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Ski in France - the how and why

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Ski holidays in France are more popular among British ski holiday makers than anywhere else in the world. From incredible long-lasting snow coverage and easy access from the UK, to the glorious cheese and wine, there’s ample reason to choose a French ski resort this winter.

France has been a skiing hotspot since the 1960s thanks to its high-altitude resorts that guarantee great snow conditions. Take your pick from dozens of destinations which cater to all kinds of group sizes, skiing abilities and off-piste interests.

Need a hand? Get in touch with our experts to sort out your dream 2019/2020 ski holiday package to France, whether it’s for a family getaway, your best mate’s hen/stag/sten do or just a cheeky trip with friends.

Ski in France - the how and why

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Choosing a ski resort in France

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Best for après

Like your ski trips to be more about the after party than the main event? You’ll find no shortage of ski resorts in France with a great après scene. Val d’Isère is home to the original Folie Douce bar – think wild parties right on the slopes - while Val Thorens gives you the chance to dance the night away at Malaysia, the highest club in France.

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Best for families

Family ski holidays in France should definitely be on your agenda if you’ve got kids who are keen to test out their snow skills. For a wide range of green runs and top-class ski schools, check out Méribel or Courchevel. You’ll also find a hatful of other French resorts, including Les Arcs, Avoriaz, La Plagne and La Rosière that offer up catered chalets ideal for family groups.

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Best for big groups

Corporate retreat or stag/hen do on the horizon? You’ll find plenty of resorts in France that’ll not only cater to larger parties, but also be the perfect match if you all have different skiing capabilities. For the ideal balance of exciting runs, easy access and lively après, plan a ski trip to Les Deux Alpes, Alpe d’Huez, Val d’Isère or Tignes.

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Best for beginners

Never strapped on a pair of skis before? Snow problem! You’ll find fantastic ski schools and a range of easy runs at resorts like La Plagne with its gentle slopes, lesser-visited La Rosière that’s great for quieter getaways, and Alpe d’Huez which has one of the largest nursery areas in France.

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Best snow-sure

For the best snow conditions and the most insane range of pistes imaginable, you can’t go wrong with France’s higher altitude resorts like Val Thorens and Les Arcs. Some even offer up all-year-round skiing opportunities if you’d rather book your France ski holiday off-season.

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What about ski weekends in France?

If you’ve only got a few days to play with, never fear as France is still a great spot for a ski weekend. You’ll want to choose resorts as close to an airport as possible to maximise your mountain time. Morzine, Chamonix, Flaine & La Clusaz are all around an hours’ drive from Geneva and typically have the best ski deals and capacity for short breaks.

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Top France ski regions & resorts

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The Three Valleys

Altitude (max): 3,230m

Skiing: 600km

Transfer time: Geneva - 2:30; Grenoble - 2:00;

Chambery - 1:50

Found just west of the Vanoise National Park, the Three Valleys (or Les Trois Vallées) is possibly one of the most famous ski regions not just in France, but the world. Thanks to being blessed by high altitudes and nearly 600km of incredible pistes, it’s where you’ll find top French ski resorts like Courchevel, Val Thorens and Méribel.

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Portes du Soleil

Altitude (max): 2,460m

Skiing: 650km

Transfer time: Geneva - 1:20; Grenoble - 2:20;

Chambery - 1:50

This epic ski region is sandwiched between Lake Geneva and the iconic peaks of Mont Blanc. Being within easy reach of Geneva airport makes it a prime location for ski weekends, plus there’s myriad ski runs for all abilities. While five Portes du Soleil resorts are situated across the border in Switzerland, you’ll discover seven in France, including Morzine and Avoriaz.

regions photo

Espace Killy

Altitude (max): 3,456m

Skiing: 300km

Transfer time: Geneva - 2:50; Grenoble - 2:15;

