With such a huge variety of skiing available within the region, France offers a ski experience that is almost impossible to match anywhere in the world. The range of French ski resorts is constantly improving and with more travelers considering France for their ski location in 2013 than ever before, there is a ski resort to suit almost any taste or ability.
French Ski Resorts
Alpe d’Huez – Lively and Fun for All Levels
Following its remarkable expansion and redesign over the last 20 years, Alpe d’Huez now boasts over 300 individual ski trails and 80 lifts that take advantage of high sunny slopes on a south / south westerly facing aspect.
This lively resort, situated just east of Grenoble, is spread over a large area and offers everything from bright sunny nursery slopes through to a selection of the longest unbroken vertical ski drops found anywhere in the world.
Lift passes from Alpe d’Huez provide admission to neighbouring resorts accessed by local bus. But if you want to arrive in style, opt for a helicopter trip that captures the resort in all of its glory.
Gorgeous Chalet accommodation and beautiful mountain restaurants take advantage of the stunning panoramic views and enjoy snow-sure runs throughout the midwinter months thanks to the snow augmenting skills of the friendly staff.
Courchevel – Best for Beginners
As part of the Trois Vallées ski area, Courchevel is a glitzy, exclusive ski resort that appeals to the rich and famous. But look behind this façade and you can also find a range of beautiful slopes, reasonably priced that are ideal for the skiing novice.
While the upper end 1850 accommodation is the place to go if budget is not an issue, the more affordable 1650 area not only provides cheaper accommodation but also has a range of more secluded nursery slopes that are ideal to develop confidence before hitting the main runs.
Even children are made at home within Courchevel who offer specialised ski school waistcoats that work with the releasing mechanism on the chairlifts to ensure a safe and secure ride.
Serre Chevalier – Ideal for Intermediate Skiers
The Serre Chevalier is less of a ski resort and more of a collection of villages linked together to provide a relaxed and friendly location for the intermediate skier.
As part of the Grande Galaxie area, the Serre Chevalier offers access to 250 kilometres of runs across more than 260 pistes from 75 ski lifts in the region.
There are five cross country ski trails within the resort as well as a range of natural half-pipes that are ideal for snowboarding fans.
The on-site ski school is run by New Generation and is always on hand to provide that extra bit of coaching when required while family-run hotels provide a traditional feel to a fabulous resort.
Probably the most well known of all French Ski Resorts thanks to it’s Olympic history, Val d’Isere is the Mecca of French Skiing for many advanced skiers.
A specifically created Snow Park and 300 kilometres of beautiful on and off pistes slopes ensure the popularity of this resort shows no signs of abating.
The infrastructure that was developed to create the Olympic village has been built upon to create one of the best serviced ski resorts in the world.
Over 90 lifts provide access to the surrounding mountains so that you can enjoy an entire day of uninterrupted skiing without even having to return to the village.
And once the sun has set, the range of après ski activity at Val d’Isere is second to none, creating a wonderful skiing experience for beginners and experts alike.
Chamonix – Perfect for a Short Stay or Weekend Away
With Mont Blanc creating a stunning backdrop to this eclectic ski resort, the beauty of Chamonix not only comes from the breathtaking scenery but also the lay out of the location itself.
The range of satellite villages that make up this resort mean that you choose your accommodation to match your preferred skill level and then take advantage of some of the 152 kilometres of trail that suit your preference.
At only one hour from Geneva airport, this is the perfect place for a weekend or short break any time of the year. The terrain is outstanding for skiers of all levels and the opportunity to face the vertical drops offered by the Mont Blanc massif is not to be missed.
Tignes – for Guaranteed Snow
Though no resort can guarantee the snow, Tignes is probably the most reliable of all European destinations when conditions are a concern.
Just a short distance from Val d’Isère, the resort offers some of the best ski holidays in France and possibly across the world. It boasts 1400 meter drops 10 months of the year and even greater challenges when the conditions are at their peak.
With 200 cannons in place for snow augmentation across its 300 kilometres of slopes and trails, Tignes can offer beautiful snowy conditions for any level of skill almost any time you want to ski.
Les Gets – Best Family Fun
As more and more families enjoy skiing holidays together, the variety of family ski holidays in France is increasing all the time. But in 2013, we believe Les Gets in Portes de Soleil will offer some of the best facilities to those that want to ski with young children.
The range of accommodation suits almost any price range and varies from comfortable chalets with nanny services through to the opulent Chalet Ferme de Moudon for the ultimate in elegance.
With a modest altitude, Les Gets is the perfect place to encourage your children to ski while still offering some challenging trails for the adults.
Snow cover can be an issue towards the ends of the season so make sure you book in peak times to gain more of a chance of excellent conditions.
Although we’ve covered 7 of our favorite skiing destinations in France, there are many others – what’s your favorite? Leave a note in the comments below about your favorite French ski resorts.