Top 10 highest ski resorts in France

09/04/2024 - SnowTrex

Guaranteed snow, marvellous panoramas and endless slopes: that’s what skiers and snowboarders will find in the French Alps. Many of the most popular and largest ski resorts in the Grande Nation are located well above 3,000 metres above sea level. And because their appeal is so great in the snowy months, SnowTrex now shows exactly where the ten highest ski resorts in France can be found.

The starting point of the highest descent in the Les Arcs ski area is the Aiguille Rouge at 3,226 metres above sea level


The 10 highest ski resorts in France at a glance

Ski areaHighest pointSlope length
Les 2 Alpes3.560 m200 km
Tignes - Val d’Isère3.456 m300 km
Alpe d’Huez3.330 m250 km
Chamonix3.275 m172 km
Les 3 Vallées3.230 m600 km
Les Arcs/Peisey-Vallandry3.226 m200 km
La Plagne3.167 m225 km
Serre Chevalier2.800 m250 km
La Rosière Espace San Bernardo2.800 m154 km
Val Cenis Vanoise2.800 m125 km

Overview: All ski resorts in France

1. Ski resort Les 2 Alpes

Altitude: up to 3,560 m

Kilometres of pistes: 200 km

The highest prepared pistes in France are located in the Les 2 Alpes glacier ski area. Skiers and snowboarders can let off steam here on a total of 200 km of pistes of all levels of difficulty and the highest mountain station is located at 3,560 metres above sea level on the Dôme de la Lauze. The summit is also the starting point for the longest piste (16 km) to Mont de Lans (1,280 m) and for the snow groomer shuttle to the La Grave freeride area. High up in the “Glacier” area of the ski resort, there is also a large snow park with a halfpipe and a panoramic point at 3,421 metres from which you can see as far as Mont Blanc. Some of the glacier pistes in Les 2 Alpes are also open in summer, so you can ski here all year round.

Les 2 Alpes - Teaser Hiver 2023/24

2. Tignes – Val d’Isère ski resort

Altitude: up to 3,456 m

Kilometres of pistes: 300 km

The ski area between the two famous winter sports resorts of Tignes and Val d’Isère is one of the largest ski areas in France – and with slopes with guaranteed snow up to an altitude of 3,456 metres, it is also one of the highest. The pistes, where Olympic champion Jean-Claude Killy once learnt to ski and after whom the “Espace Killy” ski association is named, stretch over 300 km! And speaking of the Olympics: the extensive network of pistes between the two glaciers Grande Motte and Glacier de Pissaillas was also used for the alpine skiing competitions at the 1992 Albertville Winter Games.

In Tignes, skiers and snowboarders can hit the slopes at an altitude of up to 3,456 metres and enjoy the fantastic snow conditions

Winter sports enthusiasts can also travel to the Tignes – Val d’Isère ski resort by bus and train. Express trains from Paris, Lyon or Geneva stop at Bourg St. Maurice station, before shuttle buses take you directly to the second highest ski resort in France in just 45 minutes.

3. Alpe d’Huez Grand Domaine Ski resort

Altitude: up to 3,330 m

Kilometres of pistes: 250 km

The top 3 highest ski resorts in France are rounded off by one of the most varied in the Alps of the Grande Nation. The family-friendly ski resort of Alpe d’Huez Grand Domaine Ski offers a total of 250 kilometres of pistes for beginners and advanced skiers. Two of the biggest challenges on the slopes above the world-famous Tour de France stage town and Tomorrowland Winter venue are the 3-kilometre-long steep descent “Le Tunnel”, which leads from Pic Blanc through a tunnel onto a mogul slope. And secondly, “La Sarenne”, the longest black piste in the world, which starts at the glacier of the same name and ends in the valley after more than 16 kilometres:

The Sarenne (Alpe d’Huez 2019) in 4k skiing over 100 KPH. longest black run in Europe.

The highest accessible point in the Alpe d’Huez ski area is the Pic Blanc at 3,330 metres, from where you have a fantastic view of the surrounding sea of peaks with the Aiguilles d’Arves and Mont Blanc.

