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These ski resorts are the most snow sure resorts in France

Alpe d'Huez above the clouds

Whether you're thinking of booking your first ski trip to France, or your late or early season trip last year didn't give you quite the conditions you'd hoped for, discovering the most snow-sure resorts in France is your sure-fire way of ensuring that your next trip to the French Alps will come with plenty of the white stuff. 

Luckily, France is home to some of Europe's highest ski areas, including the Three Valleys, Paradiski, the Espace Killy and the Grand Massif. And in each of these ski areas, there's an abundance of snow-sure resorts, giving you plenty of options to think about when it comes to your next ski trip. 

To identify which of France's ski resorts are the most snow sure, we've used our expertise to come up with seven criteria that a resort needs to meet to give you the best chance of a snow-filled ski holiday. Based on their healthy snowfall, high altitudes, glaciers, and piste orientation, we've uncovered the 12 top snow sure ski resorts in France. 


Jump to: Top 12 snow sure ski resorts in France



First, what defines a snow sure ski resort?


Our top 12 resorts all meet our seven key criteria for snow surety, including:


1. Healthy December snowfall 

Getting a decent supply of snowfall at the start of the season is important, not only because it enables December skiing, but also because it provides a good base layer for the rest of the season.


2. Healthy April snowfall 

Real snow surety means having an ongoing supply throughout April as well to provide for late season trips. 


3. A resort height above 1,500m 

Snow at altitude is vital, but ideally, the resort should be high enough to guarantee quality pistes all the way home from the beginning to the end of the season.


4. A max resort height above 2,700m

The more of the resort’s piste supply is at altitude the better, as this is where the cooler temperatures are. 


5. Glacier skiing 

Glaciers, which are just centuries of compacted snow, are great because they keep the fresh snow cool from below, which delays thawing.  


6. Slope direction 

Majority north and east facing slopes ensure snow sticks around for longer as they aren’t as affected by direct sunlight. 


7. Snow cannons

To help keep slopes in shape when the snow is thin on the ground. 


Thankfully, France has plenty of ski resorts that meet these criteria, and using our own unique ranking system, we’ve determined the top 12. 



France's most snow sure resorts are:


  1. Val d'Isere

  2. Les Arcs

  3. Tignes

  4. Val Thorens

  5. Alpe d'Huez

  6. Meribel

  7. La Plagne

  8. La Rosiere

  9. Les Menuires

  10. Les Deux Alpes

  11. Courchevel

  12. Chamonix


Take a look at the table below for some key stats about our top snow sure resorts in France.


Resort December snow April snow Resort <1500m Highest lift Glacier  Direction Cannons
Val d'Isere 36cm 31cm Yes 3,455 Yes N, E, S, W 50%
Les Arcs 39cm 23cm Yes 3,230 Yes N/W, N, S/W 25%
Tignes 37cm 27cm Yes 3,546 Yes N, E, S, W 50%
Val Thorens 35cm 22cm Yes 3,200 Yes N, E, S/E, N/W 40%
Alpe d'Huez 41cm 20cm Yes 3,330 Yes N, E, S, W 35%
Meribel 35cm 16cm Yes 3,153 Yes N/W, S, S/E 50%
La Plagne 34cm 17cm Yes 3,080 Yes N/E, S/W, N/W, N 23%
La Rosiere 39cm 22cm Yes 2,800 Yes S, N, N/E 24%
Les Menuires 34cm 16cm Yes 3,200 Yes N, E, S/E, W 50%
Les Deux Alpes 43cm 26cm Yes 3,400 Yes S/E, S, W 30%
Courchevel 32cm 14cm Yes 2,740 Yes N, E, S/E, W 43%
Chamonix 45cm 28cm No 3,842 Yes N, E, S, W 15%


Find out more about these top resorts in the next section.


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1. Val d'Isere

  • Highest lift - 3,455m
  • December snowfall - 36cm
  • April snowfall - 31cm
  • Snow cannons - 50%
  • Slope direction - N,E,S,W

Val d’Isere receives a big tick for all our snow surety metrics, and takes the top spot in our ranking. The resort itself is comfortably above the 1,500 benchmark (1,850m) - meaning you’re able to ski right back into town throughout the whole season - and most of its pistes are above mid-mountain, with some as high as 3,455m. Only Tignes (which it’s linked to) and Chamonix have higher runs. 

It also experiences consistent snowfall from December (36cm on average) to April (31cm). And even if conditions aren't so reliable, Val d'Isere has the largest snowmaking facility in Europe, with its arsenal of 650 snow cannons covering 50% of the pistes.

