider Courchevel and 3 Valleys. At the ends of the morning, or the ski day, it's an easy run back on the same slopes to your accommodation. The gentleness of the runs through the village and the fact that there are nursery slopes here too, mean that this connection works whatever your ability level. Also, because La Tania is not too big, there is no problem negotiating from one side of the village to the other, as can be an issue at some of the big ski-in, ski-out resorts.
With most of the 300+ ski runs adding up to 600km of slopes in the 3 Valleys rated green, blue or red, it's hard to imagine more of an intermediate skiing paradise, and La Tania places you quickly right in the centre of the action.
The fast, modern 3 Valleys lift network can whisk you right across to the far corners of the massive ski domain in minutes, more often than hours, so it's quite feasible to explore a different area each day and it's great to really feel the kilometres of slope whizzing by beneath your skis as you head out each morning. Along with the vast amount of terrain there's also a great variety too with wide-open cruisers in snowsure higher slopes and then the tree-lined slopes closer to La Tania itself which are a great safe harbour in bad weather, a big advantage over some of the better known, bigger 3 Valleys destinations if it’s a low cloud day.
LA TANIA WEATHER
Keep an eye on the forecast before you go…
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Here's our map of La Tania showing you the key hotels and apartments as some of the main points of interest.