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The best resorts for a weekend in the Southern French Alps

In the mountains, while bears and marmots are peacefully hibernating, others need a breath of fresh air. Have a skiing weekend in the Southern French Alps less than 4 hours by road from Nice, Marseille, Aix, Avignon and Toulon. Here’s a small selection of Alpine resorts where fans of winter sports, hikers and seasoned tobogganers like to meet.

Take to the heights in Auron

Race down the slopes of the largest ski area in the department of Alpes Maritimes. While parents admire their little ones trying their first time on skis in the snow kindergarten, thrill-seekers can go to the Vertige d’Auron, a 5-metre promontory over a sheer drop which gives a stunning view of the Vallée de la Haute-Tinée and the mountains of the Mercantour. No fear! We can get through the weekend. Linked to Saint-Étienne-de Tinée, the resort also offers original snowshoeing hikes.

Practical information:

●        1½ hours from Nice Côte d’Azur airport
●        Altitude 1,600 metres
●        43 runs
●        135 km of Alpine skiing runs
●        3 km of cross-country skiing
●        1 Snowpark
●        1 toboggan run
●        Famille Plus approved

There’s something for everyone In Pra Loup

In the heart of the Espace Lumière, lined with hypnotic larch forests, snowboarders, skiers, hikers and those who love adrenaline boosts share its 180 kilometres of runs. Hiking on foot or with snowshoes is cool but the gyrotrek is even better! Make the most of your weekend and discover new activities. When you’ve got your balance, you can cover the area on this machine made up of a platform and two wheels. You can see a paraglider flying over the runs in the distance: and what about you? When are you going to try? Day two: no question of slowing down, try a skidoo outing or, just like the kids, try the 4-season experience with the Praloops Pure Alpine Coaster. And to cap it all, you can combine your weekend in the snow with a well-being break in the spa facing the mountain for a complete change of scene!

Practical information:

●        Altitude from 1500 to 2500 m
●        50 runs
●        4 boardercross
●        1 snowpark
●        2 snow kindergartens
●        6 snowshoeing itineraries

In Puy Saint-Vincent, at the gateway to the Ecrins national Park

In Puy Saint-Vincent, snowsports have found their place at three levels of altitude – 1400, 1600 and 1800 metres – with a view over the glaciers and the high peaks of the Barre des Écrins. With the second highest elevation in the Hautes-Alpes, the resort is a fantastic playground! Trampoline and snake gliss are fun for the littles who can’t wait to come back again. A dogsled ride might however have them change their minds: try being a musher and get cuddles galore! And after this breath of fresh air, head for the hammam, jacuzzi and sauna. To relax your muscles and warm your body, there’s nothing better than a swim in the heated outdoor pool. And for the last evening of this skiing weekend in the southern French Alps, have a delicious dinner in the mountain restaurant L’Étoile des Neiges followed.

Practical information:

●        Height difference 1,550 m
●        90 ha of runs
●        1 boardercross
●        2 play areas
●        1 night run

Val d’Allos La Foux, a resort for thrills!

Linked to the Pra Loup ski area, the Val d’Allos La Foux creates lots of lovely memories with its wide choice of outdoor activities. Among the great moments of this skiing weekend, the Verdon Express toboggan run is a good excuse to go over the speed limit with unlimited squeals of laughter. And because we love those woolly mutts, a dog-sled ride will fascinate both young and old dreaming. An extra bonus and a real must: the Bully sunset. Set off on a snowplough excursion and raise your glass to the last rays of the sun as you admire the snowy peaks.

Practical information:

●        Altitude 1,800 metres
●        Famille Plus approved
●        Snow kindergarten
●        Toboggan runs
●        Skating rink open day and night
●        Crazy park
●        Spa and well-being

In Vars, nesteld in the Hautes-Alpes

The resort of Vars La Forêt Blanche is located in a hanging valley, between the Ubaye, the Queyras and the Écrins. Start the weekend with a trip back in time: discover the history of the valley with a storytelling walk. The resort is highly festive and has both sportspeople and partygoers rocking. With your friends, have a ball at the Outdoormix Winter Festival! On the menu: sport, shows, party and music. At the top of the télémix, you’ll wonder at the magical ice cave. And don’t leave without having tried the Caribou toboggan at 2000 metres. It’s well worth the 500-metre climb through the forest to get to the start. 3, 2, 1… go!

Practical information:

●        185 km of runs
●        40 km of walking and snowshoeing trails
●        6 Snowparks
●        2 toboggan runs + one new rail toboggan

Choose your atmosphere In Valberg

Head for the authentic resort of Valberg and get an exceptional panoramic view of the landscapes of the Mercantour National Park. In the resort, which is labelled “réserve de ciel étoilé” and focuses on its protected environment, recycling is very much the in word. All winter sports have a place here, like the golf course which in winter becomes a Nordic centre!  Of course, there are still the classics, skidoo outing sor a snowshoe hikes on the planetary trail are still popular. And after your athletic weekend, have a cocooning moment. You won’t want to leave the sauna… except for a massage!

Practical information:

●        Altitude 1,700 m
●        Linked to Beuil-les-Launes, the cradle of skiing in the Alpes Maritime
●        90 km of runs
●        Air Bag
●        Parcours Family
●        Famille Plus and Flocon Vert Approved

How to get there?

To make the most of a weekend in the mountains, why not save time! From Nice Côte d’Azur and Marseille Provence airports, you can get to the southern French Alps resorts. The SNCF train stations of Nice and Aix-en-Provence can also take you there. Try the Trains des Neiges des Alpes du Sud, from Marseille, Aix-en-Provence and Manosque which offer train+shuttle formulas for only €20 return. And every Saturday, the Navettes Blanches go there from Marseille airport ad Aix TGV station. If you’re heading for the Val d’Allos, the Ubaye or the Vallée de la Blanche, there are coaches linking the big resorts

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