Skiing in France offers luxury and excitement. France offers some of the best skiing in Europe. So how do you choose just one resort with so many brilliant options just waiting to be explored?
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Before we get started, though, if you plan on backcountry skiing, ensure you have a thermal blanket with you – it could save your life. You’ll also want to ensure that you know how to stop your water from freezing. And take these steps to prevent frostbite.
Finally, sometimes it’s too cold to ski. Here’s how to know when it’s too cold.
Now let’s get ready to hit the slopes!
The Best Ski Resorts in France
1. Val ‘d Isère / Tignes
There are 300km of slopes in total. There are 170km of easy slopes, 78km of intermediate slopes and 52km of difficult slopes. Here you will find 82 ski lifts. This is one of the largest ski resorts in France and offers Olympic grade skiing.
Skiing at Val d’ Isère / Tignes
Val d’ Isère / Tignes offers some of the best skiing in France. Besides having some of the best ski runs for everyone, it also offers great altitudes and good snow reliability. At a height of 1550 and 3456 meters, the highest vertical drop is located at 1906 meters. There are also some really great powder bowls to play around in and the resorts also fall in an area with several glaciers such as The Grande Motte Glacier where you will even find summer skiing.
Val d’Isere and Tignes are connected by lifts and slopes and connect several towns and areas that give a great variety of accommodations, whether you are looking for classy boutique hotels or more budget-friendly accommodations. The downhill runs here were used during the Winter Olympics of 1992 and 2009.
Besides some of the best slopes in the world, this is also the partygoer’s destination. Val d’Isere is one of the best part resorts in Europe and home to the highest cabaret club in the world. If you are looking for more adventurous parties then make sure to stop at the world-famous La Folie Douce.
The slopes offer something for everyone but note that some slopes are not what they seem. The level of difficulty is not always what you expect and many of the beginner slopes are somewhat taxing and may feel more like intermediate slopes. If your looking for good beginner slopes then make sure to take a lift up to Solaise.
The lift systems here are great and really fast and you are sure to find great snow. There are a few downsides to this resort though. There are very few trees on the ski runs which means you have very little shelter in bad weather. This resort is also subject to more life shutdowns due to bad weather and avalanche warning.
Related Reading: The Haute Route: Hiking Tour
How Much Can I Expect to Pay for a Day Pass at Val d’ Isère / Tignes?
This resort season begins in late November and runs until the beginning of May. For a 1 day pass for an adult, you can look to pay around €61. A 6-day Flexi pass will cost around €329.00 for adults and a normal 7-day pass will cost you around €354 for an adult ticket. You can find out more about ski pass tickets here.
Where to Stay near Val d’ Isère / Tignes Ski Resort
Top Pick: Hotel Village Montana
Just 500 meters away from Tignes, Hotel Village Montana offers ski-to-door on the prestigious Espace Killy. The hotel offers mountain-style decor and atmosphere and offers a Nordic swimming pool and spa as well as a hammam, hot tub and sauna for. The rooms are spacious and feature a balcony with great views of the surrounding mountains.
Top Pick: Hôtel l’Aigle des Neiges
Located in the heart of the old village of Val d’ Isere, the Hotel L’Aigle des Neiges offers access to impressive slopes. Enjoy the traditional alpine atmosphere and decor. The hotel offers spacious and modern rooms that include a minibar and beautiful bathrooms. Guests are free to use the spa area which includes a sauna, steam room, and beauty treatments. Enjoy the 2 onsite restaurants and the cozy onsite bar where you can relax and enjoy gourmet cuisine.
Related Reading: Skiing in Austria: The 7 Best Ski Resorts in Austria
2. La Plagne
There are an incredible 225km of slopes in total. There are 139km of easy slopes, 59km of intermediate slopes and 27km of difficult slopes. Here you will find 71 ski lifts. La Plagne is one-third of one of the largest ski resorts in France.
