Chances are, if you’re thinking of a ski holiday, you’re thinking of France. The country is home to the most established and iconic destinations in the Alps: Val d’Isere, Chamonix, Montgenèvre are all classic resorts. It is the most popular country for British skiers to visit - and it’s not hard to see why. A vast choice of huge, high altitude ski areas and a consistent snow record makes France a skier’s paradise.
France is ideal for every level of skier, be you a complete beginner or a talented expert. Resorts such as Avoriaz and Flaine have been purpose built with skiers in mind. Excellent nursery slopes, and in the case of Avoriaz a pedestrianised, ski-in/ski-out village make it perfect for those who have never skied before.
France is great for high altitude skiing. Val Thorens is the highest ski resort in Europe with one of the best snow-records in the Alps. Tignes has the incredible Grand Motte glacier, with skiing reaching 3,456m, and Les Arcs has the terrifying Aiguille Rouge at 3225m.
For distinctive tree skiing head to sunny Serre Chevalier in the southern French Alps, while Alpe d’Huez offer’s skiers and snowboarders two of the ski-world’s most formidable black runs. At 16km in length, the Sarenne is the longest black run in Europe and the Tunnel is a terrifying route through an old mine shaft!
Huge ski areas
Skiers in France are used to skiing for miles on the same lift pass. Massive ski areas with fantastic, modern lift connections are commonplace. The 3 Valleys is the largest ski area entirely in France and includes the resorts of Courchevel, Meribel and Val Thorens.
The Espace Killy is an iconic ski area, including the resorts of Val d’Isere and Tignes. It offers 300km of largely high altitude skiing along with some of the best views in the French Alps. The Paradiski area combines the resorts of Les Arcs and La Plagne. The two resorts are huge in their own right and are connected by the impressive Vanoise Express cable-car.
You can also cross boarder's in some of Frances larger ski areas. The resorts of Morzine and Avoriaz are part of the Portes du Soleil ski area crossing over into Switzerland. Montgenvre is a part of the Milky Way ski area, which combines with ski resorts in Italy.
From après ski resorts where you can party all night to snowboarder friendly destinations with the biggest snow parks – France has it all. If you’re a fan of traditional mountain towns and villages we recommend you head to Serre Chevalier. The resort is home to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Briançon as well as thermal baths in Monêtier.
Due to its unique location, Flaine offers exceptional skiing. A wide-open snow bowl in the Grand Massif, the resort attracts incredible powder and the gentle slopes are perfect for beginners. Expert skiers will love Chamonix, with its reputation for extreme, high altitude skiing. Based at the foot of Mont Blanc, the area also has outstanding scenery.
An iconic and popular ski destination, Val d’Isere is renowned for its challenging pistes such as le Face, a stage of the annual Ski World Cup. Val is an excellent resort for lovers of après ski, with famous bars such as Dicks Tea Bar and table-top dancing at the Folie Douce. Make sure to visit Le Fornet, for great powder skiing.
Royalty feature among the guests of the famously upmarket and sophisticated resort of Courchevel. Home to designer boutiques and trendy bars, you could almost forget that this resort also has incredible, world-class skiing. Part of the 3 Valleys ski area, the lift pass has access to over 600km of ski runs.
Les 2 Alpes
Les 2 Alpes is fantastic for snowboarders. The epic snowpark is a year round fixture, moving onto the glacier in the summer months. There is a thriving après scene, with many brilliant bars in the town and on the mountain. Make sure you take the opportunity to take a helicopter to neighbouring Alpe d’Huez – the closest you can get to heli-skiing in France.
The traffic-free village of Avoriaz is perfect for families and first-time skiers. The ski-in/ski-out hotels and chalets provide convenient and easy access to the slopes. Snowboarders and freestyle skiers will love the range of snowparks, which includes the Stash, the first of its kind in Europe. And the Snowboxx music festival is one of the biggest party events in the Alps.