The Top 5 Best French Ski Resorts for Spring Skiing

The Top 5 Best French Ski Resorts For Spring Skiing

The time you take your skiing holiday can dramatically make a difference to your experience. Visiting the French Alps towards the end of the winter and early spring offers a very different experience than if you were to ski in January. Some people prefer spring skiing, so what do they like about it, and where do they go? In this article, we will go through what spring skiing is like and highlight the best French ski resorts for spring skiing.

Why Go Skiing In Spring?

There are a few advantages of spring skiing that may help you decide when to book your trip to the French Alps.

Firstly, the temperatures at the end of winter and early spring are much milder than the rest of the season. This means you don’t have to wear lots of layers to stay comfortable; in fact, you can often get away with skiing or snowboarding in a hoodie. The other advantage of heading to a ski resort in spring is that having lunch on a sun-drenched terrace is a much more pleasant experience than shivering in sub-zero temperatures.

Other than the Easter holidays, spring skiing in the French Alps in April is one of the quietest periods of the season. This means you have more space on the slopes and shorter lift queues, and it’s a great time for beginners, as they don’t have to worry about dealing with cold weather and hordes of skiers everywhere.

There is a more laid-back atmosphere at this time of year, too. This is partly down to the feeling that everyone in the resort is loving the weather, but the style of skiing is different than usual. The snow early in the morning is pretty solid after melting throughout the day and freezing overnight. Therefore, most people have a lie-in and a longer breakfast while the snow softens under the sun.

You will also find that the snow gets slushy later in the day. Some people love this, but it’s not every skier’s cup of tea, so this is the perfect opportunity to head to the après bars early.

The warmer temperatures and extended days mean you can enjoy longer aprés sessions outside before the sun drops behind the mountains. These outside après drinks are often accompanied by DJs and live bands, creating an almost beach-like atmosphere, which nobody can complain about.

But before you indulge in too many après drinks, you may want to check out the shops. This is the time of year when they dramatically reduce their prices, so you may get next year’s outfit or equipment for a fraction of the cost.

Where To Go Skiing In Spring

The best ski resorts for spring skiing are generally at higher altitudes. Those above 1800 meters have better snow and a more lively atmosphere than those at low altitudes. Therefore we have listed the top five best French ski resorts for spring skiing.

Spring Skiing In Val Thorens
Val Thorens ski resort © Top Snow Travel

La Bergerie de Plan-Praz is ideally located high above Chamonix at the Brevant mid-station, offering arguably the best view of the Mont Blanc range, so don’t forget your camera.

Val Thorens

Val Thorens is a high-altitude resort at 2300 meters, making it the highest in Europe. This high altitude means the snow conditions are excellent throughout the whole season, which ends in May. There are many slopes above 2000 m, and some are on glaciers, so you can enjoy fantastic snow in sunny conditions.

Val Thorens is based in the famous 3 Valleys, the world’s largest connected ski area. Therefore, there are plenty of slopes for skiers and snowboarders of all abilities to enjoy. Much of the accommodation is ski-in-ski-out, which makes a stay in this resort incredibly convenient as you’re always close to the action.

The resort puts on many fun things to do and see in spring. For example, you can watch the action and fold at the 3 Vallees Enduro, a competition for skiers, snowboarders and telemarkers from all over the ski area. You can expect to see freestyle competitions and races of all kinds. The races are open to all abilities, so if you want to participate, sign up for a fun day out.

If you visit Val Thorens at the end of April, you can enjoy a weekend of fun by attending the unforgettable closing party. This notorious end-of-season shindig is called 360 Val Thorens, featuring some of the coolest artists ever to grace a ski resort.

Tignes rightly so definitely makes it in our Top 5 Best ski resorts for Spring Skiing with its high altitude villages sitting at 2,100m (Tignes Le Lac, Le Lavachet & Val Claret) combined with the Grande Motte Glacier at 3,500m and one of the ski resorts for winter activities in the French Alps.

Tignes

Tignes is one of the best ski resorts skiing in April thanks to its altitudes that range between 1550 m to 3450 m. While many other ski resorts in France are closed, Tignes stays open until May, allowing you to have fantastic spring skiing.

Much of the skiing at this time is done on the Grande Motte Glacier, which reaches over 3000 m, so it is always cold preserving the snow. The glacier also opens for skiing during the summer, giving you a good idea of how reliable the snow coverage in the area is.

