As the ski season draws near, it is high time to choose a suitable place for your winter holidays and conquer new ski trails! For those who want to swap the sunny coast for the snowy slopes, HelloMonacohas selected six ski resorts in the region of Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur. They are all within one and a half hour’s drive from the Principality.
Let’s get started!
Isola 2000 is one of the most famous ski resorts in the Southern Alps, with a history dating back to the 1960s. That’s when a British army officer and an Olympian skier Peter Boumphrey, supported by a group of British investors, decided to set up a ski resort in this region. The resort is located at an altitude of 2,000 m above the sea level and is less than a two-hour drive from Nice airport. Isola 2000 is also a traditional venue for major competitions the French Ski Cup and the Tour de France.
Isola 2000 offers trails or pistes for any level of training. With a total of 43 trails, the resort includes 4 blacks, 11 reds, 21 blues and 7 greens. In the winter season, the ski park is open from 10am to 4pm. There are over a hundred certified instructors offering ski lessons for both adults and children.
In addition to its ski slopes, the resort offers its customers many other exciting activities. Fans of extreme sports would like the idea of paragliding over the snow. The most inquisitive skiers can go on a tour along the snowy Alps, guided by local instructors. Those who wish to relax after their busy day of sport can enjoy the “Aquavallee” located next to Isola 2000. A swimming pool, artificial waterfall, gyms and SPA-centre with a steam room, massage and solarium are all there for your enjoyment. The perfect end to a day of sport!
In a wonderful ski in, ski out location and affording truly glorious views over the resort, there is also a newly-built boutique-style 4-star hotel with just 25 rooms Chalet Marano Restaurant & Spa. Isola is 17 km from Chalet Marano Restaurant & Spa. This contemporary chalet hotel has been thoughtfully designed to offer a great range of facilities as well as high levels of comfort. Being family-run, you can expect a very warm welcome and attentive service during your stay. The 25 bedrooms are very well appointed and individually styled, using striking woods and other natural products. The accommodation has a spa and wellness centre. Guests can use the sauna, or enjoy mountain views, they can dine in the in-house restaurant, which serves a variety of French dishes. Chalet Marano Restaurant & Spa offers a sun terrace. Skiing, cycling and hiking are among the activities that guests of the accommodation can find nearby.
In the Spa Eskimo where you could take a rest after a day pounding the slopes there’s a sauna, aromatic hammam as well of a range of beauty treatments and massages that can be reserved on the spot. Also planned for 2019 is an indoor swimming pool.
In the evening, the hotel’s cosy bar is a great place to hang out while enjoying a drink. You can then sample some gastronomic delights at the hotel’s restaurant “Le 2’25”, which is also open at lunchtimes.
Auron is a mountain village located below Isola 2000, with a number of its tracks being no less impressive compared to its neighbouring resort. Auron offers its visitors 46 ski slopes, including 10 blacks, 16 reds, 17 blues, 3 greens, divided into 4 zones. You traditionally see many Monegasques during the winter season here, while Russians are rare. The resort has a school for those willing to master new skiing skills. There are 120 instructors who will be happy to help you in conquering the snowy slopes either in a group or individually.
Auron is not only a ski resort, it is also a fantastic place to have a night out, with its bar “Les Enfants Terribles”.
A Spa centre, “Fleur d’Isis”, is also available for you, with a variety of relaxing treatments.
Les 2 Alpes
Les 2 Alpes is one of the few resorts that are open all year round. Its 96 slopes totalling 220 km are located at an altitude of 3,600 m. The resort is located next to the famous off-piste descent Vallon de la Grave/La Meige designed for highly professional skiers familiar with the terrain.
The resort is popular with snowboarders. Every fourth visitor prefers the board to skis. The slopes for beginners are interestingly located higher than the most challenging tracks. The novices thus learn to ski on a dense snow cover.
Here you can also experience the “Deval Moon” ̶ an exciting descent from a slope inside an inflated balloon. This entertainment is available for both adults and children from the age of 4. Those who love speed can try open karting on the ice. Throughout the winter, the resort of Les 2 Alpes organises numerous activities and entertainment that is not to be missed: The Festival “Enjoy The Glacier”, “Les 2 Alpes Night Snow Trail”, “Junior Foliz”, descents with torches, mulled wine and fireworks.
La Colmiane is another ski village offering facilities for even the youngest skiers. It is renowned for its excellent ski school with an international reputation. Do not be surprised if after a few days of training you start conquering slopes you had not even dared dream of. 20 slopes with a total length of 30 km are located at an altitude of between 1,500 and 1,800 m. Your little ones can attend the Snow Kindergarten, which teaches winter sports.
Next to la Colmiane, there is a spa centre “Espace Eden Altitude” offering quality treatments, steam room, sauna, Jacuzzi, solarium and a swimming pool.
A ride in a horse-drawn carriage is another way to relax and take in the scenic views of the snow-covered slopes. Be sure to take a camera with you to capture this beauty!
The Ski Resort Valberg opened in the 1930s. It became the most popular resort in the Southern Alps after the installation of its first ski lift. Today, the resort has 56 slopes of varying difficulty, at an altitude of 2,066 m.
It is ideally located next to the Mercantour National Park, where you are guaranteed many hours of walking in the fresh air. Valberg often hosts different events for children and is classed as a family resort. You can take nature walks or go to the cinema. And the local library includes more than 20,000 books, magazines, games, CDs and DVDs.
The complex hosts a cosy spa centre “Le centre 1700” decorated in an exotic style. Relax in the sauna, steam room and taste the fragrant exotic tea.
Another ski resort, located in Italy, merits special attention. Limone Piemonte is located 115 km away from Nice at a height of 2,400 m. It is one of the oldest resorts in Italy and is part of “White Reserve” zone dating back to the post-WWI period.
Today, the resort features more than 40 tracks with a total length of 80 km. Most of them are suitable for skiers of any training level, as they are wide enough for an average complexity. Professionals will happily find “black” slopes too.
Limone Piemonte also offers various activities for children. Their “Kinder Park” is the heart of the resort, at an altitude of 1,400 m. Young skiers are invited to take inflatable slides of various sizes and take part in fun activities and events.
In December 2007 Limone Piemonte held the first Snowboard World Cup, making the resort popular with snowboarders. A special “Snowpark” was built here, suitable for both professionals and beginners.
Before planning your trip, please check weather forecasts.