When it comes to winter wonderlands, the French Alps take the croquant biscuit.
They’re Europe’s largest mountain chain (extending for 1,000km) and cover a surface area of around 35,000km in France.
At 4810m, Mont Blanc is the highest peak, but as well as their glaciers and snow, the Northern and Southern Alps also have spruce and fir forests and a number of national parks and iconic lakes.
The varied terrain means that as well as world-class skiing and snowboarding, summer activities like hiking, mountain biking and white water rafting are also on offer and extend the appeal of this amazing area to visitors of diverse tastes.
Here’s some more information on France’s most stunning ski resorts.
Part of the Portes du Soleil Ski Area, Les Gets is linked to 11 other French and Swiss ski resorts and 600km of slopes that snake down from glaciers and across pastures and pine forests.
The best skiing is at the high-altitude Ranfoilly/Rosta section and at the picnic area of Les Nauchets you can enjoy panoramic views of the valley while enjoying a light snack.
Tip: take the Alta Lumina trail for an immersive experience that’s truly magical.
Méribel is the central resort of the iconic Three Valleys ski area, which includes 15 summits above 2500m and six glaciers.
At 2952m, the Mont Vallon is the highest skiing point in this area and it offers a mind-blowing view of the Grand Cass and Gébrolaz Glacier as you sweep down the 1000m drop on one of the world’s prettiest pistes.
But as well as the majestic mountain scenery, this resort is also famous for architecture which retains the authentic Alpine chalet style but updates it to meet the demands of the modern era.
Tip: book with Erna Low for Méribel ski holidays including accommodation, ski hire and more.
Also part of the Three Valleys, super high-altitude Val Thorens is famous for peerless fresh powder and partying the night away at après-ski venues like La Folie Douce.
But you don’t even need to strap yourself to skis or a snowboard to see some of its best views. Take a hike along trails like the 2 Lacs Path which runs parallel with the Junior Space piste and takes you downhill past the Moraine chairlift station and along the ‘Combe de Thorens’ or alternatively, The Marine Path, which crosses Les Dalles ski run and along mountain ridges past the terrific frozen Tête Ronde Lake.
Tip: from the top of Cime de Caron you can see the Peclet Glacier, Mont Brequin, Mont Blanc and more.
As you can see, the Alps are blessed with an array of natural riches and even if you don’t ski or snowboard, there are many other ways to explore them all year round.
But whichever resort you choose, you can always expect a warm welcome in a chilly climate.
What’s your favourite French Alps resort? Let us know in the comments section.