The French are the 2nd biggest consumers of alcohol in the world.
The French have won 15 gold medals in Alpine Skiing at the Winter Olympics.
There are 361 ski areas in France.
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. Generally it does come down to a bit of a compromise - charm and character or convenience and high-altitude. Very few resorts do both well though of course there are exceptions to the rule. Scout can certainly help!
For more general information about skiing in Europe ski our Introduction to Europe page.
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.
Megève is the perfect combination of a magical village oozing French charm, world-class, picturesque ski slopes, stunning scenery, fantastic dining and great hotels.
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 in the French Alps is home to not only the world’s biggest lift-linked ski area but also to a bunch of unique villages.
Les Gets is a charming little French village that is perfect for those looking for a quiet, easy ski holiday. It has the added benefit of being part of the huge Portes du Soleil ski area.
Morzine is a vibrant, attractive French village attached to the giant Portes du Soleil ski area offering great skiing for all standards.
Chamonix is a true advanced skiers’ mecca with almost everything about the place grand and sheer.
One of Europe’s highest ski resorts, Tignes is the place to go for snow-sure slopes, fantastic off-piste, endless intermediate cruisers and convenience.