Yes, you can actually ski from Switzerland to France. Les Portes du Soleil is the best area to explore when skiing from Switzerland to France. It is one of the most popular and top rated ski areas in Europe.
While many people usually cross the Switzerland-France border by driving, cycling, or even walking, skiers can do it right on their skis with relatively less cost.
Skiing across Europe offers a great experience, especially because of the fantastic ski resorts, superb skiing areas, and posh chalets.
If you want to ski from Switzerland to France, you will have a lot of things to enjoy, from new culture to amazing foods and great terrain.
In this article, we’ll talk about the best area to explore when skiing from Switzerland to France for a perfect experience.
The Best Place to Explore When Skiing from Switzerland to France
There are not many areas in the Alps that can let you travel from Switzerland to France on your skis; there are only two regions. These ski regions are Les Portes du Soleil and Chamonix.
Les Portes du Soleil Area
Les Portes du Soleil is the best area to explore when traveling from the Swiss to French Alps on skis. It gives you a fantastic opportunity to ski in multiple areas with great terrain and ski resorts.
This region boasts 12 ski villages, more than 15 valleys, and around 200 lifts to let you travel from Switzerland to France with pistes of about 650 km.
Whether you are an experienced or beginner skier, exploring this area in a single day is impossible. Depending on your ability level, you will need several days or weeks to explore the region effectively.
There are four main ski areas along the ridgeline that separates these countries where you can ride and have fun on the terrain.
This includes the area between Châtel in France and the Torgon in Switzerland, Chavanette, the Pointe des Mossettes, and between Châtel and Morgins ski areas.
You’ll find a lift on the Pointe des Mossettes, running between Avoriaz ski resort and the Swiss Alps, so you won’t have any trouble crossing the border.
The chairlifts will take you to the top of the border, giving you easy access to the Les Crosets ski area. Here is a map you can refer to when skiing in this region.
If you are new to skiing, the Chamonix area is an ideal destination for both beginners and expert skiers.
It has the Le Tour Resort (1453m) with a ski area located at the edge of Switzerland border. So, if you want to build your skiing confidence and advance your ability level, this should be your go-to ski area.
The Le Tour ski Resort is a traditional Savoyarde village located at the top of the valley, and it has spectacular views that will amaze you.
Skiing in this place will give you a feel of an off-piste adventure due to the wide variety of terrain features and snow conditions.
This ski area has a wide range of resorts from simple village huts to some of the exquisite dining in the Alps.
Why Ski Between France and Switzerland on Your Ski Holiday?
The ability to ski and explore two countries at a go is a great opportunity, especially if you can do it on your skis.
But why should you ski between the French Alps and Swiss Alps? What’s the big deal about these two Alpine countries?
Well, being able to ski between Switzerland and France is a privilege that any skier would be thrilled to enjoy.
You get to have fun exploring two countries at a go, in one ski area. For the best experience, I highly recommend Les Portes du Soleil.
When you visit this place, you can cruise on your skis from France to Switzerland and vice versa.
Should I Start Skiing in a Swiss or French Ski Resort?
Now that you have learned that it’s possible to ski from Switzerland to France, you might also be wondering which is the best place to start.
But the answer to this question is quite variable since it all depends on your personal preferences and where you are in France or Switzerland.
Both France and Switzerland offer a wide range of fantastic skiing adventures. The two countries have first-class après ski resorts that will give you a satisfying experience.
If you are coming from afar, you will land at Geneva airport no matter which side you want to start in. But the good thing is that you can actually walk from the airport to the train station.
In Switzerland, there are five ski resorts within the Les Portes du Soleil, while France has eight resorts. Skiers connect to the various ski regions through skiing, bus drives, or ski lifts.
So, I suggest you consider your specific needs, especially based on the culture and experience you are looking for, when deciding which side to start.
While the French Alps side has more resorts, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you won’t have much fun when starting from the Swiss Alps side.
If you intend to ski across the entire region, my recommendations for the best resorts are Châtel, Crosets, and Avoriaz.
Transportation and Ski Resorts in French Alps And Swiss Alps
The main modes of transport in the Les Portes du Soleil region are bus drives, train, or driving. You can move from one ski resort to another through skiing, bus, or a ski lift.
It’s important to keep in mind that some ski resorts are hard to reach while others are easily accessible.
If you are on the French side, you can get to the Alps using a bus, train, or driving to the center resort, Morzine.