Skiing at La Plagne
La Plagne is one of 3 other resorts that make up the Paradiski area in France. It is the perfect family resort and offers amazing beginner and easy intermediary slopes in France. Here you will also find loads of accommodation that is ski-in/ski-out, making it easy to get out on the slopes.
La Plagne offers wide slopes and gentle descents, perfect for beginner skiers. There are 11 great villages to choose from, some of them more popular and busier than others. The Fun slope offers some great easy jumps and non-threatening terrain to get your ski legs ready for more advanced slopes.
The elevation of the ski area guarantees great snow quality and it is one of the more snow-reliable ski resorts in France. To add a little diversity to your stay in La Plagne, you can even try out the Olympic-grade bobsled to experience speed and adventure. There are also some great spots to enjoy snowmobiling.
If you are looking for more adventurous skiing and advanced pistes, then La Plagne is not for you. For an adventure, you can get to Les Arcs which offers everything for the advanced skier. Skiing in this part of France is always a pleasure.
Related Reading: Tour du Mont Blanc: Self-Guided Hiking Tours
How Much Can I Expect to Pay for a Day Pass at La Plagne?
For a four-hour pass, you can expect to pay around €43 for an adult. 6-day passes will cost you around €271 for an adult. For a 1-day ski pass, you can expect to pay around €61 for an adult. For more ticket prices and information for the ski parks and other activities click here.
Where to stay near La Plagne Ski Resort
Top Pick: Hotel Le Cocoon
Located in La Plagne 1800 and offering ski to door, Hotel Le Cocoon offers an outdoor sauna, ski storage and rooms that feature beautiful views of the mountains or resort. Guests can choose between rooms with a balcony or without and all rooms include bathrooms that include free toiletries.
Top Pick: Araucaria Hotel & Spa
With ski-to-door access in the La Plagne Centre Resort, the Araucaria Hotel & Spa features comfortable rooms with private bathrooms. Most guest rooms also offer a balcony. The hotel features the Nuxe Spa with a sauna, treatment rooms, and a hammam.
Guests can also make use of the indoor pool and children can enjoy a treasure island. The property offers ski storage as well as a cocktail bar and an onsite restaurant as well as a library and a business area.
Related Reading: Winter Hiking Gear: What You Need for Winter Day Hikes
3. Les Arcs (Paradiski)
There are 200km of slopes in total. There are 104km of easy slopes, 70km of intermediate slopes and 26km of difficult slopes. Here you will find 47 ski lifts.
Skiing in Les Arcs
Les Arcs is one of the 3 ski resorts in the Paradiski ski area. It can be found at an altitude of between 1200 and 3226 meters. Les Arcs is the more advanced option than La Plagne. It offers some great intermediate and advanced run that will keep the slope adventurer busy.
You will also find some great Glacier skiing here, there is something to keep even the best skier on their toes. There are even some great off-piste runs for you to enjoy. There are some great terrain parks to explore that have everything from advanced rails, tables, an airbag, and some excellent boardercross and water jump courses.
Since it is so high above sea level, there is reliable snow which is great news for skiers, but it also means that this is one of the most popular and busy ski resorts in France.
One of the downsides is you will probably get some lines at the lifts in peak season. Les Arcs offers some great woodland that offers skiers shelter from the elements.
You should definitely take a ride on the double-decker Vanoise Express cable car that spans the 380-meter-deep Ponturin Gorge. It’s a great experience that you shouldn’t miss.
How Much Can I Expect to Pay for a Day Pass at Les Arcs?
The resort is open from early December to the middle of April (depending on the weather). There is an array of ticket options to choose from, including tickets for the Funicular. You can find out more about ticket options and information here.
Where to stay near Les Arcs Ski Resort
Top Pick: L’Aiguille Grive Chalets Hotel
Located in Les Arcs 1800 and offering direct access to the slopes, Les Chalets de L’Aiguille Grive is a great option for a skiing vacation. Guests can enjoy rooms and chalets with a balcony or terraces with mountain views and private bathrooms. Enjoy a wonderful breakfast buffet daily and evening meals at the onsite restaurant if you reserve in advance. Half-board options are also available.
