The Best Ski Resorts in France in 2024

Ski lift against white snow and blue sky

How often the French engage in daily gym workouts might be up for debate, but when winter arrives and the skiing season is in full swing, they somehow seamlessly transition into winter athletes. Gliding gracefully on les pistes, basking in the sun at the summit, and inevitably savoring a pinte at après-ski, the allure of skiing in France is undeniable.

France is home to 364 ski resorts, offering a varied selection ranging from quaint villages transformed into resorts, to expansive purpose-built destinations at high altitudes. For many French people, the choice of the best ski resort or slopes is not just a matter of preference but a part of their identity and a cherished tradition. Whether they’re intimate family-oriented ski resorts, or some of the world’s premier skiing destinations, we’ve compiled a list of the 11 best ski resorts in France.

Explore the enchanting French Alps from all sides and partake in a beloved winter pastime. With options catering to every type of skier, there’s a perfect place for everyone to enjoy.

1. Les Houches 

Les Houches ski area

Best for: Family & multi-level skiers

Les Houches invites skiers into a family ski area located in the Chamonix Valley (also home to Cervoz, Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, Argentière, and Vallorcine). Situated at an elevation of 1900m, the ski domain is easily accessible via the Bellevue and Prarion cable cars from the village of Les Houches (1000m), as well as the iconic Tramway du Mont-Blanc from Le Fayet (580m) or Saint-Gervais (820m). Positioned at the base of the roof of Europe and the gates of Mont-Blanc, Les Houches offers picturesque trails winding through the forest, providing enjoyment for both beginners and seasoned skiers. Fun areas such as the slalom skiing stadium and the Ski Camp, designed to offer learning activities for children, add to the allure of this family-friendly skiing paradise surrounded by nature.

2. Tignes 

Tignes ski summit

Best for: Intermediate & experienced skiers as well as off-piste skiing; fun, young crowd

Situated at an altitude of 2,100 meters, Tignes boasts a high-altitude domain that guarantees optimal snow conditions throughout the entire winter season. Connected to the neighboring Val d’Isère, the Espace Killy ski area provides an extensive network of slopes catering to skiers and snowboarders of all levels. With a summit reaching 3,456 meters at the Grande Motte glacier (which doesn’t melt year-round, meaning that athletes can ski here in the summer), Tignes ensures a thrilling experience for even the most seasoned snow enthusiasts. Beyond its world-class skiing opportunities, Tignes is a vibrant resort town featuring a variety of accommodations, dining options, and après-ski activities.

3. La Plagne

La Plagne Ski Area

Best for: Multi-level skiing & a relaxing atmosphere

Part of the Paradiski area, one of the world’s largest linked ski domains, La Plagne seamlessly connects with the neighboring resorts of Les Arcs, offering an extensive network of slopes and breathtaking views of the surrounding mountain landscapes. With altitudes ranging from 1,250 meters to over 3,250 meters, the ski area ensures excellent snow conditions throughout the season. Whether gliding down gentle slopes or tackling challenging black diamonds, skiers at Le Plagne can enjoy a diverse range of experiences. The resort village itself is characterized by a charming atmosphere set against the background of the French Alps. Featuring cozy accommodations, vibrant après-ski options, and a welcoming ambiance, La Plagne is an ideal destination for winter sports enthusiasts seeking both adventure and relaxation at one of the best ski resorts in France.

4. Val d’Isère

Val d'Isère Ski Area

Best for: Seasoned & pro skiers 

Val d’Isère is an iconic ski destination renowned for its world-class slopes and picturesque mountain setting. Situated at an elevation of 1,850 meters, this charming Alpine village boasts access to the expansive Espace Killy ski area, linking it with Tignes and offering a vast expanse of diverse and challenging terrain throughout. Val d’Isère is perfect for seasoned enthusiasts, with high-altitude slopes ensuring excellent snow conditions. The resort is famous for its challenging runs, including the legendary Face de Bellevarde, hosting international ski competitions. Beyond the exhilarating skiing experiences, Val d’Isère offers a lively après-ski scene. With its unique combination of natural beauty and outstanding recreational opportunities, Val d’Isère remains a timeless destination for winter sports enthusiasts, and indisputably one of the best ski resorts in France.

