Monday, February 15, 2010

Screamin' Ski Deals in the Southern Alps

The Provence Alpes Cote d'Azur Regional Tourist Office has published a terrific list of 10 ski resorts in the Southern French Alps where a lift ticket costs less €20 a day. To compile the list they chose smaller, traditional ski resorts where you'll find charming, authentic and reasonably priced places to stay. You can see the list by clicking HERE or just read on: I've pasted it below.

So how do you get there? Unless you're local, you fly to Marseille, Grenoble or Turin. From Marseille, on Saturdays until 17th April 2010, there are Navettes Blanches shuttle buses to the Southern Alps ski resorts (35€ roundtrip for an adult, 17€ roundtrip for a child).

Or, you can take a train: Book your ticket to any of the train stations mentioned above (there will be a change in Paris or Lille and a second change in Marseille). The two nearest TGV stations (high speed train) are Aix-en-Provence TGV station (the Navettes Blanches are also available from there), and Oulx TGV station in Italy. There's also a night train from Paris to Briançon, calling at most of the stations mentioned above.

Ok, here's the list. Off you go!

€16 /day (or €12.70/day with a 6-day ski-pass)
17 km of slopes
Nearest airport: Marseille
Nearest train station: Embrun
This very typical mountain village offers a friendly atmosphere. The pistes are ideal for beginners or children. Stop off at l’Auberge for lunch, where you can taste a range of delicious pork and cheese specialties. The nearby town of Embrun offers shops, restaurants and a train station (with direct shuttle to Crevoux). The larger resort of "Les Orres", featuring 88 km of slopes, is within 30 minutes' drive (5 minutes as the crow flies). Where to stay?
Le Moulin Ollivier Guesthouse. This amazing mountain chalet-guesthouse, situated 10 minutes from Crevoux, is set right in the middle of the forest! Le Moulin Ollivier offers bed and breakfast from €70 per room and a dinner menu at €19 (including drinks). Added extras include a shuttle service to Crevoux.

€15.50/day(€13.30/ day with a 6-day ski-pass)
26 km of slopes
Nearest airports: Grenoble or Marseille
Nearest train station: Gap
Ancelle boasts a very sunny exposure, and has a wide "snow front” parents will appreciate as they can sunbathe while their children are sledging or skiing! Other activities include snowshoeing, dog-sledging and ice-skating. Ancelle is situated a few kilometres from Napoleon's Road, and is linked to Gap via a regular bus service. You can also try 5 other small ski resorts in the area thanks to the “Stations Villages” ski-pass (€80 for 6 days).

Where to stay? The three-star Hôtel Les Autanes. Set in the very heart of the village, this charming hotel offers a spa with an indoor swimming pool and jaccuzzi, massage rooms, and a lovely gastronomic restaurant in addition to very comfortable rooms. From €85 per night.

€17.50/day (or €15,30/day with a 6-day ski-pass)
30 km of slopes
Nearest airports: Grenobleor Marseille
Nearest train stations: Chorges, Gap, Embrun.
Reallon offers panoramic views over the whole valley and Serre-Ponçon, Europe's biggest mountain lake. Its north-east orientation means the resort enjoys quality snow cover from December through to April.

Where to eat and stay?
A la Croisée des Chemins ("At the Crossroads") is a delightful new bed and breakfast where Anaïs welcomes her guests at the house her grandfather built. Not-to-be-missed: the restaurant situated in a yurt! From €45 including breakfast

€18.30/day with a 6-day ski-pass
45 km of slopes.
Nearest airport: Marseille
Nearest train station: Digne-les-Bains (TGV: Aix-en-Provence)
Essentially a family ski resort, St-Jean Montclar pulls out at all the stops for the kids, with amenities including a day care nursery, special rates for children at many establishments, reindeer-sledge tours (especially popular at Christmas) and ice-rink next to the tourist office. And if you purchase two 6-day ski-passes for adults (2x€110), you get a child’s ski-pass for free(except Feb 6 to Feb 21).

€19/day (or €16.75/day with a 6-day ski-pass)
40 kms of slopes.
Nearest airport: Marseille
Nearest train station: Digne-les-Bains (TGV :Aix-en-Provence)
Adapted to all levels, the slopes of Chabanon are even lit at night so you can make the most of the winter landscapes! (5 to 10pm).

