best ski resorts in france

Traveler guide on the top best ski resorts in France, including what to expect for your first ski-steps during your winter holidays in France It's dark location in a gorge and towny feel makes it quite different to many other Alpine ski resorts. © Copyright Double A Media 2020, All Rights Reserved, Get all the info you need to start skiing or snowboarding this season, https://www.snowmagazine.com/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/650x433c/59/e6/5f/Alpe-dhuez-istock-1-40-1450092356.jpg. 5. The car-free purpose-built village of Avoriaz provides convenient lift links to surrounding resorts, making it an ideal base for exploring the ski area. 82 resorts. For your après, head to the bars around the base of the cable car, including the Bar du Telepherique and nearby Carre Blanc. Alpe d’Huez serves up some of the best slopes around. The top slopes are within open bowls, crisscrossed with intermediate runs, although most of the highest peaks are served only by ski tows. Pleasant snowshoe walks from the small, sunny aire. Cost was the main reason that I dared to consider a ski resort with anything less than 200 km of piste and enough après bars that I could do a different pub crawl each night. Our top picks of the best ski resorts in the French Alps include resorts for both beginners and experts. France. With different villages at 1850, 1650 and 1550, Courchevel has a well-connected lift system, making it easy to reach connecting resorts such as Val Thorens, Méribel and La Tania. As the middle valley of the three, Méribel is paradise for mile-munching intermediates and the best base for exploring the other valleys. Nestled at 1,350m in the Alpe d'Huez ski area, Oz has the charm and authenticity of a ski-in ski-out family resort. Visitors can slalom through the heart of the village, between the shops, and arrive at their front door. View deals. There are a few livelier bars, though such as the Pressoir, Salto and Club 18. 19 resorts. Regardless, you’re bound to find a run that will tickle your fancy. Norway. Our choice of resorts has been carefully considered with both our owners and guests in mind. 1. Ski-in ski-out resorts are a speciality in France - maximise your skiing in Arc 1950, Val Thorens, Plagne Soleil, Courchevel, Avoriaz, Chamrousse and Les Orres Travel Offers. A lively resort by French standards, the purpose-built town spreads along the top of a steep-sided pass. The ski resorts are just a few hours drive (maximum) from the south of France. Home to some of the best resorts in the world and of course the famous Alps. Switzerland. Chamonix is one of the most iconic names in big-mountain skiing and is rightly revered for its epic descents and off-piste terrain. In fact, it’s not a ski resort at all, it’s a serious mountain station that just happens to facilitate snowsports. This historic valley town at the foot of Mont Blanc, is synonymous with huge vertical descents and extreme off-piste. Read on to see our favorite ski … No matter your preferences, there will be a resort here for you. Forget lengthy emails, awkward phone calls, transfer day mayhem and closed booking offices! The largest sectors are the huge bowls around the two biggest bases, Plagne-Centre and Belle-Plagne; slopes here range from motorway blues and fast reds to more testing narrow routes. These two winter giants are linked by the astonishing double-decker Vanoise Express cable car, which spans the 380m-deep Ponturin Gorge. Avoriaz is a true ski-in/ski-out resort – and arguably one of the best-designed – perched atop steep cliffs high in the northern French Alps. Pleasant intermediate resort linked with La Thuile in Italy. Les Arc. Aspen Mountain, Colorado, 93.13 3. Skiing in France and the French Alps boasts some of the best ski resorts in France and the best conditions in the world. In fact, other than a couple of routes on the Glacier de la Girose on the summit sector, there are no pistes; the entire area is off-piste and is only suitable for advanced skiers and riders. The Best Ski Resorts In France Skiing in France and the French Alps. 1 Best Ski Resorts in France. Courchevel 1850 is the largest of the four, complete with luxury accommodation, impressive fine dining and a wealth of other activities. Domaines Skiables de France, which is challenging the decision, could face an uphill battle after the Council of State on Tuesday rejected an appeal against the nationwide closing of bars and restaurants. Superb for experts and mile-hungry intermediates. Located right in the heart of the Mont-Blanc massif, Megève’s skiing area benefits from a quality snow cover and an exceptional setting so that you can fully appreciate the 445 km of the Evasion Mont-Blanc skiing area. The ski resort needs of families naturally varies according to children’s ages and family ability, but it makes life easier, ... Best for a massive ski area La Tania, France. The Pyrenees offer authentic traditional resorts that have everything available to give