The great French ski domains
Today, there are no fewer than 14 fully-connected ski domains in the Northern Alps, the Southern Alps and the Pyrenees, making it an ideal destination for skiing fans. The last great estates, born in recent years, are Paradiski and Les Sybelles. The first is the combination of Les Arcs (which already includes three ski resorts) and La Plagne (ten ski resorts) thanks to an astonishing gondola without pylons. The second is the union of six Mauritian ski resorts.
The Portes du Soleil
The Portes du Soleil were born about fifty years ago. It is a space of gliding which extends on 12 stations and 2 countries – France and Switzerland. The ski area is one of the most varied in the world.
In the 1960s, the idea of linking the Swiss resorts of Crosets and Champéry with France was launched. As early as 1968, the first routes were opened, and in 1976, the Portes du Soleil package gave access to most of the links between France and Switzerland.
Domaine Les Deux Alpes Ski Area and Alpe d’Huez Grand Domaine
The Alpe d’Huez Grand Domaine Ski area (formerly known as “Domaine des Grandes Rousses”) comprises the Alpe d’Huez and five resorts, nestled in the hollow of fir trees, which have retained the charm of the traditional mountain villages. By 2019 it will also link with Les Deux Alpes to create one of the greatest high altitude ski areas in the world. Also talks to connect with Les Sybelles at St Sorlin d’Arves to create 800kms of pistes!
► The resorts: Alpe d’Huez, Les Deux Alpes, Oz-en-Oisans, Vaujany, Auris-en-Oisans
► Numbers: 475 km of slopes.
The Domaine des 3 Vallées
The 3 Valleys are a dream for skiers and mountain enthusiasts from all over the world who have not found such a skiing area elsewhere.
By the 1940s, the 3 Valleys were thought of as a connected domain. The geographical ease with which one passes from one valley to the other almost imposes the 3 Valleys as the “ideal” connected domain.
► The resorts: Courchevel, Méribel, La Tania, Brides-les-Bains, Saint-Martin-de-Belleville, Les Menuires, Val Thorens and Orelle.
► The figures: 330 runs, 600 km of runs between 610 and 3230 m altitude
Domaine de Paradiski
With two peaks over 3000 m, Paradiski can almost touch the clouds and makes the descents infinite. From the Aiguille Rouge to Villaroger, there are over 2000 m of descent that await your spatulas.
Entered in 2003 the closed circle of large ski areas, Paradiski goes from 1200m to 3250m, has two glaciers and three peaks at more than 3000m altitude.
► The resorts: La Plagne, Peisey-Vallandry, Les Arcs, Champagny, Montchavin and Villaroger.
► Numbers: 236 tracks, 425 km of slopes.
The Milky Way
La Voie Lactée (via Lattea) is a Franco-Italian ski area whose picturesque Montgenèvre resort is the only French point of departure. Montgenèvre (organizer of the first ski competition in France in 1906) is connected to the Italian resorts of Sestriere, Sauze d’Oulx, Sansicario, Grangesises, Cesana and Claviere
► The resorts: Montgenèvre, Sestrières, Saulz-d’Oulx, Sansicario, Cesana and Claviere
► Numbers: 214 tracks, 400 km of tracks between 1350 and 2800 meters of altitude
The Domaine de l’Espace Killy
The Espace Killy Tignes Val d’Isère is a real territory of expression where you like to leave your trace. The ski area extends between 1550 m and 3 450 m altitude. The Espace Killy, named after the former ski hero from Val d’Isère, is one of the flagship areas of the genre created in 1972.
► The resorts: Tignes, Val d’Isère.
► The figures: 154 runs, 300 km of slopes.
Domaine des Sybelles (due to link to Les Deux Alpes/Alpe d’Huez to create the biggest ski area in the world)
Les Sybelles is the first ski resort in Maurienne where each village, village resort or resort has retained a family atmosphere, relaxed and authentic. Inaugurated at the beginning of winter 2003/2004, the field is the creation of a businessman from Grenoble. In 10 years, he became president of the major ski lift companies, built over 10,000 beds and connected six small ski resorts.
