For every avid skiing enthusiast, the French Alps are the ultimate winter sports destination. A true slice of winter wonderland paradise, France has a well-earned reputation for boasting a collection of some of the world's most magnificent snow filled playgrounds. Here is our choice of the top 5 skiing destinations in the French Alps.
Val d'IsÈre is one of the very best destinations for any avid snowboarder or advanced skier to enjoy. With some of the best slopes and terrain providing the perfect challenge for any intermediate winter sport junkie, it is the perfect place for those with previous ski experience. Of course, you don't have to be a pro to get the most of out of your stay here. There are plenty of tracks for beginners and newbies, but this is one of the only destinations we consider to have the best of both worlds. Book well in advance and don't forget to book your ski lessons if you are a beginner.
Chamonix is an exclusive and upmarket Alpine town that is heaving with grand villas, ski resorts, and plenty of snowboarders and serious ski enthusiasts from all over the world. One of the most famous ski destinations and a favorite to many locals, anybody who is serious about boarding or skiing knows about Chamonix. The best time to come here if you are looking for a real ski resort ambience is on the weekend, as during the week Chamonix can lose its ambiance, but the slopes are less crowded!
Out of all the resorts, Tignes is the one that can just about guarantee you something like 10 months of excellent snowy conditions throughout the year. In fact, it is known that some skiers have been able to ski from the top of the Grande Motte glacier right down to the station at Val Claret. And for those in the know, that is no small feat; with a drop of some 1400m it's a spectacular slope, even more so, considering that there are not many other resorts anywhere in the world that can even come close to offering that in the middle of February.
4. Val Thorens
Val Thorens is a great ski destination for beginners as a late season choice. The resort offers gentle snow even in the warmer winter months, and green runs with carpet lifts. And if you are feeling brave, you can check out the lower slopes where there are 3 fairly serious lifts waiting there for you. However, if you are a snowboarder, then Val Thorens is possibly the best place to get your board out. Excellent gullies, manicured pistes, steep runs and a fantastic terrain park make it worth every cent.
5. La Plagne
The terrain parks at La Plagne are brilliantly catered. There is a huge variety and plenty for everyone, from the super beginner to the pros. Possibly one of the best places to learn how to ski, there are some great zones for freestylers here as well, and the resort has a good reputation for having mostly good snow. Great for cross country and snowboarding as well, just make sure that you find your way into the right area and don't find yourself, as a novice, right smack in the middle of the freestyle zone.
France rightly remains among the top destinations for winter tours to Europe. With great snow, great ambience and excellent resort facilities, no lover of winter sports will be disappointed with the French snow playgrounds.
Candice is an avid skier, and has spend much time in Europe. She writes for TravAddict.com's travel blog.