30 best ski resorts in France
France is known for its ski resorts, and they are rightfully considered some of the best in the entire world. The ski resorts in France are vast and spacious, and the ski areas include areas for skiing and snowboarding. They include trails for athletes of varying abilities. For beginner mountain lovers there are services of professional instructors and individual slopes with gentle slopes.
The level of accessibility resorts in France vary. There are fashionable resorts with luxury hotels and restaurants, such as Courchevel or Isola 2000. But there are also ski centers affordable in terms of accommodation – Le Sibel or Les Orres. On the slopes of the mountains of French resorts are often held world competitions, including the Winter Olympics. This indicates a high level of training courses and quality infrastructure.
The most popular ski resorts in France
List, photos with names and descriptions of the main ski resorts in the country.
The most famous resort in the country, which is located in the Tanzanian Valley. The total length of all slopes of different levels of complexity is 150 km. All slopes are equipped with a large number of modern ski elevators. The resort includes five small towns with different pricing policies. Luxury hotels and chic restaurants are located in the upper villages. Democratic prices for accommodation and food are in the lower settlements.
Popular resort on the border of Switzerland and France. All ski areas are located at an altitude of more than 2000 meters. In total the resort offers 70 tracks of varying complexity and a few dozen elevators. For those, who like sports rest, there are cozy wooden houses with wonderful views of snow-covered peaks. There are separate areas for snowboarding and flat skiing.
Is one of the best alpine resorts. Guests note the special aristocratic nature of the place and the French charm. The historic center of the city is full of old sights, chic boutiques and fine restaurants. Megeve is great for beginners and fans of quiet, comfortable skiing. There are also challenging slopes with steep descents in the Mont-Joux and Mont-Jolie area.
The resort is located on the slopes of Three Valleys. It is the highest resort in Western Europe and its disadvantage is the long transfer time. It is forbidden to enter the resort by car. Val Thorens is located at the intersection of the slopes, and it has a successful “ski on the doorstep” concept. You can put on your skis and go right after leaving the hotel. The total length of 68 ski slopes is 150 km.
Located in the Belleville Valley at an altitude of 1850 meters. Rest at this resort is considered the most budget of all the resorts of the Three Valleys. The resort offers 160 km of perfectly prepared slopes with 33 elevators. There is a separate skiing area for beginners, which is 5000 m². The highest point of the most difficult track, which is 2.4 km long, has an elevation difference of 700 meters. There is a snow park for snowboarders.
An alpine resort that is great for families. It has ski slopes, cross-country ski trails and snowboard park. There are many wide slopes for beginners with a free rope tow elevator. For professionals there is a track with a steep slope Combe du Valon. There are cafes and restaurants in the evenings and a “market on wheels” on Fridays with goods from major sports stores.
The slopes of this resort host annual World Cup competitions. More than half of the slopes are designed for professionals, who will appreciate the steep and sharp descents, including glacier skiing areas. There are several elevators at the service of athletes, two of which pass through the thickness of the ice and the rocks. There is a large selection of comfortable hotels and inns for travelers, and bars and restaurants are available.
High mountain resort, one of the largest and most visited in the country. The resort tracks are located between heights of 1100 to 3300 meters. The excellent snow cover is maintained by the cannons with artificial snow. A unique feature of the resort is the maximum natural light – there are about 300 sunny days a year. The total length of all the tracks is 240 km, serviced by 85 elevators.
Le Des Alpes
Located at the foot of a large glacier at an altitude of 1650 meters. Skiing season here lasts all year round. There are different types of elevators and a cableway, some of which take the guests of the resort to the altitude of 3,520 meters. Skiing area consists of 104 slopes with total length of 225 km. In addition to skiing slopes, the resort has several snowboard parks. There are separate zones for freestyle, complex turns and jumps.
One of the most unusual resorts in France with a high level of infrastructure. Entering the territory of the resort by car is prohibited, and visitors are taken to their destinations on sleds. The resort surprises guests with its architecture – the buildings are built in the “Art Nouveau” style. The pistes of Avoriaz resort are up to 8 meters thick. The resort area is divided into zones – 42 ski slopes, several snowboard parks and 8 tracks for cross-country skiing.
