The Best White Christmas Ski Resorts In France

The Best White Christmas Ski Resorts In France

Christmas is a special time, especially for families with young children. What better way to enhance this feeling than experiencing a white Christmas and skiing in France?

Christmas in the French Alps is a big deal. The fantastic pistes, stunning views, charming chalets, apartments, and hotels are just a tiny part of a memorable trip. Ski resorts do their best to make Christmas magical by transforming them into enchanting villages overflowing with festive cheer. They do this by providing family-friendly entertainment and activities to entertain the whole family. And to top it off, you’re guaranteed a white Christmas.

What to Expect At Christmas In A French Ski Resort

You instantly get into the festive mood when you arrive at a French ski resort at Christmas. You walk through the snow-covered streets under the twinkling lights while being entertained by street performers and fireworks displays, and you may even get to meet Santa Claus himself. All this is topped off with Vin Chaud or hot chocolate as you explore Christmas markets.
Christmas is traditionally celebrated on Christmas Eve in France. Most people head up the mountain for a morning ski before tucking into their Christmas dinner, which usually features Oysters, fois gras, smoked salmon, venison, and poultry.
The atmosphere in the Alps during Christmas is excellent, especially since the ski resorts have just opened. Locals are riding the buzz of the first dumps of snow of the season and are excited to get stuck in. You’ll feel the enthusiasm on the slopes, in the bars and restaurants, and on the streets, especially if it’s snowing.
After exploring the slopes and taking in the festive atmosphere, you can return to your cosy accommodation. Here, you can warm up by your roaring log fire in your new Christmas jumpers. Alternatively, you can head out to the lively bars and restaurants for a different experience altogether. With so much going on, you can choose your Christmas experience to suit your needs and mood.
Val d'Isère village center
Val d'Isère ski resort © Top Snow Travel
Val d'Isère ski resort - © Top Snow Travel
Val d'Isère ski resort - © Top Snow Travel
Val d'Isère ski resort
Val d'Isère ski resort - © Top Snow Travel
Val d'Isère ski resort - © Top Snow Travel
Val d'Isère ski resort - © Top Snow Travel

Christmas in Val d’Isère features many ice sculptures, music, entertainment and a beautiful traditional village

The Top 7 Ski Resorts To Spend Christmas In The French Alps

1. Val d’Isere

Val D’Isere is one of the best French ski resorts for a memorable Christmas getaway. With a vibrant atmosphere and a host of festivities, this resort promises to provide an unforgettable experience throughout the Christmas week. The resort turns into a Christmas Village, which usually continues until Boxing Day and features a range of festive events. You can expect giant snow and ice sculptures, concerts, torchlit descents, and, of course, Papa Noel’s arrival on Christmas Eve.

Christmas in Val d’Isere is the ideal time to enjoy the traditional foods eaten in France over Christmas. There are many fantastic restaurants in Val d’Isere that suit all tastes; however, make sure you book a restaurant early, as they will get busy. One of the favourites is Le Blizzard, located in the Hotel Le Blizzard. This elegant and cosy restaurant is a fantastic place to dine, but the hotel also has a second restaurant, La Luge, featuring a local-style menu.

Val d’Isère is full of the finest après-ski spots; the most popular is La Folie Douce, which will undoubtedly throw as crazy an opening night as ever. Their signature après-ski parties, complete with Champagne spraying, live DJs and performers will draw the crowds to their terraces this Christmas and throughout winter.

2. Arc 1950

Les Arcs is one of the most popular ski resorts in the French Alps, comprising a collection of villages. Arc 1950 is one of the newest villages, combining convenience with an authentic winter wonderland ambience. This car-free ski resort has some lovely, high-end accommodations, most of which are ski-in-ski-out.

With its snow-covered streets and friendly atmosphere, Arc 1950 is the perfect backdrop for a White Christmas and skiing in France. During the festive period, you can expect daily entertainment and activities under the sparkling illuminations and decorations. Christmas Eve is celebrated with Christmas music performed by a brass band and a parade through the village before Santa arrives.

Arc 1950 is a family-friendly ski resort within the Paradiski ski domain that caters to all skiers and snowboarders. This means you can explore neighbouring La Plagne and the more traditional villages of Plan Peisey, Vallandry, and Peisey Nancroix. In total, you have access to  425km of pistes to explore on Christmas day.

Arc 1950 Le Village in Les Arcs has a beautiful magical family white christmas atmosphere type of village with colourful buildings and lights.

3. Meribel 

Meribel is one of the most famous ski resorts in France. This high-end Alpine destination has access to fantastic slopes, stunning scenery, and a program of special events, making it a premier destination for a white Christmas and skiing in France. It is part of the Trois Vallees, which includes Courchevel, Val Thorens, Les Menuires, St Martin de Belleville, and Orelle. Together, the Trois Vallees resorts provide 600km of well-groomed slopes.

Meribel is regarded as one of France’s best ski resorts thanks to its modern amenities, fantastic bars and restaurants, and alpine charm. Christmas in Meribel is a wonderful experience thanks to the festive ambience of the Christmas markets.

On Christmas Eve, expect to see Father Christmas arriving in a horse-drawn carriage with his elves in the centre of Méribel, accompanied by a convoy of toys. Gospel singers and a pianist enhance the magical atmosphere with Christmas Carols. You can then sip a traditional welcome drink on the Chaudanne snowfront, where the big man shares gifts and his intimate knowledge of the ski area so you can make the most of your white Christmas and skiing in France.

