For members


From high altitude to family friendly: 15 of the best French ski resorts

Home to thousands of kilometres of slopes, France has options for all types of ski holiday - whether you want a family-friendly resort, one with great nightlife, the best slopes or a place with some options for non-skiers, here's a look at the best places to go.

From high altitude to family friendly: 15 of the best French ski resorts
Skiers sit in a chairlift at the Val Thorens French resort on its 2022 opening day. (Photo by JEFF PACHOUD / AFP)

France is home to more than250 ski resorts and 10,000 kilometres of slopes, so there really is something for everyone – from expert to beginner, family-friendly resorts to party towns.

The French ski regions

The most popular ski destination is the Alps, located in southern France. This mountain range stretches for hundreds of kilometres, culminating in the summit of Mont Blanc, the tallest mountain in western Europe. From the northern alps in Savloie to the famous Trois Vallées, it is home to 600km of runs. 

You might also consider the Pyrenees mountains, located on the border with Spain. The ski resorts in the Pyrenees are known for being more modern, and they are typically less expensive than those in the Alps. 

There’s also the Vosges mountain range, the Massif Central, or the Jura mountains. The Vosges are located in north-east of France, between Alsace and Lorraine. While lower in altitude than the Alps or the Pyrenees, the Vosges have lots to offer, including many runs for cross-country skiers.

The Massif Central are the largest stretch of volcanoes in Europe and remain largely unknown to non-French skiers. The highest peak in the Massif Central is Puy-de-Sancy at 1,885 metres in height. As for the Jura mountains, altitudes go up to 1,720 metres, with several ski resorts for those looking to enjoy a winter vacation right next to Switzerland. 

Best options for families

When looking for a family-friendly ski resort, you can always check to see if the resort in question has the label “Famille Plus” meaning it has taken certain steps to ensure that family-friendly options and activities are available for people of all ages.

Avoriaz – Home to three “beginner zones” and 37 green runs, there are plenty of options for new skiers. Children under the age of five ski for free, and the child ski-pass rate applies up to 15 years old, rather than 12 years old which is the limit at many other resorts. The resort also offers English language ski lessons, and is home to a children’s village at the centre of the resort. 

Les Ménuires – Located in the Trois Vallées, the ski resort “Les Ménuires” has held the “Family Plus” label for several years. From snow mazes to sledding, there are plenty of non-ski activities for children to enjoy. The resort also offers childcare for children from three months and older, and chairlifts are equipped with special safety systems (gard-corps). 

Le Grand-Bornand – located in Haute-Savoie in the Alps, the ski area offers day-care centres and ski schools. It has also received a “Green Resort” label for offering a wide selection of environmentally friendly activities. 

Les Karellis – This small ski resort is located in Savoie, and is a great way to avoid the crowds you might find at other more well-known resorts. Also holding the “Family Plus” label, there are children’s ‘clubs’ – a baby club for infants and toddlers, the children’s club (ages three to 11), and the teenager’s club from 12 to 17 years old. Childcare is also available at certain villages in the resort, like Arc en Ciel and Carlines.

Best for high altitude

If your party is made up of experienced skiers and/or snowboarders, then you probably want to head to the high-altitude resorts for the best snow.

Val Thorens – the highest ski resort in France, and one of the highest in all of Europe. The resort itself is huge, with over 600 kilometres of trails. Much of the ski area is between 2,000 to 3,200 metres in altitude and it can generally guarantee snow from November to May.

Tignes – this ski area is located in Haute-Savoie, with altitudes above 2,000 metres, Tignes has some of the highest skiing in the world, with over 300 km of runs. The ski area is also connected by lift links to another well known resort – Val d’Isere. It also boasts several off-piste options too, as well as ice diving and paragliding on skis for those looking for an extra burst of adrenaline. 

Val d’Isère – with the village sitting at 1,850 metres, the highest ski lift goes up to 3,456 metres. Known for off-piste skiing, the area links eight resorts and 600 kilometers of runs, from valleys to glaciers. Val d’Isere is known for being a luxury ski resort (daily passes average at €63 for adults) with a long season.

