© Ski Piste Alpes

The best resorts for a day’s skiing in the Southern French Alps

Whether you’re in Nice, Marseille, Aix-en-Provence, Avignon or Toulon, you’re sure to find a sunny resort under 3 hours away for a day’s skiing in the Southern French Alps, feet in the snow and a view over the Mediterranean.  Stem turns or freeriding your thing? You’ll find all the best on powder snow.

A fun ski day in Chabanon-Selonnet

Chabanon-Selonnet, one of our favourite resorts in the Southern French Alps for a day’s skiing, is around fifty kilometres from Digne-Les-Bains in the Blanche Serre-Ponçon valley. Ranging in altitude between 1550 and 2000 metres, the 40 kilometres of runs are right there waiting for you: In the middle of a huge forest of fir trees, those of you who do Nordic or Alpine skiing, snowshoeing or tobogganing or even snowboarding will have a ball! But if all you have is a day, go for a novelty and try a yooner, a sport which is somewhere between tobogganing and skiing. For big families, don’t miss the snake-gliss; a train of toboggans linked together to form a long snake for a lot of laughs all through the afternoon. And for a gentler outing, end your day with a skijoring session where the horse is your best friend.

Change of altitude in Gréolières-les-Neiges

At just 1½ hours from Cannes, Fréjus, Draguignan, Grasse and even Nice, the resort of Gréolières-les-Neiges is the closest to the coast for a day’s skiing in the Southern French Alps. In the Grasse back-country, its landscapes with their sea view and a unique 360° panorama of the whole of the Côte d’Azur, from the Monts de l’Estérel to Italy and even Corsica when the sky is clear, will have you switching off for the day. The resort’s 1,000 ha are spread over the slopes of the Massif du Cheiron on 25 runs for all levels: ideal for a quiet morning, just enough to learn or get back on the job before tackling the black run. Make the most of the second half of the day to set off on a horse-drawn safari to the close by Réserve des Monts d’Azur, a few kilometres from the resort. You’ll see bison and Przewalski horses in the middle of nature and there are many other animals to enchant the whole family.

Between freestyle and relaxation in the Dévoluy, I can’t make up my mind

The Dévoluy is a very big ski area with two resorts, Superdévoluy and La Joue du Loup. In all, 53 runs for all levels and two itineraries with height differences of 1000 metres provide fun for both beginners and confirmed skiers. Adimiring or… inspiring? stop off at the snowpark to see the succession of figures that the confirmed freestylers do. Ants in your pants? Try your hand at a few moguls on this 2-hectare area at an altitude of 2,000 metres. And because skiing goes well with a well-being break, head for Les Bains d’Odycéa to finish your day on a beautiful note. Balneotherapy, spa or treatment areas … be really spoiled in a moment out of time.

 

We’re all champions in Le Sauze in the Ubaye valley

Above Barcelonnette, between 1,400 and 2,500 metres, welcome to the resort of Le Sauze, well-known as the training area of the world champion Carole Merle. This 62-km skiing area is made up of large boulevards, moguls and runs in the woods where you can even watch birds… if you take a little break between two runs! The day goes by really fast so get into it by testing the trendy activities: snowscoot, snow bike, freeride, freestyle… or stay traditional with telemark for those who know this very technical Alpine skiing style. Added bonus: choose a day’s skiing during the school holidays and spend great evenings with the family on the runs at night for torchlight descents or fireworks.

Thrills in Réallon at the gateway to the Ecrins National Park

At under 2½ hours by car from Marseille, the resort of Réallon looks down over Serre-Ponçon and gives an incredible view of the lake and the imposing Aiguilles de Chabrières. Nestled between the lake and the Ecrins National Park, this village-resort is also the training area for Laëtitia Roux, who is a skier-climber who holds 15 world champion titles. Among its 30 km of ski runs, “La Ripaaa”, a natural tobogganing run is great for all ages. It’s 4 kilometres long and you can try an amazing 40-minute descent in the daytime or at night. Do the runs, the hairpin bends and avoid the moguls… or not! And if you have good endurance, choose a cross-country skiing outing to discover the area in a different way.

Discover the Parc national des Ecrins

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Une publication partagée par Reallon (@reallon_ski)

A day’s skiing at the top in Isola 2000

Head for the border with Italy, between the Parc national du Mercantour rand the Parco Naturale Alpi Marittime, and the resort of Isola which will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2022. At under two hours from the Côte d’Azur, this ski area with its view of the sea on clear days is highly appreciated by snowboarders. So, whether you are a beginner or confirmed, plunge into Tony’s Snowland snowpark which bears the name of the bronze medallist at the Vancouver Olympic Games. As for the Biopark, this is made up of eight wooden modules: ride between the trees to reach the facilities hidden in the forest. Back to the Mouflon run where some try boardercross while others prefer to walk with white wolves and try being real mushers!

Discover the Parc national du Mercantour

How to get there?

For a day’s skiing, why not leave your car behind? Take the train from the Nice or Aix-en-Provence SNCF train station. The Train des Neiges des Alpes du Sud, which leaves from Marseille, Aix-en-Provence and Manosque offers train+shuttle tickets at just €20 return per adult to reach some of the resorts of the Southern French Alps. There are also navettes blanches every Saturday from Marseille airport and the Aix TGV station. Lastly, buses ensure links with the big resorts of the southern French Alps: the Val d’Allos, the Ubaye and the Blanche valleys.

With ZOU! head for the ski resorts of the southern French Alps 

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Une publication partagée par Patrick Lausen (@coolercamper)

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