Best Ski Resorts in France

The finest skiing in the French Alps.

Val d'Isere

½ of Espace Killy, Fantastic après, Traditional cho...

Great for:

  • Families
  • Groups
  • Non skiers

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Chamonix

Traditional mountain resort, varied, high altitude t...

Great for:

  • Groups
  • Off-piste
  • après ski

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Meribel

3 Valleys ski area , Excellent ski schools , Lively a...

Great for:

  • Families
  • Groups
  • Non skiers

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Tignes

Espace Killy ski area, Fantastic après ski, High alt...

Great for:

  • Families
  • Glacier skiing
  • Non-skiers

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Courchevel

5 star luxury resort, Vast 3 Valleys, Traditional cho...

Great for:

  • Families
  • Groups
  • Luxury holiday

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Les 2 Alpes

Glacier Skiing, Awesome après, Loads to do

Great for:

  • Nightlife
  • Off Piste
  • Groups

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Morzine

Family ski destination, Traditional Savoyard charm, 6...

Great for:

  • Beginners
  • Families
  • non skiers

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

La Plagne

Paradiski Ski Area, Bobsledding, High Altitude Skiing

Great for:

  • Beginners
  • Glacier Skiing
  • Off Piste

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Val Thorens

Highest resort in Europe, Top of the world's biggest...

Great for:

  • Families
  • Snow Sure
  • Non skiers

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Alpe d'Huez

Glacier Skiing, Awesome Après Ski, 300 days of sunshine

Great for:

  • Nightlife
  • Off Piste
  • Terrain Parks

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Top 10 Most Popular

France has some of the world’s greatest ski areas – and its best resorts are plonked right in the middle of them. Glaciers and sky-high pistes keep things brilliantly snowy, while the tourist offices pour millions into making the whole experience slick and spectacular.

From state-of-the-art beginner runs and themed pistes for children, to World Cup steeps and daring powder trails – not to mention oodles of intermediate terrain between them: these are the ten best French resorts for a smashing week on the slopes.

France: Top 10 Ski Resorts

Not many resorts come close to Val d’Isere, whether we’re talking about the pistes, powder, parties or how stonkingly pretty it is. Hogging half of the Espace Killy, Val has it all: Olympic downhills like La Face, mind-boggling moguls like Epaule du Charvet, snow-sure glacier pistes on the Pissallas and mile after mile of blues and reds. Beyond the corduroy, the powder terrain’s immense and easy to get to – ask a guide to show you the Banane and Spatule. And when it comes to letting your hair down, nowhere parties quite like Val d’Isère. This is the home of the original Folie Douce, where Kely Starlight brings the wild and wonderful to the mountaintop, and champagne falls like rain. Institutions like Dick’s keep the tempo up back in town… Which with wood and stone buildings, postcard ready churches and billions of fairy lights is a feast for the eyes.

One of the originals, Cham hosted the first Winter Olympics back in 1924 and has remained at the very forefront of mountain sports. Being a proper town in a socking great valley, it’s a bit of a Marmite resort: Some don’t like the fact the slopes aren’t all seamlessly linked in one area, while others can’t get enough of the heady variety. We love it. The five local ski areas have 175km of pistes, which differ in gradient but share staggering views of the Mont Blanc massif, thick forests and diddy hamlets. It’s also possible to cross the border to Courmayeur, for a taste of Italian terrain. But the real draw here’s the powder, and there’s good reason why Chamonix has more mountain guides than anywhere else. From the 20km of glacial gory that is the Vallee Blanche to the south facing fields of Flégère, you’ve got to ski it to believe it.

Meribel has won the hearts of countless British skiers, and also happens to sit in the heart of the socking great 3 Valleys. There’s a lot to love about this resort: A sea of wooden chalets, it has alpine charm down pat, managing to host all kinds of accommodation without losing the cosy factor. But within a lift ride, you’re up and away in the world’s biggest linked ski area – 600km of green, blue, red and black groomers as far as the eye can see, with powder trails galore. The local slopes alone are marvellously varied, from the beginner ZEN zones to steep blacks like Bosses. And with après ski like Ronnie’s, not many resorts throw a party like Meribel…

Sure the architecture and après don’t have the calibre of neighbour Val d’Isère, but that doesn’t stop Tignes from being one of the greatest ski resorts in the Alps. It’s all about the slopes here, which make up half of the mighty Espace Killy – the more intermediate-friendly half (oodles of blues stream down to resort) and often the snowier half, with the Grand Motte glacier staying skiable in the summertime. When you’ve had your fill of the 300km of corduroy and never-ending off piste, there are more après activities than you can shake a ski pole at: Ramping up the adrenaline on the Bun J Ride (ski jump meets bungee jump meets zip-wire), ice-diving in Le Lac, segwaying, snake-glissing, snowmobiling and many, many more.