A ski resort in the Tarentaise valley. The area is divided into several zones of complexity. The slopes of Arc-1800 are more suitable for the beginners. Professional sportsmen will be mostly attracted by the steep slopes of Arc-1600, and the slopes of Egyu-Rouge peaks in the area of Arc-2000. The Flying kilometer slope is an interesting route where they set world speed records. Some of the tracks are illuminated at night, there is an opportunity for off-piste skiing.
The resort is built in the forests of the Grenoble Valley. From the tops of the mountains, where there is the beginning of the descents, there are beautiful views. The resort occupies an area of 865 hectares. There are both easy and difficult slopes for the guests, their total length is 77 km. For families with small children there are excellent conditions – there are specialized nurseries, where qualified tutors will take care of children while their parents are skiing.
The resort is famous for its perfectly groomed slopes and excellent infrastructure, suitable for families. There are more than 100 pistes for sportsmen – 42 “red”, 15 “black”, 25 “green” and 33 “blue”. There is a thermal spring right next to the ski slopes. There is a whirlpool, a hot tub, a salt grotto, and an outdoor pool with a view of the Alps scenery.
Most of the resort’s trails are suitable for intermediate and beginner athletes. For professionals, there are several slopes on the descent from Biolais or leading from the Bulcot Glacier. Freeriders will do well on the southern slopes of the peak of Roche de Mio. There are separate areas for slalom. Two snowboard parks with interesting terrains are built. La Plagne has a complex of entertainment facilities – bowling, cinemas, a swimming pool and an ice rink.
Le Grand Massif
The resort appeared in 1981 as a result of the unification of several ski areas – Le Carroz, Morillon, Samoin, Sixt-Fer-Cheval and Flaine. 133 slopes of different zones are connected by a single network of elevators. As a result of joining of different in complexity trails into one zone, the resort became attractive for professionals as well as for beginners and families with children. There are wide and gentle slopes for learning, and instructors are available.
The resort that unites 6 ski centers. It combines beautiful nature, excellent ecology, modern slopes and elevators. The most interesting for skiing are the slopes of the peaks of 3,510 meters and 3,464 meters. The longest slope of Le Sibel region is 8.5 km. The total length of all slopes is 310 km. Prices for holidays in Le Sibel are considered some of the most affordable in the country.
Combines the resorts of Valoir and Valmeneux. They are primarily aimed at families with children, but there are also restaurants, stores, hold night discos. More than half of the resort tracks are located at an altitude of over 2000 meters. Winding “blue” and “green” slopes for beginners are laid out among the dense forest. “Red” slopes are on the slopes of Cre de Quar. “Black” slopes start on the peaks of Gros Cré and Sete de Pré.
Espace San Bernardo.
This ski center consists of the Italian resort of La Tuile and the French La Rosiere. A common network of elevators and a single ski pass give access to 160 km of pistes. Most of the slopes are designed for professionals, lovers of difficult slopes. The longest slope is the 11-kilometer San-Bernardo, which starts at 2850 meters high. For experts, there are “black” runs on the peaks of Le Suches and Le Belvédère.
Formed by the slopes of the resorts of Vars and Rizul. The total length of all the trails is 185 km. They are located at altitudes from 1650 to 2750 meters. The area of skiing areas is vast and open. From some points you can view the whole territory of the resort. There is a viewing platform with a panoramic view at the highest point. The gentle and wide slopes are especially popular with beginners. At the same time, the relief of other slopes is varied – there are turns and kinks.
The elevation differences of the resort’s slopes range from 1300 to 2800 meters. To maintain a comfortable snow cover, there is an artificial snowmaking system. There is one of the longest in Europe “green” slopes in Val Seni. Its length is 9 kilometers. In addition to the length, it is interesting with a large number of curves, for its appearance athletes call it “snail”. The cross-country skiing is 27 km long.