Top Pick: Appart’Hotel Prestige Odalys Eden
Offering great views of the surrounding mountains of Arc 1800 the Appart’Hotel Prestige Odalys Eden is just 400m away from the Chantel Ski Lift. The Dahu and Carreley ski lifts are just 50m away from the hotel. Some apartments come equipped with kitchenettes. Guests can also enjoy the onsite sauna, fitness center, hammam, and a hot tub. Parking is available for an additional charge.
Related Reading: Skiing in Switzerland: The 7 Best Ski Resorts in Switzerland
4. Les 2 Alpes
There is 200 km of slopes in total. There are 110km of easy slopes, 56km of intermediate slopes and 34km of difficult slopes.
Skiing in Les Alpes
Located at an altitude of between 1280 and 3523 meters, Les 2 Alpes is the perfect ski resort for beginners. This is one of the best ski resorts in France for intermediate and advanced beginners.
What makes this resort great is that it is a little topsy-turvy. By that, I mean that the beginner pistes are up on the top of the mountain rather than lower. There are some excellent vertical slopes to be explored as well as easier gentler slopes.
Les 2 Alpes offers glacier skiing, which means all-year-round skiing and fantastic summer camps. Take the Jandri Express Gondola to the base of the glacier for the easiest way to experience this amazing area.
The glacier is one of the largest skiable glaciers in Europe and there is loads of fun to be had here for all skiers. Snowboarders and Freestylers can enjoy the Les 2 Alpes freestyle Land snowpark on the glacier. It includes a half-pipe and a superpipe for you to enjoy.
Les 2 Alpes offers reliable snow all year round as well as some excellent off-piste terrain. Although, I must admit the thing that I was most disappointed about is the size f the ski areas.
Although you are able to find some great long runs, they lack in width. But what it lacks in ski size it more than makes up in the fact that it is a super budget-friendly resort compared to the others on this list.
How Much Can I Expect to Pay for a Day Pass at Les 2 Alpes?
Ski passes can cost you around €52.50 for a 1-day adult pass during the peak winter season. A seasonal winter ticket will cost you around €999 and will give you access to several resorts in the area. For more information on passes and other tickets click here.
Where to stay near Les 2 Alpes Ski Resorts
Top Pick: Chalet Mounier
Located on Les Deux Alpes, Hotel Chalet Mounier offers 3 restaurants, a spa and easy access to two ski lifts. Guests can enjoy the heated indoor pool during winter as well as spacious comfortable rooms.
Each room has a private bathroom and some rooms come with a balcony or terrace. There is a cocktail bar where guests can enjoy a drink at the fireplace. Guests can enjoy spa treatments at the 5 Mondes spa as well as the use of the sauna, hammam, and hot tub.
Top Pick: Adret
The traditional mountain chalet accommodation at Hotel Adret is located in the town of Les Deux Alpes. The chalets offer guests a terrace with a beautiful view and use of the heated outdoor pool and sauna. Guests can enjoy drinks at the bar or relax by the fireplace in the hotel lounge. Enjoy free use of the fitness room and solarium. The restaurant is open during winter and you can enjoy alpine cuisine.
Related Reading: 12 Winter Destinations in Europe That You Have to Experience
There are 263km of slopes in total. There are 98km of easy slopes, 134km of intermediate slopes and 31km of difficult slopes. Here you will find 80 ski lifts.
Skiing in Megeve
At a height of 850 and 2353 meters, Megeve is just an hour from Geneva. Megeve was developed to rival St. Moritz and was once the ski playground of the elites but has now become the perfect ski resort for everyone. The village still retains its wonderful old-world charm.
There are 3 main ski areas in Megeve, each offering something unique to the skier and snowboarder. This is the perfect resort for beginners and intermediates with loads of runs below the tree line making for fantastic sheltered skiing. As a beginner, Megeve is the perfect skiing destination in France.
