The top seven international ski resorts in Isère are Alpe d’Huez, Les Deux Alpes, Vaujany, Oz-en-Oisans, Les 7 Laux, Chamrousse and Villard-de-Lans, many within a short transfer time of Grenoble-Isère-International airport.
Where is Isère’s best skiing?
Oisans ski resorts
For some of Isère’s best skiing, those in the know head to the Oisans for the two big giants of alpine skiing: Les 2 Alpes and Alpe d’Huez. Alpe d'Huez then connects with two other international resorts: Vaujany and Oz-en-Oisans to form part of Alpe d'Huez Grand Domaine.
© N. Louna - OT Les 2 Alpes
Les 2 Alpes is the highest ski area in France
With a terrain of more than 200 km, Les 2 Alpes delights ski and snowsport lovers all year and the resort is best known for its glacier skiing between 3,200 m and 3,600 m that guarantees natural snow in both winter and summer.
Alpine skiers enjoy skiing down one of Europe's largest vertical non-stop runs from 3,600 m to 1,300 m (or 12 km) down to the village of Mont de Lans (watch the video here). Park Avenue, one of France's best snowparks attracts freestyle skiers and boarders who love to throw a few shapes.
The resort is also one of five Isère resorts that caters specifically for families and holds the Famille Plus label awarded to places that have activities that the whole family can enjoy together and also some specifically for kids.
ALTITUDE: 1,300 M > 3,600 M
200 KM OF SLOPES: 11 GREEN | 49 BLUE | 17 RED | 13 BLACK
© Laurent Salino - OT Alpe d'Huez
With 300 days of sunshine a year, Alpe d’Huez is a paradise for skiers
Sunny Alpe d’Huez sits in a bowl surrounded by wide, gentle slopes that help to make it one of the largest nursery areas in the Alps, so perfect for families and beginners.
The resort connects with the pretty, rustic village of Vaujany (home to an international ice rink and modern sports centre), as well as the quieter Oz-en-Oisans and four other smaller Oisans resorts (Auris-en-Oisans, La Garde, Le Freney-d’Oisans, Villard-Reculas).
Together these form the Alpe d'Huez Grand Domaine through an efficient and modern lift system, which includes two new lifts: Enversin d'Oz de Vaujany gondola with Porsche-designed cabins and the Eau d'Olle Express lift, shortening the journey from the valley by a good 20 minutes.
The vast 251-km Alpe d'Huez Grand Domaine ski area is one of France's leading ski terrains, that can match the Espace Killy (Tignes~Val d'Isere) in terms of both skiing and apres-ski.
Alpe d'Huez and Vaujany also cater for families with ski schools, accommodation and family-friendly activities, and both resorts are part of the Famille Plus label.
ALTITUDE: 1,860 M > 3,330 M
251 KM OF SLOPES: 18 GREEN | 31 BLUE | 28 RED | 34 BLACK
Belledonne ski resorts
Surrounding the city of Grenoble, the resorts of the Belledonne massif - including Chamrousse and Les 7 Laux - are easily accessible for a quick trip from the UK or during a combined Grenoble city break.
© F. Guerdin
Chamrousse is the birthplace of French skiing
As the closest resort to Grenoble, Chamrousse provides something for all snowsport lovers (alpine slopes, snow park and nordic ski area) making it a popular choice with locals from Grenoble.
With 90 km of alpine slopes, Saturday night skiing on Chamrousse's floodlit pistes is a recent addition to the mix, so skiers can also max out their slope time during a weekend break.
Chamrousse hosted the downhill alpine ski races in the Grenoble Winter Olympics in 1968. It was here on the Casserousse 8 that French skiing legend Jean-Claude Killy won a gold medal in 1968.
Chamrousse is also a holder of the Famille Plus label with activities and accommodation specifically set up for families, including a kids ski club and a sledging area.
The resort also has the reputation of being the birthplace of French skiing, dating back to 1878.
ALTITUDE: 1,400 M > 2,250 M
90 KM OF SLOPES: 6 GREEN | 14 BLUE | 16 RED | 7 BLACK
Les 7 Laux, one of the main resorts in the Belledonne massif
Les 7 Laux can be described with one word: dynamic! Combining the three villages of Prapoutel at 1,350 m (the main town), Le Pleney at 1,450 m and Pipay at 1,550 m, and with panoramic views of the Alps, Les 7 Laux enjoys 120 km pistes, with constantly sunny slopes thanks to runs on both sides of the mountain.
The resort attracts serious skiers with an easily accessible, secured off-piste area in Les Vallons du Pra, aka 'the white gem' of Les 7 Laux, while freestylers and boarders head to the popular HO5 Oakley snow park with rails and a boarder-cross track.
Families and non-skiers have fun on the Wiz Luge at Le Pleney - a 2-person sledge on rails which goes up 300 m and winds down 700 m with seven hairpin bends through the forest and the marvellous landscapes of Belledonne on a fantastic sinuous course.
ALTITUDE: 1,350 M > 2,400 M
120 KM OF SLOPES: 7 GREEN | 14 BLUE | 19 RED | 11 BLACK
Vercors ski resorts
The Vercors massif is the most dramatic of Isère’s mountain ranges. The seven village resorts here are however best known for gentle terrain, scenic views and are popular for nordic skiing.
© David Boudin
Villard-de-Lans / Corrençon-en-Vercors, the largest alpine skiing area in Vercors
Settled in 1906, Villard-de-Lans / Corrençon-en-Vercors is a famous name in the French ski landscape and the third oldest resort in France.
With 125 km of alpine ski slopes and 110 km of nordic skiing tracks, it is the perfect resort to practice both disciplines through pine-filled forests with dramatic mountainous backdrops.
Alpine fans enjoy challenging downhills such as the famous Carole Montillet piste, but if you want to avoid the crowds and bottlenecks at lifts, why not take a break in one of Isere's dedicated nordic ski areas - the Espace Nordique du Haut Vercors. Double cross-country tracks in many places and dedicated snowshoe trails allow you to discover the backcountry scenery making it the perfect place to try out swapping your ski style.
Villard-de-Lans / Corrençon-en-Vercors is also a holder of the Famille Plus label with plenty of kid-friendly activities in resort including a zipline and kid zone on the slopes.
ALTITUDE: 1,100 M > 2,050 M
125 KM OF SLOPES: 13 GREEN | 12 BLUE | 16 RED | 10 BLACK
Chartreuse ski resorts
The lower Chartreuse mountains make for more scenic skiing through trees and woods, making the resorts idyllic for backcountry ski touring through the Espace Ski de Rando - Europe’s first dedicated ski touring area - at Saint-Pierre – Le Planolet.
ALTITUDE: 900 M > 1,789 M
35 KM OF SLOPES: 4 GREEN | 6 BLUE | 10 RED | 8 BLACK