Oozing luxury from every pore, 1850’s worked up a reputation of serious glamour. It’s crammed with designer shops, slick piano bars and properly posh lodgings, but also has the smoothest access to the skiing. And what a ski area - the 3 Valleys has more lift-linked slopes than anywhere else on the planet, with every type of piste tallying a whopping 600km. The local slopes are some of the best: Beginners can learn the ropes on gorgeous tree-lined cruisers, while intermediates roam broad, rolling descents and experts shoot down powdery couloirs and hair-raising blacks. Back at base it’s not ALL glitz and glam. The smaller villages have the same choc box charm but with more chilled-out atmospheres, like 1650 which is always a big hit with families for its easy-going pistes.

Sometimes it helps to turn things upside down – and L2A does just that with its ski area. While the gentler slopes are usually at the bottom of the mountain and the steep ones at the peak, this place has the opposite. It’s the home runs that’ll have your mettle tested, while the top slopes are terrifically smooth and cruisey, letting you enjoy the views at a slower pace. This makes the resort a winner for beginners, who can enjoy the best snow conditions. And when we say best, we’re talking about some of the most snow sure slopes in the Alps. It’s all thanks to the Mantel glacier, which holds onto the white stuff so well it’s skiable in the summer. The freestyle scene here’s huge: No mere park, this one goes for freestyle LAND – with all manner of features big and small. Of the 223km of pistes, 70% are red, giving intermediates miles to roam, and for experts, the off piste at La Grave simply can’t be missed. The town itself is no tiddler: One of France’s oldest ski resorts, all kinds of restaurants and shops can be found on the Avenue de la Muzelle – not to mention some of the best bars in the Alps.

Portes du Soleil’s the world’s biggest international ski area - and in size, character and location, Morzine’s its main resort. Easy on the eye, the town itself is a bundle of old-style chalets around a traditional village square and 19th century church. You’ll find oodles of restaurants, bars and shops to keep the keenest foodies, night owls and big spenders occupied. But compared to the ski area it’s tiny: Go the whole hog with the full area pass and you’ll have access to hundreds of pistes across both the French and Swiss Alps. Even the local area’s a whopper - 120km of pistes are covered in the Morzine pass, which is shared with Les Gets. And Avoriaz is easily reachable for higher pistes and bigger snowparks.

Half of the mighty Paradiski falls under LP’s umbrella, putting 250km of pistes in the local area alone. Boredom rarely occurs here, whether you prefer easy-going blues, knee-deep powder or freestyle. Especially when you factor in the whole area pass, which totals a whopping 425km shared with Les Arcs. Even at the beginning or end of the season there’s plenty to ski, thanks to the Bellecôte and Chiaupe glaciers and 70% of the slopes being above 2000m. And when a resort’s made up of so many villages, you can ski home to the base that suits you: Right to the hub of it in Plagne Centre, straight to the ice rink in Bellecôte, or back to Aime in time to watch the sun set over Mt Blanc… And those are just 3 of the 11 villages you’ll find here.

European ski resorts don’t get higher than VT, which takes top spot at a giddy 2300m. Besides having glorious views of the French, Swiss and Italian Alps, the altitude makes for phenomenal snow conditions. This gives the local slopes the longest season of the 3 Valleys, which just happens to be the biggest linked area on earth at 600km. And you can schuss right out to it, thanks to most of the resort having doorstep skiing. Red and blue runs rule the roost here, letting intermediates glide from every lift station, while experts can get stuck into some phenomenal powder at Le Geffriand. There’s more than miles of snow sure terrain here: The après scene gets bigger year after year, with Bar 360 and Folie Douce buzzing every afternoon. Activities seem to get weirder and more wonderful too; our favourite’s the massive zip wire across the valley to Orelle, which reaches speeds of over 60MPH…

The land of sunny skiing, Alpe d’Huez’s Grande Domaine has 250km of pistes streaming down from Pic Blanc at 3330m. Experts will have a ball – with a whopping 66km of black runs to conquer including the mogulled Tunnel and uber long (the longest in the Alps in fact) Sarenne. And intermediates can really roam, with over half of the runs graded red. Even beginners are fabulously provided for, with more greens than other resorts put together. The sunshine and snow certainly ramp up the feel-good factor, handing the baton to the buzzing bars when the lifts close: With Folie on the mountainside, and the likes of Sphere and Underground in town, the après is some of the best in France.

The best ski resorts in France come in literally every different resort type and many argue that the top ski resorts in France are also the best ski resorts globally... And its hard to argue with them.

UK skiers book over half of their ski holidays in France because the best French ski resorts are truly superlative and you can ski them with much shorter ski travel from the UK.


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