5. Courchevel 

Courchevel Ski Area

Best for: Affluent international crowds

Courchevel is synonymous with luxury and world-class skiing, offering a prestigious ski area that caters to discerning winter sports enthusiasts. Comprising four distinct villages, each located at varying altitudes, Courchevel presents an expansive and interconnected domain that seamlessly connects with the renowned Les 3 Vallées.  With elevations ranging from 1,300 meters to 2,738 meters at its highest point, Courchevel ensures optimal snow conditions and a diverse range of slopes for skiers of all levels. Beyond these impeccable skiing experiences, visitors are treated to a refined Alpine ambiance featuring upscale accommodations, gourmet dining options, and exclusive boutiques. (Think: couture, and lots of it!) Courchevel’s reputation as a playground for the elite is complemented by its pristine natural surroundings, making it a sought-after destination for those seeking both opulence and exceptional winter sports adventures.

6. Les Deux Alpes 

Deux Alpes ski area

Best for: High-altitude, black-diamond skiers 

Les Deux Alpes is celebrated for its unique combination of high-altitude thrills and vibrant Alpine culture. Spanning from 1,300 meters to 3,600 meters, this dynamic resort promises an extensive ski area that caters to all skill levels, boasting a special connection to La Grave. A highlight of Les Deux Alpes is the iconic Girose Glacier, offering not only challenging slopes but also breathtaking panoramic vistas. Amidst the snowy peaks, the resort unveils a lively après-ski scene, quaint Alpine villages, and an inviting ambiance. 

7. Megève 

Megeve ski area

Best for: Multi-level & non-skiers

Renowned for its sophisticated atmosphere, this Alpine village seamlessly combines traditional Savoyard architecture with a world-class ski area. Megève offers a diverse range of slopes, catering to skiers and snowboarders of all levels, with stunning views of Mont Blanc serving as a majestic backdrop. The ski area is complemented by an enchanting village ambiance perfect for the non-skiers in your group, where they can indulge at upscale boutiques, gourmet restaurants, and cozy chalets. Beyond the pristine skiing conditions, Megève’s reputation as a luxurious winter retreat is enhanced by its cultural events, spa offerings, and picturesque cobblestone streets. Whether you are seeking thrilling slopes or indulging in refined après-ski experiences, Megève is always a good choice for all kinds of winter vacationers. 

8. Les Arcs

Les Arcs ski

Best for: Multi-level & lively vibes

Comprising four modern resort villages—Bourg-Saint-Maurice, Arc 1600, Arc 1800, and Arc 2000—Les Arcs has a seamless connection to the expansive Paradiski area. With elevations ranging from 810 meters to an impressive 3,226 meters at the Aiguille Rouge, the ski area caters to all skill levels, ensuring both beginners and seasoned enthusiasts find their perfect slopes. Beyond the adrenaline-fueled descents, Les Arcs enchants visitors with its vibrant après-ski scene and diverse dining options.

9. Serre Chevalier 

serre chevalier ski

Best for: Multi-level & Alpine village charm

Serre Chevalier is a gem among ski destinations, renowned for its expansive and diverse ski area. Comprising four authentic mountain villages—Briançon, Chantemerle, Villeneuve, and Monêtier-les-Bains—Serre Chevalier boasts a unique charm that seamlessly blends Alpine tradition with modern amenities. The ski area spans from 1,200 meters to 2,800 meters, catering to skiers and snowboarders of all levels with its wide variety of slopes. Surrounded by stunning peaks and lush forests, Serre Chevalier offers not only exceptional skiing but also a picturesque enchanted forest backdrop for outdoor enthusiasts. 