4. Valmorel

Valmorel is an ideal setting for a family-friendly Christmas ski holiday. Its car-free snowy streets are decorated with twinkling lights, making it look like a scene from a Christmas card. One way Valmorel is an ideal family destination is that much of the accommodation has easy access to the slopes; some are even ski-in-ski-out.

The resort always puts on plenty of activities and entertainment over Christmas. For example, you can expect a Christmas parade, circus-themed shows, magicians, snow sculpture competitions and more. In the past, we’ve seen a yule log tasting event, where we sampled the huge yule log baked by a local artisan.

Valmorel’s slopes are also family-friendly. There are some perfect runs for beginners and kids getting to grips with their first turns. Additionally, the ESF have a dedicated area for small kids to learn how to ski.

Courchevel ski resort - © Top Snow Travel
Courchevel ski resort
Courchevel ski resort - © Top Snow Travel
Courchevel ski resort
Courchevel ski resort - © Top Snow Travel

Courchevel is home to arguably the best luxury chalets in the world and what a better way then to spend  a white Christmas with the family inside an exceptional cosy luxurious chalet.

5. Courchevel

Courchevel is set in the 3 Valleys ski area, one of the largest in the world. Staying in Courchevel provides seemingly limitless slopes suitable for all levels. It’s also regarded as one of France’s most premium ski resorts, so expect luxury accommodation and excellent pistes serviced by a fantastic lift system.

On top of this, Courchevel’s treelined slopes make an idyllic backdrop for a white Christmas and skiing in France. Typically on Christmas Eve, everyone visiting Courchevel waits patiently for the arrival of Father Christmas. He usually arrives at about 6pm, either on skis, sledge, or snowcat. However, there’s plenty of festive fun throughout the Christmas week. The streets are lined with Christmas lights and decorations, adding to the magical atmosphere. At the same time, music and entertainers come together to make the experience extra special. And, of course, you can indulge in a luxurious Christmas dinner at one of Courchevel’s renowned restaurants; just remember to book a table.

Courchevel also has a lively après ski scene. You can expect DJs and live music in a number of bars around the resort, ensuring that you get into the festive spirit.

6. Val Thorens

If a white Christmas is at the top of your list, Val Thorens is the place to be. It is one of the highest-altitude ski resorts in the Alps, guaranteeing a snow-covered backdrop for festive fun. Like most ski resorts, Val Thorens becomes an enchanted village with Santa’s grotto, ice sculptures, and kids’ workshops.
The evening always ends with a torchlit descent down the slopes by the ESF instructors and a fireworks display accompanied by hot chocolate and Vin Chaud. There is also a children’s torchlit descent so the little ones can get involved. The enchanted village features a Christmas market leading up to the big day and is ideal for all your last-minute Christmas shopping needs. 

One of the best parts of Christmas Day is undeniably the Christmas dinner. Chalet de la Marine is the perfect spot for a Christmas Day treat, and it was awarded a Michelin fork in 2013. Here, you can enjoy delicious food and wine on the terrace overlooking the valley. Alternatively, ski down to Les Menuires to enjoy Christmas Lunch at La Ferme de Reberty before enjoying the evening Christmas fun in Val Thorens.

7. Avoriaz 1800

Avoriaz is in the Portes du Soleil. At 1800m, it is a high-altitude ski resort that ensures excellent snow cover. In fact, Avoriaz is consistently the snowiest ski resort in the Alps. This, combined with ski-in-ski-out accommodation, makes Avoriaz a superb choice for families and groups who want the ultimate convenience and variety.

Avoriaz stands out with its distinctive architecture and pedestrianised streets, creating a Christmas ambience like no other. During the holiday weeks, visitors can enjoy snowman-making workshops, explore a bustling Christmas market, and be wowed by the traditional torchlight descent. The resort’s quirky charm and range of festive activities ensure a Christmas to remember. 

Another bonus of staying in Avoriaz over Christmas is that you can visit other resorts. For example, you can check out Morzine, Chatel, or Les Gets. Alternatively, head to Switzerland to ski Champoussin and Morgins. All of these are accessible on a single full-area lift pass and provide a variety of terrain.

celineaudetoursdunchemin Avoriaz1800 1
Avoriaz 1800 - © celineaudetoursdunchemin
bestjober Avoriaz
© Bestjober Avoriaz
loïc Bouchet Avoriaz 1800 (1)
© Loïc Bouchet Avoriaz 1800
Avoriaz Nocturne
© Loïc Bouchet Avoriaz 1800
Avoriaz Nocturne
© Thibaut Loubere Avoriaz 1800

Avoriaz ski resort is pedestrianised, and the only ways to get around are on skis, snow-cat or horse-drawn sleighs. This adds to the Christmas winter wonderland atmosphere

Final Thoughts

As you plan your Christmas getaway to the French Alps, remember to book early to secure your spot in these fantastic resorts. Whether you’re seeking thrilling ski adventures or simply yearning for guaranteed snowy views, the French Alps offer the perfect setting for a white Christmas to remember.
Each resort has unique features and amenities that suit different people and groups. Therefore, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our travel experts if you’d like more information. We will ensure you have everything you need to enjoy a white Christmas and skiing in France this year.




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