The Best Ski Resorts in France
Updated: May 31
It’s the coldest time of the year, but it doesn’t mean it’s a time to stay at home. The winter is a great season for outdoor activities, even though you will need more clothes. For snow lovers, Europe is a great place to enjoy winter sports. In this article, we are going to present a list of the best ski resorts in France. The country is well known for its winter resorts, especially in the Alps, a winter sports lover’s paradise. France offers a huge range of ski resorts and, every year, thousands of tourists from all over the world go there to enjoy the winter. There are many places for any type of winter lover: from adventures to families, French Alps offer a snow experience for everyone. The green, alpine valleys are connected by stunning ski runs and charming villages that have been here for hundreds of years. Whether you want to enjoy that feeling of hurtling down the ski slopes, feeling the fresh air caressing your face, the snow crackling under your feet, having snowball fights and snow angels, you can always find something to do.
No matter what your budget is if you seek the appropriate ambiance, or which resort appeals to your children, a huge resort to discover lots of ski runs, or an affordable ski resort, this guide will help you out. You could find a family-friendly place, a romantic getaway for you and your significant other, or a resort where you can have fun with friends.
The Best Ski Resorts in France for party lovers
If you have a young spirit that doesn't just want to ski but also have fun and party with friends, these resorts are for you:
Courchevel is a ski resort in the French Alps, best known for its large variety of runs, its excellent snow conditions. The place offers a variety of activities including hot air ballooning, paragliding, and skiing all year round. In addition, Courchevel offers to make a child's dream come true by letting you drive a groomer with a professional to accompany you. And for even more fun, there are several bars and nightclubs, our advice is to go to the Tremplin, a bar at the foot of the ski slopes, where young people meet to party. And we don’t forget La Folie Douce, this bar club shared with the ski resort Meribel.
Located at an altitude of 2300 meters, it's the ski resort where you sleep the most at altitude in Europe, and it really lives up to its name. There are many activities which you can enjoy in Val Thorens like ice skating in the village square, zip-lining through the forest, indoor and outdoor thermal baths. And let's not forget the must-do in Val Thorens if you like to party, the bar/club at 2600m, La Folie Douce! If you are a party person and like to ski you must know this bar/club which delights all the party people! The ski resort also has a reputed nightclub, Le Malaysia.
Named the best European ski resort in 2020, you will have the opportunity to ski in the sun thanks to its southern exposure. Alpes D'Huez was voted top for its powder snow, mountain silence, and easy access from the cities of Paris and Grenoble. Not only it is known for its spectacular mountain views, it also offers great skiing conditions and plenty of activities, including guided tours and night skiing. The Alpes d'Huez is also one of those ski resorts to have La Folie Douce, which makes it also a famous ski resort for parties! Enjoy also Les Caves de L'Alpes (bar), and the Igloo (nightclub).
As well as having easy access to Val d'Isère's La Folie Douce, Tignes hosts numerous festivals and musical concerts throughout the ski season, making it one of the best ski resorts in France for partying! In addition to this, you will also have several bars and discos to enjoy within the resort. Next to partying, to have a good time during the day next to skiing, you will find an adrenaline attraction called Bun J Ride, where you jump off a springboard hooked to bungee cords that give you a zip line and trampoline feel! You will also have the possibility to try ice diving, or the Pala'Fou activity, a long 3km toboggan run with tunnels and turns to have fun with friends!
Risoul is a ski resort located in the French Alps. It is well-known for its ski jumps and it hosts the annual FIS Alpine Ski World Championships. There are many activities which make the place favorite of the young visitors. If you want a day off from the runs you can enjoy many other activities like snow bike, quad, ice rink, sled, snaske gliss, segway, zip line, paragliding, snowshoes, ski touring, frozen waterfall, cinema, merry-go-round, SPA, massages. Relaxation, sport, fun activities, there will be something for everyone! You will also find many students who are there to party due to its bars and nightclubs. The resort also hosts two festivals, the comedy festival, and the French song festival.
The largest ski resorts and ski areas in France
If you are not a fan of small ski resorts because you have the impression of doing the same ski runs over and over again, you should try these ski resorts and especially these ski areas that offer a package allowing you to access several ski resorts for even more fun!
(Les Menuires, Val Thorens, Courchevel, Méribel, Brides les Bains, Saint Martin de Belleville, Orelle)
Enjoy the immensity of the world's largest ski area bringing together some of the best known and most popular ski resorts in France, with 600km of runs over 1500 hectares of skiable terrain up to 3230 meters. Thanks to its vastness, you won't have time to get bored of the trails, there will always be more to discover! No matter what your level, this is the resort for you with its perfect balance of beginner (green and blue) and advanced (red and black) runs. And for the more intrepid, there are many breathtaking off-piste runs.
Evasion Mont Blanc
(Saint Gervais, Saint-Nicolas de Véroce, Les Contamines, Megève, Combloux - La Giettaz):
Wherever you decide to spend your winter vacation, you will receive a breath-taking view of Mont Blanc. Ranging in altitude from 850 to 2353 meters, with this ski area you can ski on 450 km of ski runs! There is an event called "White weekend" that happens every year in the middle of January. During the White weekend, there are many free activities such as free ski lessons and snowshoe tours, avalanche search (DVA), or yoga on snow. This is part of a well-being program which attracts many visitors. If you are tired of skiing and want to enjoy one day far from the runs, we recommend you to visit the pool complex in St. Gervais. There are many water activities that will warm you during a cold day.
