The Alps belong to the most sought-after regions of the world for the ultimate ski experience. And France boasts some of the best ski resorts in these awe-inspiring mountains. In addition to the incredible variety of terrains and impressive vistas, the French ski resorts often blend ultra-modern facilities with old-world charm. Here are some of the most prized places for outstanding winter activities:
– The archetypal Alpine town, Chamonix is the mecca for skiers and snowboarders all over the world because of its long, steep and challenging descents. The Mont Blanc (15,782 ft, the highest mountain in the Alps) and Aiguille du Midi (12,605 ft)(‘Needle of the South’) both confer their legend to the area. With its fin-de-siècle villas and grand hotels, Chamonix offers a full, unforgettable experience to the traveler.
– Les Trois Vallées is a ski region in the Savoie department. Since 1973, the interlinked valleys can be explored using a single ski pass. With more than 370 miles of ski slopes and 75 miles of cross-country skiing, Les Trois Vallées is the largest ski area in the world connected only by ski lifts and slopes. Some of its famous ski resorts include: Val Thorens, the highest altitude resort in Europe; Courchevel is famous for its glitz, top hotels and restaurants which attract jet-setters from all over the world.
– The resort of Val d’Isère caters to advanced skiers and boarders with its vast quantity and variety of challenging terrain, and some of the best lift-served off-piste runs in the world.
– Tignes is a world-class resort with snow nearly 10 months of the year mainly because of the lifts to the Grande Motte glacier (3500m).
– Traditional, postcard-perfect, and ideal for intermediates, La Plagne is a beautiful resort with 10 separate villages with great wooded runs, lovely cross-country trails, as well as beautiful scenic routes through the forest to Montchavin-Les Coches, Champagny and Plagne Montalbert.
– Known as the birthplace of snowboarding, Les Arcs offers large, varied terrains. It is also famous for its speed-skiing track above Arc 2000, the setting for a number of world records.