Chamonix Champagny-En-Vanoise Courchevel La Plagne La Rosiere Les Arcs Meribel Tignes Towns Val Thorens Val-d'Isere Where to stay

The best ski resorts in France

What ski resort best suits you? Which french ski resort suits your skill level? Which alpine destination suits your holiday style? Which are the best ski resorts in France?

We have broken down the best ski resorts in the French Alps to help you understand which ski resort is the best for you and your family.

Planning to visit the french alps in summer? You have to read this!

The best ski resorts in France for families, couples and friends

Which French ski resort is the best?

Val d’Isère

Val-d’Isère is one of the best ski resorts in France for Intermediate skiers, especially those looking to conquer the extensive off-piste areas. The fantastic lift system keeps you connected with neighbouring Tignes to complete a whopping 300kms of pistes called Espace Killy.

Val-d’Isère is a high-end ski and snowboard destination with a village feel complete with luxury fashion and fine dining options to keep the champagne flowing while après-ski all day. The chalets and hotels are some of the ritziest at this end of the alps, so if you are looking for a sophisticated alpine holiday, Val-d’Isère should be your go-to destination.

For a simple apartment in the centre of the village, Résidence Les Cîmes is a great option. If you prefer to stay bougie, the Chalet Valdisere Luxury offers a 6 bedroom private chalet.

Val-d’Isère also has one of the highest tree lines in Europe, giving you plenty of snow and is a great option for early and late season visiting.

This is what makes Val-d’Isère one of the best ski resorts in France in 2023

Highest lift: 3450 m. Verticle drop: 1900 m.
Km of pistes: 300 km. Nearest airport: Chambéry (2 h 1 min)

the best ski resorts in france
20 of the best ski resorts in France

Val Thorens

If you are looking for almost guaranteed snow, Val Thornes could be right for you. With an average of 9m of snowfall per season, Europe’s highest ski resort is one to book!

The Val Thornes lift system whisks you up to 3200 m to the peak. There is plenty of off-piste options and terrain to explore but be warned, whiteout conditions are common because of the altitude. When this happens, just head down the slopes to La Tania for a relaxed day on the treelined pistes.

Val Thornes is home to one of the largest and most expensive ski chalets available to rent, so expect to be rubbing shoulders with some of the European Elite. The Residence Village Montana offers a great well-priced place to stay if you are looking for an apartment-style hotel.

Because of the high altitude, this 3 Valleys ski resort is also a great destination for early and late season ski holidays.

Highest lift: 3230 m. Verticle drop: 2130 m.
Km of pistes: 600 km. Nearest airport: Chambéry ( 1 h 42 min).

french alps ski season dates
French Alps ski season dates vary depending on the resort.

Morzine

Morzine is your gateway to the Portes du Soleil. This resort is a huge area that spreads across the border between France and Switzerland. Seven ski resorts in France and five in Switzerland make up the Portes du Soleil resort. Cross-boarder skiing is possible by the interconnected lifts and pistes between them all. You are able to buy a region-wide ski pass which gives you access to all 12 resorts and allows you to ski on over 600kms of slopes.

Morzine has several world-class snowparks on its doorstep, which makes it a great choice for freeriding lovers. Being based in Morzine also gives you access to Avoriaz via the Super Morzine gondola, where there are even more pistes to enjoy. Morzine and Avoriaz have 80 trails, of which, 52 are red and blue intermediates, with nine each for beginners and experts, making these two areas a haven for recreational skiers.

Morzine has lots of great value catered and self-catered chalets. It is mostly classic alpine chalets and rustic lodges. So it is popular with families and bigger groups of people. Being able to self cater also helps keep prices down. Hôtel l’Igloo is a charming little 3-star hotel that ticks all the right boxes for location and price. If you are flying in, it’s also worth noting the short transfer time from Geneva.

Highest lift: 3200 m. Verticle drop: 2200 m.
Km of pistes: 659 km. Nearest airport: Geneva

Courchevel 1850

Les 3 Vallées is the largest linked ski area in the world with 600km of slopes and 200 ski lifts. 23 per cent of Courchevel’s pistes are green for beginners and 35 per cent are for intermediates. Beginner areas are always located next to at least one free chairlift, making Courchevel family-friendly.

