Choosing the best ski resort in France can be tricky. There are too many of them, with similar facilities and offerings, nestled in the beautiful landscapes of the country. In an attempt to prepare you for an amazing skiing holiday, we try and simplify what skiing resorts mean, what do they comprise, what are the charges and so on.
To start with, ski resorts in France are primarily villages or towns in a mountainous area, developed for skiing, snowboarding, and other winter sports. They are an experience in themselves and offers a multitude of entertaining activities for their guests.
Skiing In France – Things You Must Know
Before you look for the best ski resorts, there are certain things that should be crystal clear to you. Most important ones of these are the usual temperature at French ski resorts and what is cost range.
1. Skiing season in France starts from mid-December and lasts till March-April. If early season skiing is on your mind, Tignes and Les 2 Alpes are the only two options in France.
2. Temperature during this season will be above 10-11 degrees Celsius on a sunny day and might dip to 2-3 degrees on a cloudy day.
Skiing costs will vary slightly for different resorts, but the range restricts from €20 to €30 in most cases. You can either choose a single day skiing option or take a 6-day ski pass, which ultimately costs lesser than per day charges. What option you take may depend on the group size, duration of travel, and overall budget of the trip. See here for cost estimates.
Best Ski Resorts In France For Snowboarding & Skiing
1. Avoriaz, Portes du Soleil
Avoriaz is one of the best ski resorts in France and among the largest in the world. It is located in the hilly areas of Portes du Soleil, a pass between France and Switzerland. Skiing here takes place in the Format area with huge boulders and fissures. And as you ski through the gorgeous countryside, stunning views of Dents du Midi and Dents Blanches are sure to distract you.
Cost: Skiing at Avoriaz starts at €33 – the price for 5 hours of skiing for kids. For further cost details, see here.
Skiing Options: You can either join the Snow School for full-fledged lessons in skiing or go for independent instructors. Equipment renting option is also available.
Best places to stay: Avoriaz ski resort offers multiple stay options for different budgets. Friends and singles looking for cheaper options should explore self-catering apartments and private lets. If you can raise the budget, go for chalets, apartments or hotels. Best stays at Avoriaz, however, are Hotel Des Dromonts, Club Med, and Pierre and Vacances Residence and Spa.
Attractions besides skiing: At Avoriaz ski resort you can also go for snowboarding and golfing. If you are with kids, fun is guaranteed at the Aquariaz – the highest water park in Europe. Click here to choose from a plethora of snow activities, family activities, and adventure sports. These numerous attractions make Avoriaz one of the best family ski resorts in France.
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Located at the convergence of France, Italy, and Switzerland, Chamonix is among popular skiing resorts in France. This famous French ski resort is located at the base hill of Mt Blanc, the highest summit of Alps. It is one of the oldest ski resorts in France and is popularly known as the Gateway to European Cascades.
It is the best freeride resort in the world and houses 5 ski resorts – Grands Montets, Les Houches, Le Tour/Balme, La Flegere and Le Brevent.
Cost: In Chamonix resort, 4 types of ski passes are available for tourists:
- Mont-Blanc Unlimited (MBU) – Full Area Pass, including the neighboring resorts
- Chamonix Le Pass – Local Area Pass, suited to learners and short breaks
- Les Houches – Smaller Local Ski Resort, suited to families and small groups
- Rapid Card – a prepaid, pay-as-you-go, non-consecutive multi-day loyalty pass
- The most popular passes are for 6 days ski program and cost about € 293 for adults (16-64) years. For further details regarding cost and permissible age limit see here.
Skiing Options: You can achieve one of the premium skiing experience at Chamonix ski resorts while skiing with professional skiers along the slopes of Mont Blanc range. Skiing equipment for the novice as well as the experts are available on rent and ski guides are exceptionally competent and professional in nature. The wide variery makes Chamonix one of the good ski resorts in France for beginners and professionals alike.
Best places to stay: Chamonix ski resort offers a variety of stay options for different wallet sizes, ranging from service apartments, dormitories with bed and breakfast, campsites, holiday centers, chalets, and hotels. There are also options for mountains huts, hostels, and campervan hire. Best accommodation options are at Hotel Terra Nova, Chalet Hotel Les Rhododendrons and Araucaria.
Attractions besides skiing: Cable car rides to nearest peaks as here are one of the highest cable cars in the world, foot treks on the glacier, ice-skating on the ice rink, skiing, cross-country skiing, and tobogganing.
