Skiing in France
It's no surprise that France is the most popular skiing holiday destination among us Brits. There are vast ski areas, perfect for clocking up the miles; family-friendly resorts with slopeside hotels and wonderful ski schools; and party resorts playing host to incredible festivals and daily DJ sets.
There are plenty of restaurants serving Alpine classics like raclette and fondue, mountain restaurants serving lunch time favourites like burgers and pizzas, and even high end restaurants serving fine dining menus for special occasions. For the party-goers, there are lively bars hosting DJs and live bands, while hotels with kids clubs and kid-friendly meal times are a welcome for families heading to the slopes for their annual winter holiday.
The majority of France's resorts are easy to get to - whether you travel by plane, car or train. This key factor combined with the varied terrains and long-lasting snow creates the perfect formula for a France ski holiday. Whether you're looking for a ski holiday package or a great deal on accommodation, you can browse thousands of France ski holiday deals on our website.
Found an amazing deal? Book your ski holiday online or through one of our friendly ski experts.
Which resorts offer the best France ski holiday?
New to skiing in France? Or maybe you'd like a change from your usual resort? Here are some tips on where to head.
A combination of chic alpine towns, smart, purpose-built resorts, and pretty farming villages, France offers a variety of ski holiday settings to suit all tastes. No matter where you go and no matter which time of year you go, you can expect to find fantastically maintained slopes and fast, modern infrastucture designed to get you covering as much ground as possible. We've given a brief insight into some of the best resorts in France below. For a more detailed idea on where to go in France, check out our full guide to France's best ski resorts.
Best resorts for snow-sure slopes
The majority of French resorts reliably provide snow from mid December right through to the end of April, however for guaranteed quality cover, particularly in early and late season, you should look at high altitude resorts. Tignes and Val d'Isere which form the Espace Killy are firm favourites, while over in the Paradiski area, the glaciers of La Plagne and Les Arcs ensure there's plenty of the white stuff to go around. And let's not forgot Val Thorens - Europe's highest resort- which is open for keen skiers from November.
France's most family friendly resorts
Pretty villages teaming with family friendly chalets, Meribel and Courchavel in The Three Valleys are ideal for a ski holiday with the kids. There's a similar feel in the Paradiski area with Arc 1800 and Plagne 1800, or for those looking to stay in family-focussed hotel accommodation, Club Med is a 4 star favourite with three Club Meds in Les Arcs and one over in La Plagne. For ski in ski out convenience, you may wish to look at Avoriaz in the Port du Soleil region, while La Rosiere on the French/Italian border attracts those looking for a quieter, low key ski holiday.
Best resorts for apres-ski
You'll find some form of après whereever you go in the French Alps, but the resorts that rule the party scene include Val Thorens, Meribel, Val d'Isere, Tignes, Les Deux Alpes and Alpe d'Huez. Folie Douce has establishments in the likes of Avoriaz, Les Arcs, and Megeve and has fast claimed the party central top spot with its live DJs, thumping house music, and capturing performers. Away from Folie, you'll find bars with live bands, bars playing après classics and disco hits through the decades, and in resorts like Morzine, you'll find pool bars and locals' hangouts where you can enjoy a few casual beers away from the raucousness.
Where to go for a group ski holiday
France is a fantastic option for group ski holidays. There are great deals to be found on accommodation, ski areas spanning hundreds of kilometres of piste, and a fantastic variety of après on offer. With plenty of blues and reds and challenging blacks for the expert (or brave) members of the group, Tignes and Val d'Isere are very popular, as are Les Arc, Avoriaz, and Morzine. The Three Valleys never fails to please, while Chamonix is a curveball for the adventurous groups.
What are the big ski areas in France called?
France has 7 big ski areas to explore, with the 4 below offering the largest collections of connected pistes, parks, après, and back country.
Portes du Soleil
Big names in the Portes du Soleil region include Avoriaz, Chatel, Morzine and Les Gets. Together, with some smaller villages, they offer 650km of piste, making the Port du Soleil France's largest ski area.
The Three Valleys
Courchavel, Meribel and Val Thorens are the three main ski resorts in The Three Valleys ski area. With the addition of areas including La Tania and Les Menuires, The Three Valleys offers around 600km of piste.
Since the installation of the Vanoise Express - an impressive double decker cable car that stretches across the valley - the resorts of La Plagne and Les Arcs have been connected to form the Paradiski area, offering 425km of piste.
Neighbours Tignes and Val d'Isere make up the Espace Killy ski area. Seemlessly interlinked, they offer 300kms of piste, making the two resorts France's fourth largest ski area.
Read our full guide on the largest ski areas in France to find out more!
Snow conditions in France
The quality of snow in French ski resorts can vary from one resort to another, but on the whole, snow conditions in winter are excellent.
Ski areas in France generally sit higher than any other ski country so ski resorts have superior snow conditions and longer seasons. Val Thorens is the highest ski resort in Europe and Avoriaz repeatedly gets the most snowfall in France.
France has a superb and diverse après-ski scene.
The extraordinary Folie Douce is well-known for its flamboyant and huge afternoon ski parties. The club giant now has bars in many of the top French ski resorts including Val d’Isere, Meribel, Val Thorens and Alpe d’Huez. French après has something for everyone, whether you’re after an on the piste mountain bar, a bistro with a sunny terrace, a swanky cocktail bar or an alpine pub, you’ll be spoilt for choice in many French ski resorts.
Ski accommodation in France
We have a huge selection of different accommodation for French resorts, including hotels, apartments and chalets.
If you prefer a more relaxed, informal atmosphere on your ski holiday, ski chalets are a very popular option. We have a wide range of French ski chalets in all the major ski resorts. Have a quick browse of our ski chalets in France.
Alternatively, you may be seeking private accommodation. Ski apartments in France are a brilliant way to enjoy ski holidays whilst feeling at home. There are plenty of hotel options ranging from great value chalet hotel ski holidays in the large resorts to luxurious hotels in the finest locations.
France ski holiday FAQs
What are the transfer times to French resorts like?
Transfer times from your airport to your ski resort can take between one hour to four in ski resorts, depending on which airport you are flying in to and your chosen ski resort. The main airports are Geneva and Chambery for France ski holidays. Transfer times are listed in the holiday details of each ski property listing.
What do I need to know about getting a lift pass?
Lift pass prices differ from resort to resort but by booking early, you can often benefit from discounts. Remember you don't always need a full area pass; think about how much skiing you will actually do and whether you will benefit from an area or a local lift pass. You can pre-book your ski pass with your holiday booking, or you can get it on your ski rep on the transfer or when you arrive in your resort.
How many ski resorts are there in France?
With over 300 resorts to choose from, there is no shortage of ski holiday options in France. We have thousands of ski holidays for you to choose from over a hundred of France's ski resorts.
When is the France ski season?
The season starts when the majority of France's resorts open mid December and the season ends when they close around the last week of April. However, high resorts like Val Thorens can open as early as November and stay open until the first week of May.
Is skiing in France expensive?
Skiing in France can be expensive, but it can also be very cheap - the price depends on where you go, when you go, and the type of accommodation you're after. Resorts like Val d'Isere and Meribel can get expensive (particularly when lift passes come into play), but there's self catering accommodation there that offers good value for money and tour operators are always dropping deals that you can take advantage of.
Resorts like La Plagne and La Rosiere tend to be on the less expensive side when it comes to accommodation, and as long as you avoid peak dates (early January and late March are often cheaper than February), there are good deals to be found anywhere in the French Alps.