Wide view of skier on piste with mountains and Alpe d'Huez ski village in background.

Best Ski Resorts near Grenoble

Discover fantastic resorts within 120 minutes

There’s a wide choice of flights heading for Grenoble airport this winter, so here are some of the best resorts within easy transfer distances of this popular airport.

Jump straight to resort comparison table

Grenoble is a dynamic city with plenty of history and culture, and its proximity to the Alps makes it a popular launch-pad for outdoor sports enthusiasts. Well-known ski resorts within a short drive of the city include Chamrousse and Villard-de Lans, plus those best-known to locals, such as the ski stations of the Chartreuse, Les 7 Laux or Le Collet d’Allevard.

However, Grenoble also lies at the gateway to the Massif de l’Oisans, home of several internationally-renowned resorts including Alpe d’Huez. This huge ski area is lift-linked to the surrounding villages of Auris-en-Oisans, Oz-en-Oisans, Villard Reculas and Vaujany.

Visible across the valley is Les 2 Alpes and slightly further on the off-piste playground of La Grave. Continue driving to the Col du Lauteret, beyond which is Serre-Chevalier, one of the biggest ski resorts in Europe.

Fast Autoroute Links

Fast autoroute links from Grenoble mean you can also be in the Three Valleys and resorts such as Courchevel, Les Menuires, Méribel, Saint Martin de Belleville and nearby Valmorel in around two hours. Alternatively, the family resorts in Vallée de la Maurienne also deserve to be discovered, such as Les Sybelles (just over 2 hours from Grenoble) Valfréjus and Valloire/Valmeinier. Another plus for the Maurienne is back-door high-speed gondola lift access to Val Thorens and the 3 Valleys from Orelle (which has free parking close to the lift).

Skiers making final runs in late afternoon, with sun setting

Budget flights into Grenoble

Independent skier flights to Grenoble received another boost by the arrival of Monarch Airlines, which offers a cheap, regular winter schedule with free ski carriage, from Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds/Bradford and London Gatwick airports. Other operators include Ryanair who fly from Dublin and London Stansted, Easyjet from London Gatwick, and Jet2 with flights from East Midlands, Glasgow, Leeds Bradford, Manchester and Newcastle.

Grenoble airport lies about 40km outside of the city but there are scheduled bus transfers ready to take you to your chosen ski resort – a total of 48 destinations. Alternatively, hire a car, enjoy the freedom of your own transport and discover any of the fantastic resorts within 120 minutes of Grenoble. If you’re planning a longer stay and feel like getting around, check for multi-domain lift-pass offers.

Decision time: big resorts v traditional villages

It’s probably true to say that these days there are no bad ski resorts, just places which might not suit your particular requirements. It’s therefore essential, when planning your ski trip, to ask yourself which qualities and facilities are most important to you, and to find somewhere which matches your checklist. For example, for families with young children it’s important to have accommodation near the slopes, along with good English-speaking ski-schools and child-care facilities. Small villages will be less crowded and potentially safer on the slopes than those in bigger areas favoured by high-mileage skiers and snowboarders out to impress. Look out for ‘Famille Plus’ ski resorts, which give a special welcome to family groups – when travelling via Grenoble you could consider Vaujany, Oz-en-Oisans, Villard de Lans, Serre Chevalier, Valmorel, and La Toussuire.

If, the other hand, you want to party the night away and see who can clock up the highest mileage skiing the next day you’ll obviously want to go somewhere big. If you don’t already know which resorts offer plenty of entertainment both on and off the slopes and an extensive ski area with fast lifts, you might consider Alpe d’Huez or Les 2 Alpes.


At-a-glance: major ski resorts close to Grenoble, by transfer time

Finally, we’ve drawn-up the following table to show you which resorts are located within 2 hours’ drive-time of Grenoble airport, and how they compare:

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Ski Resort Villard de Lans Chamrousse Vaujany Oz-en-Oisans Alpe d’Huez Les 2 Alpes La Grave-La Mieje Serre Chevalier Valmorel Brides-les-Bains La Toussuire
Ski Domain (Linked Resorts) Espace Villard-Corrençon (Villard de Lans, Corrençon en Vercors) Espace Chamrousse (Chamrousse 1650, Chamrousse 1700-1750) Alpe d’Huez Grand Domaine (Auris-en-Oisans, La Garde, Le Freney d’Oisans, Oz-en- Oisans, Vaujany, Villard-Reculas) Alpe d’Huez Grand Domaine (Auris-en-Oisans, La Garde, Le Freney d’Oisans, Oz-en- Oisans, Vaujany, Villard-Reculas) Alpe d’Huez Grand Domaine (Auris-en-Oisans, La Garde, Le Freney d’Oisans, Oz-en- Oisans, Vaujany, Villard-Reculas) Les Deux Alpes (Vanosc, Mont-de-Lans) Weather-dependent foot or snowcat link to Les Deux-Alpes Serre Chevalier (Briançon, Puy Saint-André, Puy Saint-Pierre, Chantemerle, Villeneuve, Le Monêtier-les-Bains) Grand Domaine (Saint Francois Longchamp) Les 3 Vallées (incl. Courchevel, Méribel, St Martin de Belleville, Les Menuires, Val Thorens) Les Sybelles (Saint Sorlin d’Arves, Le Corbier, Saint Jean d’Arves, Les Bottières, Saint Colomban des Villards)
Local Ski Area / Total Ski Domain 125km 90km 70km / 250km 70km / 250km 250km 223km Unpisted 250km 152km 150km / 600km 55km / 310km
Transfer Time 60 mins 1hr 10 1hr 25 1hr 30 1hr 35 1hr 35 1hr 45 2hrs(weather permitting) 2hrs 2hrs 2hrs
Altitude 1050-2050m 1400 -2250m 1135m-2800m 1135m-2800m 1135m-3330m 1300m-3600m -3200m 1200m-2800m 1400m-2832m 1300m-3230m 1300m-2296m
Adult Ski Pass (6 day) €174 €170.50 €168 (Vaujany, Oz)
€259.50 (Alpe d’Huez Grand Domaine)
€168 (Vaujany, Oz)
€259.50 (Alpe d’Huez Grand Domaine)
€259.50 Alpe d’Huez Grand Domaine €245 (Discounts for >1 person/families) €49 day pass cable car + skilift €251 (Serre Chevalier includes 1 day in each of the Grande Galaxie resorts) €222 (Grand Domaine) €289 3V (discounts for >1 person) €176.70 (La Toussuire) / €220.30 (Les Sybelles)

Ski Pass prices for 2016/17 sourced from official resort websites. MountainPassions does not guarantee their accuracy, and they are intended as a guide only.

Feature by Julia Moss © 2017

Julia began her skiing in Courchevel and has since skied extensively throughout France and Canada. Apart from building and maintaining MountainPassions.com, she writes all the essential information for the ski and summer resort reviews and gives Twitter and Facebook followers regular updates and travel tips.

Website: http://www.mountainpassions.com

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