All the ski areas in France, with information on their sizes :
According to SkidataThe best ski area in France is the one of Alpe d’HuezBoth for its size, snow cover and altitude. Then there are the ski areas of Serre-Chevalier, Chamonix, Méribel and Les Ménuires.
The largest ski areas in France are « 3 Valleys, with Courchevel, Meribel, Val Thorens in particular, and « Les Portes du Soleil » with Morzine, Les Gets or Avoriaz, the two domains making about 600klm of slopes in total.
Note that the 3 Valleys have slopes better connected between them, and that it is easier to go through the whole area, unlike the « Portes du Soleil »where you will sometimes have to take shuttles.
The Grand Valtin in the Vosges is probably the most smallest ski area in France, with only 3 slopes, two lifts, for 3 klm of slopes in total.
The ski area of « Portes du Soleil » relie a total of 13 villages, with 8 in France and 5 in Switzerland, out of a total of 650klm of tracks. It is the most important connection of ski resorts between them.
According to Christoph Schrahe, who has recalculated the actual sizes of ski areas, using Google Maps, the largest ski area in the world would be « Les 3 Vallées », with 493klm of actual runs (against 600klm indicated on the brochure of the resort). Still according to this study, Les Portes du Soleil would actually have 425klm of trails, and not 650klm, as indicated on their website.
For a beginner, you ideally need green trails which join the foot of the resort, from the top of the lifts. A beginner usually feels more comfortable starting with eggs. Thus, the resorts of Gourettes (Pyrenees), Vars (Alps), or Serre-Chevalier (Alps) seem to me to meet these criteria, and to be well adapted to beginners.
Let’s start with the criteria important for a family skiing:
– The resort must not be too expensive
– No need for a huge ski area
– The ability to bring skis with shoes on, have gondolas for children, and green runs that go back down to the resort.
– To have an ESF school to take ski lessons.
On the based on these criteria, I find that Gourette (in the Pyrenees), Les Gets, Abundance or again Les Houches (in the Alps) are well known resorts adapted to families.
The Grands Massifs ski area, and in particular the resort of Samoens, is the place in France where the snowfall records were the most importantwith a record of 425 cm of snowfall, at 2100m. Be careful, however, because this is the record observed, and not an average. Moreover, this station goes down to 1000m altitude, where the snow conditions are less favorable.
Therefore, it may be wise to favour the highest stations in Altitude, like Val Thorens, to be sure to have snow, in continues.
The resort of Baqueira in Spain, and very close to the French border, and the most largest in Spain. It has 157 klm of ski slopes. Then there is La Molina (141 klm), and Formigal (137klm).
The largest ski area in Germany is the Winklmoosalmwhich has 42 km of ski slopes. Then there is Garmisch-Partenkirchenwith 40 km of tracks, and finally, there is Fellhorn – Kanzelwandwith its 34 km of ski runs.
The biggest ski area in Austria is Skiweltwhich links 10 resorts together, for a total of 284 klm of trails.
The biggest ski area in Italy is the one of Sella Ronda, which has 360klm of tracks. Be careful, however, since all the tracks are not directly connected between them, and you will sometimes have to take shuttles, to change tracks.
The « Portes du Soleil » is the largest large ski area of Switzerland (650klm), nevertheless, it is located in its largest part in France.
For a massif only in Switzerland, it is the domain of Corviglia – Saint Moritzwhich has about 350 klm of runways.
It is Big sky Montanain the United States, which has 23 km2 of trails (their units of measurement, or about 550klm of trails) for a total of 29 lifts. Then there are Aspen Snowmass (in Colorado), just behind, with 22km2 of ski slopes, that is 513 km of slopes and with a total of 42 lifts.
The largest ski resort in ski resort in Canada is Whislerwho has 200 klm of slopes, with 37 lifts. The summit of the ski area is at 2284m.
In 2013, the resort the Lodge of the Guards had been sold for 550 000€. Nevertheless, these transactions are very rare. The stations are generally owned by the municipalities, or by private management companies, The most famous of these is the Compagnie des Alpes, which is responsible for maintaining the resort and investing in the ski lifts in exchange for ski pass revenue.
On the other hand, you can become shareholder of the Compagnie des Alpes.
Translated from the french original version : https://skidata.io/station-de-ski/domaine-skiable/dimension/?rand=9113
Fondateur de Skidata.io, j’ai une passion pour le ski, la randonnée en montagne, ainsi que la data.
Mon objectif est de vous aider à comparer factuellement les domaines skiables et villages de montagne.