Intermediate Skiing in France

Ski far and wide in the French Alps...

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

Alpe d'Huez

Glacier Skiing, Awesome Après Ski, 300 days of sunshine

Great for:

  • Nightlife
  • Off Piste
  • Terrain Parks

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Meribel

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

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

Morzine

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

Great for:

  • Beginners
  • Families
  • non skiers

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Serre Chevalier

Excellent snow, Large ski area, Scenery & character

Great for:

  • Families
  • Groups
  • Couples

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

Les Arcs

Paradiski Ski Area, Famille Plus Montagne label, High...

Great for:

  • Snowboarding
  • Off-piste
  • Families

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Val d'Isere

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

Great for:

  • Families
  • Groups
  • Non skiers

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Top 10 Most Popular

Whether you’ve recently progressed from snowploughing greens to parallel skiing blues, or started edging your way into million-mogul fields, you’re technically a classified “intermediate”. A hulking great catch-all of a term, this can make it difficult to determine which “intermediate-friendly” resort is on your level – not too dauntingly ambitious or monotonously mellow.

For the nervous, the nervy and everyone in between, we’ve picked our favourite resorts for all shades of intermediate skiing. With progressive pistes from soft to steep, acres of varied terrain and specialised lessons to coax you up and over the intermediate plateau – these French resorts are our ten best for anyone, anywhere on the intermediate spectrum.

France: Top 10 Ski Resorts for Intermediates

With over a hundred reds and blues, there’s no need to ski the same slope twice (except those leading accommodatingly down to Tignes’ village edges) in the Espace Killy. Slide gently into the week on blue Combe and red Bleuets if you’re staying in Le Lac, or start strong from Val Claret’s red Double M. Confident intermediates will love how long most of the reds and blues are here – once you’ve settled into a comfortable rhythm, it’s all about enjoying the ride. Move up to the Eye of the Needle and fly down the red Cyclamen or blue Cornice for views you’ll agree it’s worth prepping the quads for. Here you can potter in and out of the deep, soft cover in between if you fancy turning up the tempo, or move onto the red Chardons or forgiving black Sache to test your limits. The beauty of this area - if you want to ski further afield, head up on the Toviere gondola to unlock the oceans of terrain in Val D’Isere.

Not a single one of Courchevel’s pistes isn’t preened daily to perfection, making the reds and blues a dream for a hesitant intermediate. Check out tamer trails close to 1850 or above 1650 (Marquis and co), which will deliver large doses of confidence to see you, head high, off on reds like those down from Saulire. The wide reds of Cave des Creux and Jean Pachod really allow you to get your speed on without a hiccup for a supersonic descent or two, before a cool-down on oodles of interconnected blues (some of our favourites are under the Pralong chair). If navigating between the three pristine villages doesn’t put a smile as wide as a ski on your face, having all of the 3 Valleys right on your doorstep will.

Those who graduate from ADH’s world-class beginner slopes almost always return later in their ski careers to check out what they missed in their nursery years - over half the piste map’s red and a quarter blue. For a thorough thigh warm up, take the Troncon gondola to the top, where the easily-pitched blue Couloir winds its way down to the Lievre Blanc chairlift, before splitting into a web of twisting blues. You could happily flit about here for days, dipping back into the well-loved greens, but the real beauty of the area is the sense of travel to be had from striking out for the villages of Oz, Vaujany and Auris. Start by moving onto the copious reds up the Alpette-Rousses (Bartavelles which merges into Alpette is a muscle-melting workout into Oz En Oisans). For serious bragging rights, adventurers can even try the 16km Sarenne by the end of the week. It's rated black, but aside from some steep starting pitches, this is more a test of stamina than skill - both of which you should have in spades after a week of Grand Rousses village hopping.

Exploring’s a doddle when you’re based in the middle of the massive 3V’s – the hard part’s deciding where to venture first. Let us lend a hand: Follow the sun and ski down the Tougnette side in the morning, where you can start the day as you mean to go on - skiing hard and fast down red Lagopede, or gracefully cruising down the blue Foan. To really make the most of what the wider 3 Valleys has to offer, it’s best to know your way around a red run - gaining you much more choice in your connections: take the Plattieres lifts for blue and red links to the higher slopes of Les Menuires and Val Thorens, or head over to Courchevel’s tree-lined trails via the Loze or Saulire express. Even just in Meribel’s sphere of influence top-to-bottom reds predominate - we like Mauduit on the Saulire side, ribboning down to 1450 and the super-satisfying reds from the Mont Du Vallon.

