The 8 Best Places to Ski in France

A man skiing in Val d'Isere

Cyprien Delaporte / Unsplash

France is known for many things—the luxury of Paris, the beauty of the southern countryside, and the majestic beauty of the Alps—but it's within the latter that visitors will find some of the best skiing in Europe. France offers a wide variety of terrain suitable for everyone, from beginners to the best in the world. Pair that with lively apres-ski choices and snow globe-like sceneries, and it's obvious to see why France is such a popular ski destination. 

01 of 08

Val d’Isere

Sunset in the Club Med Val d'Isere resort

TripSavvy / Taylor McIntyre

Val d’Isere, linked with the neighboring Tignes, makes up the Espace Killy area. Named after the famous three-time Olympic gold medalist Jean-Claude Killy who grew up skiing in the area, the Val d’Isere base sits at 6,069 feet. This altitude paired with consistent snowfall and Europe’s largest snow-making capacity means  Val d’Isere sees the most consistent snow coverage in the whole continent, with ski season here sometimes extending into June. While there are green trails and a bunny hill, the area is loved by advanced skiers for its 20-plus black runs. Plus, a beloved resort, the Club Med Val d’Isere, will be getting a major facelift at the end of the 2022 season. This Club Med will be overhauled and updated, turning half of the resort into its exclusive collection.

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02 of 08

La Rosière

View of the mountains from Club Med La Rosiere resort

TripSavvy / Taylor McIntyre

La Rosière is a historic mountain town sitting in the heart of the Saint Bernard Pass. Because of its proximity to the Italian border, it’s often called the most Italian area in Savoy. While other areas might get more hype because of their expert terrain, La Rosière is an excellent destination for intermediate skiers and even advanced beginners with eight green, 28 blue, and 33 red runs. However, expert skiers should still consider La Rosière as well, with its 14 black trails. The area is also home to one of Club Med’s newest ski resorts, Club Med La Rosière, which opened in December 2021. The all-inclusive giant offers many great options for skiers and non-skiers alike, from ski-in, ski-out and free lessons to heated indoor pools and yoga classes.

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03 of 08

Les Trois Vallées

Scenic View Of Snowcapped Mountains Against Sky
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Les Trois Vallées or the Three Valleys is home to a group of interconnected ski resorts that create the largest ski domain in the world with over 370 miles of skiable terrain. Courchevel is the largest ski resort in the area, with over 90 miles of skiable trails. This area attracts all levels, with almost a third of the routes being beginner-friendly. Courchevel is also known to attract a glamorous crowd, including Prince William and Kate Middleton. Another great option in the area is Val Thorens which holds the record for the highest ski resort in Europe. The resort sits at 7,546 feet with skiable pistes near 10,500 feet. When you’re done skiing, you can enjoy an apres-ski at the highest pub in Europe, The Frog and Roastbeef. 

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04 of 08

Chamonix

Family on ski trip, Chamonix, France
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Chamonix is located on Mont Blanc, the site of the very first winter Olympics in 1924. Mont Blanc is the tallest mountain in Europe and is the ultimate playground for advanced skiers. The steep runs and challenging off-piste terrain are not for the faint of heart. However, if you’re not the ultimate thrill-seeker, Chamonix can still be a great getaway as the town offers up every other activity from museums and casinos to theme parks and dog sledding. Along with lively nightlife and apres scene, everyone can find their thrill in Chamonix.

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05 of 08

Avoriaz

Snow Covered Trees And Buildings Against Sky
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You can find Avoriaz in the Portes du Soleil area, which makes up the second largest ski region in the country. The entire region comprises 12 resorts and over 40 miles of terrain that cross into Switzerland. One pass will grant you access to all the lifts in the area, making it possible to ski in two countries on the same day. Avoriaz is close to other well-known resorts like Morzine and Lets Gets, but a few things set Avoriaz apart: it's the snowiest resort in France and is also unique in that the resort itself is car-free! Visitors reach the resort by cable car and then get around by walking, skiing, or horse-drawn sleigh. For a one-of-a-kind ski experience, Avoriaz should be on your list!

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06 of 08

Les Deux Alpes

Mountain landscape in France ski resort Les Deux Alpes
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In Les Deux Alpes, you’ll find the largest skiable glacier in Europe, which offers a unique opportunity for all visitors: summer skiing. The high altitude and natural snow on the glacier guarantees skiing almost year-round. Les Deux Alpes is known for its summer ski school. While this resort is excellent for intermediate skiers with 20 red and 50 blue runs, more advanced visitors still have things to look forward to. The high altitude provides some dare devilish runs, including a vertical drop over 7,200 feet. Thrill-seekers can also get a rush at the airbag park or try their hand at hang gliding. 

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07 of 08

Alpe d'Huez

Scenic View Of Snow Covered Mountains Against Sky
David Samperio García / EyeEm / Getty Images

Alpe d’Huez is located in the southern Alps in the Grand Domaine area. It’s a part of another huge interconnected ski area that links six resorts to create nearly 155 miles of ski runs. Alpe d’Huez is an excellent destination for skiers of all levels with 41 green pistes, 34 blue pistes, 40 red pistes, and 16 black pistes. Alpe d’Huez is home to La Sarenne, the longest black diamond run globally, clocking in at 9.9 miles. All of this is in addition to several non-ski activities, including luge, dog sledding, archery, and ice driving. Alpe d’Huez is a one-stop-shop for all winter activities and experience levels. 

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08 of 08

La Plagne and Les Arcs

Ski Resort and Mountain
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La Plagne is connected to the nearby Les Arcs to make up France's third-largest ski area. Les Plagne is ideal for beginners and intermediate. However, Les Arcs, the go-to spot for intermediate and advanced skiers, is easily accessible by the Vanoise Express Cable Car. Honestly, the cable car is an attraction in itself as you fly across the stellar Ponthurin Valley. But La Plagne is no stranger to thrill-seeking, offering other activities like bobsledding, ice climbing, and paragliding, not to mention a lively bar and apres-ski scene.