Luxury Ski Resorts in France
French ski resorts for skiing & Luxury Chalet holidays
France is a well-known ski destination for the Luxury traveller who loves exploring the French Alps in the summer or in the winter. Be it the alpine walking, hiking trails, mountaineering, skiing or snowboarding, the French Alps have something for everyone who loves mountains.
With a wide variety of Ski resorts to choose from French Ski resorts are among the favourite of the British luxury skiers. Let’s begin exploring Ski areas first. As a starting point, Tignes and Val d’Isère in the Espace Killy, Chamonix Valley, Courchevel, Méribel and Val Thorens, and Avoriaz and Morzine link up as part of the Portes du Soleil.
A Guide to Luxury ski resorts in France
For Luxury ski holidays in France, the French ski chalets are ideal rentals to base to ski the French Alps. Ski resorts such as Courchevel 1850s, Val d’Isère, Chamonix Valley, Three Valleys – Meribel, Morzine, Megeve, Les Gets, and Val Thorens are once the favourite ski resorts of the glamorous and is now open to anyone who can afford. Skiing and snowboarding are open to a larger selection of holidaymakers, from beginners to advance skiers, from families or those seeking great Apres Ski destinations.
Courchevel has some excellent 5 star Ski chalets, Luxury shopping, and some Michelin-star restaurants. If you are after a Luxury ski resort world-class ski areas, then pick Val d’Isere for its ski areas and luxury chalets. Megeve on the other hand is Great for the foodies who are after Michelin-starred restaurants and those who love to shop.
Chamonix is for those who seek a classic atmosphere with great french cuisine and Mont Blanc vistas, or Meribel if you wish to be laid-back with some great après-ski around makes a nice place to be. If you want to be more chilled, Morzine in Portes du Soleil ski area too offers a laid back après-ski atmosphere. Finally for those after large, sunny ski areas, great après ski try Alpe d’Huez.
Best luxury ski resorts for skiing in France
Beginners, Intermediates, advance, and Off-piste ski resorts
These are among the most luxurious Ski resorts in France to ski for various levels of Skiers. Beginners and intermediates will love Courchevel. The British ski schools, superb amenities for children, and pleasant runs with slow-skiing slopes make Courchevel a good base for beginners. There are free lifts available for beginners, who should choose either Moriond (aka Courchevel 1650) or Courchevel (aka Courchevel 1850). The lengthy easy green runs for beginners are also broads. For Intermediate skiers, there is nothing to beat the three valleys (Trois Vallées) in France. Well known as part of the world’s largest ski area has an excellent mix of runs. A warning! Courchevel may be one of the top ski resorts in the world for beginners and intermediates. But it doesn’t come cheap, you’ll pay a premium for its well-groomed, confidence-boosting pistes. The midsection of slopes is where the resort’s name has been forged – home to a variety of gentle greens and blues that’ll give second-week skiers the confidence to try, and push themselves. Usually, in the mid-winter months of late December to February are the best here. For Beginners Meribel has Brit-run ski schools, free beginner lifts, and slow runs, for intermediates, Meribel offers one of the world’s biggest ski areas, fabulous mix of runs and wonderful mix of ski schools. The other Best French ski resorts for beginners are intermediates are La Plagne and Les Arcs, a snow sports paradise with a linked ski area of around 425km of ski slopes. Snowsure, ski-in/out accommodation, wide & gentle slopes, ski schools in every village, and slow-ski pistes. Beginner-friendly rating Les 3 Vallées – Val Thorens/Les Menuires/Méribel/Courchevel all have 5 out of 5-star rating, They are easy and manageable wide slopes, good Beginner’s area, Free practice lift/beginner lift, Special slopes for slower skiers/beginners and Easy valley run.
Ski resorts for off-piste terrain/ Backcountry/Advanced/Expert Skier
For serious Off-piste terrain/ Backcountry/Advanced/Expert Skier, Chamonix offers the famous Vallee Blanche run cliff drops, powder fields. Val d’Isere for piste terrain & advanced skiers an Olympic downhill run, superb powder terrain and plenty of steeps, tree trails & cliff drops. Tignes offers Plenty of lift-served terrains, which include glacier runs, couloirs and powder bowls for advanced, and for the off-piste. Ungroomed runs, great off-piste, steep pistes, and super snowparks.
