Torch-lit descents, fireworks and visits from Santa himself have become part and parcel of a bustling and exciting week in most French ski resorts, where Christmas is generally a more organised, event-filled affair than resorts in Italy and Austria. A long and diverse collection of towns and villages means that whether you’re looking for fun-filled festivities, Christmas card scenery or the best late-December snow, the French mountains are unlikely to disappoint.
Best French ski resorts at Christmas for:
Max-out on festive charm by staying in an alpine chalet. All with cosy rooms, many having open fires and traditional interiors scattered with decorations, they create the perfect setting for a traditional stay in the French mountains.
With no dinner preparations to wake up early for or washing up waiting to be done later, you can really relax and enjoy your week. Most properties serve food and drink with a festive twist – return from the slopes to the likes of mulled wine and minced pies and save room for a Christmas dinner with all the trimmings on the big day. Some even host their own parties and you might just get a visit from Santa himself.
If it’s amazing snow you’re looking for, Chalet Loup Blanc in snow sure Les 2 Alpes is newly built but still brimming with Alpine charm in a convenient location. Ski straight in / out with doorstep skiing in properties like Chalet Jean France in Avoriaz, for a week of effortless skiing and relaxing. Opt for a small property to match your group size if you prefer to keep things intimate – sleeping 8, the Aspen Lodge Suite in Val d’Isere is slap bang in the middle of the village and near the beginner slopes – perfect if you want to celebrate Christmas just as a family. The other end of the scale can work well too - our chalet-hotels including the lovely Aiguille Percee in Tignes offer a mix of catered chalet charm and hotel size and facilities, terrific for families in the mountains. Superior chalets with private wellness facilities are ideal for that extra treat - we love Chalet Plein Sud in luxurious Courchevel 1850 or Chamois Volant in Les Deux Alpes (image above) for a high end alpine getaway in a first class location.
With excellent staff taking care of the preparation, cooking and washing up, everyone can relax and enjoy all the French mountains have to offer this Christmas. Hotels are decorated festively and most provide special feasts on the big day. Wake up to open stockings and presents in a room or suite that suits your needs and share the merriment with others in properties that have on-site restaurants, bars and lounge areas.
Make your stay extra special by booking into one of our luxury 4 or 5 star properties in your chosen French resort and spend Xmas week enjoying award winning cuisine, wellness facilities, swimming pools and more. 5 star Hotel Kaila in Meribel and Hotel Ducs de Savoie in stylish Courchevel 1850 are two of our favourites for sophisticated luxury in a first class location. If you’re skiing with children at Christmas, pick a family friendly hotel in a resort that caters well for all ages, like Club Med in Meribel. Ask us about the best places with childcare services if you have children who are too young to ski – little ones will be well looked after by experts as they enjoy fun and games with a seasonal twist.
Groups looking for a week of Yuletide partying accompanied by world class skiing should stay somewhere like Val d’Isere, with its superb accommodation near both the après ski and the slopes - we love the Hotel Avenue Lodge. If it’s excellent conditions you’re looking for, stay in Europe’s highest resort, Val Thorens, with brilliant properties like the Hotel Le Sherpa. The Village Montana in Tignes and other ski in / ski out hotels are also super if a hassle-free week of serious skiing is at the top of your Christmas list.
With no set meal times or menus and a home-from-home environment of your own, you can really tailor Christmas to suit you – keeping up the old traditions and introducing new ones as you please. To top it off, these properties are often cheaper than hotels and chalets, so you won’t have to stretch the budget to enjoy a white Christmas in France.
Most apartments are near shops and supermarkets, making shopping for meals a breeze and many resorts host Christmas markets where you can buy festive produce. If you fancy the idea of self-catering but would rather take the big day off, book a table in a local restaurant (try Les Vieilles Luges if you’re staying in Chamonix or La Fruitiere in Val Thorens) – just make sure you do so well in advance, as they book up weeks ahead in more popular resorts.
You won’t have to go without a treat in our spacious luxury apartments, which have wellness and fitness facilities and more – fashionable Val d’Isere’s Chalets de Solaise Apartments have a first class position to boot, right in the town centre. If it’s quality of snow you’re looking for, pick somewhere with access to snow sure skiing like Tignes' popular Residence le Telemark Apartments. The Residence Village Montana Apartments in Val Thorens and other ski in/ski out properties can be terrific for easy access to the slopes. If you’re spending the week as a family, consider a property in one of our favourite family friendly resorts; the Chalet Matine Apartments in Morzine are set in a lovely Savoyard chalet for added charm. Meribel is brilliant for groups wanting to party - it doesn’t get much better than Les Ravines Apartments, which are neighbouring The Tavern and Doron pubs, where you’re bound to enjoy a very cool Yule!