It’s no secret that ski-in, ski-out is the ideal when it comes to a ski vacation in France. Anyone who has ever had to walk more than 30 yards in ski boots will attest to this. You want to get out of the cold and curl up by the fire at the end of the day, not hike through town or squeeze into a packed shuttle bus. Yes, there’s no denying it: ski-in, ski-out is the way to go.
Your chances of having the ideal ski-in, ski-out vacation, however, are somewhat dependent on the resort you choose, as some ski resorts have far more ski-in, ski-out options than others. Fortunately for us Brits, it’s just a short ferry ride across the English Channel to France, where ski-in, ski-out resorts are a specialty. Plus, check out the most popular ski airports for your arrival in France.
Val Thorens, which is part of the massive 3 Vallees ski area, is one of the Alps‘ best resorts for consistent snowfall, making it ideal for early and late season skiing, situated at an altitude of 2,300 metres, making it one of the highest in the Alps. The infrastructure is excellent, with fast, modern lifts whisking you up to the peaks (and altitudes of up to 3,000 m) in no time.
Ski-in, ski-out lodging is available throughout the resort, with pistes running right through it, enabling you to ski right to your door even if you’re staying in the more central areas. Places near the Place de Caron, the Rue de Soleil, and the Plein Sud Piste are all good options.
In La Plagne, ski-in/ski-out is a given. Like many other resorts in the world-class Paradiski region, La Plagne is motivated by the belief that skiing should be simple, time should be spent on the slopes, not in lift lines, buses, or schlepping skis around town.
Thanks to three gentle pistes that entwine themselves around the numerous hotels and residences, Plagne Soleil and its next-door neighbour, Plagne Villages, deliver impeccable ski-in, ski-out accommodations. These pistes connect to the lift hub at Plagne Centre, allowing you to reach lifts in all directions with just one easy descent in the morning. Since these runs are relatively simple, La Plagne is an excellent ski-in, ski-out destination for families and beginners.
Ski-in, ski-out literally means “ski across a steep, unpisted field to get home” – La Plagne is the polar opposite. Skiing in and out is virtually effortless here.
Arc 1950 is probably the closest you’ll ever get to a fully ski-in, ski-out resort. Accessibility has been a principle in Les Arcs’ construction since the beginning, with an electric cable car connecting the resort to the valley. The village of Arc 1950 has chalets arranged around a completely pedestrianised central square, which is crossed by a section of the Baptiste Giabiconi trail, which offers almost immediate access to the snow from each of its residences.
Intermediates can appreciate the extensive network of red and blue pistes above Arc 1600 and Arc 1800, which can be reached through the Bois de l’Ours and Comborciere chairlifts beneath the village. Experts, meanwhile, will salivate at the prospect of off-piste descents on the 2,732m Aiguille Rouge, the gateway to the spectacular Paradiski forest.
Les Orres, a secret gem in the French Alps, is a fantasy for families searching for the ultimate ski-in, ski-out comfort. The resort has earned the ‘Famille Plus’ designation, indicating that it meets the highest expectations for family facilities and provides a wide range of off-slope activities to keep the kids entertained. The ski area has 100 km of slopes, ranging from tree-lined runs to spectacular descents. Les Orres also places a strong emphasis on environmental stewardship, making it an excellent option for those wanting to travel more safely this winter.
Ski-in, ski-out is a must in Avoriaz because there is so much skiing to enjoy, why waste your leg muscles walking back to your hotel when you could be spending more time in the snow. With its dramatic mountainside location and easy access to the vast Portes du Soleil ski area, this breathtaking resort is a true winter wonderland. It’s another destination with plenty of snow, with the highest annual snowfall of any French ski resort.
The resort appears to be almost built for ski-in, ski-out vacations, with pistes surrounding the resort that allow you to begin skiing just steps from your door. The entire resort is pedestrianised, so the only traffic you’ll encounter is on the way home on the pistes.