When you imagine your summer holiday, what do you think of? Lying on golden, soft sands, book in one hand, Mojito in the other, all while listening to the calming sound of the lapping sea? Or hitting a mountain ski slope at 100mph and soaring through miles of powdery snow?
France is famous for its ski resorts that operate year-round, since skiing is not just confined to the winter months, but is rather an all-seasons sport enjoyed by people across the globe. However, some times of the year are better than others so it’s important to make the right choice. The best resort for you will also depend on your experience and whether you are travelling as a couple, in a group or as a family.
Here is a seasonal guide to France’s best ski and après ski resorts so you can go any time of the year.
Winter to spring – Low-season skiing in spring as opposed to winter, can mean you benefit from less harsh weather conditions. The French Alpine resort of Val Thoren in Tarentaise Valley, Savoie region, is Europe’s highest ski resort standing at a staggering altitude of 2,300m, so is ideal for spring skiers. With regards to après ski, the resort has a vibrant nightlife including bars and clubs, so why not prolong that feeling of cool with an ice-cold beer after a long day’s skiing?
For high-season winter skiing, visit Courchevel, which is great for families with children. The resort offers plenty to keep the kids occupied, including playgrounds and also special areas designed for those who are new to skiing. At night you can sample food at a Michelin-starred restaurant situated on the resort of Courchevel before setting down with a glass of glühwein with a view of the snowy slopes.
Summer to autumn – Tignes is a resort offering summer skiing and has a wide selection of hotels and chalets to choose from. The resort opens its lifts between 6 July and 4 August with the ski area open until 1pm daily, giving you the afternoon to enjoy taking in the scenery and exploring the area before heading to the town to enjoy the après ski nightlife.
The resort opens again in October and November as the snow returns – along with keen skiers looking to get in early before the high season rush.
You could also consider all-inclusive ski holidays as an alternative option as this could end up saving you money.