Visiting Sainte Foy with Premiere Neige

PR invite // All thoughts and opinions are, of course, my own. 

Having worked with Premiere Neige for a while now, it was a real treat coming out to resort to explore everything Sainte Foy has to offer. We managed to time it perfectly with the weather and enjoyed sunny days on the slopes where the snow was great for skiing in the morning and relaxing in the afternoon.

In this little guide I’ll share all my favourite recommendations, what we did during the week – everything from snowshoeing to cheese fondues – and what’s good to know about the resort.

Sainte Foy & how to get here

Sainte Foy is the youngest resort in the Tarentaise Valley and neighbours more well-known resorts like Tignes, Les Arc and Val D’Isere. The ski resort opened up in 1990, so it’s just five years older than me.

The Sainte Foy ski area sits between 1550m up to 2620m and ha 26 pistes of varying difficulty. Primarily you’ll find red and blue runs, but there’s also two smaller nursery slopes down on resort level. It’s the perfect resort for those who are looking for long quiet slopes, or perhaps those who are beginners and don’t wish to learn in the middle of a rush of people. The resort might have some lovely quiet slopes, some running all the way from the top of the Col de L’Aguille down to Sainte Foy resort, but it also has a great French mountain atmosphere. There’s plenty of local Savoie region cheeses and delicacies so don’t miss this when you visit.

Something that quite surprised me in Sainte Foy, was how friendly people are. I know the French resorts can have a bit of a reputation of being a bit stuck up but that’s certainly not the case here.

A little fun fact is that Dave “The Rocket” Ryding (one of Britains best-ever slalom skiers who won last year in Kitzbuhel) was in resort the same week as me to train for his slalom! Unfortunately I missed him, but fun to see that a big ski professional like him come to little Sainte Foy to train.

Travel to Sainte Foy

There’s several airports to choose from when visiting Sainte Foy – Geneva, Lyon, Chambery and Grenoble. From Lyon and Chambery you can also get the train from the city centre, but Geneva might have the best road connection possibilities as there’s also buses and shared transfers, as well as private transfer and car rental, available here. The journey is about 3h by car, depending on traffic, or slightly shorter from Chambery. If booking with Premiere Neige, then they can also assist with booking private transfers for your group.

If you are driving I’d highly recommend the route by Annecy Lake, as it’s very scenic – especially the east side. When driving it’s also a bonus to be able to stop by the larger supermarket in Bourg St Maurice if you need your food shopping for the week – and you also have the possibility to easy get to other resorts if you want to explore the area.

Good to think about

Sainte Foy Ski Station or Sainte Foy Village? The Village of Sainte Foy is down in the valley by the main road, so if you are booking transfers or looking at maps, it is the Sainte Foy Ski Station you want to get to.

The electrical plugs in France are types C and E, like in many other European countries.

When you are in the mountains you don’t always have good internet connection, especially on the slopes, and most of the time you just have to deal with it as weather and altitude can affect it. You’re on holiday – take the opportunity to go offline and enjoy the mountain air instead!

One thing I always think about when traveling, but even more so in the alps during the winter, is the dry air! This might sound like no big deal, but unless you thrive with patchy lips and dry skin, it can be a good idea to bring a good lip balm and face cream – and please don’t forget to bring SPF. The sun is strong in the mountains, especially at the end of the season, and it also reflects off the snow, so stock up on SPF and do your skin a favour. This is also why it’s important to wear goggles and sunglasses with UV protection as your eyes can get burnt (and that hurts!).

Skiing in March is wonderful, if you ask me. The days are longer and the birds start to sing, however the benefit of warmer days can of course affect the snow. My ideal ski days contain a good breakfast in the morning, lots of skiing whilst the snow is newly prepped and all nice and then a slightly later long lunch in the sun which turns into an après ski. The afternoons can easily get slushy, but if I get some good skiing in the morning, I don’t mind this too much. The lunch in the sun, or a vin chaud on the balcony is part of the ski holiday experience for me.

5 things not to miss in Sainte Foy

Now that I’ve written a bit about Sainte Foy, let’s jump into this guide by giving you my 5 things not to miss in resort.

Enjoy the view from the top of the Col de L’Aguille and ski all the way down to resort

To get up to Col de L’Aguille you take the three (almost) consecutive chair lifts on the “right” side of the resort, when looking up to the mountain. There’s a panoramic view from the top and you can see the surrounding ski resorts and also Mont Blanc in the distance. When you are ready to head down, you have a long nice red that you can ski all the way down to resort, if you wish, or choose the blue sections on the sides. I really enjoyed this run and felt really comfortable in my rental boots and skis from Skiset. Usually I struggle with finding good boots, but these were so comfortable!

