There’s no denying that one of the most legendary ski destinations for all skiers is the Alps and what better access to this mountain range than by staying in the magical region of France.
Famed for their wine, food, cheese, art and of course variety of ski resorts, you can’t go wrong with a skiing holiday to France. So, whether you’ve been skiing to France before or you’re looking to explore some of the best ski resorts in France for the first time, you’ve come to the right place. Today, we’ll be counting down our five top ski resorts in France, all of which have spectacular ski areas, hundreds of lift links and of course, stunning chalets and hotels for you to rest in after a long day on the slopes. Once we’ve helped you decide on your dream French ski resort, get in touch with the Ski Arrangements team so we can help put together a ski package holiday completely tailored and personalised to you.
We LOVE Val d’Isere! We can’t say that enough and it’s the very reason why this luxury ski resort makes it to the top of our Best French Ski Resorts list. When you combine the amount of pistes, the quality of powder and the night life, there doesn’t get much better. Located on the Espace Killy, Val d’Isere covers a high valley surrounded by 3,000-plus-meter peaks with more than 150 lifts to carry skiers and riders to 300 kilometres of terrain, all of it above an elevation of 1,550 meters. There is a vast variety of pistes and trails for skiers of all skill levels and for the evenings, feast yourself on delicious French cuisine at a number of award-winning restaurants and dance the night away in some of the region’s best nightclubs.
Reputed for its glitz and glamour, Courchevel is crammed with designer shops, slick piano bars, properly posh lodgings and of course, fantastic ski areas. While at first it might seem like an usual choice of novices, Courchevel is in fact an ideal French ski resort for beginners with 23 percent of Courchevel's pistes green for beginners and 35 for intermediates. Situated at one end of the giant Trois Vallées ski area that includes Méribel and Val Thorens, Courchevel also have 60 lifts to give skiers and riders access to 150 kilometres of alpine runs and links to 600 kilometres in the three valleys, encompassing 10 summits with altitudes above 2,500 meters.
While Courchevel is our recommendation for beginners, Chamonix is our top pick for experts. Located on one of the tallest mountains in the Alps, it is no surprise that Chamonix is known as professional territory as it sits within the 4,807 metre tall Mont Blanc. There is plenty of variety here in terms of slopes, with five local ski areas and 175km of pistes all of which differ in gradient and deliver a stunning view of the Mont Blanc Massif, thick forests and diddy hamlets. As the site of the first Winter Olympics, Chamonix has grown into itself over the years now boasting world-class infrastructure, hotels, chalets, restaurants and nightlife to suit.
Think of Serre Chevalier as the more laid back, casual counterpart of its more luxurious cousins Val d’Isere and Courchevel. It is small, less hi-tech but albeit friendlier and relaxed in its atmosphere and it the perfect ski resort for families or couples looking for a more quiet and chilled-out vacation. Located close to the Italian border in the Hautes-Alpes, Serre Chevalier is offers altitudes ranging from 1,200 to 2,800 meters with good quality snow and a fab choice of low ski runs that weave through a large larch forest. For accommodation, we highly recommend Prestige Residence Aquisana which has easy access to the slopes (only 300m away) and a relaxation area with swimming pool.
Last up on our list of top ski resorts in France is Meribel. A popular choice for British skiers, Meribel sits at the heart of the great 3 valleys with a sea of beautiful wooden chalets, lively Anglocentric social scene and traditional architecture. It’s a resort especially well-suited to children with two different areas for beginners: the Meribel Mottaret area and the other at the Altiport area. For adults, there are 600km of green, blue, red and black groomers as far as the eye can see, with powder trails galore. From mid-afternoon onwards, Meribel knows how to put on a party and in our option, Dick’s Tea Bar is a must-visit.