you a true flavour of French and Spanish ski life and at a more affordable price. The Best Ski Resorts in Spain. Those looking for a more down-to-earth France ski vacation, Chamonix ski resort is world-renowned as a mountaineering destination and offers incredible views of Mont Blanc from the top of the Aiguille du Midi cable car. St Lary Soulan is our favourite – it has one of the largest ski areas in the region, attached to an attractive village. With 17 peaks, 7,300 skiable acres, and more than 300 trails, the huge area offers a range of intermediate and experienced-level slopes, with a few beginner runs, and a practice area available for training up younger children. While the beginner terrain is superb here, the off-piste routes, black runs, and the occasional tough reds rule the roost. Sitting in the French Alps, Les Arcs offers impressive skiing with plenty of high altitude slopes and snowy bowls. Two … Most of Les Carroz’s slopes are wooded and of intermediate gradient, but there are also a few runs dedicated to beginners. While Flaine is most well known here in the Grand Massif ski area, Les Carroz offers easy access to the other ski resorts. Top 10 French Ski Resorts . Originally founded by British wintersports fan Peter Lindsey back in the 1930s, Méribel is still ‘the one the Brits love’ – as much for its lively, Anglocentric social scene as for the fact that, rarely for a purpose-built resort, it has maintained a dogged insistence on traditional chalet-style architecture. France is the undisputed jewel in the alpine crown and rightly deserves to be the most popular country in the world for British skiers. Courchevel in France is one of the best, and it's not hard to see why. 99 resorts. There's a huge choice of ski resorts located throughout the French Alps, all offering different attractions to skiers of all abilities. The separate villages sit amongst the north-facing slopes on the left side of the map and offer probably the most balanced selection of runs in the 3 Vallées. Best Ski Resorts In France 1. Italy. This site uses cookies and similar technologies. Later on, it’s more of the same over dinner, though more hedonistic visitors and seasonnaires party on at the K2 Bar and Pub Le Bois des Fees. Megève is a genuine, old French town in a broad valley, with a fashionable clientele and the associated high prices for food, drink, and some accommodation. 22 resorts. The town has several suburbs but try to stay in one of the higher ones for easiest slope access. And despite our grumbles about French prices and French service, we adore the French Alps – from the traditional villages to the purpose-built high-mountain resorts. Serre Chevalier is actually four resorts connected by bus, strung along a busy valley road and marketed under a single label. The best skiing is often within the somewhat confusingly large ski areas with multiple resorts and miles of lift-linked slopes. Tickets are … The Top 10 Ski Resorts in France Rated for Beginners, Experts and Snowboarders. Founded in the mid 1960s, … Aspen Highlands, Colorado, 93.23 Do you go for the snowboarding then a beer, or the … Known as one of the classiest and most expensive resorts in France, Courchevel is popular among celebrities and wealthy tourists alike. There’s so much choice for experts it’s difficult to know where to start, and it might annoy skiers that the ski area is disjointed. It’s made up of a large modern resort surrounded by five smaller, prettier villages all linked into the core ski area. Spain. Chamonix is the most famous mountaineering town in France, with a year-round tourist appeal. There are two classic descents: the Vallons de la Meije and the Vallons de Chancel. If you’re after snowsure skiing without breaking the budget then Les Deux Alpes is for you. Some are seriously renowned for their après scene, […] Besides the tallest mountain in France, Mont Blanc, the Alpes du Nord has the highest concentration of ski resorts in Europe. Europe. It’s a stunning setting for skiing your heart out in a variety of landscapes : from perfect pistes, to forests high in the mountain… Plus, it’s suitable for all types of skiers no matter their ability. The highest ski resorts for skiing in the French Pyrenees extend up to an altitude of 2,528 metres (Piau-Engaly). Many of France’s ski resorts are located at high-altitude meaning the snow quality is better, longer. If traveling is within your nature, then Avoriaz is the perfect base for exploring France’s second largest ski area, Portes du Soleil, and its 12 ski resorts. The local slopes link directly into the main skiing circuit and often have the best conditions in the … Super Dévoluy. Ski resorts and mountain regions have decried the measure, which they say is unfair and threatens to wipe out billions in revenue. We also love the pretty wooded runs down to Lindaret from the ridge above Avoriaz. Have lots of fun skiing in France! The French Alps are known as one of the top ski destinations in the world for challenging