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Best Ski stations near Nice

Location: Nice

Best hostel in town!Villa Saint Exupery Hostel is set in the very centre of NIce's Old Town. The perfect hostel for those who want to both relax, party and take in France's gorgeous coastline.

Basic Infos

The Northern Alps tend to get most of the attention in France when it comes to skiing. But skiing near Nice in the southern Alps offers many hidden gems.

 

For one, the weather tends to be much better, and the conditions warmer. There’s none of that freezing to death in January, stuck on a chairlift at -20, wondering why in God’s name you would actually be paying for the experience, so common in the Northern Alps. Instead, skiing in the Southern Alps tends to be balmy, with 300 days of sunshine a year.

 

The snow tends to be a little heavier, closer to spring snow and is often criticised for its quality compared to the Northern Alps. But In recent years, the snow has often been as good, if not better than in the northern Alps, with the Southern Alps recording more snow and better conditions.

 

So with a bit of luck needed on the snow front, why not pick a better chance of blue skies for your ski holiday, coupled with much more affordable prices than up north?

 

At the Villa Saint Exupéry Beach Hostel, we offer help booking the 1.50 euro bus up to Auron and Isola ski stations for the day. We offer free ski gear to borrow at the hostel and guidance on ski rental and resorts.

 

Show up at the hostel and we will look after the rest!

 

 

Auron

 

 

Easily accessible from Nice, Auron is our hostel favourite, a 1.5 hour drive away (2.5 hours on the bus).  It’s a family style resort, with an ice rink in the middle of town, a few local restaurants and bars, and very reasonably priced accommodation. The nightlife isn’t that wild, but you’ll find some fun local bars.

 

The skiing is where Auron comes into its own – 45 pistes spread over a wide domain suitable for all levels, with plenty of off-piste options through wide bowls and forests for more adventurous skiers. There are slopes for all levels of experience, and it’s accessible for a daytrip from Nice.

 

Transport: Bus from Nice, or car. Nice airport is closest and also offers a bus service.

 

Cool places to check out:

 

Accommodation– L’Ecureuil (cheerful, simple, clean accommodation)

Restaurants in town – Le White (great for cheese fondue)

Restaurants on the pistes – La Buttière (family run, all fresh ingredients and homemade, large choice)

Resort Website http://winter.auron.com/ski-area

 

Isola 2000 `

 

 

 

Isola is not a beautiful town, but it’s the most popular with locals. It’s comparable in size to Auron, with 45 pistes. Developed in the 70’s by an English ex- army ski Olympian, Peter Boumphry, the skiing is excellent and the snow a touch more reliable than Auron, especially towards the very end of the season, with many north facing slopes.

 

There’s a fun bar in the resort called le Crocodile Bar which throws nightly parties, and there are outdoor music events throughout the season (check the resort website for details). Also the Aquavallee pool and spa at the bottom of the valley has an excellent waterslide, spa and pool complex after skiing, if you stay overnight, or are travelling with kids.

 

Transport:  Bus from Nice, or car. Nice airport is closest and also offers a bus service.

 

Cool places to check out:

 

Spa and Pool: Isola pool (see https://www.isola2000.com/isola-village/aquavallee-centre-aquatique-mercantour-isola/ )

Bar and pub: Le crocodile

Resort Website: https://www.isola2000.com/

 

Val d’Allos

 

From Nice, you’ll need a car to access this resort. It’s a 2.5 hour drive from Nice, passing through wide unspoilt valleys as you trek into some of the remote and less populated areas of France. One point on the drive takes you on a winding mountain road, but mostly it’s straight roads and easy driving, with stunning mountain bowls all around and wide open valleys. The drive alone is worth it.

 

The so called ‘Domain of Light’ has a vast ski area, comparable to any of the northern resorts, and in some cases, bigger, with over 200 pistes. Sunshine abounds, as does a particularly beautiful light that makes this ski area pretty unique and brings out the best of the mountain scenery. Nightlife is more or less non- existent, but there are good quality restaurants, and the quality of the skiing more than makes up for this.

 

It can be a little confusing to understand the ski area, as several areas connect over a huge distance. Val d’allos, Foux d’allos, Pra Loup all make up the network, but it is not possible to drive between val d’Allos/ Foux d’Allos and Pra Loup; only skiing connects them.

 

Transport: Rent a car and drive from Nice or Bus from Marseille airport. Also accessible by train and bus from Nice, but this makes for a longer trip.

 

Cool places to check out:

 

Accommodation: Hotel du Hameau (centre of village, great food and buffet breakfast, great fireplace).

Activities: Try the Luge in Foux d’Allos

Tourist office: Off piste here is phenomenal- almost no trees and wide bowls make it pretty magical for getting off the beaten track. Ask at the tourist office if any guides are offering off- piste days, offered regularly.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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