Many set course for Flaine simply for a piece of all that snow, to be happily surprised by the width and breadth of the recreational skiing here. 65 blues join a web of 50 long, rolling reds snaking down to different parts of the resort, and further out to olde worlde villages like Les Carroz and Samoens. The Col De Plate lift accesses some of the best, including the wide red Belezebuth linking onto the blue Serpentine at start and finish. The mileage-hungry can shed altitude faster than a skydiver on Cascades, a 14km blast with a vertical of 1,800m, (that’s coincidentally the longest blue in France). Take different routes, like the red Faust through an army of trees, back down to the ski-in/ski-out village through the week.

Take an even mix of long, wide slopes and tree runs, groom them to piste perfection, add Morzine’s laid-back attitude, and you have the recipe for a spectacular week on the snow. On its own, this resort’s 120km earns it respect, but throw in the rest of the Porte Du Soleil (650km in total, of which 370km are reds) and you can see why the piste map sends distance-hungry intermediates into overdrive. Our pick of the bunch, Red Arbis delivers an intoxicating sense of freedom as you speed down it, often not running into another soul, while sinuous reds like Les Lanches lead you deep into the alpine wilderness.

We can imagine a future champion training his way to skiing mastery in a sanctuary like Serre Chev. Here a kind, quiet town is matched by kind, quiet slopes with plenty of elbow room for practicing those parallel turns. Out of 90km of reds, the stars are the Cucumelle and Clot Gauthier, both long and windy but with straight stretches where you can really go hell for leather. Fast track your progress with one of the targeted one-off clinics from the team at New Generation. They’ll be the first to tell you, you shouldn’t be put off by the black ratings of runs like Casse de Boeuf here – when conditions are good, we’ve seen trickier reds in other resorts and these are great for making your first forays into expert level territory.

With 160kms at a sky-high 2300m, some of the surest snow on the continent, and access to the mighty 600km of the 3 Valleys, VT’s facts and figures speak for themselves. And you don’t have to have spent every winter in ski gear to appreciate them. New intermediates will love beautiful blues like the Tete Ronde and Chalets leading to the Funtel Peclet Gondola base, both long and of even pitch as well as the wide Moraine on the other side (get the chair back up and shoot down Genepi when you’re more confident). Having some of this colossal ski area’s best reds to hand is some pretty strong incentive to improve quickly: David Douillet is a scrumptious trail into Les Menuires (made even tastier by the chocolate-drenched waffles at wayside Le Grand Lac). For more advanced intermediates, the higher you go, the more challenging you get – start by sweeping down the wide rollers of red Christine or new, north facing Asters then see how you get on with the Col de l'Audzin from the resort peak.

A purpose built resort done right, Les Arcs is totally ski-in/ski-out, has excellent connections and bundles of linking intermediate slopes, making skiing from your village and back down again stress-free. For a hypersonic descent back into 1800 and Vallandry, schuss down red Reches or Myrtilles, where the long evenly pitched pistes let you really go full-throttle. If you’re after a challenge, test your endurance on the longest red in Europe, the Aiguille Rouge – 8km of corduroy joy. Or, for more forgiving foresty goodness, Mont Blanc into 1600 and La Foret into Vallandry are two of our favourite blues. If you get kicks from covering distance, be sure to take a trip on the double decker lift to La Plagne, where there’s 225km more to be devoured.

With 8 different village-level lifts opening up a tonne of mouth-watering prospects, intermediates with a weakness for steepness can ski their woollen socks off from Val. If you venture to the west side up on the Solaise Express, anyone of middling ability will have a field day on the blue Col de La Madeleine and red Arcelle - which you’ll often be the only one carving down. For high altitude skiing, red Combe du Geant up the Glacier du Pissallias is an absolute must. Next head up the Olympic lift towards neighbouring Tignes, where you can speed down the corduroy on red OK and Orange towards La Daille, taking with a well-earned breather and fondue in Les Tufs.


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