The ski resort of Sainte Foy Tarentaise is a relatively new holiday destination, with development of the village as it is now known commencing about 25 years ago.
In the early days, Sainte Foy (pronounced ‘Fwah’) was merely a group of farming buildings and a very basic network of lifts and pistes, reserved purely for the locals. In more recent years, the popularity of the resort has rocketed, due in no small part to those keen to try a ski holiday that differs from the other purpose-built resorts in the Tarentaise valley that, although offering vast ski areas, tend to be high-rise blocks built in the 1960s and lack the alpine village charm that can be found here. The friendly atmosphere of Sainte Foy makes it a perfect choice for families, or those looking to escape the party vibe of other nearby resorts.
The local Mairie are keen to preserve this unique atmosphere and have placed heavy restrictions on the style and size of any new architecture within the resort. Despite pressure from various development companies to expand the ski area, they have so far refused, citing environmental concerns.
Few other ski areas allow you to explore the back country so easily and so fully, which really makes you realise how privileged you are to have found such an unspoilt area of the Alps. Many believe, ourselves included, that any large-scale expansion of the resort and ski area would spoil Sainte Foy’s major selling-points: amazing free-riding, whether it be just at the side of the piste or one of the more exhilarating descents in the area’s back country, and quiet pistes allowing you to feel at times like you have the mountain to yourself. The community feel this couldn’t be sustained and, perhaps most importantly, you’d have to queue for the lifts!