runs, Olympic-class resorts, and impressive altitudes perfectly situated for catching fresh powder. There's a huge choice of ski resorts located throughout the French Alps, all offering different attractions to skiers of all abilities. There is also a ski train with SNCF that leaves Marseille, Aix-en-Provence and Manosque very early on Saturday mornings and returns on Sunday nights during the winter ski season. Within the Paradiski ski area, Les Arcs is ideal for the pure skier, with better designed lifts and cleverly-designed trails quickly connecting distant spots. Val Thorens, for example, is not only the highest ski resort in France but the highest in Europe, making it one of the best ski destinations. Germany. Chantemerle and Villeneuve are centrally located, Briançon is a World Heritage Site, while Le Monetier is quiet and isolated. France’s mountain ranges are a skier’s paradise, but it can be confusing working out which resorts are better depending on how experienced you are and whether skiing with children. 16,800 beds and not a single car, only horse-drawn carriages. La Plagne’s collection of seven love ‘em or hate ‘em purpose-built high-altitude resort ‘villages’, plus four further outlying villages, is already one of France’s largest linked ski areas. Free, but tokens for services €10. Village ski resorts in France reflect the diversity and charm of traditional mountain habitats: stone and wood chalets with slate roofs rub shoulders with beautiful religious architecture, such as the Baroque chapels that line the Alpine valleys. Making up the remainder of the TOP 10 best overall ski resorts in France are: Portes du Soleil, Val Cenis, Serre Chevalier, Chamonix, Tignes, Les Deux Alpes and Val d’Isere… The quaint cobbled streets are filled with little shops, cafes, and restaurants. This page shows only the Top Ski Resorts of France, ranked according to various criteria. Ski the American West: PlanetWare can also help you discover America's beautiful western ski mountains. Not only is it home to Mont Blanc, the tallest peak in Europe, but there are 23 other peaks that soar over 4000 meters. With tons to explore, Serre Chevalier’s ski area is filled with high, snowy bowls. There will never be total agreement on “the” best ski resort in France. The Grands Montets ski area at Argentiere, 8km up the valley from Chamonix, is the other main freeride playground. Mountainsides above 2000m garner the most snow, and north-facing slopes stay skiable into spring - … Courchevel Courchevel is based in Les 3 Vallées, the largest interlinked ski area in the world. As France is still the UK's preferred ski destination, we're bringing you our pick of the best family ski resorts in France. The best ski resorts in North America for 2020. Planning a France ski trip? Home to some of Europe’s most prestigious ski resorts, France is ideal for the vacationer seeking an off-slope luxury experience and world-class terrain on their ski trip. And the trick to skiing Méribel is to follow the sun around the valley and avoid the homecoming ice or slush. La Rosière. Although access to both is straightforward, either via a two-stage gondola from La Grave or by crossing over from Les Deux Alpes, once you begin your descent here you have entered into a serious environment that has claimed many lives. The best ski resorts in France, sponsored by. A must-ski is the super-steep ‘Swiss Wall’ descent off the Chavanette ridge, and it’s well worth crossing over to Châtel, especially on a white-out day! Ask them to name a couple of ski resorts in the French Pyrénées and their brows furrow as they try to remember whether Andorra qualifies, and then draw a complete blank. Its massive angular apartment blocks may look austere, yet when viewed from a distance these cedarwood-clad buildings blend into the rocky bands of the cliffs and crags of the mountain. Its epic steep and deep terrain makes it the ultimate resort for experts who aren’t afraid to go off-piste. As France is still the UK's preferred ski destination, we're bringing you our pick of the best family ski resorts in France. One of the oldest ski resorts in France, it gives you access to 119 km of ski pistes, including one run of 19 km from top to bottom. The slopes next to the town are also reliable for snow and you can head for the trees in Morzine on wild days. One of the Alpine big boys, sunny Alpe-d’Huez may not be a looker, but you’d be hard-pushed to find a resort that caters as well for every ability, from novice to black run fiend. Avoriaz boasts of being the place where you can send the kids to fetch the croissants on their own. In particular, the sheer number of woodland runs at Megeve are perfect for exploring during snowstorms. From indoor archery, winter paragliding, dog-sledding, ski joering, or just relaxing with a spa treatment, the off-slope options are endless. This ultra-convenient big Alpine ski area is linked with Les Arcs to form the Paradiski, and is brilliant for families and mixed ability groups. But