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Alpine sporting events in 2023

Every year, the Alps and the Hautes-Alpes host numerous sporting events – downhill skiing competitions, cross-country skiing, climbing, and mountain biking just to name a few.

With so many events and competitions, Alpine lovers and sports enthusiasts are guaranteed a year full of excitement!

We have compiled a list of the sporting events for 2023, whether they are national, local or international.

Note: All the information given in this article is accurate at the time of publication, however, changes may occur. We advise you to check the practical details of the events with the organisers. You will find links to the official websites, which we have included in the article in English where possible.


Summary

Click on the event that interests you, or scroll down to read about it…

Major competitions in 2023

A professional skier taking part in the slalom
An athlete in the slalom event during the World Cup © Photo by Millo Moravski/Agence Zoom

The Telemark World Cup

Les Contamines hosted two FIS Telemark World Cup events in February 2023. Divided into two rounds, the classic sprint events allowed many athletes to shine. French athletes won several podium places, including the gold medal for Elie Nabot.

Location: Les Contamines – Montjoie; Dates: event over

The Kandahar Alpine Ski World Cup

Chamonix had the honour of hosting the slalom event of the Alpine Skiing World Cup on Saturday, February 4. The competition day was preceded by a day of festivities and entertainment. The event attracts more than 20,000 people each year, so if you want to visit next year, plan ahead for transport and accommodation!

Location: Chamonix Mont-Blanc; dates: event over – next event in 2024

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The World Alpine Skiing Championships

The 47th Alpine Skiing World Championships took place in France in the resorts of Courchevel and Méribel. From February 6 to 19, 2023, the skiing elite gathered in the Alps to compete for the title of best in the world. In total, nearly 600 athletes competed in six different disciplines: downhill, super-G, giant slalom, slalom, alpine combined and parallel slalom.

Location: Courchevel – Méribel; Dates: event over

The Ladies Night Tour

Four top female athletes receive their awards, surrounded by organisers and a pink banner
Women in the spotlight at the 2019 awards ceremony © Agence Zoom

The Ladies Night Tour is an international competition that started out as a women’s competition. However, it was gradually opened up to men to become the Ladies and Gentlemen Night Tour.

The competition consists of five alpine skiing events in five different ski resorts. It pits new French hopefuls against athletes from the French teams who are used to world competitions. It is a fun and non-traditional competition that brings the Alps to life for a few days.

Location: Font-Romeu, Morzine, Pra Loup; Dates: Event over

The World Speed Ski Championships and the Speed Masters

World Champion Simon Billy will be challenged for his title from 15 to 25 March 2023 on the Chabrières piste in Vars.

March is the perfect time of year for this type of competition, as this is when the snow is most suitable for speed. Only the best speed skiers are invited to the Speed Masters.

Location: Vars; Dates: March 15 to 25, 2023

The Slopestyle World Cup

A skier performs an acrobatic trick during a jump on a specially-prepared run.
Freestyle skiing or slopestyle consists of performing tricks on skis or snowboard © Jörg Angeli / Unsplash

The French Alps host many major competitions every year and this time it is the turn of Tignes, which hosts the Slopestyle World Cup from 10 to 18 March 2023.

This recent discipline is very popular and also features in the Olympic Games. The final will take place on Saturday, 18 March, between 11 am and 1.35 pm. A temporary village will be set up at the bottom of the track used for the competition, with many activities planned.

Location: Tignes; Dates 10-18 March 2023

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The Tour de France

The Tour de France is one of the world’s major cycling competitions. This race of almost 3,400km brings together more than 170 riders each year.

This year marks the 110th edition of the Tour de France, which will cross a total of six regions and 23 French departments.

Several stages are located in the Alps, notably in Morzine, Combloux and the resort of Les Gets. It is possible to attend the stages of the Tour de France as long as you are in the resort on the correct date, or you could plan to be there for the finish.

Location and dates: Morzine 15/07; Saint-Gervais Mont-Blanc 16/07; Combloux 18/07; Courchevel 19/07

The World Paragliding Championships

A paraglider soars over the mountain tops
The Alps are the perfect playground for paragliding enthusiasts © Vincentiu Solomon / Unsplash

The World Paragliding Championships are returning to France after a 32-year absence, from 20 May to 3 June.