You can expect sundrenched closing parties from the wide selection of bars and restaurants located in Tignes. Another event you should put in your diary is the Black Shoes Telemark event. This has been a staple of the ski resort since 1992 and is a light-hearted skiing event with lots of humour and festivities that complement the atmosphere of spring skiing.

Val D’Isere

Tignes shares a ski area with neighbouring Val D’Isere; if the snow cover is reliable enough, you can ski between them and experience both resorts in one trip. Val D’Isere is a chic ski resort with lots of Alpine charm and history. It is famous for having one of the best après and nightlife scenes in the French Alps, enhanced by the sunny weather during spring.

Even if the link to Tignes isn’t open, you can enjoy a considerable ski area with a selection of runs to suit every level of skier and snowboarder. The slopes take you right back to the village, where bars will be hosting lively parties, but there will also be more laid-back affairs to enjoy too.

Val D’Isere hosts many events throughout the season to take advantage of the fabulous weather. For 2023, you can expect to witness the “La Scara”, an international Alpine skiing youth competition. Also, from the 17th to the 20th of April, Val D’Isere hosts the “Festival Aventure et Découverte,” a film festival showcasing various mountain and extreme sports.

Val D'isere Ski Resort (1)
Val d'Isère ski resort - © Top Snow Travel / Paul Skinner

Val d’Isère’s high altitude location sitting at the bottom of the valley at 1850m combined with its high altitude ski area (60% of its 300km of slopes are above 2500m) makes it one of the Top Ski Resorts in Europe for Spring Skiing.

La Plagne

La Plagne is one of the largest ski resorts in the Tarentaise Valley. Thanks to its seemingly limitless groomed slopes and off-piste areas, it is an incredibly popular winter destination. It is linked with Les Arcs by the Vanoise Express cable car to create the vast Paradiski area.

Most of La Plagne’s slopes are above 2000 m and face north, so the snow cover is reliable, even for spring skiing. You can access all of La Plagne’s villages via the slopes; each has its own personality and atmosphere. This makes those après ski parties varied, so you can pick your favourite and revisit it throughout your stay.

La Plagne’s event calendar is a busy one throughout the winter. Still, the notable spring event locals look forward to is the Super Slalom. This is a 4km long parallel slalom ski race with 320 gates and fun at its heart. There are many prizes to be won, but Super Slalom is for skiers of all levels, as all you need to do is get to the bottom in one piece. If this sounds like something you want to get involved in, book your place online in advance.

La Plagne Top Snow Travel (140)
La Plagne - © Top Snow Travel

Most of La Plagne’s slopes are above 2000 m and face north, so the snow cover is reliable, even for spring skiing.

Les Arcs

Les Arcs is located at the other end of the Vanoise Express cable car. This resort prides itself on providing the complete ski holiday with a massive ski area, varied accommodations, excellent snow cover and easy access from Bourg St Maurice.

The ski area offers skiers and snowboarders a lot. You can bomb around on beautifully groomed slopes or choose a high-altitude freeride adventure. Les Arcs will be one of the last places in the Alps that gets fresh snow at the end of the season, so you stand a good chance of finding powder if you’re willing to work for it.

Les Arcs puts on a lot of great and varied events at the end of winter. In fact, it has one of the most jam-packed spring itineraries in the Alps. For example, 2023 sees the Winter Festislack at Les Arcs 1600, a slackline festival featuring the best highliners in the world. You can also witness the Ski2Bike event, a unique race that sees competitors race on skis and mountain bikes.

Les Arcs Top Snow Travel (9)
Les Arcs - © Top Snow Travel

The high altitude ski resort of Les Arcs makes it a reliable & snow guarantee destination all winter season

Final Thoughts on Spring Skiing

As you can see, just because the temperatures increase in spring doesn’t mean the mountain fun is over. In fact, the French Alps take on a whole new lease of life before the lifts stop turning.

We have picked these resorts as our favourite French ski resorts for spring skiing for their atmosphere, reliable snow cover and additional attractions. Therefore, we are confident you will have a fantastic time in any of these destinations.

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EARLYBIRD SPECIAL - 40% OFF SKI RENTAL - ENDS 31 JULY 2024

EARLYBIRD SPECIAL - 40% OFF SKI RENTAL - ENDS 31 JULY 2024

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