Autumn is well and truly on its way, and this only means one thing for part of the population: skiing season is upon us! Dust off your ski jackets and grab your gloves, we’re looking forward to a great winter.
If you’re still unsure where to go, have a read through our guide on the French Alps for information about the slopes, après ski and accommodation options in three French ski resorts.
As one of the best-designed purpose-built ski resorts, you will be hard-pressed to find accommodation that isn’t close to a slope. The village is pedestrianised, as all cars need to be left in a car park on the edge of the village – book ahead for a spot in the underground car park. It is truly a ski-in, ski-out resort and all pistes are divided into four different areas. Whether you are only learning or are a more experienced skier or snowboarder, you will find a run that’s right for you. The skiing area offers around 130km of runs.
Because the town is traffic-free, the resort does seem to attract a fair few families. However, the area has great bars that offer excellent après ski experiences. Visit La Yak if you’re after a nightclub scene – it’s even open until 4am on most nights. For live music and local events, look up The Place. They organise a jazz festival as well as various night parties, so make sure to check out their calendar before you go.
This is another great area, especially if you are looking for a few more slopes. La Plagne on its own has around 225km worth of slopes. You will have access to another 200km of runs as it is linked to the Paradiski area, formed by la Plagne, les Arcs and Peisey-Vallandry. Do not expect a central village, as there are actually about 11 villages scattered around the area. Due to this design, it’s important you research what area you want to book your accommodation in. However, it does mean you have a plethora of choice when it comes to booking your accommodation. For a family friendly ski holiday, consider booking an all-inclusive with an operator like Mark Warner. Depending on the chalet hotel, nanny services and children clubs are available. If you are going with a big group of friends, look into self-catered apartments so you can come and go as you please.
For lively après ski options, visit Belle Plagne. It has Le Saloon, a bar, pub and club rolled into one where you can enjoy late night music and good drinks. It has an American theme and is actually the only venue that comes close to a nightclub in La Plagne.
The Alpe d’Huez ski resort offers fantastic skiing and snowboarding, for all levels. It is quite unique that a resort offers an all-round winter sports experience for anyone, so it’s an excellent destination when travelling with people who all ski and snowboard with different capabilities. The resort is the fifth largest area in France and has around 250km of pistes. Experienced skiers will love the 13km black run this resort holds. Test your skills even more by going down Le Tunnel, another black slope that will pose an even more challenging experience.
Alpe d’Huez has a fantastic range of accommodation, from budget apartments to luxury hotels. Some of the mid-range options also include a spa and steam room, so you don’t even have to break the bank to find something nice. For example, four-star hotel Chamois d’Or comes with spectacular spa facilities, so you can book yourself a massage after a long day of hitting the slopes.
This resort has a great party scene. Visit La Folie Douce for an epic après ski atmosphere. Continue the night with a visit to L’Igloo, a dance club with a wide range of themed evenings. It might be a bit of on the pricey side, but it comes highly recommended and you’re guaranteed an unforgettable night.