The French Alps offer a myriad stunning ski holiday options with quaint Alpine villages filled with cozy chalets, superb skiing opportunities and an après ski life that is exceptional. Baroque Travel finds out which French ski resorts are worth a visit
The highest and most extensive mountains in Europe, the Alps are, without a doubt, the ideal location for memorable skiing holidays. Life in a ski resort is full, varied and exciting. If you’re a keen skier, spending a day on the slopes is de rigeur. ‘Apres ski’ life in top resorts is always a party. The more glamorous the resort, the more nightclub options are available. So, whether you’re heading for a resort because it’s glam, or because the skiing is exceptional, or both, take a look at our choice of some of the best in France.
Over 2 million people flock here to enjoy this resort’s huge 425km ‘Paridiski’ region, which is served by an excellent network of ski lifts. The resort offers hundreds of kilometers of ‘pistes’ suitable for beginners all the way through to professional skiers as well as excellent glacier skiing. Off the slopes there are numerous ice sports to enjoy, including bobsleighs and a stunning ice-climbing tower. The region is actually home to 10 separate little villages, including Montalbert, Champagny and Montchavin –Les Coches and more modern establishments such as Belle Plagne and Plagne Centre.
Located in France’s Haute-Savoie region, with breathtaking Mont Blanc as its backdrop, it offers extensive slopes to challenge everyone, from beginners to the most advanced skiers and snowboarders as well as professionals. The resort, which is home to the longest lift-served ski run in the world and was also the location for the first-ever Olympic Games in 1924, also offers a vibrant après-ski life making it a great location for a ski getaway. The resort itself is compact, full of accommodation and entertainment options. In peak season the atmosphere is lively and cosmopolitan. The Chamonix region is actually a valley with various villages and ski areas, such as Balme, Le Brévent and La Flégère (the latter two are the linked by lifts).
LES DEUX ALPES
Located between the Northern and Southern French Alps, this long-established, southern ski area offers exceptional skiing. This lively resort, which is one of the highest ski resorts in the country, features 225km of piste served by 40 lifts, not to mention the largest skiing glacier in Europe. Visitors enjoy skiing just a few steps from the main street, on both sides of the valley, reaching high up to the glacier area. The resort is also famous for its off-piste activities and its close proximity to other ski areas offers an unmatched skiing choice. The Glacier du Mont, highest point in the ski area, is connected to the resort of La Grave with an underground funicular railway and draglifts.
Situated in the Savoie region, in the largest ski area in the world, the renowned Les Trois Vallées, magical Meribel offers access to 600km of piste. The resort is very pretty, with traditional chalets adding to the picturesque beauty of this typical Alpine destination. Meribel caters to all grades of skier and snowboarder, which is why it’s so popular. The vibrant après ski life is another big draw card; the resort is bursting with bars and entertainment venues. Meribel is covered with snow from early December right through April and the choice of ski runs is so vast that skiers never need to ski the same route twice on a week’s stay. Advanced skiers enjoy skiing Mauduit, a challenging red run that was once an Olympic downhill course.
Located in the Savoie region, this stunning resort is situated at the highest tip of the Trois Vallees, making it Europe’s highest ski resort, with almost guaranteed snow for the entire winter. It offers accommodation and entertainment for every type of skier and its après ski life compares with the most famous resorts in the world for choice and style. With excellent ski slopes, an extensive ski season (from late November to mid-May) and a location in one of the world’s largest ski areas, the resort is a popular choice for visitors from around the globe.
Located in the southeastern region of Savoie in the Western Alps, this traditionally French Alpine ski resort is both historic and beautiful. Extremely popular and quaint, it boasts a mainly urbanized city center full of shops, restaurants and night-time entertainment. A leading competition venue, the resort has hosted world-class international ski championships and competitions including the Winter Olympics in 1992. Together with its neighbour, Tignes, Val d’Isere is part of the 10,000-hectare Espace Killy ski area, one of France’s best and most popular.