Chalet Tolar

also known as Chalet Etoile

header photo

Le Grand Bornand - One of France's best kept secrets...


Welcome to our chalet in Le Grand Bornand - Chalet Tolar. 


Le Grand Bornand is a charming and very traditional mountain village situated in the heart of the Aravis Mountain range in the Haute Savoie region of the French Alps.  Less than an hour’s drive from Geneva airport access to the area is very easy.  It is perfectly located between Chamonix Mont Blanc and Lake Annecy, with access to the Megeve ski area being just 35 minutes away by car.  Le Grand-Bornand offers the best of the Alps - the charm and soul of a traditional mountain village which has retained its strong farming traditions and character, and an impressive world class ski resort with extensive downhill and cross country skiing.  Le Grand Bornand prides itself on the extensive facilities provided during both its winter and summer season.

The village is divided into two distinct areas. The village of Le Grand Bornand lies in the bottom of the valley at approximately 1000m with the splendid Bouchet valley as its backdrop.  Chinaillon, which is sometimes referred to as the second floor of the resort, sits on a sunny plateau at approximately 1300m and is the ski station for Le Grand Bornand; it is the main starting point for most of the resort's downhill ski runs.  The old village of Chinaillon dates from the 17th century and has been very well preserved (it is well worth spending half an hour walking through the old village).

 A journalist  writing about Le Grand Bornand wrote The scenery is astonishing — white peaks, gingerbread houses, blue sky - This area just hasn’t been discovered yet” The Times Oct 2006.

 Another reviewer states:  “Le Grand Bornand is one of the best kept secrets of the French Alps. A lovely unspoilt and completely authentic part of the Aravis region. The village is charming and the locals are some of the most friendly I have met whilst skiing. In summer the place is enchanting - and as one of the region's biggest agricultural communities there are three times more cows than people. The skiing is excellent - with a great snow record and, because a lot of the skiing is on mountain pasture, it does not need the depth of snow which much rockier resorts need to get a decent coverage. While the piste map does not indicate a massive amount of skiing on the scale of the mega French resorts, this is deceptive. A morning with a local instructor will show you lots of fabulous intermediate to very difficult off-piste areas. I have been coming here for the last 4 years - and will keep coming”

The skiing in Le Grand Bornand is ideal for intermediate skiers, but the more advanced have lots to interest them, including one of the steepest black runs in Europe “a black run reserved for only the most competent (or crazy!) skiers"  In addition, for those who love a challenge, the Espace Freeride, which opened in the 2008 season, allows access to the face of  Mont Lachat where excellent off piste and freeride opportunities can be found in this natural bowl. 

The village of Grand-Bornand enjoys the label "Family plus” a unique national label recognized by the French Ministry of Tourism which recognises the value the village places on families and children.   In the summer they have a well established children’s festival, which is in its 18th year - “Au Bonheur des Mômes” is a week long festival of puppet shows, theatre, mime, juggling etc. Events are held throughout the village that children of all ages can participate in, and the festival finishes with a firework display and street party on the last Friday night.

 Eating in Le Grand Bornand - There are fantastic restaurants in both the villages and the surrounding area, serving a host of traditional Savoyard fare, including Tartiflette, Fondue, Raclette, Les Diots, Le Farcement and a selection of the local meats and cheeses including the local speciality Le Reblochon fermier, and La Tomme Blanche and  Le Chevrotin.  If you are after a busy nightlife, there are discos and night clubs in La Clusaz, and one in the Le Grand Bornand, but the villages of Le Grand Bornand and Chinaillon are generally quieter and more family orientated.   The local markets are an important part of life in Le Grand Bornand, the main Reblochon Market is held on Wednesdays throughout the year in the main square of Le Grand Bornand.  The first Reblochon market was held in the village in 1795, and today it is still the most important market in the valley.

  The Tourist Office at Le Grand Bornand prepares brochures for each season with details of the area. There are a great number of events that take place in le Grand Bornand in both summer and winter, look at the Le Grand Bornand website for details