4. Chamonix ski resort

Altitude: up to 3,275 m

Kilometres of pistes: 172 km

South of Chamonix, the Aiguille du Midi (3,842 m) is one of the highest peaks in the Mont Blanc massif. The cable car, which connects the ski resort with its 172 kilometres of pistes to the summit of this rocky colossus, ends at the second highest mountain station in Europe at 3,777 m above sea level. The mountain is home to a panoramic restaurant, the highest museum in the world and a viewing platform with a glass “Skywalk”. However, there are no groomed pistes on the Auguille du Midi. Downhill fun here is reserved for experienced freeriders only. This includes the 24-kilometre-long “Vallée Blanche” ski route, which leads back to Chamonix via a glacier.

The summit of the Aiguille du Midi (3,842 m) towers above the highest point of the Chamonix ski area

Visitors can reach the town in the shadow of Mont Blanc not only by car, but also by train. TGV express trains from Paris and Lyon stop at the local railway station every day.

5. Les 3 Vallées ski region

Altitude: up to 3,230 m

Kilometres of pistes: 600 km

Superlative alert! With 600 kilometres of pistes, the famous Les 3 Vallées ski region is the largest ski area in the world. So it’s no wonder that skiers and snowboarders will find everything their alpine heart desires here, from flat tow paths to challenging and perfectly groomed slopes to extremely steep mogul pistes. Numerous freeride spots also attract deep snow fans, while freestyle enthusiasts can let off steam in seven snow parks and 36 fun zones. The highest accessible point in the ski area is the Sommet des 3 Vallées (3,230 m) above Orelle. From there, winter sports enthusiasts can “fly” with their skis on Europe’s highest zipline, “La Tyrolienne”, to the Col de Thorens:

GoPro Overcapture - La TyrOlienne - Orelle à Val Thorens

This gives you direct access to the slopes of Val Thorens, the highest winter sports resort in Europe (2,300 metres).

6. Les Arcs/Peisey-Vallandry ski area

Altitude: up to 3,226 m

Kilometres of pistes: 200 km

The Les Arcs/Peisey-Vallandry ski area also reaches high altitudes of well over 3,000 metres. The 200 kilometres of pistes, which are served by 53 lifts and gondolas, are located at the foot of Mont Pourri (3,779 m). The highest point you can ski or snowboard to in Les Arcs is the Aiguille Rouge at 3,226 metres. The cable car takes you up quickly and easily and you can ski down again on a 7 km long black piste. Beginners and children, on the other hand, can try out 104 kilometres of blue pistes, which makes the ski area correspondingly family-friendly. And if that’s still not enough, you can use a very special gondola…

7. La Plagne ski resort

Altitude: up to 3,167 m

Kilometres of pistes: 225 km

…because the Vanoise Express, the largest double-decker gondola lift in the world with 200 standing places, connects Les Arcs with the La Plagne ski area. High above the venue of the 1992 Olympic bobsleigh competitions, winter sports enthusiasts will find a true paradise on the slopes. A 225 km network of slopes stretches around the Bellevôte glacier. The highest point of the ski area is at 3,167 metres and is now easily accessible by several chairlifts and gondola lifts. From here, a 15-kilometre run leads down to Montchavin via black, red and even blue sections of piste in the lower part. Skiers and snowboarders cover almost 2,000 metres in altitude on this route!

The Vanoise Express is the largest double-decker gondola lift in the world and takes winter sports enthusiasts from Les Arcs to the La Plagne ski resort

8. Serre Chevalier ski resort

Altitude: up to 2,800 m

Kilometres of slopes: 250 km

In the Alpine town of Briançon, the link between the 21st century and the Middle Ages is very close, at least for skiers. Within sight of the historic old town, a state-of-the-art gondola lift takes you up to the Serre Chevalier ski area. A total of 250 kilometres of pistes await winter sports enthusiasts in one of the ten highest ski resorts in France. A total of 138 kilometres of these are classified as green or blue. This terrain is therefore particularly suitable for beginners, making Serre Chevalier very family-friendly overall. The highest point of the ski area is at an altitude of 2,800 metres below the Pic de l’Yret (2,830 metres), from where a red run and the difficult black run “Col du Vent” lead down into the valley.

