French Ski Resorts
Skiers from the UK flock to the continent each year where a variety of ski resorts offer excellent skiing from November through to April. Last year, French ski resorts witnessed a 15% increase in ski traffic, with the Alps in particular proving popular due to its reliable snow conditions.
In the northern Alps, you will find resorts such as Avoriaz (a mecca for snowboarders), and Morzine, although at an altitude of only 1000 m its not always such a reliable snow-stopper.
Heading south youll find Chamonix, the earliest French ski resort, and one of the most expensive, along with Megeve combined they offer the fifth-largest skiing area in France.
In the Haute Savoie region there some excellent resorts, including Val dIsere/Tignes, which is considered one of the worlds best and Europes hippest ski resorts. Together, they offer 300 km of pistes at high altitude - over 3000 m high. The area has an extensive range of pistes for beginners and inexperienced skiers as well as challenging runs and off-piste skiing for the most adventurous and experienced.
Further south, Les Trois Vallées, consisting of Courchevel, Val Thorens and Les Menuires has 183 ski lifts, giving skiers access to over 600 km of pistes - more than enough for even the most demanding of skiers.
L'Alpe is the closest major ski area to Grenoble, and therefore attracts plenty of day visitors. Further west, in the Vercors area, the resort of Villard de Lans, southwest of Grenoble, is reputed to be the most environment-friendly ski resort in the French Alps with a family friendly reputation.
The southern-most resort of Isola 2000 is a 1970s development, lying at an average altitude of 2000 metres. It is popular with French skiers from the Riviera, but has not become a leading destination for British skiers, mainly due to its distance from major airports.
Choose your resort carefully to ensure the best skiing conditions ideally high altitude for perfect powder, with a wide variety of runs for all levels of experience. This is especially important near the beginning or end of the ski season. Resorts have snow cannons and piste bashers, but the primary influence of temperature and location plays a big role in the quality of your ski holiday.
French ski chalets
Depending on the type of ski break you want, there are plenty of catered ski chalets and ski hotels to choose from. Catered chalets are perfect for family or group skiing holidays as the children can relax and there is lots of flexibility with meal times, plus the amount of space in the chalet means they have more freedom to run around inside and having a top chef on hand ensures everyone is fed well. Chalets at the luxury end of the market offer privacy and space for individuals with large communal areas for getting together at the end of the day.
Ski hotels can be a good option if you are going alone or in a small party, and as the prices vary enormously you should be able to find something within your budget.