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Expat Exchange - Best Places to Ski in France
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Angers, France


Best Places to Ski in France

By Betsy Burlingame

French Riviera House Hunting - FRH
French Riviera House Hunting - FRH

Summary: Are you eager to hit the slopes in France? Our detailed guide showcases the best places to ski in France. From the most thrilling runs for avid skiers to welcoming family areas, and from dining options to additional leisure activities, we cover it all for the ultimate ski trip.

France is a premier destination for ski enthusiasts around the world, offering some of the best ski areas with diverse terrains and picturesque landscapes. Expats and digital nomads who are drawn to the alpine charm and the thrill of winter sports will find a variety of ski resorts catering to all ability levels. Whether you're looking for expansive ski domains, family-friendly slopes, or charming mountain villages, France's ski regions have something for everyone. Here are the 7-10 best ski areas in France that promise an unforgettable experience on the pistes.

Chamonix

Ability Level: Intermediate, Expert
Location: Near the junction of France, Switzerland, and Italy
Family Friendly: Yes

Chamonix, nestled at the foot of Mont Blanc, is a legendary destination for serious skiers and mountaineers. The area is renowned for its challenging slopes and off-piste opportunities. While it caters more to experienced skiers, there are also areas suitable for families and beginners. The town itself exudes a vibrant atmosphere with a blend of rustic charm and cosmopolitan flair.

We Recommend: La Cabane des Praz offers a sophisticated dining experience with stunning views of the Drus and Mont Blanc. This restaurant serves exquisite local cuisine with a modern twist, perfect for a post-skiing indulgence.

Val d'Isere

Ability Level: All ability levels
Location: Savoie, near the Italian border
Family Friendly: Yes

Val d'Isere, together with Tignes, forms the Espace Killy ski area, known for its high-quality, snow-sure slopes that cater to all levels of skiers. The resort boasts a charming village atmosphere combined with extensive skiing terrain. It's particularly well-suited for families, with plenty of ski schools and leisure activities.

We Recommend: La Folie Douce is a must-visit for its legendary après-ski parties. With its unique blend of music, dance, and performances, it's the perfect place to unwind after a day on the slopes.

Courchevel

Ability Level: All ability levels
Location: Part of Les Trois Vallees in Savoie
Family Friendly: Yes

Courchevel is part of the world's largest ski area, Les Trois Vallees, and offers a wide range of runs suitable for all skill levels. It's known for its luxury accommodations and upscale dining options. The resort is also family-friendly, with dedicated beginner zones and a wealth of non-skiing activities.

We Recommend: Le Chabichou is a two-Michelin-starred restaurant known for its refined dishes and exceptional wine list. It's a culinary experience that's not to be missed in Courchevel.

Meribel

Ability Level: All ability levels
Location: Heart of Les Trois Vallees in Savoie
Family Friendly: Yes

Meribel is the central valley of Les Trois Vallees and offers a traditional alpine experience with its chalet-style architecture. The resort is well-suited for skiers of all levels, with a vast network of slopes. Families will appreciate the variety of ski schools and child-friendly activities available.

We Recommend: Le Grand Coeur & Spa is not only a place to stay but also offers a fantastic dining experience with its warm and inviting restaurant, serving local Savoyard specialties and international cuisine.

Les Deux Alpes

Ability Level: All ability levels
Location: Isere, Southern French Alps
Family Friendly: Yes

Les Deux Alpes is known for its large skiable glacier, which ensures good snow conditions throughout the season. The resort caters to all levels, with a particularly impressive beginner area at the top of the glacier. It's also a family-friendly destination with a fun atmosphere and plenty of après-ski activities.

We Recommend: Le P'tit Polyte, the Michelin-starred restaurant at the Chalet Mounier hotel, offers a cozy dining experience with a menu that highlights regional flavors and innovative dishes.

La Plagne

Ability Level: All ability levels
Location: Part of Paradiski area in Savoie
Family Friendly: Yes

La Plagne, with its interconnected villages and varied terrain, is part of the extensive Paradiski area. It's an ideal destination for families and skiers of all levels, offering wide, gentle slopes as well as more challenging runs. The resort is also known for its bobsleigh, luge, and skeleton track, which was used in the 1992 Winter Olympics.

We Recommend: Union in Plagne Montalbert is a cozy restaurant that serves delicious homemade pizzas and local Savoyard dishes, perfect for a relaxed meal with family or friends.

Alpe d'Huez

Ability Level: All ability levels
Location: Isere, Central French Alps
Family Friendly: Yes

Alpe d'Huez is known as the "Island in the Sun" due to its sunny disposition. The resort offers a variety of slopes for all skill levels, including the famous 16-kilometer-long Sarenne, the longest black run in the world. It's also a great choice for families, with plenty of activities beyond skiing.

We Recommend: La Folie Douce in Alpe d'Huez is another outpost of the famous après-ski chain. It's the perfect spot for those looking to enjoy a lively atmosphere with great food, music, and entertainment.

Tignes

Ability Level: All ability levels
Location: Savoie, part of the Espace Killy ski area
Family Friendly: Yes

Tignes, along with Val d'Isere, forms the Espace Killy ski area and is known for its high altitude and snow reliability. The resort offers a range of slopes for all abilities and is particularly popular with intermediate and advanced skiers. Families will find plenty of amenities and activities tailored to young skiers.

We Recommend: Le Caveau in Tignes offers a warm and rustic setting where you can enjoy traditional Savoyard cuisine, including fondue and raclette, for an authentic alpine dining experience.

Avoriaz

Ability Level: All ability levels
Location: Part of the Portes du Soleil ski area in Haute-Savoie
Family Friendly: Yes

Avoriaz stands out with its unique, car-free village and modern architecture. It's part of the vast Portes du Soleil ski area, which spans across France and Switzerland. The resort is very family-friendly, with ski-in/ski-out accommodations and a variety of winter activities for all ages.

We Recommend: La Reserve is a fantastic restaurant that offers a contemporary take on mountain cuisine. With a stylish interior and a welcoming atmosphere, it's a great place to enjoy a gourmet meal after a day on the slopes.

About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.


French Riviera House Hunting - FRH
French Riviera House Hunting - FRH

French Riviera House Hunting - FRH
French Riviera House Hunting - FRH

Angers, France

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