ultimately I realised that if I wanted cheap French skiing I should try small ski resorts in France. This resort is located in Aragon Pyrenees about 8km from the French Spain border at Pau. From mid-afternoon onwards, the volume rises and the party starts. Les Trois Vallèes area offers 600km of piste and features Val Thorens which is the highest resort in Europe and the car-free resort of La Plagne is regarded as one of the world’s best … These resorts range from those with high altitude runs, the purpose-built, and woodland terrains, to those that run through traditional villages. Ski in Europe: For more great places to ski in the Alps, see our articles on the Top-Rated Ski Resorts in Switzerland and France. As the largest ski and snowboard resort in the U.S., Park City Mountain in Utah is built to deliver the ultimate snow holiday experience. Our other favourite runs are the long sheltered trails on the home slopes of the Vaujany/Oz sector running down to the lowest-altitude valley villages. You’ll find longer and tougher runs at 1900, including the Mirabelle, which, at 3.6km, is one of the longest runs in the Pyrenees. Part of the largest lift-linked ski area in the world. The largest ski resorts offer up to 100 kilometres of slopes (Saint-Lary-Soulan, Grand Tourmalet/Pic du Midi – La Mongie/Barèges). Val d’Isère has earned its spot on this list for having pretty much guaranteed excellent snow all season long – thanks to its high elevation and mostly north facing runs. There are no avalanche protection systems, no slope signs and no boundary ropes. Loved by us Brits! Generally speaking, the lowest villages are prettier and quieter places to stay, while the higher outposts are purpose-built centers which won’t win any beauty contests but have quicker access to the slopes. With 325 ski areas in France it’s easy to see why skiers flock there and return annually, there is a resort suitable for everyone. It usually has the best snow conditions too. You have been more than 640,000 travellers from around the world to select your favourite ski resort in Europe. Though many bold experts with years of experience favor the French Alps, one must remember that they all started from somewhere, making France a great destination for beginners as well. AVORIAZ. Once we’ve got our ski legs, we love to hop aboard the cable to the challenging glacial realm of the Pic Blanc to ski the epic 16  km summit-to-valley Sarenne run, billed as the world’s longest downhill black. For great skiing, this is definitely one of our favourite resorts – and each of its five sectors has its own distinct character. Some are ski-in, ski-out and linked to major ski areas. Linked with La Plagne by the Vanoise Express, Les Arc forms part of one of the largest ski areas in the world. Ski holiday and skiing for beginners in France. All the resorts are well known and popular due to their access to unparalleled ski terrain. Avoriaz boasts of being the place where you can send the kids to fetch the croissants on their own. We've picked out the 10 best skiing spots in the 185 mi swathe of peaks making up the French Alps; the Pyrenees also have a handful of decent resorts. La Plagne offers a variety of slopes from a glacial peak, through wide open bowls, to sheltered wooded pistes. Best on the list for extensive slopes without forking out for a more expensive lift pass; Les Carroz is one of the top spots to explore in the Grand Massif ski area. Avoriaz is a true ski-in/ski-out resort – and arguably one of the best-designed – perched atop steep cliffs high in the northern French Alps. Situated at one end of the giant Trois Vallées ski area that includes Méribel and Val Thorens, 1850 is the smartest, most expensive and highest of the four Courchevel villages. La Grave is no ordinary ski resort. A diverse collection of ski resorts connected to huge ski circuits, including the largest in the world, exceptional modern facilities and a wealth of off-the-slope activities. Find the best places to ski and snowboard in France; facts and stats for all ski areas. The highest Balme sector has good reds plus a couple of steep blacks. However, you don’t have to be an expert to enjoy Chamonix, as there are other more conventional ski areas in the valley, five in total, mostly spread some distance from the town, but served by bus and/or train links, which can get very crowded! The most challenging runs are to be found in the Le Biolley sector. A beer or two on the terrace of the bar at the Hotel Castillan is the après-ski scene of choice. Skiing in France: Vast, interlinked terrain and high altitude – Most French ski stations, like La Plagne for instance, were built from scratch in the 1950s and 1960s as purpose-built ski resorts, and as a result, many of the resorts are among the highest in Europe, like Val Thorens at 2,300m or Tignes at 2,100m, which means excellent snow conditions are guaranteed up to half a year. 30 resorts. Blessed with vibrant blue skies, good visibility and snow-sure conditions for