The off-piste skier in Val Thorens has plenty to discover, from glacier trails, long descents from Europe’s highest resort, and steeps galore. Head to Avoriaz (in the heart of Portes du Soleil) and if you are an Off-piste enthusiast, you will surely enjoy the Swiss Wall descent (Le Pas de Chavanette), rolling powder fields, and even crossing over to Switzerland, advance skiers will love the deep powder trails and top-quality snow parks.
Meribel is another great place advance skiers, as the world’s biggest ski area it offers crazy couloirs and steep black runs. Meribel has some wonderful off-piste skiing and with access to the entire Three Valleys ski area. Méribel’s ESF (Ecole de Ski Français de Méribel (ESF) and the Mountain Guides Office (Bureau des Guides) offer off-piste guiding groups for good skiers. Finally, you should not miss La Plagne for its off-piste skiing: powder bowls, tree runs, and glacier terrain.
Top 5 Snowboarders pick for French Ski resorts
Tignes/ Val d’Isere: Tignes, being linked to Val d’Isere, is an excellent place for snowboarders. Tigens hosted the European Winter X-Games, the resort has a Swatch snow park and is Great for freeriding. The snow parks in Tignes and Val d’Isere are both in Excellent condition for free-riders. For Free riders – 4/5, Pistes – 4/5, Freestyle – 3.5/5, Beginner – 4/5. Read more about Tignes and Val d’Isere
Méribel: One of the favourite place to head for ski holidays for the British, It is located at 1450 metres in the centre of the Three valleys (Trio Vallees), and is a great place for snowboarders discover this massive area. Especially great for Freestylers. For Free riders – 3./5, Pistes – 3/5, Freestyle – 3.5/5.For Free riders – 3.5/5, Pistes – 3.5/5, Freestyle – 4/5. Read more about Méribel
Avoriaz: is famed for snowboarding, Snowboarding schools, various snowparks and good backcountry. The Portes du Soleil great for snowboarders and skiers alike. Avoriaz’s 153 km of pistes links up with The Portes du Soleil, a group of resorts straddling the French/Swiss border, making one of the largest circuits in Europe with some major off-piste to shred. Avoriaz is probably the best French snowboard resorts and is thought to be the capital of snowboard in Europe. its well-known among the Freestylers. For Free riders – 4/5, Pistes – 4/5, Freestyle – 4.5/5. Read more about Portes du soleil
Chamonix, is Freeriders Paradise. If you are a Freerider, then look no further, The terrain here will excite the free-riders. For those who wish to learn, try one of the specialist snowboarding school. It is important to note to explore you may need some backcountry skills and guide. For Free riders – 5/5, Pistes – 3.5/5, Freestyle – 3/5. Read more about Chamonix
Courchevel: Courchevel is a great base for Snowboarding beginners and skiers alike. Moriond (aka Courchevel 1650), Courchevel Village (aka Courchevel 1550) and La Tania has good beginner terrains. If you are luxury snowboarder who has cash to splash, then stay at Courchevel 1850. For Free riders – 3.8/5, Pistes – 4.5/5, Free style – 3.3/5. Read more about Courchevel.
5 Best resorts for Non-Skiers in France
The pleasure of snow sports is not just for skiers and snowboarders only. In France, there is plenty to try out for the Non-Skiers. From walking, snowshoeing, paragliding and cable car up the pin-like Aiguille du Midi for views of Mont Blanc are a few examples not to miss.
As a non-skier, you also can take sightseeing flights from the Courchevel‘s by plane or helicopter and enjoy the Alps from above. If you are with your family in Avoriaz try the center, it has cafés, restaurants and a variety of shops – easily accessible by foot or by horse-drawn sleigh (As the only car-free resort in France). If you have booked a chalet in Courchevel, The resort’s multi-million-Euro Aquamotion centre has an abundance of activities, including indoor and outdoor swimming pools, water slide, water rapids, a diving pool, indoor surfing, climbing wall and wellness area.
For Non-Ski Activities in Meribel, try Ski Horse Joring, Husky Sledging, take a ride on a Snow-mobile, jump in the hot-air balloon for winter snow ride over the alps. Meribel also offers treatments such as massages, reflexology, beauty treatments, spa baths, Jacuzzi and saunas.
