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This is the arguably the best value and most fun half term family ski holiday ever! La Source began in 2007 as an eco-adventure-yoga-lodge based on community and sustainability. The trips are all about connection; with each other, nature, families and yourself. La Source still runs summer trips at the original La Source Eco Lodge in Samoens, but skiing trips over peak weeks, became unaffordable. La Source scoured the Alps to find a queue free, affordable, quality family ski venue. Two years ago, it launched the annual family ski, yoga and circus / dance camp. It has a fast growing following with a group of wonderful like-minded families from all over Europe!
La Source has the exclusive use of a self-contained ski-in ski-out Centre de Vacance (French Outdoor Centre) nestled into a wooded snowy paradise with exquisite views.
There are 24 rooms and each family has their own simple en suite dormitory with comfy 2 meter long bunk beds that sleeps from three to six people. The rooms are not glamorous or particularly cozy. There is however, storage space and most rooms have a table and chairs. Sheet and duvets are provided. La Source makes their own beds on arrival and strip them on departure. The bins are emptied and the shower rooms and washing closet are cleaned daily, but you are expected to keep your own rooms clean and swept. The showers are army-style to save water so you have to hold up the shower head. The water is plentiful and deliciously hot.
There is a communal dining area where you all eat breakfast and dinner communally. Lunch is a picnic which you can eat on the mountain or at the outdoor entre. If you have lunch at the outdoor centre, you are expected to clear up after yourselves.
There is a lovely open fire in the open plan lounge and bar. There is a separate yoga room and movie room and downstairs there is a vast kids playroom with table tennis and baby foot. Also downstairs is the ski and boot room.
This family holiday will be held in Buet, Vallorine, Chamonix, in The French Alps.
This trip is more than just a ski holiday! It creates strong friendships amongst children and adults and can leave a deep impression. Up to 24 families live communally for a week hosted by a group of free spirited outdoor professionals, yoga teachers, circus performers and loving souls. The wonderful queue free ski pistes, cross country ski tracks, endless ski touring and snow shoeing are just outside the front door!
Each morning, you start the day with an optional yoga class, followed by breakfast. During the day, everyone choses what they do; skiing, snowboarding, cross country skiing, snow shoeing, etc. Ski School and Guiding is available for all ages at an additional cost.
In the afternoon, there is the chance to make the most of your MBU Ski Pass which includes trips to visit the famous and fast receding Chamonix Glaciers. You can go up to the top of the Aiguille du Midi, Europe’s highest cable car at 3,700 meter and visit the Ice Caves via the Montenver mountain train.
There is a yoga class, children’s outdoor activities such as igloo building or sledging, and children’s film most afternoons and in the evening Circorumbaba teach you circus skills. All of this is included in the price. La Source also has a mid-week family disco which is always a big highlight! (Once you have seen Olly’s dancing, you will know why.)
It will cost around 450 GBP all in - tolls, ferry or eurotunnel, and fuel. It should take around 9.5 hours to drive to Vallorcine from Dover, Kent.
If you fly, you must get to Geneva Airport and then get a transfer (budget 70 EUR per person return for the transfer). Book flights as early as possible!
La Source recommends Alpy Bus for transfers. Book early and make sure they will take you to Buet, Vallorcine (the far side of Chamonix).
La Source can put you in touch with other families to share the hire of a mini bus. A 16-seat mini bus, with three or four other families sharing the drive will cost around 85 - 100 GBP per person return for 15 people.
You can only book train tickets three months before the trip. The price is usually around 850 - 900 GBP for a family of four but they can be much more than this. Once you get to Geneva, there is a train that runs from Geneva to Martigny, Switzerland. From Martigny, there is a train straight to Buet, France every hour. The Outdoor Centre is two minutes from the Buet Train Station and La Source can come and pick you up from there. If you get in touch with Rail-Canterbury, they may be able to help.
Buet Train Station - 2 minutes
Free local train / bus pass as no car is needed when you are in resort.
Also, two La Source hosts will chaperone your children from the ski lessons back to the outdoor centre for lunch, giving parents an extra couple hours of skiing.
Only 4 rooms for families of 5 - 6 left.
There are only 4 (out of 24) rooms left for families of 5 and 6 people. There is a supplement of 200 GBP per person if less than 5 people.
La Source recommends buying ski gear from Ebay (there is no point buying lots of expensive kit for one or two weeks a year). La Source recommends good goggles (cheap ones fog up) and mittens (as they are much warmer than gloves). You will also need good thermals, a fleece, ski socks, balaclava or a Buff and ski trousers and a jacket. It can get very cold! Avoid cotton as if you sweat and it gets wet, it takes a long time to dry and you can get very cold.
If you have fast growing children or you are beginners you may want to hire your ski clothes. Ski Stuff was recommended by some of La Source’s guests.
Any dietary requirements must be requested in advance on the on-line booking form. Vegetarians can be catered for. Please let La Source know if you have any allergies or complex dietary requirements as you may need to bring some of your own supplies.
Half term travel is notoriously extortionate. In keeping with their philosophy, La Source has devised a cunning communal and sustainable travel plan. La Source has also insisted that the trip runs from Sunday to Sunday avoiding the very heavy Saturday change-over traffic.
For more information, ask your questions directly to La Source who will be happy to assist you. Simply click on the Send Inquiry button to send a message.
