In partnership with Compagnie des Alpes
With sublime mountain scenery, chalet-lined villages, thrillingly steep slopes and snow-sure seasons, the Alps has a reputation as one of the best skiing destinations in the world – with good reason. But you don’t have to be the next Lindsey Vonn to enjoy an action-packed winter getaway in this beautiful part of the world.
Whatever your level of skiing ability and however varied your interests, Compagnie des Alpes has resorts and activities to suit everyone. Whether you want to brush up on your carving, try ice diving, stay in an unspoilt Alpine village with access to the highest runs or soak in a spa after a day at ski school, you’ll be covered.
In need of a little inspiration? Here are some of the Alps’ most impressive resorts, where you’ll be able to try out a whole host of winter sports – or simply let a trusty ski pass be your gateway to snow-capped vistas and winding mountain passes.
With nearly 225km of slopes, La Plagne is one vast snowscape. In the Noughties, this 1960s resort became even more boundless when it was linked to Les Arcs (which you can read more about below), creating Paradiski: a network of 425km of interconnected runs, making it one of the largest ski areas in the world. The result is that there’s something here for every kind of cold weather excursionist. Over 70% of the area is above 2,000 metres in altitude, meaning plenty of challenging runs as well as a wealth of gentler, family-friendly gradients. There are numerous pretty villages to explore, packed with restaurants, bars and shops, and the resort is continually evolving. The latest addition is a ‘glaciers gondola’ to help improve access to high-altitude skiing, by ferrying people up to the heady height of 3,000 metres, which also provides some rather incredible panoramic views over the Vanoise glaciers.Read more
Also part of the esteemed Paradiski area, Les Arcs draws visitors who are keen to try out its twisting black runs and high-altitude pistes, but the resort also features a wide choice of intermediate and family-friendly slopes, too. There’s also lots on offer here to tempt those who’d rather forgo a set of poles. As Les Arcs is a collection of villages, dotted at different altitudes in the snowy Savoie hills, there’s plenty of room for zip-lines, hiking trails, sledging tracks, illuminated exhibitions, aqua parks, wellness areas, igloo bars and much more.Read more
One of the French Alps’ most acclaimed ski areas, Tignes sports some seriously impressive features. This Val d’Isère resort is home to around 300km of slopes, 78 ski lifts and altitudes of up to 3,456 metres – meaning a longer season of reliable snow coverage. From gentle nursery slopes to thrilling black runs, there are pistes for all abilities here, alongside activities like ice diving and climbing, making it a destination for every kind of adventurer. Those after a more laid-back escape can be pampered in the spas or relax on the terrace of stylish restaurant Le Panoramic, accompanied by games or a book from the library, plus a 360-degree view of the dreamy Alpine scenery.Read more
With Olympic-grade facilities and near-guaranteed snow cover from the end of November until May, Val d’Isère has long been a favourite with top-tier skiers. But even if you’re not a black run veteran, there’s still lots to tempt you to this dramatic corner of the Alps. An extensive network of runs, lifts and off-piste terrain will satisfy skiers of all pedigree. Then there’s the village of Val d’Isère itself, a charming place featuring timber-framed Alpine chalets nestled at an altitude of 1,800 metres – the perfect cosy retreat after a long day on the slopes.Read more
Anyone with even a little skiing experience under their belt will likely be familiar with France’s famous Les 3 Vallées. Le Menuires is the region’s major resort and has become a blessing for anyone wanting to access world-famous runs without breaking the bank. The ski-in ski-out accommodation and high-grade facilities are appealingly priced, but skiing is just one part of the adventure here; igloo-building, paragliding and snowmobile rides are also on offer, alongside yoga (if you need to warm-up or cool down pre- or post-slopes) and even beer brewing – if you need some refreshment after an intense off-piste session.Read more
Full of snow-topped timber chalets and surrounded by unspoiled fir forests and Alpine meadows, Méribel is unarguably one of the prettiest resorts in the famous Les 3 Vallèes. Just two hours from Lyon, Geneva and Italy, it’s a truly vast resort, meaning there’s ample room for a great range of restaurants, bars and après-ski comforts. It’s also a gateway to 600km of mountains, housing a wide variety of slopes. When you visit Méribel, factor-in time to try something a little different, such as heli-skiing, snowboarding or even tubing sessions.Read more
Grand Massif’s five resorts – Flaine, Les Carroz, Morillon, Samoëns and Sixt-Fer-à-Cheval – give direct access to 265km of runs spread across 139 slopes, featuring everything from steep downhill runs to cross-country tracks through magical Alpine landscapes. Flaine is the highest of the resorts and it’s possible to reach peaks that soar up to 2,500 metres. Away from the slopes, there are other, unexpected delights on offer at Flaine for fans of art and architecture: admire the striking architectural vision of the resort’s designer Marcel Breuer (a student of the Bauhaus school, no less) and be wowed by outdoor sculptures from the likes of Picasso (yes, that Picasso) and Jean Dubuffet. Once you’ve finished marvelling at invaluable works by iconic artists, wind down with a spot of mountain karting or take in a concert at Flaine’s high-spec auditorium.Read more
What sets Serre Chevalier apart from the Alps’ other ski resorts? Here, three villages and the bustling town of Briançon have amalgamated into one sprawling, vibrant, winter sports hub. That hub boasts 82 runs stretched over 410 hectares, with 80% of slopes sitting at more than 2,000 metres, which means greater snow coverage. The area is also full of history (visit 14th-century Fort du Château or the 16th-century Eglise St-Marcellin church for a glimpse into ancient times) and there’s a selection of naturally toasty thermal baths when you want to raise the temperature.Read more
Whether you’ve been slicing up the slopes since you were a toddler or you’re just starting out, it’s never too late to perfect your skills or try something new – that’s where Evolution 2 comes in. This outdoor sports specialist shop is run by qualified adventure professionals waiting to introduce you to exciting winter sports or to help hone your ski skills. Sign up for private lessons, take part in a ski tour with a bespoke itinerary or try more unusual activities, like ice floating, ice climbing and ice driving. To get you started on your winter sports journey, the first 500 customers to use the code EJxE2 at Evolution 2 will receive a €15 discount on all activities during the winter season.Read more