The 10 Best Ski Resorts In France
France is home to some of the best ski resorts in Europe and the world. Its tourism industry is growing year by year, and one responsible for it is the influx of visitors who want to experience skiing in France. It is endowed with picturesque mountain ranges with exceptional snow and a long list of world-class resorts with luxury accommodations.
Whether you are looking for a family-friendly ski area or a hidden gem that is ideal for experienced slopes, France will not disappoint. Its high-altitude and snow-sure mountains surprisingly attract visitors from all over the world during the ski season. Whether you are a beginner or a professional, there is an endless reason to plan a ski tour in France.
Are you looking for the best ski resorts in France? Read on and we’ll take a look at the ten places that should be on your list!
The best ski resorts in France at a glance:
Courchevel is part of the Three Valleys, a group of a coherent ski area that is also the largest in the world. In addition to Courchevel, the area is home to seven other ski resorts, some of which are on our list of the best ski resorts in France.
85% of Courchevel are at an altitude of 1,800 meters, which guarantees snow. In addition, more than 2,000 snow cannons cover half of the ski area!
It is no longer surprising that the ski resort can be found on the list of many skiers, even for beginners, in winter. 23% of its slopes are marked for beginners and 35% for advanced skiers.
There are five separate villages in Courchevel. One of the most popular is Courchevel 1850, which is an ideal base for those looking for quality accommodation. However, if you’re looking for a more relaxed atmosphere, it’s best to stay in Moriond. The blues and greens above Moriond are usually calm, which makes it a great alternative if Courchevel 1850 is too crowded for you.
Reasons why we love Courchevel
– Part of a huge contiguous ski area
– Many options for accommodation and meals
– Great for family
outings – Guaranteed snow throughout the season
2. Val d’Isere
Val d’Isère used to be a modest farming village in the French Alps before it became one of the top ski resorts in France or even the world. Also known as Val by its regular customers, the resort has 153 slopes that are suitable for all skiers, 300 kilometers of groomed slopes and 78 lifts.
Do you fear that the snow will be unreliable all season long? Don’t worry! Val d’Isère is home to the largest snow-making system in Europe. It is large enough to produce up to 2,500 cubic meters of snow in an hour.
Val d’Isere is also an ideal choice for people looking for lively after-ski activities. You can party until the morning, although we don’t recommend this if you’re planning a day of skiing!
If you are looking for ski resorts in France that are perfect for the little ones, you have another good reason to go to Val d’Isère. There are three magic carpets and a gentle slope with obstacles. This is a great place to teach children how to ski.
Reasons why we love Val d’Isère
– Excellent elevator system
– Great for children
– Home to the largest snow-making system in Europe
– Large selection of gourmet restaurants
3. Chamonix – Mont-Blanc
Cham ‘, as many of its visitors are called, has gorges and glaciers where you can feast your eyes. The resort has deep terrain and challenging steep slopes that are perfect for experts. From Floria to Grands Montets, there are many places where advanced skiers can show off their skills.
Chamonix is spread across several villages, which can be quite overwhelming for some. While this is not a great place to test your beginner skis, there is an area that can be good for beginners too. Le Tour has gentle slopes that are very forgiving for beginners. There are also places where you can use your cross-country skis.
You will also love that there are many non-skier activities in the ski areas. It is known as the capital of extreme sports, so there are many ways to test your adrenaline levels. You can try paragliding or ice climbing. Snow yoga is also available for a little more relaxation.
The charm of Chamonix goes beyond skiing. It is a popular travel destination all year round. It is a vibrant city with a charm that is hard to resist.
Reasons why we love Chamonix – Mont Blanc
– Easily accessible from Geneva Airport
– Lots of black slopes and large verticals
– Scenic mountain terrain
– Lots of activities for non-skiers
4. Les Arcs
Skiing in France is known to be expensive, but if you’re looking for an affordable alternative, Les Arcs is one of the best options. The best thing is that it is in a large area, so there is a place for everyone.
Les Arcs is part of the Paradiski ski area, which also consists of La Plagne and Peisey-Vallandry. It has an altitude of 1,200 meters and 425 kilometers of slopes.
There are areas for beginners, but most of the slopes are for advanced skiers and experts. This is the perfect place to show off your off-piste and mogul skiing skills.
There are many options when looking for accommodation. If you are traveling with the family, Arcs 2000, 1950 and 1600 are the best areas to stay. For lively social activities after skiing, Arcs 1800 should be your base, which also has a ski slope that is perfect for children. Make sure the little ones get the best ski jackets for kids!
Reasons why we love Les Arcs
– Large contiguous area
– Slopes for all skiers
– Easily accessible
Avoriaz has a reputation for being one of the best ski resorts in the French Alps. It has apartment blocks that lack the charm of the luxury chalets you will find in other ski areas in France. With more than 18,000 beds, it is one of the largest ski areas in the country.