10. Val Thorens

Val Thorens Ski

Best for: Expert skiers & world-class athletes

Val Thorens stands as one of the best ski resorts in France, renowned for its status as Europe’s highest ski resort. Perched at an altitude of 2,300 meters, Val Thorens guarantees optimal snow conditions throughout the season. As a key component of the renowned Les 3 Vallées, Val Thorens seamlessly connects with Meribel and Courchevel, providing a variety of slopes and experiences. Beyond the thrill of skiing down its snow-covered peaks, Val Thorens features a vibrant après-ski scene, modern amenities, and a lively atmosphere.

11. Grandvalira (Andorra) 

Grandvalira Ski resort

Best for: Multi-level, contemporary traveler & off-the-beaten-path

While technically not in France but located in the breathtaking Pyrenees Mountains of Andorra, Grandvalira stands as the largest ski area in Southern Europe, offering an expansive winter playground for enthusiasts. Located in the principality of Andorra on the France-Spain border, Grandvalira spans across several resort and ski areas together, including Encamp, Canillo, El Tarter, Soldeu, Grau Roig, and Pas de la Casa. With elevations reaching up to 2,640 meters, the ski area provides a diverse range of slopes catering to all levels of skiers and snowboarders. Known for its extensive terrain, modern infrastructure, and reliable snow conditions, Grandvalira offers a thrilling alpine experience. Beyond the slopes, visitors can immerse themselves in the vibrant après-ski scene, explore charming mountain villages, and take in panoramic views of the Pyrenees.

Questions About Ski Resorts in France

Does France have good skiing?

Yes, France is renowned for its excellent skiing and is considered one of the premier ski destinations in the world. The French Alps, in particular, offer a vast and diverse array of popular ski resorts there, featuring high-altitude slopes, impressive mountain landscapes, and well-developed infrastructure.

Where do French people go to ski?

French skiers have a variety of options with popular destinations including Les Trois Vallées, Espace Killy, and Paradiski in the French Alps. Chamonix-Mont-Blanc is renowned for its dramatic scenery, while resorts like Portes du Soleil and Serre Chevalier offer diverse skiing experiences. From family-friendly options to challenging slopes at the best French ski resorts, skiers choose destinations based on personal preferences and skill levels across various regions in the French Alps and the Pyrenees.

Which ski resort in France is best for non-skiers?

If you’re a non-skier but still want to enjoy the ambiance and amenities of one of the best ski resorts in France, consider visiting Megève in the French Alps. Megève is known for its Alpine village atmosphere, picturesque surroundings, and an array of non-skiing activities. The town offers upscale shopping, gourmet dining, spa facilities, and cultural attractions, providing a delightful experience for those who may not be hitting the slopes.

Is Chamonix good for beginners?

While Chamonix is a world-renowned destination for experienced skiers and mountaineers and undoubtedly one of the most popular ski resorts in France, it may not be the most ideal choice of ski holiday for beginners. Chamonix is known for its challenging and varied terrain, including steep descents and off-piste opportunities, which are better suited for intermediate and advanced skiers.

What is the best season for skiing in France?

The best season for skiing in France typically spans from December to April. During this period, the winter months offer optimal snow conditions for skiing at the top French ski resorts.

The Best Ski Resorts in France: Final Thoughts

Skiing in France is no doubt a ticket to winter wonderland and also a chance to make it one step closer to the Olympics. But more than anything it’s an immersion into a festive and communal atmosphere marked by friendliness. The quaint charm of small Savoie villages, reminiscent of yesteryear, harmoniously blends with modern amenities and entertaining après-ski activities at some of the best ski resorts in France and the world. The inclusion of spa hotels and upscale dining elevates the overall experience, appealing to the senses of both skiers and non-skiers. And so, the question of whether it’s worth it? Without a doubt!

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