Five of the best ski resorts in France

Newsroom Ski destinations Five of the best ski resorts in France

France is still the most popular destination for British skiers and snowboarders. But how do we narrow down the best ski resorts in France?

With more than 350 ski resorts in the French Alps, there is a resort for everyone: whether you prefer vast lift-linked ski networks or quiet local slopes; purpose-built resorts or traditional mountain villages.

Five of the best ski resorts in France


Snowsure skiing for all levels

Tignes is well deserving of its place on our ‘best ski resorts’ in France list, because it has one of the longest ski seasons in Europe. Sharing a massive ski area with neighbouring Val d’Isere (300km), snowsure Tignes offers high-altitude skiing up to 3,456m on the Grande Motte glacier. Most of the ski area is above 1800m and it is a great choice for skiers of all levels. You’ll find tree-lined runs, long descents, cruisy blues and steep reds. Beginners will find free lifts in the nursery areas while advanced skiers hit the challenging 10km black run, La Sache. The purpose-built resort is made up of several villages, each with its own feel. Most skiers favour centrally located Val Claret and Le Lac, which also has the liveliest nightlife. While Tignes villages don’t win any awards for ambiance, you’ll find plenty of ski-in/ski-out accommodation and vast open fields of snow.  Families favour quiet Le Lac for its nursery slopes and non-skiing activities. A favourite off-slope family activity is Le Lagon public pool, with its 25-metre pool, hot tubs, saunas and steam rooms.

Snowboarding, Tignes FR.
Snowboarding in Tignes. ©Shutterstock

La Clusaz

Unspoilt rustic village; great choice for weekend skiers

An hour’s drive from Geneva, La Clusaz (1040m) has surprisingly quiet ski slopes compared to its more popular neighbours, like Chamonix. Also, prices are noticeably more affordable in La Clusaz. The resort’s 150km of ski slopes reach up to an altitude of 2500m and are well-suited to all levels. The resort is part of the Aravis ski domain which includes several interconnected ski resorts such as La Grand Bornand and Manigod. Beginners ski areas can be found both up on the mountain and next to the village. There’s a good selection for intermediates, from cruisy blues to more challenging tree-lined runs and wide-open bowls. Advanced skiers head to the Col de Balme area for the challenging off-piste. The unspoiled village offers a rustic charm with a good selection of restaurants.

Unspoilt La Clusaz in France. ©La Clusaz/Facebook


Eco-friendly resort home to the legendary Swiss Wall

This 1960s purpose-built ski resort is the best ski resort in France for ski-to-door accommodation. In fact you can more or less ski anywhere in the village on skis due to is high altitude and car-free centre. Avoriaz makes up part of the Franco-Swiss Portes du Soleil ski area (650km), along with Morzine, Les Gets and Chatel. The resort is home to no less than five snow parks and a 120-metre-long super pipe. Avoriaz’s environmental values are obvious throughout the resort, from the horse-drawn sleighs to the Stash snow park made from fallen trees. The vast range of skiing is suitable for all levels, from the unnerving black Swiss Wall to the many long blue runs. There’s also the Village des Enfants in the centre where small children can play while parents keep an eye on them. Off the slopes, the sub-tropical Aquariaz water park boasts a waterfall and a series of pools, water jets, slides, with currents at different speeds. Avoriaz also plays host to two of the biggest mountain music festivals in the world: Rock the Pistes and Snowboxx.

Horse-drawn sleigh in Avoriaz. ©Avoriaz/Facebook


Medieval charm and tree-lined runs

Another car-free resort, Megeve is home to cobbled stone streets and traditional chocolate-box charm. The resort attract wealthy French skiers to its pristine slopes. The resort sits at a relatively low altitude (1,100m) but is ideal for intermediate skiers with its easy cruising blue and red tree-lined runs. Megeve’s local ski slopes are divided into three main areas and in addition you can buy regional lift passes which include more skiing at neighbouring resorts if you wish. Added together the length of runs in this ‘Evasion Mont Blanc’ lift pass area total nearly 450km!

Megeve at Christmas
Megeve is picture-perfect at Christmas and all year round. Credit: Simon Garnier

Serre Chevalier

Interconnecting villages with an abundance of snow

Serre Che is cheaper than its northernly neighbours, and has an abundance of quality, diverse terrain. Narrow cobbled streets and pretty shops line the village’s main road. Most of the accommodation consists of small chalets, family run B&B’s, or is self-catered. The ski area is not a single resort, rather, it is made up of a dozen villages including Briançon, Chantemerle, Monêtier les Bains and Villeneuve which are connected by a bus service. The area comprises 250km of well-linked pistes along the Serre Chevalier Valley between Briançon and Le Monêtier-les-Bains and forms part of the Grande Galaxie ski area (530km). The resort’s altitude ranges from 1200m to 2800m so you can enjoy great skiing at high altitude. The runs, in and above a large larch forest, are on the north side of the high long ridge. There are bowls, valley descents and high off-peak faces. Serre Chevalier has phenomenal tree skiing too and is famed for its off-piste. Snow cover is exceptionally good which is down to the resort’s north facing position.

Serre Chevalier, FR
Serre Chevalier has great snow cover due to its north-facing position ©Shutterstock
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