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French ski resorts are still the number one choice for most British snow sports lovers. Here's our pick of the finest ski resorts France has to offer.

Photo: Germ'Photographie

Independently researched and written by the Snow Team, sponsored by the experts at Sunweb


There’s a reason why skiers and snowboarders from all over the world flock to France: quite simply, it’s got some of the best terrain in the world. And then there are its resorts. Whether you’re after a quaint, family-friendly ski town or a high altitude modern resort with direct access to the slopes and brilliant springtime skiing, France won’t let you down.

The good news is that while France’s resorts regularly come near the top in lists of the world’s top ski destinations, resorts here never rest on their laurels. Innovative developments – whether relating to sustainable snow-making or culinary offerings - appear on a regular basis, and most resorts launch new activities every winter season. Meanwhile, new investments in old favourites such as Serre Chevalier (currently in the midst of a € 26m transformation), Val d’Isère and La Plagne help them retain their status.

France is also famous for its geography. The Alps offer some of the steepest and most varied skiable terrain on the planet, and the majority of France’s resorts can be found in the heart of this beautiful range. And then there’s the après-ski. In France, this no longer just means slope-side beers, but parties on the piste (we’re looking at you, Folie Douce), chic cocktail bars, and fantastic festivals, such as the Montreux Comedy Goes Skiing festival, taking place in Les Gets in early 2024.

Here are ten fantastic French resorts which should be on the radar of anyone dreaming of their future ski holidays.


Alpe d’Huez

Got a head for heights? You’ll love Alpe d'Huez, which tops out at 3,300m. It’s the largest resort in the Grand Domaine ski area, which combines Auris-en-Oisans, Huez-en-Oisans, Oz-en Oisans, Vaujany and Villard, so it's perfect if you love a base which offers effortless access to neighbouring resorts. 

There are plenty of developments in store for winter 2023/24 too, including a new six-person chairlift between Bergers and Chalvet and a slick new resort which app which allows skiers to keep an eye on everything from lift queues to restaurant opening times.

The resort’s location in the heart of the Grand Domaine area means allows skiers to carve up 249kms of ski runs catering to all skill levels –there are 41 green pistes, 34 blue pistes, 40 red pistes and 16 black pistes. Our favourite? The 16-kilometre La Sarenne, which is the longest ski run in Europe. There's also plenty of terrain for off-piste fans, who should consider heading to the Pic Blanc area.

It’s another incredibly family-friendly ski holiday destination, hence its Famille Plus designation, awarded by France Montagnes, the national marketing body, to French ski resorts perfectly suited to family ski holidays. It’s also a brilliant choice for fans of sun-soaked ski holidays – it’s known for its warm, sunny days, hence its nickname l’Isle au Soleil, meaning the island in the sun. Our favourite spot for a sun-soaked après ski session? The terrace of the La Folie Douce, by the Marmottes 1 lift.

Take a look a our full Alpe d’Huez ski resort guidefor more details.



Avoriaz is one of France’s most sustainable ski resorts, but it’s not just ticking boxes – in addition to Green Snowflake certification, the resort has conducted a massive study into the effects of climate change on snow conditions which it's using to dictate its future plans.

Sustainability aside, this vehicle-free ski resort, perched at 1,800m, has always been one of France’s top destinations for skiers and snowboarders. You’ll find it in the Portes du Soleil ski area, which straddles the French-Swiss border. The combination of its high altitude and a 600-kilometre network of runs ensures brilliant snow conditions,  and the ski resort itself is sustainable, stylish and well-equipped, and a great option for anyone seeking to enjoy some some of the best skiing in France in a destination where all the essentials - from restaurants to supermarkets - are in one resort. 

A fun fact? The red cedarwood tiles covering many of the buildings were chosen because they’re similar to the ones used on Savoie buildings for hundreds of years.  Its eco-credentials make it one of the most sustainability-focussed French ski resorts, and by December 2021 Avoriaz hopes to have ‘Flocon Vert’ (Green Snowflake) accreditation, awarded to French ski areas in recognition of their sustainability efforts. In the case of Avoriaz, these include an energy reduction plan and regular clean-up days. 

Our top tip? Prior to your ski holiday, download the resort’s app, which will relay waiting times for ski lifts and offer route suggestions. 

Avoriaz is also regarded as one of France’s best ski resorts for families, and with good reason; kid-friendly features include the tepee-dotted Village des Enfants d’Annie Famose, where children and teenagers can come for a wide range of activities. There’s plenty for thrill-seekers too though, including two Burton fun parks and a fantastic half pipe.

Read our full Avoriaz ski resort guide for more information.

