News

The top eight places to go skiing in France in April

Iglu Ski has researched the top destinations for skiing in France in April, and today confirms the top 8 in the country.

The team has multiplied the total number of bluebird (sunny) days with the average weekly snowfall (based on historical snowfall data*) to derive an April skiing score for each of the most popular ski resorts in France.

The results show that Chamonix is top of the league for skiing in France in April.

Weekly bluebird powder days Weekly bluebird days Total sunny days Average weekly snowfall April skiing score
Chamonix 2.5 3.7 6.2 28cm 173.6
Les Deux Alpes 2.6 3.9 6.5 26cm 169
Les Arcs 2.9 3.5 6.4 23cm 147.2
La Rosière 2.2 2.5 4.7 22cm 103
La Plagne 1.9 2.9 4.8 17cm 81.6
Alpe d’Huez 1.7 2.3 4 20cm 80
Val d’Isère 0.85 1.55 2.4 31cm 74.4
Val Thorens 0.9 2 2.9 22cm 63.8

 

Here’s how to get there: Iglu Ski offers 7 nights from £1,109 (was £1,268) per person based on two sharing a twin room with valley view, on half board at the 4* Hotel Les Aiglons, Chamonix, France, departing on April 6, 2024 from Manchester (+£100 Gatwick; +£100 Glasgow; +£100 Stansted; +£100 Birmingham; +£129 Leeds Bradford;  +£169 Newcastle) and including transfers.

1.   Chamonix – scores 173.6

Average weekly sunny days 6.2
Average weekly snowfall 28cm

 

Resort height: 1035m

Highest lift: 3777m

Average April snow depth: 119cm

Closing date: Early May

When it comes to sun and snow, Chamonix and its surrounding areas is the clear winner, offering not just an average 28cm of fresh powder per week, but a glorious 6.2 days of sun, 2.5 of which are bluebird powder days.

This traditional Alpine town is home to France’s oldest ski resort, and thanks to its lively après scene, it’s especially popular with off-pisters who like to unwind after a day of laying fresh tracks in the backcountry.

Advanced skiers will particularly enjoy Argentiere, which boasts mainly north-facing slopes that are open until early May, and Les Praz, which offers lift access to Chamonix’s more challenging runs.

2.   Les Deux Alpes –  scores 169

 

Average weekly sunny days 6.5
Average weekly snowfall 26cm

 

Resort height: 1651m

Highest lift: 3600m

Average April snow depth: 87cm

Closing date: Last week of April

Straddling two glorious peaks, the appropriately-named Les Deux Alpes really does offer something for everyone. Across its 200km of slopes, you’ll find excellent beginner routes, especially up on the glacier, as well as world-class freestyle and off-piste opportunities.

With mostly south-facing slopes, you’ll be able to make the most of the spring sunshine, whilst also enjoying its reliable snowfall.

3.   Les Arcs – scores 147.2

 

Average weekly sunny days 6.4
Average weekly snowfall 23cm

 

Resort height: Arc 2000, Arc 1950, and Arc 1800 are the highest resort levels

Highest lift: 3250m

Average April snow depth: 204cm

Closing date: Late April

All linked by the Vanoise Express – an impressive double decker cable car – and an efficient transport network, Les Arcs and the Paradiski area offers a generous 425km of pistes, great for beginners and advanced skiers alike.

If you want maximum convenience, opt to stay in the popular Les Arcs 1800 village, with ski-in-ski-out chalets, great restaurants and plenty of family-friendly activities. The altitude promises snow, and there’s outstanding scenery to enjoy on those bluebird days.

4.   La Rosière – scores 103

 

Average weekly sunny days 4.7
Average weekly snowfall 22cm

 

Resort height: 1850m

Highest lift: 2800m

Average April snow depth: 164cm

Closing date: Mid-April

If you’re planning an Easter holiday trip, La Rosière is perfect for families. This quieter, relatively small resort forms the San Bernardo ski area with La Thuile in Italy, offering mostly nursery, blue and red runs across its 160km of slopes.

La Rosière has a great track record for snow all season and thanks to the lack of crowds, the powder doesn’t get as churned up as other French resorts, making it a great choice for an April ski holiday.

5.   La Plagne – scores 81.6

 

Average weekly sunny days 4.8
Average weekly snowfall 17cm

 

Resort height: 2100m

Highest lift: 3250m

Average April snow depth: 162cm

Closing date: Late April

La Plagne is the quieter, often cheaper, and more family-friendly part of the Paradiski area. Catering to all abilities, there’s challenging terrain to be found up near the glacier, while wide blues and reds across the rest of the resort keep intermediates and beginners happy.

While there’s après to be found, jump on the Vanoise Express to Les Arcs if you’re after some proper early afternoon partying (the Folie Douce starts bouncing from lunch time), and to enjoy the full 425km of slopes.

Just make sure you return to Peisey Vallandry in time for the last Vanoise Express lift back to La Plagne.

6.   Alpe d’Huez – scores 80

 

Average weekly sunny days 4
Average weekly snowfall 20cm

 

Resort height: 1850m

Highest lift: 3300m

Average April snow depth: 95cm

Closing date: Mid-April

With an average 300 days of sunshine per year, 249km of south-facing slopes, and an impressive altitude, Alpe d’Huez is a great April ski destination for sun-seekers. It offers runs for all abilities, as well as 4 snow parks for the freestyle-inclined, and a fantastic selection of bars, restaurants, cinemas, and more.

7.   Val d’Isère – scores 74.4

 

Average weekly sunny days 2.4
Average weekly snowfall 31cm

 

Resort height: 1850m

Highest lift: 3450m

Average April snow depth: 276cm

Closing date: Early May

Val d’Isère offers a vast 300km ski area, great snow year round and a buzzing après scene. A pretty Alpine town, its reputation as a high-end ski destination is deserved, but there’s still a variety of accommodation on offer and good deals to be found.

Val d’Isère is linked to the even loftier (and therefore often cloudier) resort of Tignes, which is more beginner friendly and tends to be more affordable. With the lower slopes in Val d’Isère getting quite slushy and mogul-heavy towards the end of the day, head up high to enjoy the best of the April conditions. 

 

  1. Val Thorens – scores 63.8
Average weekly sunny days 2.9
Average weekly snowfall 22cm

 

Resort height: 2300m

Highest lift: 3230m

Average April snow depth: 183cm

Closing date: Early May

As it stands, Val Thorens comes in at number 8, thanks to its fantastic snow record but not so great clear skies – fair weather skiers will likely need to weigh up powder vs visibility here. A vast ski area with plentiful high altitude skiing, in addition to an abundance of bars and things to do, Val Thorens really is the full package.

Gordon Ritter, Head of Product and Commercial at Iglu Ski, said:With generous snow falls, plenty of sunny weather, vibrant nightlife, a variety of slopes and freestyle fun, there’s something for everyone across the 8 featured resorts. It means that if you are planning an April skiing trip to France, there’s no shortage of options when it comes to deciding on where to go.

“If you are less concerned about the sun and more concerned about the snow conditions, you may wish to look at Val Thorens and Tignes – France’s highest resorts. They receive a fantastic amount of fresh snow in April, however are less sunny, making them less attractive to fair weather skiers.

“Do remember that April skiing can vary from season to season and low altitude slopes can be unreliable when it comes to snow conditions. However, venture a bit further up, or head to the glaciers or north-facing slopes and you’re sure to find fantastic spring skiing.”

 

Notes

*Iglu Ski has used historical snowfall data from https://www.snow-forecast.com/ to discover which ski resorts, statistically, offer the best April skiing conditions in terms of sunny days and snowfall. See the full report here.

 

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button