Cheap French Ski Resorts

France’s best for budget skiing.

Les Menuires

Value 3 Valleys resort, Outstanding skiing opportuni...

Great for:

  • Families
  • Groups
  • Non-skiers

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Flaine

All round resort , 265km well-groomed pistes, Ski in/...

Great for:

  • Families
  • Intermediates
  • Snow-sure

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

La Plagne

Paradiski Ski Area, Bobsledding, High Altitude Skiing

Great for:

  • Beginners
  • Glacier Skiing
  • Off Piste

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Serre Chevalier

Excellent snow, Large ski area, Scenery & character

Great for:

  • Families
  • Groups
  • Couples

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

Tignes

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

Great for:

  • Families
  • Glacier skiing
  • Non-skiers

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

La Rosiere

Off piste snow cross, Ski France & Italy, Famille Plu...

Great for:

  • Families
  • Beginners
  • Kite Skiing

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Avoriaz

Recent €200 million improvement, Top snowboarding d...

Great for:

  • Freestyling
  • Families
  • non-skiers

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Montgenevre

Quiet family resort, Part of Italian Milky Way, Tradi...

Great for:

  • Families
  • Beginner and intermediate
  • Great value

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Les 2 Alpes

Glacier Skiing, Awesome après, Loads to do

Great for:

  • Nightlife
  • Off Piste
  • Groups

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Top 10 Most Popular

France’s skiing scene is huge, meaning plenty of scope for ski holidays on a shoestring. If you’re happy to drive, this is the easiest country to reach on wheels, keeping travel costs to a happy minimum - though packages with flights and transfers can be great value too.

Making the whole thing even cheaper are self-catered apartments and no-frills hotels, where you can comfortably crash after a grand day on the hill. Besides being some of the best all-round resorts in France, these ten resorts have savvy skiing down to a tee.

France: Top 10 Cheap Ski Resorts

Les Menuires shares the 600km of Three Valleys corduroy with Courchevel and Meribel. Purpose built and a little less slick and trendy than the bigger resorts – the chalets, apartments and hotels here cost a lot less, but ski out onto the same cracking ski area. If you’re driving and self-catering, it’s worth stopping off at a hypermarket on the way to avoid mountain prices (we like Carrefour Market at Moutiers and Géant Casino in Albertville). The canny choices don’t end there: Beginners might want to hold off on pass-purchasing for a day or two, with six free lifts serving a gaggle of greens. Some of the 3V’s best slopes can be found in the local 160km ski area - where the pass clips around €100 off the whole area one. And there’s also the option to meet in the middle with the Belleville Valley pass and its 300km shared with Val Thorens, which hogs the highest slopes in the region.

A week in Flaine’s surprisingly cheap when you think about what you get here – hogging the best snow of the mammoth Grand Massif (actually some of the best in the Alps), the resort is one of the most hassle-free you’ll find, with nearly the whole thing being ski in ski out. To slash costs even further, drive and self-cater: This is one of the easiest resorts to reach on wheels, and bringing food from home saves you from spending more in resort. While apartments come with super low price-tags, you don’t have to be slumming it. Many have access to spas and pools to make life a little more luxurious. And you could probably eat out all week and stay within budget, with places like Pizzeria Chez Pierrot doing 3 course set menus for around €10. If you're learning, 4 of the beginner lifts are free, letting you hold off on buying a lift pass until your instructor gives you the go ahead.

Everything about La Plagne is big: The 11 villages, the 425km linked ski area… But that’s not to say the prices follow suit. You’ll find stacks of self-catered apartments all over, from tiny crash pads to plusher properties that still don’t cost mountains (if you’re passing through Bourg on the way in, stop off at Lidl to stock up on cheap food). You’ve also got places like Club Med, which save money by bundling all-inclusive food, drink, lessons AND a ski pass into the price of the hotel. For an easy-on-the-pocket night out, Bellecote’s Spitting Feathers bar serves up monster portions of nachos - with THREE happy hours starting from 5pm. When it comes to the ski pass, we tend to go for the local one for starters. It covers a whacking great 225km (including 2 glaciers) which is usually enough for a week – you can always upgrade for a day if you fancy skiing pastures new over in Les Arcs.

Not your usual alpine huddle, the Serre Chevalier Valley has four main bases - Briancon, Villeneuve, Chantemerle and Monetier. Briancon’s handy: being a proper town, it has big supermarkets and high-street eats like McDonalds. But you’ll probably find the cheapest lodgings over in Villeneuve, with its hub of self-catering apartments and all-inclusive Club Med (where all meals, ski lessons, lift pass and room are included in your stay). The local slopes certainly aren’t lacking – snow sure and often gloriously empty, they tot up to a healthy 250km. Being a lesser known ski area, the price tag on a ski pass is a lot lower than you’d find elsewhere. Even better, it often includes a day’s skiing in Montgenevre or Alpe d’Huez. And better yet, last time we checked, sprogs under 6 and over 75’s could ski for free.

