Just because I’m lucky enough to be missing Winter this year (in case you’ve been living under a rock I’m travelling overland all the way from Cork to Cape Town) that doesn’t mean you guys need to miss all the winter fun! Here’s my quick guide to the best ski resorts in France, perfect spots for a winter escape.
The start of winter is nearing and Europe will see people switching their bicycles for skis and snowboards pretty soon! At the centre of Europe sits the Alps, a beautiful mountain range souring to heights of 4,808 metres above sea level. Such elevation causes snow to blanket the peaks creating perfect conditions for skiing. The Alps snakes through many European countries and all are fantastic for a skiing holiday. One of these notable countries with very established ski resorts is France, home to the highest peak, the mighty Mount Blanc. With such an abundance of snow and established pistes, covering thousands of miles, those heading to France to ski are spoilt for choice. To help make the decision which area of this fantastic country to target, here’s a handful of some of the best ski resorts in France. If you’re looking to visit the mountains in the summer, check out my post on Switzerland!
When Tignes is mentioned the first word which comes to mind is reliability. There is nothing worse than splashing out on a ski holiday to find only a handful of slushy pistes swamped by thousands of skiers. Well rest assured the chances of this happening are incredibly slim at Tignes. With the main resort village at 2,100m and a high point of 3,455m, this ski resort has good snow for a staggering 10 months of the year. Tignes is an incredibly spacious and varied resort, with 78 lifts catering for a massive 300km of pistes. Therefore, if you are beginner you can endlessly practice on the extensive beginner slopes or if you are a thrill seekers and like a challenge take on the huge variety of black runs. However, it is worth noting injury is not uncommon when skiing and therefore taking out travel insurance before your trip is important to cover you in case you need any medical care whilst on holiday as without it you could end up forking out thousands of pounds. Fear not there are many price comparison websites out there to help you find the cheapest travel insurance to keep costs down when booking a skiing holiday.
St-Martin-de-Belleville does not only offer 600km of pistes with 180 lifts to transport you around, but also has breath-taking scenery. The village itself, a traditional cheese making village oozes traditional French alp culture. This quint place is especially quiet and relaxing, the perfect place to visit if your days of being a party animal are behind you. Waking up in this resort to the sound of bells in a traditional cheese making village, with a clear blue sky above your head and snowy peaks all around cannot help but make you smile.
If you feel the party animal is still within you then look no further, Meribel is the destination for you. I was here when I was about 17 so didn’t get the full party experience, but from what I remember it was pretty wild! situated in the picturesque Tarentaise valley near the town of Moutiers, the area Meribel refers to three neighbouring villages. With a ski area constituting of three interconnected ski systems covering 600km of pistes, as well as hundreds of clubs and bars open until the early hours skiing and partying go hand in hand in this resort. Although Meribel is expensive, it shows on the slopes with high quality, well maintained pistes and lifts.
La Plagne boasts quality and variation making it incredibly family friendly, the perfect option if you are planning on taking your children. With 11 ski resorts in 1 huge ski area there is a massive amount of varied terrain meaning there is something for everyone and the best part of all is it is relatively uncrowded and peaceful. If you fancy a day off the slopes there are plenty of activities to do here, such as an artificial frozen waterfall for ice climbing and if you’re a thrill seeker, why not take on La Plagnes Bobsleigh track. Seriously, that’s one to be added to your bucket list!