Top Five Ski Resorts in the French Alps
World class ski resorts are not hard to come by in France which is home to the largest ski area in the world and the highest resort in Europe. With more Brits visiting French resorts than any other nationality, we just can’t get enough of this country’s superb ski areas, not to mention the irresistible cheese and wines. From charming, traditional villages to high altitude, purpose built ski towns, we’ve put together a list of our top five French ski resorts.
Meribel is top of our list primarily because of its exceptional location at the heart of the Three Valleys ski area, the largest in the world. Visitors to Meribel have access to over 600km of pistes to explore as well as an abundance of off-piste areas. The town itself is picture perfect with no high rise building permitted meaning that the majority of accommodation in the town consists of chalets creating a charming ski village of decades past.
- Val d’Isere
Val d’Isere oozes style and sophistication from every corner of the resort. From the upmarket nightclubs to Olympic downhill runs, Val d’Isere is the place to be and be seen. Sharing the Espace Killy ski area with Tignes, in terms of skiing and snowboarding, Val d’Isere caters for all levels. For beginners, there are two nursery slope areas while intermediates and advanced skiers relish the steel downhill descents. The infamous La Face black run back to the village has become known as a rite of passage for visitors to the town.
- La Plagne
Family favourite La Plagne is known for its excellent selection of runs and superb village amenities. Arguably the best resort in the Alps for beginners, the pistes around La Plagne perfectly suit novice skiers. Nevertheless, the ski area around La Plagne also has plenty of runs to suit more advanced skiers and boarders. As a result of the superb beginners runs and amenities within the town, a number of family friendly hotels with free childcare have popped up like that from British tour operator Mark Warner. Check them out here www.markwarner.co.uk.
- Val Thorens
Lifting the coveted title of the highest resort in Europe, Val Thorens sits at the top of the Three Valleys ski area, previously mentioned as the world’s largest ski area. A more economical resort than other upmarket resorts in the area like Courchevel and Meribel, Val Thorens has an impressive variety of runs over a large range of heights and levels. The most reliable resort in the Three Valleys for snow, Val Thorens’ height ensures that its pistes remain covered all season. Particularly handy of you plan on visiting at the beginning or end of the season.
With horse drawn carriage the main form of transport and tree lined runs, pedestriansed Avoriaz will transport you to a magical winter wonderland. Like Val Thorens, Avoriaz enjoys an enviable altitude meaning that there are plenty of snow sure runs all season. The resort has become popular with families and groups alike. One of the closest resorts to Geneva airport, the short transfer times, high altitude and good amenities make Avoriaz one of the most popular resorts in the French Alps.