The skiing and resorts are spread between 3 huge valleys, with the most famous being Courchevel and its four resorts. Courchevel is popular for its incredible variety of terrain. You have access to Stunning tree runs, steep and exhilarating off-piste action, beautifully groomed piste and chilled out beginner slopes. It’s a great resort for all skill abilities and levels but if you do get bored, you also have access to the rest of Les 3 Vallées and Méribel.

Courchevel 1850 is the home of Alpine glitz and glamour and the finest luxury ski in ski out chalets. (Courchevel 1650 and Courchevel 1550 offer a more relaxed and affordable base in the valley and are great options for families.) Expect to pay top dollar for this ski-in ski-out alpine base, but if you are looking for a luxury ski holiday, Courchevel could be it. Fully staffed private chalets with Michelin dining on your doorstep make this quite the favourite ski destination for the ultra-wealthy and celebrities.

Pearl Apartment Courchevel 1850 offers a modern 3 bedroom apartment in the heart of Courchevel which is perfect for small families or groups of friends going skiing.

Highest lift: 3230 m. Verticle drop: 2130 m.
Km of pistes: 600 km. Nearest airport: Chambéry (1 h 34 min).

The best ski resorts in France

Megève

Megève began as the rival to St Moritz when rich Parisians would flock here each winter. Its cobblestoned streets and charming village atmosphere still hold those luxury roots.

Michelin star restaurants and other high-end dining options are dotted around the village. The exclusive shopping options include French fashion houses and luxury jewellery stores. The resort centre is car-free making it very pedestrian-friendly, and getting around can be amusing with the horse-drawn sleighs. Megève is the ultimate choice for those seeking elegance and exclusivity.

There are three main ski areas, offering hundreds of kilometres of nice cruising terrain for beginners and intermediates. Megève is protected from a lot of the weather as so much of the town is below the tree line. Sunny days help make this ski resort a favourite for many families. The Novotel Megève Mont-Blanc Hotel is a standout property for its spa and pool area.

There is an open-air ice rink which is popular and a gondola right from the village centre to the Rochebrune slopes. The backdrop of Mt Blanc makes this one of the best ski resorts in France.

Highest lift: 2350 m. Verticle drop: 1050 m.
Km of pistes: 445 km. Nearest airport: Chambéry-Savoie

Chamonix : one of the best ski resorts in France
Chamonix: one of the best ski resorts in France

Chamonix

What a lot of people love about Chamonix, is its ability to appeal to both skiers and non-skiers. It is also a perfect all year round destination, although skiing is only possible in winter. There is plenty to do in the town that doesn’t involve hitting the slopes, but of course, if you are an avid snow bunny, Chamonix is a treat.

Did you know that the famous La Folie deuce brand has a hotel in Chamonix? It’s gorgeous!

Situated at the base of Mount Blanc, the terrain in Chamonix includes some of the best off-piste skiing in the world. Advanced skiers will love the fresh powder around Grance Montets and Vallee Blanche. The often sunny north-facing slopes of Le Brévent are great for fast top to bottom runs. For a chilled-out ski day, head for the rolling terrain and wide-open pistes of Le Tour.

Chamonix is the birthplace of skiing in France, but there really is something here for everyone. Hitting the ski resort is of course the main activity, but many people also come to relax in a beautiful chalet or hang out in the bustling and lively town.  Take the cable car ascent to the Aiguille du Midi, a mountain station at 3,842 metres, with the best view of Europe’s highest mountain- Mt Blanc.

Highest lift: 3842 m. Verticle drop: 2807 m.
Km of pistes: 170 km. Nearest airport: Geneva

Méribel

Méribel sits at the centre of Les 3 Vallées resort. It is the best place for those wanting to base themselves in the birthplace of the “ski chalet holiday” destination. It is famous for being a picturesque resort built of traditional alpine chalets and having the best après ski scenes in the Alps.

Both catered and self-catered chalets are available with something to suit all tastes, Méribel is one of the most popular french alps resorts (and also one of the prettiest) for anyone wanting a traditional chalet-style holiday.

