With 250km of fabulous pistes and off-piste, Alpe d’Huez will keep every standard of skier happy for a week. One star attraction is the 16km Sarenne run with a vertical drop of around 1,800m from the top of Pic Blanc. When taking a break from the slopes (and recovering from that drop) there’s a splendid indoor-outdoor pool, a separate indoor pool, an Olympic-sized outdoor ice rink, a big gym, a climbing wall, archery and badminton. The Alpine Coaster sled on rails is definitely worth a ride while the cross-country loops and cleared paths for walking are extensive.
How to do it: Seven nights in the 4-star Hotel Pic Blanc with Inghams (01483 319 477; inghams.co.uk) costs from £1,199pp.
Based on an old rustic village right on the Italian border, Montgenèvre has recently been updated and is full of smart new developments. For a small place, there’s plenty on offer. The local ski area – one of the snowiest in the French Alps – has lots of varied slopes while the resort is also part of the Milky Way circuit, which extends to Sauze d’Oulx in Italy and offers 400km of slopes. Meanwhile, the 1.4km Monty Express sled ride on rails – the longest in France – makes for an exhilarating ride. The resort is also home to a splendid aquatic centre, an outdoor ice rink, snowmobiling and parapenting.
How to do it: Seven nights in the plush Hotel Anova with Crystal (020 3451 2821; crystalski.co.uk) costs from £948pp.
Unwind and reset
Brides les Bains
A relaxing and inexpensive place to stay, Brides les Bains is a small town with thermal waters linked by gondola to Méribel and the heart of Les 3 Vallées ski area – the biggest linked area in the world. If you’re more interested in putting your feet up than strapping your boots on, the recently refurbished Grand Spa Thermal is a great place to be pampered. Featuring a large thermal pool, herbal and aromatic steam rooms, a sauna, indoor and outdoor Jacuzzis, a tea room and a sunbathing terrace, there are plenty of packages to choose from (excluding accommodation) including seaweed body wraps, massages and beauty treatments.
How to do it: The winter relaxation spa access package costs from £25pp (0033 479 552 344; thermes-brideslesbains.com); treatments additional. Seven nights at Hotel Altis Val Vert with Ski Weekends (02380 206971; skiweekends.com) costs from £625pp including transfers; excludes flights.
Purpose-built Avoriaz is built on a cliff with fine views over the Morzine valley and a traffic-free snow-covered main square. It is in an ideal central position for exploring the 600km of mainly intermediate pistes of the Portes du Soleil ski area which spans the French-Swiss border. The Aquariaz leisure centre (child £5.85, adult £9.20; avoriaz.com) is perfect for families, featuring a fun pool with exotic jungle type vegetation, a bubble pool, waterfall, half-pipe water slide and outdoor whirlpool with great views. Meanwhile, the Deep Nature spa at the Amara residence is open to the public and offers massages, treatments, a sauna, steam room and outdoor hot tub.
How to do it: Seven nights for a two-bedroom apartment in the premium 5-star residence L’Amara with Skiline (020 8313 3999; skiline.co.uk) costs from £3,234 based on six people sharing; includes flights and transfers.