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Skiing in France

Ski holidays in France

Brits love skiing in France and it doesn’t take long to see why… The French Alps are easy to reach by road, rail or plane and ski resorts come in every shape and size from ancient alpine villages to modern ski towns.

The country has more ski lifts than anywhere else in the world, serving a stonking variety of terrain for all skiers and snowboarders. Then there’s the dining side of things – with Michelin-starred mountain restaurants and hearty dishes like tartiflette, this nation will satisfy you’re hunger for food as well as snow.

"Top Ten Best" French resort lists

List of all French ski resorts

Buckets of off piste and an incredible terrain park make this a freeriding and freestyling paradise - combine this wi...more ‣

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Highlights Glacier Skiing Awesome Après Ski 300 days of sunshine

A charmingly quirky resort that’s a top ski destination for families and particularly popular for snowboarders, Avor...more ‣

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Highlights Recent €200 million improvement Top snowboarding destination 650km interconnected pistes

As the global capital of winter sports, Chamonix’s history, skiing and scenery make it a true alpine legend. Every s...more ‣

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Highlights traditional mountain resort varied, high altitude terrain incredible panoramic views

Up on the Franco-Swiss border in the Chablais region (a UNESCO Global Geopark), Châtel’s a pretty mountain village ...more ‣

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Highlights Portes du Soleil area Traditional village

Attractive, traditional and oozing style, Courchevel ticks all the boxes for a first class ski holiday. With masses o...more ‣

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Highlights 5 star luxury resort Vast 3 Valleys Traditional chocolate box villages & chalets Lots of ski in/ski out

Part of the Grand Massif and fondly known as the “big snowy bowl”, Flaine was purposely plonked on the mountain for...more ‣

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Highlights All round resort 265km well-groomed pistes Ski in/ski out accommodation

Small, chic and beautifully picturesque, La Clusaz is a charming alpine village in the heart of the Aravis Massif. Wi...more ‣

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Highlights Famille Plus label Beautiful hidden gem resort Events on throughout the season

A fabulous all-rounder: ski the Paradiski’s wonderful mix of tree-lined trails, knee-deep off piste and wide open cr...more ‣

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Highlights Paradiski ski area Ski in, ski out High altitude skiing

A quiet French resort giving snow lovers access to not one but two countries! Hop between French La Rosière and Ital...more ‣

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Highlights Off piste snow cross Ski France & Italy Famille Plus label resort

The charming little village is a modest, family-friendly gem of the Three Valleys. With excellent access to the world...more ‣

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Highlights Village charm Laid-back atmosphere Part of the massive 3 Valleys

Gobsmacking views of Mont Blanc aren’t the only bonus of the glacier - this ‘upside down’ ski resort is one of the...more ‣

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Highlights Glacier Skiing Awesome après Loads to do

One half of the magnificent Paradiski and the self-professed 'home of snowboarding', Les Arcs has well earned its rep...more ‣

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Highlights Paradiski ski area Ski in, ski out High altitude skiing

With easy access to the glorious Grand Massif, lots on for children and pretty alpine architecture to boot, Les Carro...more ‣

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Highlights Linked with Flaine in the Grand Massif Famille Plus resort Tree-lined skiing

A beautiful village full of rustic Savoyard charm, Les Gets sits between Lake Geneva and Mont Blanc, with not only st...more ‣

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Highlights Connected to the whole Porte du Soleil region Famille Plus Resort – amazing facilities Lots to do off the slopes

Sometimes grouped with the Chamonix ski area, sometimes seen as a resort of its own standing… Either way, the views ...more ‣

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Highlights Chamonix valley resort World cup host Tree-lined pistes

Couples, groups and families alike have a brilliant time here as one of the cheaper destinations in the 3 Valleys wit...more ‣

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Highlights Value 3 Valleys resort Outstanding skiing opportunities Loads for non-skiers

When it comes to the world’s ski resorts, Megeve is one of the classics, complete with a medieval village square and...more ‣

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Highlights Gorgeous alpine village Large linked ski area

Meribel has a special place in many Brit's hearts – not simply because it’s right in the middle of the biggest ski ...more ‣

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Highlights 3 Valleys ski area Excellent ski schools Lively après ski

Small, traditional and full of charm, this friendly town is ideal for a relaxed retreat to the slopes with family and...more ‣

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Highlights Quiet family resort Part of Italian Milky Way Traditional Alpine charm

Morzine ski holidays ooze traditional Savoyard charm. With a variety of terrain in the huge 650km Portes du Soleil ar...more ‣

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Highlights Family ski destination Traditional Savoyard charm 650km interconnected pistes

This old mountain village is a real charmer – evidence of historic stonemasonry lines the streets and squares and wi...more ‣

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Highlights "Ville Fleurie" awarded village Ski the Grand Massif Short transfers

You get those hulking ski resort titans, and then there’s Serre Chevalier: a group of smaller villages that just hap...more ‣

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Highlights Excellent snow Large ski area Scenery & character

