First world region for winter sports, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes meets all needs and lends itself to all holiday plans. Enjoying a long season from November to May, its 173 stations generate nearly 40 million skier-days, or 75% of the national volume. From Mont-Blanc, the highest point of the Alps, to the volcanic massifs of Auvergne via the Jura mountains, the tourist offer comes in all its forms. Between authenticity and state-of-the-art facilities, between charming villages, family, sports or party resorts and high-altitude areas, the region offers access to all experiences.
If the territory presents a great diversity of reliefs, the Alps nonetheless remain the figurehead. With the largest ski area in the world, elected Olympic land 3 times and perfectly accessible with 4 international airports, the Alps are THE destination for all pleasures, all passions.
The emblematic Mont-Blanc massif is home to several historic Alpine resorts ranging from Chamonix to Megève, via Saint-Gervais Mont Blanc, Les Houches, Combloux and Les Contamines-Montjoie.
Mythical destination associated with the conquest of the summits, cosmopolitan resort, Chamonix offers the privilege of skiing of all levels facing the Mont-Blanc range, thanks in particular to the areas of Grands Montets and Brévent or to the natural route of the Vallée Blanche. The Chamonix-Mont-Blanc Valley also includes the village resort of Argentière and that of Les Houches with its traditional hamlets and its exceptional panorama of the Aiguilles.
A few kilometers away, the Evasion Mont-Blanc ski area allows you to ski on 450 km of slopes between alpine chalets and forests. It connects the splendid and chic resort of Megève, with the sporty resort-village of Saint-Gervais, while connecting the family Combloux. The same pass also allows you to ski down the slopes of Contamines-Montjoie, and to appreciate an extraordinary setting on Mont-Blanc and the Dôme de Miage.
Large linked ski areas
The French Alps are renowned for the remarkable quality of the ski areas which offer an exceptional network of slopes. They are the first destination in the world to offer such a world of skiing! Equipped with a fleet of very efficient ski lifts, the large connected areas provide hours of descents in an ever-changing setting.
With 600 km of slopes connecting the resorts of Val Thorens, Ménuires, Méribel and Courchevel, the 3 valleys area is the largest ski area in the world! Equally magical, the Portes du Soleil area, straddling 12 resorts, covers a network of 283 trails.
Also count among these spectacular vastness: the "Paradiski" area in Les Arcs-La Plagne with 425 km of slopes, the "Espace Tignes-Val d'Isère"or the "Sybelles", the largest area of Maurienne and 4th field of France. The "Alpe d'Huez Grand Domaine" is also a vast playground where it is possible to ski for 1h30 without taking the ski lift!
Land of predilection for all skiers, the resorts of the Alps enjoy an international reputation in terms of sports. An exceptional natural environment, efficient equipment, major world events and champions, have woven this reputation since the beginning of winter sports.
From 1924, Chamonix hosted the first winter games. An emblematic resort, it remains the scene of great performances with its legendary track "La verte des Houches" where the Kandahar, a World Cup event, takes place. The Chamonix Mont-Blanc Valley area is popular with athletes from all over the world who can indulge all their passions here: downhill skiing, snowboarding, telemark, freeride, freestyle, ski-discovery, off-piste...
With its 300 km of slopes and its slalom or mogul stadiums, the "Espace Tignes-Val d'Isère" is also the setting for all challenges. For skiers looking for thrills, this area offers countless possibilities and the best off-piste spots in the world.
While the best young snowboarders in the world meet in "La Clusaz", paradise for new slides, for the Freeride Junior Tour, other resorts also excel in the art of shaping snow. Avoriaz, Tignes, Chamrousse, les 2 Alpes, Méribel, or even the 7 Laux, and Val Thorens have a multitude of snowparks, bordercross, half pipe and fun trails. Astonishing equipment designed for the enjoyment of all.
Renowned for its sports slopes, the "2 Alpes" ski area is the largest glacier ski area in Europe. Culminating at an altitude of 3600 meters, it allows the practice of winter and summer snow sports.
The “premium” and chic stations
Among the great diversity of Alpine resorts, some have in common the choice of excellence. These “premium” stations combine elegance, authenticity, art of living, emotions, comfort and styles. Grandiose environment, state-of-the-art facilities and equipment, traditional architecture, exceptional establishments, starred restaurants, spa, luxury shops…. These universes are designed to meet the most demanding requirements.
At the heart of the largest ski area in the world, the Courchevel and Méribel resorts are seeing things in a big way! With its many palaces and 5* hotels, its 7 Michelin-starred restaurants, Courchevel is a concentrate of chic and prestige. A typically Savoyard resort, Méribel is popular for its luxurious chalets (with direct access to the slopes), its wellness area, its local flavors...