► The resorts: Le Corbier, La Toussuire, Les Bottières, Saint-Jean-d’Arves, Saint-Sorlin-d’Arves, Saint-Colomban-des-Villards.
► The figures: 96 runs, 310 km of slopes between 1300 and 2620 meters above sea level.
The Grand Massif ski area
The Grand Massif area, close to the Mont Blanc massif, is 265 km of trails linking five resorts.
1975: the date of the opening of the Flaine – Samoëns link and in 1980 the official birth of the Grand Massif.
► The resorts: Flaine, the Carroz, Morillon, Samoëns, and Sixt Fer à Cheval.
► Numbers: 140 tracks, 265 km of tracks (from 1100 to 2500 m)
Domaine du Grand Serre Che
With 250 km of slopes, the Grand Serre Che is one of the largest ski areas in Europe.
The resort of the 13 villages is spread over 4 sectors: Briançon, Chantemerle, Villeneuve la Salle and Monêtier les Bains, at the doors of the Ecrins National Park.
► The stations: Briançon and Serre Chevalier
► Numbers: 107 tracks, 250 km of slopes.
The Domaine de l’Espace Diamant
The Espace Diamant stretches out in front of the most beautiful landscapes of the Alps and Savoie: Mont Blanc, the Beaufortain, the Aravis …
Espace Diamant is the enlarged version of Espace Cristal which linked the Saisies to Crest-Voland. From 1994 onwards, the other stations were added, until 2005 when the construction of three chairlifts on Hauteluce created a veritable hub of the domain.
► The resorts: Les Saisies, Hauteluce, Bisanne 1500 in the Beaufortain, Notre-Dame de Bellecombe, Crest-Voland Cohennoz, Praz sur Arly and Flumet in the Val d’Arly.
► Numbers: 148 tracks, 185km of slopes.
Domaine de la Forêt Blanche
Union of the domains of Vars and Risoul, the White Forest is one of the most beautiful ski areas of the Southern Alps.
In 1990, Risoul and Vars came closer together. The estate owes its name to the many larches that cover it to over 2200 meters of altitude.
► The resorts: Risoul, Vars.
► The figures: 115 tracks, 185 km of slopes.
Space San Bernardo
The Espace San Bernardo is a ski area that connects Savoie in France with the province of Valle d’Aosta in Italy. It was created in 1984 by joining the ski resorts of La Rosière 1850 and La Thuile with the chairlift Chardonnet and the ski lift of Bellecombe on the French side and the chairlift of the Belvedere on the Italian side.
► The resorts: La Rosière, La Thuile (Italy).
► Numbers: 82 tracks, 160 km of slopes.
The Grand Domain
From 1300 to 2550 m above sea level, the Grand Domaine winds its way between forests, the gentle slopes of the alpine meadows and the vertiginous slopes of the summits. It connects the valley of Celliers and Valmorel by a gondola 8 seats.
► The resorts: Valmorel, Saint-François-Longchamp, Doucy-Combelouvières.
► Numbers: 82 slopes, 150 km of slopes.
Domaine Galibier Thabor
The Galibier Thabor ski area offers 150 km of slopes on four slopes, due to the summits of Mont Thabor (3178m) and the Grand Galibier (3228m), which dominate the resorts of Valmeinier and Valloire.
► The resorts: Valloire and Valmeinier
► Numbers: 83 slopes, 150 km of slopes
Other areas not fully linked
The Domaine Evasion Mont Blanc
► The resorts: Combloux, Megève, Saint-Gervais, Saint-Nicolas-de-Véroce, Les Contamines-Montjoie, La Giettaz.
► The figures: 183 pistes, 420 km of slopes.
The Aravis area
► The stations: La Clusaz, Manigod, Croix Fry, Merdassier, Le Grand-Bornand.
► Numbers: 133 slopes, 220 km of slopes.