During the cooler months, the French Alps becomes one of French Side Travel’s most-requested destinations. For adventure-seekers and winter sport fanatics, the world-renowned slopes are a huge draw. The ski resorts also offer the perfect haven for non-skiers with stunning snow-capped scenery, delightful shopping, and a fabulous restaurant and nightlife scene. Read on to discover French Side Travel’s list of the best places to ski in France.
The Best Places to Ski in France
The ski season in France is generally from early to December until April, depending on the snowfall. The ideal times to visit are between late December with the festive holiday season and through March. Even in the summer months it’s possible to enjoy the Alps with plenty of hiking, rafting, kayaking and more. It’s truly a year-round destination for outdoor aficionados.
Les Trois Vallées is the world’s largest interconnected ski area. Courchevel, its most famous valley, boasts more than 90 miles of alpine ski. With 58 lifts, you can be sure that you’ll enjoy your time on the slopes.
For experienced skiers looking to test their technique and skills, there are 34 red and eight black runs. For families and beginners, there are fun ‘Zen’ areas where you can practice and learn before working your way up to the 19 green and 35 blue runs. Whatever your level of expertise, the skiing and experience is sure to be unforgettable.
When it’s time to enjoy the aprés-ski moment, visitors will be charmed by Courchevel’s Michelin-star restaurants, incredible shopping, luxurious spas, and various outdoor activities.
Val Thorens is a one of the highest ski resorts in France at 7,500 feet, which makes the snow almost guaranteed! There are almost 375 miles of slopes as well as plenty of opportunities for off-piste skiing. The wide variety of slopes suit a variety of skiers from novices to experts. Val Thorens is also a part of Les Trois Vallées, making it easy to interlink with a connected ski pass.
The resort itself has a lively and vibrant feel. The scenery is complemented by the contrast of modern apartment complexes nestled alongside traditional chalets. Val Thorens also offers a wide selection of excellent restaurants, bars, nightclubs and shopping.
Where to Stay in Val d’Isère
Airelles Val d’Isère
In the center of Val d’Isère and perched on the edge of the ski slopes sits this 5-star resort overlooking the majestic summits of the Vanoise mountains. The property invites those enamored with the mountains to live their own fairy tale. Located at an altitude of approximately 6,000 feet, the hotel offers a magnificent trip to ancient times in a magical kingdom of snow.
Inspired by the medieval period, the hotel conjures up the architecture of the most beautiful residences in the Alps from long, long ago. A grandiose and separate world, the hotel is as luxurious as it is welcoming.
The property also boasts a nearly 4,000 square foot Guerlain spa, magical children’s kingdom, cozy ski salon, iconic shopping in the gallery of boutiques, and four restaurants.
The Val d’Isère ski area offers over 185 miles of slopes as well as splendid and accessible off-piste skiing. The altitude ranges between 5,900 and 9,800 feet which ensures there will be plenty of snow. You can then enjoy a ski area with 300 km of slopes as well as splendid and accessible off-piste skiing. Val d’Isère is enjoyable for all levels of skiers with 22 green runs, 61 blue runs, 46 red runs, 25 black runs, two snow parks and nearly 30 miles of cross-country ski runs.
Truly advanced skiers can test the mythical La Face de Bellevarde, a World Cup downhill ski course and the steepest giant slalom course. It was developed for the 1992 Winter Olympics. From “La Face” skiers can enjoy a magnificent view of the Alps and of Val d’Isère below.
Be sure to allow time to enjoy the atmosphere of the beautiful Alpine town. Stroll through its streets, do a little shopping, take in the gorgeous scenery, or relax with a warm drink. Don’t miss the beautiful Baroque church as well as the various charming stone and wood chalets.
Located in the shadow of Mont Blanc, Chamonix is without a doubt one of the most popular resorts in the French Alps and one of the best places to ski in France. It was one of the first ski towns in the world, and even today you are likely to hear languages from around the globe.
Chamonix features exceptional skiing both on the slopes and off-piste. Enthusiasts won’t want to miss the Vallée Blanche’s 9,000-foot descent from the Aiguille du Midi back to Chamonix. For a more leisurely experience, take the cable car from the village up 12,605 feet to the top of the Aiguille du Midi to appreciate the spectacular views of Mont Blanc and the French, Swiss, and Italian Alps.
In Chamonix, the nightlife is just as famous as the skiing! It is a wonderful place to enjoy great restaurants and exciting bars as well as shopping.
Where to Stay in Chamonix
Since 1849, the 5-star Hotel Mont-Blanc has hosted cosmopolitan clientele coming from all over the world to experience the highest peak in Europe.
The luxury hotel has been fully renovated in a style inspired by nature and its surroundings. The bedrooms overlook a beautiful panorama of mountains and offer space, luxury and comfort. The Savoyard inspired woodwork, black and white checkered marble, tailor made furniture, choice of materials and clever punctuation of bright colors creates a warm atmosphere, full of “joie de vivre.”
After the exhilaration of the summits, you can dive into the outdoor pool heated in summer and winter, which stretches over 14 meters with a spectacular view of the Mont Blanc. Or, relax in the spa and with its hammam, sauna, experience shower, fitness equipment and treatments designed by Clarins.
At the restaurant, the chef draws inspiration from the products from the beautiful French alpine valley. His cuisine is a journey through the Alps, the Aosta Valley and even the Mediterranean Basin.
We hope this list of the best places to ski in France inspires a future vacation. Need help planning your ski trip to France? We’re here to help! When you book your trip with French Side Travel our English-speaking Travel Care team will be able to offer assistance, 24/7 while you’re in France. There’s still time to plan a trip to France in 2022. Our travel designers are standing by to create a tailor-made itinerary just for you.