Once you get to Morzine, you can easily access other ski resorts like Les Gets and Avoriaz.
If you are on the Swiss side, the best way to get to the Alps is to take the train. The Swiss train system is convenient and will take you straight to some ski resorts in the Alps.
For instance, you can take a train from Geneva airport to Brig, which will take you straight to the cable car at the pretty village of Champery. However, you might still need to use a bus for some resorts.
Within Les Portes du Soleil, the ski resorts in France include:
- Les Gets
- La Chapelle d’Abondance
- St Jean d’Aulps
Swiss ski resorts within Les Portes du Soleil include:
- Les Crosets-Champoussin
All the ski resorts in both Switzerland and France are truly impressive, and they offer accommodation at varied prices. So, you can be sure of having a good place to stay during the course of your ski trip in the Swiss and French Alps.
Even so, you’ll find that the Alpine villages and resorts in France have high-quality accommodation with delicious local cuisine. They are also relatively spacious compared to Swiss villages.
Accommodation costs can be quite pricey in the Alpine region of Switzerland, especially if you are spending your skiing holiday with family.
The cost of food in the Swiss Alps also tends to be higher than in French resorts, so you need to watch out when picking out meals for your family during the holiday.
Can You Ski Between France and Italy?
Yes, you can ski between France and Italy, and there are several regions that can allow you to do that.
Some of the best areas for skiing between France and Italy include La Rosière and Vallée de la Maurienne.
La Rosière ski slopes in the Mont Belvedere cross ways with those of La Thuile Aosta Valley.
This gives the association known as “Espace San Bernardo,” which offers around 160 km of ski slopes with stunning views of the snowy Mont Blanc.
In this area, you don’t have to decide whether to ski in France or Italy since you can easily combine the best ski destinations in the two countries for your ski holiday.
If you are a beginner, you will have fun skiing on the French side, which has more shallow slopes.
Advanced skiers looking to spend their ski holiday in this area will find the Italian part of the mountain to be more fun as it has an array of red and black slopes for an exciting experience.
If you are an experienced skier, the more challenging runs on the Italian side will definitely blow your mind.
Vallée de la Maurienne
Vallée de la Maurienne ski area is situated in the department of Savoie in Southeastern France, with about 20 ski resorts.
Two of these resorts, including Aussois and Val Cenis, are right at the Italian border, allowing you to ski between Italy and France.
Val Cenis has about 25 km of slopes where you and your family can have fun and create unforgettable Italy-France skiing moments.
French Aussois provides a perfect skiing area for families since it has a range of descents of differing difficulty levels. It offers about 55 km of slopes, more than 2,700 meters above sea level.
Q: Can You Ski From Switzerland to France?
A: Yes, you can ski from Switzerland to France. All you have to do is go to Les Portes du Soleil, as this is the best location for skiing between Switzerland and France.
In this ski region, you’ll find an array of ski areas from France to Lake Geneva with outstanding après ski restaurants that offer delicious traditional dishes in both Switzerland and France.
Q: Can You Ski From One Country to Another in the Alps?
A: Yes, you can ski from one country to another in the Alps. For example, you can ski from Switzerland to France through Les Portes du Soleil or from France to Italy through Vallée de la Maurienne or La Rosière.
Q: Is Skiing Better in Switzerland or France?
A: You can have a great skiing experience in Switzerland and France as both alpine countries provide perfect ski destinations.
However, skiing in Switzerland can be a bit more expensive than in France, which is generally cheaper in terms of food, accommodation, and lift pass.
The French side also offers world-class cuisine and great wine. You’ll have a wide range of dining options in the French ski resorts to choose from.
If you want to ski in Switzerland, the Alpine country also has tons of things to offer, only that you pay a little bit more for services and accommodation.
Q: Is It Cheaper to Ski in France or Switzerland?
A: It is cheaper to ski in France than in Switzerland. Skiing in Switzerland can be a very expensive adventure since the cost of the various aspects of a ski holiday is usually high.
If you want a more affordable ski holiday in the Alpine countries, my recommendation would be France or Italy.
Switzerland and France are excellent European ski destinations with top resorts and hundreds of kilometers of skiing slopes to explore.
If you want to ski from Switzerland to France, Les Portes du Soleil is the best location. You can visit this ski area to discover the fantastic French and Swiss Alpine terrain.
There are many ski resorts from France to Lake Geneva where you can have fun and spend quality time with your family skiing in Switzerland and France.