Tignes is somewhere you can ski longer, higher and further than most other resorts in the Alps. Owing its snow-reliab...more ‣

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Highlights Espace Killy ski area Fantastic après ski High altitude skiing

Ski never-ending pistes and powder, ogle at colossal peaks and cosy Savoie architecture, then end the day with some o...more ‣

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Highlights ½ of Espace Killy Fantastic après Traditional chocolate box village Skiable glacier

This is Europe's highest resort, with incredible views of the French, Swiss and Italian Alps and fantastic connection...more ‣

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Highlights Highest resort in Europe Top of the world's biggest interlinked ski area Foodie Favourite Off-slope activities galore

Valloire: a humble resort that nurtures and takes care of its skiers and surroundings alike. Follow in the footsteps ...more ‣

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Highlights Quiet ski resort Traditional village charm Snowparks for all abilities 70% ski area above 2000m

Traditional in every sense of the word, bask in the calm and tranquillity of this mountain village in the French Alps...more ‣

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Highlights Snowparks and boardercrosses for all levels Hidden gem in the French Alps Lots on at Christmas and Easter

Most popular ski resorts in France

The opportunity of soaking up the alpine way of life makes proper mountain towns like Chamonix and gorgeous mountain villages like Megeve feature on many a ski bucket list. It’s the glamorous side of skiing that brings the hordes to Courchevel, world renowned for its elite clientele, designer boutiques and top notch accommodation. If convenience is the key, you can’t beat the hassle-free nature that attracts snow lovers by the dozen to purpose built resorts like Val Thorens– they’re higher in the mountains and access to the slopes is a no brainer.

With the mountains being so easy to get to and resorts that pull out all stops to keep children entertained, it’s no surprise France is so popular with families. Look out for the French Ministry of Tourism’s “Famille Plus Montagne” label, awarded to the best family resorts - Morzine and Les Gets are two firm favourites. Groups planning to party are rarely disappointed with the après ski offerings in the bigger towns– you can’t talk about the après in France without mentioning the legendary Folie Douce – originally in Val d’Isere and now also in Val Thorens and Meribel.

At the end of the day it’s the skiing you’re here for, which is why anywhere with a massive ski area is an easy favourite. You won’t have to ski the same slope twice in the 3 Valleys, the world’s biggest linked ski area, where you’ll find big names like Meribel and Courchevel. Sizeable ski areas don’t stop here – Tignes and Val d’Isere share the Espace Killy, Paradiski can be skied from La Plagne and Les Arcs and Portes du Soleil connects Morzine, Les Gets, Avoriaz. The presence of a skiable glacier seals the deal when it comes to the best resorts, which puts snow sure Val Thorens, Val d’Isere, Tignes and Les 2 Alpes high up on the leaderboard.

France ski holidays FAQ:

Here! Use the SNO search bar to enter your requirements and start browsing through the packages that fit your dates, budget and preferences - whether that’s a chalet, hotel or apartment, somewhere with a pool, hot tub, sauna and so on…

Our France ski deals page has some great offers like:

  • Free lift pass with each booking
  • Price discounts for certain dates
  • 2 for 1 on equipment hire

Catered chalets are France’s speciality. There’s so much choice – all shapes and sizes, styles, locations and prices. Some chalets properties are available on a self-catering basis if you prefer to do your own cooking and there are plenty of hotels and apartments throughout French resorts if those might suit you better.

Chalet Marco Polo in Val d’Isère has been voted France’s Best Ski Chalet more often than not in the World Ski Awards. Fabulous features include a designer, gold-tiled swimming pool, spa, gym, cinema and wine and cheese cellar. Guests have a gourmet chef and chauffeur on hand, plus champagne on tap.

Hotel Le Kaila in Meribel is definitely one of them - brimming with the finer things in life it has elegant furnishings, a piano bar, a spa with indoor pool and a playroom for kids. You can get onto the slopes in no time at all, from the heart of the record-breakingly enormous 3 Valleys ski area.

Résidence Les Clarines in Les Menuires offers a handful of neatly finished alpine style apartments, well kitted out for families or groups wanting to self-cater. This property is in a brilliant location for the ski lifts, and includes spa and fitness facilities.

Cheesy! Fondue, raclette and tartiflette are cheese-filled French specialities. Snacks like savoury crêpes and croque monsieur and bowls of frites (chips) will often be served in mountain cafes, as well as other favourites like burgers, pizza and soups. To accompany your food you might enjoy a glass of vin chaud (mulled wine), champagne, cocktails, beer or wine.

  • Geneva (technically in Switzerland but the airport can be exited on the ‘French side’)
  • Grenoble
  • Chambery

These can be reached from lots of regional UK airports with a flight time of less than 2 hours.

French resorts under a 30-minute transfer from nearest train station:

The Eurostar Ski Train enables smooth rail travel to these destinations with the minimum number of changes. There’s also the option of adding a city stopover in Amsterdam, Paris or Brussels.

