The Great Beyond: Savoyard Secret, Details

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Town Elevation: 4,593 feet; Peak Elevation: 8,051 feet, Skiable Terrain: 372 miles of maintained slopes; Lift Ticket Cost for the Trois Vallées region: $37 daily or $183 for a six-day pass.

Don't Miss A visit to the fabulous Baroque church in the center of the village. (There are also numerous other smaller Baroque churches throughout the valley.)

Best Hotels Most of the options here are modest three-star hotels such as the Edelweiss (011-33-479-08-96-67) and the Alp'Hotel (011-33-479-08-92-82). An attractive three-star, Le Saint Martin (011-33-479-00-88-00), opened last winter and has some convenient split-level rooms.

Best Restaurants For standard French fare, there are three wonderful options: the tiny Le Lachenal, next to the church, the Étoile des Neiges with its attractive terrace or Les Airelles on the road out of the village. On the slopes, Les Corbeleys, near the top of the first chairlift, is a rustic farm that serves classic Savoyard dishes. For a truly memorable lunch take the off-piste route down to the hamlet of Saint-Marcel and head for La Bouitte. (You can also take a taxi to La Bouitte for a gourmet dinner.)

Best Nightspots This is not the place to come if you want a frenetic après-ski scene, but the Pourquoi Pas! piano bar is enjoyable for aperitifs and digestifs.

Outstanding Feature The feeling that you are in an authentic French mountain village with a long history¿and not a theme resort built for tourists.

Getting There Renting a car at the Lyon or Geneva airports is the most convenient option. Driving time is about 2.5 hours from either gateway.

Information Saint Martin de Belleville Tourist Office, 73440 St. Tel 011- 33-479-08-9309; Fax 011-33-479-08-9171. (No website or address available.)

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