When we were looking to plan our ski trips for this season, we quickly realised that Easter is late again this year and some ski resorts are closing earlier than they have in recent years. Because of this we decided to find out where people can ski in France this Easter focusing on resorts with great aires or campsites.
So which French Ski Resorts are Still Open at Easter? UK Easter School Holidays are the 3rd to the 20thApril 2020 and the following French ski resorts are still open for business:
- Montgenèvre (closes 27thApril 2020)
- Les 2 Alpes (closes 25thApril 2020)
- Alpe d’Huez (closes 25thApril 2020)
- Les Arcs (closes 25thApril 2020)
- Val Thorens (closes 26thApril 2020)
We’ve chosen to focus on these late-running resorts as they offer a wide variety of skiing, parking and camping opportunities and are also good for families, all carrying the ‘Famille Plus’ certification.
Late Easter Skiing
Many families, particularly those with small children, find Christmas snow too unreliable and half-term too cold, which leaves the Easter holidays to pack up the motorhome or campervan and head to the mountains.
The trouble is, that Easter isn’t the same date each year. Why does this matter? Because ski resorts, particularly at lower altitudes, begin closing their ski facilities in the first week of April and if Easter is late in the year, this can really limit the number of resorts where families can enjoy a snow sports holiday in their motorhome.
This doesn’t mean that you have to forgo your ski trip – you just have to choose wisely to ensure that all the facilities you are going to rely on in your motorhome are available – this includes a place to park (be that an aire or campsite); ski lifts; restaurants; and ski school.
It would be easy to simply list the high altitude, snow-sure ski areas like Chamonix but whilst Chamonix is a fabulous place – enjoying increasing popularity late season for ski touring – it’s not ideal for families who are learning to ski. Chamonix’s situation in the valley means a bus trip to and from the lifts wherever you park and it’s reputation as an advance skiers paradise, means that it’s not really a place for children to develop their confidence and passion for snow sports.
There are however many options for late Easter skiing in France and we have chosen our top 5 to cater for a variety of interests, ski-skills and requirements when it comes to a place to park. Let’s start with Les Arcs.
Easter Motorhome Skiing in Les Arcs, Savoie
Resort Closing date: 25thApril
Ski area: Paradiski
Huttopia is one of the most popular campsites in the Alps. With recently renovated facilities, even the least equipped and winterised campervan could get by at this campsite in Bourg-Saint-Maurice – with great washing facilities, drying room and free bus to the funicular that takes you up to Les Arcs itself (7minute ride to 1600), this is certainly a very good option for motorhome skiers just 9 hours drive from Calais. What’s more, it’s a really easy route with no switch backs to worry about. This also makes it ideal for caravans – which is becoming more popular each season.
With 425km of piste, Les Arcs is within the Paradiski area and is currently the 4thlargest ski domain in France which makes it great for mixed ability groups. It’s a popular resort for British tour operators – this means that ski schools are excellent and with skiing up to 3250m, you’ll find late reliable snow.
Facilities in the town are excellent – a supermarket a few minutes walk from the campsite and lots of restaurants and bars make Bourg-Saint-Maurice quite a buzy town in the ski season.
Easter Motorhome Skiing in Montgenevre, Haute-Alpes
Resort Closing Date: 27thApril
Ski Area: Milky Way
Aire: The Aire at Montgenèvre – Full details and video
Montgenèvre is the latest closing resort on our list and with lifts all the way from resort level at 1850m up to 2700m, whilst not always on the snow-sure list, the big investment the resort has made in snow cannons has made this a fabulous choice for an Easter ski holiday. If you’re reasonably self-sufficient and are happy without an on-site toilet or shower block then the camping car aire at Montgenèvre might be perfect for you and your family. This motorhome aire has electric hook up (EHU) and some other basic facilities that you can read about here and we have a detailed review video of all the facilities on our YouTube channel.
Skiing is varied offering plenty of opportunity for skiers of every level. One of the particularly appealing aspects of Montgenèvre is that it is a real town so non-skiers can enjoy a fabulous view of the lower ski areas whilst comfortably tucked up in one of the cosy bars. There’s a great Spa accessible by free bus from the aire and amazing walking and snow shoeing opportunities right from the door for your campervan.
This aire is ski to the door, but access to all the junior slopes and ski school is a 5 minute free bus ride.