If you have booked yourself in Val d’Isere, the top things not to miss for the non-skiers are the party atmosphere: you cannot ignore this ambiance in Val d’Isere. The aprés-ski experience at La Folie Douce has a fantastic Alpine bar and great for dancing. Try The BMW sponsored ice driving circuit in La Daille, Try Ice diving if you are in an adventurous mood in the Espace Killy, The lake in Tignes where you can dive 80m under the ice and marvel in a world of colour and lights, Alternatively, if you are looking to sit down for a meal, Michelin Star restaurant, serving a variety of food that will delight the tastebuds of fine diners the world over awaits you, L’Atelier d’Edmond at Le Fornet, Victors, La Baraque and the Hotel Barmes de l’Ours are few good ones not to miss. Also, La Fruitiere at La Folie Douce and La Tete de Solaise are great mountain restaurants that are easy to access as a pedestrian. There’s an outdoor ice rink in the centre of Val d’Isere or try the Aquasportif for swimming pools, spas, and indoor football centres and much more.
Best French ski resorts for families with children
Avoriaz is probably the most famous Ski resort for families with kids who visits France. It brags you can send your child to buy croissants on their own, as it is a Car-Free environment and has horse-drawn carriages. Village des Enfants – a different ski school for teens and youngsters from 3 to age 16 teaches skiers without any of the drill sergeant techniques you might find in other places. Based on the idea of learning through play it has been used as a model in most of the alpine resorts. However, Kids for sure are going to love here and can expect to have lots of fun.
It is another popular ski destination in France for families with children. This charming picturesque Savoyard alpine village is great for skiing for kids. Being easy access to the Portes du Soleil ski area allows families to explore a greater terrain. There are over 600 km of pistes to explore in this part of France with the Swiss border allowing it to be the largest ski area in the world (together with The Valleys or Les 3 Vallees). The town is lively in the evenings allowing everyone to enjoy something.
La Rosiere, France
This tranquil French family award (‘Famille Plus Montagne’ ) received by the town is at Great choice for families with children. Snuggled in Tarentaise with convenient slopeside, where ski lifts are no more than a 1 minute from any of the accommodation and picturesque skiing, makes it the perfect location for families who dream of Alpine ski atmospheres.Compared to its neighbour, Val d’Isère, La Rosière is fairly small, with 150 km (93 mi) of piste. La Rosiere is ideal for beginners and intermediates, if you are an advanced skier heading towards the border into La Thuile, it will allow you to find some well-advanced runs. For the Kids, the resort is well laid out with the nursery facility and children’s ski slopes and for the youngest skiers all within a few steps of most of the accommodation. La Rosiere is a great Ski destination with its high altitude, warm and sunny position, and many restaurants make it a family-friendly ski resort in France.
Méribel received its Famille Plus status in 2013 for its commitment towards families with children. Meribel, the famous ski destination of many brits, is in the heart of the Three Valleys, where more intermediate and expert family skiers can explore the Courchevel, La Tania, and Val Thorens ski areas. Due to the recent upgrade of Meribel for families, now there are new children’s play areas and a program of entertainment for children, looked after by their new kids’ Kenotte. The resort’s mascot invites you to come and spend family time in the Stories, games, games library, books, drawing competitions,crafts, Kapla, Playmais, and lots of surprises. It is a Great place to hang out and share a moment of comfort with your family.
Les Gets, France
Les Gets is positioned on the col between Taninges and Morzine, at the western edge of the Portes du Soleil ski area. Les gets or, shall we say let’s get to Les Get if we are a family?! Its reputation for families can not be overlooked, the village and the ski area are exceedingly family friendly. It’s the little extras that make Les Gets a wonderful place for a family ski vacation. The chocolate shop, the Mini train at the resort and museum and the non-skier friendly activities makes any family visit without having to hesitate. There is a non-ski care for children aged from 6 months to 4 years or another care which does from ages 4-12 years. The ski schools also will look after the young skiers and teach first ski and fun lessons in a special protected and separate area on the slopes from age three. Les Gets is one of the very few Ski resorts to have a ski school just for children. There are plenty of restaurants ranging from the family-friendly and well priced to fairly high-end. Ski resort is mostly specialises in local Savoyard cuisine.
Tignes & Val d’Isere
Tignes & Val d’Isère is the combined ski resort in the Tarentaise Valley, Tigens has a laid-back Alpine atmosphere and is great for beginners who wish to try and ski, with plenty of wonderful ski schools, some with english speaking lessons, with slow chairlift for the nursery slopes makes it good Ski holiday destination for families with kids.Val d’Isere, As Part of the Espace Killy ski area along with Tignes, there is 300km to explore including green slopes for Beginners. Children Between 1 and half years to 13 years old can sign up at the Holiday Village and also there are non-skin activities like sledging.
