Ski Areas of France
France boasts a huge diversity of skiing options. Forested hills of the Vosges and Jura, rugged high mountains of the Savoie, the mild pine forests of the Maritime Alps and the savage beauty of the Pyrénées.
- Vosges: The Vosges, is a vast and beautiful wooded area in France. It boasts a stunning natural environment consisting of world-famous thermal springs, waterfalls, mountain lakes, the Vosges mountains, unspoiled flora, rivers and magnificent fir forests. The Vosges is reputed for its cross country skiing but still offers downhill skiers over 1000 km of pistes that wind through its wooded hills. The biggest ski resort is at La Bresse. The high point is the Grand Ballon at 1424 meters. At the Grand Ballon you can combine the pleasures of skiing with the great outdoors, topped off by an extraordinary view across the Plain of Alsace, the Black Forest and the Alps.
- Jura: In the Jura Mountains (Massif du Jura), you can look forward to over 400 kilometres of slopes and the ski resorts are served by more than 250 ski lifts. The French Jura shares a 250 kilometre arc-shape border with Switzerland, from the South of Zurich to the North of Lyon. The massif offers skiers kilometres of tree lined pistes. The high points are the 1723 metre Crêt de la Neige and 1717 metre le Reculet both found close to Geneva.
- French Alps: The French Alps has 9 specific areas. In the Northern Alps we have 3; Haute-Savoie, Savoie and Isére. In the Southern Alps we have 6; Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, Hautes-Alpes, Alpes-Maritimes, as well as parts of the Drôme, Var and Vaucluse.
The Alps are the largest mountain chain in Europe, extending for almost 1000km with a surface area of 35 000km² in France. The Alps also boast some of the highest peaks in Europe, with striking differences between the Northern Alps and Southern Alps. In the north, the most symbolic peak of the mountain range is Mont Blanc which stands at an altitude of 4810m, while in the south, although many of the peaks reach altitudes of 4000m, there is an obvious progression towards the sea
- Massif Central: In the French Massif Central, you can look forward to 227 kilometres of slopes: the ski resorts are served by 131 ski lifts. The Massif Central has great diversity, from ancient volcanoes to great plains, peaks to valley floors, an infinite number of landscapes. The range stretches from the Auvergne (Allier, Puy-de-Dôme, Cantal, Haute-Loire) in Aveyron through to Monts du Forez (Loire), Lozere, Cevennes and the Ardeche.
This is the largest volcanic area in Europe and that in turn gives you a different impression of the range. Less well known than the Alps resorts, the ski areas of the Massif Central are more family-orientated. The region has over ten different ski areas, the main ones being Super-Besse and Le Mont-Dore in the Massif du Sancy, and the Lioran in the Cantal Massif.
- Pyrénées: The Pyrénées mountain range is situated between Spain and France and stretches for 400 km between the Atlantic ocean and Mediterranean sea. There are over 200 summits exceeding 2000 meters in altitude. The highest peak is found over the border in Spain, the 3404 meter Pico d'Aneto.
The 1st map below shows 6 French mountain ski regions & the 2nd map shows the major communication rail links & resorts.