Try Genepi

As a flavour fanatic I’ve chosen to include not just one flavour experience, but two on this list. Sorry not sorry. Genepi is a traditional herbal liqueur made with the Genepi plant. I know a lot of people just think of Jägermeister when they hear herbal liqueur, but this is nothing like it – and just plain delicious!

As we are already talking about drinks, I also have to recommend trying local wines from Savoie. Somehow they seem to taste extra good on the mountains paired with local charcuterie and cheese… Le Saint Germain is a wine bar in Sainte Foy and they have plenty of options for wines, and you can also try Genepi here.

Try local cheese

When in France, right? I can’t resist cheese and here in the mountains I’d recommend trying Tomme de Savoie and Beaufort in particular. There’s also plenty of French dishes involving cheese like the classics Fondue Savoyarde, Raclette, Tartiflette and new-to-me Boîte Chaude. The latter is a little round cheese which is heated up so it melts and you eat it alongside potatoes, charcuteries and salad. Yum!

We had a little picnic on the mountain one of the days at the picnic tables and swings by Les Brevettes, at the first chair lift. You can buy your hams, cheese, wine and snacks from the local food shop, Le Saint Germain or Une Marmotte du Soleil and enjoy them in the sun in between skiing.

Take a photo by the #steFoy sign

Photos are for me a way to remember moments, so I love carrying my camera around. Of course, nowadays you don’t need a camera to capture good moments. Just snap a shot with your phone and next to Les Brevettes there’s a #steFoy sign which is the perfect photo opportunity!

Enjoy a cosy dinner at La Maison a Colonnes

Yup, it’s another foodie one! La Maison a Colonnes is an old 18th century farm house located in the middle of resort and although it’s great for an outdoors lunch in the sun, it’s even cosier for dinner. They serve classics like fondue as well as other Savoyarde specialities. When we were here, they actually had a power cut for about 5 minutes which made the candlelit room even cosier.

Premiere Neige & Chalet The Peak

Premiere Neige is one of the leading accommodation providers in resort. they offer both self-catered and catered options of properties ranging from 2 bedroom apartments to 8 bedroom chalets. I was lucky enough to get to stay in their flagship chalet The Peak, which is conveniently located right next to the main chair lift. The Peak is one of the catered chalets, which sleeps 15+ guests and the chalet team were absolutely great. Mike was the chalet host and he made sure everyone was well taken care of, whilst Luke and Monica in the kitchen put together some stunning menus.

The Room

I had bedroom 4, which is on the first floor and has a lovely balcony toward the valley. The room has a double bed (which can also be set up as a twin) and a bathroom with both bath and shower. I slept really well here, and even opened the balcony door throughout the nights for some fresh air. If you are sensitive to sound just be careful as you can hear the sound of the snow bashers preparing the piste outside if you keep the door open. The ski + boot room is on the floor below this bedroom, and so is the spa, whilst the gym is on the same floor, and the living area, hot tub and dining space is two floors up. The room is also close to the main entrance towards the road, which make it easy carrying your bags down. It might be good to know that the chalet doesn’t have a lift.

The Food

At The Peak you are very well looked after with food. Most days we had a serviced breakfast with options like porridge, various eggs, mushrooms and even avocado toast one day. On the days without service there were croissants, cereals, yoghurts and fruit which was more than enough. In the afternoon there were cakes waiting in the chalet, with various flavour each day. And before the three course dinners, there were also canapés and bubbly available. If you were still hungry after dinner then you can sit down in the living area and enjoy some port and a cheeseboard. I must say that the canapés were my favourites throughout the week, I just love little bite sized flavour bombs. A tuna tartare, an asian inspired fried dumpling and crispy pork belly canapé were all outstanding. I really can’t fault the dinners either, where an amazing tuna steak main, a butternut squash “tarte tatin” starter and a chocolate cake dessert in particular made my tastebuds do a little happy dance.

The Chalet Facilities

One of my favourite afternoon activities in the chalet was to slip into the balcony hot tub after a day on the slopes. The warm water somehow feel healing for sore legs and it’s a great spot for admiring the view and catching up with your fellow travellers.

The Peak also features a steam room and sauna in the spa on the bottom floor. They even have a massage room, where you can order massages from the company MassageMe. They can also come to other properties and perform massages in the comfort of your own accommodation and I would highly recommend it. We had the pleasure of enjoying two massage sessions with John, who was excellent. He really listened to the individual needs and made sure pressure was just right.

One of the days we also enjoyed a pilates session with Sarah from Mountain Equilibre in the gym room, which was great for both body and soul. My abs were seriously sore the next day but the session felt calm and relaxing and like a great complement to the skiing.

