The best ski resorts in the Pyrenees take full advantage of the striking scenery and terrain that separates France from Spain. On the French side, 39 resorts are open in both winter and summer, offering you a sense of awe, emotion, relaxation and time to disconnect.

    This impressive mountain range has an unrivalled diversity: it stretches across 6 departments and is divided into 3 areas, each with its own distinctive character (Pyrénées-Atlantiques, Central Pyrenees and Pyrénées-Orientales). To help you choose the resort best suited to you, here's an overview of our must-see places.

    1

    Peyragudes

    The best area for fun

    At Peyragudes, quality takes precedence over quantity. It may have fewer slopes than some of the larger resorts, but the faultless infrastructure gives you the optimum skiing experience. With its green, blue, red and black slopes distributed across 60 km, this welcoming family resort caters for all levels in a non-competitive atmosphere.

    If you like to vary your enjoyment, you've come to the right place. Snow parks, half-pipes and snowboard cross are all available for you to put your skills to the test and get the adrenaline pumping. A state-of-the-art ski lift from the car park adds a big helping of convenience, too.

    Location: Rond-point de Balestas, Peyresourde Village, 65240 Germ-Peyragudes, France

    Phone: +33 (0)5 62 99 69 99

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    2

    Grand Tourmalet

    For wooded slopes and added surprises

    Tourmalet has, in addition to its famous mountain pass, an impressive winter sports resort. With a total of 69 slopes spanning 100 km, you can enjoy downhill and cross-country skiing, snowshoeing or even take part in fast-paced dog sled racing.

    The largest ski area in the French Pyrenees peaks at an altitude of 2,500 metres and is connected to the villages of Barèges and La Mongie. If you want to go a little higher still, head to the top of the Pic du Midi observatory, where you can organise a romantic dinner under the stars, then spend the night.

    Location: Rue du Pic d’Espade, 65200 Bagnères-de-Bigorre, France

    Phone: +33 (0)5 62 91 94 15

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    3

    Cauterets

    Combine skiing with relaxation

    Cauterets is renowned for its optimal snow cover. It's often the first resort to open for the ski season and the last to close. Divided into 2 areas, each with its own character, the resort is a veritable paradise for skiers who appreciate enchanting landscapes.

    This small resort offers 29 slopes across a total of 36 km – 5 of which are reserved for cross-country skiing – and manages to provide a large range of activities across that area. Downhill and Nordic skiing, snowshoeing and tobogganing are all available as part of your winter sports programme. If pampering is more your thing, Cauterets is also home to a renowned spa resort.

    Location: Place Maréchal Foch, 65110 Cauterets, France

    Phone: +33 (0)5 62 92 50 50

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    4

    Font Romeu

    The star of cross-country skiing in the Pyrenees

    Font Romeu in the Pyrénées-Orientales region benefits from a sunny Mediterranean climate, where you can perfect your technique in a happy, relaxed atmosphere. As its ski area is linked to the Bolquère Pyrénées 2000 resort, there are a total of 40 downhill ski runs across 58 km.

    The standout feature of Font Romeu is the 22 cross-country pistes across 111 km, giving the area its excellent reputation. It is, in fact, the only resort in the Pyrenees that has specialised in this discipline to this extent. Come and discover the pleasures of this beginners' haven, where children will also be welcomed with open arms.

    Location: 82 Avenue Emmanuel Brousse, 66120 Font-Romeu-Odeillo-Via, France

    Phone: +33 (0)4 68 30 68 30

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    5

    Ax-les-Thermes

    Crazy slopes and natural swimming pools

    Ax-les-Thermes is a great resort for combining schuss with spa treatments and well-being. The resorts of Bonascre, Saquet and Campels offer 35 slopes, spread over 83 km, ensuring thrill-filled days. Incredible tree-lined blue runs share the spotlight with vigorous red slopes, while the snowpark will provide a thrilling experience.

    Although this ski area may be the largest in the Ariège region, it's not the busiest in the Pyrenees. That means you'll be able to appreciate the magnificent landscape in total peace. After a few intense hours on the slopes, dive into the spa resort's invigorating waters to relieve your aching muscles.