TEASER HIVER 2023 - 2024 | SERRE CHEVALIER VALLÉE BRIANÇON

By the way: If you want to travel to the ski resort by train, you can easily do so in the direction of Briançon. The town’s railway station is served by TGVs and therefore offers fast train connections to Paris or Switzerland.

9. La Rosière Espace San Bernardo ski resort

Altitude: up to 2,800 m

Kilometres of slopes: 154 km

Skiing in two different countries in just a few minutes in one day is possible in the La Rosière Espace San Bernardo ski area. Since 1986, the French ski resort has been connected to La Thuile on the Italian side of the Little St. Bernard Pass by two ski lifts. Since then, the ski resort in the Tarentaise and the small village in the Aosta Valley have formed a connected ski area, where 154 kilometres of pistes now await winter sports enthusiasts of all ages. The highest point of the ski area is 2,800 metres above sea level, 91 metres below the summit of Mont-Valaisan, from where visitors can enjoy a clear view of the mountains of the French Alps with Mont Blanc (4,810 m) on the horizon in perfect winter weather.

La Rosière winter ⛷❄

10. Val Cenis Vanoise ski area

Altitude: up to 2,800 m

Kilometres of slopes: 125 km

The Val Cenis Vanoise ski area offers skiers and snowboarders the full winter programme. From 125 kilometres of perfectly groomed pistes to culinary delights in the huts and breathtaking views of the Italian Alps. Visitors can enjoy this at 2,800 metres, the highest point of the ski area. The vantage point is just a few kilometres from the border, so that some mobile phones “think” they are no longer in France when they receive a signal. Other piste highlights in Val Cenis include “l’Escargot”, the longest green run in Europe at 10 kilometres, a challenging training slope for ambitious slalom skiers and a fun park where you can swap your skis for a rubber air cushion while tubing.

FAQ about the highest ski resorts in France

Which of the 10 highest ski resorts in France is best for beginners and families?

The Alpe d’Huez Grand Domaine Ski resort is particularly suitable for beginners and families. With its 250 kilometres of pistes, parents and their children will find an excellent mix of slopes for a family holiday. Another good option for families is the Serre Chevalier ski area, which is also particularly beginner-friendly with its 138 kilometres of green and blue pistes, i.e. easier runs.

What are the transport options to the 10 highest ski resorts in France, and which are the most accessible?

The accessibility of the ski resorts varies. Tignes Val d’Isère, for example, is connected by express train and shuttle bus from Bourg St. Maurice, which makes for a quick transfer. Also easily accessible: Serre Chevalier via Briançon railway station with express trains from Paris and Switzerland. Chamonix also has good transport links by car and by TGV from Paris and Lyon. These ski resorts therefore offer good options for travellers who prefer a comfortable journey.

Which of the 10 highest ski resorts in France offer the best views and unique off-piste experiences?

The Chamonix ski area offers breathtaking views away from the slopes. The Aiguille du Midi (3,842 m) has a spectacular viewing platform with a view of the Mont Blanc massif. Experienced freeriders can also let off steam here on the 24-kilometre-long “Vallée Blanche” ski route. Another highlight is the Alpe d’Huez ski resort, whose highest point, the Pic Blanc (3,330 m), also offers a fantastic view of the surrounding mountains.

Are there any special offers or packages for experienced skiers and freeriders in the 10 highest ski resorts in France?

The ski resorts of Les 2 Alpes and Les 3 Vallées have special offers for experienced skiers and freeriders. Les 2 Alpes has a freeride area in La Grave and a large snow park in the glacier area. Les 3 Vallées also has a variety of freeride spots and freestyle opportunities in seven snow parks and 36 fun zones, making it a mecca for freeriders and snowboarders.

Which of the 10 highest ski resorts in France offers year-round skiing fun and is also open in summer?

Les 2 Alpes is characterised as a ski resort that also offers skiing fun in summer. Some of the glacier pistes remain open throughout the warmer months, meaning that skiing here is possible all year round. This makes it an excellent choice for skiers who also want to be active on the slopes outside the traditional winter season.

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