Our blog:

Top 5 late season ski resorts - France

by Fraser Wilkin, 12 March 2015

France has some of the most reliable late season skiing in the Alps.

 

Here are five of the best ski resorts to visit in spring...

1. Val d’Isère/Tignes

Resort height:

  1850m/2100m

 

Slopes:

  1550-3455m

  

Pistes:

 

Closing:

  300km

 

  4 May 2015 - Val d’Isère

  10 May 2015 - Tignes

Val d’Isère/Tignes best late season ski resorts Photo: Monica Dalmasso

Nowhere in the Alps has quite the extent and variety of high altitude skiing as Val d’Isère and Tignes (L’Espace Killy).

 

The home runs can get tricky with the approach of spring, but most of your time will be spent above the mid-stations, where the quality of snow is often good.

 

Add to that two excellent glaciers, and it’s clear why L’Espace Killy is often considered THE top choice for a late season ski holiday.

 

Best for: Intermediates and Advanced

 

Looking for hotels in Val d'Isère?  Click here

 

Looking for hotels in Tignes?  Click here

2. Val Thorens

Resort height:

  2300m

 

Slopes:

  1800-3230m

  

Pistes:

 

Closing:

  150km

 

  10 May 2015

Val Thorens may not offer quite the same extent of high altitude skiing as Val d’Isère and Tignes, but it is the highest ski resort in the Alps, and does offer very reliable late season snow conditions.

 

Not only do the slopes here exceed 3000m, many of them face north and are well protected from the strong spring sun.

 

Throw in a couple of small glaciers and it is easy to see why Val Thorens is one of the last resorts in France to shut - usually open until the second weekend in May.

 

Best for: All levels

 

Looking for hotels in Val Thorens?  Click here

3. Arc 1950/2000

Resort height:

  1950m/2000m

 

Slopes:

  1200-3225m

  

Pistes:

 

Closing:

  200km

 

  25 April 2015

Arc 1600/1800 get a little too much sun for comfort later in the season, but over in Arc 1950/2000 it’s a different story altogether.

 

Here, not only is the average skiing height greater, but the main bowl is also much more protected from the sun, and most of the slopes face north. The net result being that the quantity and quality of snow here remains very reliable well into spring.

 

Best for: All levels

 

Looking for accommodation in Arc 1950?   Click here

4. Les 2 Alpes

Resort height:

  1650m

 

Slopes:

  1300-3570m

  

Pistes:

 

Closing:

  205km

 

  25 April 2015

Les 2 Alpes, best late season ski resorts Photo: Office de Tourisme des 2 Alpes

The home runs in Les 2 Alpes can be worn and patchy later in the season, but higher up the snow is often excellent well into spring.

 

This resort’s trump card is its glacier, one of the biggest and best in the Alps, including the highest piste in France. However, even below here, there are plenty of high altitude north-facing slopes which hold their snow well in the warmer weather.

 

Best for: Intermediates and Advanced

5. Chamonix (Argentière)

Resort height:

  1240m

 

Slopes:

  1035-3275m

  

Pistes:

 

Closing:

  155km

 

  3 May 2015

Argentière, Chamonix, best late season ski resorts France Les Grands Montets - Photo: Chamonix Tourist Office/Elsa Cadier

Given the huge variety in altitude and aspect, snow quality in the Chamonix Valley is extremely variable come spring. This is the time to head to Les Grand Montets above Argentière, which nearly always has the best snow later in the season.

 

Firstly, this end of the valley is naturally snowier than the Chamonix end - indeed nearby Le Tour claims to be the snowiest village (as opposed to resort) in France.

 

Even more importantly, however, the ski area reaches over 3000m, and is almost entirely north-facing. Stick above the 1900m mid-station and your chances of finding good snow are high.

 

Best for: Advanced

 

Looking for hotels in Chamonix?  Click here