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Ski Areas France

Ski Areas France

The French ski regions rank amongst the largest, highest, and most spacious worldwide. Second to none is the ski area Trois Vallées, with over 600 kilometres of piste and 200 ski lifts. It consists of the connected three valleys of Courchevel, Méribel, and Val Thorens/Les Menuires. At 2,300 m, Val Thorens is the highest ski resort in Europe.

The ski area, Les Portes du Soleil (in English: The Gateway to the Sun) can also be enjoyed. It offers 650 km of literally unlimited pistes, the 12 connected resorts are partly in Switzerland. Depending on which direction you decide to go in, you can get a glimpse of either Lake Geneva or Mont Blanc or enjoy yourself in the deep snow or in one of the 9 fun parks.

Further combined ski regions are La Plagne and Les Arcs (420 km, 169 lifts), as well as Tignes and Val d'Isère (350 km , 97 lifts). The largest glacier ski regions are found in Tignes (2,100 - 3,350 m) and Les 2 Alpes (1,300 - 3,560 m).

Additionally, France is home of the highest mountain in the Alps, Mont Blanc (4,792 m). At the foot of the mountain lies one of the winter sports hot spots, Chamonix, scene of the Olympics in 1924. From here, the second highest cable car in Europe goes up to the Aiguille du Midi (3,842 m). This is the starting point for one of the longest and most spectacular deep snow ski runs in the world, the glacier run (20 km) through the Vallée Blanche down to Chamonix.

Other Winter Olympics took place 1968 in Grenoble (Alpine competitions in Chamrousse) and 1992 in Albertville (competitions in, for example, Tignes).

Après ski France

Après-Ski in France is generally somewhat quieter than in Austria. However there generally tend to be bistros and bars in all ski resorts where you can comfortably end a days skiing. Après-Ski centres have developed in some areas, which are well known for ski hut entertainment and great parties. These areas include Val Thorens, Tignes, Les Deux Alpes, Méribel and Courchevel. All the larger ski resorts have sport centres with swimming pools, bowling alleys, tennis and squash courts and often also ice rinks. Additionally, depending on the resort, more adventurous sports such as ice-climbing, snowshoe hikes, paragliding and rides on snow mobiles are available.

Good food has always played a massive part in the lives of French people. Therefore you can find a large variety of restaurants in the French ski resorts which offer a range of dishes, from regional favourites to gourmet cuisine. Specialities from the French Alps include cheese fondue, Tartiflette (a hot potato and cheese dish) and Raclette, as well as the Génépi herb liqueur.

Excursions France

France attracts many tourists each year, not only due to its cultural and scenic diversity, but also due to its culinary specialities and great wines. Furthermore, the French mountain chains score with their many great trip destinations and sights. The city Grenoble, for example, lies in the middle of the picturesque French Alp landscape. Not only the numerous museums of the city have made it a centre of attraction for tourists. The lift ride to the Bastille, from where you have a wonderful view of Grenoble and the surrounding mountain range, is definitely worth your while.

Many sights in the French Alps have been shaped by nature itself. You will experience unforgettable moments during a ride with the "Télécabine Panoramic" lift at the Mont Blanc. The lift stops several times between the Pointe Helbronner and the Aiguille du Midi during the 30 minute long ride - the best scenery for taking photos of the highest mountain of the Alps (4,810 m). When it comes to the Verdon Gorge, instead of going high up, you will be going down. This canyon is 700 m deep. On the other hand, the Lac de Serre-Ponçon is man-made and it is the largest artificially installed lake in Europe. When the river Durance was ponded, many inhabitants had to yield to the lake and move away. The only remnant of the former community is the Chapel St. Michel, which was once located on a mountain that has now transformed into an island in the lake.

One particular little village in the Pyrénées attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors yearly: pilgrims gravitate towards the churches and the famous grotto of Massabielle, because Lourdes is considered the location of the Marian apparition. The local springs are said to have healing powers. Next to Rome, it is the second biggest pilgrimage site in the world.

