Snow Sure Skiing in France

Where to ski the best snow in the French Alps.

Val Thorens

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

Great for:

  • Families
  • Snow Sure
  • Non skiers

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Les 2 Alpes

Glacier Skiing, Awesome après, Loads to do

Great for:

  • Nightlife
  • Off Piste
  • Groups

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 Plagne

Paradiski Ski Area, Bobsledding, High Altitude Skiing

Great for:

  • Beginners
  • Glacier Skiing
  • Off Piste

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

Les Arcs

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

Great for:

  • Snowboarding
  • Off-piste
  • Families

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Flaine

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

Great for:

  • Families
  • Intermediates
  • Snow-sure

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Courchevel

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

Great for:

  • Families
  • Groups
  • Luxury holiday

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Chamonix

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

Great for:

  • Groups
  • Off-piste
  • après ski

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Les Menuires

Value 3 Valleys resort, Outstanding skiing opportuni...

Great for:

  • Families
  • Groups
  • Non-skiers

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Top 10 Most Popular

There’s no business like snow business, and when the white stuff’s in good supply you’re in for a smashing week on the hill. France has some of the world's most reliable ski areas in the snow-sure department, with many resorts built solely for the purpose of swift access to the very best conditions.

Mountainsides above 2000m garner the most snow, and north-facing slopes stay skiable into springtime. In a country where Mont Blanc keeps the winters cool and snowy, and there are more skiable glaciers than anywhere else in Europe, you’ll ski some of the greatest conditions around.

France: Top 10 Snow Sure ski resorts.

The tourist office is so self-assured that they’ve had a ‘Snow Guarantee’ in recent years, which challenges you to find any other resort in Europe with better conditions. They’ve reason to be confident: at 2300m, this is the highest ski resort on the continent and it gets an obscene average snowfall of 6.4m per year (think a two storey house…). Plus the area’s teeming with glaciers - like the Péclet and Thorens, which are painted with some wonderful red and blue pistes. There are a number of north facing areas too, where slush is a rarity even on the sunniest days – we like Grand Fond and Caron (where the 360 panorama of 100 French, Swiss and Italian summits is a bonus). With all this in mind we’d be surprised if anyone managed to challenge that guarantee, but even if they did it would be hard to trump the ease of access that makes VT even better: With doorstep skiing almost everywhere, you’re straight onto the top of the world’s biggest ski area - in seconds.

Topping out at 3568m on the Dome de la Lauze – home to Europe’s biggest skiable glacier – this area has some big claims. At altitudes like that, the white stuff’s all but guaranteed to endure; so much so that the slopes and park often open in the summer and autumn, when the rest of the Alps are green and sunny. With the area’s unusual upside-down layout, the glacier forms a plateau across the top, making the highest terrain the gentlest – fabulous news for newbies, who can enjoy the views and snow sure slopes with everyone else rather than being stuck on low, patchy terrain.

Who cares that the town’s lacking a bit of alpine charm when it sits at a heady 2100m, with speedy access to slopes at 3000m and above? So snow sure it’s skiable in the summer, the Grande Motte at 3456m rises to heights most glaciers only dream of - keeping its red and black runs pristine well after the last dump. Facing the north helps this area evade the spring sunshine, and many other slopes in the Espace Killy have the same orientation (there are some corkers on the Tovière side). Like the town, the majority of the ski area sits above 2000m and with links to another skiable glacier over in Val d’Isere, there’s no shortage of good runs to ski.

La Plagne’s purpose built villages have altitudes of 1800m up to 2100m, placing you sky high in the mighty Paradiski before you even get out of bed... And they’re all ski in, ski out, so when you do swap your PJ’s for ski gear, you’re up and away in no time at all. Stay in Belle Plagne (2050m) for the fastest lift links to the best conditions on the Bellecôte and Chiaupe glaciers - they sprawl across the top of the 3417m Bellecôte Mountain, with black and red runs winding through crevices and rock fields alongside the endless off piste. In these parts, the yearly average snowfall is 4.5m-5m, and with 70% of the whole area being higher than 2000m, that snow stays cold and fresh.

