Posted on 19 September 2022
Prepare for excellent choices when looking for the best place to ski in France. The best French ski resort will always depend on your personal preferences and skiing abilities, but some resorts stand out more than others as seen in their popularity and fame. As well as skiing options, other facilities will affect your stay, like accommodation, daily activities like spa, trips to other attractions, and of course, whether that resort fits your budget. Everywhere is different; and this is the appeal because every skier will find what they want, regardless of skill or money. With that in mind, these are our top picks of the best resorts in France.
Where is the Best Place to Ski in France?
1: Chamonix Resort
Famous and historic Chamonix is busy and lively, with a year-round population and steady stream of tourists. However, Chamonix does not have much of an après ski scene. Instead, locals go home after skiing, relax, and then return to various restaurants offering worldly cuisines. Chamonix ski area consists of the resort’s three main ski bases: Brevent-Flegere, Grand Montets, and Tete de Balme. Chamonix le Pass lift ticket covers these areas, but skiers also enjoy Aguille du MidEurope’s highest lift and Les Houches.
Meanwhile, the Mont Blanc Unlimited Pass covers Chamonix Valley and Evasion Mont Blanc ski area. Child-friendly Les Houches ski area is home to fabulous restaurants but also head to Tete de Balme and Flegere. Midi features the world’s longest lift-served off-piste, Vallée Blanche slope, but don’t ski without a guide, because it is dangerous. Anyway, many of Chamonix’s best routes are well hidden, so guides always come in handy. Skiing slopes accommodate everyone, but this place is more disjointed than slopes in Meribel.
2: Courchevel and Luxury in France
Courchevel is France’s most luxurious mountain destination. Created in 1946, grand hotels, luxury chalets, boutiques and Michelin star restaurants offer everything for elegant skiing. In between caviar and luxury, skiing is top-notch. Belonging to Les Trois Vallées, skiers enjoy 600 kilometres of runs and 170 ski lifts. Its north-facing slopes and terrain suit all skills. Courchevel resort includes four separate villages: Le Praz 1300, 1550, Moriond 1650 and 1850, the largest resort, Courchevel 1850, is the St. Tropez of winter sports.
Home to 17 five-star hotels, decadent ski chalets, designer boutiques and 11 Michelin stars restaurants serving gastronomic dishes, everything is fine living. Many establishments offer reasonably priced ski rental equipment and private and group sessions. Expect 26,000 acres of skiable terrain, 320 downhill tracks, and heliskiing adventures, all accessed via an ultra-modern 8-seater gondola lift that transports 2,400 skiers an hour. Courchevel offers excellent skiing in a spectacular setting from December to April but to guarantee great coverage, Courchevel utilises 115 state-of-the-art snow maker machines. Properties boast wood features and a cosy chalet atmosphere while reflecting local architectural themes.
3: Meribel Resort
Meribel in Tarentaise Valley offers stunning mountain views, ideal snowfall conditions, and a family-friendly atmosphere. Achieving fame when it hosted the 1992 winter Olympics, Meribel belongs to the Three Valleys, France’s largest ski domain with 600 kilometres of ski slopes and 120 kilometres of cross-country skiing. Chambery airport is 75 minutes away, and the resort is three hours from Geneva airport. Meribel, Meribel-Mottaret and Meribel village all sit within Vanoise National Park and belong to Les Trois Vallees.
Intermediate skiers benefit from long red runs and off-slope skiing for advanced skiers, who sometimes try their hand at glacier skiing. Otherwise, Meribel also promotes snowboarding sports. Head to ski rental shops for ski equipment, catering for ski and snowboard fans. Meribel’s shopping opportunities, lunch and dining options, and space amenities impress everyone. Composed of upmarket ski chalets, this resort perfectly combines luxury and a family atmosphere. The satellite 1,750 metres resort, Meribel-Mottaret, gives skiers easy access to Les Trois Vallees and 600 kilometres of slopes.
4: Val d’Isère Resort in France
Magnificent Val d’Isère sits in a beautiful region in France. Nestled in a valley, the village retains alpine traditions. Sitting in the Tarentaise Valley of South-eastern France, this resort is close to Vanoise National Park, just 5 km (3 miles) from Italy’s border. Val d’Isère and Tignes ski area make up the Espace Killy, named after the triple Olympic champion Jean-Claude Killy. Enjoy 300 kilometres of slopes, accessed by high-volume gondolas, chair lifts, button lifts and tow-ropes.
Skiing in Val d’Isère splits into three main ski areas; Bellevarde with access to Tignes, the central Solaise ski area and Le Fornet area with access to glaciers. Chambery airport is only two hours away, while Geneva Lyon’s airports are three hours by car. Often called the “world’s most beautiful ski area”, this resort is renowned for stunning panoramic views, and Val d’Isère keeps an alpine appeal, while Après ski, is vibrant and bustling. Sample numerous establishments from English pub style with pool tables for families to sleek and stylish bars.
