Skiing in France – where should you holiday next?
Ok so we all know it has been a slow start to the 2015 ski season in Europe. The warm and dry conditions made slopes look a little too green in some Alpine resorts over Christmas and New Year. But winter always arrives and early January has seen some big dumps across the main French resorts. So if you haven’t yet booked your next ski holiday don't worry as there is still 3 months of skiing in most resorts.
France is always a popular ski holiday destination. There are actually over 80 major ski resorts in France so it is easy to see why it is a constant favourite with skiers and boarders. With such a range of resorts it can be difficult to choose so we have created a short graphical overview of the top 4 ski destinations in France. We hope it helps !!!
Just to recap here are our overall findings about the 4 largest ski domains in France;
The 3 Valleys:
This is the largest ski domain in the world and links the 8 villages of Courchevel, Meribel, Val Thorens, Les Menuires, St Martin de Belleville, La Tania, Brides les Bains and Orelle. There are over 600km of linked ski runs and some 180 ski lifts. 85% of the skiing is above 1800m and the minimum altitude is 1300m which makes this a very snow sure option for your next ski holiday.
Portes du Soleil:
In the Portes to Soleil you can choose from 12 different ski villages which are all linked together to give 285 slopes, 196 lifts and 90 slope side restaurants. This area is perfect if you like to ski from valley to valley and stop of a different ski villages. You can even ski across an international border as the Portes du Soleil links ski resorts in both France and Switzerland. If you ski across to the Swiss side just make sure you head home in time for the last lifts as it is a long taxi ride around the mountain if you miss the last lift. The area is also home to the “Swiss Wall” a crazy 55 degree off piste run. The 12 resorts in the Portes to Soleil are Abondance, Avoriaz, Chatel, La Chapelle d'Abondance, Les Gets, Montriond, Morzine, St Jean d'Aulps, Champéry, Morgins, Torgon, Val-d'Illiez - Les Crosets – Champoussin. Oh and they get almost 8m of powder here every year so you can find some awesome off piste.
The Espace Killy:
Named after the famous French Olympic skier the Espace Killy is the oldest ski region in the Savoie Alps. Made up of the resort of Val d’Isere and Tignes the domain has 156 slopes that span over 300 km. 821 snow cannons guarantee snow from November until May and with 2 glaciers you can even ski in the summer. Our tip: Le Fornet at the far end of the Val d’Isere valley is a little gem of a village if you are looking for an authentic mountain experience. If you want more glitz, glam and radical action then Tignes is the place to be.
This is the second largest ski domain in the world. This area has just 3 ski villages (Les Arcs, La Plagne and Peisey-Vallandry) but don’t let that fool you as there is still a crazy amount of skiing to do here. With 232 pistes totaling 425 km there is more than enough skiing or boarding for the most experienced travellers. A key factor here is that Paradiski is a high altitiude snow sure destination. 70% of the skiable area is at an altitude of over 2000 m and there is no less than 263 hectares of manmade snow making sure that you have perfect conditions throught out the ski season.
So there you have it, the 4 largest ski areas in France. All you need to decide now where to book your next French ski holiday.