Most affordable

While the high-altitude resorts listed above tend to be more expensive, there are several choices for those looking to enjoy winter sports in France on a budget.

Aussois – Ranked as one of the most affordable ski resorts in France, Aussois is located in Savoie and offers over 50km of slopes. The average price per day was €34.50, with accommodation coming out to approximately €400 per week to share a four-person apartment. 

Chamrousse – This resort is located in Isère and it is known for being one of the ski stations of the 1968 Olympic Games. The budget friendly resort offers 90 km of slopes, with daily passes averaging at €36 per day.

Cauterets – Found in the Hautes-Pyrénées, this resort is ideal for those looking for both a resort and a spa. It also offers proximity to nature, being right on the edge of the Pyrenees National Park. Daily ski passes start at €34.85 the day.

Most nightlife

Once the skiing ends there is the après-ski, and there is quite a wide variation in the type of nightlife on offer in French resorts.

Tignes – the Tignes resort, already listed above as one of the top high-altitude resorts in France, is also known for throwing an unmissable New Year’s Eve party each year, and it is home to many bars and nightclubs. The ski area comprises of five villages, so visitors have plenty of après-ski options.

Les 2 Alpes – Known for having a young and festive reputation, this ski resort located in Isère is well-known for its soirées. One of its popular bar/ clubs offering DJ sets and live music is the Pano Bar, located at 2,600 metres in altitude.

Méribel – Also known for its après-ski scene, the Méribel ski resort is popular amongst French people and foreigners alike. Some popular destinations for your night out on the slopes are La Folie Douce, the Le Rond Point, and Doron Pub. The ski area itself is offers plenty of green runs, so it is a good place for beginners, but it is also well-connected to other resorts in the Trois Vallées, like Val Thorens which offer more advanced slopes.

Best for groups with non-skiers

If you are heading off with some non-skiers in the mix, it is important to find resorts that offer other activities besides skiing and snowboarding.

La Clusaz – Located in Haute-Savoie, this resort is known for offering many restaurants, bars, and stores. It is also under an hour away from the Geneva international airport, so it is not too difficult for the non-skiers to get away for a day if they need a break from the mountains. The resort is also home to a warm, outdoor swimming pool. 

Les Arcs – This resort, located in Savoie, is known for having many non-ski related activities. From an ice rink, sledding, yoga classes, an ice village, and aquatic centre with saunas, hammams, and jacuzzis, there are plenty of non-winter sports options for the non-skiing members of your group.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.


Nuit Blanche 2023: What’s on and where to go in Paris

During this year's all-nighter event in Paris there will be film screenings and street art exhibits, as well as free museum entry at some of the capital's best art and culture venues. Here is the schedule for the 'Nuit Blanche'.

Nuit Blanche 2023: What's on and where to go in Paris

The annual Nuit Blanche celebration in Paris will take place on Saturday, June 3rd, and the city has plenty of activities to enjoy all night long.

This year, the event was organised by artistic director Kitty Hartl, who also coordinated the 2022 event. With nearly 200 cultural activities and art exhibits running throughout the night, everyone will be able to find something worth staying up for.

You can find the full agenda HERE.

Artistic exhibits

“Artistic posters for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games” – If you are not available on Saturday the 3rd, you can still see a special Nuit Blanche exhibit on Thursday, June 1st from 3pm until 8pm.

For each Olympic and Paralympic Games, artists are invited to contribute to the collective memory of the event by creating a body of original artwork intended to demonstrate Olympic values, such as inclusivity and innovation. Seven artists were commissioned to come up with Olympic and Paralympic posters, which you will be able to see during the exhibit. The event will be held at the Auai de la Mégisserie in Paris’ 1 arrondissement.

“Nuit Blanche at the Holocaust Memorial” – During Nuit Blanche, the Holocaust (Shoah) Memorial will present works of art related to the Armenian Genocide via the personal story of artist Melik Ohanian in an evening titled “Remember, It was tomorrow”. You can find more information here.