Part of the Espace Killy ski area, it’s easy to reach Tignes on skis or on the free bus, giving you access to a combined 300km of slopes. Val d’Isere is widely regarded as one of the top winter sports destinations in Europe, with terrain for skiers of all abilities, a wide selection of traditional chalets and modern hotels and apartments, and a thriving party scene. 



2. Les Arcs

  • Highest lift - 3,230m
  • December snowfall - 39cm
  • April snowfall - 23cm
  • Snow cannons - 600
  • Slope direction - N/W, N, S/W

Making up the Paradiski ski area with La Plagne, Les Arcs is a purpose built resort consisting of six high-altitude villages (ranging from 1,600m to 2,000m). A very healthy 70% of its runs are above the 2000m mark, with the highest lift taking you up above 3,200m. This, alongside its great snow record, makes it very snow sure all season. Les Arcs also benefits from a generally north facing aspect to its pistes, which means they're protected from the sun's rays, keeping slopes in good shape all season long. 

Les Arcs is home to the vast Glacier du Varet, which holds over a metre of snow throughout the year. Head up the Aiguille Rouge cable car to reach it, but be warned: the pistes are very challenging and generally only suitable for advanced skiers. Those that do venture up will be rewarded with a 7km black run that descends over 2,000m to Villaroger. There’s also a decent supply of snow sure, high-altitude beginner and intermediate-friendly runs across the resort.



Les Arcs above the clouds

Les Arcs above the clouds

3. Tignes

  • Highest lift - 3,546m
  • December snowfall - 37cm
  • April snowfall - 27cm
  • Snow cannons - 50%
  • Slope direction - N,E,S,W

Tignes, which makes up the Espace Killy ski area with Val d’Isere, also features in our ranking of France’s most snow sure resorts. 

It shares many of Val d'Isere's qualities - height, reliable snowfall, and favourable slope orientation. At 2,100m, Tignes is one of the highest resorts in the Alps, and has runs all the way up at 3,450m, even higher than its neighbour. And although it's sometimes derided for its lack of Alpine charm, the reliable snowfall, (37cm in December and 27cm in April) and many north-facing slopes make it one of the go-to resorts for excellent piste condition throughout the season. 

Tignes even has the Grande Motte as its resort logo, a super high-altitude north-facing glacier that enables exceptional skiing from autumn right through to May. You can get up there in just 7 minutes by taking the Perce-Neige funicular followed by the cable car. 



4. Val Thorens

  • Highest lift - 3,153m
  • December snowfall - 35cm
  • April snowfall - 22cm
  • Snow cannons - 40%
  • Slope direction - N,E,S/E,N/W

Val Thorens offers some of the most snow sure conditions in Europe, and that’s to no surprise: it’s the highest resort on the continent (2,300m), and boasts over 6m of snowfall a year. That means it also hosts one of its longest seasons, from late November right through to May.

Alongside Meribel and Courchevel, Val Thorens is part of the Three Valleys, the world’s largest ski area, with 600km of pistes, 85% of which are above 1,800m. The resort maxes out at a cool 3,153m, and many of its slopes are north facing, which helps to keep the snow cool even at the end of the season. Be sure to check out the resort's glaciers, which include Aiguille de Péclet and Thorens, which are high enough hold their snow even in direct sunlight.



5. Alpe d'Huez

  • Highest lift - 3,330m
  • December snowfall - 41cm
  • April snowfall - 20cm
  • Snow cannons - 35%
  • Slope direction - N,E,S,W

The season in Alpe d’Huez usually gets off to a very good start, with an average December snowfall of 41cm. After that, thanks to the resort’s altitude at 1,850m and its highest runs at 3,300m, you should expect it to be snow sure with fantastic skiing conditions right through to April. 

Even if snowfall is down, Alpe d’Huez has the most snow cannons (900) of any of our most snow sure French resorts, so coverage is guaranteed, even though it sits on a south-facing plateau and enjoys a balmy 300 days’ of sunshine per year.


Meribel view over mountain tops

 Views of mountain tops in Meribel


6. Meribel

  • Highest lift - 3,153m
  • December snowfall - 35cm
  • April snowfall - 16cm
  • Snow cannons - 50%
  • Slope direction - N/W, S, S/E

Meribel is at the heart of the Three Valleys, and is the second most snow sure resort after Val Thorens. 

While the resort itself isn't as high as its neighbour (1450m), it has an enviable snow record and, of course, you’ll have access to all 600km of pistes in the world’s largest ski area, including its high altitude runs (highest lift 3,153m), six glaciers, and fantastic off piste areas - just make sure to find a guide if your heading into the backcountry.



7. La Plagne

  • Highest lift - 3,080m
  • December snowfall - 34cm
  • April snowfall - 17cm
  • Snow cannons - 23%
  • Slope direction - N/E, S/W, N/W, N

La Plagne, the Paradiski area’s other resort, boasts many of the same advantages as its sibling, Les Arcs, including a high up location (2,100m) and 70% of its runs being above 2,000m, with a highest lift of 3,080m.