Méribel is especially well suited to children, with two different areas for beginners. There are also dedicated kid ski areas such as the “Moon Wild”, a trail with life-sized “animals” hidden in the woods, and “P’tit Moon” which is reserved for children ages 7 to 12.

There are also 8 green-marked pistes for beginners, and 24 Blue pistes for those advancing their skills. The highest skiing in Méribel begins at 2,952 meters on Mont Vallon, with a 1,000-meter descent, thrilling for both its difficulty and its unparalleled Alpine views.

Highest lift: 3230 m. Verticle drop: 2130 m.
Km of pistes: 600 km. Nearest airport: Chambéry ( 1 h 18 min).

Les Arcs Resort: The best ski resorts in France

Les Arcs 

 Les Arcs is a great ski destination, especially for families during the peak school holiday weeks. Keep an eye out for deals as many of the hotels that make up the villages in Les Arcs offer great weekly rates for families and couples. You can stay in a known hotel chain, or privately rented apartments like this one with 4 bedrooms if you are a big group.

Les Arcs makes up part of the huge Paradiski ski area and with new high-speed chairlifts, including some six seaters, it’s quick and easy to get around. It does have fewer runs for beginners than other resorts but combined with La Plagne, you will have over 400kms of pistes to use. (La Plagne has more beginner areas, more on that next)

The steeper terrain is perfect for experienced skiers, which is what makes Les Arcs one of the best ski resorts in the French Alps. You can hire a guide and experience the amazing off-piste run down Aiguille Rouge, enjoying the high open runs and sheltered woodland trails at lower altitudes. Les Arcs also has ample long black runs and off-piste terrain to keep the experts happy.

Highest lift: 3250 m. Verticle drop: 2000 m.
Km of pistes:
 425 km. Nearest airport: Chambéry (1 h 52 min).

La Plagne

La Plagne is the perfect ski resort for intermediate and beginning skiers and for this reason, it is also a favourite for families. It has wide slopes giving beginners plenty of space and gentle descent to help with learning to ski. The Fun Slope is purpose-built to help new skiers gain confidence and includes a well-groomed piste with jumps and challenges. For those wanting to push their freestyle skills further, Le Grand Park is perfectly suited. It’s at the top of Belle Plagne and has more advanced features, such as rails, tables, an airbag, and a boardercross course.

Snowboarders beware, there are lots of flat spots in La Plagne, so make sure your board is freshly waxed up before you go.

The 11 villages that makeup La Plange all offer ski-in-ski-out facilities creating a seamless ski holiday, but keep in mind the differences in elevation with each village. They range from 3,250 metres descending 1,250 metres, so snow conditions and weather can be completely different. Chalet Hotel Christina is one of the most popular hotels in la Plagne and books out early, so get in fast.

Highest lift: 3250 m. Verticle drop: 2000 m.
Km of pistes: 425 km. Nearest airport: Chambéry (1 h 38 min).

The best ski resorts in France
Some of the best ski resorts in France are in the French Alps

Sainte Foy 

Saint Foy is famous for having some of the best off-piste skiing in the French Alps. However, it offers great value luxury chalets and ski passes and is a great choice for expert skiers who enjoy the off-piste experience. Sainte Foy ski area ranges from 1550m to 2620m, offering 800 hectares of forests and high-altitude slopes with 26 pistes of varying difficulty.

Beginners are also well accommodated in Sainte Foy.

  • Skiing is free for all beginners on the village ski slopes, both adults and children!
  • Marmots and Gallopins: 2 magic carpets offering free access.

While there are only 6 lifts in Sainte Foy, a lot of money has been spent recently on reinvigorating the pistes and creating new areas. Over 100 snow cannons are now used to maintain the snow when needed.

The Sainte Foy village has been built with a traditional alpine chalet feel. It has a pedestrian centre and lots of dining options for those looking to eat outside their chalets. We found this amazing 4 bedroom apartment for a steal!

Highest lift: 2620 m. Verticle drop: 1550 m.
Km of pistes: 25 km. Nearest airport: Chambéry (1 h 36 min).

Châtel

Châtel is a pretty alpine village situated in the heart of the vast Portes du Soleil ski area and is nestled into the border of Switzerland.