Where to Stay? New this season is Les Blanches Provençales apartment hotel with a choice of accommodation ranging from studios to 2-bedroom flats to rent.

€20.30/day for the late-risers (or €18.60/day with a 6-day ski-pass)
50 km of slopes.
Nearest airport : Marseille or Nice
Nearest train stations : Digne or Thorame

Val d’Allos 1500 is part of the larger “Espace Lumière” ski area linking Praloup, Allos 1800 (La Foux) and Allos 1500 (Le Seignus) and totalling 230 km of pistes. It is located in Seignus, where Provence's first ski lift was installed in 1936. The village's traditional architecture reminds us that Allos is not just a ski resort but also a typical mountain village, home to a 13th-century church, called Notre Dame de Valvert.

Where to stay? The new
L’Attrapeur de Rêves (The Dream Catcher) Bed & Breakfast. This restored farm in the village of Allos offers two rooms decorated in mountain-style, with B&B from €70 per room, plus a gorgeous gîte available for weekly rental.


€16.50/day(or €13.10 with a 6-day ski-pass)
34 kms of slopes
Nearest airports: Turin or Marseille.
Nearest train station: l’Argentière-les-Ecrins
The Pelvoux-Vallouise ski resort is first and foremost a village resort, offering a huge "snow front" ideal for children and beginners. Situated inside the “Ecrins” national park, it is a perfect venue for amateur or confirmed mountaineers. Get more information at the
Mountain Guides’ Office. Good to know: a day ski-pass at the nearby Puy-St-Vincent ski resort (75 km of pistes) is offered free of charge if you buy a 6-day ski-pass at Pelvoux!

Where to stay? Zoe and Francis (both mountain guides) own a great chalet in Pelvoux if you are here to mountaineer! The Chalet Soureillado offers bed and breakfast from €45 per night (€90 for the weekend), plus a gite available for weekly rental.

€19/day in low season (or €16.90 with a 6-day ski-pass)
33 km of slopes
Nearest airport: Marseille.
Nearest train station: Montdauphin-Guillestre.
This is Europe's highest municipality (2042 metres), with architecture very typical of the valley.

Where to stay? A popular three-star, the
Hotel Astragale, hotel, situated in the village, offers all-inclusive packages based on different themes such as "snow-shoe 2010," astronomy, wellbeing (they have a spa) and mountain hiking with climbing skins. Rooms from €51 /night.

€16/day (or €12.60 with a 6-day ski-pass)
31 km of slopes
Nearest airport: Grenoble
Nearest train station: Gap
Set a few kilometres above St-Michel de Chaillol (the ancient village), Chaillol is a modern ski-resort located in the Champsaur valley. It's particularly reputed for its cuisine and local specialities (such as potato tourtons, ravioles, cured ham and ‘oreilles d’âne’, which are not donkey’s ears as the name suggests, but actually spinach lasagna). Like at Ancelle, you can try 5 other village ski resorts in the valley thanks to the “Stations Villages” ski-pass (€80 for 6 days).

Villar d’Arène: €8/day, 3 ski lists
Le Chazelet: €14/day, 5 ski lifts.
Both are within easy reach of "La Meije" glacier--a free-rider’s paradise located in the distinctive ski resort of La Grave. La Grave is also ranked as "one of France's most beautiful villages."

Where to stay? Rent a chalet at
Les Chalets de la Meije featuring 18 chalets hosting from 3 to 10 people each.

Photo via Flickr


  1. Beatiful Blog!!!!!
    Kisses :)


    from Milano

  2. Thanks for sharing this will be vital to planning my trip to France. Have a nice weekend!

  3. This was a great post for people planning to come to France to aki especially after all the Olympic buzz. I for one realized it wasn't for me when I fell off the lift the first time I ever tried it!!!!!!!!!I'm a very good Apres Skier though......Maryanne xo

  4. I am ready to take my skis and fly over.I have skied Whistler for 15 years and the passes are up to $90! same with Colorado Utah etc...In France, I love to ski Chamonix, but would enjoy trying the smaller resorts. I grew up skiing in Font Romeu (Pyrennees) lycee Olympique where I trained for ski racing. When visiting my parents in the winter, i always am able to ski Saint Lary for a few days. have you ever skied the Pyrennees??



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