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Planning a ski holiday in France? Know when to go

The question to ask when deciding to take a ski holiday in the French Alps is not “if” but “when”. 

With world-class resorts catering to all ability levels — including the non-skier who’s just there for the vin chaud and après ski — you’re in for a treat, on and off the slopes. So how to decide which month is right for you? Here’s what to consider before you book:


Two words. Festive season. Take the hosting pressures off family and celebrate with an all-inclusive, snowy getaway. Winter in the Alps is a magical time of year, with carolling, fairy lights and (for the kids) the chance to meet Père Noël. 

Nearly every town in Europe has its own Christmas market — complete with handmade crafts, wooden ornaments, roasted chestnuts and candied almonds. It’s the perfect place to stock up on unique gifts for family and friends back home. 

Best resort options for a festive season getaway

Our top pick when it comes to a ski resort for families? Club Med Grand Massif Samoens. This resort offers ski-in ski-out access to 256 km of slopes, and a full range of kids clubs and ski/snowboard lessons, as well as an indoor and outdoor pool. But adults will be kept entertained as well: panoramic mountain views, a menu created by a Michelin-starred chef, and plenty of pampering options at the in-house spa.

Sip vin chaud in the cool winter air with friends at Club Med Grand Massif Samoens. Photo courtesy of Club Med.

Another good bet? The upscale Club Med Alpe d’Huez. Located at 1860m, it’s ideal for an early (or late) season ski holiday. Plus, it’s got a dynamic 250km ski domain (with the biggest elevation difference in the world) and 300 days of sunshine per year. 

Enjoy picture-perfect conditions at Club Med Alpe d’Huez. Photo courtesy of Club Med.

Think a dedicated wellness area for adults (indoor heated pool, fitness centre, or yoga and meditation), plenty of fun family activities (ie. a “Happy Lounge” with board games, a library and climbing walls), and kids clubs/babysitting for all ages. 

Book your festive season getaway now

Contact your nearest Sure Travel agency to enquire or book, or call 0861 47 48 49. We’ve got great deals for set departures to Club Med Grand Massif Samoens and Club Med Alpe d'Huez in December when you book and pay before 16 August.


If crowds aren’t your vibe, consider taking your ski holiday in the first few weeks of January — they’re among the cheapest of the season (especially when it comes to flights). But don’t think this means sub-par conditions — the snow is some of the best. You’re guaranteed cold temperatures, dumps of fresh powder and untouched pistes. 

Serious skiers love this time of year; without the normal holiday crowds, you’ll spend less time in the lift queues and more honing your skill on the slopes. Plus, newbies can learn in a stress-free environment, without having to dodge all the other skiers on the mountain. 

Plus, when temperatures drop, you can cozy up after a thrilling session and savour French cuisine favourites like french onion soup, warm buttery croissants and raclette. 


Looking to rub shoulders with locals and their families? February is a favourite time of year for European holidaymakers (since it coincides with their kids’ half-term break from school). 

This month typically offers the best weather combination: regular snowfalls and warmer temperatures — the blue skies highlight the Alps at their most beautiful. 

While you will spend a little more time in queues than January, ski resorts tend to be ready for the added volumes, and you’ll have the opportunity to making international friends (if you strike up conversation while you wait)!


Expect warmer days — including blue skies — and outdoor après ski on the slopes. As the mercury creeps steadily upwards, make the most of your runs by getting onto the mountain early and delaying lunch until later in the day. 

On top of the world at Club Med La Plagne 2100. Photo courtesy of Club Med.
Our choice for a March ski break

Why not try Club Med La Plagne 2100? This all-inclusive resort offers magnificent views of Mont Blanc from its terrace, 425km of ski runs (with ski-in and ski-out access) and experienced guides from the French Ski School (including group ski lessons). 

After a day on the slopes, drop off the little ones at Club Med’s kids clubs (ages 4-17) and relax in the jacuzzi, sauna or hammam. Then head to dinner with evening entertainment (live bands and shows), suitable for the entire family.

Contact our helpful agents for more details, or to provide a quote for set departures to Club Med La Plagne 2100 in March 2020.

Replenish your energy after ski lessons at Club Med La Plagne 2100. Photo courtesy of Club Med.


Lather on the sunscreen — April’s weather settles into sunny skies and plenty of chances to dine outdoors after a good morning’s run. Get out before 10am to maximise your ski time (but avoid icy hills that might have melted and then frozen overnight). 

The softer “slushy” snow is more forgiving for kids who are learning, and they won’t be as cold and tuckered out as they’d be in the dead of winter — and tons of fun for snowboarders! 

You might find the hills busier than normal, since everyone’s out to savour their last runs of the winter season. Enjoy the buzz and take advantage of end-of-season sales on skis, boards, boots and clothing. 

Our favourite resort for the end of season? 

It's Club Med Val Thorens (one of the world’s largest ski areas). At 2,300 metres, this resort is your best bet for good conditions late in the season. 

Club Med Val Thorens has majestic panoramic views and combines exceptional skiing with the pleasures of après-ski. Enjoy snow sports in top conditions including downhill skiing, snowboarding, sledging and speed-riding — then cosy up by the fire for an evening with friends.

Plan your next snowy ski trip in the French Alps

Contact your nearest Sure Travel agency for a quote for Club Med Val Thorens, or call 0861 47 48 49. 

Go there!

from R15,500 p/p sharing
Buckle up for a lively encounter with the highlights of France.
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from R34,920 p/p sharing
Exceptional skiing with the pleasures of après-ski, in a totally magnificent environment
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from R40,500 p/p sharing
With magnificent views of the Alps, this is a great ski resort for families
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