08 / 04 / 2019 | Learning to Ski, Autism and ESF Les Saisies - A Great Inclusive Family Winter Holiday Ski 2 Freedom Foundation was delighted to have helped Charlie learn to ski and overcome the challenges often…
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Skiing blind or with a visually impairment; skiing with Down’s Syndrome; skiing with an amputation; skiing with Cerebral Palsy; skiing with Autism or a learning difficulty or are you a paraplegic and in need of somewhere that is going to offer great ski instruction, equipment and a warm welcome – then the Beaufortain (Espace Diamant) is well worth considering for a life-enhancing trip.
This is a gem and truly one of the most magical places on earth! It encompasses the whole philosophy of what Ski 2 Freedom is about but also is home to some wonderful empathetic people who are there to help ensure that anyone with a disability, additional need, life-changing or life-limiting condition is totally empowered by the spirit of the mountains and the activities on offer.
With three gorgeous villages Les Saisies, Arêches and Hauteluce offering direct access to the stunning mountains just south west of Mont Blanc there is something for everyone! Whatever your need maybe, then enjoying a winter ski holiday or summer excursion in the Beaufortain region of the French Alps, is a hard place to beat! At its centre is the village of Beaufort which is synonymous with the famous French cheese ‘Beaufort’ (and the cheese factory is open to the public and wheelchair accessible).
The Beaufortain is also home to some of the most beautiful Baroque Churches to be found in the French Alps. The mountains are a place of beauty but, where a hard and enduring way of life requires faith and a spirituality necessary to survive, then having a place to worship or find inner peace is important. With this rich architectural and religious heritage, it's no surprise that this area was awarded the Land of Art and History label in 2006.
Ski 2 Freedom ranks Les Saisies amongst our top 10 ski resorts. Providing expert assistance for anyone with a physical, neurological, sensory or other medical / health condition on the ski slopes as well as a vast amount of other sporting and non-sporting activities for the whole family to enjoy. Situated at an altitude of 1650m, only 30 kilometres from Albertville, the Saisies mountain pass lies between the Beaufortain and Arly valleys, linking the Savoie and Haute Savoie regions.
It is a fantastic and magical ski resort and wonderfully suited for families and individuals wanting to participate in mountain activities, and in need of extra assistance. It offers something for everyone including those who are not skiing but need restoration and revitalization through sporting activities such as snow shoe walking, hiking and dog-sledging and even ski-joering.
The summer is just glorious with so many out-door activities to participate in and taking advantage of easier access for wheelchair users and those with limited mobility makes it a perfect time to visit. Baroque Churches; wild flowers; walking; cycling; photography and painting excursions along with gastronomic delights…. What more could the heart and soul need?
It is definitely a family friendly ski resort and with so many non-skiing activities there is an opportunity for laughter, fun, magic, renewing a sense of purpose to one’s life, building life-skills or just having time to unwind and destress – why not take advantage of the therapeutic Yoga snow-shoe walks or the gentle pace and quietness of cross-country skiing? For the more adventurous then there are endless off-piste and ski touring trails to be found.
In close proximity you will find Bisanne 1500 and Hauteluce (which has the superb hotel/restaurant La Ferme du Chozal) both linked by ski lifts and an alternative place to stay whilst enjoying the benefits of Les Saisies adaptive ski instruction and equipment. From Hauteluce one can ski down into Les Contamines
Ski 2 Freedom is working closely with the ski schools and tourist office to improve the accessibility and activities on offer. A highly recommended resort... especially suited for people needing a quieter, less crowded and less intrusive ski resort.
In the summer the route through Arêches takes one over the Comet du Roselend and down into Bourg St Maurice from where one can go in three directions; over the Col de Petit St Bernard into Italy via La Rosiere; up to Val d’Isere and over the Col d’Iseran and into the Maurienne Valley or right towards Moutiers and then along to Pralagnon and into the Vanoise National Park!
If you, a friend or family member have any of the following then Les Saisies and Hauteluce might work brilliantly for your ski or summer holiday. This is by no means an exhaustive list (it would be impossible to include every condition) but many have similar or common factors. As often someone may have a condition that we have not yet come across please do ask us if you are interested in the resort and we can try to help.
We do advise that if you have any health issues that might be affected by extreme temperatures; altitude or have had surgery or an on-going physical / neurological condition that might be or could be affected by being moved at speed, over rough or uneven terrain or being on or in a ski lift please do contact us for more advice before going ahead and booking your holiday. Another resort might work better for you.Click here for more information on specific conditions
Les Saisies and Hauteluce has a great selection of hotels, apartments and chalets suitable for all visitors. Accessible accommodation in Les Saisies and Hauteluce is also available for wheelchair users (dependent on type of wheelchair) and those with limited mobility.