The Life of a Pisteur

One morning we were booked in to try the “life of a pisteur” experience, organised by the Sainte Foy Tourist Office. I’ve never done anything similar to this and it was fascinating to hear about the work that the pisteurs do. I hadn’t really realised how much work a resort like Sainte Foy does to keep people safe and to keep the resort in good condition.

Our pisteur Julien showed us how to set up the security nets, drill holes for the poles and also check that all the poles that mark the piste were in the correct position. If the poles are leaning with the top facing uphill, then it could be dangerous if somehow loses control as the can be impaled. We got so ski around and control each side with him. We also learned that the poles on either side of the piste always are different – one has two colours. So that you can know what side you are on, even when the weather conditions are poor.

Julien also showed us how the avalanche bombing works through a system of wires where you send the bombs away most of the time. It’s no longer TNT, but a more stabile custom mix of explosives. Each explosive has it’s own “DNA”, so if someone were to steal it, you can identify exactly where it came from. It’s also stored in a top secret location and only some pisteurs that are authorised to handle them, know where they are. It’s of course serious business as someone can get seriously hurt, handling explosives. But it was clear that Julien and his team know exactly what they’re doing and all the security measures. Speaking of danger though, he also showed us photos and told us stories about people that had gotten hurt on the mountain. I’ve always been raised knowing that it can be dangerous to ski, and even if you are a good skier yourself, there’s plenty of accidents where someone else skies into another person. Even though it’s not mandatory in France, I’d highly recommend wearing a helmet. And please be sensible on the slopes and respect other skiers, independent of their level.

After several hours of skiing, controlling and learning we got to go to the pisteur hut at the top of resort where we got some coffee, charcuteries and cheese. What a treat after an intense morning!

Snowshoe walking & Ski touring

My photos from the ski touring is actually taken last time I went to the mountains, hence the slightly poorer weather. Ski touring is a great workout, and I wouldn’t mind doing it instead of a gym session on my own, but as a group activity I much prefer getting the lift up and skiing down. I’d definitely recommend trying it though, if you haven’t. Twinn Peaks have some great instructors for ski touring who will show you how to use the equipments and take you up the mountain. For those who don’t know you use different bindings and ski boots when touring. It’s more similar to Telemark, as you are able to fasten the heel or let the heel be loose, which is helpful when you walk. You also attach so called skins underneath your skies when walking uphill so you don’t slide around.

Even though I didn’t join in with the ski touring on this occasion, I did go on a little snowshoe walk with a Snocool guide. As there wasn’t much snow in the area around the piste, we actually walked alongside one of the blue runs before cutting off through the forest. Snow shoeing is a great way of seeing the resort in a different way, so if you haven’t tried it – this might be another alternative to skiing or as an afternoon activity.

Food & Restaurants in Sainte Foy

During our days in Sainte Foy we were lucky enough to try a variety of different restaurants that were all lovely in their own way.

Le Saint Germain

We stopped for a Fondue Savoyarde lunch at Le Saint Germain which included the cheese, bread, charcuteries and potatoes. I cannot tell you how good this was! Especially with a bottle of cold white Savoie wine. Le Saint Germain is a wine bar so they have plenty of good options. And also some tasty desserts!


1580m is located slightly higher in resort and you can ski here for a lunch – or perhaps a beer in the sun. They actually brew their own beer and have a variety of pilsner, british ale, stout and golden session beer. My favourite is actually the stout! We enjoyed a lovely dinner here and tried a tasting menu – and of course some beers. The food was so lovely and there was plenty of it. From asian lettuce wrap, sushi rolls and fish cake to duck breast, risotto and katsu curry. 1580m focuses on international flavours and have a smokehouse where they prepare all their meats and fish.

La Maison a Colonnes

I’ve already mentioned La Maison a Colonnes higher up in this blog post, but as we enjoyed a lunch on their terrace I just wanted to highlight it here as well. Would definitely recommend the Boîte Chaude – warm cheese with potatoes, hams and salad.

Whisky Tasting

I also got the pleasure of hosting a whisky tasting for the group. I’d chosen Glencadam American Oak, Aberlour 16 and a French single malt called Brenne Estate Cask. As I’d been asked to avoid peated whisky I chose these three because they showcase a variety of cask and character. The lovely chef Luke also paired each whisky with a canapé and they pairings were sublime. In particular one with goat’s cheese – but I’m a bit bias since it’s probably my favourite cheese…

I also brought some Larkfire water with me, as you never know what the local tap water will be like when traveling.

✦ Want to read more about my skiing adventures?

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Check out my Instagram @swedishwhiskygirl or @scandinavianabroad to see even more photos and follow along on future adventures.

Thank you Premiere Neige & Sainte Foy Tourist Office for having me – and Mel B for kindly helping me with some photos.

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Moa Nilsson

Adventurous Swede with a fondness for castles, snow and vintagesque experiences.

Scandinavian Abroad

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