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The Most Enchanting Ski Resorts In The French Alps

The Most Enchanting Ski Resorts In The French Alps

best french alps ski resorts

Here are the most enchanting ski resorts in the French Alps! The skiing in the French Alps is exceptional, with slopes to suit any ability and monochrome mountains and spruce forests make for breathtaking views as you glide. As cool as it is quaint, the French Alps offers the ultimate in ski resort sophistication. From high altitude ski resorts with excellent snow to traditional Alpine towns, the ski resorts in the French Alps have it all.

Being French, I grew up in Bonneville, a small town situated between Geneva and Chamonix, in the Arve Valley, in Haute-Savoie. I’ve been skiing since I can walk, so I can easily pick my top 10 ski resorts in the French Alps. Each ski resort has its own architecture and atmosphere, which is why the descriptions below could help you to find the right ski resort for you. Read on to discover the finest ski resorts the French Alps have to offer.

Megève

best french alps ski resorts megeve
@megeve_officiel

“I believe that Megève was created for skiing, and skiing was created for Megève”

—Mathilde Maige-Lefournier, 1913

When Baroness Noémie de Rothschild set her heart on Megève in 1916, she planned on creating a big international ski resort that would be both modern and glamourous. When her hotel, the Palace des Neiges, opened in 1921 —the first luxury hotel in the French Alps, now called the Four Seasons Hotel Megève— it became highly popular with royalty, aristocracy, and the upper-class from all over the world. The village was even given the nickname “The 21st arrondissement of Paris” by Jean Cocteau, and then “Saint Tropez of the Alps”.

With low-priced beginner lift tickets and free surface lifts for beginners close to the village, Megeve is one of the best ski resorts in the French Alps for families. There are three main ski areas, with hundreds of kilometers of nice cruising terrain for beginners and intermediates. The village has retained a genuine French Alps village atmosphere. In the center of the village you’ll find top-notch restaurants and trendy boutiques in addition to many sports shops.

Official site: megeve.com

Where to stay

The Four Seasons Hotel Megève for its fabulous spa, Les Fermes de Marie —a tiny mountain chalet where the rooms have fur throws, wood-beamed ceilings, and stone accent walls or Le Chalet Zannier—a 5-star ski hotel with spa near Megeve ski resort.

Courchevel

best french alps ski resorts courchevel
@courchevel_officiel

Within the largest ski area in the world, the Three Valleys, Courchevel, and its six interconnected villages form a glittering, multi-level resort. Courchevel 1850 is the largest of the six, complete with luxury accommodation, impressive fine dining, and a wealth of other activities. The region is known for its exceptional snowfall and Courchevel 1850 is so high there are still loads of snow in April. If expert skiers come here especially for the off-piste terrain, the resort has good places for beginners to practice and intermediates to hone their skills. There is also a dedicated kids’ ski area, the Children’s Village, which offers more than seven acres of terrain so young ones can easily progress.

Official site: courchevel.com

Where to stay

L’Apogée Courchevel —the 5-star ski-in/ski-out hotel with spa near Courchevel 1850, the Cheval Blanc Courchevel —boasting a slope-side terrace featuring a menu by Michelin-decorated chef Yannick Alléno. Coup de coeur for the Hôtel Barrière Les Neiges Courchevel.

Meribel

best french alps ski resorts meribel
 ©Jean Maurice Gouedard

Founded by British Colonel Peter Lindsay in 1938, Meribel is one of the prettiest French ski resorts in the Alps, featuring genuine wooden chalet-style architecture in a family-friendly village atmosphere. Ski enthusiasts will find here plenty of slopes to hit as Méribel belongs to the Three Valleys domain. Also, this French ski resort is especially well suited to children, with two different areas for beginners, both with free lifts, located in the Meribel Mottaret area and the other at the Altiport area.

Official website: ski-resort.meribel.net

Where to stay

You can ski right out the door of Hôtel Le Coucou, booting up in the hotel’s chic ski room that opens directly onto the slopes. Alternatively, you can stay at the 5-star Hôtel Le Kaïla and fuel your ski holidays with delicious food at L’Ekrin where Michelin-starred Chef Laurent Azoulay serves up some seriously creative cuisine.

Val Thorens

best french alps ski resorts val thorens
@elisabethagustin

Val Thorens, situated in the Belleville Valley in the Savoie region, is the highest resort in Europe and the highest point in the Three Valleys ski area. With skiable peaks reaching 3,200m, Val Thorens retains good conditions throughout the whole season. This French Alps ski resort was created 40 years ago when an exceptional natural environment was discovered by a group of visionary pioneers. From ice diving at the frozen Lac du Lou to benefiting from balneotherapy at the Aqua Spa, Val Thorens is a dynamic ski resort that offers a great choice of things to do besides skiing.

Official website: valthorens.com

Where to stay

Le Fitz Roy, a Beaumier hotel — 5-star ski-in/ski-out hotel with spa, near Val Thorens Ski Resort, or the Altapura.

