Skiing in the French Alps

  • Sports & outdoors
  • France
  • 7 min read
Skiing in the French Alps

Fun and affordable, the French Alps is a popular choice for skiers UK-wide. With the amount of ski resorts available it’s easy to see why.

Discover all the joys of the French Alps with a family skiing holiday to some of Europe’s most spectacular resorts. Regardless of whether you’re a beginner or practically a professional, the French Alps has plenty to offer.

With huge mountains, great snow conditions, and resorts suitable for all abilities, the French Alps is always a popular choice when it comes to selecting a destination for a skiing holiday.

Combining the charm of the traditional Savoyard Mountain villages with access to big lift networks, the possibilities for skiing and snowboarding are endless. The mountains are also home to Mont Blanc, western Europe’s highest peak, which offers more adventurous visitors’ endless opportunities for ski mountaineering, steep skiing and adrenaline fuelled off-piste descents.

Plus, when they’re not hitting the slopes, skiers can enjoy a fantastic range of stunning food and wine. Must try local dishes include raclette, fondue and tartiflette, along with Beaujolais, Côtes du Rhône and Savoy wine.

Affordable skiing for the whole family

Skiing in France is a fun and cost-effective holiday option for skiers across the UK. The numerous ski resorts mean there’s something to suit almost every budget and as most French Alpes Ski resorts are easily accessible by car, you’ll have the opportunity to make the most of the incredible scenery as you drive. 

Family of four in different colored ski jackets skiing down in snowy slope past snow covered fur trees

Ski resorts in the French Alps

You don’t have to be a pro skier to enjoy everything that the French Alpes has to offer. Most resorts have the ability to cater for every level, with a variety of beginner runs and nursery slopes for you to get to grips with the sport, fun and fast red runs for intermediates and more challenging black runs for the advanced. Here are our top picks of skiing resorts to look out for.


Located at the base of Mont Blanc and host of the first ever Winter Olympics in 1924 the Chamonix resort is known to have some of the best slopes in the Alps. It takes 7 hours and 46 minutes to drive there from Calais, with the route winding through the stunning alpine countryside.

Chamonix is made up of five amazing resorts, but Les Houches resort is the most family friendly and has the best low-altitude conditions. Aside from enjoying time on the slopes, there are also plenty of other activities available at the resort. A popular choice with families is the Arbre Aventure, where the whole family can zoom between trees on zip wires, climb up rope ladders and daringly skywalk! The town is also bursting with bars and restaurants, so you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to dining.

Equally, after a hard day on the slopes, you’ll have the chance to enjoy some luxury treatments at Spa Vinotherapie. The spa has an excellent pool and a sauna that's perfect for unwinding and soothing any sore muscles after a busy day of skiing and snowboarding.

Evening Sunset At Ski Resort Village, Chamonix Mont-Blanc over snow covered buildings

Val Thorens

Built at the top of Belleville valley, and forming part of the Three Valleys Network, Val Thorens is known for having one of the longest and most reliable ski seasons anywhere, making it a great choice for anyone looking at an early or late season break. The drive to Val Thorens will take around 8 hours and 40 minutes from Calais, but the easily navigable access road you’ll use means that you’ll be able to relax and enjoy the journey.

Once you arrive, Val Thorens has plenty to offer. The high altitude means it’s easy for snow to be artificially or naturally made, so there should be plenty of opportunities for skiing on a mixture of man-made or natural slopes. When it comes to après ski Val Thorens doesn’t disappoint, as there are plenty of clubs and bars for you to enjoy.


The 9-and-a-half-hour drive from Calais is more than worth it when you arrive at Tignes, a world-class ski resort on the Grande Motte Glacier. With distinct villages and a fantastic variety of snowsure slopes, skiing doesn’t get any better than at Tignes.

The resort itself features 300km of piste across the Tignes-Val d’Isère area (formerly called the Espace Killy), with different types of slopes to suit all preferences and abilities. Tignes is made up of several different villages, all at different altitudes and with different atmospheres.

For the best access to the glacier and all the action, Val Claret is a great place to stay. If you prefer something more relaxing, Le Lavachet, Tignes 1800 or Les Brévières have great access to the slopes and plenty of places to unwind.

If you fancy a day off from skiing, you can book to go diving under the surface of the resort’s lake, or head for the Bun J Ride, which combines ski jumping, bungee jumping and ziplining.

Ski station of Tignes in winter, with letters Tignes and people walking `


If you fancy spoiling your family, then head to the upmarket Megève skiing resort which is a 7hrs 49 minute drive from the Calais terminal. Located in a traditional Savoyard town, with medieval architecture, restaurants and quaint shops, it's a great place for a family holiday. The resort offers a number of reasonably priced ski passes, including the Family Pack pass, which offers great deals on a variety of lessons. Whether your little ones want to learn how to ski, snowboard or just ride sledges in the snow, they're bound to have a lot of fun.

The resort also includes a heated outdoor swimming pool, with a super-fast slide and paddling pool for your kids, as well as a sauna for you to relax in. Indulge in a little R&R at the onsite Espace Dètente du Flocons de Sel. Here you can choose from a number of massages and beauty treatments, which are an ideal way to relax after spending the day on the slopes.

Megève also has the added bonus of having plenty of pet-approved chalets, which means you can enjoy hitting the slopes with the company of your canine friend. Enjoy exploring some of the incredible mountain walks together and unwinding at the end of the day in one of the numerous dog-friendly après ski bars.


Situated in the Haute Savoi region of the French Alps is Flaine, a picturesque skiing resort that is a relaxing 7hr 50minute drive from the Le Shuttle terminal. There are many different options of accommodation available, ranging from cosy wooden chalets, hotel suites and even luxury apartments for those of you looking to splash out.

For younger children, the Flaine resort hosts a skiing kindergarten that focuses on providing playful, safe and entertaining lessons so that kids have plenty of fun while gliding around on the snow and learning to ski. Off the slopes, older kids can have just as much fun, getting involved in a range of activities including dog sledging, rock climbing and even paragliding.

The resort is home to many fantastic restaurants and pubs that cater to a whole range of tastes. L'Ancolie is a great restaurant to try if you want to sample some classic French fare, and they also host wine tasting evenings.

If this wasn't enough already, there is still plenty to do when you're not skiing, including watching the latest blockbuster at the cinema, dancing to your favourite tunes at the discothèque, and enjoying a relaxing swim in the pool. You can also browse the quaint local shops that specialise in delicious cheeses, meats, and fresh vegetables.

Snow covered mountainside and chalets in Flaine


A scenic 8hr 28 minute journey from Calais, Meribel is another great resort for families; jam packed with activities, entertainment and great restaurants to satisfy all appetites.

There are a number of ski packages with instructors that cater to all levels of skiers and snowboarders, and the resort also has secured zones that are perfect for those who want to try their hand at freestyling. A great area to take your kids is the Inuit Village, where a variety of obstacles and games have been set out for your kids to enjoy, whilst still practising their skiing skills.

In the resort's Olympic Centre you'll find plenty of things to keep your family entertained, from skating in the ice rink, splashing about in the pool to working up a sweat in the gym. Alternatively, unwind with a treatment of your choice at the spa with a wide range of luxurious treatments on offer.

Drive to the French Alps with LeShuttle

Get ready to hit the slopes with LeShuttle. Each of these fantastic ski resorts is an easy drive from our Calais terminal, so you’ll be able to maximise your time in the snow.

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