Les Chalets du Gypse – useful information

Each apartment has a phone – to call reception, dial 100
(In case of emergency call +33 6 81 39 60 13)

Reception hours (winter 2018/2019)
Sunday-Friday: 08:00-11:00 and 16:00 to 20:00
Saturday: 08:00-20:00
(If you are arriving late – please call reception and let them know)

Swimming pool / spa hours (winter 2018/2019)
Sunday to Friday: 10:00-20:00
Saturday: 15:00-20:00

Services offered at reception
Bakery service – order at the reception before 19:00 for pick up from 08:00 the following morning. We recommend the pain au chocolat and crapahut (rustic baguette)
Laundry service – tokens for laundry machines are on sale at the reception
Loan service – games, books, iron/ironing board, raclette set, fondue set and some childcare equipment can be borrowed from reception
Wine – a selection of wine is on sale at reception in case of emergency!

Programme des animations / events
At reception you can get a small booklet telling what’s on each week

Leen Paô – Spa and well being
Fancy a massage / some beauty treatment – then it’s also available here – ask at reception and they will give you the full rundown
Services include:
Face treatments
Massage – what better after a hard days skiing!
Body treatments
Open summer and wintery appointment from 10:00-12:00 and 14:00-20:00
Call: +33 (0)6 38 69 63 93
Web: http://www.leenpao.com

Useful numbers
Doctor (in Les Menuires) +33 4 79 00 00 33
Emergency – 15/112
Police – 17
Rescue centre – 18
Hospital (in Moutiers) – +33 4 79 09 60 60

Val Thorens

Just up the road from St Martin de Belleville for those that want the altitude

We came across this YouTube video – giving some information on what there is to do in Val Thorens (part of the Belleville Valley)

Note that the Time Caron cable car is actually closed this season – the cable needs to be replaced (this was only discovered shortly before the start of the season)

The video says – the three valleys is the best ski area in the world

We don’t disagree with that!

Ski in / ski out


Not quite sure why it’s called ski in / ski out, as we normally ski out first then back in later in the day!

Les Chalets du Gypse is situated in a very nice location

Not only is it located in a traditional French village – Saint Martin de Belleville – built like most traditional French villages around a church in the centre of the worn

And also in the Three Valleys (Courcheval, Meribel and Les Menuires / Val Thorens) – the largest ski area in the world. Saint Martin de Belleville is located in (and the administrative town for) the same valley as Les Menuires and Val Thorens

The apartments are also superbly located right next to the Biollay piste

Out of the door and you can ski down to the St Martin drag lift (next to the Eterlou bar / restaurant)

Or head straight across the piste to the Saint Martin 1 bubble


Straight down through the tunnel under the road towards Saint Martin on the Biolley piste then turn right as if heading towards the village – Lest Chalets du Gypse is on the right – you can’t miss it

If you are slightly more adventurous you can cut through some trees (this is the MTB track in the summer) and straight down to the back door and entrance the the block C ski / boot room

Le Etapé du Tour 2019

Le Etapé du Tour is a road bicycle event run by the Tour de France organisation

It is for amateur riders to allow them to ride a stage of the Tour de France – held on closed roads

In 2019 the date is Sunday 21st July, and this year it will pass through the Belleville valley ending in Val Thorens

The route up the valley will take the smaller road up the valley which runs up through the small villages on LA CÓTE DERRIERE (the back side!) and SAINT-LAURENT DE LA COTE rather than the main road

Despite this, there will be road closures on the day from 8am to 8pm

There will be approximately 15 000 riders taking part

The route starts in Albertville, climbs up to Beaufort (famous for cheese), passes Lac de Roselend before descending down and through Bourg St Maurice then climbs up the Belleville valley – approximately 2000 metres of climbing on this last part over a distance of 30km

There is a great video (in french) with a preview of the route below

Preview of the Etape du Tour 2019

At least two from Les Chalets du Gypse will be doing the ride – so we will add more links etc as the time gets closer

The official page for Le Etapé du tour can be found here

Table football – for free

Like free and like sports – sort of!?

The reception area at Les Chalets du Gypse has table football – so rather than sit and watch TV in your apartment you can burn off of few calories (or just keep out of mums hair while she is cooking!)

Do’s and don’ts of table football


Enjoy playing and have fun


Challenge French people – it seems to be some national sport, where they spend a lot of their youth honing table football skills that the English wouldn’t have thought possible

Get distracted by the people skiing past the window, swimming in the pool, sitting in the jacuzzi or going to reception to order bread for the morning

Discover how the bubbles work!

Chalets du Gypse is located just across the Biolley piste from the Saint Martin 1 bubble / lift which runs from St Martin de Belleville to the mid station

In 2018 there were occasional open evenings for the public to see (after the lift had closed) how it operated

In 2019 this seems to have been extended to become a weekly occurrence – on Thursday nights

Sign up (for free) at the ski pass office in St Martin de Belleville or Les Menuires

Sign advertising the lift open evening at St Martin 1 ski lift
Sign advertising the lift open evening at St Martin 1 ski lift

As the sign says “It’s free!” – it really is

During the free tour you will get to:

Go up on the bubble (you don’t need a lift pass) just about the time it closes
Get a tour of the control station at the top – not a big tour as it’s a little room
Climb up into the mechanics of the lift where how it works and all the safety features are explained
Free Vin Chaud (back at the bottom) at the end of the tour

The Saint Martin de Belleville bubble

So, after signing up – you will receive an email containing your ticket

On the evening, meet up at approx 16:30 by the lift and one of the lift attendants will guide you where to go (i.e. into the bubble)

You then get to travel – for free – up to the mid station in one of the Saint Martin de Belleville bubbles (or oeufs as the French know them) like the one shown above

Climbing up into the lift mechanism

When you arrive at the top, and have had a short tour / description of the control booth (and maybe the garage where the sick / broken bubbles / chair lifts are stored / repaired) you will be guided up the ladder into the guts of the lift mechanism

Inside the workings of the St Martin ski lift

Once inside – don’t worry the ladder is very sturdy – you will be told about:

How the and why the bubbles are disconnected from the cable as they enter the station, and re-connected to the cable as they leave the station

You will have all the safety / braking mechanism explained and can ask any questions you may have about the lift (how many bubbles, how much they weigh, how fast they travel etc)

Walk around to follow a bubble as it enters the station (at high speed), is slowed down, disconnected from the cable, has the doors opened, then sped up, reconnected to the cable and launched out of the station

In case you wondered – this is what holds the bubble on the cable!

This mechanism holds the bubble on the cable

After catching the lift back down, you get to have a nice glass (plastic cup) of Vin Chaud and ask any other questions that you thought of (or maybe the alcohol just gave you the nerve to ask what you may have considered a stupid one!)

Our visit took approx 2 hours including the journey up and back and the wine

It is really worth a visit – you will never look at a ski lift in the same way again!