Skiing in France

In a nutshell: France has it all: huge ski areas, high-altitude skiing, rustic mountain villages and of course, fantastic French food and wine.

We like:

  • As France is the original home of the purpose-built mega resort, there are many huge ski areas that are well suited to skiers of all abilities
  • The sheer number of ski resorts means there genuinely is something for everyone: epic off-piste in Chamonix, the cruisey motorway-pistes of La Plagne, upmarket chic Megeve, ski-in / ski-out convenience of resorts such as Avoriaz and Val Thorens
  • The ski resorts in France are the easiest to reach from the UK. The resorts are served by several international airports, and it’s possible to take the train or drive. The are dozens of daily flights to Geneva making ski weekends an easy option
  • There are lots of high-altitude ski resorts with glaciers (such as Tignes, Val d’Isere and Les Deux Alpes), giving good options for guaranteed snow
  • France is of course a great ski holiday destination for lovers of food and wine

We don’t like:

  • Many of the purpose built resorts (and there are lots) are far from easy on the eye
  • The lift networks tend to be less modern and fast than those in Austria
  • Prices for food and drink on the mountain – especially in the large resorts of the Tarentaise – tend to be extortionately high

SKIING IN FRANCE

France welcomes more British skiers than any other country and for good reason, the country has it all: huge ski areas, high altitude skiing, purpose-built resorts with ski-in / ski-out convenience, pretty traditional mountain towns, fantastic food and the easiest access from the UK.

Ski resorts in France tend to fall in to two generations. The early generation of classic mountain towns and villages such as Chamonix, Morzine and Megeve are classy, stylish and pretty resorts with great skiing, but often at lower altitude and without the convenience of the purpose built resorts.

The later generation of purpose built mega-resorts such as the The Valleys (Courchevel, Meribel and Val Thorens), Espace Killy (Val d’Isere and Tignes) and Paradiski (Les Arcs and La Plagne) offer incredible skiing in huge ski areas, usually with the added convenience of ski-in / ski-out accommodation. The downside is that many (Les Menuires, we’re looking at you), tend to less easy on the eye.

Regardless of your choice, we’ve not come across a ski resort in France that doesn’t have at least a few restaurants serving incredibly tasty French alpine dishes of cured meats, delicious melted cheese in a variety of styles, all washed down with good quality and well priced house red. This is where skiing in France really comes into its own: fresh pastries in the morning, wonderful skiing during the day, and good food and wine at night.

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