How Many Ski Resorts Are There In France? [Facts!]

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Skiing is one of the most popular sports in the world, attracting people from all over the world. The French Alps especially have a lot to offer the skier, with expert tree skiing, off-piste terracing, and spectacular views to be enjoyed. There are over 100 ski resorts in the French Alps, which is about a third of all the ski resorts in Europe. There are smaller and more intimate resorts scattered around France too, offering some serious backcountry skiing. This article will tell you about the best of these, as well as the top-rated French ski resorts.

The French Alpine Skiing Experience

The French Alps are one of the most famous ski resort regions in the world. There are 100 ski resorts in the French Alps, but only about 30 are accessible by car. The other 70 are all located in the French Alps, and require a bus or train to reach. The French Alps are often associated with the glamorous European ski holidays of the 1950s and 1960s. Back then, the French were known for their ski fashion, with brightly colored ski suits in the winter and swimsuits in the summer. However, these days skiing in the French Alps is much more relaxed, apres-ski life taking over completely during the off-season. The slopeside cafes and bars are often the best places to be, especially on a hot summers day. In the winter, hotels and chalets overflow with visitors from all over the world, as well as locals seeking some winter sport excitement. The snow makes for some truly spectacular skiing, with majestic snow-covered mountains, majestic glaciers, and lots of open space for everyone to enjoy. The skiing is generally easy to learn, with the French Alps catering for all levels of expertise. There are also lots of freeride terraces, where expert skiers can lose themselves for a few hours, untethered to the slopeside amenities. These terraces are accessed by cairns or yellow signposts, pointing the way for the dedicated skier. Experts can find the perfect terrace for their skill level and taste, with blue runs for beginners, red runs for intermediates, and black runs for the more experienced. The range of ski resorts in the French Alps means that everyone can enjoy a holiday to the fullest, regardless of their ability level or spending power. The variety of skiing in the French Alps is enormous, with something to suit everyone’s needs and desires. Once the snow settles, the French Alps become a paradise for walkers, as well, with lots of trails both in the summer and winter for avid hikers. In short, if you ever considered skiing as a sport, the French Alps are a great place to do it.

Which Are The Best French Ski Resorts?

With so many amazing resorts in the French Alps, it’s hard to narrow down a shortlist of the best. After considerable research, we’ve come up with a list of the top 10 French ski resorts, ordered by their Prominence rating, which is based on the attractiveness of their terrain, snow quality, and apres-ski life. The ranking takes into account both expert and beginner terrain, as well as nightlife, apres-ski life, and overall skiing experience. Here are the top 10 French ski resorts:

  • Chalet Sainte-Foy (3.8/5)
  • Val d’Isere (4/5)
  • La Thuile (4.5/5)
  • Les Arcs (4.75/5)
  • Saint-Gervais (5/5)
  • La Plagne (5/5)
  • Parc Nat’l des Baux (5/5)
  • Grand Raid (5/5)
  • Le Fourier (5/5)

The highest-rated resort of all, with 5 out of 5 stars, is Villard de Lans, situated in the Western French Alps. With its extraordinary panoramic terrace, boasting gorgeous views of the entire French Alps, and with the highest number of ski runs in the area (120), the village offers a full ski experience. Apart from the breathtaking views, there is a lot to do in Villard de Lans. The village’s winter festival “Le Villard de Luxe” is one of the biggest and most popular in France, attracting people from all over the world. The village is family friendly, with many attractions and activities for kids, as well as nightlife venues that are open to everyone. The sheer numbers of visitors the village receives in the winter means that the apres-ski life is vibrant and alive. This is one of the best French ski resorts, especially if you’re looking for a high-energy and exciting winter holiday. If you’re looking for an alternative option, the village’s summer festival “Le Villard Noir” is a great place for music lovers, with several big-name international acts playing to appreciative audiences. In fact, apart from the skiing, Villard de Lans offers a variety of mountain hikes, with the area’s highest point, the Roc d’Anvers, offering magnificent views of the surrounding valleys and the French Alps beyond. The village is a true bargain for such stunning views and so much adventure.

The Mid-Priced Resorts

Now there are some fantastic mid-priced resorts, which are just as good as the high-priced ones, and often even better. The best thing about these places is that, despite their name, they aren’t really cheap, and that is because they offer amazing value for money. The following are the top 10 mid-priced French ski resorts:

  • Charmoise (3.75/5)
  • La Môle-Saint-Luc (4/5)
  • La Plagne-Rochemagne (4.25/5)
  • Les Arcs (4.5/5)
  • Le Thol (4.5/5)
  • Les Gets (4.75/5)
  • Le Lavaredo (5/5)
  • Les Angles (5/5)
  • La Chaux-de-Fonds (5/5)

If you’re looking for a great value for money resort, and you want to be in the French Alps, then La Plagne-Rochemagne, with its 165 km of marked trails, is where you want to be. Despite its low price tag, the resort offers a great variety of trails, with both beginner and expert terraces, making it an ideal choice for everyone. The nightlife in the village is exceptional, with lots of bars, clubs and restaurants to choose from. There’s also the annual “Grand Raid” festival, which takes place in May and attracts visitors from all over the world. Another great mid-priced resort is Le Thol, located in the French Alps, whose trails attract experts and beginners alike. The village’s summer and winter festivals attract visitors from near and far, while its bars, restaurants, and clubs stay open all year round, making it an all-round entertainer for adults as well as children. If you’re looking for some peace and quiet, the Val d’Isere is for you, with its 108 km of trails and peaceful atmosphere. The resort also prides itself on being eco-friendly, with several eco-friendly housing projects scattered around the village. Energy is generated almost entirely from renewable sources, with the resort heating its snow tanks with geothermal heat, and its buildings’ photovoltaic cells producing electricity. For those who love a bustling nightlife, Le Arcs, with its 120 km of trails and variety of bars, clubs, and restaurants, is the resort for you. The prices are much higher in the summer, but the nightlife is still pretty lively, with lots of events, gigs, and fireworks displays to keep you entertained. In short, if you want to make your trip memorable, then book a room at the hotel in advance, so you can make the most of the resort’s excellent services and amenities.

The High-End Resorts

Now here come the luxury resorts, which are the perfect choice for those who can pay extra and want the best. These are the top 10 high-end French ski resorts:

  • Changé(4.5/5)
  • Courchevel(4.75/5)
  • Les Breclés (5/5)
  • Les Sables-d’Olonne (5/5)
  • Les Saintes-Maries(5/5)
  • La Toussaint(5/5)
  • La Roche-sur-Yon(5/5)
  • Les Bois (5/5)
  • Le Val-d’Or (5/5)
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