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France is the destination for snow lovers looking to tick-off the biggest numbers in winter sports. Whether it is the biggest ski area, the tallest lift-served vertical or the longest run in the world, France holds all the records. Three of the five biggest ski areas in the world are wholly or mostly within the country, the top two being the Three Valleys and the Portes du Soleil. Perhaps unsurprisingly for the country with the highest mountain in the Alps, there are plenty of biggest, highest and longest runs to be found as well. Chamonix’s Aiguille du Midi gives the biggest skiable vertical drop of any lift in the world, Alpe d’Huez has the longest black run, and arguably the longest piste. Les Deux Alpes has the biggest on-piste vertical drop that can be descended in one go. La Plagne is the world’s most popular snow sports resort, in terms of skier visits, and France is the most popular destination country for winter sports. The country has hosted the Winter Olympics three times, including the first games in 1924. It has its fair share of skiing legends too, from Emile Allais and Jean Claude Killy, early stars of the sport, through to modern challengers like Alexis Pinterault.

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