In winter, the French Alps offer some of the world's best skiing and snowboarding for all abilities; in summer, people come here to hike, bike and climb in the green mountains, white-water raft on rushing Alpine rivers, and boat on sparkling natural lakes. Intrepid explorers are lured year-round by Western Europe's highest peak, Mont Blanc, which poses an irresistible ascent challenge. Whenever you come, you'll be awed by the panoramic vistas of snowy peaks and blue skies that surround you; this is a seriously beautiful region.
We've chosen some fantastic lodges, chalets and hotels in our favourite areas - Chamonix (home to the first Winter Olympics in 1924 and famed for its intrepid black runs and energetic après ski), the stylish resort of Megève, and the mighty Portes du Soleil, Paradiski and Trois Vallées (some of the largest ski areas in the world). Between them, they offer runs for the total beginner to the hardened off-pister, as well as plenty of summer action.