Loveskiing’s Puy St Vincent Review
Puy St Vincent (or PSV, as it’s more commonly known) sits in one of the most stunning settings at the edge of the National Park “Les Ecrins”. The ski resort of PSV is called, with reason “la protégée des vents” which translates to “Village sheltered from the wind”. PSV benefits from the high peaks that surround it, making the most from its north face and its location next to many substantial glaciers in the Ecrins range.
PSV guarantees natural snow until late in the season. PSV is made up of 2 bases – modern, purpose built resort (altitude1600) and old village below it (altitude 1400). Apart from a couple of weeks during French holidays PSV is virtually queue free. The ski area offers 16 lifts (5 chair lifts, 11 surface lifts) that span over 1350 metres (4429 feet) of vertical decent. PSV has 30 pistes which are best suited to beginners and families due to the relatively small area and the wide range of excellent nursery slopes and childcare facilities. The resort also caters for those who enjoy cross country skiing offering 38 kilometers (24 miles) of cross country ski. For those who like freestyle, there is a good terrain park. Only a small proportion of the pistes at PSV are covered by snowmaking which means that you are relying purely on the elements to create enough snow. The closest airport is at Turin and the transfer time is 2 hours.
Puy St Vincent is a good venue at which to learn and have quiet family holidays, but not for people looking for late nights and masses of pistes to bash. Challenges exist for intermediates and advanced skiers, but not enough to keep you busy for a whole week. With the relaxed atmosphere of an unspoilt village, it’s worth the visit.
• Friendly locals with a relaxed atmosphere, the village is extremely welcoming
• Beautiful panoramic views from the resort and once on the slopes
• Excellent cross country skiing on offer
• One of the cheapest French resorts in the Alps
• Late and early season skiing thanks to the sheltered North facing slopes
• Ecrins National Park Centre, learning about local history, museum, silver mines, astronomy and a honey factory for those thirsty for culture.
• Excellent beginner and nursery slopes with the added benefit of superb childcare.
• Small area which may prove limiting for a week long break
• Lack of challenging skiing, in particular a lack of blacks and reds
• Queues and transfers in peak season thanks to the limited number of lifts
• Accommodation is limited to a large array of apartments, few chalets to be found
• Few snow making facilities, main runs back to the resort can become worn when there is insufficient natural snow
• Families – excellent childcare facilities and beginner runs and in the 09/10 season a family lift pass was made available
• Those on a budget – one of, if not the cheapest resort in the French Alps
• Laid back holiday – the quite peaceful village lends itself to a quite relaxing holiday
• Weekend break – the resort size lends itself well to a weekend break
• Cruisers and experts – the resort is limiting in terms of size so cruisers will struggle to find enough terrain to keep them occupied and advanced skiers/boarders will soon become bored by the limited terrain on offer
• Fashionists – PSV isn’t the most chic French resort or the most lively, it has a much more relaxed traditional feel to it
• Those of you wanting a luxury all inclusive chalet holiday experience – the majority of the accommodation are apartments
• Non skiers/boarders – apart from the Ecrins National Park Center there is little to keep you occupied