Many of France’s most popular ski resorts are located within broader ski ‘domaines’ – linked series of resorts and runs of all colours – which allow visitors to buy special passes in order to explore more and more runs beyond the resort in which they are staying. Here is a round up of the main French ski areas to look out for. Simply pick up your a hands-free lift pass and explore!


This collection of three ‘stations de ski’ consists of Peisey-Vallandry, La Plagne and Les Arcs, and has a rather impressive altitudinal range of 1,200m to 3,250m (70% of the area sits above 2,000m, which guarantees excellent snow coverage). Facing the impressive Mont Blanc, the huge array of ski runs total 425kms in total – more than enough to satisfy all skiers no matter what their ability or stamina!

You can take your pick of restful village ambience at Peisey-Vallandry (comprised of five authentic Savoyard villages), check out Les Arcs’ reputation as a hub for new winter sports by heading to the Apocalypse Parc in the middle of the ski area between Arc 1600 and Arc 1800, or explore the six high altitude resorts that make up La Plagne (1800 to 2100m). They are all ski-in-ski-out and are inter-linked by pistes and a free bus service.

Les 3 Vallées (Three Valleys)

This is the world’s largest skiing area and comprises of the resorts of Courchevel, La Tania, Méribel, Brides-les-Bains, Les Menuires-Saint Martin, Val Thorens and Orelle.

For the convenience of visitors keen to explore as much of the area as possible, they are all linked together by ski runs and ski lifts, with 600 kms of interconnected slopes and 180 ski lifts. There are also many snow-parks and half-pipes for fans of new winter board-sports.

The differing sizes and styles of these eight resorts – which range from the world-famous high-end feel of Courchevel to the more homely and quaint village of Orelle – offer a vast array of accommodation, ranging from low cost options to prestigious five star ratings. Those seeking serious après-ski fun will be just as welcome as those seeking a more tranquil escape of family friendly break.

Portes de Soleil

This large collection of resorts – numbering 12 in total – straddles the French-Swiss border and offers lovely skiing through mountain forests and snow meadows. Take your pick as a base from Abondance, Avoriaz, Châtel, La Chapelle d'Abondance, Les Gets, Montriond, Morzine-Avoriaz, St Jean d'Aulps, Champéry, Morgins, Torgon and Val-d'Illiez - Les Crosets - Champoussin.

The domaine’s statistics are impressive, outlining its vastness and array of facilities: 283 slopes (27 black, 104 red, 119 blue, 33 green), 197 mountain lifts, 650 km of groomed slopes, 10 snowparks and no fewer than90 slopeside restaurants.


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