Located in Haute-Savoie, about ten kilometers from Megève, the village resort of Cordon, is well known for its breath-taking view of the Mont-Blanc massif (from which it derives its nickname “Balcony of Mont-Blanc”), offering a ski domain with moderate extension.
Its 9 alpine ski slopes for all levels invite amateur and profesional skiers to progress. They run through forests and pastures on regular and progressive slopes, arranged between 1050 and 1600 meters above sea level. A debutant area allows children and newbies to learn safely.
Location of the Cordon ski resort
Cordon is dominated by the Croise Baulet mountain (2236 m) that can be climbed in less than three hours by foot and represents the Aravis massifs, full of history, together with Pointe Percée.
The village itself extends over a gap of 1940 m (among 580 and 2520 meters). This great altitudinal variability translates into strong climatic heterogeneity; being coldest the mountainous sector and more exposed to climatic events.
Long ago, the area used to host glaciers. During the last ice age, that of Würm, huge rock formations were naturally placed there. We can find them in the surroundings of the High Valley of the Arve: Bois des Amorands, Combloux and two in Cordon. The highest of these formations is in L’herney at 1550 meters.
One of these granite rocks in particular, served to shape tombstones in the 50.s. Deposited in Rochefort, it is nowadays used as a rock for climbing. Of course, a much more joyous use.
Layout of the slopes in Cordon
We found two starting points to access the trails. La Charbonnière, at the foot of the valley (1050 m), very close to the village. Cordon presents a typical Haute Savoie architecture, from where you can take the Frébourge ski lift (without having to buy the forfait). Le Dandry rises more than 1200 m, where we find the ski lift booth, the ESF (French Ski School) and a large snow front with the reception building, terrace and information posts.
We will find the red trails in the Herney and Fieux sectors. They will delight ski and carving fans (possibility of chaining turns at the Slalom stadium). Without forgetting the 3 blue trails, which are the claim of intermediate skiers; in particular the sequence of those of Herney and Frébouge, through a long and progressive slope that will be cherished by families, with a delicate difference in altitude of 550m.
The beginner area is located on the Dandry snow front, with a simple, short-haul chairlift; as well as a ski lift for children, which allows them to learn how to move on the snow safely. Finally, a mini snowpark for freestylers opens its doors along the red Fieux trail (beginner level).
Cordon offers skiing with Mont-Blanc in the background
Cordon does not have a meteorological observation post. Therefore, the meteorological information is shared with the “La Cry” resort in Combloux (1180m) and Sallanches (545m), which are integrated into the meteorological network administered by Meteofrance. Its proximity to the Sallanches resort is key to understand the climate at Chef-Lieu. The Combloux resort, due to the orographic similarities, gives a good idea of the precipitation and temperatures at the top of the sector. The vast natural sector that constitutes most of the village territory should also be highlighted.
Cordon has long taken into account and preserved well-established mountain traditions as well as local customs. In the area there are several alpine chalets with thick wooden walls, converted into catering areas. Surrounding the resort and on the very slopes (La Charbonnière, Le Dandry, at the foot of the Le Darbelin ski lift and along the Les Converses red and L’Herney blue). To rest and eat during the day of skiing, dishes and local products with an unusual view of the Mont-Blanc massif.
Nordic skiing and alternatives to regular skiing
In Cordon, 8 routes of 1 to 5 hours have been marked, through forests and fields to travel and delve into virgin nature with snowshoes. There is always time for a walk, as the magnificent panoramas in the Mont-Blanc, Fiz and Aravis massifs provide moments that make it worthwhile to travel to the resort. A route also allows you to reach Combloux to discover this neighboring resort. Or maybe a new challenge if we have already glided through the entire domain. We can also choose the support of a mountain professional for fun, enjoyable, and why not, educational outings.
Introductory courses to mushing (sled dogs), with professional monitors, or numerous walking routes; because not everything depends on getting on the skis. If we want to escape, relax, and get to the heart of the blank spaces, these activities (without a doubt) will make us enjoy and remember our day in the snow.
In the valley, we have may kinds of accommodation. Among the options available, six quality family hotels that welcome their guests on a mountain and a pleasant atmosphere. Tourist accommodation, charming rooms, as well as in the countryside, and numerous alpine chalets renovated to find themselves in harmony with a unique and preserved environment.
A generous cultural offer
The resort is not far from numerous cultural sites in the Pays du Mont-Blanc, a mountain valley rich in history: the 18th century baroque church “Notre-Dame de l’Assomption” (guided or independent visit with video guide and tablet), museums (L’Hermitage du Calvaire, in the footsteps of Samivel, an open-air museum, alpine museum , crystal museum, Espace Tairraz, Megève museum, etc.), contemporary art exhibitions (Pile-Pont Expo, 3KM3 Saint-Gervais Contemporary Art Platform), interpretation centers on mountain agriculture, its environment and its traditions (Maison du Lieutenant), artist exhibitions (La Ferme des Meurets).
It is typical to find people in the town and its surroundings who know how to work granite to make tableware, grinding stones, lintels (the horizontal block in a door), among other products. It is another way to discover the surroundings of the resort.
Gourmet and monumental tourism
If we want to do gastronomic tourism, a visit to the Ferme de l’Aberieux is essential to witness the milking of the cows. We can see with our own eyes, the cheese production and its tasting (special mention for the IGP Tomme de Savoie farm and the Bleu Fermier).
Located at the start of a hiking trail, a dairy farm of the Tarentaise breed emerges. The collected milk is fully processed on the farm. IGP (Appellation of origin) cheeses from farm Tomme de Savoie, blue cheese, raclette from Savoy, cottage cheese, cheese, yogurt, milk jam, abérieux (soft cheese) and butter a la carte.
The Notre-Dame de l’Assomption church was built from 1781 to 1787. Its balanced and vigorous silhouette is refined by a bulbous bell tower with openwork bells from twin bays resting on granite columns. The last bell tower fire in 1973 was catastrophic and required the intervention of “Monuments Historiques” that classified the building in 1974 and financed its reconstruction.
This bell tower was covered with “patinated” steel (hot painted) to better imitate the rust effect, characteristic of 1816. The exterior, very sober, has no point in comparison with the magnificent Baroque interior decoration. The church has been a tourist attraction since March 2004; from 2009 to 2011 restoration works were carried out.