Châtel is one of 12 linked resorts: 8 French resorts including Avoriaz, Morzine, Montriond, Les Gets, St Jean d’Aulps, Abondance, La Chapelle d’Abondance and Châtel and 4 Swiss resorts: Champéry, Torgon, Morgins, Les Crosets – Val d’Illiez – Champoussin.

Skiers are delighted with the 306 runs they have to choose from, with 195 ski lifts taking them all over the Portes du Soleil. All of this can be accessed by a single pass. The Châtel Smoothpark snowpark is super fun to ride and is accessible to budding freestylers, but has features for more advanced riders too. Freestylers can test out their moves on the quarter pipe, several rails, kickers, and much more.

All types of accommodation are available in Châtel, with chalets and hotels popular with families. Here’s a great 6 bedroom chalet if you are travelling in a big group. They also offer more affordable places to stay such as camping and youth hostels with dorm rooms.
Châtel also has direct access to Avoriaz, Morgins and Torgon.

Highest lift: 2200 m. Verticle drop: 1000 m.
Km of pistes: 83 km. Nearest airport: Geneva

The best ski resorts in France

La Grave

La Grave-La Meije isn’t a typical ski resort. In fact, we can’t even really call it a resort, as there are no rope pistes, instead you must take things into your own hands. Experienced Skiers only!

Hire a guide to navigate this serious mountain environment, and help you ski down the narrow, unmarked and non-patrolled terrain. There is over 2kms of vertical drop with couloirs, massive cliffs, gullies, chutes, steeps, trees and crevasses. La Grave is extreme freeskiing at its very best.

At La Grave, you can get back to skiing as the region’s pioneers intended: This destination is all about off-piste and adventure skiing, and for that reason is strictly for the experts.

Accommodation is more on the low key side of things. Small apartments and locally owned properties are what you can expect. There are no flashy resorts and international hotel chains here- yet.

Highest lift: 3560 m. Verticle drop: 2150 m.
Km of pistes: 9 km. Nearest airport: Grenoble (1 h 32 min).

The best ski resorts in France
The best ski resorts in France for families

La Rosière

Located high in the Tarentaise Valley between Bourg-Saint-Maurice and Val d’Isère, La Rosière backs onto the Italian side of Mont Blanc and is positioned at the gateway to the Vanoise national park.

Reputed for its abundant snow, La Rosière finds itself every year in the top 10 of the French ski resorts with the most snowfall. The resort is popular for off-piste, and it’s one of the only places in the French Alps where you can go heli-skiing.

Its Franco-Italian ski area makes it a unique destination for skiers and foodies- Sick of fondue? Head over the border for a fresh-made pizza!

The more advanced skiers will be able to have fun on the steep pistes of Mont Valaisan and from its summit at an altitude of 2800m.

Those preferring a more chilled out ski can enjoy the easier sun-facing pistes which zig-zag through the resort. There are even themed pistes to keep children occupied during the day.

The Club Med hotel is a popular choice for families, but there are also chalets and Airbnb’s available to stay in too. If you choose to self-cater, there is a large supermarket (SuperU) at Bourg-St-Maurice to stock up in before you enter La Rosière. I found this amazing chalet in La Rosiere that sleeps 12, and has some amazing views!

Highest lift: 2641 m. Verticle drop: 1465 m.
Km of pistes: 150 km. Nearest airport: Chambéry (1 h 24 min).

tignes tin the French Alps

Tignes

Tignes is a huge high-altitude purpose-built ski resort that offers skiing almost year-round thanks to access to the Grande Motte glacier. It is connected to the Espace Killy along with Val-d’Isère which allows ski pass holders to use over 300kms of piste.

Take the underground funicular up to Grande Motte glacier, which skiing is often available in July on the glacier! During winter, Tignes has very reliable snow coverage with almost guaranteed snowfall. The sheer variety of terrain, from high-quality pistes to world-class off-piste and great snowparks to the steep and challenging Sache run, means there’s something for everyone no matter what your ability.

Val Claret and Tignes-le-Lac are the highest villages here and offer the easiest access to the slopes. With a wide variety of accommodation available, there will be something to suit everyone. Hotels and apartments are more common than chalets in the main part of the village. Like this place that offers perfect ski in ski out apartment living at very reasonable prices.