Winter sports enthusiasts have flocked to Chamonix for more than a century and it’s not hard to see why, with its world-class ski terrain and the spectacular setting of Mont Blanc and its surroundings. The resort also hosted the Winter Olympics in 1924. The town oozes with traditional Savoyard charm and has no shortage of bustling places to drink and dine.

Val d’Isère is known for its vibrant après-ski. Head to La Folie Douce for a full-energy, dancing-on-tables vibe, Cocorico for terrace views and smashing DJ sets or Dick’s Tea Bar if you’re in search of some live music. Read lots more on our après-ski in France page.

Courchevel - with no shortage of champagne bars, more Michelin star restaurants than any other ski resort on earth, fashion boutiques, five-star hotels, palatial chalets and world-class skiing. Read more about French luxury resorts here.

Amongst France’s top boarding spots are:

You can check out the full France snowboarding top 10 here.

The best of France’s off-piste ski areas can be found in:

For the complete top 10, head to our top 10 off-piste resorts in France page.

This is just a small selection – plenty of other French resorts offer heli-skiing adventures. Feel free to contact us for more information or advice.

Yes – though it’s not the law, you rarely see people skiing or snowboarding without helmets these days, and most ski schools will only teach kids if they have a helmet. It’s important that it’s a proper ski helmet and not a cycling or horse riding one, as they’re designed differently. Our Mountain Safety page gives more advice about staying safe on the pistes.

Green, blue, red and black – from easiest to the most difficult. See our Pistes page for more information.

Chamonix is home to the longest skiable vertical, a whopping 2700 metres in drop and more than 22km in skiing distance. The spectacular Vallée Blanche is the biggest lift-served ski descent on Earth. In decent conditions, the run ends up in the resort’s town centre, where you can enjoy a well-earned vin chaud or refreshing beer.

Courchevel is a truly stylish treat for you and your other half – with luxury hotels and chalets, gourmet restaurants, champagne bars, boutiques and diamond shops… 😉 The skiing is fabulous too, with access to the whole 3 valleys area.

Megeve is a delightful medieval mountain town with scenic views of the Mont Blanc massif. See our prettiest resorts in France page to read about our other favourite good-looking French resorts.

Flaine has quite a reputation for its concrete ‘diamond cut’ architecture designed and built in the 60s. It may be brutalist, but these days you’ll meet many who prefer to think of it as strikingly ‘retro cool’.

Our prettiest resorts in France page lists France’s best-looking ski resorts.

These French resorts usually open their ski lifts around the end of November/early December, so are the best places to head for pre-Christmas skiing.

Our Summer skiing in France page gives more information about resorts where it’s possible to ski in the summer/autumn months.

  • December for cheap pre-Christmas trips and festive fun
  • January to bag the very best price deals
  • February for the best snow
  • April for spring sunshine

The ski season in France starts around mid-December and goes on until mid-April on the whole. The best French resorts for early and late season skiing towards the end of April and even into early May tend to be:

Yes! The French are used to welcoming thousands of English speaking holidaymakers year upon year. Staff will certainly know the basics, and ski lessons are offered in several languages in most resorts, English being one of the most popular. Meribel – as well as being one of the biggest French resorts – is the most English-speaking resort of the lot, having been founded and largely run by Brits.

In most French resorts people will speak at least basic English, but you could jot down a few basic French words like:

  • Hello - bonjour [said: bon-shore]
  • Goodbye - au revoir. [said: oh-rev-wah]
  • Yes - oui [said: we]
  • No - non [said: noh]
  • Please - sil-vous-plait [said: sih-vou-play]
  • Thank you - merci [said: mair-see]
  • Sorry/Excuse me - pardon [said: par-dawn]
  • Help - aides-moi [said: a-day-mwah]

Chamonix - The Chamonix Mountain Guide Company was founded in 1821, at which point climbing was the sport dominating the Mont Blanc region. The first cable cars were installed in the 1920s with the first ever Winter Olympics being held in the resort in 1924.

Around 250!

(this information was accurate when written)

Dozens but here are the 6 main ones, in order of size from biggest to smallest:

3 Valleys is the world’s biggest linked ski area, with 600km of connected ski runs across the resorts of Courchevel, La Tania, Meribel, Brides-les-Bains, Les Menuires, St. Martin, Val Thorens and Orelle. An area pass covers the whole lot if you want to cover a lot of distance, or stick to separate resort passes for a lower cost.


If you’re an avid Winter Olympics fan, read all about them on our best Olympic ski resorts page.

Which are the best France ski holidays?

Property Resort Price (per person)
Club Med Grand Massif Samoëns Chalet Apartment Samoens £ 2698
Chalet L’Ancolie Meribel & Mottaret £ 599
Chalet Le Cèdre Blanc Meribel & Mottaret £ 609
Chalet Marie Avoriaz £ 764
Village Montana Suites Tignes £ 1369
Chalet Cairn Tignes £ 859
Hotel Altapura Val Thorens £ 1309
Chalet La Rocheure Val d'Isere £ 1119
Chalet Giorgio Tignes £ 799
Hotel Daria-I Nor Alpe d'Huez £ 1236

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