Tignes is among the best French ski resorts, situated in the Tarentaise Valley. It acted as a freestyle skiing venue for Winter Olympics and Winter Para Olympics of 1992. Together with nearby Val d’Isère, it forms the “Espace Killy” ski area.
Cost: The cost of skiing equipment hired at Tignes starts at £108.33 for adults. There are various categories of packages like Bronze, Silver and Gold. For further information, see here. However the equipment will be delivered to your accommodation and the technicians will help you to fit into it.
Skiing Options: Tignes has a 300 km extensive skiing terrain with one end meeting with Pissaillas glacier. You don’t need to be a pro, but basic physical fitness is desired always to extract the maximum fun during this snow activity. However, there are Ski Schools for guidance and support.
Best places to stay: Tignes offers large accommodation options for tourists. The best one being Club Med Tignes Val Claret, Les Suites Du Neveda, and Hotel Diva. However you can easily find homestays with bed and breakfast options, studio apartments, and self-catering rented spaces.
Attractions besides skiing: At Tignes, you can enjoy snowboarding, snowshoeing, and snow biking at Tignes Bike Park. There is mountain biking school located at the foothill region. This downhill mountain biking school is based in Tignes where bikers have entree to the vast Espace Killy mountain biking area (Tignes & Val d’Isere). Moreover after an exhaustive day, one can also relax at spa or steam room located near the main lift station.
4. Les Karellis
One of the best ski resorts in France, Les Karellis is a popular destination for winter sports. Located at the centre of Maurienne Valley, this mammoth ski area can be reached by taking a train till Saint Jean de Maurienne and availing regular shuttle thereafter.
Cost: Skiing costs are of two types here. One can get a day ski pass which ranges between € 26 for adults to € 18.20 for children between 6-11 years. One can also get weekly passes starting from € 52,10. For details, see here.
Skiing Options: Les Karellis offers the best ski facility for amateur skiers and vacationers. The vast ski area and the snow park is restricted by very limited stay options; hence, fewer people ski happily on vast tracts. No queue, no hurry, no rush!
Best places to stay: There are many apartments for rent, holiday clubs, and hotels available as stay options. Few premium hotel options are Arc-en-Ciel, Village Club Les Karellis, and Les Balcons de Maurienne.
Attractions besides skiing: One can enjoy snowboarding, biking, and skiing under proper training and guidance of Ski School located there. However, there are plenty of other activities too! Walking atop the mountain is one such fascinating option. Head to the summits and stop off at “La Vinouva” altitude restaurant, cross the forest, go around the lakes and discover typical mountain hamlets. One can also go for Heritage tours to Barrière de l’Esseillon, Aussois, Saint Jean de Maurienne and Montricher, and MONTRICHER the Eco Museum. Dog sledge option is also there. For further details, click here.
5. Serre Chevalier
Serre Chevalier is among the largest skiing resorts in France, located at an altitude between 1,200 meters and 2,800 meters. Serre Chevalier is a south facing valley dotted with hamlets and small settlements offering best ski facilities.
Cost: In Serre Chevalier, from December onwards, season rate for skiing depend on the age group and days and hours of skiing. It starts at 10 € à 23 € for a day and goes to 45 € à 100 € for 6 days. For complete info, see here.
Skiing Options: One can go for 6 days skiing package or enjoy individual skiing along the slopes.
Best places to stay: Serre Chevalier offers a wide range of stay options like bed and breakfast, holiday villages, private apartments and hotels, depending on your budget. Few best hotel options are; Chalet hotel de Serre Ratier, Sari Pi Mai, and Hotel La Maison du Buz.
Attractions besides skiing: Along with snowboarding in Serre Chevalier vallee and rafting in Tutte le Salse one can also explore heritage trips in Art Sacre Museum, Atelier D Artiste, Galerie Alezareoline etc, indulge in spa and hammam or steam bath.
Amidst of French Alps, Valberg is a hilly village offering 90 km ski area with fun zones and snow park. Characterised by beautiful flora fauna and cool and comfortable weather, Valberg is definitely among the best ski resorts in France.
Cost: In Valberg skiing can be done for half a day, or by taking a 6 days package; charges vary accordingly. Skiing charges for an adult for half a day is €23.30 and for 6 days is €161.70. For more info click here.
Skiing Options: This skiing resort offers options of Alpine skiing, cross-country skiing, and mountaineering, among many others.
