The run-up to the 2022/23 European ski season has started and if you’re wondering which destination and grande piste deserves your hard-earned holiday dollar, then here’s why you should put France at the top of your list.
Best for budget – Tignes
Set in the Rhône-Alpes region in south-eastern France, Tignes has the highest skiable area in France with with the longest ski seasons in Europe. Aside from good snow and challenging slopes, its long held a position of one of the most affordable resorts in France with day passes from €32 – €57/day and ski equipment hire from as little as €60/week.
Best for beginners – Flaine
Flaine is considered one of the best, if not the best, place for beginners to learn to ski. Located in the northern French Alps, Flaine has dedicated nursery areas where there is plenty of room for gliding around to gain confidence with skis before hitting the slopes.
With over thirty green and blue runs for beginners to advance towards, progression from ‘ski-bunny’ to some form of competence in fundamental skiing techniques, the range of slopes to guide novices is the major drawcard of this resort.
Best for experts – Chamonix
At the foot of Mont Blanc lies Chamonix, a haven for expert skiers with a reputation for the finest off-piste skiing in Europe. The slopes of Les Grands Montets, Brévent-Flégère, Domaine de Balme and the world famous Vallée Blanche are legendary for their challenging runs with some sections up to 20km in length.
Best for glamour – Courchevel
Though Courchevel has superb ski slopes, it’s not the white stuff that distinguishes this world class ski resort from its neighbours. The rich and famous flock here because it is known as the most glamorous ski resort in France, and for good reason. It has seven Michelin-starred restaurants and two six-star hotels. Throw in a shopping mix packed with designer boutiques including Fendi and Prada and its clear why Courchevel owns its reputation as the glitziest of all French ski resorts.
Best for snowboarders – Méribel
Set in the middle of the massive Three Valleys [https://www.les3vallees.com/en/guide/the-world-s-largest-ski-area ]ski region, Méribel links to 600km of slopes in the area with state-of-the-art lifts to other resorts. Free riders enjoy a variety of diverse terrain with two snowboard parks with rails, boxes and kickers, plus four half pipes for the experts to drop into.
Best for nightlife – Val d’Isere
Think Après-ski and the standout winter resort is the entertainment hotspot of Val d’Isere. The resort has many live music venues, bars, pubs, nightclubs and restaurants ready to serve guests as soon as the skiing ends; whether that’s from lunchtime or long after sundown.
Dubbed ‘the highest nightclub in Europe,’ La Folie Douce delivers live music, alcohol and eats at 2400m and is legendary as the most popular après-ski destination in France.