Incase you did not know, Snowleader is based in the heart of the French Alps – Annecy in fact. This gives Snowleader employees unparalleled access to almost all of the best ski resorts in France. What does this mean; Well aside from this being one of the things that helps Snowleader stand out from the competition (time on snow, all season long), it also means that between us we have skied basically everywhere in France!
So with this in mind, here are our selection of France’s top ski resorts.
Best Beginner’s Ski Resort – Les Gets
If you are new to snowboarding or skiing then Les Gets is a great resort to learn the basics. There are plenty of beginner slopes for you to find your ski legs, a great atmosphere in town to past time in after a hard day out on the slopes and access to the whole Portes Du Sole ski area. The Portes Du Sole ski area is one of the largest ski areas in the world and home to 650kms of pistes. With everything from wide open beginner slopes, right up to steep off piste areas. So no matter the level of skiers in your group there, everyone will be happy! Still not convinced? Add the fact that Les Gets is easily accessible from Geneva, a huge plus, especially if you are taking younger travellers with you! Remember to also check out the Snowleader store for a great range of beginners ski and snowboard gear as well as kids skis.
Resort Height: 1,172m
Linked area: Portes du Soleil
Resort height range: 950m to 2,275m
Lifts 194 (linked area)
Pistes 650km, 12% green, 43% blue, 36% red, 9% black (linked area)
Best Piste Skiing Resort – La Plagne
If you love to carve down long open pistes, then you need to book your next ski holiday to La Plagne. First off, the area is massive! With over 425km of pistes – from wide open blue and red runs, to tighter and more difficult blacks. That will test even the most seasoned skiers. Match this with the fantastic conditions that the resorts keep their pistes in and you can easily see why we love to let the edges run wild in La Plagne. 11 small villages make up the resort of La Plagne and all join together, thanks to 121 ski lifts, giving you access to the Paradise ski area. Besides the skiing, there are also plenty of other activities to get involved in around the villages of La Plagne, like Luge and Ice climbing for example. Snowleader also has a great selection of men’s and women’s piste skis. As well as a great selection of snowboards for every level.
Resort Height: 11 villages make up the resort, heights vary
Linked area: Paradiski
Resort height range: 1250m to 3250m
Lifts: 121 (linked area)
Pistes: 425km (linked area)
Best Party Ski Resort – Les Deux Alps
Les Deux Alps not only has a great selection of on piste(220km) and off piste ski runs runs – accessed by 60 lifts. As well as access to Europe’s largest skiable glazier and snow park. Les Deux Alps is also home to a 2km long strip of bars and clubs, giving it the reputation of the “Las Vegas of the Alps”. So if you play hard and party harder then look no further. You will be pleased to hear that the whole town is very close ski lifts, making your mornings a little bit easier. Just like the selection of bars in Les Deux Alps, there are plenty of skiing options for all the members of your group. From beginner’s pistes right up to expert off piste lines. And if you have every heard of the infamous resort of La Grave, one of the best worlds wildest and best off piste ski resorts. Then you will be pleased to know that it is fairly easily accessible from the top of Les Deux Alps.
As you would expect from a resort offering so much on and off the mountain, there is a great selection of holiday packages available in Les Deux Alps. So make sure you check out Action Outdoors for some great deals on accommodation, lift passes, food and in some cases even instruction and guiding.
Resort Height: 1650m
Linked area: Access to La Grave Possible
Resort height range: 1650m – 3600m
Best Powder Ski Resort – Val D’sere/Tignes and Val Thorens
The best powder ski resort, in our eyes, has got to be a toss up between Val D’sere/Tignes and Val Thorens. Which giving you access to huge ski areas of the Espace Killy and the Trois Vallées respectively. The ski lifts in both these areas open up a huge amount of skiing, both on piste and off piste. The other advantage about the Espace Killy and Trois Vallees is that they also cater for all levels. So while the beginners and intermediate skiers and snowboards in your group tackle some of the impressive pistes, the more advanced members of your group can escape into the powder. But don’t think that these resorts are all just about powder hunting for advanced skiers. Yes, both the Espace Killy and Trois Vallees offer some great, easy access powder skiing options, but there are options for all levers – beginners and intermediates alike. With everything from powder bowls of the less advanced skiers in your group, right up to the the steeper faces and couloirs for the more seasoned skiers, looking to push their limits to the next level.
With all this great access to powder it would be a shame not to make the most of it. And while you will still find plenty of good options by yourself off the edges of the piste, having someone who knows where they are going is really worth it in a large areas like these. Good news – Action Outdoors run a number of holidays to these areas, some specially designed for off piste skiers. Offering everything from intermediate, advanced and expert off piste week long ski courses – in Val Disre, Tignes and Val Thorens !
Remember that if you are heading out into the off piste you should really have all the right equipment with you and if you do not know the area well a guide is highly recommend (that’s why Action Outdoor’s holidays are so good!). Here at snowleader we have a great selection of avalanche safety equipment and airbags. As well as a great range of powder skis, so that whether you are new to the off piste of have a few season under your belt, you will be charging with ease in no time!
Resort Height: 1,850m (Val D’sere) 2100m (Tignes)
Linked area: Espace Killy
Resort height range: 1,550m to 3,455m
Pistes 300km, 15% green, 42% blue, 26% red, 17% black
Resort Height: 2,300m
Linked area: Trois Vallées
Resort height range: 1,260m to 3,230m
Pistes 600km, 13% green, 39% blue, 38% red, 10% black
Best Steep Skiing Resort – Chamonix
Well this is fairly obvious – Chamonix Mont-Blanc. This world famous resort, made up of 5 villages, gives you some of the most easy access off piste skiing in the world, but with that it also attracts a fair bit of traffic. Chamonix might not have the most ski lifts, or the largest number of pisted runs. But where the locations these lifts give you access to is incomparable to anywhere else in the world. With almost 360 degree access to pistes, bowls, couloirs and touring options, Chamonix really is an off piste skiers dream.
Jump on the famous Aiguille du Midi ski lift and you gain access to the world’s longest off piste run. 22km long and with some of the most spectacular views that you will likely experience with skis on your feet. If you like steeps then Chamonix delivers again and again. With access straight out the lift stations or way off into the backcountry, you choose. And if you love ski touring, then make sure you explore the massive backcountry options that the resort gives you access to. With everything from leisurely bowls to lines steeper than you would like to imagine.
Given the size and scope of the Chamonix and the surrounding area we really do recommend skiing with someone who knows their way around. And definitely go with a guide on the higher mountain itineraries. Not only is this important in terms of safety, it will also means that you will have a lot more fun, escape the crowds and go to some of the more exclusive areas of the Chamonix valley. Luckily Action Outdoors offer a whole range of different holiday options in Chamonix. With everything from guided days to week long off piste courses – it’s a really good way to not only improve your skiing but also explore the area at the same time!
If you really want to explore the Chamonix ski area then you really need to get your ski touring gear out. Whether you are hunting for the steep skiing lines in the spring or the hidden powder lines, Chamonix really does have it all and it is all relatively easy to reach too! So make sure you grab yourself a good ski touring setup or splitboard, grab a guide and head for the mountains!
Resort Height: 1,035m
Resort height range: 1,035m to 3,842m
Pistes: 160km but a lot more off piste
We hope that this has given you a little in site into some of the best ski resorts in France. And if you are looking for affordable accommodation options and the possibility to take some time to improve your skills while on holiday we really can’t recommend Active Outdoors and the UCPA guides and instructors they use.