What's wonderful about Domaine de Balme? It is an extensive, wide, open, sunny bowl where you can see from one end to the other! The terrain is gentle and ideal for intermediate skiers looking for red and blue pistes with lots of choice as well for beginners.
Incidentally, you'll often hear this area referred to as Le Tour. It's one of Chamonix Ski Resort's ideal areas for intermediates.
Domain de Balme is accessed from the village of Le Tour located at the head of the valley, close to the Swiss border. It takes about 15 - 20 minutes on the Chamonix ski bus from the center of town.
We favor buses over the trains as the bus drops skiers off directly at the cable car terminal.
If you’re staying at Vallorcine, this would be the local snow sports area with a lift directly to the bowl. The Vallorcine train station is where the French train system stops and train travelers need to hop off to get onto the Swiss train line. The free skiers train ends at Vallorcine.
What’s it like?
The Domaine de Blame area is like a big basin, you can see from one end of the ski bowl to the other. We think it is absolutely perfect for families.
Domaine de Balme is an extensive area of blue and red pistes, all well groomed, wide runs. You’ll all have a fantastic time here because of the wide variety, the many pistes and it is sun-blessed and sheltered. There’s a small green area, La Vormaine, at the bottom of the mountain.
The terrain here is so wide and gentle that the paraskiers land here.
This is the only area in the resort that uses pomas or drag lifts extensively. The main area is at mid-level and if you don’t mind drag lifts, the Domaine de Balme is hugely fun.
There are very long blue pistes and the really fun runs, we did over and over again. These were the red run, Belle Place – you catch Tete de Balme chair; and Liaison Esserts.
Great conditions and long runs here!
Oh, you must enjoy the very long blue traverse, Liaison Balme and to get back to the village, the red run, Caisets is wide, well groomed and perfectly OK for intermediates.
The open terrain at Domaine d B also means that in bad weather, there is little shelter. On those days of poor visibility seek tree lined pistes such as the ones in Les Houches. For access to Les Houches, the Unlimited Ski Pass is required.
Families on Chamonix ski holidays, Domaine de Balme ticks all the boxes. The "domaine" is sun blessed, has wide well-groomed pistes, and being 1000m lower than its neighbour, Les Grand Montets, the Domaine de Balme less steep. Even the major downside of the pomas or drag lifts, was not that much of a problem.