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A guide to skiing in France

Updated: Sep 22, 2022

Although France is most famous for its bustling capital city and its beautiful beaches in the south, the country's mountainous areas are home to some of the most impressive skiing destinations in all of Europe.


After a long day on the slopes, it is remarkable how successfully taking in the breathtaking scenery, breathing in the crisp mountain air, and enjoying some fun après-ski activities can reduce the agony of bruises and aching muscles. If you are thinking about taking a ski vacation, I have been to the following mountain resorts, and I thought I would give you a brief synopsis of them in case you are interested.


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Villars, Switzerland

As part of a work-related ski vacation, I found myself in Villars-sur-Ollon. From my own experience, I can say that Swiss ski resorts are an excellent choice for weekend excursions. In comparison to their French and Italian equivalents, they lack the scenic qualities that make them ideal for big gatherings of people. Despite this, the vistas of the mountains are still stunning from this vantage point.


We had a comfortable stay at the Eurotel Victoria, which is a practical hotel that serves adequate meals. The location was by far the property's strongest asset. Right across the street from a ski store that rents out equipment, only a few minutes down the road from the gondola that takes you up to the slopes, and just across the street from the lengthy blue runs. In addition, there is a sauna, a steam room, and a swimming pool at the hotel.


Even though there are not many alternatives for après-ski activities on the mountain, there are a few restaurants and pubs in town that are warm and inviting. We had a terrific evening at Restaurant Vieux-Villars. Raclette and beef fondue was offered on the pre-set menu.


Following dinner, we proceeded to the Moon Boot bar, which had some interesting drinks, but the loud techno music quickly drove us away and into the arms of El Gringo, the only cheesy nightclub in town.


Too many steep drag lifts, including the, feared double T-bar, may be found on the piste. Otherwise, there is a decent range of trails available for skiers of all abilities. Skiers who are courageous and patient have the option of taking a bus and several lifts to reach the Glacier 3000 ski area at the summit of the mountain.


My go-to spot for après-ski beverages was a log cabin tavern that was located just across from the Eurotel. It is toasty indoors, and there is a picnic area outside with tables if you would like some fresh air.


The ski town I was in was not the most attractive one I had ever been to, but it was quite utilitarian. You get instant access to everything you need for a successful ski weekend.


Meribel, France


The ski cabin with catering is the way to go in the future. I was completely pampered after spending a week in a beautiful ski-in-ski-out chalet in Mirabel that slept eight people and included half-board service. We had a wonderful ski hostess who took care of us and prepared us breakfast every morning (fresh French bread and croissants, hot porridge, eggs, and bacon), left tea and cakes waiting for us in the afternoon, and then cooked us a three-course meal at home every night.


We did not even come close to spending any time at the local watering holes. After a long day (or even a short day) of skiing or snowboarding, it was far more enticing to stay in our gorgeous chalet, sit by the blazing fire, and play a few hands of cards after supper than to go out into the slopes.


I am afraid that the Trois Valleys pass was a waste of money for me, even though it grants access to eight ski resorts in the surrounding region, including Courchevel and Val Thorens. In Mirabel, there were sufficient trails available to keep a novice active for a whole week.


On the days when my muscles hurt the most, I discovered that the only kind of exercise I needed was sleep, a hike on one of the roads with switchbacks, and some window shopping in the local stores.


Piste: There was not much in the way of drag lifts, but there were plenty of lengthy, flat, and narrow traverses. These are some fatal mistakes that may be made by even the most careful snowboarder.


There are a variety of pubs and restaurants in town perfect for après ski (although we hardly left the chalet). Visit La Galette in the village for a wide selection of delicious crepes, as well as raclette and fondue to delight your taste buds.


Excellent performance in the category of charisma. Meribel is stunning, and it has enough activities and attractions to keep one busy for a whole week.


Courmayeur, Italy


At the base of Mont Blanc, in Italy, you can find the charming little ski village of Courmayeur. We were sleeping at a hotel that was just a short distance away from the enormous gondola that leads from the base of the town to the beginning of the ski region. With a multitude of open blue lines and somewhat challenging reds, the resort was ideal for novices.


Over two days, my buddies and I went on several different blue and red runs. I was able to turn even on the steepest portions of the route by the time I concluded. I still had to rely mostly on falling leaves to go down the slopes, and I also continued to tumble regularly while getting off chairlifts or when my legs were fatigued when skiing on challenging sections of the trail.


One evening, we had a wonderful time eating together as a large group in a quaint restaurant in an area of town where cars are not allowed. There was a great deal of wine, toasts made with grappa, and an Italian meal consisting of all four courses. It was the ideal way to celebrate the accomplishment of having a great and enjoyable ski weekend.


Piste has a multitude of excellent beginning slopes and a reduced number of annoying drag lifts.


Après ski: Excellent. There are many options for sunbathing and drinking hot chocolate on the slopes, as well as locations for getting into trouble and meeting new people in the town. Since it is Italian cuisine, the meal is naturally quite tasty.


Charm: Incredibly scenic and endearing in an upscale mountain resort type of way, as well as charming.


Lenzerheide, Switzerland


My very first time snowboarding took place in the picturesque mountain town of Lenzerheide, which is located about two hours outside of Zurich. I had not been on a snowboard in over six years, so the prospect of getting back on one made me a little anxious. However, I was fortunate enough to have a patient teacher who took the time to teach me the fundamentals and then cheered me on as I cautiously picked my way down the mountain.


As a novice, snowboarding and skiing are going to put a serious strain on your body. After some time had passed, I was prepared to go on to the après-board phase of the day. There were little pubs and restaurants tucked away in various locations over the slopes that served traditional Swiss-German cuisine such as wurst and rosti.


There was gluhwein and jagertee available for consumption as an after-ski pick-me-up (tea with rum in it). The combination of hard exertion and a large amount of ski clothing produced very heated circumstances; thus, a refreshingly cool beer was in order.


Following dinner, we strolled into town from the hotel to investigate the available alternatives for nightlife. We started at Nino's pub and continued the night at Cinema Club, where we danced until three in the morning.


On Sunday, a buddy and I decided to forego our usual day on the slopes and instead spend the day relaxing at the spa. We spent a couple of hours at the Hamam, which was located in one of the greatest hotels in the city. While we were there, we alternated between steam rooms, hot baths, and the application of mud masks and fragrant oils all over our bodies. Excellent relief for sore muscles.


A border could find there to be an excessive number of a button and drag lifts at this resort, even though the resort as a whole is not terrible. In addition, to go to the lifts from the hotel, we were required to take a bus.


A popular nightclub and a variety of pubs are available for après-skiing. In the majority of cases, Swiss-German cuisine is offered at restaurants.


A charming village that is home to several quaint wooden churches. Beginning to have a more urban appearance with condominiums and huge hotels.



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