Ski Resorts in France | Ski Chalets France | Ski Hotels France
SKI HOLIDAYS TO FRANCE
France is undoubtedly the most popular Alpine ski country for British skiers and snowboarders. This is simply because it rocks! France boasts some of the finest ski and snowboarding terrains on the planet. It offers the largest ski network in the world, the greatest variety of ski resorts, the most fabulous French glamour (in some parts!) and what is more, it is just down the road!
From charming little French mountain villages to high altitude modern resorts with state of the art equipment, France has it all. Offering perfect skiing and snowboarding for everyone, France is great for families with children and world class avid skiers alike.
Many of France’s ski resorts were established in the 60’s, much later than other ski nations where their resorts naturally evolved from mountain villages. It has meant that the resorts in France have been especially developed on locations with almost perfect snow conditions.
Les Trois Vallées
8 popular ski resorts in France lie around The 3 Valleys, (Les Trois Vallées). It’s the largest ski area in the world and since they are almost 3 parallel valleys, the 8 resorts are smartly linked around them with ski lifts and runs. The resorts are Courchevel, La Tania, Méribel, Brides-Les-Bains, Les Menuires, Saint Martin De Belleville, Val Thorens and Orelle. There is enough terrain amongst these 8 resorts to keep you skiing for a whole season without getting bored.
The first valley St Bon Valley is home to Courchevel and La Tania. Courchevel in itself is made up of 5 villages with five completely different atmospheres. Courchevel Le Praz (1300), a lovely authentic mountain village with traditional houses, chalets and narrow streets. It also features the ski jumping hill that was built for the 1992 Olympics. For all those who love skiing through forests, the forest run from Le Praz to 1850 is fantastic. Then there is Courchevel Village (1550) which is perfect for families, great value and has a fantastic toboggan run between 1850 and 1550. Moriond now has the newly opened watersports centre ‘Aquamotion Centre’ with gorgeous warm indoor and outdoor pools to enjoy after a day on the slopes. Courchevel 1850 is pure French glamour, catering for the rich and famous! Sometimes described as ‘Paris on Ice’ with its designer boutiques, top hotels and buzzing nightlife. The prices may make your eyes water though!
Then there is the gem that is La Tania. Perfect for families since it is small and quiet with lovely chalets tucked in the woods and a green run to take you straight to them.
The next valley along is Allues, home to Méribel and Brides-les-Bains. Méribel is a beautiful resort nestled in a pine forest and perfectly placed since it pretty much sits right in the middle of the 3 Valleys. Nearby is the slightly more affordable Brides-les-Bains.
Finally The Belleville Valley, home to Val Thorens, Les Menuires and Saint Martin De Belleville is the longest valley with wide open runs. Val Thorens is perfect for beginners since it has some nice gentle nursery slopes and easy blues above the village. Les Menuires, although not the absolute prettiest, is much cheaper than other resorts and you still get to enjoy all the runs of the 3 Valleys. Saint Martin De Belleville is a lovely charming little mountain village, very affordable with easy access to fantastic runs.
Les Trois Vallées FACTS
The Best Blue Runs in the 3 Valleys
The Best Red Runs in the 3 Valleys
The Best Black Runs in the 3 Valleys
The Espace Killy ski area is vast and you could ski the entire day without doing the same run twice. Home to Val d’Isere and Tignes, probably the most requested ski resorts for us at Snowfinders. Val d’Isere, with its superbly varied terrain, famous black run ‘The Face’ and cool off-piste action and Tignes, the high mountain resort with a super long season.
The Espace Killy FACTS
Snowfinders have a huge variety of chalets, hotels and apartments in all of these fantastic ski resorts. From modern contemporary apartments in the newest built resorts to the cosy chocolate box chalets in the pretty mountain villages.
Talk to one of our Snowfinders expert ski consultants for the best advice on skiing in France.
One of the most popular in the modern style would be Chalet Arktic in Tignes whilst in the traditional style would be the stunning Chalet Valpierre in Val d’Isere. In Meribel one of the most beautiful chalets is Chalet La Ferme located just 400 metres from the resort centre. The hugely popular resorts of La Plagne and Val Thorens with their enormous ski areas have a large number of chalet choices with a couple of lovely mid range options being the Chalet St Moritz in Plagne 1800 and the Chalet Catherine in Val Thorens.
Hotel accommodation in France can be from the budget end of the spectrum such as the pretty value for money Hotel Edelweiss in Courchevel 1650 to the luxury Hotel Christiania in Val d’Isere with many excellent hotels in the mid range, French resorts offer something for everyone. The trend towards larger self catered accommodation, moving away from the more traditional “shoe box “ apartment where a family of 4 sleep in one room; has proved very popular with British skiers and we can now supply apartments of a very high standard with separate bedrooms, living areas and facilities such as swimming pools and saunas, like the ever popular Les Cimes Blanche apartments in the family resort of La Rosiere.
The snow record in France is excellent and with the choice of resorts that offer seasons from the middle of November through to May, the more normal start to the season in most areas is the week before Christmas through to the Easter holiday. Temperatures can vary from resort to resort with a lot depending on the location and altitude. There plenty of areas which offer summer skiing in glacier resorts such as Les Deux Alpes and Tignes.
The French airports that service the main ski resorts are Geneva (GVA) Grenoble(GNB) Chambery(CMF) and Lyon(LYS). With the airports of Toulouse(TLS) for the Andorra area and Nice(NCE) close to the resort of Isola 2000.
Geneva, Lyon and Grenoble offer flights on all days of the week, where as Chambery is solely a weekend arrival and departure destination.
Another popular mode of transport is the train and with the ability to travel from St Pancras in London directly to Moutier(for the three valleys resorts) Bourg St Maurice(for Les Arcs, La Rosiere, Val d’Isere, Tignes) and Aime (for La Plagne)
France is a popular self drive destination with a lot of the Northern French alp resorts only an 8 hour drive from Calais using the efficient motorway system. To make further savings many self drivers take their food with them or stock up in the French good value valley supermarkets.