Saskia Anley, the founder of La Source, is a mother of two and lives in Kent, England where her two children are at a Steiner / Waldorf School. She is a filmmaker and makes films for leading progressive, holistic educational projects and schools around the world. Saskia has been practicing yoga for over 20 years. She did her yoga teacher training in India in 2007 and blends Hatha Vinyassa yoga with insight meditation in spontaneous and intuitive classes. In her 20′s, Saskia spent many years working for Outward Bound running personal and professional development expeditions and workshops in the USA, Costa Rica and South Africa. Saskia is adventurous, insightful, warm and open.
Natalie Fasano is a founding member of the La Source team. Sometimes, you meet people and feel that they have a magic about them. Natalie is one of those people. She managed a yoga studio in Toronto, Canada, before becoming and student advisor at Sheridan University, Toronto. She is a passionate and dedicated yogi and trained in India at the Shivananda Ashram in Kerala. Natalie is young, free spirited, fun, light hearted, deep, wise and full of love!
Dan Ludevig also spent a lot of time living and working at the La Source eco-lodge. He is a professional dance teacher from New York and runs Move Leadership, a professional development dance company from Berlin. Dan is articulate, talented, intelligent, interesting, fun, and thoughtful.
Olly Scott is a warm, adventurous soul with a heart of gold. He is a pied piper amongst children and always has time to listen. Olly has lived in the Alps and speaks fluent French. He is Head of Exports at Britain’s oldest brewery, Shepherd Neame and takes time out of his busy schedule to join La Source on any trip he can.
Marianne Grove and Winnie Elliot run the circus skills. They run an extremely successful and busy little circus company called Circorumbaba and has performed for Her Majesty the Queen! They bring along their unicycles, juggling equipment, diablo’s and compare the spectacle at the end of this half term ski yoga and circus camp week.
The week is fully catered from dinner on Saturday evening to breakfast on Saturday morning. La Source in-house chef, Jess lovingly prepares all of your healthy meals. She is a professional chef and primary school teacher. She sources many of the ingredients from the local markets and farms and buys organic where possible. The food caters to a wide range of young pallets without disappointing the most distinguished gourmets
Breakfast is a choice of two kinds of cereal, hot chocolate, coffee or tea, yogurt, and bread and jams. La Source recommends bringing your own favorite cereals if you are not a corn flakes fan.
Lunch is a sandwich, two snacks, a bag of crisps and a piece of fruit. Dinner starts with a soup or salad followed by a simple main course and a pudding. Dinners may be lasagna, shepherd’s pie, fish and rice, and one evening, you have a raclette. Tea, herbal tea, and coffee are available most of the time. Bring some of your favorite herbal teas to share. Hot chocolate is offered at about 16:00
This trip includes the wonderful Mont Blanc unlimited ski pass which gives you free access to just about every ski lift and cable car between Vallorcine and Chamonix including the Grand Montet, Aiguille du Midi, etc. Historically, it has not covered the little local beginner's area La Poya which is where the beginners start ski school. If you are a beginner, you can swap your MBU pass with a La Poya pass or you can pay 8.50 to 14.50 EUR a day for a La Poya pass.
There is free train right outside the outdoor centre which takes you to all the larger Chamonix lift stations. One of Chamonix’s best ski areas Le Tour / La Balme is a sweaty 10 minutes ski-skate from our door, or a 5-minute train ride. We love this area as it has all levels of terrain and is queue free. Alternatively, you can get the train to Argentiere, or any of the other Chamonix ski areas. The trains leave hourly so don’t miss it!
The friendly Vallorcine ESF Ski School operates from La Poya, right outside the outdoor centre. You all get 10% off the published rates.If you are accomplished skiers, but still want lessons, you will be taken to the higher slopes at La Balme / Vallorcine.
If you let La Source know your ski level, and whether you would like lessons when you book, La Source can book them for you, and then you pay the ESF directly at the end of the week. They accept credit cards in their office in Vallorcine.
By popular request, La Source will arrange for one of the hosts to chaperone all the children from ski school at La Poya back to the outdoor centre for lunch to give parents an extra couple of hours on the slopes. Ski school is from 09:30 - 11:30 and the hosts will supervise your children until 13:30.
Parents must collect their children at 13:30 or arrange for another parent to take over. Families are welcome to bring au pairs. La Source offers a reduced rate for au pairs or nannies.
The outdoor centre hires its own ski and snowboard equipment at the amazing rate of 45 GBP per person per week including helmets. This is very low cost but in return, the shop has little flexibility. You all need to collect your skis on Monday morning before ski school. Any adjustments or changes can be made Monday evening.
If you would like to hire high-end equipment, you can go to the local ski hire shop nearby who have everything you will need. Please let La Source know if you would like skis or snowboards when you book, including your approximate shoe sizes. They will add the 45 GBP cost to your bill.
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"We have recently returned from the Family Adventure trip in Samoens and I would thoroughly recommend it. We had the most amazing time - stunning scenery, fabulous accommodation, great food, exciting activities, wonderful company... It exceeded our expectations in every way! Saskia is a fantastic host - warm and welcoming - and it was a lovely friendly group. We hope to do another trip one day."
La Source Facebook page, edited
"Fabulous week for grown-ups and the little people. Gorgeous accommodation, delicious food, great company and activities."
La Source Facebook page, edited