Photo: Maxime Coquard


Huddling in the shadow of the Mont Blanc massif, Chamonix is one of the most famous ski resorts not just in France, but in the world. It's known for its mountaineering history, brilliant glacier skiing and vast array of terrain—including some of the steepest, most technical off-piste you'll find anywhere in the Alps.

In fact, calling Chamonix a ski resort is doing it a bit of a disservice. It's a fully-fledged mountain town, with a year-round population of 10,000 people, and all the amenities you'd expect to find serving them. Altitude-wise, the town itself isn't super high, sitting at 1,035m, but the resort around it includes the Aiguille du Midi lift, which carries you up to 3,842m. And of course if you're prepared to go mountaineering, you can reach the summit of Mont Blanc itself, 1,000m further up.

It's not one of the best ski resorts in France for beginners, but there are learner areas. It's also worth noting that Chamonix is just an hour's drive from Geneva, so if finding a ski resort with a short transfer time is your priority, it's worth a look whatever level you're at. Extra reasons to visit Chamonix this winter include the new Doppelmayr gondola which will replace the Argentière Cable Car in early 2024, and the new 10-seater panoramic gondola which was unveiled in late 2022.

Find more information on our full Chamonix ski resort guide.

Photo: Courchevel Tourism


Courchevel is big, beautiful and luxurious. Méribel might be prettier, and Val Thorens might be higher, but when it comes to international reputation, this is the most famous ski resort in the vast 3 Vallées ski area.

Courchevel 1850 is by far the resort’s swankiest area, and has long been a favourite of wealthy international guests, particularly rich Russians. Of course, following the invasion of Ukraine, there are fewer oligarchs on the slopes—but with eight Michelin star restaurants holding an incredible 14 stars between them, Courchevel can still cater to those with crazy-expensive tastes.

It's not all bling and Breitling shops though—the villages further down the mountain, including Courchevel 1550, La Praz, at 1300m and La Tania at 1400 offer better value for money and a wider range of family-friendly accommodation.

Ski here and you’ll get access to the enormous 3 Vallées area and its 600 kilometres of piste, but there’s plenty of fantastic terrain in this valley alone. Beginner, intermediate and advanced skiers are all incredibly well catered for here.

The 150 kilometres of runs in the resort itself are easy to access, thanks to the massive modern lift system, and there are brilliant beginner areas in both Courchevel 1650 and 1850. While it doesn't have the reputation of a Chamonix or a Verbier, the off-piste here is pretty good too — when conditions are right, the Grand Couloir from the top of the Saulire is amazing, for example.

Find out more by browsing our Courchevel guide here.

Photo: Dan Medhurst

La Grave

It might seem perverse including a place with fewer than 500 visitor beds and a single lift on this list of the top French ski resorts. But for a certain kind of skier, resorts don't get much better than La Grave.

Among the smallest ski resorts in France, La Grave nonetheless enjoys an outsized reputation as one of the best places on the planet for freeriding. Think Chamonix, without the crowds, or Jackson Hole, with far gnarlier descents. What the mountain lacks in infrastructure, it makes up for in the steepness and technicality of its terrain, and the decision not to develop it any further is a deliberate one—it's all un-pisted backcountry. Left as God intended, for brave free skiers to descend in whichever way—and however fast—they see fit.

The glaciated peak at the top of the ski resort is La Meije, a famously gnarly mountain that was one of the last major summits in the French Alps to be conquered. The bulk of the skiable terrain is down the mountain's north face, which doesn't see much sun, but gets plenty of snow. Given the conditions and the available off piste terrain, it's little wonder luminaries like the American big mountain pioneer Doug Coombs chose to make their homes here (and it's a mark of this mountain's seriousness that Coombs was killed here a few seasons after setting up shop).

As you might expect from such a place, the village is a no-frills affair—a ribbon of traditional alpine chalets with a couple a 70s hotels strung out along a road beneath the iconic cable car. La Grave's version of ski in, ski out accommodation are the vans parked near the bottom of the slope, and while there can be a lively après ski scene, this is the kind of place where if the snow's falling, the bars will be empty. If you want pampering, luxury and a range of child-friendly activities, you're best off heading elsewhere (to nearby Alpe d'Huez, for example). But if your idea of a good ski holiday is all about tackling the gnarliest lines possible, La Grave is arguably the best ski resort in the world.

For more info and the full lowdown on La Grave, read our Weekender story from the 2022 SNOW print annual.

Photo: iStock_StudioBarcelona

La Rosière

You’ll find La Rosière near the edge of the spectacular Vanoise national park. Skiers and snowboarders of all abilities come here to explore the San Bernardo ski area, which links La Rosière with the resort of La Thuile (one of the best resorts in the Italian alps) and is the only Franco-Italian ski area in the Northern Alps. 