Best places to stay: Some of the best hotel options in the ski resort are Hotel Le Chalet Suisse, Hotel Le Chastellan, and Hotel Blanche Neige. However if your budget is low, there are self-catering apartments and dormitories available.
Attractions besides skiing: Nordic skiing trails for snowshoeing, skating and snowmobile rides, and the relaxing spa and swimming pool.
Morzine is a panoramic ski resort with a mesmerizing backdrop, classy ski facilities, and hotels and restaurants in the Rhône-Alpes region of eastern France. Morzine is a market town and is bordered by a river valley and thickly vegetated slopes. Among the best ski resorts in France, Morzine never fails to enthrall the skiers with a mesmerizing panoramic view and the amazing ski facilities.
Cost: For 6 days, charges for an adult are € 247.50 and for children the amount is € 186.00. For details regarding ski passes, see here.
Skiing Options: Skiing is extensive in Morzine. Novice as well as experts can ski and even rent skiing equipment.
Best places to stay: Basic options to choose from are apartments, hotels, luxury hotels and chalets. Best resorts, however, are Hotel L’Aubergade, Hotel Le Dahu, and Hotel Le Chaumeiere.
Attractions besides skiing: One can indulge in Mountain biking, valet football, skiing, and snowboarding. However shopping, visiting nearby villages and heritage sights can also be included in tour schedules. For party people, there are some awesome nightclubs too.
Megeve, a popular among the skiing resorts in France, is a picturesque and almost virgin town amidst the French Alps region. The quaint ski resort is one of the most happening and upmarket ski resorts in France.
Cost: An adult can ski for half a day at €41.00 and for 6 days €225.00. Get details here.
Skiing Options: Skiing in Megève is a luxury and exclusive experience that starts in the heart of our village to cap on the summits where the glaciers of the Mont-c enlighten the senses. Here there’s a skiing kindergarten for kids and regular skiing schools for adults. Cross country skiing is also available, and so is the equipment on hire if you are a pro.
Best places to stay: Accommodation options available at Megeve include hotels like Mont Blanc Hotel, Hotel Le Fer a Cheval, and Hotel Chalet Saint Gorges, chalets, individual rentals, outdoor and collective accommodation and bed and breakfast.
Attractions besides skiing: Skiing in Mt D’Arbois area and La Jalliet ski area, chapels and churches at Le Chemin du Calvaire, outdoor activities like snowboarding, Aerocime, and snow skating, and the luxuriant wellness spa at Les Fermes de Marie.
9. La Plagne
Located in the Alpine valley of France, La Plagne is a one of the vast ski resorts in France owned by Compagnie des Alpes. La Plagne is located at an elevation of 3250 meters and the ski space is spread over 100 sq km area. Its vast spans and the variety of skiing and stay options make it one of the best ski resorts in France.
Cost: The cost of skiing varies with the number of days and hours of skiing as well as with age groups. For estimates, see here.
Skiing Options: One can enjoy Nordic skiing, Alpine skiing, and cross-country skiing at an individual level or under the guidance of Ski School.
Best places to stay: You can choose to stay in apartments and chalets, holiday villages, campsites, mobile homes or hotels. Best picks for hotels are Hotel Terra Nova, Chalet Hotel Les Rhododendrons, and Araucaria.
Attractions besides skiing: The enthralling skiing experience at Snake Gliss Station de Altitude, L’équipe d’AN Rafting service, bowling de La Plagne, the Mouth Bar, Paradifly, and the snow biking known as Snowpanthers
10. Isola 2000
Isola is one of the summits of Southern Alps; a winter sport hotspot in France. The place is located at an elevation of 2000 meters, along the border of Italy. Indeed one of the best ski resorts in France, Isola is a place to rejoice outdoor activities, food, and superb weather.
Cost: In Isola, season rate for ski pass is € 5. Find out more details here.
Skiing Options: You can either get enrolled the Snow School for guidance in skiing or go for independent instructors and rental.
Best places to stay: One can stay at hotels, campsites, vacation villages, and private lets. However, the best hotels are Hotel Club du Soleil Le Pas du Loup, New Chastillon, and Hotel Druos.
Attractions besides skiing: Great skiing experience, trekking along the sunny slopes, dining at Isoliane, enjoying water slides in Aqavallee, and enjoying drinks at the Crocodile pub.
These best ski resorts in France will induce the traveller’s instinct within you. Trust us, and your next holiday will be superbly fascinating and unbelievably adventurous.
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