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Travel in France

French Ski Resorts and Family Passes

Tuesday 18 January 2011

France has some of best ski resorts in the world, and good value family ski passes are one of the best things about them.

As a general rule, you can expect to pay between €100-€200 for a six day ski pass in the French Alps or Pyrenees.

If your budget is limited, then restrict yourself to the resorts with fewer ski runs. You should reckon on between €100-€150 a week for resorts with up to 150 kilometres of pistes (slopes), and even less for some of the smaller resorts.

You can also control expenditure by buying a half-day ski pass, or simply paying as you go.

Nevertheless, the six-day pass is the favoured choice for most French skiers. Not only is it more practical, but it costs around 20% less than a pass purchased on a daily basis.

The following table shows the cost this year of an adult ski pass for six days in some of the larger ski areas.

SIX DAY SKI PASS
Ski AreaKm of SlopesCostOpinion
Portes du Soleil (Haute-Savoie, Switzerland)650€209The best price per km, for everyone
Trois Vallées (Savoie)600€235Best family formula
Evasion Mont-Blanc (Haute-Savoie, Savoie)445€179The cheapest amongst great ski areas
Paradiski (Savoie)425€249The most expensive in France
Voie Lactée (Hautes-Alpes, Italy)410€224The most expensive for families
Les Sybelles (Savoie)310€185Excellent for individuals
Espace Killy (Savoie)300€222Ideal for families with grown-up children
Le Grand Massif (Haute-Savoie)265€207Very good for teenagers and 60+
Serre-Chevalier (Hautes-Alpes)250€199Excellent for teenagers
Massif des Grandes Rousses (Isère)237€215The best for 50+
Les Deux-Alpes (Isère)225€195Good for larger families

 

Whilst these larger resorts will cost you more than the smaller resorts, if measured by kilometre of ski pistes available, then they are actually cheaper!

Some of the ski domains in France are immense, amongst the largest in the world. The Portes du Soleil domaine in Haute Savoie can boast 650 km of pistes, whilst the Trois Vallées has around 600 km.

When compared with many other countries, the price of adult ski passes in France is only amongst the average of those elsewhere around the world.

However, where French resorts score very heavily on tariffs is with their family passes, which are widely available, and generally cheaper than most other countries.

While around 66% of French resorts offer family passes, they can only be purchased in less than half of the Swiss resorts, in around a third of resorts in Austria, and a meagre 10% in Italy.

These package passes are designed mainly for two adults and two children, although they can equally be used for three or four children, and sometimes with even one child. Some resorts also have special offers for one-parent families.

The older the children (up to 17 years, but 21 years in Tignes et Val-d'Isère) the better value for money they represent. This is because, without using a family pass, the adult tariff generally applies from 12 years of age.

Thus, whilst individual passes for 2 adults and adolescents in the Trois Vallées would set you back €900, a family pass for the same group cost €752, a saving of €148.

If you are past caring about children, and you are a septuagenarian, then you can ski on most French ski resorts free of charge!

If you are looking to buy a ski property then check on our listings for Property in a popular ski resort.

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