“Breuer.121” – Held at the Hungarian cultural centre, the Institut Liszt Paris, this exhibit will show the works of Marcel Breuer, who graduated from the Bauhaus school in the 1920s, and gained an international reputation for his tubular furniture. On the event of his 120th birthday, the exhibit will show Breuer’s entire body of work and discuss his influence on Hungarian Brutalism. It will run from 7pm until 11pm. More information found here.

“CAPITALE(S), 60 years of urban and street art in Paris” – Nuit Blanche will represent the final day of the “CAPITAL(S)” street art exhibit at Paris’ Hôtel de Ville, which will keep its doors open to the public until midnight during the event. The exhibit shows works from 70 prominent street artists, both French and international. The event will run from 6:30pm until midnight, and though it is free, you will need to reserve a ticket in advance. You can find more information here.


Several museums across the city will offer free entry during Nuit Blanche, and some have special exhibits going on for the night as well.

La Bourse du Commerce – During Nuit Blanche, entry will be free until midnight. There will also be a special event titled “Before the Storm” running from 7pm until midnight at the museum, which will show the works of 15 artists exploring tensions and impacts brought on by climate change. 

Picasso Museum – The Picasso Museum will also open its doors for free, with special events throughout the night. From 9pm until 11pm, there will be a DJ performance by the artist Radio Nova in the courtyard. You can find more information here.

Pompidou Modern Art Museum – The Centre Pompidou will offer immersive installations and performances starting at 6pm at the Piazza in front of the museum. The public will also be granted free entry into Galerie 3, where a light and sound performance by Camille Juthier will take place, as an exploration of the universe.

The Musée d’Orsay – Even though the museum will not allow people to take tours of all its galleries during Nuit Blanche, there will still be an event worth seeing, running from 7pm until 4am – an outdoor showing of the film “Le Fond de la Seine” which gives a portrait of the river using underwater and landscape images to show its history, connection to people and industry and how the water runs out to the ocean.


“The Orchestre Colonne” – one of France’s oldest orchestras, founded in 1873, the Orchestre Colonne will offer a show running from 8pm to 11pm during this year’s Nuit Blanche. The team of over 47 musicians will play Verdi, La Forza del destino (overture) and Brahms’ 2nd symphony. It will be held at 23 quai de Conti, in Paris’ 6th arrondissement. You can find more information HERE.

“Nour Kara & Juliette Capel – Women, Life, Freedom” – this experimental live music show will honour Iranian women’s struggle for freedom. Starring Nour Kara, Iranian electronic music producer, and Juliette Capel, cellist and percussionist, the show will offer a non-classical interpretation of the cello, partnered with electronic and experimental music effects. The event will take place at the Mairie of the 19e arrondissement, going from 9pm until 10:30pm.

“III Julien Signolet & Mathias Durand” – Enjoy an immersive musical experience with live performances by Mathias Durand. This installation will join visual effects, dance and sound. It will take place at the Collège des Bernardins at 20 rue de Poissy, in Paris’ 5th arrondissement, going from 7pm until 2am.

Activities for kids

“109 LOSANGES” – located along the banks of the Seine, the Federico-García-Lorca garden will host several open air art exhibit, with trees and pathways illuminated with lights to create a fun, immersive and colourful experience. It will run from 7pm until 3am, taking place on the Georges-Pompidou pathway in the 4th arrondissement.

“The Europa Experience” – Inspired by the world of gaming, this video event is a collaboration between two artists. In the exhibit, viewers will enjoy a 2D to 3D video as the character walks around video game landscapes and modernist paintings. The event will be held at 28 place de la Madeleine, in the 8th arrondissement. It will run from 7pm until midnight.

“Aiguillage galerie” – From the young comics collective, this multimedia event will allow you to discover comic books, immersive video projections, and fascinating animations. It will be held at 19 rue des Frigos, Building B, in the 13th arrondissement, running from 9pm to 1am.