Villages including Plagne BellecotePlagne Soleil, and Aime La Plagne are above 1,800m, meaning you should be able to ski right to the door of your accommodation for most of the season. La Plagne is home to the Bellecôte and Chiaupe glaciers, which offer fun but challenging red and black runs for advanced skiers, but it also has a large supply of beginner friendly pistes, including 76 blue runs, across the rest of the resort.



 8. La Rosiere

  • Highest lift - 2,800
  • December snowfall - 39cm
  • April snowfall - 22cm
  • Snow cannons - 24%
  • Slope direction - S, N, N/E

La Rosiere is a lovely and very traditional Alpine resort near the Italian border. It’s at a high altitude with a highest lift of 2,800, which ensures snow surety for much of the resort. 

While the majority of its ski area is south facing, it's unique climate means it sees plenty of snowfall throughout the season - enough to stand up to its sunny orientation.

In late March and April conditions lower down tend to get slushy, however this is where its proximity to the Italian border comes in handy. Just hop over into La Thuile (which takes around 60-90 minutes on skies) and you can enjoy both its shady, north facing slopes and delicious Aostan cuisine. 



 9. Les Menuires

  • Highest lift - 3,200m
  • December snowfall - 34cm
  • April snowfall - 16cm
  • Snow cannons - 50%
  • Slope direction - N, E, S/E, W

Les Menuires is a great way to enjoy all 600km of the snow sure Three Valleys ski area without the hustle, bustle and expense of its larger neighbours. Located at 1,815m in the Belleville valley, Les Menuires’ sophisticated lift system will whizz you up to the peaks of Val Thorens and beyond in a flash, where you can enjoy its high altitude runs, glacier skiing and vibrant après scene. 

The well designed, purpose-built resort also has an entire north facing side, which keeps the snow nice and skiable throughout the day. 


 high piste in Les Deux Alpes

High altitude skiing in Les Deux Alpes

10. Les Deux Alpes

  • Highest lift - 3,600m
  • December snowfall - 43cm
  • April snowfall - 26cm
  • Snow cannons - 30%
  • Slope direction - S/E, S, W

It might not be the highest at resort centre level, but Les Deux Alpes (1,651) punches above its weight when it comes to snow surety.  That’s thanks to its excellent snow record (an average of 43cm in December and 26cm in April) and what is thought to be the largest skiable glacier in Europe, the resort even stays open for skiing in summer.  

Les Deux Alpes will soon benefit from a long promised but yet to materialise cable car link to our 5th most snow sure resort, Alpe d’Huez. When complete, it will form what will be the second largest ski area in the Alps with the off piste paradise of La Grave. 



11. Courchevel

  • Highest lift - 2,740m
  • December snowfall - 32cm
  • April snowfall - 14cm
  • Snow cannons - 43%
  • Slope direction - N, E, S/E, W

The third of the renowned resorts that makes up the Three Valley ski area, Courchevel might be more famous for its 12 Michelin-starred restaurants and 6-star hotels, but it deserves to be recognised for its snow surety, and that’s not just because it’s linked to Meribel and Val Thorens. 

Consisting of four villages that range from 1,550 to 1,850m, most of Courchevel’s slopes are north facing, which means its snow conditions are even more reliable than its neighbours on those warmer bluebird days.



12. Chamonix

  • Highest lift - 3,842m
  • December snowfall - 45cm
  • April snowfall - 28cm
  • Snow cannons - 15%
  • Slope direction - N,E,S,W

And finally, Chamonix, the oldest resort in the French Alps, concludes our ranking of snow sure resorts. While the resort itself is relatively low at 1,035m, 90% of Chamonix’s actual ski area sits above 2,000m, and it enjoys more average December snowfall (45cm) than any of its rivals, which guarantees skiing throughout the season and even into May. Its runs peak at a dizzying 3,842m, meaning it has the highest altitude pistes of any of our 12 resorts.



Book your next trip to one of France’s most snow sure resorts with Iglu Ski


Whether you're an early bird and you like to hit the slopes as soon as the lifts open in December or you want to enjoy the sunnier longer days of April or May, the snow surety of the above 12 resorts will guarantee skiing throughout the season. 

Discover and book your perfect France ski holiday with Iglu Ski. We’ve got loads of last minute deals for 2024 and fresh deals for 2025, with everything from beautiful chalets to self-catered apartments and hotels.


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There are also lots of snow sure ski resorts across Italy and Austria. Take a look at the most snow sure ski resorts in Italy and discover which snow sure Austrian ski resorts you should consider for your next ski holiday.