It is a part of the skiing area of Evazion Mont Blanc, located at the height of 1164 meters. This small and cozy resort consists of 47 pistes of 120 km in length. For beginners there are 8 tracks, for experts there are 10 “black” tracks. There are 28 elevators here. In February, Le Contamine hosts a snow festival, during which ice figures are erected, light shows and fireworks are launched.
The resort is popular among residents of the Riviera. There are 42 pistes on it. The total length of all the slopes of the resort is 135 km. The slopes of Oron resort are famous among sportsmen for long, lingering descents. Slopes range from 1600 to 2450 meters. The resort can offer such entertainments as parachuting down the mountain slope, snow-shoeing on the virgin snow, and motor sledging.
The resort has a rich sporting history – the first ski club appeared in La Clouse in 1926 and the first ski elevator in 1935. There are international level competitions – cups and world championships – held on the slopes of La Clouse. The longest track is 9 km long. There are tracks for children and beginners, many of them are located among the centennial conifers. Some of the tracks are illuminated at nighttime.
Les 7 Laux
The lowest point of the resort is located at an altitude of 1350 meters, the highest point is 2400 meters above sea level. There are 40 slopes, including 12 “black” and 7 “green” ones. There are 12 “black” and 7 “green” slopes. The resort is located in the district of Grenoble. It is conventionally divided into three areas – Le Plaine in the east, Praputel in the west and Pipay between them. There are about 50 km of pistes for cross-country skiing.
Villar de Lans
Located in the national park at an altitude of 1050 meters. It is known among sportsmen for its low prices for ski holidays, that is why hotels start booking places there in autumn. Guests combine active recreation with walks in natural sites and visits to caves. Skiing areas are perfect for beginners and intermediate skiers.
One of the best ski centers in the southern Alps. It is visited by skiers who appreciate the mild climate and plenty of sunny days. The main ski areas of the resort are the slopes of Val d’Allos and Pra Lu. In a single resort, Espace Lumiere, they were merged in 1977, after which their popularity among French families has grown strongly. For the extreme, there is an off-piste skiing option and a snow park with ski jumps.
The resort has 100 km of slopes and 29 elevators at its disposal. The skiing area ranges from 1250 to 2500 meters. Most of the resort’s slopes are laid out in treeless terrain. The famous point of Grand Tourmalet is Col du Tourmalet, the highest pass in the French Pyrenees. There are more than half of the easy trails, there are no official freeride trails. But there are unofficial ones from Pic du Mid.
The resort is located in the Mercantour National Park, 90 km from the Cote d’Azur. This attracts to the resort affluent tourists who combine beach and outdoor activities. In good weather from the top of Cime de Sistron 2603 meters high one can see the Mediterranean Sea. The snow cover is good all season from December to April, there are frequent heavy snowfalls. The total length of all the tracks of the resort is 120 km.
It is located in the south of the French Alps, the altitude of the resort – 1650 meters. On one side there is Lake Serre-Ponçon, on the other side the mountain ranges of the Parpaillon massif. Les Orres – a modern young resort with an excellent infrastructure. Are equipped with comfortable hotels, a wide network of ropeways, entertainment for children and adults. The longest slope of the resort is 9760 meters, the length of all the tracks is more than 100 km.
The resort slopes up to 2,515 meters. The skiing area is 700 hectares. There are pistes for both alpine skiing and snowboarding, as well as a separate track called Pla d’Adet for sledging with a length of 1700 meters. For children there is Patou Park with snow modules. Near the resort there are several mountain lakes and streams with a swift flow. For beginners there is a ski school.
Ski extravaganza: Top 5 winter resorts in France
With the first snowfall, which throws a fluffy blanket over the majestic peaks, numerous winter resorts come alive in France. The portal “Zagranitsa” learned interesting and relevant information about the most popular ski resorts. Meet the “hot” five!
There are five major mountain ranges in France, and each of them is unique. The largest and most impressive is the Alps. Its highest point Mont Blanc (“White Mountain”), located on the border with Italy, reaches 4,810 meters above sea level.
