Are you itching to get out on the slopes this year? Well you don’t have to wait any longer. Some of the highest ski resorts in the French Alps are already open, with great snow expected to carry on for the rest of the season.
So if you want to test out those skis before the crowds arrive, we’ve picked out some of the best (and highest) resorts you can head to for some early mountain fun.
We’ve even chucked in some early bird ski deals to get you started.
1. Chamonix, Northern Alps
Top elevation: 3,275m
Chamonix is one of the oldest ski resorts in France, and was the location for the first ever Winter Olympics in 1924. The resort itself caters for beginners and advanced skiers, but it’s also a base for climbers and extreme sports lovers hoping to scale the slopes of nearby Mont Blanc, Europe’s highest mountain.
It’s also home to one of the world’s highest cable cars, which links Chamonix to the summit of the Aiguille du Midi. Snow fall in high areas is reliable, with most ski lifts opening between the end of November and mid-December.
Get the deal: Chamonix Bed & Breakfast from only £449
2. Tignes, Rhône-Alpes
Top elevation: 2,300m
The season in Tignes started on October 12th up on the Grande Motte glacier, so if you’re eager to get some early ski action, this is certainly the resort for you. In fact, this resort even allows you to ski before and after everyone else.
The height of the slopes means that snow is almost always guaranteed, while there are also 113 cannons which produce around 450,000 m2 of artificial snow every year. High five that.
Get the deal: Self catering in Tignes from £284pp
3. Risoul, Hautes-Alpes
Top elevation: 2,750m
Risoul caters for everyone from experienced skiers and families with small children, to large groups with their eyes on the après-ski. The resort is surrounded by a huge forest, and its high altitude means there is a good snow record.
The winter season starts in December, so there’s still time to catch the beginning of it if you want to hit the slopes before Christmas.
Get the deal: Catered hotel in Risoul from only £459
4. Montgenèvre, Southern Alps
Top elevation: 2,700m
With excellent snow coverage combined with plenty of sunshine, Montgenèvre offers good ski conditions as early as November. The village stands at 1,860 metres above sea level, while skiers at the top of the slopes will be around 2,700 metres high, meaning the views are pretty spectacular.
With plenty of child-friendly activities in the resort and top quality après-ski, Montgenèvre offers something for everyone.
Get the deal: Montgenevre catered hotel from only £429
5. Avoriaz, Northern Alps
Top elevation: 2,500m
Visitors to Avoriaz will be able to enjoy around 650 km of terrain. The resort is ideal for a spot of pre-Christmas skiing with slopes seeing around eight metres of snow every winter. One of the most charming aspects of Avoriaz is that it is completely car-free so the only way of getting around is by foot, sled, horse drawn sleigh or of course by ski.
Plus, the high altitude of the resort means many people ski back to their accommodation after a day on the mountains. You can also traverse the Swiss Alps from here too.
Get the deal: Avoriaz full board from £432 including flights