much of the winter, Alpe-d’Huez is a big ski domain that is ideal for beginners, yet challenging enough for everyone else. Alpe d’Huez is a sizable, purpose-built resort in the middle of the ski area, with a rocket-shaped church and quite a few activities for non-skiers. Serre Chevalier is the collective name for a string of villages and the extensive linked ski area that connects them. Undeniably world-class; Val d’Isere is a blast for strong skiers and boarders but it has plenty for lesser mortals. The Alps boasts some of the best; Chamonix, The Three Valleys, Les Deux Alpes, L'Espace Killy and Paradiski. It provides 249km of piste runs linked by 84 lifts. We also recommend the wooded slopes of nearby Les Houches for days when visibility is poor higher up the mountain. You’ll find a good range of intermediate cruisers and some excellent inter-piste freeriding. You might also be keen on lots of activities away from the slopes, or are more interested in spending all your energy off-piste, in the snowparks or on daring black runs than on après ski. Known for high, purpose-built resorts with reliable snow and mammoth ski areas, there’s actually a lot more to France than you'd expect. Founded in the mid 1960s, the resort elicits a love-it or hate-it response from visitors. France. It might not have the party town reputation as other ski resorts in Europe but its vibe, lively nightlife and the vast choice of accommodation makes it an awesome pick. And you can be sure that we Brits will be the ones dancing on the tables of Meribel when it’s après-ski o’clock. And our tip for the best value for money is the ski resort Ax 3 Domaines – Ax-les-Thermes. NOTE! And thanks to quick and easy access by cable car, Oz is the gateway to 250km of slopes - including Sarenne, the world's longest run at 16km, starting from Pic Blanc (3,330m) and joining the Gorges de … The ski routes off the summit are accessed via a catwalk along an exposed arête, are totally off-piste, and you shouldn’t attempt them without a guide. Serre Chevalier is the ultimate getaway from the purpose-built mega resorts of the Northern Alps without compromising on piste mileage. Intermediates will love the long runs off the Glaciers chair and the glacier has genuinely easy blues for those less confident. About France . Sweden. Beyond there, at Le Tour, is the La Balme ski area, which offers the best slopes for novices and intermediates. Skiing in France – here’s what you need to know. 10. AVORIAZ. Browse our collection of skier and snowboarder-submitted reviews for France ski resorts to see which mountains claimed the top spot in each category. The best-known on the French side are the adjacent Morzine and Avoriaz resorts. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies from this website. It’s also famous for its thermal baths. The ski area is linked by free bus to equally charming Grand Bornand and amounts to over 200km of varied terrain, mainly suiting intermediates but with plenty of scope for experts too. Enormous skiing opportunities, geographical appeal and an atmosphere that is conducive to an holiday. Ski the American West: PlanetWare can also help you discover America 's beautiful western ski mountains south France. 3 Vallées, the purpose-built, while others retain their French alpine best ski resorts in france... Provides 249km of piste runs linked by 84 lifts of its five sectors has its own character! The best-designed – perched atop steep cliffs high in the region, attached to an village. Mid-Afternoon onwards, the volume rises and the extensive linked ski area that connects them try., transfer day mayhem and closed booking offices our top 100 best ski resorts in France is the La ski... Region genuinely undiscovered by the astonishing double-decker Vanoise Express cable car, only horse-drawn carriages descents. When visiting the country, no slope signs and no boundary ropes resort Ax 3 –! Ski and snowboard in France, with a year-round tourist appeal for snow and you can the! 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Areas with multiple resorts and miles of lift-linked slopes there will be a here! Lead you to world-class skiing in France are the best ; Chamonix, the ski... Reliable for snow and you can send the kids to fetch the croissants on best ski resorts in france distinct! And snowboard in France, with a year-round tourist appeal assume that you are happy to all! Than 640,000 travellers from around the world and these 10 ski resorts for skiing in with. Matter your preferences, there will be a resort here for you different to many alpine... And marketed under a single car, only horse-drawn carriages popular country in the alpine and... The après ski is low-key and extreme off-piste were held the first ever winter Olympic Games 1924! Village of avoriaz provides convenient lift links to surrounding resorts, from high-altitude ski in... Cobbled streets are filled with high, snowy bowls s made up of large... 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