A SKI resort in the Paca region has been named the best value for money in France in a new study to coincide with the launch of this winter's skiing season.
The research, by travel agency Locasun, compared prices at 20 of the most popular resorts with how many kilometres of pistes were on offer - and the price comparison is based on a family of four people enjoying either a Christmas or February half-term ski break.
Serre Chevalier in the Hautes-Alpes emerged as the best value for money on a per-kilometre basis. The resort is the biggest in the department, with 250km of pistes at altitudes ranging from 1,200 to 2,800 metres.
The study estimates that a family of four will spend about €2,000 all-inclusive for a week there, including hotels, food, lift passes and equipment hire - which works out at €2 per person per kilometre. La Plagne in Savoie and Les Deux Alpes in Isère came second and third.
At the other end of the value-for-money league table were Les Cauterets in the Hautes-Pyrénées and Les Angles in the Pyrénées-Orientales (which was also named France's most densely packed with 327 skiers per kilometre). Avoriaz in Haute-Savoie came bottom, at €7.32 per person per kilometre.
Skiers looking for peace and quiet are advised to try Vars in the Hautes-Alpes and Flaine in Haute-Savoie, which have fewer than 100 people per kilometre of piste during the peak winter holidays.
And if the size of your ski resort is not of concern, the study says the cheapest overall package can be found at Puy Saint Vincent in the Hautes-Alpes, which works out at €1,454 for a week.
Meanwhile some of the biggest resorts in the Alps, including Chamonix Mont-Blanc and Val d'Isère, had to delay opening this year because of disappointing levels of snowfall.