Megeve is also a great family resort, offering loads of fun for children including some great beginner skiing. There are terrain parks in all 3 main ski areas. There are some great quiet slopes to be explored and the town offers great options for restaurants and shopping.
Another great thing about Megeve ski resort is that it is easily reached from Geneva, making it one of the best ski resorts in France if you are flying in.
On the other hand, Megeve doesn’t always offer the best snow reliability and it is more susceptible to rain than other ski resorts. Some of the lifts are not as fast as at other ski resorts in France, but there are promising upgrades in the future.
If you are an advanced skier or are looking for challenging black runs then you may want to consider another ski resort as Megeve doesn’t offer challenging ski runs.
How Much Can I Expect to Pay for a Day Pass at Megeve?
For a day ski pass, you can expect to pay around €49.50 for an adult. For a 6-day pass you are looking at spending around €250 for an adult.
Where to Stay Near Megeve
Top Pick: Aux Ducs de Savoie
Just 100m away from Bouchet ski lift in the heart of Combloux, Aux Ducs de Savoie offers a relaxing sauna, hot tub, and seasonal swimming pool. The guest rooms include a private balcony with fantastic views. The hotel offers a daily buffet breakfast and an onsite restaurant offers great Savoyard dishes.
Top Pick: Les Loges Blanches
Located just 500m from the centre of Megeve, the Les Loges Blanches offers a sauna and a heated outdoor swimming pool. The rooms and suites offer comfortable accommodation and there are a bar and restaurant onsite. The chalets come equipped with kitchenettes and a furnished balcony or terrace. There is an onsite ski shop that offers ski rentals and where you can purchase ski passes.
Related Reading: Tour du Mont Blanc: How to Plan for This Epic Trek
6. Alpe d’Huez
There are 250km of slopes in total. There are 70km of easy slopes, 130km of intermediate slopes and 50km of difficult slopes. Here you will find 62 ski lifts.
Skiing in Alpe d’Huez
The Alpe d’Huez grand Domain is made up of 6 resorts which are interconnected as well as two snowparks which include a boardercross park and a halfpipe. There are a total of 6 villages to choose from the highest being Pic Blanc.
They all offer beautiful alpine charm. The longest run in Europe is located at Alpe d’Huez, the 16km La Sarenne. Visitors can also enjoy the demanding Tunnel Run under the Pic Blanc cable. It is pretty steep but is studded throughout with mega moguls. This is one of the most popular skiing destinations in France.
If you are an advanced skier then you can take full advantage of some of the best advanced off-piste terrains in France. The great thing about skiing in Alpe d’Huez is that no matter which of the villages you choose to stay in, there is great access to the lifts and the trail networks.
Besides being great for the advanced skier, Alpe d’Huez is also one of the best family-friendly ski resorts in France. There is a great variety of runs here, everything from master black runs to easy, gentle-sloping beginner runs that are great to learn on. It is a great pick if you are looking for epic skiing in France.
The lifts, gondolas and cable cars cover a lot of trails and are modern and fast, so you will be sure to waste less time here. But keep in mind that Alpe d’Huez is a very popular ski resort and depending on the time in the ski season, it may be really busy.
Some of the slopes are rocky, so if you are visiting at the beginning and end of the season you may not be able to use certain slopes. If your looking for a sunny ski resort, then Alpe d’Huez is for you. Besides skiing, this ski resort in France offers a lot of other activities such as winter paragliding, ski joering, dog sledding, and climbing walls.
Recommended Reading: Courmayeur Ski Resort: Your Guide to an Amazing Ski Holiday
How Much Can I Expect to Pay for a Day Pass at Alpe d’ Huez?
The season runs from November to the end of April. You can expect to pay around €275.00 for a 6-day ticket for adults. For a 1-day ski pass, you can expect to pay around €54.50 for an adult and €35.00 for night skiing. Other ski ticket options are available. You can find out more here.