Val d'Isère, elegant, authentic and sporty, has also retained its Savoyard allure with its traditional architecture in wood, stone and slate. Its rentals and top-of-the-range hotels with services also make it a highly coveted resort. Megève, finally, cultivates its select charm imbued with centuries-old tradition in the middle of the mountains. Authentic chalets, reference houses and starred chefs make it a fine ambassador of Savoyard gastronomy and its some 200 shops, a hotspot for international shopping.
Old villages converted to winter sports, the village resorts have the charm of the authentic and the picturesque. Anchored in mountain culture, each resort has its history, its personality and its way of life.
The "Chaîne des Aravis" is home to 2 renowned resorts: La Clusaz, the most sporty and perfectly accessible, and Le Grand Bornand, the most authentic. This village of the 17th century preserved admirable chalets bicentennial and culinary traditions! This is where the "Pela" is tasted, a traditional dish with reblochon, the local cheese.
Halfway between Mont-Blanc and Lake Geneva, the Morzine resort owes its warm and friendly atmosphere to its forest environment, its wooden habitat and its slate roofs. Also located in the Chablais massif, Les Gets resort has the advantage of being away from the big spots while being connected to the vast "Portes du Soleil" area. With Mont-Blanc in the background, Combloux appears as "The pearl of the Alps in its setting of glaciers". A carriage ride allows you to explore this idyllic setting, to discover its baroque church and its old farms. Only 4 km away, the silhouette of old Megève is recognizable by the copper bulb of the Saint Jean Baptiste church. The brilliant destiny of this old Savoyard village in no way affects its authenticity.
The Vercors also has its village resorts. In particular the resort of Villard-de-Lans / Corrençon-en-Vercors which unites 2 very complementary villages: a village lively all year round and a peaceful mountain village for an exceptional family destination.
Because taking care of the reception of children also means ensuring the well-being of parents, choosing resorts suitable for families is a guarantee of satisfaction, the guarantee of successful holidays. In order to pamper children, make life easier for parents and promote shared moments, the resorts' innovative equipment and services are important assets for families.
Of course, there are nurseries and snow gardens in the catalog of essentials. The Sybelles resort has no less than 8! In Ménuires, the reception of children at the "Club des Piou-Piou" from the age of 3 months is an additional advantage. Other essentials: play areas and fun areas such as the Marmottons course or the Elf forest in Les Saisies, the Vikings fun trail in Les Sybelles, or the Valkid in Valmeinier...
As for activities, the resorts are full of imagination and originality. Sleigh rides, pony sledges from 18 months and an ice rink reserved for children in Le Grand-Bornand, igloo construction workshop in Villard-de-Lans...
The region offers a string of family resorts where a friendly atmosphere, simplicity and security generate a climate of absolute relaxation: Avoriaz (the only 100% pedestrianized resort in France!), Val-Cenis, La Plagne or even Valmorel to name but a few in the Alps.
Mid-mountain resorts in Auvergne such as Super-Besse, Mont-Dore or Lioran open up other perspectives for family skiing on the slopes of volcanoes and enjoying unspoiled surroundings.
Young and festive resorts
“Skiing holidays” go far beyond sports. It is a broad concept of leisure, relaxation and letting go that rhymes with parties and pleasures. Music, dance and good food are on the program.
This alliance of mountain, music and cuisine is at the origin of a true "Sweet madness". A very trendy brand today established in 8 resorts, from Val d'Isère to Chamonix via Val Thorens, Méribel, Alpe d'Huez, Saint Gervais, Avoriaz and les Arcs. Everywhere, a frenzied cocktail of festivities enlivens the days: clubbing atmosphere on the slopes, local dishes, chic canteens, unique shows and improbable shows… enough to satisfy all festive desires!
At the heart of the most festive resorts, the season is in full swing to the rhythm of pop rock or electro with unmissable events every year: Tomorowland Winter at Alpe d'Huez, the Rock the Pistes festival in Avoriaz or the Rise Festival in Les 2 Alpes. DJs on the snow, dance floors, bars, events, concerts offer fans a thousand and one ways to be entertained.
If the Alps are renowned for their areas dedicated to alpine skiing and new forms of skiing, they nonetheless remain a destination of choice for the practice of Nordic skiing. The extreme beauty of the Alpine landscapes, the grandiose panoramas make some flagship resorts the most beautiful experiences in nature.
The Saisies resort offers, for example, 120 km of cross-country ski trails at an altitude of over 1600 m, remarkable snow cover and a superb biathlon site (with the most beautiful shooting range in the Alps!). In the unspoiled setting of the Regional Nature Reserve (Les Tourbières des Saisies), this area looks like the far north, alternating wild forests and wide open spaces with views of Mont-Blanc.
The Nordic area of Savoie Grand Revard is another source of sensations. With 150 km of slopes in the heart of the wooded Bauges massif and 3 entrance gates, La Féclaz, Revard or Saint-François de Sales, the resort is one of the leading Nordic skiing destinations. The Vercors is also a benchmark in this area! The Nordic site of Haut-Vercors offers an area of 155 km of skating and alternative trails, recognized and favored by the greatest champions!