5: Delightful Tignes
Tignes stands forward as an ideal European ski resort, and surrounding villages make the place ideal for hitting the slopes. Tignes sits within Tarentaise Valley and belongs to the high Rhone Alpes region, offering exceptional good ski seasons. The total distance from Geneva airport is 221 kilometres or nearly 3 hours. Connecting to Espace Killy, skiers also enjoy sledging, snowshoeing, freestyle, heliskiing, cross-country skiing, off-piste skiing, and snowboarding. Skiers adore Tignes because the ski runs stretch for 300 kilometres, of which Grand Motte is the longest. During the low season, Espace Killy has more than 800 snow cannons.
For villages to stay, Les Brévières offers an authentic Savoyard ambience, small boutique ski hotels and stone chalets. This is the lowest village with a low-key nightlife scene, and a cable car easily connects it to ski runs. 1800 is also low-key, but beginners prefer it. Skiers do not have to compromise on getting to decent terrain thanks to the Le Lac bus and Aiguille Peerce chairlift. Le Lavachet shines through thanks to its dining scene offering brunch and evening meals. Use the Paquis and Chaudanne chairlifts to the slopes or catch buses that run nearby Val Claret and Le Lac. Le Lac attracts beginners because of its numerous ski schools. Lastly, Val Claret offers a lively nightlife and apres-ski scene that attracts experienced skiers and snowboard fans.
6: Charming Morzine
Charming Morzine taps into Portes du Soleil ski area in the Haute-Savoie department of south-eastern France, close to the Swiss border. Northerly Morzine is at an altitude of 1000 meters, and also located in this commune is Avoriaz. Morzine covers 17 square miles and offers seven green runs, 23 blue trails, 26 red runs and eight black trails. Altogether Skiers enjoy 81 pistes, 107 kilometres of downhill runs, and 95 kilometres of cross-country runs. Sixty-seven ski lifts upload 256,000 skiers/snowboarders per hour.
Winter in Morzine provides fun with ski trails and snowboarding areas, tapping into the famed Portes du Soleil skiing area. Skiers can also head to Avoriaz, Champéry, Châtel, La Chapelle d’Abondance, La Grande Terche, Les Crosets, Les Gets, Montriond, Morgins and Saint Jean d’Aulps. Ski schools open for beginners and young children to experienced skiers who want to improve their ski level, while Après ski mainly centres on family-friendly bars and restaurants.
7: Megeve Resort
Megeve in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region of South-Eastern France is home to roughly 4,000 residents. The resort became a regular rich man’s favourite when the Rothschilds took their winter holidays there. Megève is known as “Domain Evasion Montblanc.” This area comprises Megève, and Côte 2000 with Saint-Gervais-Les-Bains, Combloux, La Giettaz, Les Contamines-Montjoie and Saint-Nicolas-de-Véroce. One hundred and sixteen lifts provide 217 slopes totalling 445 km on eight square kilometres. In addition, this area boasts 18 cross-country-skiing routes that total 95 km (59 miles).
Megève belongs to the best of the Alp ski resorts and is a traditional Savoyard town with charming narrow cobbled streets, exclusive designer boutiques and antique shops. The car-free centre is a bonus, so it doesn’t distract you from taking in panoramic views. Après ski bursts with fun and offers something for all tastes including restaurants, cafes, cinemas, trendy nightclubs, and discos.
8: La Clusaz Ski Area
Picturesque La Clusaz promotes traditional village charm in amongst a lively ski area with pretty town centre square, that is home to a 200-year-old Savoyard church. La Clusaz has been host to winter sports since 1907. One hundred thirty-two kilometres of ski runs suit intermediates, while advanced skiers challenge themselves with black and red runs. The resort is a big name in free-riding scenes, and part of the Aravis skiing area, alongside neighbouring Le Grand Bornand, which offers 140 miles of pistes. La Clusaz is 16 square miles with a population of around 2000 full-time residents and ideal powdery snow covering 84 pistes, with five terrain parks and 70km of cross country. Nearby villages include Thônes, Manigod, Saint-Jean-de-Sixt, Le Grand Bornand and the magnificent Chamonix.
Also, About Skiing in France
Skiing Areas: Seven of Europe’s best ski areas are in France, and all need careful navigation to make the most of your slope time. Every year, France’s ski resorts spend roughly 300 million euros on infrastructure, varying from snow cannons in low resorts to chairlifts and gondolas accommodating thousands of people every hour. So, skiers will find their perfect resort for skiing holidays. This article discusses five major areas that make France a delightful skiing destination.
French Alps Guide: Annually, millions of skiers visit the French Alps, and we hope we gave lots of information about the best place to ski in France. With the tallest mountain at 4,808 metres, the Alps command fame among winter ski enthusiasts, yet they are about much more. The French alps transformed themselves into an outdoor hub and diversified tourism into 12-month money-making trades. This impacted tourism and local real estate markets. Forgetting urban landscapes, mountain ranges are now preferential resorts for living. This article looks at the alps, reasons to visit, what to do and prominent resorts.