Highest lift: 3450 m. Verticle drop: 1900 m.
Km of pistes: 300 km. Nearest airport: Chambéry (1 h 58 min).

The best ski resorts in France
The best ski resorts in France

La Clusaz

For travellers looking for a ski resort that appeals to all levels of skiers, and without the crowds, La Clusaz might be a great option. The traditional alpine town has a particular charm surrounding it that makes it much more appealing than the bigger purpose-built ski resorts nearby. The indoor swimming pool makes Hotel Beauregard one of the town’s favourite hotels.

Located only an hour’s drive from Geneva airport also makes it the perfect getaway for anyone who doesn’t want to waste a whole day travelling.

La Clusaz is great for beginners, while also having some amazing tree-lined runs and intermediate runs. Only 10 per cent of the run are black rated, so if you are looking for a more challenging piste, head to La Balme area. There are 5 interlinked mountain peaks and 132kms of groomed runs. Of that, 50% are blue runs, and a third are rated red for advanced intermediates.

There is a market every Monday on La Place de l’Eglise, which keeps the town lively. There are also many shops catering to skiers, snowboarders and everything in between.

One of the points that make La Clusaz one of the best ski resorts in the french alps is that it is not easy to get to. This means they don’t have so many day-trippers crowing the slopes and you will find the town’s vibe much more “local”.

Highest lift: 2600 m. Verticle drop: 1500 m.
Km of pistes: 132 km. Nearest airport: Geneva.

The best ski resorts in France

Avoriaz

Avoriaz is ideally located in the middle of the Portes du Soleil ski area, with access to high-altitude skiing among the stunning panoramas in the Alps. You can ski in stunning countryside, with open panoramic views of Les Dents du Midi and Les Dents Blanches. Avoriaz straddles the border of Switzerland which means much of the slopes are in the shade for most of the day, but the purpose-built resort has been constructed to take advantage of the sun.

The resort is traffic-free, so snowcats or horse-drawn sleighs transport your luggage to your accommodation. There is a nice variety of hotels and chalets to stay in along with self-catered apartments. Résidence Antarès has been a favourite with returning guests, offering fantastic hotel views. Avoriaz is often considered one of the best ski resorts in France for skiers.

Being a part of the Portes du Soleil ski pass offers over 650 kilometres of piste and 283 runs. Most of the connecting slopes are for intermediate skiers, but Avoriaz has plenty of fantastic ski schools that teach new skiers.

For freestyles, there is a super-pipe and five snowparks to spend their days on. And off-piste skiing is also possible- did we mention that over 8meters of snowfalls every year here?

Highest lift: 3200 m. Verticle drop: 2200 m.
Km of pistes: 659 km. Nearest airport: Geneva

Enjoying The best ski resorts in France this season!

Serre Chevalier

Serre Chevalier offers a relaxed and laid back atmosphere. You won’t find the flashy and over the top hotels, entertainment or people here. There are several small villages all connected by a bus service, so getting around is easy. We found this self-contained apartment in the heart of the village.

There is over 250 km of well-linked pistes in this Hautes-Alpes ski resort. Located close to Italy, it sits at altitudes from 1200 to 2800m with a north-facing position. To assure you of great ski conditions for the entirety of winter, one-third of the entire ski area is covered by one of France’s most extensive snowmaking systems.

Access other parts of the Grande Galaxie ski area, a vast region with 530 kilometres of alpine skiing served by 151 ski lifts. Snowboarders have a dedicated freestyle zone at Villeneuve, and there’s a boardercross zone in Chantemerle.

Serre Chevalier is home to some of the best off-piste skiing in the southern French Alpes. You will find the pistes uncrowded, especially if you head up the valley to Monêtier-Les-Bains. Where you will find an abundance of great pistes, several nice tree runs and plenty of excellent natural terrain.

Serre Chevalier is an affordable but picturesque destination and the perfect place to get some serious skiing done. It is not for those who are for wanting to “be seen” while après-ski.


Highest lift: 2830 m. Verticle drop: 1630 m.
Km of pistes: 250 km. Nearest airport: Grenoble (2 h 7 min).

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