Almost 150 pilots will compete over two weeks, covering between 40 and 150km per day. The competition takes place mainly in Chamoux-sur-Gelon on the landing zone. However, various sites in Savoie and Haute-Savoie will host the take-offs.

Location: Chamoux-sur-Gelon; Dates: 20 May to 3 June; free entry to the base except on the days of the “highlights”, more information on this site

The Climbing World Cup

The Climbing World Cup will be held in Chamonix and Briançon from 7 to 9 July and 14 to 15 July 2023.

Chamonix will host a difficulty event and a bouldering event, while the difficulty World Cup will take place in Briançon.

Activities for all ages are planned in Briançon for seven days. These events are entirely free and food will be available.

Location: Chamonix and Briançon; Dates: 7 to 9 July and 14 to 15 July; free activities

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National competitions in the Alps

A climber uses crampons and ropes to climb an ice face
A top athlete performs at the International Ice Climbing Open © Jan Novak

The International Ice Climbing Open

From 12 to 15 January 2023, Argentière la Bessée and Ice Climbing hosted the International Ice Climbing Open, a competition that brings together world-class athletes.

The aim is simple: to climb the ice tower as fast as possible with crampons or ice axes while respecting the rules.

The competition is accompanied by a series of activities and events open to the public, as well as discovery workshops.

Location: Argentière la Bessée; Dates: Event over

The Monte Carlo rally

A racing car drives at high speed on a small forest road.
Speed and adrenaline are combined on the roads of the Monte Carlo Rally © Maxime Agnelli

The mythical Monte Carlo rally stopped over in France in January of 2023. The drivers crossed the Alpes de Haute Provence and the commune of Fugeret. Dedicated spectator areas were set up all along the route, particularly at key points during the race.

Location: Alpes Haute Provence; Dates: Event over

The Alpine Skiing European Cup

The 2022-2023 European Alpine Skiing Cup held three major events in France this year. The resorts of Orcières-Merlette, Vaujany and Châtel hosted the world’s best skiers for downhill, super-G and slalom events for men and women, from 27 January to 2 February.

Location: Orcières-Merlette, Vaujany, Chatel; Dates: Event over

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The Derby de la Meije

The Derby de la Meije has been held in La Grave for 30 years. All you need to enter the race is a medical certificate, the registration form and the payment of the entry fee, which can range from 60 to 95€.

The principle is quite simple, you just have to reach the finish point as quickly as possible. The race is done in mixed teams of three, crossing the snow in various ways inclding skis, snowboard, monoski and snowscoots.

The same method cannot be used twice in the same team. And if you want to respect the tradition, you’ll need to dress up!

Location: La Grave; Dates: 29 to 31 March 2023; registration open to anyone over 16 years old

The French Ski Championships

Les Orres will host the elite French Alpine Skiing Championships from 23 to 31 March,2023. The best French skiers will compete for the title of national champion in five disciplines: Downhill, Super Giant, Giant Slalom, Slalom and Super Combined.

The ski area will remain open during the entire competition, except for the slopes used for the event.

Location: Les Orres; Dates: 23 to 31 March 2023; participation reserved for athletes and free public entry

This year will also see the French U18 and U16 Alpine Skiing Championships. La Plagne will host the first competition from 13 to 17 March, while the U16s will compete in several resorts: Chaillol and Les Orres from 24 to 28 January, Font-Romeu from 15 to 19 March, Val Thorens and Les Ménuires from 10 to 14 April.

Location: La Plagne, Chaillol, Les Orres, Font-Romeu, Val Thorens, Les Ménuires; Dates: end of January, March, and mid April

The 1000 pattes race

Every year, the 1000 Pattes race brings together children aged five to 10, as well as their parents and coaches, for fun and timed competitions. It’s the largest gathering of young skiers in France.

For its 35th edition, the event will be held in Montgenèvre and welcomes over 1000 children during the first weekend of April. The activities take place on Saturday while the sporting events take place on Sunday.

Location: Montgenèvre; Dates: 1 and 2 April; Participation open to the public from 10€

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The Grand Béal 

Two men walk through the snow carrying their skis on their backs
The Grand Béal race combines the best of alpine skiing and ski touring © montagnes-queyras.com

Come and take part in the 31st edition of the Grand Béal, one of the oldest alpine ski competitions in the Southern Alps!

