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Les Carroz Jan 2006

By Trudy and John Lymer

We decided on a full 'do it yourself' holiday for our first holiday of the season. We reckoned that with cheap flights available from Manchester, and 'bus companies offering transfers from Geneva and other airports to many resorts in Europe, it was time to give it a try.

Well, it worked wonderfully well, and we had a great time and managed to get in 7 full days of skiing (could have been 7.5) with only having to take a week off work.

We travelled Jet2 from Manchester to Geneva on the Saturday morning, returning a week later on the Sunday at lunch time, but we could have opted for the 8.00 pm flight. We had already pre booked an apartment in Les Carroz from a lady who lives in Kent (found on the internet and she had recommended Mont Blanc Taxis instead of a bus transfer, which although a little more expensive was certainly very convenient. As soon as we passed through customs we saw Sophie (daughter of the owner of the taxi firm) holding a sign with our name on, and off we went. Seven hours door to door going and 6.75 coming back as Les Carroz is less than an hour from Geneva.

The apartment was very well stocked with everything necessary, even a full oven, dishwasher and microwave cooker. It was suitable for the two of us, but the 4/5 people as it was advertised for may have been a little crushed. Although the apartment was not ski-in/out (very few are in this resort) it was very convenient as the ski bus stopped right outside and was very frequent. The timetable said every 20 minutes, but we found we never had to wait long, morning or late afternoon, and to walk back was not too far.

We were adjacent to the ice rink, but did not partake, and only about two minutes walk from the centre with a full range of shops, restaurants, bars and activities on offer. Although all the buildings are of a fairly modern vintage, they had been built in the traditional alpine style (or to give this appearance), and we thought that it worked very well.

The ski area covered by the Grand Massif lift pass includes the better known resort of Flaine, but as Les Carroz is lower down the mountain the transfer is much shorter. Conditions during our stay were good, we had two full days of snow and that made for excellent conditions for the rest of our stay, although even before the fall the conditions were quite good.

After the snow fall, the 14k blue run down to Sixt was open (it is only open when the conditions are right), so we thought that we would go. I (Trudy) did not like it, the bottom half was one of those long blue icy paths, even after all the snow, and there were some compressions in the middle that I thought were too hard for a blue run. There was a young lady there who was skiing quite well as a beginner, but was most put off by these (but she was certainly brave and managed it very well). When we arrived at Sixt, we had one or two icy runs in the area and then caught the bus back. We knew that we had to return by bus, but had decided to go anyway. Well this journey made the trip worthwhile as it passed through some lovely scenery that we would have missed out on, and a couple of small towns, it took about half an hour, so it wasn't so long either.

If you are thinking about 'do it yourself' holidays, do try it. We did and were very pleasantly surprised.