Chambery - 1:50

Whether you’re after a challenge or you’re a complete newbie to skiing, Espace Killy is a great shout. The region boasts over 150 pistes, plus you’ll find several rustic eateries and bars on the slopes if you want a more traditional Alpine experience. Espace Killy is additionally the home of the legendary Val d’Isère resort, one of the most glamorous ski destinations in Europe, and Tignes, a prime spot for pro skiers.

regions photo

Paradiski

Altitude (max): 3,250m

Skiing: 425km

Transfer time: Geneva - 2:30; Grenoble - 1:50;

Chambery - 1:50

Located slap-bang in the middle of the Alps, Paradiski has been a popular snow sports area for decades thanks to Les Arcs’ and La Plagne’s mix of picturesque pistes for novices and experienced skiers. Since 2003, the two French resorts have been linked by cable car, meaning you can take your pick of both sets of runs on one trip.

regions photo

The Three Valleys

Altitude (max): 3,230m

Skiing: 600km

Transfer time: Geneva - 2:30; Grenoble - 2:00;

Chambery - 1:50

Found just west of the Vanoise National Park, the Three Valleys (or Les Trois Vallées) is possibly one of the most famous ski regions not just in France, but the world. Thanks to being blessed by high altitudes and nearly 600km of incredible pistes, it’s where you’ll find top French ski resorts like Courchevel, Val Thorens and Méribel.

regions photo

Portes du Soleil

Altitude (max): 2,460m

Skiing: 650km

Transfer time: Geneva - 1:20; Grenoble - 2:20;

Chambery - 1:50

This epic ski region is sandwiched between Lake Geneva and the iconic peaks of Mont Blanc. Being within easy reach of Geneva airport makes it a prime location for ski weekends, plus there’s myriad ski runs for all abilities. While five Portes du Soleil resorts are situated across the border in Switzerland, you’ll discover seven in France, including Morzine and Avoriaz.

regions photo

Espace Killy

Altitude (max): 3,456m

Skiing: 300km

Transfer time: Geneva - 2:50; Grenoble - 2:15;

Chambery - 1:50

Whether you’re after a challenge or you’re a complete newbie to skiing, Espace Killy is a great shout. The region boasts over 150 pistes, plus you’ll find several rustic eateries and bars on the slopes if you want a more traditional Alpine experience. Espace Killy is additionally the home of the legendary Val d’Isère resort, one of the most glamorous ski destinations in Europe, and Tignes, a prime spot for pro skiers.

regions photo

Paradiski

Altitude (max): 3,250m

Skiing: 425km

Transfer time: Geneva - 2:30; Grenoble - 1:50;

Chambery - 1:50

Located slap-bang in the middle of the Alps, Paradiski has been a popular snow sports area for decades thanks to Les Arcs’ and La Plagne’s mix of picturesque pistes for novices and experienced skiers. Since 2003, the two French resorts have been linked by cable car, meaning you can take your pick of both sets of runs on one trip.

regions photo

The Three Valleys

Altitude (max): 3,230m

Skiing: 600km

Transfer time: Geneva - 2:30; Grenoble - 2:00;

Chambery - 1:50

Found just west of the Vanoise National Park, the Three Valleys (or Les Trois Vallées) is possibly one of the most famous ski regions not just in France, but the world. Thanks to being blessed by high altitudes and nearly 600km of incredible pistes, it’s where you’ll find top French ski resorts like Courchevel, Val Thorens and Méribel.

regions photo

Portes du Soleil

Altitude (max): 2,460m

Skiing: 650km

Transfer time: Geneva - 1:20; Grenoble - 2:20;

Chambery - 1:50

This epic ski region is sandwiched between Lake Geneva and the iconic peaks of Mont Blanc. Being within easy reach of Geneva airport makes it a prime location for ski weekends, plus there’s myriad ski runs for all abilities. While five Portes du Soleil resorts are situated across the border in Switzerland, you’ll discover seven in France, including Morzine and Avoriaz.

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