Widely regarded as one of the best ski resorts in France for families, has come a long way since the first ski lifts were built by locals in the 1960s. The most recent flurry of construction took place in 2019 when £13m was spent on a major expansion, the highlights of which included five new red runs and several new ski lifts.

In 2020 the Club Med La Rosière flung open its doors, and in late 2022 the L’Orée du Bois apartments were unveiled, just a stone’s throw from the Roches Noires chairlift. We’re also huge fans of PARADiS, a new mountain restaurant which opened in late 2022 – head here for stunning views over the Tarentaise valley.

As well as being great for families, La Rosière is one of the best ski resorts in France beginners and intermediates. At the other end of the scale, it's also a popular heli-skiing spot. Despite being illegal in France, it’s offered by La Rosière’s ski schools—skiers can simply step over the Italian border and be whisked away from there. 

Have a read of our full La Rosière ski resort guide here.

Photo: Les Arcs Tourism

Les Arcs

Les Arcs has a lot going for it. It's relatively high, with well-designed, snow sure slopes and a modern lifts system. There are all types of accommodation, from the small self-catered apartments you find in Bourg Saint Maurice (connected by a fast funicular railway) to the brand new, 20-person piste-side Chalet Arpozâ and the equally swish Chalet Arc 1838, both of which are opening for the first time in winter 2023-24.

In terms of terrain, there's something for everyone. Beginners can learn the ropes on the blue runs above Arc 1600, while daredevils can satisfy their need for speed on runs like the knee-burning Villaroger, which streaks down the side of the Aiguille Rouge and includes 2,000m of vertical drop over seven kilometres. Love a bit of off piste? Make a beeline for the north face of the Aiguille Rouge or cruise over to the neighbouring resort La Plagne, via the Vanoise Express cable car which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, and rip down the north face of the glacier du Bellecôte.

(Incidentally, if it's the linked area of Les Arcs that appeals to you most, check out our list of the best linked ski areas in Europe.) Les Arcs isn’t just known for having some of the best skiing in France, it's also famous for its lively and unpretentious après ski scene. The cover bands who ply their trade at the long-serving Red Hot Saloon Bar, in Arcs 1800 are always worth checking out.

Read our full Les Arcs resort guide here.

Photo: Luka Leroy

Les Deux Alpes

Les Deux Alpes sits in the shadow of Europe’s largest skiable glacier and is one of the best ski resorts in France for high altitude skiing. It's also a place that's expanding at a rate of knots. Since December 2020 the resort has been managed by SATA Group, which will invest a whopping €290 million over the next 30 years. SATA’s plans involve putting it on the map as a four-season destination, bolstering the summer glacier skiing that the resort is famous for with more infrastructure for mountain biking and other activities.

New improvements for this winter include a major revamp for the nursery slopes at the centre of the resort. Head there in 2023/24 and you’ll find fewer pinch points and easier access to ski lifts. There's also a new gondola being built to replace the old Jandri Express lift (although you’ll have to wait until the end of 2024 to enjoy this particular development).

As for the après ski? You’ll be spoiled for choice—there are more bars in L2A (as the locals call it) than you can shake a (ski) stick at. Standout venues include the Bistrot Chamois Lodge for its great range of local wines and Smithy’s Tavern for the cocktails (we recommend the Smithy’s Old Fashioned—just don’t blame us when the hangover kicks in). 

The resort also has a fantastic selection of accommodation, ranging from catered chalets to luxury hotels such as Chalet Mounier, a spa hotel with a Michelin-starred restaurant. Finally, it’s worth noting that this is a resort with a bright future. In addition to the recent investment, it’s believed that it will soon be connected to Alpe d'Huez, which is also owned by SATA—although the exact plans have yet to be announced.

Take a look at our full Les Deux Alpes ski resort guide for more details. 

Photo: Keno_Derleyn_OT_Les_Gets

Les Gets

Part of the massive Portes du Soleil ski area, which straddles France and Switzerland, Les Gets is of the closest ski resorts to Geneva - it takes under an hour to get to the resort.

Part of the Chablais Alps, one of the most beautiful mountain ranges in the Western Alps, it’s a resort which has retained the feel of a village. Despite being close to Morzine, there’s little traffic as the main road bypasses Les Gets. The resorts has a compact-but-quaint centre filled with catered chalets and hotels with direct slope access. When it comes to skiing, its beauty lies in its versatility – stay put and you’ll have access to 71 runs covering 120km and served by 47 lifts, but take on the Portes du Soleil ski area and you’ll have access to 600 kilometres of slopes. 

