Photo: Val d’Isere – © Top Snow Travel
White Christmas And Skiing In France
The French Alps’ stunning landscapes and picturesque chalets with snow-covered roofs provide the perfect winter wonderland. However, the ski resorts become fairytale villages with a fantastic festive atmosphere during Christmas that everyone loves.
If you want guaranteed white Christmas and skiing in France, we can point you in the right direction. We will go through the top 8 ski resorts to spend Christmas in the French Alps and what they have to offer.
What To Expect From A White Christmas And Skiing In France
Before we highlight our favourite French ski resorts to visit at Christmas, we want to give you some insight into what to expect.
French ski resorts go all out for Christmas. The snowy streets are filled with twinkling lights, and there is always lots of entertainment. You can expect magicians, storytellers, musicians, artists and dancers performing spectacular shows.
The atmosphere is enhanced by the fact that the ski resorts have just opened. Therefore, there is a buzz around town created by enthusiastic locals and visitors excited for the snow and fun times ahead.
After a day on the mountain, you can enjoy traditional Christmas attractions, including markets featuring local artisans selling their wears, piste-side vin chaud and hot chocolate and spectacular fireworks displays.
Once you have experienced the resort’s Christmas atmosphere, it is time to head back to your chalet. Where you can warm up by your roaring log fire in your new Christmas jumpers. Alternatively, head back out to the lively bars and restaurants for a different experience altogether.
Christmas in Val d’Isère features many ice sculptures, music, entertainment and a beautiful traditional village
The Top 8 Ski Resorts To Spend Christmas In The French Alps
1. Val d’Isere
is an excellent destination for white Christmas skiing in France. Every Christmas, Val d’Isere hosts sports competitions and puts on a lot of opening parties.
There is always wonderful festive celebrations, including a visit from a Papa Noël (you may even see him on the slopes). You can expect parades, special Christmas menus and mega New Year’s blowouts.
The highlight of Christmas in Val D’Isere is the Christmas Village. The village becomes home to festive events, from giant snow and ice sculptures to torchlit descents that give you goosebumps, concerts, pageantry, and the arrival of Santa Claus.
2. Val Thorens
is a high altitude ski resort, so you are guaranteed a white Christmas to remember. Of course, you have the whole of the 3 Valleys ski area to explore, but Val Thorens is full of family festive cheer and entertainment too.
The celebrations last from 21st to 27th December, and Val Thorens calls it their Magical Christmas week as it becomes an enchanted festive village.
You can expect to see Santa’s grotto and scheduled events like ice sculpture demonstrations and gospel music concerts to fill you with Christmas cheer.
On Christmas Day, you can try something new with the ‘Introduction to Ski Touring’ course. This is an easy activity hosted by the Val Thorens Sports Club and is perfect if you want to learn and try something new.
The evening kicks off with Christmas Mass at Val Thorens church, followed by a children’s torchlit descent with complimentary hot drinks and snacks.
Towards the end of the week, kids can enjoy the enchanted puppet theatre show and a children’s craft afternoon. There is always a fantastic torchlit descent on New Year’s Eve at 18:00, followed by live music and DJs followed by an incredible firework display at midnight.
is connected to Val D’Isere as they share the same ski area. This connection, combined with its high altitude, provides plenty of exploring opportunities, making Christmas skiing an exceptional experience.
It is not just the high-quality snow and world-class slopes that make Tignes excellent for a white Christmas and skiing in France. The resort puts on many events and activities to get you in the festive spirit.
Even though he visits all the other ski resorts on this list, Father Christmas also manages to make his annual visit to all the Tignes villages. While your kids get to meet him, you can sip some vin chaud to keep you warm and full of Christmas cheer.
Each Christmas in Tignes sees the opening of the Christmas market, spectacular torchlit descents and parades throughout the resort. But, you can also enjoy Christmas fun indoors, thanks to celebrations hosted by Tignes’ various restaurants and bars.
Les Gets has to be one of the best places for a white Christmas and skiing in France
4. Les Gets
has to be one of the best places for a white Christmas and skiing in France. It is a very family-friendly and picturesque ski resort that lends itself perfectly to the festive period.
This is probably why Santa Clause lives there (according to the Les Gets Tourist Office). He lives in the enchanted forest with his elves while preparing Christmas gifts.
Les Gets’ magical atmosphere is ideal for experiencing a unique Christmas with your loved ones. You can expect to ski in wide-open spaces on superb treelined slopes. If the weather is clear, you can also get stunning, uninterrupted views of Mont Blanc.
