A guide to the Espace Diamant
The Espace Diamant is a renowned and somewhat under-rated ski area in Haute Savoie which links a handful of villages, notably Praz Sur Arly, Flumet, Notre Dame de Bellecombe, Crest-Voland, Hauteluce, and Les Saisies. Espace Diamant is not known for its high altitude or long season skiing, that doesn’t bother the locals. Later in the season or if the snow is a bit thin, Megève is only 5 mins or a quick bus ride from Praz sur Arly, it is only 45 mins to Chamonix and 1h15mins to Méribel in the 3 Vallées by car. Geneva airport is 1h15mins. To say the Arly valley and surrounds are scenic would be an understatement, the Fiz and Aravis mountain ranges are always in view, and Mont-Blanc sets a spectacular backdrop. The ambience in the villages differs, Praz sur Arly is the busiest, Notre Dame de Bellecombe and Crest-Voland have quiet alpine charm. Les Saisies is at higher altitude and open to the elements, on the doorstep of the Beaufortain region. Wherever you are, this is a family friendly region to visit.
Ski chalets and apartments for sale in the Espace Diamant
Praz sur Arly is a popular starting point for investors looking to buy a property in this area due to its central location. The skilifts and all amenities are nearby. A few large and exceptional chalets can be found here, but the market is mainly composed of apartments. Some new developments here have sold quickly. Notre Dame de Bellecombe and Crest-Voland have small but active property markets, here too we find some well located apartment developments that are worth investigating. In Les Saisies the Résidence des Armaillis development is a new attractive and well-appointed development with a wellness area and a bistronomic restaurant next to the slopes. Compared with many regions of the French Alps, property values in the range of €5-7k/m2 in the resorts of the Espace Diamant are attractive.
Espace Diamant ski area
Espace Diamant has over 185km of ski slopes, ranging in altitudes from 910m to 2069m. The area caters to skiers of all experience levels with 32 green pistes; 58 are blue, 47 are red pistes and 9 are black slopes, with a total of 84 lifts and. 472 snow cannons are installed to maintain the ski area in the lower parts throughout the season. Les Saisies at 1650m altitude is said to have its own micro-climate and receives abundant snowfall, skiers in the area will spend more time in and around its 70km of ski runs. Its 140 km of Cross Country ski trails are among the highest in Europe.
Espace Diamant après-ski and eating out
18 mountain restaurants and ski huts serve the ski area. The Crêt du Midi mountain station, accessed from Praz sur Arly is a central meeting point and its restaurant Le Serasson is popular, with views of Mont Blanc and offers an excellent three-course menu. For après-ski, there is a slope side bar or two in every village as you ski down. The après ski scene is rather relaxed however, popular meeting points for a drink after the last descent include Le Dava at Les Saisies (by the Challiers chairlift) and Le Bistrot de Julien at Notre-Dame-de-Bellecombe. At the L’Olymp restaurant in Les Saisies, the party continues into the evening with live music and DJs.
In the evening, the many cosy restaurants in the area, such as Chez Maryse tucked away in a hamlet above Notre Dame de Bellecombe, Les Arcades in Les Saisies, and Chalet la Source in St-Nicolas la Chapelle will tempt visitors to relax and end the day with Savoy specialties.
In Les Saisies, Mountain Twister is an exciting rail-mounted toboggan run with high speed turns and twists over 800m – it is open summer and winter offering guaranteed fun for all ages.
Summer in the Espace Diamant
Espace Diamant excels in the summer when the scenery is no less spectacular, the mountains are a haven for walkers and Alpine wildlife. The hiking, paragliding and mountain biking opportunities are exceptional. The bike park is large and well signposted with a total of 375 km of trails accessible to all levels among the 6 villages. The ski lifts, open during summer, allow the ascent for less experienced riders or for those who prefer downhill to uphill. APi highly recommends renting an E-bike here, there is so much to explore. Road cyclists can tackle the Route des Crêtes, the Col des Saisies and other epic climbs nearby which have featured in the Tour de France. The Centre Aquasportif in Les Saisies is a water park with a large pool, a wellness area and a sports area, all with a splendid views of the surrounding mountains.
Other Destinations in the French Alps: Alpe d'Huez Chamonix Courchevel Courchevel La Tania Courchevel Le Praz Courchevel Moriond Courchevel Village La Toussuire Les Deux Alpes Les Gets Les Menuires Megève Méribel Méribel Les Allues Méribel Village Méribel-Mottaret Morzine Paradiski Pays du Mont Blanc Sainte-Foy-Tarentaise St. Martin de Belleville Tignes Val d'Isère Val Thorens