With beautiful scenery, 265km of Grand Massif pistes to explore and the bonus of arguably the prettiest town in the alps sitting just below the resort, a Samoëns ski holiday provides something for all comers and presents an enticing alternative to the typical French megaresorts. The Grand Massif offers a balance of excellent, easily accessible beginner’s slopes and more challenging terrain for seasoned skiers. Les Carroz, Morillon and Samoëns itself offer tree runs in abundance whilst the natural bowls of Flaine provide extensive opportunities for off-piste exploration. Furthermore, thanks to its proximity to Geneva, it’s also one of the most easily accessible of all French ski domains, making it an ideal option for a quick break or for families wanting to avoid long transfers.
Where to ski in Europe
Our guide to the best ski resorts, whatever you’re looking for
Of all the factors to take into account when choosing a ski holiday, there’s no doubting that the quality of the snow is pretty important. But that’s not all that you need to consider. Nobody wants slopes that are as crowded as Clapham Junction at rush hour or a domain with nothing but stunning black runs and raucous nightlife when you’ve brought your six-year-old son for his first taste of skiing. Luckily, it isn’t necessary to leave any of this to chance.
Follow our guide to the best ski resorts in Europe and find the right domain for your needs.
Grand Massif Samoens Morillon, France
Best for families and beginners
Best for year-round snow
Tignes is a fantastic resort destination at any time of the year. La Grande Motte Glacier (3,456m) even allows six weeks of summer skiing on the Grande Mote glacier. If you want to be sure you’ll get to strap on your skis, regardless of weather, then this is the resort for you. During the winter its connection with Val D’Isère, forming the Espace Killy skiing area, means that there are 300km of marked trails to enjoy.
Best for experts
The second resort that makes up the Espace Killy, Val D’Isere is well known for its steep faces and tricky slopes. With a staggering 27 black runs throughout the area you’re sure to find the challenge that you crave. A particular favourite of advanced skiers is the famous La Face run that takes you into the heart of Val D’Isere. La Face was used for the Olympic Downhill race in 1992 and is a great test of any skier’s mettle. The snow will always be best on this run in the morning when it is still nicely groomed, as the day progresses the slope becomes increasingly more difficult.
Most snow sure resort
As the highest resort in the Alps, at 2300m, Val Thorens has an impressive snow record. The north and north-west facing slopes are sheltered from the sun by the towering alpine peaks and thus the snow is kept in prime condition. The domain has even – in some years – provided snow in the months of November through until May and at Club Med you can benefit from the Snow Guarantee program that will refund your unused lift pass if there is another ski area that has more linked runs open than Les Trois Vallées. So you can’t lose with Val Thorens!