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Riviera Pebbles Blog: Top 5 Best Ski Resorts in the French Alpes-Maritimes

Posted on 26th Nov 2014 in Go & Do


Top 5 Ski Destinations

The Alpes-Maritimes is home to hundreds of 2,000 metre-plus mountains, but the South of France still somehow manages to fall off the ski-tourist's radar. Several of the region's best slopes are within 90-minutes or less travel time from Nice and are well set-up for both day-skiing or lodging overnight. With the season scheduled to start on 6th December in the Southern Alps, excitement is mounting among keen skiers and snowboarders. Many of the slopes have already experienced the first heavy coating of snow this year so far, which promises a great start for resorts in the region and surrounding areas. Getting out to the slopes has never been easier with public transport mountain-bound journeys costing as little as €1 each way. Resort websites have full details of accommodation prices, transport schedules and local weather reports.

1. Isola 2000

At 90km from the coast, Isola is the closest ski centre to Nice. It’s particularly renowned for snowboarding, not least because of it’s hardcore snow park, 300m above the 2,000m-high resort. The 120km of slopes are divided into 43 runs; 4 black, 11 red, 21 blue and 7 green. Our top tip: visit outside school breaks and sunny winter weekends.

Ski pass: €33 per day (adult)

Public transport: Daily Santa Azur buses ply the 2-hour route throughout winter; price €1 each way.

2. Auron

In snowboarding terms it’s Isola’s equal, but Auron also boasts over 50km of cross-country pistes around the nearby town of Saint-Dalmas le Selvage, plus a fine downhill area to boot. The snowpark includes a half-pipe, advanced tricks zone and dedicated snowboard club. The 135km of slopes feature 9 black runs, 15 red, 16 blue and 2 green. And if you ever fancied dog-sledding or snow-shoeing, this is definitely the place to try it!

Ski pass: €33 per day (adult)

Public transport: Daily Santa Azur buses make the 2-hour run throughout winter; price €1 each way.

3. Limone

Just over the Italian border, scenic Limone has an intimate, old-world feel. Cooler still is the fact that you can down a cappuccino or a grappa before you hit the 90km of slopes and 45-plus ski runs. Snowfall in the resort’s low altitude runs is augmented with snow cannons, but higher up the slopes are normally well covered.

Ski pass: €33 per day (adult)

Public transport: Daily trains from both Nice station, or Ventimiglia station just over the Italian border, up to Limone’s village centre. The latter journey takes 90-minutes; price €8 return.

4. Valberg

With 90km of slopes over 52 pistes, many of them blue or green runs, Valberg is a serious player in the local ski scene and is great for beginners. Shady pistes keep the season running slightly longer than elsewhere. The requisite snowpark comes with a half-pipe, big air jump, ramps and an outdoor speaker system. Ice-climbing and paragliding also available.

Ski pass: €31.20 per day (adult)

Public transport: Daily buses run from both the Gare Routiere and Nice Airport’s Terminal 1. The journey takes 90-minutes by car, or two hours by bus; price €1 each way.

5. Val d’Allos

The big boy of our list, Val d’Allos stretches over 180km of pistes – even more in high snowfall – and has almost a hundred assorted cablecars, lifts and chairs. They are not shy about spending money either: the newish snowpark features wave boxes, high jumps, speedy slopes and ramps galore.

Ski pass: €34 per day (adult)

Public transport: The 120km run from Nice can be covered by a €12 train ride from Nice’s Gare de Provence to Thorame 90 minutes up the line, then a one-hour bus from here to the 1,800m high resort.


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