Where to Stay Near Alpe d’Huez Ski Resort
Top Pick: Hôtel Daria-I Nor
Located in Alpe d’Huez and ski to door, the Hôtel Daria-I Nor features a restaurant, fitness centre and a bar. The hotel also has an indoor pool and a hammam for guests to use. Enjoy comfortable rooms perfect for all your needs. Enjoy a wonderful spa and wellness centre which includes a hot tub and sauna. Guests can hire ski equipment from the hotel.
Top Pick: Les Grandes Rousses
The Les Grandes Rousses offers comfortable accommodation set near the centre of the Alpe d’Huez at the foot of the ski slopes. Guests have access to the indoor pool and spa centre which includes a sauna and hot tub. Some rooms offer balconies with wonderful views of the mountains and resort. The hotel also offers an onsite restaurant and a bar.
There are 188km of slopes in total. There are 102km of easy slopes, 66km of intermediate slopes and 20km of difficult slopes. Here you will find 49 ski lifts.
Skiing in Chamonix
Chamonix is located on the highest mountain in the Alps, Mont Blanc. It gained its claim to fame for being the first host of the Winter Olympics in 1924. The closest airport is Geneva, here’s how to get from Geneva to Chamonix.
Chamonix offers some of the best infrastructure in France as well as fantastic expert terrain and off-piste skiing with plenty of snow.
Because of its great altitude and the cooling effect of the 4 surrounding glaciers guarantee great snow reliability and some of the best skiing in France.
There are several great ski villages to choose from, each of them offering different levels of skiing. At Le Tour and Domaine de Balme, you will find great beginner terrain whereas Les Houches is a great family-friendly area that offers great terrain that winds through forests.
Advanced skiers can enjoy the expert runs at the Grands Montets that have the greatest height differential in the world from 3300m to 1235m in record time.
The Verte Piste is a gun used in World Cup races. It is 3.5km of steeps and jumps that will have even the most die-hard adventurer skipping a beat. Although this is a great resort that offers amazing skiing opportunities in France, there are no long ski runs for beginners.
This resort is more suited to the extreme skier and the adventurous intermediate. Unfortunately, the resort is prone to bad weather though that tends to shut down lifts on short notice.
Chamonix is also very easily reached from Geneva and the villages and towns offer a great atmosphere and even shopping. The ski areas are not always easily reached, and to some areas, you would need to take buses rather than lifts.
Besides skiing, there are also other activities to keep you busy such as museums to visit and paintballing as well as a great music festival that features an array of fantastic artists each year.
Related Reading: Summer in Chamonix: The 16 Best Things to Do
How Much Can I Expect to Pay for a Day Pass at Chamonix?
The ski season starts in late November and ends in early May. You can expect to pay around €327 for a 6-day adult ski pass. For a 1-day ski pass for an adult, you can expect to pay €67. For more ticket prices and information, you can click here.
Where to Stay Near Chamonix
Check out our guide to the Best Accommodations in Chamonix for Hikers and Skiers.
Top Pick: Chalet-Hôtel Hermitage
Situated in Chamonix-Mont-Blanc and just 5 minutes away from the train station, the Chalet-Hotel Hermitage offers beautiful views of Brevent and Mont Blanc. The hotel offers an amazing alpine atmosphere with a garden and 3 outdoor saunas, a pond and a spa bath. Guests can also enjoy free wifi and a massage service. All guest rooms are soundproofed and offer a private balcony.
Top Pick: Heliopic Hotel & Spa
The Heliopic Hotel and Spa feature Turkish steam baths, an ice cave, an indoor swimming pool, and a sauna. Ski passes and equipment rental is available at the hotel as well as direct access to the L’Aiguille du Midi Cable Car. Guests can enjoy spacious rooms with wifi and a balcony with stunning views. A bar and restaurant are available onsite. This is a great pick for skiing in France.
France is a great place for skiing and each of these amazing ski resorts offers the best winter adventure experiences. What is your favourite ski resort in France?
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