In a friendly ski touring atmosphere and a wild mountain landscape, amateurs and experts compete for the medals.

This year, the competition takes place in Arvieux on Sunday, 2 April. The race is part of the FFME French Team Cup calendar.

Location: Arvieux; Dates: 2 April 2023; You’ll need a FFME licence to take part in the event – contact the association by email at montagnequeyras@gmail.com to obtain one.

The Bauer trophy for young champions 

More than 400 hockey players from all over Europe will head to Orcières Merlette for the Bauer Trophy: the biggest junior hockey competition on the continent.

The 31st edition is divided into three categories: under 9s, under 11s and under 13s. We’ll see you in April to cheer on the juniors who compete in teams of three.

Location: Orcières Merlette and Gap; Dates: 14 to 23 April; free admission for spectators

Local events 

Two men use kayaks to participate in a race on the snow
Anything goes at the Outdoormixn Winter Festival © Kina Photo

The Outdoormix Winter Festival 

The Outdoormix Festival returned to Vars for its 4th edition from 11 to 15 January 2023.

The event, which takes place in winter and spring, includes concerts, entertainment and sports performances such as climbing, slacklining and skiing.

The festival exists in two versions: winter and spring. This year’s spring event takes place from 26-29 May.

Location: Vars; Dates: Winter event over, spring event 26-29 May

The Meidjo Télémark Festival

This festival is a tribute to telemark skiing, a historic form of skiing that involves lifting the heel of the ski to turn.

From 7 to 9 April 2023, amateurs and professionals will meet in La Grave to share their love of this sport. It’s not a competition, just a weekend of discovery and initiation into telemark skiing, a way of passing on this skill.

Location: La Grave; Dates: 7-9 April 2023

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The Valgaude Mountain Bike Tour 

On 14 May 2023, Valgodemard will host the 18th edition of the Valgaude. Whether you are a novice or an expert, you can join the fun on this day dedicated to mountain biking in the Ecrins massif.

There are four routes to choose from, ranging from 10-46km. These are not races, there are no rankings or times, the aim is really to have a good day and enjoy the mountains. There’s an initiation course for children from 10 am to 12 pm.

Location: Saint-Maurice-en-Valgodemard; Date; 14 May 2023; registration on site, free participation

The Briançon Family Kayak 

A woman kayaking down a rough river, wearing a helmet
The BFK is all about having fun and staying safe – but you will get wet! © alpesphotographies.com

From 26-29 May 2023, kayakers will head to L’Argentière La Bessée for the 22nd Briançon Family Kayak, also known as BFK. The event, for those who are at least class III, takes place on the most beautiful rivers in the Alps. It’s a race without numbers, just for pleasure and the joy of getting together. It costs between 40 and 85€ to take part.

Location: Argentière La Bessée; Dates: 26 to 29 May 2023; Registration and information on the official website

La Grave y Cimes Mountain Festival

Come along to La Grave y Cimes mountain festival at La Grave on the weekend of June 24! Each group, supervised by a high mountain guide or FFME instructor, will be able to choose personalized workshops for the day, such as ice climbing, map navigation and glacier progression.

Each group of approximately eight participants will be supervised and given individual advice throughout the weekend, whether they are beginners or experienced. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to discover new skills and challenge yourself in the mountains!

Location: La Grave; Dates: 14 to 15 June; Registration fees: from 80 to 450€


Every year, the Alps and the Hautes-Alpes are the setting for a variety of sporting events and competitions, both in winter and in summer. Sports lovers can come and spend some time with fellow enthusiasts and share the excitement of these competitions.

The year 2023 is no exception to the rule, with major world competitions such as the Alpine Skiing World Cup, but also national events. And the Alps are also the perfect place to bring sports to life, all year round!

So you’ve chosen some events you’d like to attend? It’s time to get ready for your holiday. If you need more help and inspiration, check out our articles on the mountains out of season and some great places to eat.

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About Author

Hi, I'm Lindsay, and I work on the editorial side of the OVO Network team. I'm based in Kent, England and love this job as it combines my passions for words and travelling to beautiful places.

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