Visit in winter 2023/24 and you’ll find several new attractions, including a new four-season Alpine Coaster, and a brand new spa complex at the Alpina Hotel. The resort regularly hosts major events too—in early 2024 it will host both the World Junior Alpine Skiing Championships and the FFC French Snow Bike Championships.

Check out our full Les Gets ski resort guide for more info.

Photo: Méribel Tourism_Sylvain Aymoz


Founded by British Colonel Peter Lindsay in 1938, Méribel is a pretty French ski resort wedged into a forested valley known as Les Allues. Although it’s part of the massive 3 Vallées, one of the world's largest ski areas there are plenty of reasons to stay put, including Meribel’s 150km of pistes at altitudes of between 1,450m and 1,700m. 

The village has everything you could ever need too. Neighbouring Courchevel might be more famous for its fine dining, but there's plenty of posh nosh in Méribel, including l'Ekrin, where Michelin-starred Chef Laurent Azoulay serves up some seriously creative cuisine. While all 3 Vallées attract a lot of British skiers, Méribel is perhaps the most anglophone of the three. But if that's the kind of home away from home vibe you're after, it's a great place to head.

Our full Meribel ski resort guide has even more details about the resort. 

Photo: Agence Zoom

Serre Chevalier

Heading due south for the first time? Serre Chevalier is a great place to start – it’s got the largest ski area in the Southern French Alps. It’s also incredibly beautiful, perched just above the pretty mountain town of Briançon (which, it should be noted, means even more accommodation to choose from), surrounded by larch forests, and nudging up against the spectacular wilderness which is Ecrins national Park. No fewer than 59 lifts provide easy access to 82 runs (13 black, 30 red, 26 blue and 13 green), and there’s rarely any shortage of the soft stuff – 80 per cent of the slopes are higher than 2,000 metres.

There are even more reasons to visit in winter 2023/24 too, starting with the opening of the Pontillas gondola, which will link the village of La Salle les Alpes to the Col de Méa area, and the expansion of the stunning Grand Hôtel (which was the resort’s first hotel). Investment in low-energy snowmaking technology will create a new network of nursery slopes higher up the mountain, although the sustainability doesn’t stop there – Serre Chevalier is investing €26M in efforts to reduce its carbon footprint. This involves various reforestation projects, the recovery and recycling of old ski lift components when lifts are taken out of service, and more eco-friendly architecture.

Finally, if you love a slope-side snack, you’re in luck. In winter 2023/24 a Cabane à Sucre (sugar shack) will be unveiled beneath the new Pontillas gondola. Head there to feast on caramel lollipops and hot chocolate. Bring on the sugar rush!

Get the lowdown on this family-friendly resort with our full review of Serre Chevalier. 

Photo: Andy Parant


For far too long, Tignes has been viewed as the ugly stepsister to Val d'Isère's sparkling Cinderella. Thankfully, in the past few years there's been something of a reassessment of this perception. Partly this is because Brutalism (the architectural style so beloved of France's ski resort builders in the 70s) is having a bit of a moment. But more than anything else, it's because of Tignes' location. The construction of a resort here, in an accessible, but very high bowl, now seems more prescient than ever, as the planet warms. These days, the higher your base is, the better, and at 2,100m above sea level the village of Tignes Le Lac is as high as ski resorts in France get. In fact, it's the country's highest ski resort, a title it shares with Val Thorens.

As well as being snow sure, the terrain here is excellent, with plenty of variety—from massive, wide open reds and blues, to tight, technical off-piste couloirs. There are tree runs down near the village of Les Brevieres for when the visibility's bad (along with some excellent off piste terrain) and skiing on the glacier for when it's hot. Snowboarders and freestyle skiers will appreciate the full-sized superpipe (one of the few left in Europe), the terrain parks, and the playful terrain of the legendary Palafour run (known to locals simply as P4).

The accommodation in Tignes is as varied as the ski area, with options to suit every budget. A brand new Club Med opened here in early 2023, offering yet another reason to visit. Because of the altitude, and the snow tends to be good in the early and late part of the season, when liftpasses are often cheaper, making thus one of the most popular ski resorts with school groups. And while the village might have fewer of the traditional chalets and Michelin starred restaurants that make Val d'Isère so des res, it still exudes a certain alpine charm.

Combine the variety of the various separate villages with the consistently good snow conditions, and the sheer size of the ski area, and it's easy to see why Tignes is now considered one of the top French ski resorts—whatever the snobs say about its tower blocks.

Read our full ski resort review of Tignes for the full lowdown.

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