The 2nd Largest Ski Resort In The World Is The Ultimate Winter Getaway With So Much To Do

If your local ski slopes just aren't cutting it anymore, book a flight to western Europe, where you'll find one of the largest ski resorts in the world covering a whopping 154 square miles. The resort — which technically includes 12 different resorts in one — is Les Portes du Soleil, located in both France and Switzerland (Yep, it's so big it spills over into a second country). Ski enthusiasts will find nearly endless options, with 208 lifts and over 300 pistes, plus color-coded slopes to separate the learners from the experts. That means the whole family is welcome, including children who are just figuring out how to buckle their ski boots.

Visitors to Les Portes du Soleil aren't limited to just one section or resort within the area. The full terrain is open and accessible, with the option to seamlessly travel across the French-Swiss border. And when you or someone in your group needs a break from skiing, rest assured that you won't get bored at this winter destination. The resort offers snowboarding, sleigh rides, snowshoeing, snowmobile tours, and other fun and relaxing activities.

How to get to the resort

If you're traveling far to reach the skiing haven, book a flight to Geneva International Airport, the nearest major airport to the resort. From there, take a one-hour shuttle ride to the site. If you prefer to travel by car, note that you'll have to park away from Les Portes du Soleil, as the mountain area has banned most motor vehicles. In Switzerland, look for parking in Vionnaz or Monthey, and in France, stop just before Avoriaz in Les Gets or Morzine.

To access Les Portes du Soleil, you must purchase a ski lift pass online or at one of the area's 12 resorts. Keep in mind that the destination spans two countries, so while you can use one pass for both, you must enter within the country you purchased your ticket in. In other words, if you buy your pass in a resort office in Switzerland, or if you buy it online using a Swiss ticketing website, you must begin your ski trip in Switzerland. The same rule applies to passes obtained in France. Once you've made it to one of the resort villages, expect to get around mostly by foot, chairlift, sleigh, or snow taxi.

Where to stay in the area

You'll find a variety of accommodations in the villages dotting the mountains surrounding Les Portes du Soleil. Be aware that each village offers its own culture and unique facilities and, as a result, some tend to be priced higher than others. If you're on a budget, look for rooms in Châtel, Abondance, or Montriond.

Besides cost, be sure to weigh other factors when deciding which village to get cozy in during your winter getaway. For example, Les Gets offers easy access to some of the resort's beginner-friendly pistes, making it an ideal spot for groups with novices and children. Meanwhile, tourists looking for exciting nightlife should book accommodations in Morzine or Avoriaz, both of which have multiple clubs and bars.

To truly channel the Alpine ski getaway vibes, book a cozy wooden chalet. If you don't mind splurging — or if you're traveling in a large group — many private chalets have luxurious amenities such as hot tubs and fireplaces. For the same atmosphere but without breaking the bank, look for a room in a cabin-esque hotel instead. You'll also find easygoing hostels, spa accommodations, and family-friendly suites in and around the Les Portes du Soleil villages. It's the perfect destination for a getaway in the Alps.