Hit the slopes in the South of France this winter! March 02 2018, 0 Comments

Do not hesitate anymore and let’s have a winter escape in the French Alps this winter ! Home to numerous ski resorts, from the tiniest one to world-renowned, France is a paradise for skiers and snowboarders. Provence inhabitants and French enjoys their ski holidays as much as their long summer vacations. Consider a French escape for your next ski outing by visiting some resorts in the South of France or staying in a vacation rental in the French Alps.

Calisson by Gilles will take you to the snow this month. 

 

The French Alps, a World of discovery

The French Alps are famous for their ski resorts and stunning scenery. They are split into many different areas offering a multitude of activities. The French Alps

 also offers some spectacular lakes. Mont Blanc is the highest point of France at 4,807 meters (15,771 feet), the third most visited natural site in the world and the most famous area for Alpine hiking in Europe. 

What is also great about the French Alps is that it is so well connected. The international airport from Marseille Provence is at only 2 hours driving distance from the first ski resorts. Trains and buses serve as well the many ski stations in the Alps. 

The French Alps in winter is certainly one of the places to be. The pure and clear air of the mountains, glorious scenery, snow, winter sun and activities. What more could you want? You can even get a sweet and cool tan! Apart from skiing, there are plenty of other activities to keep single or families occupied, whether you are a winter sports enthusiast or a non-skier. 

 

For most, the main purpose is obviously to ski or snowboard during their winter holiday but not only. 

Many luxury residences have their own spa and all conveniences dedicated to relaxation. You will always spend a comfortable moment.

 

 

 

Winter sport

Ski Areas in Southern Alps

The winter sports resorts of Provence offer many conveniences and a lot of advantages. For instance, a privilege for those who come in the Alpes de Haute-Provence, or Hautes Alpes is to combine sun, deep blue sky and snow.

The Provence’s skiing area represents more than 720 kilometers (447 miles) of runs for all levels.    With altitudes of over 3,000 meters (almost 10,000 feet), there is a wide variety of sites and landscapes. 

Furthermore the region of Alpes in Provence does not have any major industries, so there are no large cities. You will discover a multitude of picturesque and charming little villages where you will be able to enjoy a memorable stay.

 

Ski Resorts

Calisson by Gilles has selected for you four ski resorts of Provence.

 

Pra-loup - La Foux d’Allos

One of the French Alps' well-kept secrets’ resort and is relatively unknown to foreign skiers. The ski area of Pra-Loup and La Foux d'Allos form the “Espace Lumière” ski area, totaling approximately 180km of runs for all levels. One of the biggest resorts in the southern Alps, where locals enjoys spending their holidays. 

From beginner to admanced, there are runs for all levels. Snowboarders and freestyle skiers are well looked-after with a terrain park and several natural half-pipes.

Pra-Loup resort has everything you need for a successful ski holiday, a wide range of accomodations, numerous restaurants, clubs and bars, family entertainment such as ice skating and a cinema and everyday necessities such as mini markets and bakery.

Pra Loup's slopes are divided into two levels: the lower part, "La Molanes" (at 1,500m), offers excellent slopes for family skiing, while the upper part (at 1,600m) is more appropriate for experienced skiers and those looking for a challenge. Wide sloping runs are what distinguishes Pra-Loup.

In short:

  • Family skiing resorts
  • Freestyle parks
  • Wide sloping possibilities for experienced skiers

 

Vars

 At 1,850 meters altitude in the heart of the Hautes Alpes, the Vars ski resort has become one of the most desirable resorts in the Southern Alps. The resort is right on the edge of some of the biggest mountain chains in the French Alps and is nestled at the heart of wonderful forests of larches. The surrounding mountains (Massif des Ecrins, the Queyras and Ubaye) are stunning and the ski runs reach more than 3,000 meters. 

Spreading along the “Route des Grandes Alpes”, Vars has successfully combined authenticity and charm of a traditional mountain village with the comfort and accommodation of a large winter sports resort.

 

Serre Chevalier

Located near Briançon in the Southern Alps and near the Parc National des Ecrins and the Italian border, Serre-Chevalier is one of the largest resorts in France, if not Europe.  There is a large area for skiing and snowboarding but they also offer many other activities. Schedule your visit during one of their many events in order to witness some world-class skiing, or car race on snow contests.

You can stay right on the Serre Chevalier ski resort. The rustic cabins provide a warm and relaxing retreat after a long day of hitting the slopes.  The well-equipped kitchen and bath offer everything one could want.  Enjoy your morning coffee or some late night hot chocolate with our sweet Calisson by Gilles delicacy from Provence ; coupled with some spectacular views of the Alps under snow.

 

The Mont Ventoux Skiing resort

Located in the department of Vaucluse, 200 kilometers away from Alpine Mountains, the Mont Ventoux is an alternative for Provence inhabitants who want to ski. The size of the resort is obviously smaller than Alpine ones but Mont Ventoux ski resort offers to skiers an impressive 500 meters (1641 feet) of vertical descent. Mont Ventoux has 17 runs and 5 kilometers (3.1 miles) of cross country ski trails.

 

 

Cross-Country Skiing

Winter sports activities include skiing, cross-country skiing, off-piste skiing, snowboarding, off-piste snowboarding, snow-shoeing, husky walking, snow blading, glacier walking, ice diving, ice skating, ice biking and many others ! 

If you are looking for a beautiful cross country ski trail, Calisson by Gilles advises you to go to Saint-Paul-sur-Ubaye. It offers a captivating panorama of the La Blanche mountain.  

La-Colle-Saint-Michel offers vast trails in a very Nordic atmosphere.

The best way to explore is definitely on ski. However,  if your finances allows it, you can try a sled dog ride. You will be totally in love of these beautiful huskys that will pull you through the snow-covered valleys.

For bikers who love mechanics, you can rent snowmobiles with a lot of horsepower that will take you to the top of the mountains.

Generally the trips with snowmobile are groups rides with a professional driver that will monitor and prevent risks of accidents.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About The Author:

Gilles Cailleaux is the Owner & Master Confectioner at By Gilles, an online French candy store based in Orange County, California. They sell traditional French confections called Calissons from Provence. Gilles is always ready to share his 25 years plus experience of candy making and baking with everyone and want to hear about your experience with his calissons. Gilles and his team are sensitive about taste and harmony. They prepare your packages with special care and attention.