Why France is the best place to ski in the world
PUBLISHED: 17:22 26 October 2016 | UPDATED: 15:43 23 November 2017
From the beautiful panoramas to the quality of the après-ski, France's ski resorts have something to suit everyone. These are 10 of the reasons why we love French ski resorts
1. You’re spoilt for choice
With four major mountain ranges to choose from, France has a wide variety of ski resorts to suit everyone’s tastes and needs. From luxury resorts in the Alps to the quieter Jura or Massif Central resorts, you’re sure to find the right one to fit your skis.
2. The history
Skiing as a leisure activity probably took off in the late 19th century but it was the 1924 Winter Olympics held in Chamonix that really made the sport into a glamorous holiday activity, turning the quaint villages of Chamonix, Mégève and Val d’Isère into the first ski resorts in the country.
3. The pretty mountain villages
Away from the glitzy purpose-made ski resorts, you can still find charming mountain villages with beautiful wooden chalets and bustling little central squares whose authenticity has been preserved.
4. The food
French gastronomy doesn’t stop at mountains. In fact, many of France’s more traditional dishes come from the mountain ranges. A piping hot tartiflette or a fondue after a long day on the ski slopes while sampling some delicious local wine really hits the spot.
5. The great après ski
Yes, skiing and snowboarding is fun but we all know that we need a little bit of relaxation to sooth the bruises and cramps afterwards. The French ski resorts cottoned on quite quickly by making sure there is plenty to do, from saunas and spa pools to mountain pubs and quality restaurants.
6. The breathtaking views
France’s mountain ranges offer such a variety of landscapes that it is hard not to stop at the top of the chair lift to admire the incredible panoramas, whether it’s Mont Blanc at Chamonix or the jagged summits of the Pyrénées.
7. They cater to all levels
The sheer number of resorts means there is something to suit all levels of skiing or snowboarding. From extreme alpine off-piste skiing to slower family-friendly slopes in the Massif Central, everyone can enjoy themselves.
8. The excellent facilities
Everyone knows that good chairlifts, comfortable chalets and plenty of après-ski make a happy skier. The French resorts are packed with good facilities including modern and very efficient lift systems, plenty of services such as ski rental and lessons and excellent transportation to the slopes.
9. There are plenty of other activities
If you’re not a skier, the French ski resorts have plenty of other options. You could go on a hike with snow shoes, go Nordic skiing, or try ski-joëring where a horse pulls you along the slopes on your skis.
10. They’re very easy to reach
Most of the ski resorts in France, especially the Alps are easily reachable by car and train, meaning you can pack all your own equipment. Airlines also open seasonal flights to the closest airports and the transfers to the resorts are easy.