In the Ain Mountains, the Vattay domain in Mont Jura is also a very popular place. With its 146 km of double lane tracks (classic and skating) it is particularly appreciated by Nordic lovers.
Thermal ski resorts
In addition to the pleasures of skiing, many ski resorts are also synonymous with getting back into shape and rejuvenating. Some resorts have the privilege of reconciling all expectations by associating these 2 universes.
Recognized for the benefits of its naturally warm waters, Saint-Gervais is renowned for its thermal baths since the 19th century. This ski resort linked to the "Évasion Mont-Blanc" area also has relaxation, relaxation and treatment areas. An ideal destination to alternate sweet moments of total serenity and long hours of great skiing.
At the foot of the 3 valleys, the Bride-les-Bains resort shares this dual vocation. Baths, sensory showers, ice fountains, treatments, massages... the equipment of the "Grand Spa Thermal", are the guarantee of excellent moments of well-being.
Winter sports resorts are far from being limited to skiing. They offer a multitude of activities to enjoy the snow without skiing. Starting with the pleasures of sledding!
For amateurs, to try absolutely: the toboggan park of the "Colline des Bains" in Villars-de-Lans or the 6 km of Cosmojet in Val Thorens, the longest toboggan run in France. Without forgetting, the slopes of Toussuire, Megève or Grand Revard. Other very exotic adventures, dog sled rides! The Jura mountains and the Vercors massif with its open reliefs and large plateaus are mushers' paradise. These team pilots, are numerous to offer beautiful expeditions in the heart of nature.
Snowshoe hikes in the Bauges, Chartreuse, Vercors or Sancy massifs are also very popular, to admire the snow-capped volcanoes.
The water parks in the Alps have extremely efficient facilities and well-being areas that are unanimous for moments of relaxation after hours of skiing. The Aquamotion in Courchevel presents spectacular attractions with a 3-track slide with 2 floors and a surf wave as well as an endless list of treatments. While the lagoon in Tignes offers a breathtaking view, Forme d'O in Châtel displays a resolutely contemporary style. In Avoriaz, Aquariaz immerses visitors in a tropical environment, while the spa at the Palais de Megève invites you to discover the benefits of swimming outdoors in the middle of winter.
In the heart of the mountains, most hotels have spas, from the most classic to the most sumptuous, for real sensory experiences: the Airelles, the K2 collections or the Barrière des neiges in Courchevel; the Alpaca, the Fermes de Marie or the Four Seasons in Megève, the Koh-i Nor in Val Thorens, the Chamois d'Or in Alpe d'Huez… the list is marvelously long!
Gourmet tables and emblematic chefs
Expression of a terroir rich in specificities, the cuisine of the Alps occupies an important place in French gastronomy. The ski resorts bring their share of refinement. The greatest chefs honor these high places of Alpine tourism with their talents, headed by the 3 Valleys and Megève areas. In this corner of the Alps, excellence seems proportional to the immensity of the areas!
The largest estate in the world holds the record for starred tables with 11 restaurants including Cheval Blanc by Yannick Alleno and La Bouitte by René and Maxime Meilleur, both admitted to the restricted circle of 3 stars.
Megève is no exception with Flocon de sel, Emmanuel Renaut's 3-star establishment. This charming resort has been cultivating its know-how and the art of hospitality for nearly 100 years. Ambassador of mountain flavors, it celebrates the work of producers, artisans and daring cooks. Here traditional recipes are revisited, local products enhanced.
New trendy accommodations
An infinite palette of unusual places and atmospheres is suitable to satisfy all desires. Desires from elsewhere, of great comfort or spectacular, in tribe mode, romance or solitary version, for party lovers or sportsmen, anything is possible!
Revamped youth hostels, the Hostels Ho 36 des Ménuires or de la Plagne offer rooms for 2 to 10 people, a relaxed and warm atmosphere, places to share. The atypical concept of La Folie Douce Hotels in Chamonix is another concept of living together that transforms stays into unforgettable holiday memories. It is a place apart which cultivates a beautiful energy and takes care of the comfort of its guests a bit like Rocky Pop in Chamonix or Flaine.
For those looking for the unusual, the resorts in the Alps have never ceased to amaze. While the igloo rooms in Avoriaz make dreams of polar expeditions come true, Over the Moon, a comfortably furnished snow groomer, allows you to spend a cocooning night at 2400m under the sky of La Plagne.
As for the Solaise refuge in Val-d'Isère (the highest hotel in France!), It has all the assets for a grandiose experience. Nature lovers in search of originality will opt for the Chéry Dôme in Les Gets, a unique room in a dome facing Mont-Blanc, or a tree house...