What do we love about skiing in France?
When you think of a ski holiday, for many, the first place the mind shoots to is the French Alps. France has long been the most popular ski holiday destination for, not only the Brits but skiers and snowboarders from all over the world. This is down to a multitude of factors; with an enviable location in the Alpine region, the world's largest and most varied ski areas, and the most advanced resort infrastructures in the world, it's no wonder then that French ski resorts are consistently at the top of world resort polls for almost everything! Ski Weekends fly to over 21 French ski resorts providing weekend, mid-week and week-long stays to a huge selection of accommodation types. Whether you're after French ski chalets, self-catered apartments, great value 2* hotels, or 4* and 5* luxury, we are certain that you'll find something to meet your preferences and budget requirements. Take a look below at the various French ski resorts we fly to and make your selection!
Ski Weekends resorts in France
No other ski region on earth quite matches the 3 Valleys. With a whopping 600km of fully inter-connected slopes and terrain for all standards, it is the planet’s largest ski area. Those stunning statistics however only tell part of the story. Each of those three valleys is a ski region in its own right. You can choose between the Courchevel Valley, skiing from the open slopes of sophisticated 1850 into the tree-lined runs which take you into the characterful lower villages, where you’ll find more chalets and lovely 3* hotels. The central Meribel Valley, which has its strong British connections and links to the spa resort of Brides Les Bains. Finally, the Belleville Valley with family-friendly Les Menuires and Reberty, as well as Europe’s highest and most hi-tech ski resort, Val Thorens. The 3 Valleys is on top of the world for more than just its size. The region has been getting better and better every year for decades now, regularly fine-tuning what it offers and how it delivers that service.
For example, millions are spent each summer in building even better, faster and more comfortable lifts to whisk you back up the slopes more efficiently and safely. The Meribel Valley, for example, runs more gondola lifts than any other ski area on earth, and the whole 3 Valleys have invested heavily in special extra safety features on their lifts making them the safest in the world for children to use. Off the slopes there’s a vibrant mix of opportunities in the various resort villages – you can find, some of the largest aprés-ski options in the French Alps and a vast choice of dining possibilities including lots of Michelin-starred choices. It truly is a phenomenal ski region.
Portes du Soleil
The Portes du Soleil ski region – meaning ‘gates of the sun’ – is one of the world’s largest, with 400 miles of groomed piste shared by a dozen ski resorts on both sides of the France-Switzerland border. It’s also one of the most northerly ski regions in the Alps, meaning it’s closer to Geneva and for drivers from the UK and also it has a great snowfall record. Most of the resorts are traditional villages, rich in character and ambience, and they include some of the world’s best-known ski destinations including Morzine and Les Gets. However, France’s only completely car-free purpose-built resort, Avoriaz, is also here. You can enjoy a different ski safari every day!
Val d’Isère is, of course, one of the world’s best-known resorts. Not only is it a member of a very elite group of half a dozen ski areas worldwide which have hosted World Cup, World Championship and Olympic ski events, it’s also one of the world’s top choices for a great ski holiday as it has it all – world-class ski terrain and a superb resort base. It also has an excellent snow record with the high altitude of the village and the glacier-crowned slopes towering above making it a much better bet than most in early and late season.
Sharing the amazing Espace Killy area with neighbouring Val d’Isere, Tignes has been purpose built to offer doorstep skiing to one of the world’s great ski areas. No other French resort has a better opening record. In fact, it’s the only French resort open for most of the autumn, with skiing guaranteed on its glacier slopes from early October through to May. It’s even open for a few months in the heat of summer. Tignes is big enough to offer something for everyone – beginners, piste-mile-crunching intermediates, freestylers looking for the best terrain parks and even the most demanding advanced skiers. Adrenaline junkies will revel in the numerous unusual attractions including a recently added bungee catapult rope – ski, board, or sledge off a downhill ramp and into the void – with the famous elasticated ropes attached. Who could resist that?
Once voted the world’s most popular resort, La Plagne is certainly one of the biggest and best ski resorts out there. It has 10 different base villages ranging from traditional valley villages to state-of-the-art purpose-built ‘ski stations.’ That’s before you consider it’s part of the giant Paradiski region, connected by a spectacular double-decker cable car to neighbouring Les Arcs and creating one of the world’s three biggest ski regions in the process with 425km of piste between them. This massive area covers every type of terrain imaginable and is also one of the planet’s most snowsure, thanks to high altitude, glacier-capped slopes at the top of its huge lift-served vertical. For advanced skiers and snowboarders, the freeride terrain down from the Bellecôte is a must-ride, and everyone should have at least one go on the Olympic Bobsleigh Run where various options include a taxi-bob ride behind a professional driver in a proper bob, or going down with three friends in a self-steering bob raft.
The Haute Savoie region is home to some fantastic resorts, including Chamonix, Megève, Flaine, Les Houches and La Clusaz. Possibly the most famous, no other ski resort has quite the global appeal of Chamonix. Located below Western Europe’s highest peak, Mont Blanc, and a favourite with Brits for over 150 years, it’s not only one of the best ski areas on Earth, it’s, fortunately, one of the quickest and easiest to reach too!
Megeve is another great option. The original leading French resort, Megève was modelled as a ski resort to rival Switzerland’s St Moritz and it succeeds in being the chicest and atmospheric of French ski areas, centred on its ancient square and cobbled streets. You’ll find enticing shops and gourmet restaurants here – indeed Megve has a reputation for offering the best dining in the French Alps (which some argue means the entire European Alps).
Located in a famed snow pocket and within a giant powder bowl, Flaine’s founders really knew what they were doing when they created this great resort five decades ago; they even had the foresight to locate it as close as they could to Geneva Airport for very quick and easy access for a ski weekend.
Nicknamed by the Ski Weekends team as 'the hidden gem of the French Alps' La Clusaz is fast becoming known as the resort that ticks all of the boxes. Known for being one of the most authentic feeling French resorts, as well as one of the quickest and easiest to reach from the UK and from Geneva Airport, La Clusaz is also one of the oldest French ski destinations and has one of the most extensive ski areas for a traditional French resort.
Take a look at some other French ski resorts: