The French Alps will always have a magical aura that attracts skiers from all over the world. Offering an impressive variety of resorts and splendid mountain landscapes, this winter destination is truly a spectacular land. With resorts ranging from high altitude to small farming villages, the French Alps come with a specific traditional French ambiance, fabulous slopes, and a touch of decadence.
Skiing with the family
Les Gets is a family-friendly ski resort with plenty of slopes for beginners and a road train shuttle that connects the main slopes. This village is cozy and welcoming and has a pedestrian-friendly center where you can find numerous bars and restaurants ready to delight your taste buds with French specialties, but also pasta and pizza.
A perfect base for families to discover the local slopes and Mont Chery ski area, Les Gets offers access to 286 runs linked by 196 lifts. You’ll find an impressive choice of hotels and guesthouses, as well as many child-friendly chalets that provide the services of nannies. Kids will also enjoy skating, tenpin bowling, and farm tours, and you can even take them to the Musique Méchanique Museum, where they can admire a variety of musical exhibits.
The resort is situated at an altitude of 1,172 m. Due to its relatively low altitude, sometimes snow cover is not exactly a sure thing, but you can always head to the nearby slopes at Chavannes or spend your day at the American Indian themed Grand Cry fun park.
Skiing for beginners
If you’re new to skiing, Courchevel is a great destination for your winter holiday. A rather glamorous ski resort, Courchevel surprises visitors with a variety of slopes for skiers of all levels of experience. The resort can be found at the end of the impressive Trois Vallées, the largest ski area in the world, where you’ll also find Méribel and Val Thorens. It is more expensive than the rest of the villages in the area but it also situated at the highest altitude.
For cheaper accommodation, you can always choose the less fancy but just as comfortable and fun ski resorts in the area such as Moriond, Le Praz, and Village. Perfect for beginners, Moriond has gentle slopes, great ski and snowboard schools, and protects the novices from the hustle and bustle that characterizes the Trois Vallées. This ski area has a total of 600 km of ski runs, so it’s impossible not to find the perfect slope for you!
Skiing for intermediates and experts
Head to Serre Chevalier, a ski area that includes a dozen villages in the Southern Alps, if you’re good at skiing but you want to become the best. About 250 km of intermediate slopes await here, as well as 61 lifts. A bit smaller and less chic than Courchevel, Serre Chevalier answers all your skiing needs and invites you to relax in a friendly ambiance without any care in the world. It’s quieter than many other ski resorts and, per consequence, more charming and with a certain Gallic character. The main villages are Monêtier Les Bains, an idyllic spa resort, Villeneuve, and Chantemerle, more crowded but as comfortable and welcoming. Intermediate skiers who want to learn new tricks should ask for help from one of the instructors at the New Generation ski school.
Experts should choose Val d’Isère, one of the most beautiful ski resorts in the Alps, and also one of the most popular ones. This is a giant ski area divided into sectors. The central hub is situated at the base of the main Solaise and Bellevarde lifts, while the quieter sectors are La Daille, Le Laisinant, and Le Fornet. Bellevarde is located at an altitude of 2,827 m and expert skiers get there using the Olympique jumbo gondola or two chairs. The steep and challenging La Face heads down to town and was used at the 1992 Albertville Olympics and the 2009 World Championships.
Of course, for expert and intermediate skiers, there is always the famous Chamonix, home to some of the most challenging terrain in the French Alps. A beautiful, glitzy resort, where the crème de la crème of European skiers gather for new adventures on the snow, Chamonix is also the starting point for cable car rides to Brevent and Mont Blanc. Even if you don’t ski, a cable car ride to the highest peaks is an absolute must if you want to admire breathtaking views.
Skiing for the romantics
If you want to combine a ski holiday with a touch of romance, St Martin is probably a good choice. Quieter than the rest, this is one of the prettiest ski resorts in the Trois Vallées ski area. It is situated above a charming cheese-making village, Les Menuires, in the Belleville Valley, so it creates an idyllic charming for a love affair without compromising the skiing part of the holiday. A fast gondola will take you above the Belleville and Les Allues valleys where plenty of slopes await to take you to Méribel, Les Menuires and the rest of the ski resorts in the Trois Vallées.
Skiing and snowboarding for adventurers
Avoriaz was built above Morzine with one goal in mind: to answer the need for adventure and terrain parks. Situated in the huge Portes du Soleil area, Avoriaz welcomes visitors with a quirky charm and a variety of terrain parks.
The terrain parks in Avoriaz are perfect for snowboarding, especially since this winter sport made its European debut right here, in the 1980s. Avoriaz is home to the first halfpipe built in Europe and has evolved a lot along the years. Today it has the Chapelle Park for beginners who want to learn their first turns, as well as pro lines and airbag ready to serve in the Arare Park.
The Stash Park has three lines of different difficulty levels that will take you through the forest. You’ll also find two parks designed especially for kids and ski slopes perfect for everyone, from beginners to veterans. Avoriaz is a great base to access all that the ski area has to offer and provides accommodation in affordable holiday apartments.