The French Alps are potentially the most famous of all winter sports destinations, which is hardly surprising, given their long association with skiing as a sport. The resort of La Clusaz just west of Mont Blanc is thought to be the oldest still in existence, having been founded in 1907. Many of the most glamorous ski resorts are located in the Alps, but there are also many which focus firmly on the quality of the skiing experience, rather than the celebrity head count!
Top recommendations for winter sports hotspots in the Alps
Your idea of where’s best to ski in the Alps will depend on a number of factors. For example, what is your level of skill? Are you up for a challenge or do you need to take things a bit more carefully? What kind of skiing do you enjoy? (Yes, there are opportunities for cross-country, as well as downhill skiing in the French Alps).
If you’re looking for a more gentle introduction to skiing, Megève has a great mix of all levels of runs, as does Alpe d’Huez. Meanwhile, Morillon in le Grand Massif boasts an extremely long green run called Marvel. The famous resort of Courchevel also offers lots of runs for all abilities. A lot of investors buy apartments in the Alps for the luxury of the resorts. Serre Chevalier has a good reputation for red slopes, as does Les Arcs and Val d’Isère.
For lovers of black runs, Alpe d’Huez has some of the longest black runs in the Alps. Meanwhile, Les Arcs’ and Chamonix Mont Blanc’s black runs will test even the most hardened skiers. For cross-country enthusiasts, Meribel and Courchevel are generally seen as the best options, with Meribel suited to all levels, as well as to snowboarding.
Accommodation options for your Alpine ski holiday
There are obviously multiple kinds of accommodation available in the French Alps, from 5 star hotels to chalets, guesthouses, self-catering accommodation and youth hostels. But have you ever thought about buying an apartment in the mountains?
There’s a lot to be said for buying your own holiday home in the region, especially if you intend to be a regular visitor to this part of the world. Many resorts have rental properties boasting very high occupancy levels, given that the Alps has become a year-round holiday destination. This means you can cover the cost of your property purchase and still reserve some time for yourself in a property in the resort of your choice.
What’s more, the popularity of the Alps as a tourist destination is unlikely to change any time soon, so properties here can represent a good investment in the long-term should you ever want to sell your apartment in later life.