Where to ski and snowboard in France
Skiing in France means huge, dramatic mountain ranges, glorious bustling ski resorts, charming traditional villages, and acres and acres of ski areas.
French ski resorts have some impressive statistics too - France has the worlds longest combined on-piste millage of nearly 5,000 miles. France is also home to the world's oldest ski resort. Europe's highest ski resort is Val Thorens and Europe's highest peak is the 15,771ft high Mont Blanc in the French Alps.
France's ski areas are split into the Northern Alps and the Pyrenees.
Skiing in the French Alps.
There are nearly 400 ski resorts nestled into the valleys of the French Alps, don't worry though - although there are lots of ski resorts in the Northern Alps they only take a small percentage (6%) of the total area, so the French mountains stunning natural beauty remains untouched.
Each year over 200,000 British skiers fly, drive or catch the train across to the French Alps. A ski holiday in France has some clear advantages.
- It's easy to get to - you can be there in a matter of hours
- Great food (either in catered/" title="catered Ski Chalets">catered chalets or available in resort)
- French ski areas are varied and extensive
- Lots of French ski resorts have reliable snow
Most popular French Ski Resorts
Our most popular ten French ski resorts are Morzine, Val d'Isere, Meribel, Val Thorens, Tignes, Les Arcs, Courchevel, La Plagne, Alpe d'Huez and Chamonix.
France is also home to huge linked ski areas - these give you more variety on your ski or snowboarding holiday generally for a similar lift pass cost.
Three Valleys (Les Trois Vallees)
The 3 valleys with over 600 km of pistes and more than 200 ski lifts is made up of 8 interlinked ski resorts - all available from one lift pass. Resorts include Courchevel, Meribel and Val Thorens.
The Espace Killy has over 300 km of downhill skiing, with 150 individual pistes served by 90 ski lifts. Known for it's challenging and demanding terrain L'Epace Killy consists of snowboarding favourite ski resort Tignes (complete with a glacier) and posh but lovely Val D'Isere.
Les Portes du Soleil
Les Portes du Soleil is one of the largest linked ski area in the world, and consists of 14 resorts from Lake Geneva in Switzerland through to Mont Blanc in France and include the French ski resorts of Avoriaz; Chatel; Les Gets; and Morzine.
Newly created the Paradiski area links La Plagne and Les Arcs with the Espace San Bernardo.
Skiing in the Pyrenees
The smaller Pyrenees at the bottom of France has arguably prettier more traditional villages with tiny streets, and snow-tipped wooded chalets, ancient farms and churches. The Pyrenees has 38 ski resorts and 1,000km of marked piste.
At the base of Pic du Midi Mountain the French ski resort of Tourmalet is the largest resort in the French Pyrenees. It comprises the villages of Bagneres and La Mongie, and is not far from Cauterets. Tourmalet has over 100km of pistes.
Traveling to France
There are lots of flights available for the skier to France, with the airports of Lyan, Chambery, and Grenoble all serving the french Alps. Geneva in Switzerland also a major gateway to French ski resorts, particularly those in the north.
The Eurostar is a great way to get to many ski resorts in France. Overnight trains leave London on Friday night and arriving Saturday morning, meaning you often can have an two extra days on the slopes than if you'd flown. Paradiski, the Three Valeys and Espace Killy are all conveniently served by the Eurostar snow train.
A ferry crossing and driving is the third option, which has become increasingly popular. With the cost of ski baggage on flights going up and ferries keen to compete. Skiers and snowboarders can car pool and get to France cheaply. Having a car in resort can be helpful too.
French Ski Resorts
- Alpe d'Huez
- Isola 2000
- La Clusaz
- La Joue du Loup
- La Norma
- La Plagne
- La Rosiere
- La Tania
- Le Grand-Bornand
- Les Arcs
- Les Carroz
- Les Contamines
- Les Deux Alpes
- Les Gets
- Les Menuires
- Les Sept Laux
- Neiges Catalanes
- Saint-Martin De Belleville
- Sainte Foy Tarentaise
- Serre Chevalier
- St Gervais
- St Lary Soulan
- Val d'Isere
- Val Thorens