We all have one friend who’s ridiculously successful in everything they do, and in the world of peaks and pistes, it’s Val d’Isere. As if it wasn’t enough to have a good looking village, crowd-pleasing après and a ski area so big it’ll make your eyes water, Val’s SO cool that the snow just won’t melt. By the time summer was poking its head out across the Alps in 2015, this place was still buried under 1.7m of white. The highest slopes run from 3300m on the Pissaillas Glacier, with most of the rest above 2500m. There are plenty of north facing ones that are protected from the blaze of the sun, and to seal the deal they have fabulous views over the Grande Casse and Mont Blanc. And there you have it – somewhere unbelievably good at everything (but we’re definitely keeping this one on the Christmas card list).

With 70% of its runs above the 2000m mark, the Paradiski area is no stranger to good conditions. Make your base either Arc 1950 or Arc 2000 and you’ll have direct access to some of the best of it: as well as being high above sea level, these villages sit inside a north-east facing bowl, which is sheltered from the sun and preserves the white stuff yonks longer than anywhere else. Teetering over them, Aguille Rouge is king in these parts, stretching up to a regal 3225m. Up here, the Glacier du Varet is snowy all year long, helped by a socking great ‘glacier sheet’ that blocks the summer sun to keep over a metre of snow. This base plus a dousing of fresh snowfall (on average 1.5 – 2 metres a season) makes its expert and intermediate pistes some of our favourite runs of all time. More north facing groomers can be found off Plagnettes and run all the way down into Villaroger, and the tree-lined trails tend to hold their snow well too – you’ll find some terrific intermediate ones into Peisey-Vallandry.

The Grand Massif is blessed with the Mont Blanc ‘fridge effect’ – surrounding peaks and glaciers keep the whole area wonderfully cool and white. Being the closest Grand Massif resort to the magnificent Mont B, Flaine reaps the benefits: It piles up the snow (depths of over 1.5m were recorded by March in recent years), then holds onto all that goodness on north facing slopes, which make up a whopping 80% of the area. The result is one of the lowest altitude (1600m - 2500m) but most snow-sure ski towns around. To ski the best conditions, the black Diamant Noir is usually on top form – starting from 2480m it dives straight into the centre of the bowl beneath it.

Not only is its back garden the largest ski area in the world (home to four skiable glaciers and ten 2500m+ summits) but Courchevel’s slopes have a reputation of being groomed to an exceptional standard. And there’s a lot to groom - snow often falls thick and fast here, totalling up to 4m of cover in good years. Like the rest of the ski area, many of the best runs (like Saulire and Creux) avoid the sunshine and slush with a north-facing orientation. Others dive between forests, seeking the cover of the trees to protect the good stuff. The local slopes reach woozy heights of 2700m+ and while that’s usually more than you find in entire ski areas elsewhere, it’s just the start of it in the 3V’s where lifts climb to a whopping 3230m over in Val Thorens.

Cham itself might be at a low-ish altitude of 1035m, but the ski area – surrounded by six glaciers - reaches 3300m. The valley has a trump card, and it’s a big one… the biggest in Western Europe in fact. At 4810m, mighty Mont Blanc dominates the region, causing a welcome fridge-effect that keeps the surrounding mountains cool and snowy. Thanks to this, the area’s high, north-west facing slopes (especially the ones spread across the Argentière glacier in the Grands Montets area) usually stay skiable until May. Take the Aiguille du Midi up to a whopping 3840m, where depths can reach as much as 3.5m in peak months, then ride down the world-famous powder of the 24km Vallée Blanche all the way into town.

In the enormous 3 Vallées, Les Menuires has the world’s largest linked ski area right on its doorstep. But it’s not ALL about quantity, and with most slopes in the high altitude (2000m+) category, the quality of snow is tremendous. Pistes roll down from the sky-high Val Thorens (just a few chairlifts up the valley), which is surrounded by glaciers including the Péclet, Thorens, Bouchet and Pointe Renod. And it’s thanks to these uber cool giants that the season usually runs from November right through to May. With one whole side of the Menuires valley facing north, there are reams of runs leading straight out of the resort that usually manage to keep their snow light and luxurious throughout the day. Our favourites over this side are in the La Masse section - at 2800m this is one of the highest points and brings us the glorious runs of Lac Noir (black), Longet (red) and Grand Lac (blue).

If you're skiing in a year with poor snow or very early or late in the ski season you need a snowsure French ski resort - fortunately for us, France has the highest number of purpose built resorts which tend to be much higher altitude ski resorts than the prettier old chocolate box mountain villages - here is a list of France's top snow sure ski resorts.

These top Snow sure French resorts are the definitive list of top 10 best snow sure ski resorts in France.


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