If a place is listed below it will have been visited by Ski 2 Freedom or will be personally known to us. However, any accommodation listed on this page is by no means all that is available in the resort. To have a full list of places, please contact us, and if possible please state your preferred requirements.
There are some lovely places to stay in Les Saisies, Hauteluce, Bisanne 1500. The following we have either stayed at; had recommendations from beneficiaries; done a site visit or know about via the Tourist Office. Please do not hesitate to contact us firstname.lastname@example.org for more indepth information about each location.
Wheelchair accessible accommodation can be found at:
Located as a ski in-ski out hotel it is ideally situated and the views from the bedrooms are simply stunning (actually all view in Les Saisies are pretty amazing!) The ski school meeting place for assisted (adaptive / disabled skiing) is just across the road and also perfect for the children's group or private lessons. The Mountain Twister is opposite the hotel. The restaurant is superb and the family run hotel offers a very warm welcome. We have had a lot of beneficiaries staying there and is a perfect location when one member of the family is not skiing or not on the slopes all day but wants to feel a part of things!
This is just down the main road from Hotel Calgary and offers a selection rooms most of which are mini-self contained single room apartments but very charmingly decorated and a perfect spot. Half board is available and dinner is taken in the adjoining restaurant. Please note: that the restaurant is not accessible for wheelchairs. If you need half-board there is a Pizzeria on the ground level.
The hotel has two small apartments on the ground floor which are wheelchair accessible with adapted wheel-in shower.
NOTE: in Summer this is ideal but in winter there is a quite steep short slope down to the road to access the ski slopes. If you have a car then no problem you can use this to get to the slopes or have someone to help you but if you are alone and it is icy you have a problem.
Stunning new chalet style development and gorgeous! Perfect for families and groups of friends. Ski in-ski out but dependent on snow conditions as to whether suitable for beginners and sit-skiers.
It is a bit of a walk down to the shops but they are opening a selection of food shops adjacent to the Residence. There is a bus stop for the ski bus nearby.
These charming and well fitted out self-catering apartments are an ideal way to enjoy a holiday in Les Saisies. Le Hameau is situated in a quiet secluded area about a five minute drive from the main village centre but is totally ski in /ski out and there is a ski school meeting place adjacent. There are a few wheelchair accessible adapted apartments. An on-site mini super market and Pizzeria so you can be self-contained. Included is a fabulous swimming pool and spa and wellness centre.
It a stunningly fabulous small and intimate hotel with a superb restaurant! Even if you don't stay here then going there for lunch or dinner is a must! In the summer the views from the terrace are just mind blowing and take the breath away. There is an outdoor swimming pool and the best thing about it is that La Ferme du Chozal has one fully adapted wheelchair accessible bedroom. There is also a good size lift to take guests up to the restaurant/sitting area and terrace. Which in the winter is a good thing as the path outside could be icy.
Images copyright © Ski 2 Freedom and Les Saisies Tourist Office
Mountain based activities, whether sporting or non-sporting, summer or winter, are empowering elements to life but please note that many may not be suitable for your condition or specific need. Activity providers, guides and instructors will often go out of their way to accommodate the needs of everyone but please understand if they are unable to do so for you. Always worth making further enquiries either via the organization responsible, the tourist office or Ski 2 Freedom.
Filter activities by season:
For more information on mountain activities in Les Saisies and Hauteluce please contact us.
Filter activities by season:
For more information on mountain activities in Les Saisies and Hauteluce please contact us.
Emma, in the office, is English speaking and is our main contact for UK and English speaking nationalities.
Catherine Cosby from Ski 2 Freedom has met with and been guided around the ski resort by one of the instructors. We have also looked at the equipment and had a number of beneficiaries who have been helped on their journey to being empowered by the mountains!
The ski school is able to assist with all types of 'disabled skiing' and has a good choice of Tessier equipment.
Les Saisies is an internationally recognised ski resort for cross-country skiing and so there are instructors for this also.
We have not skied with Glisse Passion yet but will be doing so to bring back more information on their instructors. At the moment they offer guided skiing for people with a disability or condition who will not be skiing independently in a sit-ski. They have a Tessier dual - ski for guiding and a Tessier Tandemski. Both will give enormous pleasure to people to be up on the mountain and being able to 'ski' alongside family, children and friends - even stopping for a lunch together on the mountain.
These are a brilliant way to see the surrounding snowy mountains and offer a chance to really de-stress; absorb the fresh mountain air and take time to reflect. Les Saisies also offer yoga snow-shoe excursions - Catherine Cosby from Ski 2 Freedom participated in one of these whilst on a trip there and was extremely impressed!
Please contact the ski school for more information on booking lessons and equipment hire.
