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Val d`Isere gehört zu den beliebtesten Skigebieten in Frankreich, Bild: vvoe / shutterstock

The most popular winter sports resorts in France

The Alps in the heart of Europe offer numerous opportunities for winter sports. First and foremost, of course, for alpine sports, i.e. everything that leads down a mountain on skis. But there is also the opportunity for cross-country skiing and other winter sports. Some of the largest and, above all, most attractive ski resorts in the Alps are located on French territory. Hundreds of kilometres of ski slopes and numerous ski lifts provide visitors to these French ski resorts with extensive skiing fun. The following paragraphs reveal which winter sports resorts in France are the most popular and appealing among the large numbers that exist; each with a short explanation of the winter sports resort presented. One of them is even located in the Pyrenees.

Olympics and a lot of sports history


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

This place, whose full name is Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, is perhaps the most famous winter sport in all of France. This is also due to the fact that the first Winter Olympics were held here in 1924. Of course, this was only possible because the two adjacent ski mountains Le Brévent and La Flégère offer excellent opportunities for alpine skiing. The latter is more suitable for families and beginners, while the former offers challenging and sometimes extremely difficult slopes. However, these are only one of a total of six different ski areas around Chamonix, which together offer over 150 kilometres of slopes. In addition, the entire region is well equipped in terms of infrastructure – i.e. transport, accommodation and supply.


This winter sports resort is also extremely well-known, although it has just 1,500 inhabitants. Its two local mountains, Solaise and Bellevarde, form the Killy ski area, which is named after the Olympic champion in skiing, Jean-Claude Killy, who grew up here. Val-d’Isère is located only 5 kilometers from the border with Italy and was the scene of the 1992 Winter Olympics. It is also home to the Terentaise Valley, which has the largest number of world-class ski resorts in the world. In addition, the ski resorts of Paradiski and Les Trois Valées can also be reached quickly from Val-d’Isère.

Where the Tour de France and winter sports go hand in hand


This place is the first ever in France to be converted into a ski resort. In the case of Chamonix, this happened as early as 1946. Courchevel consists of five actually small villages, which have been expanded to include a variety of overnight accommodation. With around 2,100 hectares of ski resorts, Courchevel is one of the largest in the world. There are almost 500 kilometres of ski slopes to use in the immediate vicinity, spread over 105 different slopes. Of course, all of them are perfect to use with ski lifts. In addition, there are 128 kilometers of cross-country ski trails, despite the very mountainous topography of Courchevel and the surrounding area. Unlike many other French winter sports resorts, Courchevel is also heavily frequented in summer. Then the guests go mountaineering, mountain hiking or mountain biking. There are also numerous festivals and even art exhibitions to visit here.

Les Deux Alpes

This is the name of a French center for winter sports in the Isère department. Located in the Dauphiné Alps at an altitude of 1,650 metres on La Meije, which is almost 4,000 metres high, it is also an off-piste experience to choose this place as your destination. The development of Les Deux Alpes from a small mountain village to a ski centre has been driven forward since the 1950s. 220 kilometres of downhill runs spread over 102 ski slopes, which are served by 51 different lifts, attract thousands and thousands of guests from all over the world every year. In contrast to most French winter sports resorts in the Alps, you will also find cross-country skiing trails here. Its length is 25 kilometres, which make up the three circular routes together.

Family-oriented old villages invite you

L’Alpe d’Huez

This place actually gets its popularity from being a famous mountain finish of the Tour de France cycling race. But in winter there are also plenty of opportunities for alpine skiing. The first T-bar lift ever was built here in the 1930s. A total of no less than 249 kilometres of pistes and 84 (!) Ski lifts are located in the immediate vicinity of L’Alpe d’Huez. The majority of the slopes are of easy difficulty, which is why a trip to L’Alpe d’Huez is particularly suitable for beginners in skiing. A variety of snow-making systems ensure guaranteed snow and skiing enjoyment even in mild temperatures. For more experienced skiers, there are many opportunities to ski off-piste in deep snow or to ski the longest “black” – i.e. the most difficult category – Sarenne slope at 16 kilometres.

Les Gets

Les Gets France
Winter atmosphere in Les Gets, Image: Mikael Broms / shutterstock

This idyllic, family-oriented place has its roots in the 11th century. Even today, it can be called absolutely picturesque, even if the size of the village has increased greatly due to the many chalets in which winter sports tourists spend the night. Located in the Auvergne-Rhônes-Alpes region, you have direct access to the Les Portes du Soleil ski area, which offers no less than 650 kilometres of ski slopes. These are mostly geared towards families and thus also beginners in skiing. Accordingly, the structure of the guests in Les Gets, whose town centre continues to offer an authentic historical atmosphere, is also corresponding.

Picturesque and secluded in front of an impressive mountain backdrop


This French winter sports resort is located in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence department and is part of the Espace Lumière ski area. It is the fifth largest ski area in the Southern Alps and offers 180 kilometres of ski slopes, which in turn are served by 38 ski lifts. In addition, a total of 21 snow cannons always enable the skiing experience you are looking for on a trip here, even in adverse external conditions.

La Pierre Saint-Martin

This ski resort, which is not to be found in the Alps but in the Pyrenees, is located right on the border with Spain. It has 20 different ski slopes, all of which lead down the Pic d’Arlas, which is over 2,000 meters high. These are served by 11 ski lifts. Across the border, you have access to 25 kilometers of cross-country ski trails. The accommodations here are explicitly designed for the visit of families, most of whom are accommodated in chalets. Apart from winter sports, there are also huge caves open to the public in the middle of the mountain massifs of the Pyrenees.

Conclusion on the most beautiful winter sports resorts in France

The number of winter sports resorts in France is so large that only a very small selection can actually be presented here. But this one has it all, from the world-famous Olympic venue to the idyllic mountain village, everything that the heart of an alpine skier in France can desire. Which is supposed to give a first, brief overview of the huge selection.