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Skiing in France in April: What to expect and where to go

Les Deux Alpes in the valley

Picture this: it's 1pm, and after a solid morning of skiing, you cruise onto your favourite mountainside restaurant terrace, remove your jacket, and sip on an ice-cold drink while enjoying the stunning Alpine vistas and the warmth of the April sun on your face.

It can only be a spring ski trip, and France in April is one of the best ways to enjoy the warmer weather and quieter pistes, whether you’re a family hoping to make the most of the Easter holidays or you just want to squeeze in a cheaper late season break. 

Below, we tell you everything you need to know about skiing in France in April, including what conditions you'll find and the best resorts to head to to maximise your chances of sunshine and fresh snow.


In this guide, we cover:




What’s it like to ski in France in April?


First thing’s first, you don’t need to worry about a lack of snow. The mercury might be rising at sea level, but up in the mountains, the air is still cold and moist enough to produce the white stuff.

Just look at the snow history for the 2022/2023 season. By April, Val d’Isère had an average snow depth of 276cm, and Les Arcs still had an average snow depth of 204cm weeks before the lifts closed for the season.. 

That’s not to say you’ll always have perfect conditions. That spring sun can create sticky, slushy snow, especially at lower altitudes. 

However, you can still expect to find soft, powdery conditions higher up the mountain, and north facing resorts especially tend to soften up in the morning and remain in good condition throughout the day.  

Snow conditions aside, France in April has some other benefits.

Many ski lifts stay open longer in spring, giving you more time to enjoy the slopes. And furthermore, thanks to that warmer air, you can lose a few layers, freeing you up to really unleash in the snow park or get a pre-summer tan (while wearing sun cream, of course).


Read more:

You can read more on spring skiing conditions in our dedicated guide.



The top 8 resorts for skiing in France in April


Using historical resort data from snow-forecast.com, we've created our own scoring system that enables us to identify which French ski resorts offer the best conditions for April skiing - plenty of snow and lovely sunny weather.


According to our research, the top French resorts for an April ski holiday are:


  1. Chamonix

  2. Les Deux Alpes

  3. Les Arcs

  4. La Rosiere

  5. La Plagne

  6. Alpe d'Huez

  7. Val d'Isere

  8. Val Thorens


You may be wondering - where's Tignes? Why's Val Thorens at the bottom? The table below gives you more explanation on why the above resorts are our top 8. For those happy to skip the sunny days for powder, head straight to Tignes and Val Thorens. But for those heading to the mountains hoping for a glorious morning of skiing followed by a long lunch in beautiful sunshine, read on. 


April weekly snowfall and sunny day information for each of the ski resorts


Resort Blue bird powder days Blue bird days Total sunny days Weekly snowfall
Chamonix 2.5 3.7 6.2 28cm
Les Deux Alpes 2.6 3.9 6.5 26cm
Les Arcs 2.9 3.5 6.4 23cm
La Rosiere 2.2 2.5 4.7 22cm
La Plagne 1.9 2.9 4.8 17cm
Alpe d'Huez 1.7 2.3 4 20cm
Val d'Isere 0.9 1.6 2.5 31cm
Val Thorens 0.9 2 2.9 22cm
Meribel 1.3 2.6 3.9 16cm
La Tania 2 2.1 4.1 14cm
Courchevel 1.7 1.8 3.5 14cm
Tignes 0.8 0.9 1.7 27cm
Les Gets 0.9 0.7 1.6 12cm
Avoriaz 1 0.6 1.6 16cm
Morzine 0.9 0.5 1.4 12cm


The best resorts in France for April skiing: Everything you need to know


1. Chamonix


Average weekly sunny days: 6.2

Average weekly snowfall: 28cm

Resort height: 1035m

Highest lift: 3777m

Average April snow depth: 119cm

Closing date: Early May


When it comes to sun and snow, Chamonix and its surrounding areas is the clear winner, offering not just an average 28cm of fresh powder per week, but a glorious 6.2 days of sun, 2.5 of which are bluebird powder days. 

This traditional Alpine town is home to France’s oldest ski resort, and thanks to its lively après scene, it’s especially popular with off-pisters who like to unwind after a day of laying fresh tracks in the backcountry. 

Advanced skiers will particularly enjoy Argentiere, which boasts mainly north-facing slopes that are open until early May, and Les Praz, which offers lift access to Chamonix’s more challenging runs. 


2. Les Deux Alpes


Average weekly sunny days: 6.5

Average weekly snowfall: 26cm

Resort height: 1651m

Highest lift: 3600m

Average April snow depth: 87cm

Closing date: Last week of April


Straddling two glorious peaks, the appropriately-named Les Deux Alpes really does offer something for everyone. Across its 200km of slopes, you’ll find excellent beginner routes, especially up on the glacier (where April conditions will be best), as well as world-class freestyle and off-piste opportunities. With mostly south-facing slopes, you’ll be able to make the most of the spring sunshine, whilst also enjoying its reliable snowfall.



