Ten Reasons Why You Should Choose France For Your Next Ski Holiday

Photo credit: ansharphoto/Shutterstock.com

Photo: Megeve – ansharphoto/Shutterstock.com

With Australian resorts open again, and with skiing back on our minds, we’re already looking forward to next (Northern) winter.

You can call us biased towards France as the best country to ski in Europe, but that’s because we are. We’ve skied all over the world and time and time again we return to France.

Why choose France for your next ski holiday…

Here are our top 10 reasons why you should choose France for your next ski holiday:

1. Massive Ski Areas
2. Reliable Snow
3. Awesome views
4. Huge choice of resorts
5. Traditional, but luxurious chalets
6. Superb Cuisine
7. Expert Guides and Instructors
8. It’s not just the skiing!
9. Value for money lift passes
10. A certain “Je ne sais quoi!”

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1. Massive Ski Areas

Some people will tell you that size isn’t everything, but they probably haven’t skied in France!

In the world of skiing, size makes a difference. Why scoot up and down the same few runs every day, when you could explore a whole mountain range?

France has seven out of ten of the world’s largest interconnected ski areas. The biggest with 600km of slopes is Les 3 Vallées, where (if you’re fast enough) you can ski from Courchevel to Méribel to Val Thorens in a single day.

Or why not just hop back and forth between the world class resorts of Val d’Isère and Tignes in the Espace Killy? Choose between tree skiing back to resort or trying the glacier at 3500m.

The final super-ski area we’ll mention now is the paradise that is Paradiski. Connecting the large ski resorts of La Plagne and Les Arcs, there are 160 lifts and 425 km of slopes to enjoy.

The 3 Valleys Trail Map Large
The largest ski area in the world

2. Reliable Snow

Due to the high-altitude locations, French ski resorts have reliable snow conditions and longer seasons.

Val Thorens is the highest resort in France with the village itself at 2300m, with Tignes not far behind at 2100m.

Also high enough to provide guaranteed snow, Val d’Isère, Courchevel, Alpe d’Huez, Les Arcs and La Plagne all offer accommodation above 1800m.

And those are just the village heights: most resorts have lift-accessed pistes to 3000m or higher.

In the case of Chamonix, if you hire a guide, you could even ski back to resort on the famous off-piste run the Vallée Blanche from 3842m at the Aiguille du Midi.

3. Awesome views

Chamonix is located at the base of Mont Blanc – the highest peak in Europe at 4810m. Ironically, some of the views of this awe-inspiring mountain are even better from other resorts further away.

This beautiful snow-capped peak dominates the view from many ski resorts in France, but the eagle-eyed will also be able to spot the Matterhorn in Zermatt from some of the highest points.

Meribel - © Paul Skinner / Top Snow Travel
Meribel – © Paul Skinner / Top Snow Travel

4. Huge choice of resorts

There are over 350 ski resorts in France. That’s a huge choice, but we’ve made it easier for you by using our many years of experience to narrow that down to the Top 20 French Ski Resorts.

Contact us at Top Snow Travel and we’ll help you choose the right resort for you.

Whether you’re looking for charming alpine villages, high altitude glacier skiing or modern family-friendly resorts there’s something there for you and we’ll help you find it.

Megevetourisme Simon Garnier 150114 002
Megeve (c) Simon Garnier

5. Traditional, but luxurious chalets

We’ve written before about why a luxury chalet is the best choice for skiing holidays in the ‘new normal’. They offer a level of privacy that you’ll never find in a hotel.

France offers a huge choice of beautiful chalets, usually constructed in traditional Savoyard fashion from wood, granite and slate.

Most chalets that we offer at Top Snow Travel have been upgraded so that they offer literally all the ‘mod cons’ you can imagine, including swimming pools, cinemas, bars and even your own private chauffeur and chef.

Chalet Pearl - Courchevel 1850
Chalet Pearl – Courchevel 1850

6. Superb Cuisine

Whether you rent your chalet catered or self-catered, you’ll probably want to eat out and sample the resort’s restaurants.

The food in France is second to none. Whether you are looking for traditional Savoyard fare or prefer the haute cuisine of Michelin-star restaurants, the French Alps has both in abundance.

Local favourites include tartiflette and fondue – both must-try dishes for cheese lovers, but there’s also raclette and, just make sure you leave room for some Tarte aux Myrtilles for dessert.

Lovers of fine dining will appreciate the choice of more than twenty restaurants with Michelin stars in French ski resorts. Courchevel alone has seven, with others in Val d’Isère, Megève and Chamonix.

Myrtille
Tarte aux Myrtilles (c) France Montagnes & Margouillat Photos

7. Expert Guides and Instructors

Local private guides and ski schools in France have some of the highest qualified instructors in the world.

Whether you’re looking for long off-piste runs, or simply to get off the intermediate plateau, just let us know and we will use the knowledge and contacts built up over 30 years to find and book the right instructor or private English-speaking guide for you.

Esf2
(c) ESF-UK.CO.UK

8. It’s not just the skiing!

While guaranteed snow and huge ski areas are the main reason to take a ski holiday in France, there’s plenty of other winter activities to challenge yourself or re-energise with.

Get an adrenaline buzz from parapenting, high above the slopes, or try a husky ride through the woods. For relaxing, France has some superb spas and aquacentres, where you can soak away the strains of day on the slopes.

Mille8 Cabanes Luge 7000px 3110
Sledging in Les Arcs (c) Propaganda73.com

9. Value for money lift passes

You might be surprised to learn that compared with the United States or Canada, lift passes in France are much better value for money.

For example, a 6-day lift ticket for winter 2020/21 in Whistler-Blackcomb is AUD760 (CAD720), while a 6-day pass for Les 3 Vallees – the largest ski area in the world – costs just AUD520 (EUR321). That’s a lower cost for a bigger ski area!

In addition, if you travel off-season in January, we can often secure even better rates for ski hire, instruction, and accommodation.

St Mertin De Belleville Les Ménuires Trois Vallées 73
Les Menuires – © G.Lansard / OT Les Menuires

10. A certain “Je ne sais quoi!”

There’s more to a ski trip to France than simply skiing.

It’s an opportunity to experience French life in a broader sense: not just the cuisine, but the culture and the ‘savoir-vivre’ (literally ‘knowing how to live’).

A holiday in the ‘hexagone’ is not just about the relaxed ski resort lifestyle and lively après-ski, there’s a certain ‘Je ne sais quoi’ that France can offer that other countries can’t.

Hotel Daria-I Nor Lounge Bar Alpe d'Huez
Hotel Daria-I Nor Lounge Bar Alpe d’Huez

Advice on your next ski holiday to France

To find out more about finding the right property and the right ski resort for you, please contact Chris or Gilles on 1300 803 156 or via our website.

La Plagne Top Snow Travel (17)
Les Arcs, Paradiski – © Paul Skinner / Top Snow Travel

Other articles that may interest you:

When is the best time to go skiing in France?

The 3 Valleys – the LARGEST Linked Ski Area in THE WORLD – Video

World’s Best and Longest Off-Piste Ski Run