Saint Martin de Belleville

best french alps ski resorts saint martin de belleville
@saint_martin_de_belleville

At an altitude of 1,450m, St Martin de Belleville is a proper, lived-in, and authentic alpine village. Still unspoiled with narrow cobbled streets, an old church, and traditional buildings constructed of wood and stone, St Martin de Belleville is full of rustic charm and character. As part of the vast Three Valleys ski area, it offers skiers the chance to explore the world’s largest linked ski area from an authentic and unspoiled alpine village.

Official website: st-martin-belleville.com

Where to stay

Line in luxury at the beautiful Lodji Hotel —a 4-star ski-in/ski-out hotel with spa and ski storage, or at the 5-star Hotel Restaurant La Bouitte with its 3-star restaurant Michelin.

Morzine

best french ski resorts morzine
@morzineofficiel

The idyllic alpine town of Morzine is a bustling ski resort, which attracts thousands of visitors every year. Unlike many famous ski resorts in the French Alps that have become commercialized over the years, this classic Alpine village of chalets and rustic lodges has retained its quintessential French charm. Morzine has a great choice and variety for skiers of all levels. Indeed, right in the heart of the Portes du Soleil ski area with 600 km of very varied skiing, Morzine is an incredible mountain playground with vistas that are just as diverse as the ski terrain.

Official website: morzine-avoriaz.com.

Where to stay

Opt for the charming 4-star Hotel Le Samoyede or the Hotel Le Petit Dru.

Les Gets

best french alps ski resorts les gets
@lesgetsofficiel

Les Gets is a village resort situated at an altitude of 1,172m between Lake Geneva and the Mont Blanc massif. With exceptional sunshine, snow cover, and panoramic views, this little corner of paradise offers unique features in the heart of the fabulous Portes du Soleil area. An exceptional playground for all skiers with 650 km of pistes suitable for all levels. From the resort, novices and expert skiers alike can enjoy a wide diversity of challenges on both the Chavannes side and the Mont-Chéry slopes. It’s one of my favorite ski resorts in the French Alps!

Official website: lesgets.com

Where to stay

Opt for the luxury Chalet Hôtel La Marmotte — a 4-star ski-in/ski-out hotel with a spa, or the Chalet Hotel Crychar.

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Chamonix

best french alps ski resorts chamonix
@jjonthan

Fully named Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, Chamonix is ​​the site at which were held the first-ever Winter Olympic Games in 1924. One of the oldest ski resorts in France, Chamonix spreads over several ski villages: Servoz, Les Houches, Argentière, Vallorcine. For brilliant off-piste skiing head to the Argentière glacier ski area, or get the Verte piste, used for World Cup races, which is 3.5 kilometers of steeps and jumps. For gentle pistes head to the family-friendly ski resort Les Houches or to the Domaine de Balme, where gentle slopes are perfect for beginners. Also, make sure you ditch the skis and squeeze in a ride on the Mont-Blanc Tramway, which is France’s highest railway.

Official website: chamonix.com

Where to stay

Line in luxury at the beautiful Grand Hôtel des Alpes, the Hôtel Mont-Blanc Chamonix, Le Hameau Alert 1er orHôtel les Grands Montets.

La Clusaz

best french alps ski resorts la clusaz
@victoire_jonch

La Clusaz is one of my favorite ski resorts in the French Alps! It’s a destination that has been welcoming skiers since the 1920s, long before the purpose-built boom which kicked off in the 1950s. Far less known than the Three Valleys ski resort, La Clusaz appeals to all levels of skiers, especially those who prefer the atmosphere of a traditional Alpine town to purpose-built ski resorts. On Mondays, there is a weekly market at the Place de l’Eglise, and the surrounding streets have plenty of restaurants, shops, and lodgings, which cater to as many locals as skiers.

Also, it’s one of the best ski resorts in France for beginners and intermediate skiers as well as free-riders, who can carve up the powder-filled La Balme bowls —this is where world-renowned freeride Candide Thovex learned his craft.

Official website: laclusaz.com

Where to stay

Au Cœur du Village Hôtel —an exceptional 5-star ski-in/ski-out hotel with a spa, or alternatively the 4-star St-Alban Hotel & Spa.

Val d’Isere

best french alps ski resorts val d'isere
@bastmorel

Val d’Isère, a ski resort located 5 km from the border with Italy in the Vanoise Natural Park, is an experienced skier’s paradise! It shares with Tignes —a nearby ski resort— the Espace Killy, a ski domain that hosts over 300 km of pistes. The variety and number of trails allow skiers of all skills plenty of choices. More than 20 black runs challenge experts, but it’s the superb off-piste skiing that brings extreme skiers to Val d’Isere. The resort has also an excellent dining scene and hard-partying nightlife.

Official website: valdisere.com

Where to stay

Enjoy the chic atmosphere at Hôtel Barmes de L’Ours, Airelles Val d’Isère and the beautiful Le Refuge de Solaise.

Et voilà! I hope this guide to the best ski resorts in the French Alps will help you plan your next ski holiday. If you have any questions, please let me know in the comments below.

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View Comments (2)
  • This is a fantastic article, merci!! can you please write an article about french ski style and french ski brands? what would some typical french looks be at these resorts, and also what would be a french beauty routine for a ski day? merci beaucoup!! 🙂

    • Bonjour Violet! Thank you very much for your comment. Yes, I will do that! I’ve just added these wonderful ideas to my to-do list.

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