The list of the best places to ski in France should probably be headed by Chamonix, which probably has the most outstanding reputation for destination ski resorts in France. It might have something to do with its placement right in the shadow of Europes highest peak, Mont Blanc. But, thats not to say there arent a lot of close competitors when considering ski holidays in France.

Courchevel is right up there, ranking 10th in a 2005 article entitled, “50 Best Places to Ski This Winter” in The Independent. (Chamonix actually came in 18th in that same article.) A place called Les Gets actually ranked #1 in the article, and the writer cited its great instructors, and it being “as charming a ski village as youre likely to find.”

But when considering ski holidays in France, youve got so, so much to consider. There is the famed Val dIsere, which sports 97 lifts and high-altitude skiing up to nearly 3,500 meters. There are kids clubs, kindergartens, and ski schools, and apres skiing thats both laid back and luxuriant. Where else could you find “fun family fondue,” afternoon tea, and 3-course dinners, and 389 per person ski holiday packages?

Now, back to Courchevel. This place has it all, from quaint, multi-level linked villages, to extraordinary powder for all skiing abilities, to ice skating, tobogganing, skidoo-ing, ice climbing, as well as some steaming nightlife.

And, we must tell you about what Chamonix has to offer the discerning skier or snowboarder. Contender for the title of the worlds greatest ski resort hotel is most likely Hotel Mont Blanc. Staying here in alpine style, you get Chamonix at your feet, er, skis, along with the most stunning range of intermediate and advanced skiing–certainly in the Alps, if not all of Europe. Instead of afternoon tea and evening champagne, you get your pick of 100 restaurants and some of the Alps best nightlife.

Sauze dOulx, France also ranks right up there with the best, offering alpiners nearly 400 kms of ski trails. This is the place to come if you want to party down and do some skiing, too. Its Irish and British pubs, dance clubs, cocktail and wine bars, and being one of 5 majestic villages that form the “Milky Way”, this resort plays down the extreme skiing for a more Epicurean approach.

And there you have it–the best in France.

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