There are usually all kinds of ski pass packages to get you on Alpe d’Huez’s 250km of pistes for that little bit less – like family and group deals, and online discounts. You’ll also find some perfectly parked self-catering apartments, from ones with doorstep skiing to others slap bang in the hub of town (if you’re driving from the airport, stop at Grenoble or Vizelle for the bigger supermarkets). Catered chalets are also worth looking into, where food’s included in the price. All-inclusive hotels like Club Med work well if you’re planning on booking lessons - ski school’s included in the main price, as well as the lift pass. There’s a load of restaurants if you fancy no-nonsense grub - you can usually grab a burger and chips for €10 on a Monday at Smithy’s, where cheap beer jugs and drink deals soon pave the way to dancing on tables…

As the purpose built part of Espace Killy, Tignes sees much lower prices than posh and pretty party town Val d’Isere. Many say the local slopes are the better ones, with the Grand Motte Glacier keeping things open a lot later than other resorts. A basic Tignes pass will cover a decent 150km – and you can always upgrade for a day or two if you want to explore Val d’Isere. 5 villages make up the resort, and there are hundreds of apartments between them – from bargain-basement bases to ones with little luxuries (like shared pools). Hotels aren’t in short supply either, and while they don’t all have in-house spas or Michelin-starred chefs, they make a more than comfy camp for a week of great skiing. It’s also worth looking into chalets, as having meals included in the cost saves you from having to eat out in resort. Having said that, the restaurants are pretty good when it comes to frugal feasting: Le Tschuss has the cheapest prices around - a hefty burger and fries will leave you with pennies to spare in the bars.

La Rosiere’s purpose built, but still wonderfully pretty. So while you’re spending less than you would in a 500 year old classic, you’re not waking up to hideous tower blocks. And though it might not have the same gravitas as the 3 Valleys or Espace Killy (yet…) the ski area’s a corker, sharing 160km of slopes with Italian La Thuile in the gloriously sunny Espace San Bernardo. Whilst it doesn’t have skiable glaciers or 3000m high pistes, it does have a stonkingly good snow record, thanks to a Mont Blanc aided microclimate. It all equals brilliant value for money, which is why most visitors quietly return here year after year, after year. Apartments and chalets are the main type of lodging here. If you’re cooking your own grub, stop in Lidl or Super U at Bourg St Maurice on the way in. Or for meals out, the Italian side has cheaper mountain lunches: From €10 mains at Le Foyer, to large carafes of vino for €5 at Lo Riondet.

Purpose built Avoriaz is far from the prettiest in the Portes du Soleil, but it has the best access to the same thwacking great ski area. The whole area pass covers an awesome TWELVE resorts and 650km of pistes between France and Switzerland – and tends to be cheaper than skiing in the Three Valleys as it’s not fully lift linked. But the local pistes alone cover a sizeable 130km, which happens to be the most snow sure part of the region – opting for this can see the pass price carved in half. Learners can save even more with the Beginners Pass for the first few days, which covers 14 lifts. When it comes to digs there are bundles of self-catered apartments, most with doorstep skiing as an added bonus. Having the facilities to make your own lunches and suppers can be tons cheaper than eating out all week. If you do fancy a meal out, burgers and fries at Changbang cost a lot less than you’d find elsewhere, and the same goes for the pizzas in Le 383. Being so massively popular with British and French families, it’s best to ski outside of school holiday weeks if possible, with early December, January and the first half of March being the cheapest times to ski.

Sunny Montgenevre doesn’t get enough airtime, but that keeps prices wonderfully low. It teeters right on the Franco-Italian border, with the standard lift pass opening up 85km of the good stuff including three lifts in Italian Claviere. The Mont de la Luna pass beefs this up to 110km - while serious ski junkies can cruise around the Milky Way’s 400km ocean of terrain. This way you can choose an area to suit your level, without paying for slopes you won’t end up skiing. In resort, apartments put affordable meal plans into your hands, though catered chalets often work out to be the best value, throwing in 6 days of meals and drinks in the overall costs. Not that scrumptious meals out have to blow the budget over here. In resort, the bulk of restaurants dish up hearty, no-frills feasts - we like Caesar’s, where a main of raclette or pizza costs around €10 (which you can take-away if you fancy a lazy night in).

L2A is a big ‘un with a sprawling town and oodles of snow sure slopes. If you’re learning to ski, there are five free lifts, saving you from having to splash out on a full area pass before you need one. With such an army of restaurants, you’re always going to find cheaper eats. We like Pizza Cyan, where they do good, simple Italian-stylie pizzas for around €8. And the same applies to accommodation, with plenty of no-frills hotels, apartments and chalets providing a budget-friendly alternative to the more luxurious lodgings. One of the best things is that Deux Alpes has some of the cheapest, liveliest après in the Alps. You can pretty much go from happy hour to happy hour here: Starting at Pano Bar where beers and vin chaud usually go for a thrifty €2.50, then moving onto Smokey Joe’s where two cocktails can cost a tidy €8…

This is the definitive list of the best cheap ski resorts in France. We've put together a list of the Cheapest Ski Resorts in the World too - it features a couple of appearances from French resorts because if you're looking for somewhere to ski on a shoestring, France is a brilliant place to start.

Historically we've had to fly 4 hours to eastern Europe for a low cost ski resort, but now you can be in a cheap French ski resort in under 2 hours - minimising the cost of your ski holiday, yet still maximising your time on the slopes.

And in the world of cheap skiing in France, you don't necessarily get a poorer experience in a budget resort than you'd find in their more expensive neighbours - many share the same ski area! In fact a lot of France's cheapest ski resorts are also its best, because a number of French ski resorts are so big that they often include both exclusive and budget accommodation in different parts of the same mountain town.

If you want minimum compromise, France is probably the best place to find that perfect balance between truly great mountains and low-cost skiing.


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