Best Snow-sure Ski resorts in France
Val d’Isère is a ski resort in the French Alps, close to the Italian border and very close to Tignes, which is part of the Espace Killy ski area. Due to its elevation and most North-facing runs, Val d’Isère has guaranteed good snow condition all season long. Val d’Isère ski area opens from end of November to beginning of May, with 300km of prepared pistes as well as some awesome and easily accessible off-piste opportunities. The resort is composed of La Daille, Val d’Isere centre and Le Fornet, all linked by a free bus service. For Beginners who speak English there is plenty of British-owned ski schools: it is also an ‘intermediates paradise’ with more than 100 Blues and Reds together. For the advanced skiers there is more than 25 blacks and the skiers are sure to enjoy the Snow-sure slopes of Val d’Isère.
For Snowboard / Freestyle Skiing Val d’Isère has a snowpark, certainly there are more terrain parks to try out across the Espace Killy over in Tignes as well and for freeriders this is an excellent region. Elevation – 1550 m – 3456 m, General season From late November to early May. Ski Area: 300km and Runs: Blue 87, Red 41 and Black 26.
Val Thorens, Due to its high altitude and the Glacier de Péclet, Val Thorens is a snow sure ski resort in France. The resort is usually open from mid-November until early May. The highest ski-able peaks are Pointe du Bouchet (3220 m) and Cime de Caron (3200 m). Most of the slopes in Val Thorens are north-facing and north-west facing, allowing excellent snow conditions: as a direct result of this the slopes are not as sunny. So the resort takes the attention of serious skiers than those who wish to terrace. However, the resort itself faces south, so many holiday makers enjoy outdoors in the sun, when they have finished skiing. Val Thorens Resort Altitude: 2300m, Piste Altitude: 1300m-3230m and Ski Area: 170km (600km – 3 Valleys) and Runs: Blue 177/Red 111/Black 30.
Les Deux Alpes (also Les 2 Alpes)
One of the world’s leading snowboard destinations, Les Deux Alpes village sits at 1,650 m (5,413 ft) and lifts run to 3,600 m (11,811 ft). It has the largest skiable glacier in Europe and is France’s second oldest ski resort behind Chamonix. Large glaciers guarantee snow security throughout the season. Ski Area 200 km, Resort Altitude 1650m, Ski Alt. From 1300m-3600m, Runs – Green 14, Blue 49,Red 20 and black 12.
Les Arcs is part of the huge Paradiski ski area and is comprised of 5 different villages, all at different altitudes. The five areas—Bourg-Saint-Maurice, Arc 1600, Arc 1800, Arc 1950, and Arc 2000—are situated at an altitude spanning from 810 to 3226 metres, although skiing is mostly possible above 1200 metres. The ski-in/ski-out village is a traditional alpine town and offers families a superb mix of services and facilities. Before heading to your Ski holidays in Les Arcs, It’s better to know the terrain park, with 11 green, 125 Blue, 75 red, and 37 black jumps and rails. It is also great for snowboarders, with few drag lifts. Ski Area 425 km, Resort Altitude 1800m & Ski Alt. From 1200m – 3250m.
Courchevel is a French ski resort in Les Trois Vallées with Plenty of north-facing slopes and snow falls thick and fast here. The snow in the Courchevel valley is usually some of the best in the whole ski area, and the terrain matches all levels of expectations from beginner to advance. Courchevel is the most western resort of the Three Valleys and the largest connected ski area in the world. Courchevel 1850 aka Courchevel, is well known for its stars of world’s skiing, often appearing in lists of the world’s glitziest destinations which attracts rich and famous clientele including royal families.
There are 2 British run ski schools, but by far the largest school is the ESF (Ecole du Ski Francais) which operates on a series of nursery slopes at 1850 and on small slopes at resort level at the lower Courchevel resorts as far as snow cover is good enough. Intermediate skiers can explore more, The Three Valleys are generally known for the best ski area in the world, for its hundreds of kilometers of blue and red pistes and for the expert skiers the biggest draw for advanced skiers are the off piste opportunities which are very extensive in the Courchevel Valley. Ski Area 150 km, Resort Altitude 1550m, Ski Alt. From 1100m – 3230m & Runs; 39 Green runs, 121 Blue runs, 114 Red runs & 33 Black runs.