The northern French Alps are home to beautiful coniferous forests, alpine glaciers and gorgeous rocky terrain. Here is one of the oldest ski resorts in France (over 200 years old!) – Chamonix.
There are other popular areas in the Alps with many fashionable ski resorts: Les Trois Vallées (“Three Valleys”) with excellent bases Courchevel, Méribel and Les Ménuires, and Paradiski, where go to Les Arcs, La Plagne and Peisey-Vallandry.
The second most important mountain range in France is the Pyrenees, an imposing barrier between the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic. It is a land of picturesque valleys and excellent winter resorts.
The brightest Pyrenean “stars” of snow leisure are La Mongie, Font Romeu and Cauterets ou Saint-Lary.
Additional interest among tourists is the proximity of the region to the Principality of Andorra – a duty-free zone, where you can save up to 40% (compared with French prices) on shopping.
Third on the list is the Central Massif with its breathtaking scenery.
The highest point of the range, Puy de Sancy, reaches 1,886 meters above sea level. Not Mont Blanc, but still. There are three popular bases in the region: Bourboule, Super Besse and Mont Dore. This is an ideal place for a holiday in the bosom of rugged nature, skiing and snowboarding, and other winter sports.
In northeastern France, where the borders of Luxembourg, Germany and Switzerland converge, there is a mountain range Vosges.
During the winter months you can walk in snowshoes, go skiing or sledging, and admire the breathtaking natural scenery. Vosges offers tourists almost all winter sports.
At the end of the list are the Jura mountains – a land of perpetual motion of water, surrounded by endless forests and vast valleys, framed by steep cliffs.
Photo: franche-comte.org Photo: youtube.com
In between slalom among snow-covered fir trees, you can enjoy delicious Comté, Morbier and Bleu de Gex cheeses and Morteau sausages to the accompaniment of local d’Arbois and du Bugey wines.
To describe all the ski resorts in France in one article is an impossible task. Each of the massifs we will devote a separate publication. In the meantime, in anticipation of the new season, we present the first five bases in the Northern Alps (Alpes du Nord).
Location: 38880 Autrans (Rhône-Alpes region)
Phone (tourist office in Otrane): +33 476 95 30 70
Otran can be attributed to the “budget” resort: it allows you to relax for a modest sum compared to the same Courchevel. The resort located on the Vercors massif offers ski slopes of varying complexity, with a total length of 200 km at an altitude of 1050-1650 meters.
Clothing and all necessary equipment, as well as in many other French resorts, can be rented on the spot.
Here are available almost all kinds of winter sports: from snowshoeing and biathlon to cross-country skiing (in Grenoble, by the way, in 1968 there were the Olympic Games). Active time can also be spent playing paintball, dog sledding, snowkite or fatbike.
After physical activity in Otrane you can relax in the warm atmosphere of one of the wellness centers. In the evenings there is something to do and where to sit in pleasant company with a glass of wine with a generous cheese plateau or other delicacies of French cuisine.
View the resort in real time here . And check out the current fares and piste diagram at this link . On the official website you can buy tickets online.
Location: Saint-Bon-Tarentaise, 73120 Savoie (Rhône-Alpes region)
Phone: +33 479 08 00 29
The ski circuit of the famous Courchevel is between 1,500 and 2,709 meters. The resort itself is scattered in the Tarentaise Alpine valley and today includes five villages. These are the capital of Saint-Bon-Tarentaise municipality, Courchevel Le Praz (Courchevel 1300), Courchevel Village (Courchevel 1500), Courchevel Moriond (Courchevel 1650) and Courchevel proper (Courchevel 1850). There is Ski Bus between the villages.
The resort is part of the Three Valleys ski area (together with Méribel, Val Thorens, Les Menuires, La Tania) and everywhere is positioned as upscale. Quite deservedly so!
85% of Courchevel is above 1,800m. This is where skiers are taken by fast modern elevators. All in all, the Three Valleys area includes more than 300 ski slopes of varying difficulty, a 10,000 hectare area for free skiers, as well as numerous snowshoeing trails.
