Best Ski Resorts near Grenoble
Discover fantastic resorts within 120 minutes
Grenoble – gateway to the Oisans resorts
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
Take the A43 from Grenoble and you can 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, just off the A43 between St Michel de Maurienne and Modane, and which has free parking close to the lift.
Tolls on autoroutes can build in big delays on your journey time to the slopes, especially at peak times. Electronic tags such as the Liber-t tag (available to buy online), are fitted behind the rear-view mirror and enable you to pass through the toll in dedicated fast lanes. Cameras read your tag and the toll is debited to your bank account.
Budget flights into Grenoble
Budget flights to Grenoble are offered by low-cost operators including Ryanair who are offering a new weekly connection from Bristol this winter.
Easyjet have connections from Edinburgh, Liverpool, Bristol, Luton, London Stansted and there are more frequent flights this winter from London Gatwick.
Jet2.com offers low cost flights to the French Alps from 7 UK airports: Birmingham, East Midlands (new), Glasgow, Leeds Bradfotrd, London Stansted, Manchester, Newcastle.
British Airways also operate winter-only flights to Grenoble from London Gatwick and London Heathrow
Easy bus transfers from the airport
Scheduled coach services make it simple for passengers to travel from Grenoble Alpes Isère Airport to Grenoble city center or the surrounding ski resorts. Coach times are matched to flight times so that passengers never have to wait for too long at the airport and can make the most of their time on the slopes.
Alternatively, hire cars, taxis or private transfers are also available in front of the arrivals. Hire a car, and enjoy the freedom of your own transport and discover any of the fantastic resorts within 120 minutes of Grenoble.
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.
Choose bigger resorts for the high life
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.
Near neighbours, it is possible to ski in both resorts during your ski holiday using one of the regular bus transfers. A new lift-link is planned for 2021, making a total of 475km pistes – potentially one of the biggest ski areas in the world.
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:
|Major Ski Resorts Close to Grenoble|
|Ski Resorts||*Transfer Time||Ski Domain||Altitude||Local Ski Area / Total Ski Domain||**6-day Adult Ski Pass|
|LES 7 LAUX||1hr 57||Pra Poutel/Pipay/Le Pleynet||1350-2400m||120km||€182.50|
|VILLARD DE LANS||60 mins||Espace Villard-Corrençon: Villard de Lans, Corrençon en Vercors||1050-2050m||125km||€198|
|CHAMROUSSE||1hr 10||Espace Chamrousse: Chamrousse 1650, Chamrousse 1700-1750||1400 -2250m||90km||€180.50|
|VAUJANY||1hr 25||Alpe d’Huez Grand Domaine: Auris-en-Oisans, La Garde, Le Freney d’Oisans, Oz-en- Oisans, Vaujany, Villard-Reculas||1135m-2800m||70km / 250km||€175 Vaujany, Oz
€275 Alpe d’Huez Grand Domaine
|OZ-EN-OISANS||1hr 30||Alpe d’Huez Grand Domaine: Auris-en-Oisans, La Garde, Le Freney d’Oisans, Oz-en- Oisans, Vaujany, Villard-Reculas||1135m-2800m||70km / 250km||€175 Vaujany, Oz
€275 Alpe d’Huez Grand Domaine
|ALPE D’HUEZ||1hr 35||Alpe d’Huez Grand Domaine: Auris-en-Oisans, La Garde, Le Freney d’Oisans, Oz-en- Oisans, Vaujany, Villard-Reculas||1135m-2800m||250km||€275 Alpe d’Huez Grand Domaine|
|LES 2 ALPES||1hr 35||Les 2 Alpes: Vanosc, Mont-de-Lans||1300m-3600m||223km||€262.50 Les 2 Alpes|
|LA GRAVE-LA MIEJE||1hr 45||Weather-dependent foot or snowcat link to Les 2 Alpes||-3200m||unpisted||€49 day pass cable car + skilift|
|SERRE CHEVALIER||2hrs(weather permitting)||Serre Chevalier: Briançon, Puy Saint-André, Puy Saint-Pierre, Chantemerle, Villeneuve, Le Monêtier-les-Bains||1200m-2800m||250km||€264 Serre Chevalier, cheaper early and late season.|
|VALMOREL||2hrs||Grand Domaine: Valmorel, Saint Francois Longchamp||1400m-2832m||152km||€235.60 Grand Domaine|
|BRIDES-LES-BAINS||2hrs||Les 3 Vallées: incl. Courchevel, Méribel, St Martin de Belleville, Les Menuires, Val Thorens||1300m-3230m||150km / 600km||€312 3V varies through season|
|LA TOUSSUIRE||2hrs||Les Sybelles: Saint Sorlin d’Arves, Le Corbier, Saint Jean d’Arves, Les Bottières, Saint Colomban des Villards||1300m-2296m||55km / 310km||€227.40 Les Sybelles|