At 2300m Val Thorens is the highest ski resort in Europe.
There are over 300 kinds of cheese in France
The French have won 15 gold medals in Alpine Skiing at the Winter Olympics.
Whether you’re after a quaint village with a small ski hill or modern facilities with never-ending pistes, or anything in between, France has it all.
There are more than 300 resorts in France, most of which are expansive, high-altitude resorts in the Alps (in the southeast of the country) bordering Switzerland and Italy. If you’re skiing in Chamonix you even have the option of day trips to resorts in both those countries. A small number of resorts are in the Pyrenees, bordering Spain.
Since most resorts stretch up the spine of the French Alps, the views on a fine day are nothing short of spectacular. The rugged peaks go on for miles, and many resorts have views all the way to Europe’s highest mountain, Mont Blanc (4810m/15781ft). Picturesque valleys with small villages complement the mountain views.
Of course you’ll be spoilt for fantastic (albeit often expensive) food, wonderful (and usually great value) wine and, depending on the resort, generally a vibrant après party scene.
Skiing in the Alps underwent a gigantic growth spurt in the 60s and 70s with purpose-built resort towns popping up high in the valleys and mountains. This means many resorts lack European charm but instead have (unpleasant looking) high-rise hotels clustered around the ski-run bases – though many of these are now undergoing an upgrade. If charm and tradition are more your taste, there are still plenty of options that, conveniently, have world-class resorts attached.
Currently Scout covers the three main resorts in the 3 Vallées (Courchevel, Méribel and Val Thorens), Chamonix and Val d’Isere with more to come after the 2016 season ends.
France Ski Resorts
Méribel is a chic chalet-style village in the heart of the extensive 3 Vallées ski area. It has some excellent slopes, a hopping après scene and luxurious hotels, mixed with private chalets.
At 2300m (7545ft) above sea level, the purpose-built Val Thorens is Europe’s highest ski resort resulting in exceptional reliability of snow quality and a vast area of wide open pistes.
Courchevel might be better known for its glitz and glamour, but along with this is an exceptional ski resort that will keep all levels of skier happy.
The 3 Vallées is home to not only the world’s biggest lift-linked ski area but also to three unique villages, from the uber-luxurious Courchevel, to the chalet community of Méribel and the high-altitude ...
Chamonix is a true advanced skiers’ mecca with almost everything about the place grand and sheer.