France is the most popular Alpine country for British skiers and snowboarders and for good reason. The country took advantage of being comparatively late to join the pantheon of ski nations and unlike Austria and Switzerland, where skiing evolved gradually from mountain villages - France didn’t build many of its resorts until the 1960s. This meant it was possible to select the highest, most snow-sure places to ski in the country. Offering picturesque scenery, varied ski areas resorts and charming traditional alpine villages, France never fails to tick all the right boxes.
Where to ski in France
Best for Beginners
With a large selection of green and blue pistes as well as designated nursery areas, La Plagne spoils for choice when it comes to beginners skiing. The well-designed resort comprises some ten villages, each with its own character and infrastructure, meaning there’s somewhere new to explore every day.
Flaine’s reassuring location in a snow-bowl and excellent snow record means beginner skiers and boarders needn’t be concerned about icy conditions underfoot. The ski school in Flaine has an excellent reputation for both adult and child tuition making it an ideal resort for families too.
La Clusaz is a traditional, pretty village and is an ideal resort if you’re looking for a short transfer from Geneva. The resort offers some great opportunities for beginner skiing, and we’d highly recommend visiting Beauregard - consisting of gentle blue and green slopes overlooking some amazing views of the Aravis ski region.
Best for Families
Expect to be personally welcomed to the traditional Alpine market town of Morzine. This French resort has been awarded the Familles Plus label due to its impeccable childcare services, fantastic facilities, activities and family friendly accommodation. There are many age categorised opportunities – on and off slope – so you and your children can make the most of your time on the mountains.
Les arcs is the perfect choice for families looking for easy access to its large ski area as many properties provide ski-in ski-out access to the slopes. If you’re bringing the teenagers, we’d recommend visiting the largest of the four Arcs – Arc 1800 – as the range of activities and Après are just as good as the opportunities to ski. But if you’re looking for a little more traditional and on the quiet side, Arc 1950 is a pedestrianised village with plenty of facilities for younger children.
Best for Après
If you want to experience some of the best après alongside your skiing or snowboarding, it’s no doubt that Val Thorens is the place to stay. Visit the largest underground nightclub in the Alps, Le Malaysia, or take a climb and enjoy a local beer in the highest pub in Europe, the Frog and Roast Beef. Or maybe sit back, relax and take in the views from one of the many bar terraces across the resort. No matter your taste, Val Thorens has something for everyone.
Best for Groups
Situated in the Southern French Alps, Les Deux Alpes and Alpe d’Huez offer you and your group the ideal balance of active and passive itinerary. Both resorts offer a range of mixed ability slopes and a variety of excursions from sleigh rides to paragliding. Alpe d’Huez has a selection of attractive chalets and apartments that can accommodate larger group sizes, whilst Les Deux Alpes offers over 200km of longs ski runs as well as one of the largest snow parks in the French Alps.
Best for Snowboarders
Serre Chevalier and Chamonix offer some truly excellent opportunities for snowboarders looking to ride in a great natural freestyle terrain. Serre Chevalier forms an organic playground well suited to more confident boarders and is great for powder. Chamonix offers a variety of tree runs and exhilarating off piste, and the different level slopes and quality of snow means the resort has runs to cater for all levels.
Snow in France
With altitudes reaching above 3000m, Val d’lsere and neighbouring resort Tignes are guaranteed excellent snow all season long. Thanks to their elevation and mostly north facing runs, they’re some of the most snow sure resorts in France. And if the unpredictable weather were to bring the worst, both resorts have an impressive network of snow cannons waiting to ensure the go ahead of your ski plans.
Largest Ski Areas
If you’re looking to ski big, Courchevel is a key gateway to the vast area of the 'Les Trois Vallées (The Three Valleys) which is arguably the biggest linked ski region in the world, its only rival being the Portes du Soleil network of ski areas (with Avoriaz and Morzine at its heart). The Three Valleys is dominated by four major resorts: Courchevel, Méribel, Les Menuires and Val Thorens. Each of these four resorts has more than enough terrain to keep you happily occupied for a week or more during a skiing holiday in France, so the opportunity to ski all four provides you unlimited permutations.
Two Nation Skiing
We are very excited to include two-nation skiing with the resorts of Montgenèvre and La Rosière. Take advantage of your flights into Turin and the short transfers by visiting one of these resorts, where you’re given the opportunity to ski in both France and Italy during your stay – why limit yourself to one country when you can ski in two?