- Freestyle at La Stash
A snow park built out of 100% natural materials in Avoriaz, designed by the legendary Jake Burton.
- Legendary après
End your day at the famous La Folie Douce in Val d'Isère, Meribel, Val Thorens and Alpe d'Huez.
- Off-slope activities
Feel the rhythm as you zoom down the mountain Cool Runnings-style, with bobsleighing in La Plagne.
- World's highest zipwire
Take a leap of faith from the Europe's highest ski resort in Val Thorens – a new kind of adrenaline rush.
- Europe's longest black run
Steel your nerves and carve your way down all 16km of La Sarenne in Alpe d'Huez.
So what's it like?
Home to some of the world's most famous ski areas – the superb food, diversity of resorts, high-altitude slopes and lift-linked mountain ranges make France one of the best countries for a ski holiday. Short flights to Geneva and Chambéry, plus quick transfers on to many resorts, mean you’ll also be on the snow faster than in most other alpine destinations.
Linked ski areas
Boasting seven of the 10 largest interconnected ski areas in the world, France was the first to really link up its resorts and has kept investing in lift improvements year-on-year.
Claiming top spot is still the gigantic Three Valleys, offering 335 different runs, 180 lifts and 600km of slopes across the parallel valleys of Courchevel, Meribel and Belleville. Resorts and accommodation range from high and modern in Val Thorens, to lower and more traditional like Brides Les Bains and St Martin de Belleville.
Further north, Portes du Soleil also offers over 600km of slopes, by combining the runs around Morzine, Avoriaz and Les Gets. The latter two provide classic chalet chic, while the former is a more modern town, with great après options.
Paradiski spans the Tarentaise valley between the already-large Les Arcs and La Plagne, thanks to the 200-plus capacity Vanoise Express gondola. Across this 425km of piste there’s something to keep everyone happy – pretty tree-lined slopes lower down and stunning views from up on the glacier.
The Espace Killy links the perennially popular Val d’Isère and Tignes to create a 300km piste playground. There’s everything from high altitude glacier skiing and competition-ready steeps, to wooded runs into the valley and easy options linking mountain meals.
Best for families – Alpe d’Huez and La Plagne are home to our Crystal Childcare services, while Flaine and La Tania are purpose built with families in mind.
Best for après – Les Deux Alpes has a range of bars along its 2km main street, while Meribel and Mottaret are the centre of the Three Valleys’ après scene.
Best for beginners – Chamrousse’s sheltered slopes are perfect for building confidence, as are La Rosière’s cruisy-blue runs and Samoëns’ gentle gradients at lower levels.
Best for intermediates – Val Thorens’ elevation guarantees good snow, Les Arcs has the variety required to progress skills and Avoriaz combines both these elements.
Best for experts – Chamonix deserves its reputation as a mecca for extreme sports, while Tignes and Val d'Isère can offer their fair share of steep and deep slopes and snow.
We offer excellent provision for families, with recommended childcare services stretching the length of the Alps. Our own Crystal Childcare services operate out of La Plagne and Alpe d’Huez too, giving that extra peace of mind of knowing your children are having a great time in good hands.
France has everything from proper mountain towns like Morzine or Chamonix, to purpose-built resorts like Avoriaz and Flaine, which make up in ski-in, ski-out convenience what they lack in traditional charm.
Even the small ski villages can be a very attractive option. Places like Sainte-Foy, St Martin de Belleville and La Clusaz are full of traditional character and charm, but still provide access to a huge variety of on and off-piste terrain.
For those who like a good time, it’s no accident that the entire winter sports world uses a French word for a post-piste party. Places like Tignes and Les Deux Alpes offer a more affordable way to combine snow, singing and a drink or two, while for a chic take on après, the famous Folie Douce bars can be found in France’s more cosmopolitan resorts – Alpe d’Huez, Val d’Isère, Meribel and Val Thorens.
Of course, there’s more than just partying to be done off-slope – many French resorts have excellent spa and wellness facilities, plus several are steeped in history, with interesting museums and local festivities.
Food and drink
It’s no secret that the French love their food, something which is no more evident than in the mountains, where a day’s exertions on the slopes can be rewarded with some seriously rich and delicious things to eat.
Take your pick from cheesy treats like raclette, tartiflette or a classic fondue, washed down with some of the country’s fine wines. Either for afternoon tea, or after your dinner, choose from a variety of indulgent patisserie treats and settle the stomach with the herbal digestif Genepi.
Ski Plus for winter 16/17
Take a look at Crystal Ski Plus in France. For one great price you’ll get:
- Lift Pass
- Ski or board hire OR carriage