Spain Guide

France Guide


French Ski Holidays France

mountain 1209497 640

If you are going skiing in France you can either organise everything yourself, seeking out the best deals on Flights to France, accommodation, lift passes and ski equipment hire, or you can opt to buy a package ski holiday where you pay one price and the holiday company sorts everything else out for you. This can be a useful option if you are fairly busy and do not have time to pick over the finer details of your ski holiday yourself.

With a package holiday you pay a lump sum, say £500 for a week's skiing, and this will include your flights, transfers from the airport to the ski resort, lift passes, any skiing lessons, accommodation and ski hire. All you have to do is turn up at the airport with some appropriate clothing.

Ski holidays are a great way to go abroad with a large group of people because you can rent a chalet for a week, which can often work out cheaper than staying in a hotel. For more about types of skiing accommodation, click here. Skiing is also a good vacation for a family as there is lots for everyone to do during the day be it taking skiing lessons, exploring the slopes, wandering round the shops or relaxing in the sunshine. Couples enjoy skiing holidays because there is ample opportunity to huddle up in front of a log fire in an alpine cabin. It is quite important to get the balance right with the skiers' abilities though as if you are not of a similar level you might find you spend most of the week in different groups, or with one partner feeling dissatisfied with the difficulty of the slopes.

Ski resorts in France have many and varied restaurants that can accommodate both large groups and more intimate parties. You might want to try some of the regional cuisine, say the Savoyard cuisine in Savoie (where you will find Les Trois Vallées), which is especially designed with the cold and hungry skier in mind. It often consists of lots of cheese, bacon, cream and potatoes in various guises, such as tartiflette. For those who wish to stay up later, there are always plenty of bars and clubs that entice skiers into their midst with offers on cheap après ski (post skiing drinks). Don't drink too much if you have to ski home though!

Once you have decided where you are going to go skiing in France, what type of holiday you want (package or make your own), and then booked the flights and accommodation, all that is left to do is to pray for some snow to fall.

What type of snow there is in your chosen ski resort will have a drastic effect on your skiing experience. Too little snow, too much ice, too soft snow, all of these cause problems for some skiers and have advantages for others. Luckily there are lots of guides and snow reports available, online, on the television and over the phone, that will help you to locate the best snow for your skiing ability and style.

When you are reading a snow report for France some of the abbreviations you might find are as follows:

SC spring conditions

VC variable conditions

FRGR frozen granular

LSGR loose granular

MGS machine groomed

PDR powder

PP packed powder

HP hard packed

WETGR wet granular

WETSN wet snow

Snow can be hard, soft, fresh, wet or spring snow.

The online snow report sites are useful because you can either search per resort, useful if you have already booked and want to keep track of conditions, or you can look up your perfect snow conditions and then decide where to go skiing, which is particularly useful if you are booking at the last minute.

The snow report will tell you how deep the snow is in the resort and in the upper runs; the piste conditions; when the last snowfall was; how many trails are open; how many lifts are open; what the operating hours of lifts are; and list the time of report so you know how up to date it is. Snow reports are online right into May, when only the highest resorts such as Val Thorens will have any lifts open.

Some snow reports give useful and detailed information about individual ski resorts. They also do weather forecasts for the next three days, or the next week, and sometimes have live webcams of certain resorts so you can see the conditions for yourself.

Occasionally a site may require you to subscribe to access the more detailed information, but there is lots of good, free information available. You can even get updates sent to you by text!