Les Portes du Soleil
(Abondance, Avoriaz 1800, Champéry, Chätel, La Chapelle d’Abondance, Les Gets, Montrionds, Morgins, Morzine-Avoriaz, St Jean d’Aulps, Torgon, Val-d’Illier Les Crosets Champoussin):
The resorts covered in Les Portes du Soleil include many small, family-friendly ski areas which offer long runs for skiing and snowboarding. The great thing is that one package includes entrance for 12 stations. This makes the place very convenient for real ski lovers. Another great thing about Les Portes du Soleil is the location. The resort is spread between two countries – France and Switzerland. The length of the runs is more than 600 km including all the 12 stations.
(Les Arcs, La Plagne, Peisey Vallandry):
Paradiski is a great playground for winter lovers with its 425 km. There are runs for all the levels, but the most interesting are the 115 red and black runs, which will scare even the most experienced ones. Paradiski is very well organized. For the comfort of the visitors, there is an app called YUGE that sends real-time information about the lifts.
Val d’Isère - Tignes
If you go to Tignes or Val d'Isère, you will be able to ski in both resorts by taking the ski pass, allowing you to ski on 300kms of skiable slopes on 480 hectares, and 3200 hectares of off-piste to have fun like crazy for the most reckless! Ranging from 1550m to 3456m of altitude, you take less risk of running out of snow! From about mid-June onwards, the ski area offers access to the Pisaillas glacier, with a chairlift and a ski lift open for you to enjoy a bit of coolness in summer! As we have seen above you will find several nice activities in Tignes, while in Val d'Isère you will have the opportunity to try Ice Floating, which consists of lying on the frozen water with a wetsuit and admiring the landscape. And in both resorts, you will find an introduction to ice climbing with crampons and ice axes.
The Serre Chevalier ski area offers 410 hectares of skiing, making it one of the largest in Europe! In addition, a giant zip line awaits you at an altitude of 2491m! You can also try snowkiting, an experience that will not leave you indifferent!
The best ski resorts in France for families and beginners
If you decided to try going down the hill for the first time or want to enjoy winter attractions with little ones, these ski resorts are meant for you:
Praz de Lys - Sommand
Praz de Lys - Sommand is an ideal ski resort for young families. This resort attracts families and beginners more than experienced skiers who are speeding down the slopes, as the area has only 55kms of skiable runs, with a majority of blue and green runs, so they prefer to go to larger resorts. In addition, there are two beginner areas with conveyor belts. This makes the resort a great place to start and to ski with young children.
Les 2 Alpes
Although populated by more experienced skiers, Les 2 Alpes is still a very pleasant resort to ski with your family. There are many blue and green runs and 5 free lifts for beginners of all ages at the bottom of the ski area! The resort is 410 hectares in size, and you can ski up to 3600m on the glacier. The upper part of the area is perfect for good skiers, so while your children are in lessons you can have a great time skiing down the slopes at your own level whether it be good or very good!
This ski resort is also ideal for families, being a large area with 125kms of skiable runs, and having a good balance between blue/green and black/red runs. Ideal for all levels! In addition, you have a timing zone to have fun outdoing yourself, and a long 900m sledding run to have fun with your children or with friends!
If you go to La Rosière you can either take the ski pass allowing you to ski only in this resort (there are only day ski passes) or in the San Bernardo area, thus having access to the ski resort, La Thuile in Italy, with 154kms of certified skiable slopes (equivalent to 200kms with the French standard).
On your way to Les Saisies, you can choose to ski only in the resort with 77km of skiable runs, or in the Espace Diamant, accessing 192km of skiable runs. We've all dreamed of riding in a snow groomer, watching them from our window in the evening, well in Les Saisies you can make your childhood dream come true by riding in a snow groomer or even better by driving it! So, if you come with your children, they will leave with glitter in their eyes!
The best ski resorts in France at an affordable price
Although skiing will always be an expensive sport, here are some resorts that remain relatively cheap to ski in:
Les Orres is a great option if you're on a budget. The resort is a small village near Grenoble with only about 200 inhabitants and a small ski resort with a good infrastructure. This translates into a unique, intimate atmosphere that is a lot of fun, even for those who aren't skiing. A village is a great place if you want to stay away from the crowds.
Villard de Lans
If you want to experience the best ski resort in France for a reasonable price, consider visiting Villard de Lans in the French Alps. Situated at 2,000 meters above sea level, this ski resort is located near Grenoble and is part of the Les Deux Alpes ski area. Villard de Lans is more affordable than the other French ski resorts, which makes it perfect for budget-conscious travelers.
Pralognan is a small mountain town in the French Alps that's best known for its ski resort. It sits in a picturesque valley with stunning views of the surrounding mountains. Pralognan is a great place to go skiing, and it's relatively affordable. To get there, you can either take the train to La Roche-sur-Foron, then take a taxi or car to Pralognan. Or you can fly directly into Geneva, then take a train to La Roche-sur-Foron, then a taxi or car to Pralognan.
This was our short guide for the best ski resorts in France. Choose the best suitable for you or explore all of them. Never stop exploring beautiful places and check our other articles. Don't forget to check us on @thewalkingparrot to find more!