Some beautiful towns in the Pyrénées are, for example, Carcassonne with its medieval fortification and Colmar, the capital of the Alsatian wine and birthplace of Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi, the creator of the Statue of Liberty. Because of the many channels that wind through Colmar, one district of the town is called "Little Venice".

A mysterious underground parallel existence distends throughout the Midi-Pyrénées. Fascinating caves have formed - an example is the Grotto de Niaux which sports very interesting cave paintings.

Resorts France

Map enlarge

Resort (region) resort-altitude Ski area Pistes Ski area altitude
fromup to
1,860 m Alpe d'Huez Grand Domaine Ski 250 km 1,125 - 3,330 m
1,800 m Avoriaz 75 km 960 - 2,460 m
1,035 m Chamonix 114 km 1,030 - 3,275 m
1,700 m Chamrousse 90 km 1,400 - 2,250 m
1,191 m Châtel 117 km 1,100 - 2,200 m
1,550 m Courchevel 150 km 1,300 - 2,738 m
1,600 m Grand Massif 265 km 694 - 2,476 m
2,000 m Isola 2000 120 km 1,800 - 2,603 m
1,470 m SuperDévoluy & La Joue du Loup 100 km 1,470 - 2,510 m
1,350 m La Norma 65 km 1,350 - 2,750 m
1,970 m La Plagne 225 km 1,207 - 3,250 m
1,550 m Les Sybelles 310 km 1,100 - 2,620 m
1,650 m Les 2 Alpes 200 km 1,280 - 3,560 m
1,350 m Les 7 Laux 120 km 1,350 - 2,400 m
810 m Les Arcs/​Peisey-​Vallandry 200 km 1,200 - 3,226 m
1,140 m Grand Massif 265 km 700 - 2,561 m
1,450 m La Plagne 225 km 1,207 - 3,250 m
1,850 m Les Menuires/​Saint Martin 160 km 1,450 - 2,850 m
1,550 m Les Orres 100 km 1,550 - 2,720 m
1,120 m Evasion Mont-​Blanc 468 km 1,113 - 2,350 m
1,450 m Méribel 150 km 1,450 - 2,952 m
1,100 m Grand Massif 265 km 700 - 2,561 m
1,150 m Espace Diamant 192 km 1,000 - 2,069 m
1,850 m Orcières 100 km 1,850 - 2,725 m
819 m Val Thorens-​Orelle 150 km 1,800 - 3,230 m
1,035 m Espace Diamant 192 km 1,000 - 2,069 m
1,400 m Puy St. Vincent 75 km 1,400 - 2,700 m
1,600 m Les Sybelles 310 km 1,100 - 2,620 m
1,300 m Serre Chevalier 250 km 1,200 - 2,800 m
1,450 m Le Grand Domaine 165 km 1,250 - 2,550 m
1,500 m SuperDévoluy & La Joue du Loup 100 km 1,470 - 2,510 m
2,100 m Tignes -​ Val d'Isère 300 km 1,550 - 3,456 m
1,400 m Val Cenis Vanoise 125 km 1,300 - 2,800 m
1,800 m Val d'Allos/​Pra Loup 230 km 1,500 - 2,576 m
1,850 m Tignes -​ Val d'Isère 300 km 1,550 - 3,456 m
1,550 m Valfréjus 70 km 1,550 - 2,737 m
1,430 m Galibier Thabor 150 km 1,430 - 2,594 m
1,800 m Galibier Thabor 150 km 1,430 - 2,594 m
1,400 m Le Grand Domaine 165 km 1,250 - 2,550 m
2,300 m Val Thorens-​Orelle 150 km 1,800 - 3,230 m
1,850 m La Forêt Blanche 185 km 1,650 - 2,750 m
1,250 m Alpe d'Huez Grand Domaine Ski 250 km 1,125 - 3,330 m