Whether you are just a beginner learning to ski or an expert in deep snow skiing, there is a place for you. 12% of the slopes are for beginners and another 12% for experts. 49% of the slopes are medium-range and 27% of the slopes are for advanced skiers. If you are an expert, you should not miss the Swiss Wall, which is known for its super steepness. Make sure you have sturdy ski poles to safely ride along the vertical of the wall.
A purpose built village that is car free, you don’t have to worry about moving. The place is huge, but it is served by a modern elevator system. Driving from one area to another is easy and convenient.
Reasons why we love Avoriaz
– Massive ski area
– Modern elevator system
– Excellent terrain parks
6. Les Carroz
Accessibility is one of Les Carroz’s greatest strengths, just an hour from Geneva Airport. As part of the Grand Massif ski area, the place is close to other ski areas. Even during the summer season, Les Carroz has a unique charm.
The traditional village of Les Carroz is something you will love more than the skiing experience itself. The view of the Flaine valley is also remarkable.
There are many ways to stay active during your visit to Les Carroz in winter. In addition to skiing, there are other activities such as snowshoeing, dog sledding, ice skating, paragliding and glacier trekking. Get your winter boots ready for a scenic and relaxing walk!
Reasons why we love Les Carroz
– Easily accessible from Geneva Airport
– Has a charming traditional village
– Part of a huge ski area
– Large wooded slopes
Méribel is part of the Three Valleys, which are among the best ski and snowboard destinations in the world. World-class facilities, including an efficient lift system, await you. This is also a good starting point if you want to visit Courchevel, which is another favorite for skiing in France.
The enormous size of the resort is one of the best things about it. There are many open spaces that are also ideal for beginners. Meribel is also a good place to teach children how to ski.
You will love the cosiness of Méribel, which is also a great place to admire the beauty of French architecture. There are well-designed accommodations, including those geared towards luxury travelers.
Demanding travelers will not only enjoy their quality accommodations. The Meribel is also home to L’Ekrin, a Michelin star restaurant.
Reasons why we love Méribel
– Great for children
– Modern elevator system
– Lots of spacious rooms
– Cozy accommodations
8. Alpe d’Huez
With an area of 2,020 hectares, Alpe d’Huez is another top destination for skiing in France. It has 116 slopes, most of which are perfect for taking your beginner snowboards and skis for a test. The ski resort also has 70 lifts, making it easy to get to different slopes.
While Alpe d’Huez is very busy in the winter months, it is just as impressive in the summer. There are many fun activities for the family, including archery, zip-lining, swimming and paragliding. There is even a golf course.
The resort’s highest point, Pic Blanc, is 3,330 meters above sea level and allows visitors to enjoy the landscape of the Ecrins National Park. From the summit, skiers can enjoy an elevation gain of 2,175 meters. La Sarenne, the longest ski slope in Europe, has a length of 16 kilometers. The infamous tunnel run is a must for experts.
Reasons why we love Alpe d’Huez
– All year round resort
– Has a golf course
– The longest ski slope in Europe
– Central location
Skiing in France doesn’t always mean defying the crowd. If you are looking for a quiet experience with impressive slopes, one of the best destinations is Megève. The ski resort located in the southeast of the country is close to the border between Switzerland and Italy.
The resort facility offers visitors three unique areas to enjoy. Rochebrune is the smallest that can easily be reached by gondola from the city center. The largest area is Mont d’Arbois, while the highest peak is Mont Joly.
Megève is known for supplying the wealthy market. The classic French city is home to luxury accommodations and restaurants. However, this does not mean that the resort is only intended for upscale customers. There are self-catering cabins that are ideal for budget travelers.
The tree-lined slopes of Megève are perfect for all skiers. As a bonus, enjoy the spectacular landscape of Mont Blanc!
Reasons why we love Megève
– Has a charming and historic city
– Not crowded
– Divided into three different areas
– Good for budget travelers too
10. Serre Chevalier
For those who want to experience skiing in France without the public, Serre Chevalier is a good choice. Unlike its counterparts in the mega-resorts, Serre Chevalier is in a smaller and friendlier area, which is also a good choice for couples looking for an intimate ski area.
Serre Chevalier consists of four resorts that are grouped together in one area. For a central location, your base should be in Villeneuve and Chantemerle. The other two areas are Briancon and Le Monetier. You can take the bus to easily reach the four areas.
One of the highlights of Serre Chevalier is Les Cols’Porteurs, which offers a free 90-minute tour of the ski area. However, please note that the area is only accessible to skiers with a red slope! The guides not only give you a tour, but also a lesson on the safety tips that every skier has to learn.
Reasons why we love Serre Chevalier
– Good place for advanced skiers
– Intimate environment
– Lots of wooded slopes
– Reliable snow
With incredible snow, quality accommodations, Michelin star restaurants and picturesque mountain ranges, France are one of the best countries for skiing. It may be quite expensive compared to its neighbours, including Austria and Spain, but it will be worth it. Skiing in France is an experience not to be missed!