3. Les Arcs


Average weekly sunny days: 6.4

Average weekly snowfall: 23cm

Resort height: Arc 2000, Arc 1950, and Arc 1800 are the highest resort levels

Highest lift: 3250m

Average April snow depth: 204cm

Closing date: Late April


All linked by the Vanoise Express - an impressive double decker cable car - and an efficient transport network, Les Arcs and the greater Paradiski area of La Plagne offers a generous 425km of pistes, fantastic for beginners and advanced skiers alike. If you want maximum convenience, opt to stay in the popular Les Arcs 1800 village, with ski-in-ski-out chalets, lively apres, great restaurants and plenty of family-friendly activities. The altitude promises snow, and there’s outstanding scenery to enjoy on those bluebird days.

 Les Arcs in Spring

Les Arcs on a spring day

4. La Rosière


Average weekly sunny days: 4.7

Average weekly snowfall: 22cm

Resort height: 1850m

Highest lift: 2800m

Average April snow depth: 164cm

Closing date: Mid-April


La Rosière seems like a bit of a wildcard for this list, but if you’re planning a family Easter holiday trip, it's a solid choice - just bear in mind when Easter falls as La Rosière tends to close in mid April. This quieter, yet fairly expansive resort forms the San Bernardo ski area with La Thuile in Italy, offering mostly nursery, blue and red runs across its 160km of slopes. La Rosière has a great track record for snow all season and thanks to the lack of crowds, there's less chance of the snow getting as churned up as other French resorts, making it a good option for an April ski holiday. Head over to La Thuile in the afternoon to enjoy its north facing slopes.


5. La Plagne


Average weekly sunny days: 4.8

Average weekly snowfall: 17cm

Resort height: 2100m

Highest lift: 3250m

Average April snow depth: 162cm

Closing date: Late April


La Plagne is the quieter, often cheaper, and more family-friendly part of the Paradiski area. Catering to all abilities, there’s challenging terrain to be found up near the glacier, while wide blues and reds across the rest of the resort to keep intermediates and beginners happy. 

While there’s après to be found, jump on the Vanoise Express to Les Arcs if you're after some proper early afternoon partying (the Folie Douce starts bouncing from lunch time), and to enjoy the full 425km of slopes. Just make sure you return to Peisey Vallandry in time for the last Vanoise Express lift back to La Plagne.


6. Alpe d’Huez


Average weekly sunny days: 4

Average weekly snowfall: 20cm

Resort height: 1850m

Highest lift: 3300m

Average April snow depth: 95cm

Closing date: Mid-April


With an average 300 days’ of sunshine per year, 249km of south-facing slopes, and an impressive altitude, Alpe d’Huez is a great April ski destination for sun-seekers. It offers runs for all abilities, as well as 4 snow parks for the freestyle-inclined, and a fantastic selection of bars, restaurants, cinemas, and more.


7. Val d’Isère


Average weekly sunny days: 2.4

Average weekly snowfall: 31cm

Resort height: 1850m

Highest lift: 3450m

Average April snow depth: 276cm

Closing date: Early May


Val d’Isère offers a vast 300km ski area, great snow all winter long and a buzzing après scene. A pretty Alpine town, its reputation as a high-end ski destination is deserved, but there’s still a variety of accommodation on offer and good deals to be found. 

Val d’Isère is linked to the even loftier (but historically cloudier) resort of Tignes, which is more beginner friendly and tends to be more affordable. With the lower slopes in Val d’Isère getting quite slushy and mogul-heavy towards the end of the day, head up high to enjoy the best of the April conditions.



8. Val Thorens


Average weekly sunny days: 1.9

Average weekly snowfall: 22m

Resort height: 2300m

Highest lift: 3230m

Average April snow depth: 183cm

Closing date: Early May


As the highest resort in Europe, it would be almost criminal to not have Val Thorens feature in our list. As it stands, Val Thorens comes in at number 8, thanks to its fantastic snow record but not so great clear skies - fair weather skiers will likely need to weigh up powder vs visibility here. A vast ski area with plentiful high altitude skiing, in addition to an abundance of bars and things to do, Val Thorens really is the full package.


Val Thorens in the sun

 Val Thorens in the sunshine


 So, is April a good month to go skiing in France?


With generous snow falls, plenty of sunny weather, vibrant nightlife, a variety of slopes and freestyle fun, April is a great time to head to France. 

While our top 8 resorts offer the best mix of sunshine and snow surety, if you are less concerned about the sun and more concerned about the snow conditions, you may wish to look at Val Thorens and Tignes - France’s highest resorts. They receive a great amount of fresh snow in April, however are historically less sunny compared to the others, making them not as attractive to fair weather skiers.

It’s also worth mentioning that although popular with late season skiers, the Three Valleys resorts of Meribel and Courchevel didn’t make our top 8, purely because they don't get quite as much snowfall as other resorts. But just head up to Val Thorens if you're looking for reliable snow conditions.

Do remember that April skiing can vary from season to season and lower altitude slopes can be unreliable when it comes to snow conditions. However, venture a bit further up, or head to the glaciers or north-facing slopes and you’re sure to find fantastic spring skiing.  


Read more:

France isn't the only country to offer fantastic spring skiing. Discover the top resorts for April skiing across Europe and beyond.


Read more: 

Discover the French ski resorts that offer the best snow all season long with out guide to the most snow sure resorts in France.



Book your France April ski holiday with Iglu Ski 


Don’t wait till the last minute to book your April ski trip. There are ski holiday deals to be had right now at Iglu Ski, and our team of seasoned skiers are on hand to help you book the perfect France ski holiday for April and throughout the rest of the season.