All the drive and magic of night skiing can be felt on the trail Verdons by Night, and have fun with a nice music – in Verdonsky family park (guild parties are organized here every Wednesday).
More than 900 instructors help beginners master their skiing skills, as well as fun and safe training in “development zones” (Zones d’Evolution des Novices). The areas are separated from the pistes and do not inconvenience experienced skiers.
You can stay in Courchevel in a hotel, resort, apartment or chalet with half board or all inclusive. The best thing is that the living areas are located in close proximity to the slopes.
View the resort in real time here . And check out the current price of a Ski Pass ticket here . Children under 5 and people over 75 have free admission to the elevator.
Location: Megève, 74120 Haute-Savoie (Rhône-Alpes region)
Telephone (Megève Tourisme office): +33 450 21 27 28, +33 450 21 29 52
Megève is another world-class resort. It has 300 km of slopes and offers a lot of entertainment for every taste and level of fitness: snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, ice rinks, polo and golf in the snow, parachuting down the mountain slope, etc.
The town is situated at an altitude of 1,113 meters and its skiing area spans an altitude of 1,100 to 2,350 meters. This is perhaps the only weakness of Megève: it is not always possible to go down to the hotel on skis. But a free Ski Bus provides comfortable transportation to the lower slopes. By the way, it goes not on a “bare” slope, and through a beautiful forest.
Together with the stations Combloux, Giettaz, Saint-Gervais, Saint Nicolas de Véroce and Contamines Megeve forms a single skiing area Evasion Mont Blanc. Its ski-run offers beautiful views of the majestic Mont Blanc.
Megève is home to one of Europe’s most respected ski schools, as well as several spas, swimming pools, numerous hotels and chalets.
You can admire the resort in real time through the lens of a webcam . To see the current rates, please click here , the piste plan is available here .
Location: La Plagne, 73210 Mâcot-la-Plagne (Savoie department in the Rhône-Alpes region)
Phone: +33 479 09 79 79
La Plagne’s advertising slogan is “Toute la montagne en 10 stations” (“The whole mountain in 10 stations”). And indeed, the resort has about a dozen bases. Each is planned to allow you to ride “door to door.” High-speed cable car Vanoise Express (“Vanoise Express”) connects La Plagne to the integrated skating area Paradiski.
The architecture of the villages Plagne Centre, Plagne Village, Plagne Bellecote and Plagne Montalbert is not the most attractive. Basically, it is connected by passages monotonous multistory buildings, resembling giant anthills.
But the villages Champagny En Vanoise, Montchavin and Belle Plagne managed to retain their alpine appeal and charm.
La Plagne has several Olympic facilities, including a bobsled run and a slalom stadium. In the winter, it often hosts sporting events, such as the Alpine Skiing and Free Skating World Cup.
Of the disadvantages of experienced skiers note the presence of “flat” areas on some runs, the relatively high cost of package Paradiski and slow elevators.
Get acquainted with La Plagne will help webcam . The current prices for the 2015/2016 season are listed here . There is also a ski-plan, where the most difficult “black” pistes are especially interesting.
Saint Sorlin d’Arves
Location: La Plagne, 73210 Mâcot-la-Plagne
Phone: +33 479 59 71 77
Saint Sorlin, a village “on the edge of the world” with just over 300 permanent residents, has preserved its natural beauty. The tranquil resort, located at the foot of the Croix de Fer and the Aiguilles d’Arves, offers a lot of opportunities for winter holidays. By the opening of the new season here prepared 350 km of tracks of varying complexity – from simple “green” to “black” (these are only three in the resort), which are very appreciated by fans of extreme sports. Elevators work fast enough, they open up grandiose panoramas.
The village is divided into several hamlets, and Après-ski program here is quite limited. Fans of active entertainment may find the village boring. But connoisseurs of natural beauty and quiet cozy evenings with friends will be charmed by the local color.
You can see what’s going on in Saint Sorlin d’Arves at the moment thanks to the webcam. You can find the current prices for the new season here and the ski slopes here.
What ski resorts in France have you conquered? Feel free to share your personal experiences, useful information and funny stories in the comments!