Les Gets offers a lot of variety for the whole family at Christmas, thanks to the range of activities and events. It is the perfect place to discover new sports, leisure activities and enjoy the superb wellness facilities.
After a day exploring the treelined pistes at Christmas, you cannot help but be wowed by the village’s magical decorations and illuminations.
Of course, you can have the opportunity to meet Santa Claus while the festive celebrations are in full swing. But kids can also enjoy story-telling, workshops with elves, outdoor shows, and incredible Christmas fireworks.
is a purpose-built ski resort that sits at 1,800m in the Portes du Soleil, one of the largest ski areas in the world. It is a unique place with unusual but extraordinary architecture.
The 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.
During the festive weeks, you can experience a range of Christmas activities that are unique to Avoriaz. This includes the appearance of the magical Christmas village, where you can take part in snowman workshops, entertainment for all ages and a Christmas market.
The highlight for many visitors to Avoriaz at Christmas is the traditional torchlight descent of the ESF instructors and a fireworks display.
is very well geared up for family fun all winter. Therefore, it excels at Christmas for inspiring festive cheer. Its unparalleled Christmas atmosphere comes from a plethora of activities.
You can expect giant snow statues, brass bands and twinkling lights lining the village’s streets, making it into a genuine Christmas card scene.
The market is filled with Savoyard stands, selling local produce and goods that restaurants use for their speciality dishes. These make special gifts for your taste buds during your stay.
Valmorel’s snowy streets are pedestrianised, making them perfect for Santa’s sleigh when he makes his annual visit on 23rd December.
There is a jam-packed Christmas entertainment schedule in Valmorel. You can enjoy the snow sculpture competition, dance lessons, a Christmas treasure hunt, a torchlit descent, a ski show and much more.
Valmorel’s restaurants and hotels regularly put on festive meals, so you won’t be missing out on your turkey and trimmings during your trip to this fantastic ski resort.
The 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
is based in the massive 3 Valleys ski area and has enough going on over Christmas to create a unique festive experience.
The treelined slopes local to Courchevel are picturesque, and there is plenty to choose from no matter what your ability. But the best part about Christmas in Courchevel is the fun events and entertainment in the streets throughout Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
Kids love seeing Santa sledding through all the towns of Courchevel on Christmas Eve and the spectacular fireworks display at the end of the day.
On Christmas Day, Courcheval 1650 hosts the unique Katchalene. This sees incredible performers of excellent music and magic entertaining the crowds and adding to the Christmas atmosphere.
Another great feature of Courchevel at Christmas is the Chamallow party. This is when you can enjoy toasted marshmallows and the cosy atmosphere while keeping warm around the fire-pits.
Courchevel is home to some incredible restaurants, so you can be sure to experience the delights of a luxurious Christmas dinner with excellent service.
is an exceptional destination for a white Christmas and skiing in France. It is one of France’s premier ski resorts, and once you have arrived, it doesn’t take long to see why,
But at Christmas, Megève turns everything up a notch to create a unique visit. Megève is an incredible place made more magical with a whole host of special events to get you in the festive spirit.
Megève is special thanks to its spectacular skiing and fantastic après-ski. But at Christmas, it is adorned with Christmas lights from around the last week in November, enhancing the village’s charm.
But one of the most unique and unforgettable things about Christmas in Megève is the reindeer husbandry visit. This is when you can meet and pet these cute and cuddly animals, which is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for many.
Of course, a ski resort at Christmas wouldn’t be complete without its Christmas village. Megève really pushes the boat out with this, creating a magical place from 24th to 31st December. Here you can meet Sant and his hard-working elves, right in the centre of the village!
The Christmas village also provides lots of festive fun with crafts and activities. But the Christmas parade on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day is a highlight for many.
Cobblestone streets, old traditional farming town with stunning views of the Mont-Blanc and one of the best gastronomic destination in the French Alps.
Christmas in France may be a little different to what you are used to. The French traditionally celebrate Christmas on the 24th, which means the slopes are perfectly quiet on Christmas Day morning. This means you get deserted slopes before starting your own festivities at Christmas Lunch.
It is best to book any experiences and restaurant tables well in advance of your trip to make sure you get to do everything you have planned.
A white Christmas and skiing in France is incredible, and everyone should enjoy it at least once. It is often a once in a lifetime experience, but once you have done it, you will want to head back to the French Alps every year.