Easter Motorhome Skiing in Les 2 Alpes, Savoie
Resort Closing Date: 25thApril
Ski Area: Les 2 Alpes
Camping: Champ du Moulin, Venosc
Aire: The Aire in Les 2 Alpes town – Full details and video
The only ski resort on our list that offers glacier skiing, Les 2 Alpes is a very popular resort when Easter falls late in the year. It offers the choice of the winter campsite in Venosc, or staying at the aire at the other end of the resort – we’ve stayed at both and loved the two very different ways to experience the resort.
Champ du Moulin is a great winter campsite tucked over the end of the main Les 2 Alpes resort in the valley below – which you access by cable car. You can leave your skis in lockers available to rent in town so you don’t even need to worry about carrying them and you’ll be afforded the best views each morning as you ascend from the beautiful village of Venosc.
If you want to be actually in the resort, the aire in Les 2 Alpes is great. Ski-in ski-out, reliable electric hook up, heated toilets and a free bus into the main town. It does however have a few draw backs that you need to be aware of – check out our full aire video where you can see if this ski aire ticks all your boxes.
Les 2 Alpes is a great Easter motorhome ski holiday location whether you’re trying to keep your budget down by staying in the aire or you want to splash out a bit with the facilities on offer at the campsite in Venosc.
Score: 7/10 (gets really busy)
Easter Motorhome skiing in Val Thorens, Savoie
Resort Closing Date: 26thApril
Ski Area: Les 3 Values
Aire: The Aire in Val Thorens Car parks 2 and 3
Val Thorens ticks a lot of our boxes for Easter motorhome skiing holidays. Firstly, and a rarity, you can book your parking online, in advance. That ensures you know you’ve got a spot and that can give you peace of mind, especially if you are travelling with children. It’s not cheap at €26/night, comparable with some fully serviced campsite charges in the rest of France, and with no electric hook up, this puts some people off. However, this snow-sure resort is the highest in Europe and is well looked after right up to the closing date. You have access to The 3 Valleys if you like to put some miles on your skis, and at just 9.5 hours from Calais (on the tolls), this is a very popular resort for families who like guarantees. However, all this comes at a cost, pricy parking and a relatively expensive ski pass (even with family discounts) puts a few people off Val Thorens but if you’re looking to know where you’re going and that when you get there, you’re going to have good snow, Val Thorens is definitely a resort for you to consider.
Score: 7/10 (this is simple economics but it is pricy)
Easter Motorhome Skiing in Alpe d’Huez, Isère
Resort Closing Date: 25th April
Ski Area: Grand Domaine
Aire: The aire at Alpe d’Huez – Full details and video
Alpe d’Huez is one of the very best resorts for late Easter skiing holidays in a motorhome or campervan. It does however require you to be mostly self-sufficient. There is no individual hook up (only the top up at the service area) but if you have solar panels, Alpe d’Huez (L’ile au Soleil – the island in the sun) you’re more than likely to have enough sun each day to keep those leisure batteries topped up. As with most aires, you can’t book a spot in advance but it is huge with over 200 campervan and motorhome pitches.
Alpe d’Huez is a fantastic resort for families, particularly at Easter. It has a lot going on around the town and has on, side and off piste skiing to keep everyone in the family entertained. Something we think is pretty cool is that new this season, the ESF Ski School are launching ‘Ski Differently’ experiences – the whole family can try the Biathalon elements of skiing – Nordic skiing, shooting, ski-cross. They seem to have put a lot into making these experiences family focused and this is one area we are seeing more investment from resorts – diversifying the activities on offer to appeal to the biggest market they can.
The unavoidable catch with Alpe d’Huez aire is that it’s future is uncertain. If you want to keep up to date, please sign up to our mailing list so we can bring you up to speed on the status of this aire and all things motorhome ski related.
Where can I ski in Switzerland at Easter? It’s got to be Saas Fee. It’s high altitude (skiing to 3500m) and has a nice aire with a few basic facilities. The views are incredible and it’s a 15 minute walk from the aire to the lifts.
Where can I ski in summer in Europe? If you’ve bored yourself silly at your local snow dome and you fancy a quick trip to the continent, you can pack up the camper and stay in a bunch of places – Saas Fee in Switzerland, Les 2 Alpes in France, Cervinia in Italy and Hintertux in Austria are just a few places on the summer skiing hit-list.