    Location: 6 Avenue Théophile Delcassé, 09110 Ax-les-Thermes, France

    Phone: +33 (0)5 61 64 60 60

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    6

    Saint-Lary-Soulan

    The most family-friendly ski resort in the Pyrenees

    Saint-Lary Soulan is excellent for families, with a toboggan run and kid's park for children aged between 6 and 12, as well as other activities. Intermediate and advanced skiers will also find their niche on the black, red and blue slopes, the half-pipe and snowboard cross. Even hikers are catered for at the Pyrénées National Park and the nearby Néouvielle National Nature Reserve.

    Saint-Lary Soulan has a total of 56 slopes of varying difficulty. They add up to 100 km long, spread over 700 hectares and with 3 sections ranging from 1,700 metres to 2,515 metres in altitude.

    Location: 37 Rue Vincent Mir, 65170 Saint-Lary-Soulan, France

    Phone: +33 (0)5 62 39 50 81

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    7

    Piau-Engaly

    Wild nature and emotions at the top of the Pyrenees

    Piau-Engaly is one of the highest ski resorts in the Pyrenees and is also one of the most spectacular. From here, you'll be able to appreciate the magnificent scenery of the Pyrénées National Park as soon as you open the door of your chalet.

    With its 41 downhill runs over a total of 68 km, Piau-Engaly has something for most levels. Beginners can take advantage of specially adapted areas and the well-equipped snowpark will delight enthusiasts. Meanwhile, experienced skiers can enjoy accompanied off-piste and freeride sessions. Every year, the Derby des Pyrénées is organised here, offering the opportunity to participate in one of the region's leading sporting events.

    Location: Station Piau Engaly, 65170 Aragnouet, France

    Phone: +33 (0)5 62 39 61 69

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    8

    Luz Ardiden

    As versatile as it is welcoming

    Luz-Ardiden is both energetic and family-oriented and stretches over 3 mountainsides, offering a number of varied activities that you'll want to do again and again. Young and old alike are welcome on the resort's 60 km of marked slopes, distributed across the Aulian, Béderet and Cloze areas.

    You'll have the opportunity to try your hand at downhill skiing, snowboarding, Nordic skiing, snowshoeing, or even hiking, with breathtaking views across the summits of the Pyrenees. Good to know: the red and blue slopes are the sunniest in the resort. And a nice surprise for thrill-seekers is the Bernazaou freeride descent, accompanied by experienced instructors.

    Location: 20 Place du 8 Mai, 65120 Luz-Saint-Sauveur, France

    Phone: +33 (0)5 62 92 30 30

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    9

    Luchon-Superbagnères

    The hidden pearl of the peaks

    The pretty resort of Luchon-Superbagnères is quieter than its neighbours and is perched upon a natural balcony bathed in sunlight, offering breathtaking views from the slopes. Spread across 3 areas, its 30 pistes range from gentle slopes for the youngsters and beginners to steeper slopes in a breathtaking setting for the more advanced. From some, you even get a view of the top of the Pyrenees – the Pic de l'Aneto.

    Slalom down through the forest, try cross-country skiing, have a blast tobogganing or at the snowpark and, at the end of the day, make the most of the resort's thermal baths, restaurants, cinema, casino and clubs to unwind.

    Location: 18 Allée d’Etigny, 31110 Bagnères-de-Luchon, France

    Phone: +33 (0)5 61 79 21 21

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    photo by Nataloche (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified

    10

    Grandvalira

    The biggest ski resort in the Pyrenees

    Grandvalira is the biggest ski resort in the Pyrenees, with 210 km of slopes across 132 pistes. Add to this 18 button lifts, 30 chairlifts, 3 gondolas, a cable car, as well a host of other activities, and you have a great winter holiday that will meet everyone's needs.

    Straddling France and Andorra, Grandvalira comprises 6 villages, from the most active to the most family-friendly. Adrenaline junkies will love the lessons on offer at the only freestyle school in the Pyrenees, while animal lovers will have a ball with the dog sleds. With its wellness centres, restaurants, bars and even igloos where you can stay, this resort definitely keeps its promises.

    Location: Pas de la Casa, 66760 Porta, France

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