When it comes to the best ski resorts in the world, you can’t have a conversation without mentioning France. And lets be honest here, France has probably the best ski resorts in Europe.
Yeah yeah, we could get into the benefits of Verbier or Zermatt, or even chat about how amazing St Anton is. But really France can’t be beat for the sheer choice of high altitude ski resorts with guaranteed snow cover, excellent apres ski and even affordability.
Yes, I said it… French ski resorts can even be pretty damn affordable.
Oh did I mention ski in ski out, glacier skiing and the highest ski resorts in Europe?
You get the idea. So where are the best French ski resorts that you really need to book a trip to this winter?
Quick note: we have some affiliate links in this article, meaning we make a small commission if you click and buy anything. You don’t pay any extra, so feel free to click away.
1. Les Trois Vallées (The Three Valleys)
Sprawling across a staggering 600 kilometers, Les Trois Vallées (The Three Valleys) tops the charts as the world’s largest interconnected ski area, laying claim to a wholesome skiing experience. The epic ski domain encompasses eight resorts, including the upscale enclaves of Courchevel, Meribel, and Val Thorens, the latter being Europe’s highest ski resort at an altitude of 2300 meters.
Besides the extensive with expertly groomed slopes and panoramic mountain views, ‘ski-in and ski-out’ convenience, and world-class skiing schools, each resort offers a unique après ski scene.
From Michelin Star dining, trendy wine bars in Courchevel, to the infamous La Folie Douce in Meribel, there’s an après ski ambiance to cater to every desire.
Not to forget, these ski resorts in France are celebrated for unique attractions such as the Aquamotion Courchevel, the largest European water park in the mountain.
One more winning point? Being so high up, this is one of the best resorts for early season skiing…
2. Portes du Soleil
Next in line is the Portes du Soleil, a dazzling dual-country ski domain boasting 580 kilometers of ski terrain spanning across France and Switzerland. Ski enthusiasts have 12 resorts to choose from, including the French favorites Morzine, Avoriaz, and Les Gets.
Even though Portes du Soleil can’t compete with Les Trois Vallées’ altitude – with the highest point sitting at 2,466 meters – it does serve an authentic Alpine experience. It’s famed for its picturesque tree-lined runs, beginner-friendly slopes, and charming chalet-style accommodations.
Additionally, the ski resorts in France and Switzerland offer exceptional après ski experiences, ranging from serene spas, gastronomic delights to bustling nightclubs. Outdoor enthusiasts can even partake in other winter activities like snowshoeing, fat bikes, horse rides, dog sledding, and even shopping at local artisanal markets.
With 425 kilometers of runs, Paradiski secures its position among the colossal ski resorts in France. This grand domain comprises two iconic French resorts, Les Arcs and La Plagne, with the Vanoise Express cable car linking them.
The Paradiski area ranges from 1200 to an impressive 3226 meters altitude, making it a snow-sure choice. Skiers of all levels will find diverse terrain to navigate.
For après ski, Les Arcs and La Plagne hold a pleasant surprise with lively bars, a range of restaurants, and ample off-snow activities, including a must-try— the Olympic bobsleigh track.
Not to forget, Paradiski is known for its innovative design, including the architecturally fascinating ‘cube’ accommodations in Les Arcs 1950.
4. Espace Killy
Named after France’s celebrated Olympic skier, Jean-Claude Killy, Espace Killy is another renowned ski domain. It offers 300 kilometers of slopes, encompassing two of the finest ski resorts in France – Val d’Isère and Tignes.
Espace Killy’s high-altitude ski terrain, peaking at 3456 meters, ensures bountiful snowfall, making it an excellent choice for early or late-season skiing. Both Tignes and Val d’Isère are famous for their challenging terrain, attracting experienced skiers and snowboarders.
Après ski scenes here are equally enticing, especially in Val d’Isere, renowned for its lively nightlife, including the infamous La Folie Douce. As for Tignes, it uniquely offers an après ski underwater experience with a diving session beneath a frozen lake!
5. The Grand Massif
The Grand Massif is one of the largest ski resorts in France, providing 265 kilometers of ski runs that connect five charming resorts: Flaine, Les Carroz, Morillon, Samoëns, and Sixt-Fer-à-Cheval.
Although the Grand Massif isn’t as high – with highest altitude reaching 2500 meters – its geographical positioning guarantees a snow-filled winter. Skiers and snowboarders can revel in an impressive variety of slopes, jaw-dropping Mont Blanc views, and the unique ‘Marvel’ run, a 14-kilometer gentle descent through a forest.
These relatively less touristy resorts offer a charming après ski environment – from local French cuisines, cosy wine bars to authentic outdoor markets. Attractions like the Flaine Art Centre or the beautiful nature reserve in Sixt-Fer-à-Cheval ensure you’re never without options for a day off the slopes.
6. Les Sybelles
Last but not least is Les Sybelles, the least known but one of the largest ski resorts in France, with 310 kilometers of slopes linking six resorts, including Le Corbier, La Toussuire, and St Sorlin d’Arves.
This domain, reaching up to 2,620 meters altitude, provides a more preserved destination for those seeking something away from the typical tourist routes. Les Sybelles offers wide slopes suitable for families and beginners while also hosting challengingly steep descents for the advanced skiers.
Après ski here is more low-key, embracing a warm, family-friendly atmosphere. Delightful local restaurants, pistes-side sun terraces, and ample snow play areas for children make it a brilliant choice for families. Overlooking the majestic Aiguilles d’Arves, this hidden gem provides fantastic skiing without the crowds.
Where Should I Go Skiing or Snowboarding in France this Winter?
The French Alps are home to Europe’s highest resort (Val Thorens), some of the biggest ski areas in the world and a great variety of mixed terrain.
With unique experiences that no winter enthusiast should miss out on, the problem is choosing which French ski resorts to head to.
Of course, this will depend on your skill level, budget, personal preferences and even who is in your party.
Want a budget friendly ski trip? We think Avoriaz is a great choice as is Les Sybelles.
Only the best will do? It’s gotta be the Three Valleys.
Pretty much any ski resort you choose will have a good mix of beginner friendly terrain with intermediate runs and more challenging terrain.
The best bet is to check sites such as:
Browse deals in the French Alps and enjoy an epic winter holiday in France.
We’re passionate about winter sports here at uGOsnow. So much that we’ve always got our eye on the ski package operators… Get the best deals sent direct to your inbox by signing up for our newsletter!