To get a better idea and understanding of the ski resort of Les Saisies and Hauteluce and what else they can offer you for your holiday, we suggest you look up their website as every Tourist Office offers a fascinating and exciting insight into what they and the surrounding area can offer visitors. In addition many have a dedicated website or page for those who are in need of assistance, disabled, with young children and babies and those of us just getting on a bit in life!
Les Saisies Tourist Office is the place to go for information on what to do and what to see. It is also a useful source of information on where to stay.
Hauteluce Tourist Office
Many ski resorts offer reduced or discounted lift passes for someone with a disability or in need of assistance. For Les Saisies and Hauteluce the following apply. However we suggest you also contact the Lift Pass Office for further information as prices and conditions can change.
You can buy your ski pass either when you arrive or order in advance on line.
Régie des Saisies
109, Avenue des Jeux Olympiques
73620 Les Saisies
Tél : +33 (0)184.108.40.206.21
There is a reduction on proof of disability. For UK visitors this is not the same as the French Carte d'invalidité.
Non skiers there is a special rate pass
It is always worth looking at the Ski Lift website as there are often good deals for families and out of season periods that can include a number of non-ski activities such as the Mountain Twister.
The following are delighted to share their experiences with you on how Les Saisies and Hauteluce was able to assist and empower them to have a life enhancing winter and ski holiday. If you would like to speak directly with one of our beneficiaries please contact us so we can put you in touch – sometimes sharing a similar condition can be most reassuring especially for first timers!
We have had a number of very happy families who have already stayed in Les Saisies.
A family with a daughter who has cerebral palsy was given the ski holiday of a life time and a chance to ski in a sit-ski by her parents and aunt and uncle.
“Les Saisies was an amazing resort and we had such a great time. Shannon came up on the mountain for 2 hours every day and our chalet was perfect with picturesque views.
Shannon fell in love with Sebastien her instructor“
Several paraplegic skiers and also a few children with autism and other cognitive conditions.
This winter we are so looking forward to hearing from three families who will be going skiing in Les Saisies (at separate times). Another family from Cork in Ireland, whose daughter Skye is about to embark on her first ever ski trip. The excitement is mounting for everyone and their experiences and feedback will be posted shortly!
These two Alpine villages offer something so beautiful and we know that the ski school instructors and snow-shoe guides have given lots of people endless hours of pleasure and helped restore their health and well-being.
All the news, feedback articles and press releases illustrate how Les Saisies and Hauteluce helps to enhance people’s lives. Also, in many cases, showing how Ski 2 Freedom works in close association with Les Saisies and Hauteluce to help raise awareness of the empowering benefits of mountain activities such as skiing and promoting accessible, social and inclusive tourism.
If on reading our Les Saisies and Hauteluce page, you have your own experiences and feedback of the resort (winter or summer) that you would like to share or feel would be encouraging to others, please do not hesitate to send them to us for inclusion on both our website and social media – photos and film clips also welcome.
Les Saisies and Hauteluce are magical places and I am sure this is because they also do not have many ski (tour) operators promoting the ski resorts. However, for visitors from the UK or those who would perhaps fly to France, your options are either to hire a car or book a private transfer.
Many people coming to Les Saisies or Hauteluce and the neighbouring villages are happy to make their own travel arrangements and bookings once advice has been sought from us as to suitability. But if you do like the reassurance of a ski company then we can recommend:
Transfers from Geneva Airport
Recently Peak Retreats have added Les Saisies to their brochure. For any assisted (disabled) skiing activities please do contact us if you would like to know more.
The accommodation Residence des Armaillis especially is recommended as there are two ground floor wheelchair accessible apartments. We know of the other places they feature. For all accommodation suitability we do advise you contact us just to ensure it meets your specific needs.
Ski 2 Freedom Foundation would like to make it clear that we regard everyone as an individual and that no two people will have the same needs and requirements. Therefore please note that what you see on this page regarding assisted or adaptive skiing and accommodation, may not be suitable for you, or someone you know. However, if you think this destination would be a good ski resort for you, then please contact us to discuss your personal requirements and we will endeavour to see if the resort will meet these.
We hope that you have found the information on this page helpful and a chance to make a decision on where to go for your winter holiday. However, we know that often much more discussion is required and therefore we invite you to contact us as we hold extensive information on all our ski resorts – please contact us.
Our information has and is obtained by means of extensive personal research at a cost, often to the Foundation, we only give this out to those that request it and is not for general public use. For our beneficiaries this information is free but for a company or organisation we make a nominal charge via donation.
Ski 2 Freedom provides specific information on the activities for skiers with a disability, additional need or life-challenging illness, etc. plus useful extras such as wheelchair accessible places to stay; so we are not going to also reproduce amazing information and advice on ski resorts which has been collected by ski journalists, skiers and ski companies which are dedicated to this service - what we can do is to link you to these sites which may well give you some extra background information on a specific ski resort and help you make up your mind as to where you might go!
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