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Courchevel ist ein beliebter Wintersportort in Frankreich, Bild: Olga Gavrilova / shutterstock

Popular winter and ski resorts in France

With its numerous ski resorts, France is undoubtedly one of the most optimal winter sports regions in Europe. Popular ski resorts are primarily located in the Alps but also in the Pyrenees.

Skiing in the French Alps

Meribel, Image: Richard Cavalleri / shutterstock

Various types of ski slopes, spread over the three valleys of Belleville, Courchevel and Méribel, extend in the French ski resort of Les Tois Vallées in Savoy in the French Alps. Winter sports enthusiasts from all over the world can indulge in their hobby here on over 600 kilometres of slopes. The renowned ski region with its numerous ski stations and about 150 lifts is considered the largest contiguous ski area in the world.

A wide range of slopes of all kinds, from idyllic forest slopes to high alpine downhill runs, are available to professionals and beginners, especially in the mountain village of Courchevel . Numerous other holiday adventures such as ballooning, paragliding, climbing, snowboarding and tobogganing round off the programme. You can have fun in Courchevel not only on the ski slopes; because pubs and bars also attract night owls in abundance and provide a perfect ambience around the clock. If you are looking for peace and quiet, make a stop in the nearby mountain village of Brides-les-Bains. This charming winter resort has become a pleasant alternative to the bustling ski villages. In addition to comfortable accommodation, there are top-class wellness and spa offers as well as a large bathing facility with a spa.

Skiing in the shadow of Mont Blanc

Chamonix on Mont Blanc
Chamonix on Mont Blanc, Image: Victorpalych / shutterstock

A true Eldorado for all the big names in skiing is the winter sports area of Chamonix at the foot of the 4,810-metre-high Mont Blanc. Nowadays, every mountain enthusiast knows this region in the Auvergne-Rhône Alps, especially due to the hosting of the first Winter Olympics. Experienced winter sports enthusiasts in particular are in good hands on the approximately 120 kilometres of slopes on Europe’s highest mountain. An absolute highlight for extreme sports enthusiasts is the steep descent of about 20 kilometers from the Aiguille du Midi, which is the highest point of the ski area at 3,812 meters. A cable car takes the athletes to the top in about 30 minutes. Val d’Isere also has a permanent place in the Ski World Cup.

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The Mont Blanc catchment area also includes the Evasion Mont-Blanc ski area. This region is characterized by the three idyllic mountain villages of Les Contamines-Montjoie, Megève and Saint-Gervais-les-Bains. The latter is particularly popular due to its sulphurous springs and can rightly call itself a thermal spa. In addition to a loving ambience, the ski area offers 235 ski slopes and around 400 kilometres of slopes. Deep snow runs and guaranteed snow make the region a top winter sports destination for skiers of all levels. The ski area also leaves nothing to be desired away from the slopes. On 130 kilometres, lovers of snow-covered landscapes can go hiking, snowshoeing and Nordic walking on well-developed paths. Tobogganing and ice skating rinks round off the fun for the whole family. Children also benefit from free ski passes, children’s practice areas and professionally supervised ski kindergartens.

Leisure fun in the snow for the whole family

For those on a tighter budget, we recommend the Valfréjus ski area in the Maurienne Valley, which exudes a magically cosy atmosphere. Comfortable and traditional accommodation is available to travellers near the pedestrian area of the mountain village of Velfréjus. State-of-the-art gondola lifts transport skiers and snowboarders to a downhill altitude of up to 2,700 metres. Around 70 kilometres of slopes, which are equally suitable for beginners and professionals, leave nothing to be desired.

Extremely steep downhill slopes attract speed flyers in particular to the Valfréjus area, which has now become the centre of this sport for speed lovers. And for a family winter holiday , there are numerous toboggan runs and an ice skating rink, which is also suitable for playing ice hockey. Fun for the youngest winter sports enthusiasts is guaranteed by the new Kid Park on the Plateau d’Arrondaz. While the parents relax in the adjacent mountain hut, there are great opportunities to play in the snow. The highlight is a turnstile carousel that pulls the offspring over the snow in tires.

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The best ski resorts in the French Pyrenees

Ski Pyrenees
Skiing in the French Pyrenees, Image: bjul / shutterstock

The ski resorts of the Pyrenees are a dream for every winter sports enthusiast. The mountain range, which forms the natural border between France and Spain , attracts with great ski resorts in a unique landscape. The ski resort Grand Tourmalet/Pic du Midi – La Mongie/Barèges is highly regarded for its snow reliability. In the largest ski area in the Pyrenees, varied skiing of all levels of difficulty can be practiced on 100 kilometres of slopes between 1,250 and 2,500 metres above sea level. In addition, a varied gondola ride from La Mongie to the observatory at the Pic du Midi de Bigorre, where there is also a museum, is inspiring. A detour to the spa town of Bagnères-de-Bigorre is also worthwhile. In the mountain village, about 30 kilometres away, relaxation is in the foreground. Because at the end of the day, when the slopes are closed, you can relax here in swimming pools and spa centres. There are also great shopping facilities, a cinema and a casino. If you haven’t done enough sport yet, you can continue to let off steam on a tennis court.

The next winter holidays (here you can find holiday dates) on the ski slopes of France are a perfect choice – because there are hardly any more varied and extensive ski resorts in Europe than in the French mountain ranges. In addition, the state stands for family-friendly ski villages with professional childcare and beginner-friendly and challenging ski slopes for everyone. France’s winter sports resorts are also highly recommended from a financial point of view.