Skiing in December in Europe? -Val Thorens, France

Yes, it's possible but you have to go high. The higher, the better. High altitude equals lower pressure, which equals lower temperatures in the late autumn, which in turn equals snow, not rain! When you combine altitude with historically high snowfall, you get an interesting list of skiing areas in the Alps, where you can almost guarantee a natural snow skiing in early December! We have visited and selected the highest ski resorts in Europe with world-class skiing and partying. So, one itching to start the season early must not miss.

Dobromir Guchev
by Dobromir Guchev ·

2. Val Thorens, France

Resort height: 2300m 

Slopes: 1800-3230m 

Pistes: 150km (600km - 3 Valleys)

Snowfall: 6m per year

With its hotels and bottom of the lifts at 2,300m, the purpose built Val Thorens is considered the highest ski resort in Europe. The ski area reaches up to 3,230m at the peak of its skiable glaciers, Peclet and Thorens.

The snowfall averages at about 6m per year and is amongst one of the best in the Alpes. 

Val Thornes boasts with plenty of ski-in ski-out hotels and residences  providing seamless access to the  slopes. We have been there at the beginning and the end of December and both times there was plenty of snow as the pictures here will show. In fact in 2016 there was no snow in most of the Alps and Val Thorens was one of the few resorts with sufficient  snow  on the slopes to stay open. 

Val Thorens is the highest part of the world's largest ski area  - The Three Valleys ,which also includes Orelle, Les Menuires, Saint-Martin-de-Belleville, Méribel, Brides les Bains et Courchevel. Depending on the weather conditions sometimes the link down to Méribel and Courchevel is closed. Nevertheless this still leaves you 150km of perfectly groomed slopes and  plenty more on the off-piste around the Lac du Lou area.

If the hotel has no car park, please  budget for an expensive daly charge above 25 EUR per (prices form 2021). The car park is like a graffiti gallery though, so it is probably worth it.

 Val Thorens is renowned for its nightlife and restaurants. From the lively Apes ski to the early morning club, this is probably one of the best party ski resorts in Europe. 

Stay @ Val Thorens